NWPR Books

NWPR Books
2:35 am
Sun August 4, 2013

'The Moonstone' Is A Hidden Gem Of A Detective Novel

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's latest book is Oleander Girl.

I was about 12 when I first encountered The Moonstone — or a Classics Illustrated version of it — digging through an old trunk in my grandfather's house on a rainy Bengali afternoon. I loved the Classics Illustrated series (the graphic novels of my youth that simplified famous novels for children), presenting us with swashbuckling plotlines, and heroes and villains that were unmistakably, unashamedly, what they were supposed to be.

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NWPR Books
9:37 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Not My Job: Charles Frazier Gets Quizzed On Frasier Crane

Greg Martin Courtesy of Charles Frazier

There are plenty of small-town guys who stick around, get a boring job and dream of writing a great novel. And nothing ticks off those guys like the ones who actually pull it off: Charles Frazier's first novel, Cold Mountain, was an international best-seller, and he followed it up with Thirteen Moons and Nightwoods.

Here in Asheville, N.C., we've invited Frazier to play a game called "I'm listening, Seattle." Three questions for Charles Frazier about Frasier Crane, fictional radio psychiatrist.

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NWPR Books
3:01 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Bodies On The Boardwalk: Murder Stirs A Sleepy Jersey Shore

The Jersey shore's iconic Star Jet roller coaster was inundated after Superstorm Sandy.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

When writer Chris Grabenstein plots his mysteries, the murders happen in the corny nooks of New Jersey's Jersey shore. After all, there's something delightfully cheesy about a beach town.

"I guess I'm a cheesy guy. I like this kind of stuff," Grabenstein says. "Ever since I was a kid I loved tourist towns."

The author points out shop names as we walk along his stretch of the shore. There's the Sunglass Menagerie, an ice cream shop called Do Me A Flavor, Shore Good Donuts and How You Brewin' coffee. I'll spare you the rest — Long Beach Island has 18 miles of this stuff.

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NWPR Books
10:26 am
Thu August 1, 2013

'America's Test Kitchen' On Grilling Peaches, Tofu And Burgers

Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen says the trick to grilling peaches is using fruit that's ripe but firm.
mccun934 via Flickr

When Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop talk about preparing food on the public TV series America's Test Kitchen, they're really good at explaining why the recipe works. Bishop is the editorial director of the show, and Lancaster is the lead instructor of its cooking school. They've both contributed to the new America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook. They join Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about preparing summer foods, and to answer some cooking questions from the Fresh Air staff.

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NWPR Books
4:41 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Book News: The Smell Of Chocolate Boosts Book Sales, Study Says

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 4:58 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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NWPR Books
12:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

How Andrew Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy

Carnegie ultimately gave away $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country. "In bestowing charity the main consideration should be to help those who help themselves," he wrote.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:03 pm

Andrew Carnegie was once the richest man in the world. Coming as a dirt poor kid from Scotland to the U.S., by the 1880s he'd built an empire in steel — and then gave it all away: $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country.

Carnegie donated $300,000 to build Washington, D.C.'s oldest library — a beautiful beaux arts building that dates back to 1903. Inscribed above the doorway are the words: Science, Poetry, History. The building was "dedicated to the diffusion of knowledge."

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NWPR Books
4:09 am
Wed July 31, 2013

Book News: Booksellers Irate Over Obama's Amazon Visit

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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NWPR Books
4:04 am
Wed July 31, 2013

The Scope Of The 20th Century In Sweeping, Sprawling 'Joy'

There's nothing soothing or easygoing about this massive novel, which was first published obscurely in Italy in the late 1990s. Goliarda Sapienza, a novelist and actress who worked with the likes of Pasolini and Visconti, spent more than a decade writing The Art of Joy, and on balance, she must have felt it a massive disappointment, given that no publisher wanted to go near its chaotic, handwritten blend of ambisexuality, religion, feminism, and politics.

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NWPR Books
2:32 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

On The Road To Rock Excess: Why The '60s Really Ended In 1973

British rockers Led Zeppelin pose in front of their private plane, dubbed "The Starship," in 1973.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 6:58 am

Author Michael Walker says that by the end of the 1960s, you could fairly say there were two generations of baby boomers: those who had experienced that decade's peace-and-love era of music firsthand, and those who learned about it from their older brothers and sisters.

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NWPR Books
12:41 pm
Tue July 30, 2013

Pioneering 'Masters Of Sex' Brought Science To The Bedroom

Human sexuality researchers William Masters and Virginia Johnson Masters, shown in San Francisco in 1972.
AP

Originally published on Tue July 30, 2013 1:40 pm

William Masters and Virginia Johnson became famous in the 1960s for their groundbreaking and controversial research into the physiology of human sexuality. Instead of just asking people about their sex lives, Masters and Johnson actually observed volunteers engaging in self-stimulation and sexual intercourse. Changes throughout their bodies during arousal were measured with medical equipment.

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