NWPR Books

NWPR Books
4:03 am
Tue June 18, 2013

The Funny (Touching, Fascinating) Pages: 5 Comics For Summer

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Mon July 15, 2013 7:47 am

When's the last time you read a comic book? Oh, right, the term now is "graphic novel" — as if calling them "comics" was somehow undignified or not sufficiently intellectual. But the problem with "graphic novel" is that it's far too limiting — because, sure, while all comics are graphic, many of the smartest and most exciting examples don't even remotely resemble novels. In fact, I'm about to recommend five books that — each for its own reason — can only be called comics, representing a wide range of literature being produced in what is truly a golden age.

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NWPR Books
12:08 am
Tue June 18, 2013

Spy Reporter Works Her 'Sources' To Write A Thriller

Mary Louise Kelly spent two decades traveling the world as a reporter for NPR and the BBC.
Katarina Price Gallery Books

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 10:52 am

Mary Louise Kelly used to cover the national security beat for NPR, but lately she's turned her attention to teaching and writing fiction. Her new novel, Anonymous Sources, follows rookie journalist Alexandra James as she investigates a shady banana shipment and a clandestine nuclear plot. The tale is fiction, but it draws on Kelly's own experiences reporting on the spy beat, including things she couldn't say when she was a journalist.

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NWPR Books
11:41 am
Mon June 17, 2013

Digital Scrapbook Collects Rock-Star Authors' Memories

Mitch Albom is famous for writing heartwarming best-sellers like Tuesdays With Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. As a member of The Rock Bottom Remainders, he plays keyboard and shows off his Elvis impression.
Mike Medeiros Courtesy of Coliloquy

Part of an occasional series of e-book reviews, co-produced by NPR Books and All Tech Considered, focusing on creative combinations of technology and literature.

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NWPR Books
11:03 am
Mon June 17, 2013

A Deceptively Simple Tale Of Magic And Peril In 'Ocean'

With The Ocean at the End of the Lane, best-selling fantasy author Neil Gaiman has written his first adult novel in almost a decade. It's a deceptively simple tale that feels like escapism — until you realize that it isn't.

Ocean is told from the point of view of a melancholy but successful artist returning to his childhood home in Sussex, England. On a lark, he visits an old farm where he played as a boy, and is suddenly overwhelmed by memories of being entangled in a magical conflict with roots stretching back before the Big Bang.

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NWPR Books
10:45 am
Mon June 17, 2013

'Cows Save The Planet': Soil's Secrets For Saving The Earth

Chelsea Green Publishing

Originally published on Tue June 18, 2013 7:57 am

In her book Cows Save The Planet, journalist Judith Schwartz argues that the key to addressing carbon issues and climate change lies beneath our feet. Schwartz says that proper management of soil could solve a long list of environmental problems.

"The thing to realize is that while we think about this as a sky thing — that it's all about all the fossil fuels that we're burning and all that spewing into the atmosphere — it's actually also a ground thing," she tells NPR's Neal Conan.

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NWPR Books
10:42 am
Mon June 17, 2013

WWII 'Deserters': Stories Of Men Who Left The Front Lines

The Deserters is Charles Glass' second book relating to World War II. His last book, Americans in Paris, told the story of the U.S. citizens who remained in the French capital after the 1940 German invasion.
Penguin Press

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 2:11 pm

Few citizens are more honored than military veterans, and there's particular reverence for those who defeated the Nazis in World War II. Like any war, however, World War II was complicated and traumatic for those on the ground, and not a few deserted from the front lines.

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NWPR Books
10:42 am
Mon June 17, 2013

In 'TransAtlantic,' The Flight Is Almost Too Smooth

Colum McCann's new book imagines the intersections of three historic flights across the Atlantic Ocean.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 12:22 pm

Here we go into the wild blue yonder again with Colum McCann. In his 2009 novel, Let the Great World Spin, McCann swooped readers up into the air with the French aerialist Philippe Petit, who staged an illegal high-wire stunt walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center in 1974. Strictly speaking, Let the Great World Spin was not a Sept. 11 novel, and yet almost everyone rightly read it as one, since McCann's tale commemorated the towers at the literal zenith of their history.

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NWPR Books
10:31 am
Mon June 17, 2013

This Blumesday Celebrates Judy, Not Joyce

Judy Blume is the author of many books for kids and teens, including Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret, Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing and Blubber. Her fans have riffed on Bloomsday (a celebration of James Joyce's Ulysses) and created Blumesday in her honor.
Suzanne Plunkett AP

Today is Blumesday. Not the Bloomsday where readers celebrate James Joyce's novel Ulysses — that was Sunday. Today's Blumesday is also a holiday for literature lovers, but of a different sort.

Blumesday creators Joanna Miller and Heather Larimer are writers, and they're pretty well-read. But they were never huge fans of Ulysses. "We sort of self-deprecatingly said, 'Well, the only way we could participate in Bloomsday was if it were Judy Blumesday.' And then the joke turned into, 'Wait, why aren't we doing this?' " Miller explains.

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NWPR Books
11:57 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

In Neville's Thrillers, Belfast's Violent Past Still Burns

Bonfires light up the Belfast skyline on July 12, 1997, as Protestant loyalists commemorate the 17th century victory of a Protestant king over his deposed Catholic predecessor. Known as the Battle of the Boyne, the confrontation is part of a long history of tensions in the region.
Paul McErlane AP

Originally published on Mon June 17, 2013 10:13 am

At 41, with long black hair, Stuart Neville looks more like the rock guitarist he used to be than the author he is now. He lives in a small town with his family — not in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the city that plays a central role in his thrillers, but just outside it.

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NWPR Books
1:27 pm
Sun June 16, 2013

A Posthumous Tribute To Guns From A Sniper Shot To Death

Firearms designer John Browning submitted this design for the M1911 pistol to the U.S. Patent Office in September 1910.
Courtesy William Morrow

Originally published on Sun June 16, 2013 3:17 pm

A killing on a Texas gun range in February captured the headlines. The victim was Chris Kyle, considered by many to be the most deadly sniper in American military history.

The man who admitted to killing him was a veteran as well — a young, disturbed man who had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.

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