NPR's Book of the Day In need of a good read? Or just want to keep up with the books everyone's talking about? NPR's Book of the Day gives you today's very best writing in a snackable, skimmable, pocket-sized podcast. Whether you're looking to engage with the big questions of our times – or temporarily escape from them – we've got an author who will speak to you, all genres, mood and writing styles included. Catch today's great books in 15 minutes or less.

NPR's Book of the Day

From NPR

In need of a good read? Or just want to keep up with the books everyone's talking about? NPR's Book of the Day gives you today's very best writing in a snackable, skimmable, pocket-sized podcast. Whether you're looking to engage with the big questions of our times – or temporarily escape from them – we've got an author who will speak to you, all genres, mood and writing styles included. Catch today's great books in 15 minutes or less.

Most Recent Episodes

Hanover Square Press

Chelsea Devantez's memoir finds the humor in dark situations

Comedian, TV writer and podcast host Chelsea Devantez moved around a lot as a kid. She jokes in today's episode that her mom "loved to get divorced" — but that also led to what she describes as a pretty great co-parenting situation between her mom and godmother for a while. It's one of the many stories in Devantez's new memoir, I Shouldn't Be Telling You This (But I'm Going to Anyway). She spoke to NPR's Elizabeth Blair about the book, her journey as a domestic violence survivor and the experience of being the product, in part, of a sperm donor

Chelsea Devantez's memoir finds the humor in dark situations

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Scribner

Stephen King finishes a story 45 years in the making in 'You Like It Darker'

You Like It Darker is a new collection of short stories by Stephen King — and as the author tells NPR's Mary Louise Kelly, one of those stories spent decades tucked away in a desk drawer before he gave it an ending. In today's episode,the two discuss the bigger questions of destiny and morality in that story and in much of King's work, and why the writer thought several of his best-selling novels would never see the light of day.

Stephen King finishes a story 45 years in the making in 'You Like It Darker'

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University of Chicago Press; First Edition, Critical

The autobiography of John Swanson Jacobs offers a new look at slavery and migration

Harriet Jacobs is one of the best-known female abolitionists and authors who wrote about their experiences of enslavement in the South. But while searching for information about Jacobs' children, literary historian Jonathan Schroeder discovered something else: The United States Governed by Six Hundred Thousand Despots, the long-lost autobiography of Jacobs' brother, John Swanson Jacobs. In today's episode, Schroeder speaks with NPR's Juana Summers about the life of the author, his escape to freedom and the blistering critique of the United States that he wrote in 1855 while living in Australia.

The autobiography of John Swanson Jacobs offers a new look at slavery and migration

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Little, Brown and Company

'The Mango Tree' is a memoir about growing up mixed-race Filipina in south Florida

The Mango Tree kicks off with a phone call: Journalist Annabelle Tometich is informed her mom has been arrested for shooting a man, with a BB gun, who was trying to take mangoes from her yard. What follows is a memoir about a rich but turbulent upbringing in a half-white, half-Filipino family in Fort Myers, Florida. In today's episode, NPR's Scott Simon asks Tometich about the moment she realized the violence in her household wasn't normal, and what that mango tree represented for her immigrant mother.

'The Mango Tree' is a memoir about growing up mixed-race Filipina in south Florida

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Milkweed Editions

Ada Limón talks forgiveness, ghosts and fertility on 'Wild Card'

U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón recently edited and introduced You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World, a collection of poems by writers like Joy Harjo and Jericho Brown that pays homage to landscapes across the United States. In today's episode, Limón joins NPR's Rachel Martin to play a game for the new podcast Wild Card. They discuss some pivotal moments in Limón's life marked by natural scenery, like a creek she played in growing up and a big realization she had about her fertility while swimming in the Chesapeake Bay — and go beyond that into conversations about grandparents, memory and mortality.

Ada Limón talks forgiveness, ghosts and fertility on 'Wild Card'

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Viking

'Malas' is a novel about womanhood, curses and family history in a Texas border town

Marcela Fuentes' debut novel, Malas, is set in a small town nestled on the border between Texas and Mexico. There, two vastly different women begin to uncover decades of secrets, town gossip and broken family histories wrapped up in rodeos, Chicano politics and a hardcore punk band. In today's episode, NPR's Isabella Gomez Sarmiento speaks with Fuentes about the complicated ideals of womanhood in Mexican-American culture and the way her protagonists struggle to live their truths.

'Malas' is a novel about womanhood, curses and family history in a Texas border town

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Riverhead Books

R.O. Kwon's novel 'Exhibit' grapples with sexual desire and Asian identity

Jin Han, the narrator of R.O. Kwon's Exhibit, is a photographer going through it – both with her work and her husband. When she meets ballerina Lidija Jung, her world is turned upside down. Exhibit becomes a story about "what you might give up for what you want most," as Kwon tells NPR's Ayesha Rascoe. In today's episode, they discuss the nuances of wanting to give in to sexual desires even when they might be problematic for cultural perceptions and stereotypes of Asian women, and the way shame, religion and Korean womanhood function in both the book and Kwon's own life.

R.O. Kwon's novel 'Exhibit' grapples with sexual desire and Asian identity

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Ecco

Kathleen Hanna remembers her path to becoming the OG 'Rebel Girl'

Before she founded the riot grrrl movement of the 1990s, Kathleen Hanna was a teenager volunteering at a rape and domestic violence shelter in Olympia, Washington. In today's episode, the Bikini Kill and Le Tigre frontwoman tells NPR's Kelly McEvers how the anger and grief she absorbed there manifested into lyrics and performances that would take the punk and music scenes by storm. That story is at the heart of Hanna's memoir, Rebel Girl, which also grapples with setting boundaries, carrying the feminist torch of a generation and lending a hand to younger bands.

Kathleen Hanna remembers her path to becoming the OG 'Rebel Girl'

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Bloomsbury Publishing

Illia Ponomarenko's memoir opens up about covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine

There's a lot of tragedy that goes into watching your home erupt into a battlefield. But journalist Illia Ponomarenko says as the Russian military seized city after city in their latest invasion of Ukraine, people also came together in beautiful ways. His new memoir, I Will Show You How It Was, recounts what living – and covering – the war has been like so far. In today's episode, The Kyiv Independent co-founder speaks with NPR's Scott Simon about Ukrainians' willingness to fight for their country, what life is like in Bucha today and the unexpected way he met his girlfriend's parents.

Illia Ponomarenko's memoir opens up about covering the Russian invasion of Ukraine

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University of New Mexico Press/W. W. Norton & Company

Two books trace the social and historical impacts of food

Today's episode is all about food – but not in the form of recipes. First, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Victor M. Valle speaks to Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes about The Poetics of Fire, his new book analyzing the history of chiles in Mesoamerican and Indigenous cuisine as a lens to understand Mexican-American and Chicano culture. Then, NPR's Scott Simon asks Michelle T. King about Chop Fry Watch Learn, a part-memoir, part-reported analysis of Taiwanese chef Fu Pei-mei's life and impact on Chinese food around the world.

Two books trace the social and historical impacts of food

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