NWPR Books

NWPR Books
12:45 pm
Thu January 31, 2013

War Writ Small: Of Pushcarts And Peashooters

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 4:55 pm

Adam Mansbach is the author of the forthcoming novel Rage is Back.

Stealing my 9-year-old nephew's copy of The Pushcart War by Jean Merrill was the best thing I did last summer. I was his age the first time I read it, and twice his age the last time I went back to it. I'm twice that old again now, but as soon as I dove into this intimate, majestic tale of war writ small — of a battle between the pushcart peddlers and the truckers of New York City — I realized how timeless, and how deeply a part of me, the story was.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu January 31, 2013

In Search Of A Father, Finding Herself

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Nicole Georges grew up believing she became a half-orphan when her father died in his 30s, but when a palm reader suggested that her father — the one her mother had told her died of colon cancer — might still be alive, she began to look more closely at the whole of her unexamined life. This personal reconsideration is the heart of Calling Dr. Laura, an inventive graphic memoir that recounts this quest, as well as Nicole Georges' coming into her own as an artist and daughter.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed January 30, 2013

Under Ogawa's Macabre, Metafictional Spell

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Originally published on Mon February 25, 2013 4:23 pm

It used to be a truism among critics of British poetry that Keats and most of his fellow Romantic poets worked in the shadow of John Milton. I'm not making a perfect analogy when I suggest that most contemporary Japanese writers seem to be working under the shadow of Haruki Murakami, but I hope it highlights the spirit of the situation.

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NWPR Books
12:05 pm
Tue January 29, 2013

'The Insurgents': Petraeus And A New Kind Of War

Gen. David Petraeus is the subject of The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, a new book by Fred Kaplan.
Shah Marai AFP/Getty Images

In a new book, The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War, journalist and author Fred Kaplan tackles the career of David H. Petraeus and follows the four-star general from Bosnia to his commands in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Central to the story are ideas of counterinsurgency. Kaplan says that while counterinsurgency is not a new kind of warfare, it's a kind of war that Americans do not like to fight.

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NWPR Books
7:41 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'The Dinner' By Herman Koch

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  • Listen to the Excerpt

Herman Koch's new novel The Dinner is a meal that may give you indigestion, but you'll relish the burn. The book begins with two couples meeting for dinner in a posh Amsterdam restaurant: Paul Lohman, the entertainingly bilious narrator, his brother Serge, a rising politician almost certain to become prime minister in the next election, and their wives. But the dinner conversation is grim, even shocking. Each couple has a teenage son, and the two boys have committed a ghastly crime — a crime that's been captured on grainy viral video.

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NWPR Books
6:17 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Al Roker On Being The 'Jolly Fat Person'

Al Roker, the veteran weatherman on NBC's Today show, endured years of indignities as an obese teenager and throughout his television career. Then, in 2002, he had bariatric surgery and lost more than 100 pounds. But deciding to have the procedure, which is potentially life-threatening, wasn't easy — and neither was keeping the weight off afterward.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Tue January 29, 2013

Separating Man From Myth In 'The First Muslim'

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Viewed through the lens of dogmatic perversions in the Soviet Union and China, communism is often seen as the antithesis of American society; an atheistic dystopia founded by Karl Marx, one of the post-Enlightenment's wayward secular philosophers. But Marx came from a deeply religious background — generations of rabbis on both sides — and his original motivation lay in that most Christian of principles: helping humanity's downtrodden.

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NWPR Books
10:54 am
Mon January 28, 2013

'Anything That Moves': Civilians And The Vietnam War

Visitors take in a re-created scene at the massacre museum at Vietnam's My Lai village. Researcher Nick Turse says atrocities of all kinds were more common in the Vietnam War than most Americans believe.
Hoang Dinh Nam AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 1:06 pm

On March 16, 1968, between 347 and 504 unarmed Vietnamese civilians were gunned down by members of the U.S. Army in what became known as the My Lai Massacre.

The U.S. government has maintained that atrocities like this were isolated incidents in the conflict. Nick Turse says otherwise. In his new book, Kill Anything That Moves: The Real American War in Vietnam, Turse argues that the intentional killing of civilians was quite common in a war that claimed 2 million civilian lives, with 5.3 million civilians wounded and 11 million refugees.

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NWPR Books
1:21 pm
Sun January 27, 2013

'Manifest Injustice': A 40-Year Fight For Freedom

Henry Holt

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 3:34 pm

In 1962, a grisly double murder on a deserted stretch of desert rocked a small community outside Phoenix.

A young couple had been shot to death in a case that stumped Maricopa County investigators. Then, something happened that should have cracked it wide open: A man named Ernest Valenzuela confessed to the crime. But police didn't pursue the lead, just one misstep in an investigation and eventual trial that were rife with irregularities.

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NWPR Books
2:40 pm
Sat January 26, 2013

Ship Those (Virtual) Chips: The Rise And Fall Of Online Poker's Youngest Crew

Ship It Holla Ballas by Jonathan Grotenstein and Storms Reback.
Guy Bubb Courtesy Getty Images/Gallo Images

Originally published on Sat January 26, 2013 3:59 pm

In the early 2000s, the get-rich-quick scheme of choice for young college dropouts was poker — and not your grandfather's poker, with clinking chips on green felt tables. Online poker. For a few years it was a national obsession for a generation of young men who grew up playing hours and hours of video games.

Many of these players couldn't get into casinos because they were underage, but they used their brains and introductory statistics courses to rake in millions, often playing 10 or more games simultaneously on huge computer monitors.

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