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"If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? Good God, we also would be happy if we had no books and such books that make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. What we must have are those books that come on us like ill fortune, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us."

—Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Austrian writer, The Metamorphosis, The Trial

 

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Why Teens Are Impulsive, Addiction-Prone And Should Protect Their Brains 
  Wed, 28 Jan 2015 14:03:00 -0500 
    New research shows that teenagers' brains aren't fully insulated, so the signals travel slowly when they need to make decisions. Neuroscientist Frances Jensen, who wrote The Teenage Brain, explains.


After Father's Death, A Writer Learns How 'The Japanese Say Goodbye' 
  Tue, 27 Jan 2015 16:34:00 -0500 
    Lost in a deep depression, Marie Mutsuki Mockett visited a temple owned by her mother's family near Fukushima. There, she found traditions and ways of thought that helped her work through her grief.


'Ghettoside' Explores Why Murders Are Invisible In Los Angeles 
  Mon, 26 Jan 2015 13:14:00 -0500 
    In her new book, journalist Jill Leovy studies the epidemic of unsolved murders in African-American neighborhoods and the relationships between police and victims' relatives, witnesses and suspects.


In 'Fatherland,' A Daughter Outlines Her Dad's Radicalization 
  Sun, 25 Jan 2015 17:12:00 -0500 
    Falling in love with your handsome pen pal, moving overseas to marry him, then finding out he's part of a terrorist organization: That's the Bunjevac family story, told in a new graphic memoir.


In 'Dear Father,' A Poet Disrupts The 'Cycle Of Pain' 
  Sun, 25 Jan 2015 06:29:00 -0500 
    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.


'Driving The King' A Story Long In The Works 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:02:00 -0500 
    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.


Huckabee Serves Up 'God, Guns' And A Dose Of Controversy 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:02:00 -0500 
    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.


Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 08:42:00 -0500 
    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.


Two Outcasts Form An Artistic Bond In 'Mr. Mac And Me' 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 07:59:00 -0500 
    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.


When Pop Broke Up With Jazz 
  Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:35:00 -0500 
    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.


In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid? 
  Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:20:00 -0500 
    Scientists think an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. In today's extinction, humans are the culprit. Originally broadcast Feb. 12, 2014.


The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing 
  Thu, 22 Jan 2015 03:39:00 -0500 
    Steve Inskeep talks with NPR Ed's Anya Kamenetz about her book, The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing — But You Don't Have to Be.


In 'The Evil Hours,' A Journalist Shares His Struggle With PTSD 
  Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:01:00 -0500 
    While embedded with troops in Iraq, David Morris almost died when a Humvee he was riding in ran over a roadside bomb. His book explores the history and science of post-traumatic stress disorder.


Book Club: Hector Tobar Answers Your Questions About 'Deep Down Dark' 
  Tue, 20 Jan 2015 03:17:00 -0500 
    Tobar says it was a "great honor" to interview the 33 Chilean miners who were trapped underground for 69 days in 2010. They lived "one of the great adventure stories of the 21st century," he says.


Markets May Stumble Or Skyrocket, But This Economist Says Hold On Tight 
  Mon, 19 Jan 2015 17:59:00 -0500 
    It's been more than four decades since Burton Malkiel published A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Eleven editions later, Malkiel hasn't wavered in his mantra of patience and broad investing.
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