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In Winter, Keeping Warm With Beloved Books

NPR Books - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 5:03am

Critic Juan Vidal says winter is a time for turning inwards and warding off the chill with your favorite books, the ones you return to over and over again when the days get shorter and snow closes in.

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For A Taste Of Grimdark, Visit The 'Land Fit For Heroes'

NPR Books - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 5:03am

Richard K. Morgan's epic sword-and-planet (and alien technology) Land Fit For Heroes series is a good introduction to grimdark, a subgenre that aims to show the gritty underside of fantasy fiction.

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In 'Dear Father,' A Poet Disrupts The 'Cycle Of Pain'

NPR Books - Sun, 01/25/2015 - 4:29am

J. Ivy says his father grew up in pain and passed that pain on to the next generation. In his new book, he says that forgiveness is an ongoing act — and you must constantly remember to forgive again.

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'Driving The King' A Story Long In The Works

NPR Books - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 3:02pm

Driving The King is a fictionalized account of the adventures of Nat King Cole and his bodyguard driver. Author Ravi Howard says the idea was planted long ago.

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Huckabee Serves Up 'God, Guns' And A Dose Of Controversy

NPR Books - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 3:02pm

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee sees America as divided into "Bubble-ville" and "Bubba-ville," a cultural split he describes in his new book, Gods, Guns, Grits, and Gravy.

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Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles

NPR Books - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 6:42am

From witnesses to reluctant gang members, Jill Leovy says, "everybody's terrified." Her book, Ghettoside, uses the story of one murder to explore the city's low arrest rate when black men are killed.

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Two Outcasts Form An Artistic Bond In 'Mr. Mac And Me'

NPR Books - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 5:59am

Painter's daughter Esther Freud weaves her own experiences into the story of a lonely little boy in a British seacoast town, who befriends the great Art Nouveau designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

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Do You Have To Read 'Frog?' No, But You Might Want To

NPR Books - Sat, 01/24/2015 - 5:03am

Reviewer Jason Sheehan says Mo Yan's Frog is not without issues, but still offers a thoughtful tale of a dark era in modern Chinese history, touched with humor and occasional magic.

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The New York Times Book Review: Back Issues

New York Times Sunday Book Review - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 6:32pm
Complete contents of the Book Review since 1997.

When Pop Broke Up With Jazz

NPR Books - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 2:35pm

For the first half of the 20th century, Tin Pan Alley songwriters like Irving Berlin and the Gershwins dominated pop music. By the the 1950s, tastes had changed, and the music changed with them.

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NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of January 22, 2015

NPR Books - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 2:03pm

After obsessively observing a "perfect couple" every day on her commute, Rachel Watson sees something dark that forces her to get involved. Paula Hawkin's The Girl on the Train debuts at No. 2.

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In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid?

NPR Books - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:20am

Scientists think an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. In today's extinction, humans are the culprit. Originally broadcast Feb. 12, 2014.

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‘Modernity Britain: 1957-1962,’ by David Kynaston

New York Times Sunday Book Review - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:06am
David Kynaston’s multivolume history of postwar Britain continues in this tapestry of political, socioeconomic and cultural change.

Open Book: Immersive History

New York Times Sunday Book Review - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:06am
David Kynaston’s method of recapturing Britain’s past includes quoting from the diaries and letters of average citizens.

The Shortlist: ‘The Greatest Knight,’ by Thomas Asbridge, and More

New York Times Sunday Book Review - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:05am
New books about the Plantagenets and the Tudors, Thomas Cromwell and more.

Esther Freud’s ‘Mr. Mac and Me’

New York Times Sunday Book Review - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:05am
In Esther Freud’s novel, an artistic boy befriends the architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh in 1914.

Ben Metcalf’s ‘Against the Country’

New York Times Sunday Book Review - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:04am
Ben Metcalf’s novel, set in Virginia, takes issue with the American idealization of the back-to-the-land life.

‘The Season of Migration,’ by Nellie Hermann

New York Times Sunday Book Review - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 10:39am
A novel of van Gogh’s anguished time in Belgium.

‘Van Gogh,’ by Julian Bell

New York Times Sunday Book Review - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 10:39am
Julian Bell looks at van Gogh’s brief, explosively creative life.

‘Offcomer,’ by Jo Baker

New York Times Sunday Book Review - Fri, 01/23/2015 - 10:38am
The protagonist of Jo Baker’s first novel is an Oxford graduate working at a Belfast pub.

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