NWPR Books

Author Interviews
11:08 am
Wed August 29, 2012

A Linguist's Serious Take On 'The A-Word'

Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg says he wants people to take his new book, Ascent of the A-Word, seriously.
Nicole Katano

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 11:04 am

Linguist Geoffrey Nunberg wants people to take his new book, Ascent of the A-Word, seriously.

"I'd meet people when I was working on the book, and even academics — they'd say, 'What are you working on?' and they'd giggle. Or they'd say, 'You must have a lot of time on your hands,' " Nunberg tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

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Book Reviews
4:03 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Martin Amis' 'State of England': Anomie In The U.K.

Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Too much is made of literature's ennobling qualities. There are those of us who come to books for the debasement and danger, for Hannibal and Humbert. For Faulkner's Popeye and Hedda Gabler. We want to meet the monsters.

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Author Interviews
11:34 am
Tue August 28, 2012

'Real Romney' Authors Dissect His Latest Campaign

Michael Kranish (left) is the deputy chief of the Washington bureau of The Boston Globe. Scott Helman is a staff writer at The Globe. Both have covered politics, presidential campaigns and Congress.
courtesy of the authors

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 9:17 am

In The Real Romney, Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman examine Mitt Romney's political rise since 1994, when he ran for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. They explain how Romney shifted from supporting abortion rights to heavily courting social conservatives in the 2008 Republican primary.

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Participation Nation
4:33 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Books Behind Bars In Needham, Mass.

Elizabeth Jane Handel of A Book from Mom.
Courtesy of ABFM

Originally published on Tue August 28, 2012 7:22 am

In 2004, I started a project called A Book from Mom that provides incarcerated mothers with brand new children's books to give as gifts to their children during prison visits.

A Book from Mom helps strengthen the parent-child bond while a mother is away, seeks to increase literacy in both mother and child, and helps ease the tension of prison visits.

In its nine years, the project has placed more than 20,000 brand new books on prison shelves in Massachusetts and has inspired someone else to expand the program to a women's prison in Arizona.

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Book Reviews
4:03 am
Tue August 28, 2012

Broken Hearts And Dirty Minds In 'Fundamentals'

The first and most important thing you need to know about Jonathan Evison's heartbreaking, maddening novel The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving is that one of its two main characters is a paralyzed teenage boy, named Trevor. The other is a grown man, Ben, who frequently acts like a teenage boy. Your enjoyment of the book — the follow-up to Evison's well-regarded West of Here — will be largely predicated on how much you like listening in on can-you-top-this, gross-out sex talk, and ruefully self-demeaning descriptions of the female of the species.

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Crime In The City
8:32 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

Michigan Author Dreams Up A Deadlier Ann Arbor

In Very Bad Men, Seva is Sen. John Casterbridge's favorite restaurant. Dolan won't say if he's a good guy or not, because "that would be giving it away."
Vasenka via Flickr

Ask Harry Dolan to take you for lunch at a restaurant he's written about, and he won't disappoint. In downtown Ann Arbor, Mich., on Liberty Street, the vegetarian restaurant Seva serves mushroom sliders and yam fries that both the crime writer and his characters are quite fond of. With any luck, you'll also catch the perfect song playing in the background — "Psycho Killer" by the Talking Heads.

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My Guilty Pleasure
3:23 pm
Mon August 27, 2012

'The Magus': A Thrilling, Chilling Guilty Pleasure

cover detail

Nick Dybek is the author of When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man.

The sinister face sneering from the cover is reason enough to keep John Fowles' The Magus tucked discreetly away. Then there's the 600 or so pages inside, which are filled with pretentious riffs on psychoanalysis, metaphysics, fascism and the occult.

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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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