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'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain

Leslie Jamison's new book of essays, The Empathy Exams, combines the intellectual and the emotional to explore the humanizing effect of empathy. Heller McAlpin calls it a "soaring performance."
NPR

A Song Of Frogs, Motherhood And Murder In Swampy San Francisco

Author Emma Donoghue's new novel, Frog Music, imagines a new solution to the 1876 murder of a San Francisco frog-catcher — and fits in a lot of raw and raunchy popular songs along the way.
NPR

The Rise And Fall Of Stefan Zweig, Who Inspired 'Grand Budapest Hotel'

The Viennese writer was once one of the world's most translated authors, but after his death he was forgotten — until now. Wes Anderson credits Zweig's writing at the end of his latest film.
NPR

The Harlem Hellfighters: Fighting Racism In The Trenches Of WWI

The Harlem Hellfighters broke barriers as the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I. Their story is retold in a new graphic novel written by Max Brooks, author of World War Z.
NPR

This Tightly Choreographed Tale Of Ambition And Ballet Will 'Astonish'

Maggie Shipstead tells the story of a disciplined dancer who can't make it into the spotlight. Critic Maureen Corrigan says Shipstead is "Edith Wharton with a millennial generation edge."
NPR

On A 'Rigged' Wall Street, Milliseconds Make All The Difference

"The stock market is rigged," Michael Lewis says. In his new book Flash Boys, he describes how computerized transactions known as high-frequency trading are creating an uneven playing field.
NPR

Post Arab Spring, Where Do Islamist Parties Stand?

Steve Inskeep talks with author Shadi Hamid about his new book, Temptations of Power: Islamists and Illiberal Democracy in a New Middle East.
NPR

In Early Memoir, Bette Midler Adorned The Truth In Sequins

"There's a lot of embroidery in this book ... " Midler says. "It's all lies, except for like 10 percent." A new edition of A View From a Broad, originally published in 1980, is out this week.
NPR

Scratch That: One Cat's Struggle With Internet Stardom

How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity might be the year's first essential new book. NPR's Renita Jablonski picks up the book, and her cat, to see if he has what it takes to be a star on the Web.
NPR

Son Of A Secret Smuggler Digs Up The Truth About His Dad

Tony Dokoupil's father was once busted for distributing enough marijuana "to roll a joint for every college-age person in America." In The Last Pirate, Dokoupil reflects on his dad's time as a dealer.

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