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Arts & Life

'Hidden Figures': How Black Women Did The Math That Put Men On The Moon

NPR | Sept. 26, 2016

Back in the days of the Space Race, "computers" were people — often women — who performed vital calculations. Hidden Figures tells the stories of the women who got some of the first men to space.

'Darktown' Imagines What It Was Like For Atlanta's First Black Policemen

NPR | Sept. 26, 2016

In 1948, eight African-American men joined Atlanta's police force. Those pioneer officers — who couldn't drive squad cars or even step foot in headquarters — inspired Thomas Mullen's new novel.

Lose Yourself In The Twisting, Turning Alleys Of 'Crooked Kingdom'

NPR | Sept. 25, 2016

Leigh Bardugo's followup to her steampunky heist tale Six of Crows follows teenage criminal mastermind Kaz and his ragged crew as they take revenge for a betrayal and deal with a dangerous drug.

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Books | Arts

A Cartoonist Confronts The Power Of His Pen In 'Reputations'

NPR | Sept. 24, 2016 4 a.m.

Juan Gabriel Vásquez's new novel centers on a respected and feared political cartoonist whose past comes back to haunt him after he receives a threatening letter. It's a powerful, concentrated work.

Entertainment | Books | Arts

Blogger Luvvie Ajayi Is Judging You With Her New Book

NPR | Sept. 23, 2016 4:11 p.m.

Blogger Luvvie Ajayi discusses her new book I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual, which has her takes on pop culture and more.

Music | Books | Arts

'Born To Run' Is A 500-Page Springsteen Show

NPR | Sept. 23, 2016 6:29 a.m.

Can't see The Boss in concert? Pick up his new memoir, which begins with 7-year-old Springsteen watching Elvis on TV. From $3-a-night shows to swooning stadiums, it's a wild and well-written ride.

Books | Arts

'The Wonder' Is A Hard-To-Believe Tale Of Belief

NPR | Sept. 22, 2016 8:21 a.m.

Emma Donoghue's latest follows a nurse in 19th century Ireland who agrees to monitor a famed fasting girl. But both the unsympathetic nurse and the credulous villagers are hard to like or understand.

Books | Arts

'Atlas Obscura' Tour Of Manhattan Finds Hidden Wonders In A Well-Trodden Place

NPR | Sept. 21, 2016 1:05 p.m.

Dylan Thuras, co-author of a new book, takes NPR to a piece of lost subway grandeur, a room of well-groomed dirt and a sonic secret in the middle of Times Square.

Books | Arts

Love Shifts The Self In 'The Lesser Bohemians'

NPR | Sept. 21, 2016 10:14 a.m.

Eimear McBride's latest follows a young drama student who comes to London and falls for an older man. Her live, wriggling language makes a beautiful account of the ways the self is built and rebuilt.

Entertainment | Books | Arts

A Comics Convention For The Unconventional: The Small Press Expo

NPR | Sept. 20, 2016 3:53 p.m.

Every year the Small Press Expo (SPX) brings creators of independent comics together with passionate fans. Many of those fans make comics themselves and say they're inspired by SPX's "funkier" feel.

Books | Arts

'Arab Of The Future 2' Continues Risky Truth-Telling

NPR | Sept. 20, 2016 10:14 a.m.

Cartoonist Riad Sattouf continues his scathing memoir of his childhood in Syria and Libya. Just as in the first volume, his disgust for the oddities and outrages around him is palpable on the page.

Books | Arts

Kirkus Prize Finalists Include Annie Proulx, Sherman Alexie, Jason Reynolds

NPR | Sept. 20, 2016 6:01 a.m.

But they're not the only ones. Eighteen books got the nod when Kirkus Reviews released shortlists for its literary prize on Tuesday.


'Juniper': The Story Of A Premature Baby Girl Who Grew To Be 'Perfect'

NPR | Sept. 18, 2016 12:59 p.m.

Kelley Benham French and husband Tom French tell the story of the tough decisions they made after the premature birth of their daughter in the memoir Juniper: The Girl Who Was Born Too Soon.