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 snackabl...
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Two books examine the lives of Afghans in the aftermath of American withdrawal
Today's episode is all about the lives of women in Afghanistan, before and after the U.S. armed forces occupied the country. First, Here & Now's Scott Tong speaks with journalist Mitchell Zuckoff about his new book, The Secret Gate, chronicling how activist Homeira Qaderi engineered her escape out of Kabul at the very last minute. Then, Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes asks Sola Mahfouz and Malaina Kapoor about Defiant Dreams, which tells of Mahfouz's upbringing under Taliban rule.
Why Matthew McConaughey wrote a children's book about the "paradox of living"
Matthew McConaughey has a new children's book out, full of couplets with a pretty mature message. Just Because is all about the contradictions in life – like "just because I lied doesn't mean that I'm a liar." In today's episode, the Academy Award winner speaks with NPR's A Martinez about how this idea that our actions don't necessarily define our character can be pretty complex, but it can also spark really fruitful conversations from a young age.
'Roaming' is a graphic novel about friendship and travel
It's one thing to be friends with someone, but going on a trip together? Totally different story. A new graphic novel by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki captures that dissonance: Roaming follows two friends from high school reuniting on a trip to New York City during college. But there's a new, third pal in the mix – and pretty soon, it's clear the vibes are off. The Tamiko cousins spoke with NPR's Ayesha Rascoe about how the way a person travels reveals a lot about their character, and why that experience was much different in 2009 – the year the book is set – than it is now.
In 'Jews in the Garden,' a Holocaust survivor tries to uncover uncomfortable truths
As The Public's Radio Lynn Arditi says in today's episode, much has been written about the Polish resistance movement during World War II. But in her interview with Judy Rakowsky, author of Jews in the Garden, the two journalists discuss the culture of silence around many of the atrocities of the time period. Rakowsky's book – part memoir, part thriller – recounts how she spent decades using her investigative reporting skills to help Sam, a family member and Holocaust survivor, make sense of what really happened in the Polish village he fled as a teen.
Héctor Tobar examines Latino identity in 'Our Migrant Souls'
When Héctor Tobar was born to Guatemalan parents in Los Angeles in the 1960s, his race was described as "caucasian" on his birth certificate. In his new book, Our Migrant Souls, the Pulitzer Prize winning reporter examines how Latino identity is constructed and defined. He speaks with Here & Now's Deepa Fernandes about the ways whiteness and colorism operate in the Latino community, how class plays into that understanding, and why media depictions of Latino communities still have a long way to go.
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.