Books

NWPR Books
7:44 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Don't Like Hamlet? Now's Your Chance To Rewrite It

To be or not to be? You decide.

Shakespeare's most famous question appears in Hamlet, but now readers will get to answer it themselves with Ryan North's To Be Or Not To Be: That Is The Adventure, a "Choose Your Own Adventure"-style rewrite of Shakespeare's classic play.

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Book Reviews
4:03 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Myths, Legends And Too Much Exposition In 'Goddess Chronicle'

At its best, Natsuo Kirino's The Goddess Chronicle is a dark and lovely feminist retelling of the Japanese creation myth. At worst, it's a stiff, repetitive exercise in telling, not showing.

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NWPR Books
10:01 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Party Like It's 2009: Life And Friendship In The Great Recession

Choire Sicha co-runs the website The Awl. Very Recent History is his first book.
Jonathan Snyder

Originally published on Sun August 11, 2013 2:23 pm

In Choire Sicha's Very Recent History: An Entirely Factual Account of a Year (c. AD 2009) in a Large City, a voice from our future looks back at events taking place in a "massive" East Coast metropolis, its citizens perpetually gripped with "a quiet panic" while living in a gritty landscape of iron and excess. Throw in a mysterious virus, a rich, blind governor, a sketchy mayor campaigning for a third term, and this novel gets even more curious.

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NWPR Books
8:30 am
Tue August 6, 2013

'Love Affairs' Of A Hip, Young Literary Hound Dog

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 9:18 am

Before I read Adelle Waldman's brilliant debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., I had about as much interest in reading about the hip, young literary types who've colonized Brooklyn as I do in watching Duck Dynasty, that reality show about a family of bearded Luddites who live in the Louisiana swamps. Both clans are ingrown and smug, each, in their own way, disdainful of the American mainstream.

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NWPR Books
7:56 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Exclusive First Read: Marisha Pessl's 'Night Film'

Marisha Pessl's dark, cinematic and wildly over-the-top new novel, Night Film, starts with a mysterious death: Ashley Cordova, troubled former child prodigy and daughter of mysterious filmmaker Stanislas Cordova, is found dead at the bottom of a disused elevator shaft, an apparent suicide. Disgraced investigative journalist Scott McGrath thinks there's more to the case.

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NWPR Books
3:07 am
Tue August 6, 2013

2012 Election Was 'Collision' Between Two Americas

Originally published on Tue August 6, 2013 1:05 pm

Dan Balz, one of the nation's most respected political reporters, has written his review of the last presidential election — what happened and why.

It's called Collision 2012: Obama vs. Romney and the Future of Elections in America.

The chief correspondent for The Washington Post, Balz is the author of several books, including one on President Obama's first election — The Battle for America 2008: The Story of an Extraordinary Election — written with Haynes Johnson.

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NWPR Books
2:11 pm
Mon August 5, 2013

Wandering Appetites: Hunting The Elusive Noodle

Jennifer Lin-Liu is a chef at Black Sesame Kitchen, her restaurant and cooking school in Beijing. She is also the author of Serve the People.
Lucy Cavender Courtesy Riverhead Books

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 3:24 pm

On the Noodle Road is one attempt to answer an old chestnut: Did Marco Polo really bring noodles from China to Italy? If not, where did they really come from? Or — to put it another way — from what point along the storied byways of the Silk Road did that humble paste of flour and water first spring into its multifarious existence?

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NWPR Books
10:32 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Talent Or Skill?: Homing In On The Elusive 'Sports Gene'

According to author David Epstein, hitters like the Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols look at the movement of the pitcher's shoulder, torso or hand to help them hit the ball.
Brian Bahr Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 8:59 pm

We've all had the experience of watching a great athletic performance — from gymnast Mary Lou Retton defying gravity to Michael Jordan sinking a mind-blowing turnaround jumper — and wondered: Were they born with that talent or can you get there with hard work and practice?

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NWPR Books
2:03 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Finding Redemption In The Karaoke Bar

Sixteen years ago, Rob Sheffield had everything going for him. He was young, ambitious, working as a music critic in Charlottesville, Va., and married to the woman he thought he'd spend the rest of his life with.

All that changed suddenly when his wife died of a pulmonary embolism. Sheffield was a widow and not yet 30 years old.

There were many factors that helped him dig himself out of the deep depression that followed: moving to a new city, the simple passage of time. But the most unexpected antidote for his grief came in the form of karaoke.

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NWPR Books
1:38 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Charles Manson: Master Manipulator, Even As A Child

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 3:38 pm

In the summer of 1969, all eyes were on Los Angeles, where nine people had been murdered. Among the dead was Sharon Tate, a movie star and wife of movie director Roman Polanski. Police said a cult called "The Family" was responsible.

The leader of The Family was the charismatic, ruthless and manipulative Charles Manson. America was captivated by him, and by the young women who, under his spell, had snuck into two houses in Los Angeles to murder people they had never met. The trial was nationally broadcast, and Manson became a household name.

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