A Handful of Good Books by NPR Hosts

shelved under Miscellaneous

Just because they make a living talking on the radio doesn't mean that they can't turn out an excellent book. After all, air waves or printed page... storytelling is storytelling.

Update: Over time this list has expanded beyond books by NPR hosts into a wider list of books somehow associated with NPR. No worries — they're still all fantastic books.


I Thought My Father Was God: And Other True Tales from NPR's National Story Project

edited by Paul Auster

This book makes excellent bedtime reading. With each story only lasting a page or two, you get to read before sleep without staying up too late as you struggle to reach the end of the chapter. ;)


Piano Lessons: Music, Love, and True Adventures

by Noah Adams

This is a nice little memoir in which Noah Adams chronicles his year of piano lessons.


Noah Adams on All Things Considered: A Radio Journal

by Noah Adams

Cary Branscum says:

Noah Adams voice on National Public Radio is instantly recognized. He has a gentle yet focused approach that is always engaging. His voice also seems to verge on the playful, putting guests at their ease, resulting in more transparency. This book is engaging, and the on-air story is only part of it. He went on a tour when this book came out, and came to Austin, Texas, where I discovered he's the same guy on air as off: just as genial, engaged and engaging. Read this book with his voice in your head, and you'll gain insights into Noah, and one of the most respected shows on radio, All Things Considered.


Lake Wobegon Days

by Garrison Keillor, illustrated by Mike Lynch

No list of NPR-related books would be complete without Keillor's "Lake Wobegon Days". Is this his best book? No. But it's still good. Will you like it? That depends. If you like or love his radio show then you'll like this book. If you don't like the radio show... well, then why have you read this far anyway?


Leaving Home

by Garrison Keillor

This is generally considered Keillor's best book so it's seemed only fair to include it along with "Lake Wobegon Days" above.


The New Kings of Nonfiction

by Ira Glass

Eric Mueller from Los Angeles, CA says:

Ira Glass, host of This American Life, selects some of his favorite non-fiction stories from over the years (you may recognize the Malcolm Gladwell article, which got folded into his best-seller The Tipping Point.) Overall, an enjoyable collection of what feels like fantastic long-form non-fiction magazine essays. And that's a compliment.


The Partly Cloudy Patriot

by Sarah Vowell

Eric Mueller from Los Angeles, CA says:

I love Vowell's writing — she reminds me a bit of a more history-obsessed Amy Sedaris. This collection of stories, including visits to many historically-significant American sites, is a fantastic, light yet surprisingly insightful read.


Me Talk Pretty One Day

by David Sedaris

And finally, what list of NPR-related books would complete without something by David Sedaris? While he doesn't have his own Public Radio show of any kind, he's such a regular that it seems a shame to leave him out.