Books

NWPR Books
12:05 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Nancy Pearl Scours The Shelves For Books You Might Have Missed

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 1:06 pm

If you'd like your summer reading to take you beyond the beaten path, librarian Nancy Pearl is here to help. NPR's go-to books guru joins us regularly to reveal "under the radar" reads — books she thinks deserve more attention than they've been getting. Pearl talks with NPR's Steve Inskeep about some of the titles she picked out for the summer reading season.

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NWPR Books
3:42 pm
Thu June 20, 2013

'Crazy Rich Asians': Lives Of The .0001 Percent

The Venetian Macao, the world's biggest casino by gaming tables, opened to the public in 2007.
Mike Clarke AFP/Getty Images

It's impossible to open the newspaper or turn on the TV these days without seeing some outrageous example of new Asian money. From a castle modeled on Versailles in Changsha to billion-dollar penthouses in Bombay to the Marina Bay Sands casino in Singapore, with its seven celebrity-chef restaurants, the inescapable truth looms before us: We Asians are not just rich but also, frankly, somewhat crazy.

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NWPR Books
11:42 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Ignoring Threats, An American Reports On His Native Mexico

Reporter and author Alfredo Corchado covers a political rally in the border city of Ciudad Juarez, Mexico, in 1986.
Billy Calzada

Alfredo Corchado, the Mexico bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News, has dedicated his life to investigating government corruption, murders and ruthless drug cartels in his native Mexico.

He received death threats multiple times, and doesn't feel safe, but he says he has "learned to embrace the fear." Corchado, an American citizen, has written a memoir about the complicated relationship he has with the country of his birth, entitled, Midnight in Mexico: A Reporter's Journey Through a Country's Descent into Darkness.

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NWPR Books
11:14 am
Thu June 20, 2013

'Blood & Beauty' Breathes New Life Into The Borgias

Sarah Dunant is also author of the novels The Birth of Venus and Sacred Hearts.
Charlie Hopkinson

Originally published on Fri June 21, 2013 9:48 am

In the 1500s, Italy is bursting with some of the most influential and vivid figures in history. Many — like Leonardo da Vinci, who balanced art and the sciences; Galileo Galilei, who turned his telescope to the heavens; and Niccolo Machiavelli, who calculated the ruthless politics of the day — are still remembered even now for their major contributions.

Author Sarah Dunant has drilled down into the Italian Renaissance for over a decade — reconstructing a time of artistic innovation, political corruption and war into captivating, and highly accurate, fiction.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

In Salter's Novels, The Ladies ARE Lunch

This spring, James Salter published All That Is, his first novel in nearly 35 years — and the critics could not have been more excited.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

Charles Moore's 'Margaret Thatcher' Is A Softer Iron Lady

Early on in Charles Moore's biography of Margaret Thatcher, he describes a birthday party at which a school friend tells the future prime minister, "If you don't stop bossing us, I shall stamp on your foot."

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu June 20, 2013

When Love Is 'In The House'

Wessel Du Plooy iStockphoto.com

"Love is not all," warned the poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. "It is not meat nor drink / Nor slumber nor a roof against the rain." She was right, of course, but if there were ever any advice destined to fall on stubbornly deaf ears, this is it. Love is not all, but it always feels like it is, whether you're happily partnered or bereft.

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NWPR Books
9:48 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Inside The Mind Of A Sociopath

Confessions of a Sociopath is written under the pen name of M.E. Thomas.
Random House

What exactly is a sociopath? Many people might think of killers, criminals, the cruel and heartless, Jack Nicholson's character in The Shining.

That's the common wisdom. But it's being challenged by a new memoir, Confessions of a Sociopath: A Life Spent Hiding in Plain Sight. It's written under the pen name of M.E. Thomas. The author says most sociopaths are not incarcerated — and the silent majority of them live freely and anonymously. They're your neighbors, colleagues, maybe even family members and lovers.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed June 19, 2013

A Family's Secrets And Sorrows Surface In 'Heatwave'

British writer Maggie O'Farrell, born in Northern Ireland, is less well-known in the U.S. than she should be. Her mesmerizing, tautly plotted novels often revolve around long-standing, ugly family secrets and feature nonconformist women who rebel against their strict Irish Catholic upbringing. Her most recent books, The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox (2006) and The Hand That First Held Mine (2010), offer the sort of spellbinding reads that can make you miss your flight announcement.

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NWPR Books
9:54 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Sneak Preview: 5 Books To Look Forward To This Summer

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:28 am

My summer reading preferences are so particular they have, at times, stopped me from reading at all. I need a romance for a train trip — for obvious reasons. When it's hot, I prefer something with no climate congruence at all; I've never enjoyed Anna Karenina so much as I did on the beach (that romance is a train exception — er ... for obvious reasons). When I'm on a plane trip, I like a passel of good young-adult novels, filled with cliffhangers, reversals and quick emotion. It's a mood makeover in flight.

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