NWPR Books

NWPR Books
7:29 am
Tue April 2, 2013

The 'Unsinkable' Debbie Reynolds Looks Back On Life, Love And A Boozy Busby Berkeley

Debbie Reynolds has been in show business for more than 60 years — beginning as an ingenue chirping a novelty tune called "Aba Daba Honeymoon" in one of her first films, a Jane Powell/Ricardo Montalban vehicle called Two Weeks With Love. That was 1950. Today, she's indisputably a grand dame of show business, working with names like Matt Damon and Michael Douglas.

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NWPR Books
5:16 am
Tue April 2, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'Julio's Day' By Gilbert Hernandez

Julio's Day introduction by Brian Evenson, author of Windeye.


"...one day we were born, one day we shall die, the same day, the same second, is that not enough for you?" — Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

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NWPR Books
3:47 pm
Mon April 1, 2013

In A New Memoir, Maya Angelou Recalls How A 'Lady' Became 'Mom'

Maya Angelou and her mother, Vivian Baxter. Although it took years, Angelou and her mother eventually developed a close and loving relationship.
Random House

Originally published on Sun March 31, 2013 12:40 pm

Maya Angelou has lived a life so expansive and extraordinary that, even after seven autobiographies, she still has more stories to tell. Her latest book, Mom & Me & Mom, explores her relationship with her mother, Vivian Baxter. When Angelou was young, Baxter sent Angelou and her brother away to be raised by their grandmother; years later, she called them back to live with her again, the start of a sometimes fractious but eventually loving relationship.

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NWPR Books
11:51 am
Mon April 1, 2013

Art, Chaos And 1970s Radicalism Fuel 'The Flamethrowers'

Rachel Kushner's new novel, The Flamethrowers, begins with a crash. A young woman named Reno is trying to set a record on her motorcycle at a racetrack at the Bonneville Salt Flats. She wants to photograph the tracks she leaves in the sand, as an art project. But her crash takes Reno in a different direction. Her artistic ambition thrusts her in the middle of New York's chaotic art scene in the 1970s, and eventually, Reno finds herself embroiled in a radical political movement in Italy.

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NWPR Books
10:54 am
Mon April 1, 2013

In Digestion: Mary Roach Explains What Happens To The Food We Eat

iStockphoto.com

For all our talk about food, we don't like to think much about it after we put it in our mouths. But Mary Roach — whose latest book is Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal — did just that. Gulp takes a close look at the human digestive system, from the mouth on down, and Roach writes that she wants readers to say not, "This is gross," but instead, "I thought this would be gross, but it's really interesting. OK, and maybe a little gross."

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NWPR Books
7:12 am
Mon April 1, 2013

In Alice McDermott's 'Charming Billy,' Love Turns To Grief

Harold Augenbraum is the executive director of the National Book Foundation.

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NWPR Books
3:28 pm
Sun March 31, 2013

An Unlikely Explorer Stumbles Into Controversy

Originally published on Mon December 2, 2013 10:03 am

The mostly forgotten explorer Paul du Chaillu introduced the world to gorillas. His methods were attacked and his work discredited during his lifetime, but he also experienced fame and redemption.

Author Monte Reel illuminates the little-known tale of the 19th century explorer in his new book Between Man and Beast: An Unlikely Explorer, the Evolution Debates, and the African Adventure That Took the Victorian World by Storm.

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NWPR Books
3:27 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

'Game Over': Mixing Sports And Politics

The New Press

The uneasy confluence of sports and politics is featured in a new book by The Nation's Dave Zirin, called Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down.

During the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, athletes routinely made their political views known. In some cases, that isolated them from sports fans. In other cases, their influence led to real change. But in recent decades, those voices fell silent. Some say the siren's call of endorsement deals made them gun-shy about speaking their minds.

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NWPR Books
12:43 pm
Sat March 30, 2013

David Sheff On Addiction: Prevention, Treatment And Staying 'Clean'

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David Sheff wrote a book in 2008 that became a kind of landmark. Beautiful Boy was a painful, personal story of the battle he tried to fight with and alongside his son, Nic, who was addicted to methamphetamines. The book became an international best-seller and made David Sheff one of the country's most prominent voices on addiction — not as a doctor, an addict or an academic expert, but as a father.

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NWPR Books
7:34 am
Sat March 30, 2013

'Life After Life,' The Many Deaths And Do-Overs Of Ursula Todd

iStockphoto.com

One night in 1910, a little girl is born during a snowstorm in the English countryside. The umbilical cord is wrapped around the baby's neck; she turns blue and gasps for life. The doctor can't make it through the snow, and the little girl dies.

That same little girl is born on another version of that night in 1910, but this time the doctor makes it through the storm, delivers the baby and stays for breakfast.

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