NWPR Books

NWPR Books
10:15 am
Tue January 15, 2013

George Saunders Lives Up To The Hype

George Saunders' previous books include In Persuasion Nation and The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. He won a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006.
Basso Cannarsa Courtesy Random House

I was baffled by the cover of The New York Times Magazine two Sundays ago. You may remember that the headline of the cover story was: "George Saunders Has Written The Best Book You'll Read This Year." I was baffled because the only George Saunders I could think of was that old movie star who was always playing cads in films like Rebecca and All About Eve.

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NWPR Books
1:22 am
Tue January 15, 2013

Hold On To Your Tighty Whities, Captain Underpants Is Back!

Cover image

Let's face it. When you're a kid, sometimes adults can be a real drag. The new Captain Underpants book puts it this way: "Did you ever notice how grown-ups hate it when kids are having fun?"

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NWPR Books
1:35 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

Sotomayor Opens Up About Childhood, Marriage In 'Beloved World'

Supreme Court Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor applauds during a reception in her honor at the White House.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Over the course of time, Supreme Court justices have written 225 books. Few reveal much about the justices themselves, but Justice Sonia Sotomayor's autobiography, My Beloved World, is a searingly candid memoir about her life growing up in the tenements of the Bronx, going to Princeton and Yale Law School, becoming a prosecutor and a private corporate lawyer and, at age 38, becoming a federal judge.

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NWPR Books
4:56 am
Sun January 13, 2013

'I Accepted Responsibility': McChrystal On His 'Share Of The Task'

Stanley McChrystal's new memoir, My Share of the Task, recounts lessons from his years in the military.
Penguin Books

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 10:25 am

Gen. Stanley McChrystal says he's moved on with his life. The four-star general was forced to resign from the military after his aides were quoted in a Rolling Stone article making disparaging remarks about members of the Obama administration.

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NWPR Books
3:03 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Daughter Of The Storm: An Iranian Literary Revolution

iStockphoto.com

Roya Hakakian's most recent book is Assassins of the Turquoise Palace.

Adolescence is a universally grave hour. Mine was made graver by a revolution in 1979 in my beloved birth country of Iran. The mutiny I felt within had an echo in the world without. On the streets, martial law was in effect. Tehran was burning, bleeding.

A popular American belief holds that the act of writing can somehow save the writer. But having written a couple of books and countless essays, I disagree. What saved me was not writing, but reading.

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NWPR Books
2:55 am
Sun January 13, 2013

Deserts, Coal Walking And Wildfires: Can You Take The 'Heat'?

To understand heat, biologist Bill Streever simmered in some of the hottest places on Earth, including California's Death Valley.
Gabriel Bouys AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun January 13, 2013 7:30 am

Scientist and writer Bill Streever is fascinated by the extremes at both ends of the thermometer. In his 2009 book, Cold, he visited some of the chilliest places on Earth. And in his latest book, he treks through Death Valley, investigates fire-based weaponry and walks on coals — all to gain insight into what it means to be hot. Really hot.

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NWPR Books
4:37 pm
Sat January 12, 2013

Father's Death Spurs Son To Tackle Health Care

Random House

In 2007, David Goldhill's father, in good overall health, checked into the hospital with a minor case of pneumonia. Within a few days, he developed sepsis, then a wave of secondary infections. A few weeks after entering the hospital and the day after his 83rd birthday, he died.

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NWPR Books
2:35 am
Sat January 12, 2013

NBA Star Aims To Inspire Young Readers With 'Slam Dunk'

Scholastic & Klutz

Originally published on Sat January 12, 2013 9:08 am

Amar'e Stoudemire is known as "STAT," an acronym for "standing tall and talented." He's an 11-year-old basketball player who wants badly to learn how to dunk — that's Amar'e the character, anyway.

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NWPR Books
2:34 am
Sat January 12, 2013

The Seedy Underbelly Of The Belle Epoque, 'Painted'

Originally published on Mon January 14, 2013 9:54 am

Just who is The Little Dancer, Aged 14? Who is the actual girl, cast 2/3 of her life size by Edgar Degas?

That little dancer was Marie van Goethem, one of three sisters left to fend for themselves after their father dies and their mother begins spending her washerwoman's income on absinthe.

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NWPR Books
1:54 pm
Fri January 11, 2013

No Going Back: A Hard Look At Bipolar Disorder

istockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri January 11, 2013 3:11 pm

For years, I've taken issue with depictions of mentally ill characters in books and movies. Irrational behavior is easily explained away: They're crazy! No need to elaborate further.

So when I picked up Too Bright to Hear Too Loud to See, I was apprehensive that the main character, an untreated bipolar Hollywood studio executive who leaves his wife and child for an international adventure, might be a kooky manic cliche.

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