Why Does Cynthia Ozick Write? ‘I Simply Must,’ She Says


Here is the latest Book News from National Public Radio.

Why Does Cynthia Ozick Write? ‘I Simply Must,’ She Says
The versatile author says that, like queens, writers are born into their profession. In her new book, Critics, Monsters, Fanatics, and Other Literary Essays, she examines current and past literature.

Recommended Reads To Prepare You For The Conventions
The Republican convention begins on Monday, and the Democrats get their turn the following week. Writer Thomas Mallon gives Linda Wertheimer a reading list to prepare for the conventions.

‘Stars’ Is A Sequel That Goes A Bit Askew
In The Stars Askew, Rjurik Davidson returns to the world of Caeli-Amur, now trying to put itself back together after a revolution. But the story bogs down in plural narratives and political minutiae.

‘Missing, Presumed’ Chronicles Ups And Downs Of Dating … And Detective Work
At the beginning of Susie Steiner’s new thriller, a detective is on a date with a man whose name she can’t remember. Not long after, a well-connected university student goes missing.

Poets Take Cues From Journalism In Recent Collections
NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with our poetry reviewer Tess Taylor about three recent collections that take their cues from nonfiction, including Admit One by Martha Collins, Look by Solmaz Sharif and Olio by Tyehimba Jess.

Like These Books? Here Are 60+ Things You Might Also Like …
You know that feeling when you put down a great book and all you want is more? We took 27 recent books and paired them with movies, musicals, TV shows, comics and podcasts to keep your buzz going.

Like These Books? Here Are 60+ Things You Might Also Like …
You know that feeling when you put down a great book and all you want is more? We took 27 recent books and paired them with movies, musicals, TV shows, comics and podcasts to keep your buzz going.

An Opera Percussionist Traces Her Path ‘From Juilliard to the Orchestra Pit’
Patti Niemi has been a percussionist for the San Francisco Opera Orchestra since 1992. She speaks with Fresh Air‘s Sam Briger about performance anxiety, muscle memory and her memoir, Sticking it Out.

What Do Contested Conventions Look Like? Ask Hollywood And Sinclair Lewis
Thanks to movies, novels and TV, Bob Mondello knows what a contested convention would be like: raucous crowd, oppressive din and (if movies are any guide) Angela Lansbury scheming in the corner.

For LGBTQ Students, Author Says, Safety Is ‘Not Enough’
Safety for LGBTQ students is critical, but inclusive policies shouldn’t stop there, author Michael Sadowski argues in his new book.

Time Catches Up With Us All In ‘The Heavenly Table’
Donald Ray Pollock’s surreal, hardscrabble new novel is set in 1917, but it could just as well be 917; his characters are all lost in time and puzzled by the pace at which the future’s coming at them.

Forgetting Isn’t Healing: Lessons From Elie Wiesel
Calls for racial healing often focus on putting the painful past behind us. NPR’s Sonari Glinton remembers the man who taught him never to forget: Holocaust survivor and Nobel laureate Elie Wiesel.

Meet The Guy Who’s Been ‘A Hero,’ ‘A Pirate,’ ‘A Mountain Of Molten Lust’
Model Jason Aaron Baca has appeared on 475 romance book covers. By his tally, that’s more than even Fabio. His is a story of hard work and luck in the swashbuckling, bodice-ripping world of romance.

Egypt’s Repressive Government Co-Stars In El Rashidi’s First Novel
Steve Inskeep talks to journalist Yasmine El Rashidi about her debut novel, Chronicle of a Last Summer. It follows a young Egyptian whose life and country change over three turbulent summers.

‘The Dream Life Of Astronauts’ Is A Journey To Emotional Deep Space
Patrick Ryan’s book of short stories is set around Cape Canaveral, Fla., during the 1960s and ’70s. Critic Maureen Corrigan says it’s the best new short story collection she’s read in light years.

‘The War At Home’ Recounts The Tension Of Being A Military Spouse
As the wife of a Navy fighter pilot, memoirist Rachel Starnes has had much of her life — including where she lives and how often she gets to live with her husband — determined by his career.

What Price Happiness? Pretty Expensive, According To ‘The Invoice’
Jonas Karlsson’s clever parable follows an average guy who’s uncommonly content with his lot in life — until he gets an astronomical bill from a sinister entity trying to redistribute happiness.

