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

Random House Publishing Group

Poet Warsan Shire hopes you can make the voices in your head your friends

Somali British poet Warsan Shire has had many projects, including running a popular Tumblr page and collaborating with Beyoncé. Now, she is out with a new collection of poems called Bless The Daughter Raised By A Voice In Her Head. That title is an ode to how she was raised, having to take on a lot of responsibility from a young age. But Shire told NPR's Sarah McCammon that it's also an ode to the children who are able to turn those voices into their friends instead of struggling with them as she has.

Poet Warsan Shire hopes you can make the voices in your head your friends

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G.P. Putnam's Sons

'Booth' looks at the family life of President Lincoln's notorious assassin

Author Karen Joy Fowler thinks John Wilkes Booth craved attention – and that he's gotten his fair share of it. So her new novel, Booth, instead focuses on his family. Their history might surprise you, given how John turned out. His grandfather was a part of the Underground Railroad. Fowler told NPR's Scott Simon that because of all we know about Booth's family, the path that John took is one of life's great mysteries. And, no, she hasn't solved it.

'Booth' looks at the family life of President Lincoln's notorious assassin

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Viking

Author NoViolet Bulawayo's novel 'Glory' draws inspiration from the Orwellian

Author NoViolet Bulawayo's new novel Glory is quite openly based on Orwell's Animal Farm and the 2017 coup in Zimbabwe that ousted then president Robert Mugabe. Horses rule the country, dogs are the military, cows, goats, sheep, and pigs are the everyday people. The government that has been in control of the country Jidada for 40 years has fallen to rebellion. But, as these things go, it quickly turns sour. Bulawayo told NPR's Scott Simon that "it is simply an issue of the leadership kind of forgetting [...] why the people they – that fought to serve – made the sacrifice that they did."

Author NoViolet Bulawayo's novel 'Glory' draws inspiration from the Orwellian

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Ecco/Random House

Two poetry collections find beauty in unexpected places

Poet Franny Choi knows that marginalized communities have been facing apocalypses forever. But in her new book, The World Keeps Ending, and the World Goes On, she uses their survival as a way to look forward. In this episode, she tells NPR's Leila Fadel how understanding that pain and resilience can ultimately be a source of hope. Then, former U.S. poet laureate Billy Collins discusses his new collection of very short poems, Musical Tables, with NPR's Scott Simon – and gets into the complexities of how sometimes saying less can offer so much more.

Two poetry collections find beauty in unexpected places

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Harry N. Abrams

In 'Sweet Land of Liberty,' pie recipes show how American values transform over time

A lot of holiday tables will undoubtedly feature some kind of pie this year. But for food writer Rossi Anastopoulo, pies aren't just a baked dish – they're a throughline of how American society and values have changed over time. In this episode, Anastopoulo shares some notable pie recipes with NPR's Sacha Pfeiffer, and breaks down what they each represent about race, gender and economic opportunity in this country.

In 'Sweet Land of Liberty,' pie recipes show how American values transform over time

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Viking

Sci-fi elements help a family's story before and after warfare

Displacement, identity and the aftermath of warfare are themes running through today's episode on The Haunting of Hajji Hotak. Author Jamil Jan Kochai talks with Ari Shapiro about why he used elements of science fiction like video games and magical realism to tell a largely autobiographical story of his family's life in Afghanistan before and after the Soviet invasion.

Sci-fi elements help a family's story before and after warfare

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W. W. Norton & Company

'Control' chronicles the dark history of eugenics and its ongoing impact

Adam Rutherford is a geneticist and author who just wrote a new book about the history of eugenics, and he tells NPR's Rebecca Ramirez that the political ideology is not just a relic of the past, but very much still relevant today. In this episode, Rutherford explains how anti-immigrant fear in the 19th century spurred popularity for an unscientific practice that was eventually embraced by Nazis – and has a complicated relationship with today's reproductive rights movement.

'Control' chronicles the dark history of eugenics and its ongoing impact

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In 'The Book of Jose,' Fat Joe remembers his rise in hip-hop

Fat Joe's career spans three decades – but before he was performing on stages around the world, he was a little kid getting bullied in the Bronx. His new memoir, The Book of Jose, goes back to his childhood in New York and his early days rapping in the Diggin' in the Crates Crew. In this episode, he opens up to NPR's Ayesha Rascoe about why he's committed to his community and how becoming a "big boy, financially" might mean putting a pause on new music.

In 'The Book of Jose,' Fat Joe remembers his rise in hip-hop

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Union Square & Co./First Second

Two books cover the Russia-Ukraine war from opposite perspectives

In this episode, two nonfiction books explore the Russian invasion of Ukraine from two completely different experiences. First, 12-year-old Yeva Skalietska from Kharkiv reads one of her diary entries from the early days of the war to Here and Now's Deepa Fernandes. Then, former White House Russia expert Andrew Weiss speaks with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about his new graphic novel biography of Vladimir Putin (illustrated by Brian "Box" Brown) – and why the Russian leader built a nefarious political image for himself that may not be entirely factual.

Two books cover the Russia-Ukraine war from opposite perspectives

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Chronicle Prism

'Gods of Soccer' celebrates 100 of the world's best players

Men in Blazers' Roger Bennett knows football – or soccer, as Americans call it. His new book, Gods of Soccer, lists 100 players who've made their mark on the sport one way or another. He tells Mary Louise Kelly about how he managed to compile that list, and why the book delves into the origin stories and cultural impact of a wide range of players – not just the Ronaldo and Messi household names, but the lesser-known figures who are iconic in their own right.

'Gods of Soccer' celebrates 100 of the world's best players

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