NWPR Books

NWPR Books
12:08 pm
Wed May 8, 2013

What's The Most Meaningful Gift Your Mom Gave You?

Editor Elizabeth Benedict received this embroidered, black wool scarf from her mother. It was the last gift she got from her mom before she died.
Amy Ta NPR

Mother's Day is this Sunday. While some people are racking their brains to think of the perfect way to show their love and appreciation for Mom, a group of distinguished women recently flipped that script and wrote about the most profound gift their own moms gave to them. Their essays are collected in the new book What My Mother Gave Me: Thirty-One Women on the Gifts That Mattered Most.

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NWPR Books
5:23 am
Wed May 8, 2013

With Gorgeous Dorms But Little Cash, Colleges Must Adapt

Originally published on Thu May 9, 2013 8:43 am

Many high school seniors who are heading to college this fall have just paid their tuition deposits — the first real taste of what the college experience is going to cost them. These students are heading to school at a time that some consider a transformative moment for American colleges and universities. Costs are skyrocketing, and there are some real questions about what value college students are getting for their money.

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NWPR Books
4:56 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Book News: Translators Of Dan Brown Novel Toiled In 'Bunker'

Originally published on Wed May 8, 2013 5:22 am

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

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed May 8, 2013

Graphic-Novel Gumshoe Rounds Up Unusual Suspects

Matt Kindt is a storyteller so fully in control of his gifts that his graphic novels — 3 Story, Revolver and others — read like quietly compelling arguments for the comics medium's narrative potential.

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NWPR Books
11:33 am
Tue May 7, 2013

'Shocked': Patricia Volk's Memoir About Beauty And Its Beholders

Patricia Volk is an essayist, novelist and memoirist. She recounts her experiences growing up in a restaurant-owning family in New York City, in her memoir Stuffed.
Random House

Originally published on Tue May 7, 2013 12:18 pm

Patricia Volk's mother was beautiful in a way that stopped people on the street. Strangers compared her to Lana Turner and Grace Kelly. She was stylish and vain: Her beauty and its preservation mattered to her. "She had an icy blond beauty, an imperious kind of beauty," Volk tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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NWPR Books
9:54 am
Tue May 7, 2013

These Dogs, Cats And Robots Have A Few 'Tiny Confessions'

Penguin

Let me tell you a quick story from NPR's move from our old headquarters to our new one.

When I was emptying out my old desk and workspace, in addition to all the shoes under my desk and an alarming number of vessels designed to keep coffee warm, I had quite a lot of books lying around. Some were upcoming books, most were old books, and a few were books I neither had any use for nor could bear to get rid of. One of the tests I applied was that if I picked up a book and the first page I opened to made me laugh, it survived.

Tiny Confessions survived.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Tue May 7, 2013

Postgraduate Post-Mortem In A Smart, Literary Mystery

There are many things to savor about Elanor Dymott's debut suspense novel, Every Contact Leaves a Trace -- among them, its baroque narrative structure and its clever manipulation of the stock, husband-who-hasn't-got-a-clue character. But Dymott really won me over when she pulled Robert Browning out of her crime kit. Nobody reads Robert Browning anymore, do they? As far as I can tell, high schools have thrown in the towel when it comes to teaching Victorian poetry; dissertations on Browning's dramatic monologues have all but dried up.

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NWPR Books
1:22 pm
Mon May 6, 2013

Safety Is Relative: A Moving Account Of Life In Chechnya

Russian troops patrol Minutka square in the Chechen capital on Monday, Feb. 28, 2000.
Alexander Zemlianichenko AP

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 6:00 pm

How do you write an absorbing novel about unspeakable things? It's always a tricky business, and an editor I know once described the dilemma this way: "A reader needs to want to go there." What "there" means is the self-contained world of the book. And what would make a reader want to go deeply into a world of hopelessness and seemingly perpetual war, a world of torture and intimidation and exploding land mines? There are many answers. One of the most obvious, of course, is the language.

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NWPR Books
9:56 am
Mon May 6, 2013

Godwin's 'Flora': A Tale Of Remorse That Creeps Under Your Skin

Gail Godwin, whose latest novel is Flora, has been a finalist for the National Book Award and a Guggenheim fellow.
David Hermon Bloomsbury Press

Originally published on Mon May 6, 2013 12:20 pm

Gail Godwin says one of the inspirations for her new novel, called Flora, is Henry James' ghost story The Turn of the Screw. Both stories take place in isolated old houses, and both revolve around mental contests between a governess character and her young charge. There are ghosts in Flora, too: specters that arise out of what our narrator calls her "remorse." Godwin had me at that word, "remorse": It's such a great, old-fashioned word, and it suggests that there'll be a lot of awful things going on in this novel that will need to be atoned for.

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NWPR Books
12:43 pm
Sun May 5, 2013

A Tale From The Delta, Born Of The Blues

Originally published on Sun May 5, 2013 4:20 pm

Bill Cheng's new novel, Southern Cross the Dog, is deeply rooted in the Mississippi Delta. It follows the story of one boy after he survives the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 and spends the next few decades as a refugee, an abandoned orphan and then an itinerant laborer.

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