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TWQ Mini: Andrew Limbong discusses NPR’s “thoughtfully curated” year-end list, Books We Love


The holiday season is upon us, which means NPR has published, as it does each year, “Books We Love,” an extensive online book list of NPR staff favorites. The list is interactive, allowing users to apply a number of genre and category filters to winnow the list down from a whopping 381 titles to smaller lists that might be more palatable. This list is perfect for those looking to round out their yearly reading lists, or for those looking to snag finely curated or highly specific holiday gifts for the book lovers in their lives. On this mini episode of The Write Question, host Lauren Korn speaks with NPR’s Andrew Limbong about what readers might find on this year’s list.

Each year, NPR also includes links to member station coverage of books featured on the Books We Love list—including this year’s TWQ conversations with John Vaillant, Fire Weather (a National Book Award finalist!), and Timothy Egan, author of A Fever in the Heartland. Other TWQ guests on the list include poet Gabrielle Bates, author of Judas Goat and Navied Mahdavian, author of This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America (episode forthcoming).

About Andrew:

Andrew Limbong is a reporter for NPR’s Arts Desk, where he does pieces on anything remotely related to arts or culture, from streamers looking for mental health on Twitch to Britney Spears' fight over her conservatorship. He’s also covered the near collapse of the live music industry during the coronavirus pandemic. He started at NPR in 2011 as an intern for All Things Considered, and was a producer and director for Tell Me More. He is now the host of NPR’s Book of the Day podcast and a frequent host on Life Kit.

From the Books We Love list, Andrew Limbong recommends:

Mobility by Lydia Kiesling (Crooked Media Reads)

Landscapes by Christine Lai (Two Dollar Radio)

Pockets: An Intimate History of How We Keep Things Close by Hannah Carlson (Algonquin Books)

Poverty, by America by Matthew Desmond (Crown Publishing Group)

Roaming by Jillian Tamaki and Mariko Tamaki (Drawn & Quarterly)

From the Books We Love list, Lauren Korn recommends:

Leg: The Story of a Limb and the Boy Who Grew from It by Greg Marshall (Harry N. Abrams)

Monstrilio by Gerardo Sámano Córdova (Zando)

Monsters: A Fan’s Dilemma by Claire Dederer

Fire Weather: A True Story From a Hotter World by John Vaillant (Alfred A. Knopf)

Biography of X by Catherine Lacey (Farrar, Straus and Giroux)

Judas Goat by Gabrielle Bates (Tin House Books)

The Woman in Me by Britney Spears (Gallery Books)

Soil: The Story of a Black Mother’s Garden by Camille T. Dungy (Simon & Schuster)

This Country: Searching for Home in (Very) Rural America by Navied Mahdavian (Princeton Architectural Press)

The Write Question team for this episode was Lauren Korn, host, co-producer, and editor; Chris Moyles, sound engineer.

The Write Question logo and brand (2022) was designed by Molly Russell. You can see more of her work at and on Instagram @iamthemollruss. Our music was written and recorded by John Floridis.

Funding for The Write Question comes from Humanities Montana; members of Montana Public Radio; and from the Greater Montana Foundation—encouraging communication on issues, trends, and values of importance to Montanans.

The Write Question and TWQ Mini episodes are productions of Montana Public Radio.

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Lauren R. Korn holds an M.A. in poetry from the University of New Brunswick, where she was the recipient of the Tom Riesterer Memorial Prize and the Angela Ludan Levine Memorial Book Prize. A former bookseller and the former Director of the Montana Book Festival, she is now an Arts and Culture Producer at Montana Public Radio and the host of it’s literature-based radio program and podcast, ‘The Write Question.’
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