Books

NWPR Books
12:44 pm
Mon July 8, 2013

What Does Your Summer Reading Say About You?

Cameron Spencer Getty Images

If the proliferation of summer reading lists is any indication, summer is prime time for recreational reading, whether it's fiction or non.

Read more
NWPR Books
4:03 am
Sun July 7, 2013

'Rock Crystal' Tells Of Catastrophe's Quiet Avoidance

Susan Choi's latest book is My Education.

Long, long ago — maybe some time in the 17th century — and far, far away — but almost certainly somewhere in the Alps — two valleys lay next to each other, ringed by high mountains and linked by a sole, lonely path. One unusually warm Christmas Eve two children set out on the path from the northward valley, through pine forest and over the pass, to visit their grandmother in the valley to the south.

Read more
Author Interviews
2:22 pm
Sat July 6, 2013

Finding Meaning In The Mosh Pit Among Often-Reviled Groupies

Shaggy 2 Dope, left, and Violent J make of the rap duo Insane Clown Posse, seen here in their stage makeup in 1999.
Joseph Cultice AP

Originally published on Fri July 12, 2013 9:49 am

The bands Phish and Insane Clown Posse have spawned some of the most rabid fans in music history. Their world of obsession is not an easy one to break into, but on a warm December night in Miami back in 2009, pop culture writer Nathan Rabin went to see a concert that would inspire him to enter the orbit of these infamous groupies.

He wrote a book about them, You Don't Know Me But You Don't Like Me, and tells weekends on All Things Considered guest host Rebecca Sheir about his first-hand look at the two often-reviled sub-cultures.

Read more
NWPR Books
1:54 pm
Fri July 5, 2013

'Five Star Billionaire' Shows The Human Cost Of Progress

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue July 9, 2013 9:37 am

The plot of Five Star Billionaire, with its multiple protagonists, may seem deceptively familiar: a neglected boy claws his way from rags to riches; a country girl tries to make her way in the city; a city girl tries to prove her worth in a man's world of business; a rock star falls victim to the fame machine; and a rich man tumbles from grace.

Read more
NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu July 4, 2013

City, Comedy And Calamity In Cathleen Schine's New Novel

Apartment building in Greenwich Village
iStockphoto.com

Cathleen Schine can always be counted on for an enticing, smart read, and her latest novel, Fin & Lady, is no exception, but it's an odd duck, as quirky as its peculiarly named titular half-siblings. Neither as sparklingly funny as her most recent book, The Three Weissmanns of Westport, nor as brainy as her earlier Rameau's Niece, Fin & Lady is light, entertaining, and ultimately moving, but you can't help wondering what Schine hoped to achieve with it.

Read more
NWPR Books
12:09 am
Thu July 4, 2013

For 'Star-Spangled Banner,' A Long Road From Song To Anthem

American lawyer Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a boat about 8 miles away.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 6:48 am

All over the country on Thursday, fireworks will light up the sky. In many places, those fireworks will come with a patriotic soundtrack — one that wouldn't be complete without "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song officially became America's national anthem in 1931, but it's been around since the early 19th century.

Read more
NWPR Books
7:25 am
Wed July 3, 2013

In A Campus-Bound Novel, A Thrilling, 'Educational' Affair

Sekulovski Emilijan iStockphoto.com

As soon as I hear that a novel is set in a college or a university, I'm in. David Lodge, Richard Russo, Donna Tartt, Chad Harbach — they've all created campuses with an intimate, sometimes cozy feeling that offers an escape from a world that can seem terribly open-gated and impersonal. Like an Agatha Christie novel, you know right away who the characters are and where the drama will play out.

Read more
NWPR Books
3:30 pm
Tue July 2, 2013

The Tragic Story Of 'Traviata' Muse Marie Duplessis

Ross MacGibbon Collection of Musee de la Dame aux Camellias

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:12 pm

You may not know the name Marie Duplessis, but odds are you know some stories about her. She inspired a French novel, which was turned into a successful play, several movies (including one starring Greta Garbo), a ballet and, most famously, a great Italian opera — La Traviata.

Read more
NWPR Books
11:57 am
Tue July 2, 2013

American Mystery Finds A New Voice On 'The Bohemian Highway'

Novelist Sara Gran also writes for the HBO show Southland.
Deborah Lopez Houghton Mifflin

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 12:32 pm

It's been a while since I've heard a distinctive new American voice in mystery fiction: That Girl With the Dragon Tattoo dame seems to have put our homegrown hard-boiled detectives in the deep freeze. The mystery news of the past few years has chiefly come out of the Land of the Midnight Sun, dominated by the late Stieg Larsson and fellow Swedes Camilla Lackberg and Hakan Nesser, as well as Norwegians Anne Holt, Karin Fossum and Jo Nesbo.

Read more
NWPR Books
8:45 am
Tue July 2, 2013

Chronicle Of 'Gettysburg' Refuses Easy Answers

Originally published on Tue July 2, 2013 5:50 pm

For historians, and for much more casual students of the Civil War, the battle of Gettysburg 150 years ago holds seemingly limitless fascination — a search for "Gettysburg" on Amazon turns up over 7,500 books — and similarly limitless opportunity for debate. Did the Confederacy's iconic commander, Gen. Robert E. Lee, bring defeat to his own army by reaching too far in ordering Pickett's fateful — and disastrous — charge? Did Gen.

Read more

Pages