Gabourey Sidibe and Neil deGrasse Tyson

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In The New York Times Book Review, the actress Gabourey Sidibe, the author of a new memoir, “This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare,” answers our questions in By the Book. Sidibe says:

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I read Alice Walker for solace. I love a great deal of her writing, but I always go back to “The Color Purple.” When I couldn’t afford therapy, I’d read about Celie and her depressing life that was somehow still filled with hope and color. “This life soon be over. Heaven last all ways.” Just reading those two sentences would make me feel better about my own troubles.

On this week’s podcast, Sidibe talks about her memoir; Neil deGrasse Tyson discusses “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry”; Alexandra Alter has news from the literary world; and Gregory Cowles, Parul Sehgal and John Williams on what people are reading. Pamela Paul is the host.

Here are the books mentioned in this week’s “What We’re Reading”:

“Modern Gods” by Nick Laird

“A Good Life” by Ben Bradlee

We would love to hear your thoughts about this episode, and about the Book Review’s podcast in general. You can send them to books@nytimes.com.

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