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

Portfolio/Simon & Schuster

'Never Enough' and 'Roctogenarians' examine the culture of success

Today's episode is all about what it means to "make it" – and why there's no one path to success. First, Jennifer Breheny Wallace speaks with Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes about her new book Never Enough, which examines "toxic achievement culture" and the high pressure young people are under in regards to grades and college admissions. Then, WBUR's Tiziana Dearing speaks with Mo Rocca about Roctogenarians, co-written with Jonathan Greenberg, which profiles people who reached their goals and biggest dreams later in life.

'Never Enough' and 'Roctogenarians' examine the culture of success

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Pantheon

'Tehrangeles' follows a family of aspiring Iranian influencers in LA

Once upon a time, author Porochista Khakpour worked as a shop girl in the luxury stores lining Rodeo Drive. She tells NPR's Ailsa Chang how excited she would get when Iranian-American customers came in — but how poorly those interactions would pan out to be. Her new novel, Tehrangeles, explores the story of one such powerful family in LA on the cusp of getting their own reality TV show. And as Khakpour and Chang discuss, it opens a whole lot of questions about whiteness, assimilation and cultural definitions of success.

'Tehrangeles' follows a family of aspiring Iranian influencers in LA

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Penguin Life

Glynnis MacNicol's memoir brings readers to a summer of pleasure in Paris

After riding out the first year of the pandemic alone in her small studio apartment in New York City, Glynnis MacNicol saw an opportunity and ran with it. Once vaccines had rolled out in 2021, she booked a flight to, and apartment in, Paris – and the food, wine and sex that followed is the fuel of her new memoir, I'm Mostly Here to Enjoy Myself. In today's episode, MacNicol speaks with NPR's Mary Louise Kelly about pursuing pleasure, fully and unapologetically.

Glynnis MacNicol's memoir brings readers to a summer of pleasure in Paris

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Knopf

In 'One of Our Kind,' a Black family moves to a planned utopia

In the new novel One of Our Kind, Jasmyn Williams moves her family to the planned Black utopia of Liberty, California. But things start to take a turn when Jasmyn realizes not everyone who lives in Liberty is the way she expected them to be. In today's episode, author Nicola Yoon speaks with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe about writing in the thriller genre, dismantling the idea that Black people are a monolith, and finding inspiration in The Stepford Wives.

In 'One of Our Kind,' a Black family moves to a planned utopia

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AUWA

Questlove maps a cultural revolution in 'Hip-Hop is History'

At the height of the Drake and Kendrick Lamar beef a few weeks back, Questlove took to Instagram to say, amongst other things, that "hip-hop is truly dead." In today's episode, he tells NPR's Rodney Carmichael where he was coming from – whether or not he actually believes that – and explains the musical shift, personal stories and cultural changes detailed in his new book, Hip-Hop Is History.

Questlove maps a cultural revolution in 'Hip-Hop is History'

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Grand Central Publishing/Henry Holt and Co.

'Dear Sister,' 'A Fatal Inheritance' examine difficult family histories

Today's episode highlights two books that grapple with hardships – and perseverance — within a family. First, Here & Now's Robin Young speaks with Michelle Horton about Dear Sister, a memoir chronicling how Horton's sister was arrested for killing her husband, the abuse she'd been suffering at his hands for years, and the family's fight to reduce her prison sentence. Then, NPR's Scott Simon speaks with journalist Lawrence Ingrassia about A Fatal Inheritance, which tracks generations of cancer in Ingrassia's family alongside research and developments in the medical field.

'Dear Sister,' 'A Fatal Inheritance' examine difficult family histories

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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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