NWPR Books

Book Reviews
9:53 am
Mon August 27, 2012

In 'The Brontes,' Details Of A Family's Strange World

Originally published on Mon August 27, 2012 12:13 pm

In the new, updated edition of her landmark biography The Brontes, Juliet Barker tells a sad story about Branwell, the infamous brother of Charlotte, Emily and Anne.

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Three Books...
5:49 am
Mon August 27, 2012

Fanciful Fauna: 3 Tall Tales Of Clever Critters

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue September 11, 2012 9:45 am

Some people suffer from recurring nightmares about being naked on stage, or not having revised for their exams. My bedtime terror is different — I'm gripped with fear that I haven't fed or watered my childhood budgie, with potentially devastating consequences. I loved that bird, Joey, so much, despite the fact that she unmasked herself as female after I'd named her, I still have a tiny box filled with her discarded green feathers. I've never owned a pet as an adult. I prefer animals in novels to avoid the horror of finding two cold, clutched feet in the air.

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Books
9:32 am
Sun August 26, 2012

Faith, Family And Forgiveness In 'We Sinners'

Author Hanna Pylvainen based We Sinners on her own childhood experiences.

Hanna Pylvainen's debut novel, We Sinners, is about a large — very large — family that belongs to a small religious sect in Finland originating in the dim distant past. The sect, Laestadianism, calls for very strictly regulated behavior — think Amish, with possible overtones of Lutheran, purified by a schism or two. The novel is told from the point of view of family members, each of whom get a chapter, and the story goes forward in time with each person.

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Books
12:15 am
Fri August 24, 2012

Searching For 'Bernadette' In The Wilds Of Seattle

Originally published on Fri August 24, 2012 8:56 am

The narrator of Maria Semple's newest book, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, is 15-year-old Bee Fox. She's a nice kid, a good musician and a great student. In fact, she's such a great student that her parents have promised her anything she wants — and she chooses a family trip to Antarctica.

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Book Reviews
10:26 am
Thu August 23, 2012

A Lyrical Portrait Of Life And Death In The Orchard

Originally published on Thu August 23, 2012 4:54 am

Amanda Coplin grew up in the apple-growing Wenatchee Valley, on the sunny side of Washington state's Cascade range, surrounded by her grandfather's orchards. Her glorious first novel, inspired by family history, takes you back to the days when you could buy what are now considered heirloom apples — Arkansas Blacks and Rhode Island Greenings — from the man who grew them, from bushel baskets lugged into town by mule-drawn wagon. Seattle and Tacoma were mere villages, and train travel was the new-tech way to go.

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Book Reviews
4:46 am
Wed August 22, 2012

A Bartender's 'Tale' In Nostalgic Soft-Focus

At the moment Rusty, the young protagonist of The Bartender's Tale, is rescued from his Aunt Marge's house in Phoenix, author Ivan Doig cranks into motion a dense valentine of a novel about a father and a small town at the start of the 1960s. Rusty's liberator is also his father, Tom Harry, the august bartender and proprietor of the Medicine Lodge bar in Gros Ventre, Mont. Tom is the archetypical flinty Western bartender, slinging beers and shots of wisdom cultivated from a less than perfect life.

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Author Interviews
11:10 am
Tue August 21, 2012

Student 'Subversives' And The FBI's 'Dirty Tricks'

Mario Savio, shown here at a victory rally in UC Berkeley's Sproul Plaza on Dec. 9, 1964, was the face of the free speech movement.
AP

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 10:21 am

In 1964, students at the University of California, Berkeley, formed a protest movement to repeal a campus rule banning students from engaging in political activities.

Then-FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover suspected the free speech movement to be evidence of a Communist plot to disrupt U.S. campuses. He "had long been concerned about alleged subversion within the education field," journalist Seth Rosenfeld tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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NWPR Books
10:14 am
Thu June 21, 2012

In the Kingdom of Men

In the Kingdom of Men, by Kim Barnes

 

One of the Northwest’s most prominent authors, Kim Barnes, is out with a new novel about power, poverty, oil and oppression.  It’s called In the Kingdom of Men.   Northwest Public Radio's John Paxson has a first look.

Kim Barnes’ new work is a tale of life--and death--in the closed, often claustrophobic compounds of Americans working in the oil fields of Saudi Arabia.  It is also a portrait of a soul in transition.  

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