NWPR Books

NWPR Books
4:47 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Book News: 'Socks, I've Worn A Few?' Flea Is Writing A Memoir

Flea, bassist for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, during the group's performance at this year's Super Bowl. He's going to write a memoir.
Rob Carr Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed April 2, 2014

With Poetic Intensity, Kevin Powers Tackles The Terror Of War

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"I am home and whole, so to speak," writes Kevin Powers in his debut poetry collection. "But I can't remember / how to be alive." At its most striking, Letter Composed During a Lull in the Fighting finds Powers — an Iraq veteran and the author of the acclaimed war novel The Yellow Birds — contending with conflicts endemic to the home front, struggling to "remember how to be alive" after having known so much death.

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NWPR Books
4:58 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

The Harlem Hellfighters: Fighting Racism In The Trenches Of WWI

The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel by Max Brooks, retells the story of the first African-American unit to fight in World War I.
Caanan White Courtesy of Broadway Books

The 369th Infantry Regiment served 191 days under enemy fire in Europe. They returned home one of the most decorated American units of World War I.

"The French called them the 'Men of Bronze' out of respect, and the Germans called them the 'Harlem Hellfighters' out of fear," explains Max Brooks, author of The Harlem Hellfighters, a new graphic novel about the first African-American infantry unit to fight in World War I.

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NWPR Books
11:08 am
Tue April 1, 2014

This Tightly Choreographed Tale Of Ambition And Ballet Will 'Astonish'

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The title of Maggie Shipstead's second novel is: Astonish Me. She did just that --astonish me -- with her debut novel of 2012, called Seating Arrangements. After reading that novel, I likened the then 20-something-year-old Shipstead to "Edith Wharton with a millennial generation edge." The comparison remains sound.

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NWPR Books
11:08 am
Tue April 1, 2014

On A 'Rigged' Wall Street, Milliseconds Make All The Difference

Originally published on Wed April 2, 2014 11:01 am

"The stock market is rigged," Michael Lewis tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "It's rigged for the benefit for really a handful of insiders. It's rigged to ... maximize the take of Wall Street, of banks, the exchanges and the high-frequency traders at the expense of ordinary investors."

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NWPR Books
9:51 am
Tue April 1, 2014

In Early Memoir, Bette Midler Adorned The Truth In Sequins

Bette Midler is a Grammy Award-winning singer and Academy Award-nominated actress.
Jonathan Pushnik Simon & Schuster

Before Bette Midler was in movies like Beaches and Down and Out in Beverly Hills, the actress and singer wore masks and costumes on stage, playing scantily clad, scandalous characters like a wheelchair-riding mermaid and, of course, the Divine Miss M — Midler's early stage persona.

Midler wrote about her early career in A View From a Broad, a memoir she published in 1980. A new edition of that book was recently released with a brand new introduction in which Midler writes:

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NWPR Books
8:08 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Scratch That: One Cat's Struggle With Internet Stardom

No matter what the market's doing, a certain breed of entrepreneur tends to come out on top — or should we say, breeds? Domestic short hair, Persian, Siamese — if you have the right breed of cat, or at least one with a certain look, you may be feeding kitty treats to a potential gold mine.

Luckily, there's a road map to feline stardom — published Tuesday, it's called How to Make Your Cat an Internet Celebrity: A Guide to Financial Freedom.

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NWPR Books
4:32 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Book News: Jane Goodall Blames Carelessness For Lifted Passages

Jane Goodall holds a baby Cebus capucinus monkey during a 2013 visit to a primate rescue center in Chile.
Hector Retamal AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Tue April 1, 2014

'Frog Music' Sounds A Barbaric (But Invigorating) Yawp

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 3:42 pm

San Francisco in the summer of the 1876, between the Gold Rush and the smallpox epidemic, is the setting for Emma Donoghue's boisterous new novel, Frog Music.

There's real frog music in these pages, the riveting cries of the creatures hunted by Jenny Bonnet, one of the two main characters. She's a pistol-packing, pants-wearing gal in a town where pants on women are one of the few cardinal sins, and she scratches out a living catching frogs and selling them to local restaurants.

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4:00 am
Tue April 1, 2014

Post Arab Spring, Where Do Islamist Parties Stand?

Originally published on Tue April 1, 2014 5:23 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Here's a more immediate issue. Egypt says it will hold presidential elections in May. The likely winner is General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. He led the military coup last summer which overthrew the elected government.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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