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the book show

What does hope look like? How do we find and hold onto it in the midst of personal turmoil, communal suffering, global chaos and the everyday challenges of being alive in this world?

Best-selling author Anne Lamott looks to answer these questions and more in her new book, "Almost Everything: Notes on Hope."

Tara Westover’s memoir, “Educated,” has made its way to the number one spot on the New York Times bestsellers list.

She tells her story of being a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.

Tommy Orange and book cover for "There There"
Author Photo - Elena Seibert

Tommy Orange’s powerful and urgent Native American voice has exploded onto the landscape of contemporary fiction. His debut novel, “There There,” interweaves the experiences of twelve people who gather in Oakland for a pow wow. It is a multigenerational story about violence, recovery, hope, and loss.

Andre Dubus III’s first novel in a decade, “Gone So Long,” is a story filled with thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.

It tells about a father, estranged for the worst of reasons, driven to seek out the daughter he has not seen in decades - exploring how the wounds of the past afflict the people we become.

David Baldacci is one of the greatest thriller writers of the last two decades. He creates heroes with severe flaws, powerful people of influence who are easily corruptible, or in the case of his most recent novel, "Long Road to Mercy," an FBI agent with special skills assigned to the remote wilds of the southwestern United States.

Political, social and natural landscapes are all in peril. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is heating up. Is it really worth learning to love when the end of the world is nigh? And how do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all? These are questions all addressed in Olivia Laing’s new novel, “Crudo.”

National Book Award finalist Elliot Ackerman’s new novel, “Waiting for Eden,” tells the devastating story of a husband and wife who cannot communicate with one another, two friends who face the sheer unknowability of the divide between life and death, and is a portrayal of a mind that no longer has mastery over the body it serves.

Sigrid Nunez’s novel, “The Friend,” is a moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog. The book won this year's National Book Award for fiction.

Nunez’s previous novels include “Salvation City,” “The Last of Her Kind” and “A Feather on the Breath of God.”

A new, single volume of history sets out to explore the experiment in government that is the United States. Award-winning Harvard historian Jill Lepore, author of “These Truths: A History of the United States,” looks to explore how we now understand the role of women and people of color in our political heritage, and how to put today’s politics of division in proportion.

Author photo by Marc J. Franklin

Broadway actor, musician and writer Andy Mientus has just written his debut novel, “The Backstagers and the Ghost Light,” the first book in a middle-grade series based on the award winning graphic novels. Featuring and inclusive cast of characters, the series follows a band of theater misfits as they go on a paranormal, action-packed adventure.

Walter Mosley’s latest novel is the result of nearly 20-years of incubation, it is a dazzling and convention-defying novel of ideas about the sexual and intellectual coming-of-age of an unusual man who goes by the name Woman. The new book is “John Woman.”

This is an Off the Shelf edition of The Book Show, recorded in partnership with and on location at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont.

Colson Whitehead’s novel "The Underground Railroad," tells the story of a runaway slave and re-imagines the pre-Civil War South. It won the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book award and Whitehead was recently named The New York State Writer - one of the biggest prizes in literature.

Author, historian and Pulitzer Prize-winner Doris Kearns Goodwin’s latest work is “Leadership: In Turbulent Times.” Goodwin explores questions of natural leadership ability versus developed ability; the relationship between ambition and adversity on leadership growth; and how leaders both perceive themselves and are perceived by others.

Guided by the 3,000 letters between the prominent journalist, Lorena Hickok, and one of the world’s most admired women, Eleanor Roosevelt, Amy Bloom’s novel “White Houses” explores Eleanor’s real-life romantic relationship with Lorena.

Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Miriam Pawel’s new book: “The Browns of California: The Family Dynasty that Transformed a State and Shaped a Nation,” is a panoramic history of California and its impact on the nation told through the lens of the family dynasty that led the state for nearly a quarter century.

