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
NPR

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

Penguin Random House

'All That She Carried' weaves together generations of Black women

All That She Carried is the history of a single bag. Historian and author Tiya Miles used what few historical records she could find to tell the stories of three generations of Black women with ties to that sack dating back to 1850. Miles' journey started because of a simple message embroidered on the bag by one of its owners, Ruth Middleton. She told Here & Now's Scott Tong that people have emotional reactions to seeing the sack, because it means the families survived to pass it down to future generations.

'All That She Carried' weaves together generations of Black women

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Harper Collins

'Chouette' is part owl part human baby. Fine. But how to raise her?

Claire Oshetsky's new novel Chouette is... pretty strange, but also kind of wonderful? Oshetsky says the story is a parable about motherhood, in which a woman gives birth to an owl baby. The mother finds this strange not because the baby is an owl, but because she only had intercourse with the owl parent in a dream, and that owl was a woman. Still with us? Good. Oshetsky talked with NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben about how her own daughter consulted on writing the book, and what she learned from raising an autistic child.

'Chouette' is part owl part human baby. Fine. But how to raise her?

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Penguin Random House

'Black Food' is more than just recipes, it's the stories behind them

Cookbook author and chef Bryant Terry edited and curated the new book, Black Food: Stories, Art, and Recipes From Across The African Diaspora. His goal was to preserve Black American recipes and their complex stories, but he uses more than just food to tell those stories. The book is also full of essays, art and music. Terry told Here And Now's Scott Tong that the cookbook is a "communal shrine to the shared culinary histories of the African Diaspora."

'Black Food' is more than just recipes, it's the stories behind them

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NPR

Celebrating NPR's Petra Mayer with three literary things she loved

Our beloved friend and colleague Petra Mayer died suddenly a few weeks ago. This episode is for her. First, a conversation with NPR's Scott Simon and Sir Andrew Motion on The Folio Book of War Poetry, edited by Motion. Among her many nerdy interests, Petra was a self avowed "WWI poetry dork." The poetry is dark and moving, conveying universal feelings around loss. Then, a few quintessentially "Petra" pieces that capture her work and who she was. A conversation with romance author Beverly Jenkins and Petra talking about one of her favorite comfort reads, The Goblin Emperor by Katherine Addison.

Celebrating NPR's Petra Mayer with three literary things she loved

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Penguin Random House

Tommy Orange is here to hold the door open for future Indigenous writers

This Thanksgiving, we're bringing you an author whose narrative likely runs counter to what you learned in school. Tommy Orange's novel, There There, is a brutal, remarkable, and necessary Native history. It's also a story of the shameful way America still treats its Native people. Orange was not comfortable with his new rising fame back in 2018. But he told NPR's Lynn Neary it was important to him to pave the way, spotlight and all, for young Indigenous writers.

Tommy Orange is here to hold the door open for future Indigenous writers

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Penguin Random House

'Calvin' shows how transgender kids can express who they really are

Authors JR and Vanessa Ford read the one book they could find about transgender kids to their child but skipped over the word 'transgender.' When they finally used the word, their child felt empowered by finding the right language to describe themselves. So the Fords set out to help more families with their children's book, Calvin. JR and Vanessa Ford told NPR's Audie Cornish that they are still learning as they go.

'Calvin' shows how transgender kids can express who they really are

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Bloomsbury Publishing

'The Island of Missing Trees' uses, well, trees to chronicle generational trauma

Author Elif Shafak struggled at first with how to write her new book, The Island of Missing Trees. The story she wanted to tell is about a family from Cyprus, a Mediterranean island that was the center of a conflict in the 1970s, but she didn't want the story to be about tribalism or nationalism. Which is why, Shafak told NPR's Steve Inskeep, much of the story is told from the perspective of a fig tree

'The Island of Missing Trees' uses, well, trees to chronicle generational trauma

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Penguin Random House

'Out of Office' considers 'why' companies want to bring back remote employees

The working world looks a lot different today than it did nearly two years ago, when the coronavirus pandemic sent many office staff to work from home indefinitely. Writers Anne Helen Peterson and Charlie Warzel take a look at what work, and our relationship to it, will look like going forward in their new book, Out of Office. NPR's Rachel Martin spoke with Peterson about why so many companies want their employees back in person. And, spoiler alert: it's not about productivity.

'Out of Office' considers 'why' companies want to bring back remote employees

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The Apollo Murder/Trigger Mortis Mulholland Books/Orion Publishing hide caption

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Mulholland Books/Orion Publishing

Murder! Space! James Bond! Chris Hadfield and Anthony Horowitz talk thrillers

This Friday, we're featuring two thrillers. First, astronaut Chris Hadfield talked with former NPR host Lulu Garcia-Navarro about his novel The Apollo Murders, which is set in the 70's around, you guessed it, the Apollo missions. It's got Soviet spies and secret space stations with machine guns mounted to the top. What more could a book need? Then a 2015 interview with NPR's Robert Siegel and author Anthony Horowitz about his James Bond novel Trigger Mortis, and what it's like giving a classic a 21st century twist.

Murder! Space! James Bond! Chris Hadfield and Anthony Horowitz talk thrillers

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Penguin Random House

'Misfire' takes an inside look at the corruption at the heart of the NRA

The National Rifle Association is being sued. The nonprofit at the heart of the gun lobby is accused of diverting money from its charitable mission. NPR investigative journalist Tim Mak has been following the paper trail, much of it tracing back to Wayne LaPierre, longtime leader of the NRA. NPR's Steve Inskeep talked with Mak about his new book, Misfire, detailing congressional investigations, and what the New York state attorney general has identified as tens of millions of dollars of corrupt spending on private jets and six figure suits.

'Misfire' takes an inside look at the corruption at the heart of the NRA

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