Diversity Drives The Story In The Latest Incarnation Of Superman
If you’ve been in a comics store lately, you’ve noticed the increasing diversity on the shelves: a biracial Spiderman, a Muslim Ms. Marvel, and today, a Chinese man takes up the mantle of Superman.

‘Almighty’ Follows Activists In The Fight Against Nuclear Weapons
NPR’s Kelly McEvers talks to Washington Post reporter and author Dan Zak about his latest book, Almighty, about anti-nuclear weapons activism.

‘Schumer’ Writer Jessi Klein On Barbies, Ageism And Pumping At The Emmys
Klein won an Emmy in 2015 for her work on Inside Amy Schumer. Her new book, You’ll Grow Out of It, is a collection of humorous personal essays.

Darkness And Magic Abound In ‘Natural History Of Hell’
Jeffrey Ford’s new story collection is packed with fairies, demons, historical figures and death personified: not always the freshest concepts, but when the stories work, they’re enthrallingly eerie.

‘Ask Polly’ Columnist Tells Advice-Seekers ‘How To Be A Person In The World’
It’s not easy to be a person, but Heather Havrilesky of the “Ask Polly” column has some advice on how to follow your dreams, figure out career and family — and dump wishy-washy, noncommittal guys.

2 Brilliantly Written Novels From Mexico Head Up A Wave Of Literary Talent
Critic John Powers says there’s a boom in good fiction emerging from Mexico. He recommends Among Strange Victims, by Daniel Saldaña París, and The Transmigration of Bodies,by Yuri Herrera.

How The ‘Perfect 10’ Became A Thing Of The Past In Gymnastics
Dvora Meyers’ book The End of the Perfect 10 looks at the new scoring system for international gymnastics competitions and the evolution and demise of the iconic “perfect 10” score.

Former Police Chief Has A Plan For ‘How To Fix America’s Police’
Former Seattle Police Chief Norm Stamper says in his book To Protect and Serve: How to Fix America’s Police that policing is in crisis. He says more emphasis needs to be put on community policing.

Reflecting On Police Shootings, Author Kwame Alexander Focuses On Next Generation
Children’s author Kwame Alexander discusses last week’s killing of Alton Sterling and Philando Castille, in addition to the shootings of the Dallas police officers.

Former Evangelical Pastor Rethinks His Approach To Courtship
Josh Harris, a former evangelical pastor, wrote an influential book on Christian courtship. NPR’s Rachel Martin talks with him about the criticism he’s gotten from people who grew up reading his book.

Empathy Qualifies ‘Ask Polly’ Columnist To Tell Advice-Seekers ‘How To Be A Person In The World’
It’s not easy to be a person, but Heather Havrilesky of the “Ask Polly” column has some advice. NPR’s Rachel Martin speaks to Havrilesky’s about her new book, How to Be a Person in the World.

Is ‘You Are Having A Good Time’ Beautiful Or Grotesque? Yes
Amie Barrodale’s debut collection is packed with ill-advised relationships and broken, mean characters in ugly, funny scenarios; these stories live at the intersection of discomfort and pleasure.

‘I Write About Awful People,’ Says Gay Talese
“I’m a little bit drawn to what is forbidden,” Talese adds, and he draws readers along with him in his latest book, The Voyeur’s Motel, based on the journals of an innkeeper who spied on his guests.

Stuck Inside With The AC On? Try These Five Cool YA Reads
Summer can seem slow for eager readers — not much on the shelves, and not much coming. But we’ve got some recommendations for great young adult reads to while away the long hot days.

Senate Passes A GMO Labeling Bill That The Food Industry Likes
The Senate has passed a bill that requires food companies to reveal whether their products contain GMOs. But those companies are pleased, because they won’t have to print “GMO” on food packages.

‘Unbroken Brain’ Explains Why ‘Tough’ Treatment Doesn’t Help Drug Addicts
“We have this idea that if we are just cruel enough and mean enough … to people with addiction, that they will suddenly wake up and stop, and that is not the case,” journalist Maia Szalavitz says.

‘Underground Airlines’ Presents A Scarily Realistic Alternate History
Ben H. Winters’ new novel is set in a modern-day America in which almost everything seems normal — except for the fact that the Civil War never happened, and slavery is still legal in four states.

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