In “The Sky Is Falling: How Vampires, Zombies, Androids, and Superheroes Made America Great for Extremism,” cultural journalist Peter Biskind dives headlong into two decades of popular culture, from superhero franchises and series like “The Walking Dead” and “Game of Thrones” to thrillers like “Homeland” and “24,” and emerges to argue that these shows are saturated with the values that are currently animating our extreme politics.

In her admired works of fiction, including the recent "The Book That Matters Most," best-selling author Ann Hood explores the transformative power of literature.

In her new book, "Morningstar," she reveals the personal story behind beloved novels in her life.

Nancy Pearl has worked as a librarian and a bookseller for more than three decades, she is regularly featured on NPR’s Morning Edition talking about her favorite books.

The author of several works on non-fiction, she has now written her first novel, George & Lizzie, an emotional novel about an unlikely marriage as a crossroads.

Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar and book cover "The Map of Salt and Stars"
Neha Gautam

“The Map of Salt and Stars” is the debut novel by Syrian American writer Jennifer Zeynab Joukhadar. It is the story of two girls living eight hundred years apart: a modern-day Syrian refugee seeking safety and a medieval adventurer apprenticed to a legendary mapmaker, showing the pain of exile and the triumph of courage. 

Stephen Greenblatt, the award-winning Shakespeare scholar, has looked once more at the Bard’s works that have inspired him during a time that concerns him.

His new book is “Tyrant.” In it he illuminates the ways in which Shakespeare delves into the lust for absolute power and the catastrophic consequences of its execution.

Joselin Linder has been on a quest to uncover the truth about her likely fatal genetic disorder that opens a window onto the explosive field of genomic medicine. Linder’s new book is “The Family Gene: A Mission to Turn My Deadly Inheritance into a Hopeful Future.”

Author Photo - Michael Lionstar

Amitava Kumar’s second novel, “Immigrant, Montana,” is a literary immigrant tale with a provocative modern edge, one that fuses story and reportage, anecdote and annotation, and picture and text.

World-renowned writing teacher Natalie Goldberg’s new memoir, “Let the Whole Thundering World Come Home” shares her experience with cancer grounded in her practice of writing and Zen. It is a reflection on being in love with your life even when life brings illness.

Simon Winchester has taken on subjects as diverse as the volcanic explosion of Krakatoa to the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary. His latest, “The Perfectionists,” traces the development of technology from the Industrial Age to the Digital Age to explore the single component crucial to advancement: precision.

Author of "Object of My Affection," Stephen McCauley‘s new novel, "My Ex-Life," is about a formerly married couple who haven’t seen each other in decades.

Over the course of the story, we find out what happens when they find themselves living together again.

Set over the course of one week in June of 1939, the new novel The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews is a story about siblings, the joys of music, love (mutual and unrequited), and the meaning of home.

It is a New York novel, but also one of the world, of big dreams and big love and what it means to be willing to pay any price for your family. 

This episode was recorded at The Mount in Lenox, Massachusettes. 

From his rapid-fire stand-up comedy riffs to his starring roles in "Mork and Mindy" and "Good Will Hunting," Robin Williams was an innovative and beloved entertainer -- but as New York Times culture reporter Dave Itzkoff shows in his new biography, "Robin," Williams' comic brilliance masked a deep well of conflicting emotions and self-doubt.

Rachel Kadish’s new novel The Weight of Ink is set in London. It is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect – one an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; the other an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

As host of “The Lead” and “State of the Union” on CNN, Jake Tapper spends his days bringing attention to some of the biggest political headlines.

Tapper has now brought Washington intrigue and the “swampiness” on this city to his first novel. “The Hellfire Club,” is a political thriller that takes place during the days when Senator Joe McCarthy was carrying out his Communist “witch hunt.”

Kirk Walla Johnson and Book cover "The Feather Thief
Marie-Josee Cantin Johnson

Kirk Wallace Johnson’s new book, “The Feather Thief: Beauty, Obsession and the Natural History Heist of the Century,” is a true story which explores the 2009 theft of rare Victorian-era bird feathers from a British museum by American music student Edwin Rist who was obsessed with using the feathers for exotic fishing lures.

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