Michael Schaub

Michael Schaub is a writer, book critic and regular contributor to NPR Books. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Portland Mercury and The Austin Chronicle, among other publications. A native of Texas, he now lives in Portland, Ore.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed June 20, 2012

A Question Unanswered: 'How Should A Person Be?'

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 9:36 am

The unexamined life isn't worth living, according to Socrates, and you'd be hard-pressed to find a writer who disagrees. Few, though, have taken it to the extreme that Toronto author Sheila Heti does with How Should a Person Be? The relentlessly introspective "novel from life" earned critical raves when it was released in Canada in 2010. The book chronicles Heti's struggle — sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking — to answer the seemingly simple questions: "What was the right way to react to people? Who was I to talk to at parties? How was I to be?"

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Books
6:03 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Literary Look Ahead: 13 Great Books On The Horizon

Harriet Russell

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 6:56 am

Despite what the book section of your local supermarket would have you believe, publishers don't really expect you to turn off your brain for the summer. Sure, every June brings a stampede of fluffy paperbacks with tired plots and hilariously unfortunate covers, but your summer reading experience doesn't have to be 50 shades of mediocre.

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Book Reviews
6:03 am
Wed May 23, 2012

'Bodies': 'Wolf Hall' Sequel Outshines Original

istockphoto.com

Divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived. If you grew up in England, or just had a world history teacher who was weirdly obsessed with Henry VIII, you've probably heard the rhyme explaining the fates of each of the king's wives. For centuries, novelists, playwrights and filmmakers have been mining the Tudor family for dramatic gold, and with good reason: It's hard not to tell an interesting story about the monarch's parade of severely dysfunctional families.

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