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Arts & Life

'I Want The Pages To Turn': Librarian Nancy Pearl's Summer Reading List

NPR | June 29, 2017

Ahead of the July 4th weekend, the Seattle-based librarian shares a stack of eight recent favorites. She includes thrillers, mysteries, family sagas and an homage to the game rock, paper, scissors.

'The Outer Cape' Shows Us That Every Place Has A Dark Side

NPR | June 29, 2017

Patrick Dacey puts his characters through the wringer in his new novel, a wrenching saga of a profoundly unhappy family set against the ostensibly idyllic background of Cape Cod.

Cultural Appropriation Is, In Fact, Indefensible

NPR | June 28, 2017

Recently, the New York Times published an essay defending cultural appropriation as necessary engagement. But that's a simplistic, misguided way of looking at appropriation, which causes real harm.

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Arts | Books

Multiple Narratives Mean Non-Stop Action In 'The Child'

NPR | June 28, 2017 4 a.m.

Fiona Barton's latest — a followup to last year's hit The Widow — picks up with journalist Kate Waters as she digs into another cold case, this one an infant skeleton found at a building site.

Arts | Books

In 'Amatka,' A Warped And Chilling Portrait Of Post-Truth Reality

NPR | June 27, 2017 4 a.m.

Karin Tidbeck's new novel is set in the mysterious city of Amatka, an agricultural colony ruled by a totalitarian government — but this is no standard dystopia. In Amatka, language has strange power.

Arts | Books

On Harry Potter's 20th Anniversary, Listen To His NPR Debut

NPR | June 26, 2017 2:55 p.m.

The first Harry Potter book came out 20 years ago today. One year later, in 1998, was the first time we mentioned the book, on All Things Considered. Here's Margot Adler's piece in its entirety.

Arts | Books

'But Seriously,' Tennis Great John McEnroe Says He's Seeking 'Inner Peace'

NPR | June 25, 2017 8:12 a.m.

Known for his on-court outbursts, McEnroe famously yelled, "You cannot be serious!" at one official. Now, decades later, he says it's a "miracle" if he goes a full day without hearing that line.

Arts | Books

An Ancient Curse Awakens In 'The Suffering Tree'

NPR | June 25, 2017 4 a.m.

A family curse, a resurrection and a vengeful witch are at the center of Elle Cosimano's Southern Gothic chiller The Suffering Tree. But the book elides its setting's history of racial violence.

Arts | Books

'Too Fat, Too Slutty' Challenges Cultural Expectations Of Women

NPR | June 24, 2017 7 a.m.

Anne Helen Petersen's new book is a thoughtful consideration of several public women — from Nicki Minaj to Hillary Clinton — who've run up against the invisible expectations our culture has of them.

Arts | Books

Shades Of Gray Turn Sumptuous In 'Chain Letter'

NPR | June 22, 2017 4 a.m.

In Chain Letter, cartoonist Farel Dalrymple returns to The City, the mysterious metropolis at the heart of his early 2000s series Pop Gun War. It's a weird, complicated and charming place.

Arts | Books

'The Sarah Book' Is An Unsparing Primal Scream Of A Book

NPR | June 21, 2017 8:35 a.m.

Scott McClanahan's semi-autobiographical novel is packed with loss, pain and existential anguish, but his narrator — also named Scott — refuses to give up, no matter how often he's knocked down.

Arts | Books | Entertainment

Eddie Izzard: Coming Out Gave Me The Confidence For Everything Else

NPR | June 20, 2017 3:15 p.m.

Fair warning: There are no actual jazz chickens in Eddie Izzard's new Believe Me: A Memoir of Love, Death and Jazz Chickens. But it does provide insight into what makes the acclaimed comedian tick.

Arts | Books

'The Alchemist's Daughter' Is No Frankenstein's Monster

NPR | June 20, 2017 11:41 a.m.

Theodora Goss's novel takes bits and pieces from several different monstrous mythologies — Jekyll and Hyde, Dr. Moreau and more — but she makes something new and deceptively intricate out of them.