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"I can tell you, honest friend, what to believe: believe life; it teaches better than book or orator."

—Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832) German writer, scientist, master of poetry, drama and novel


NPR On Books

Cartoonist Looks Back On Career Built On Unnerving Visions  Sat, 25 Oct 2014 17:05:00 -0400
As a young man, Jim Woodring was looking for a sign — and he found it in a huge, green hallucinated amphibian. His new book of old drawings, Jim, includes many works inspired by such "apparitions." 
'Beautiful You' Makes Sex And Death Boring  Sat, 25 Oct 2014 10:03:15 -0400
Chuck Palahniuk aims for piquant social satire in his new novel, but reviewer (and longtime fan) Jason Sheehan finds his fandom severely dented by lazy characterizations and lack of actual satire. 
Novelist Nuruddin Farah: Facing A Blank Page Is 'Bravest Thing' A Writer Does  Sat, 25 Oct 2014 07:50:45 -0400
Farah's latest is called Hiding in Plain Sight. It's the story of Bella, a Somali photographer living in Rome who gets drawn into the lives of her niece and nephew after her half-brother is killed. 
The Life Of De Niro, From 'Mean Streets' To 'Meet The Parents'  Sat, 25 Oct 2014 05:47:00 -0400
Shawn Levy's brick-sized new biography of screen legend Robert De Niro was produced without cooperation from the actor — but Levy says that just forced him to do better research. 
'Heap House' Is A Treasure Of A Trash Tale  Sat, 25 Oct 2014 05:39:37 -0400
Edward Carey's illustrated young adult novel about the keepers of mystical trash heaps (yes, you read that right) in an alternate Victorian London combines thrills with intelligence and compassion. 
NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of October 23, 2014  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:03:19 -0400
Novelist Ann Patchet presents a collection of personal essays in This Is The Story Of A Happy Marriage, appearing at No. 3. 
NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of October 23, 2014  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:03:19 -0400
New Zealand's 19th century gold rush serves as the backdrop to a series of unexplained events in Eleanor Catton's The Luminaries. It appears at No. 4. 
NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of October 23, 2014  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:03:19 -0400
Debuting at No. 9, As You Wish delivers a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Princess Bride by the film's star Cary Elwes. 
NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of October 23, 2014  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:03:19 -0400
A teenager teams up with a psychic and a detective to learn more about her estranged mother in Jodi Picoult's Leaving Time. It debuts at No. 2. 
NPR Bestsellers: Week Of October 23, 2014  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:03:19 -0400
The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide. 
For The Midterm Elections, A Book On 'What It Takes' To Win  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 18:00:19 -0400
The midterm elections are less than two weeks away. Writer Michael Schaub recommends a book that explores what it's like to run for office and live through all the dramatic ups and downs. 
40 Years Later, Diane Von Furstenberg's Wrap Dress Still Wears Well  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 16:33:00 -0400
In her memoir, The Woman I Wanted to Be, Diane von Furstenberg says she owes her success to her mother, a strong, strict Holocaust survivor who called Diane her "torch of freedom." 
Patchett: In Bad Relationships, 'There Comes A Day When You Gotta Go'  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 15:10:57 -0400
Ann Patchett got married and divorced young. To her second husband, she said: "I'll be true, I'll be faithful ... but I don't want to live together." Her book is This Is The Story of a Happy Marriage
Book News: Lily King, Roz Chast And Kate Samworth Win Inaugural Kirkus Prize  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 11:02:24 -0400
Earning honors for fiction, nonfiction and young children's literature, respectively, the writers are the first to win the award. Also: The Bronx's bookstore returns, while the U.K. shows off doodles. 
Pursuing The Mafia Into All 'Four Corners' Of Palermo  Fri, 24 Oct 2014 10:03:14 -0400
Reporter Giuseppe di Piazza's debut novel, The Four Corners of Palermo, follows an unnamed young reporter during the brutal early days of the mafia's conflict with the Italian government in the 1980s.