NPR's Book of the Day podcast

Actress Sharon Gless on life's ups and downs in 'Apparently There Were Complaints'

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Actress Sharon Gless, who starred in the 80s cop procedural, Cagney and Lacey, is out with a new memoir: Apparently There Were Complaints. The book looks back at her life and career, both the good and the not-so-great moments, like her struggles with alcoholism while filming the show. Gless told NPR's Rachel Martin that she is very strong despite it all: "I have good stuff in here. And I can survive it all."

Altri episodi di "NPR's Book of the Day"

  • NPR's Book of the Day podcast

    Country star Merle Haggard is larger than life in 'The Hag'


    Author Marc Eliot has written a new biography of country music icon, Merle Haggard. The Hag details Haggard's quite extraordinary life; from breaking into a restaurant (that turned out to be open) and subsequent jail time to his many broken marriages and everything in between. Haggard turned his past failures into songs, writing and singing about his inner turmoil. Eliot told NPR's Steve Inskeep that he thinks the Hag deserves a little more respect: "I think if he were played on the same radio stations that, say, play Frank Sinatra ... he'd be just as accepted. I think he was that good."
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    Hanya Yanagihara grapples with pandemics in 'To Paradise'


    Author of the wildly popular and, at times, controversial A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara, is out with a new novel. To Paradise is an epic – in three parts – sprawling over 700 pages and 200 years about a make-believe New York City. Yanagihara was mostly through writing her story, which features pandemics prominently, when COVID-19 first hit in early 2020. But Yanagihara told NPR's Scott Simon that she was able to keep her story and her fears about the pandemic in reality separate.
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  • NPR's Book of the Day podcast

    What motivates you? For Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn, it's failure.


    The 2022 Winter Olympics are right around the corner, so to prepare we are bringing you a conversation with skier Lindsey Vonn. Her new memoir, Rise, looks at her road to becoming a ski champion and Olympic medalist. Spoiler alert: it was not all sunshine and roses. Vonn told NPR's A Martinez that she's lucky she is wired in a way that makes negativity a driving force because she has seen the pressure and stress of being an Olympic athlete derail other people's careers.
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    Ghosts and the sea take lead roles in Violet Kupersmith and Edwidge Dantica's novels


    The first interview today, Build Your House Around My Body, is by debut novelist Violet Kupersmith and it's about a young Vietnamese woman who disappears; ghosts are involved. She told NPR's Ari Shapiro that she was "attracted to the ghost as a way of getting revenge." The second novel is also about a young woman's disappearance, this time in Haiti. Award winning author Edwidge Danticat's Claire of The Sea Light involves the sea instead of ghosts, though. Danticat told NPR's Rachel Martin that the sea is very important in Haitian Creole.
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    'Twilight of Democracy' chronicles the rise of authoritarianism


    Today marks one year since Joe Biden was sworn in as president. It's no secret that politics have become — well...messy in the U.S. — so we thought today would be a good opportunity to take a deep dive into democracy. How much staying power does it have, and why has it started to crumble in countries around the world? Author Anne Applebaum looks at how the world has changed over the past 20 years in her book, Twilight of Democracy: The Seductive Lure Of Authoritarianism. She told NPR's Steve Inskeep in 2020 that authoritarianism isn't outside the realm of possibility for the U.S.
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    'The Engagement' looks at the complicated history of marriage equality


    Journalist and author Sasha Issenberg has written a book about the history of marriage equality in America. The Engagement details how messy and complicated this fight was at times. Issenberg told NPR's Danielle Kurtzleben that within the LGBT community, there were, and are, many different policy concerns that didn't always gel. Marriage ended up being a top priority for some but not everyone agreed it should be.
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    In 'Of Women And Salt,' women weave the future out of scraps


    "We are force." This line is originally from a Victor Hugo letter to Cuban independence fighters, but it's also found throughout Gabriela Garcia's novel, Of Women And Salt. The book, new in paperback, is about generations of Cuban and Salvadoran women navigating patriarchal societies. She told NPR's Sarah McCammon that she was especially inspired by this phrase because she "was thinking about all of the multitudes within women - how they're more than just immigrants or mothers or any of these other labels that are sort of imposed on them."
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    'The Three Mothers' who paved the way for three extraordinary men


    This Martin Luther King Jr. day we focus on the woman who raised Dr. King, his mother, Alberta. His mother and those of two of his contemporaries take center stage in Anna Malaika Tubbs' book, The Three Mothers: How the Mothers of Martin Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, and James Baldwin Shaped A Nation. Tubbs told 1A's Jenn White that history is often told by and about men, but knowing these women's stories - "taking their lives from the margins and putting them in the center" - is just as important. As Tubbs notes, "If they'd never had these famous sons, they still were worthy of being seen."
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    Looking for some pandemic-era writing? We have spooky and we have sweet.


    Our first interview today is about a novel that, believe it or not, was actually written before the coronavirus pandemic even started. The End of October, written by Lawrence Wright, is about...a pandemic. But Wright told NPR's Mary Louise Kelly he wishes he hadn't gotten so much of it right. The second interview is with two friends, Marilyn Hacker and Karthika Nair, who were separated by the pandemic. So to connect with each other, they wrote a book of poetry called A Different Distance. They told former NPR host Noel King that the collaboration actually strengthened their friendship.
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    Anger and grief after Hurricane Maria in 'Velorio'


    Author Xavier Navarro Aquino's new novel, Velorio, takes place in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. This is not a tale of strength and resilience, however. It's about processing grief and being angry at the hand you've been dealt. Aquino told NPR's Eyder Peralta that there is a stereotype about Puerto Ricans being joyful no matter the circumstances but he wanted to show the complete picture, which involved a lot of pain.

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