NWPR Books

NWPR Books
11:50 am
Wed March 26, 2014

'Sleep Donation': A Dark, Futuristic Lullaby For Insomniacs

efenzi iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed March 26, 2014 1:42 pm

Imagine an America that has been plagued for years by a mysterious epidemic of insomnia — an affliction so serious that many are dying from lack of sleep. That's the futuristic premise of Karen Russell's new novella, Sleep Donation.

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NWPR Books
5:10 am
Wed March 26, 2014

Book News: Tennessee Williams Tale Of Disappointed Love To Be Published

Playwright Tennessee Williams sits at his typewriter on Nov. 11, 1940, in New York.
Dan Grossi AP

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

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NWPR Books
2:55 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

A Lyrical Meditation On Grief In 'Falling Out Of Time'

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 7:44 am

I am a mortal reader; I have my flaws. I don't usually enjoy prose poems or novels written in lines of poetry, and when I see character types with names in capital letters like the ones that appear in Israeli writer David Grossman's new Falling Out of Time — The Walking Man, the Net Mender, the Midwife, the Town Chronicler — I tend to prepare to pack up, close the book, and turn to something less allegorical.

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NWPR Books
2:06 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

'Sous Chef' Reveals The High-Adrenaline Dance Behind Your Dinner

Viktor Cap iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 5:03 pm

A restaurant kitchen at the peak of the dinner rush can be a crazy place — hot, crowded and filled with a kind of intense energy that some people, like Michael Gibney, thrive on. Gibney's been working in restaurants since he was young. In his new book, Sous Chef, Gibney tries to capture the rhythm of the kitchen by taking his readers through one day in the life of a fast-paced New York restaurant.

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NWPR Books
11:05 am
Tue March 25, 2014

'Thief' Delivers An Unfiltered Depiction Of Life In Lagos

Derrick Ceyrac AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue March 25, 2014 12:07 pm

Let's get the negative stuff out of the way first. Teju Cole's Every Day Is For The Thief is not much of a novel. Forget plot or character development: This is a piece of writing that's all about setting. If you take what Cole is offering here and value it on its own terms, you'll probably appreciate the curious magic at work in this slim not-quite-a-novel. In chapters that stand as separate, short vignettes, Every Day Is For The Thief describes a young New York doctor's visit back to his hometown of Lagos, Nigeria.

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NWPR Books
8:17 am
Tue March 25, 2014

For Writer, 'The Hard Way' Meant Choosing To Stay In Akron, Ohio

Akron was once known as the rubber capital of the world.
Mark Duncan AP

When it comes to his hometown of Akron, Ohio, writer and journalist David Giffels says, "I have spent my whole life watching people leave." Once known as the rubber capital of the world, Akron was a hub of tire manufacturing giants. Goodyear, Firestone and Goodrich provided thousands of high-paying jobs until the 1970s, when those jobs began migrating to places with cheaper labor.

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NWPR Books
4:20 am
Tue March 25, 2014

Book News: Authors Rip U.K. Ban On Sending Books To Prisoners

Philip Pullman, pictured in 2007, says of the U.K. prison restrictions: "Words nearly fail me on this."
Shaun Curry AFP/Getty Images

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

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NWPR Books
3:46 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

A Homecoming, Minus The Nostalgia, In Cole's Unsparing 'Thief'

Teju Cole is also the author of Open City.
Teju Cole

"Like it or not, America has softened you" — such are the words of welcome to the unnamed narrator of Teju Cole's Every Day Is for the Thief. The young man is on a trip to his home country of Nigeria, and as he visits his family and friends in Lagos, what he finds isn't quite what he expected: He's pressed for bribes at every turn. He tries to reconcile Nigeria's history with the museums that appear to avoid it. He sees the "Yahoo boys" at an Internet cafe, tapping out scam email messages.

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NWPR Books
1:50 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Why'd The Scientist Cross The Road? To Figure Out Why You're Laughing

iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat March 15, 2014 3:03 pm

Here's a joke: A man is sitting on the porch with his wife one night when, out of the blue he says, "I love you." His wife says, "Was that you? Or was that the beer talking?" The man says, "That was me — talking to the beer."

Maybe you laughed at that and maybe you didn't, but either way, cognitive neuroscientist Scott Weems wants to know whether you found it funny. In his new book HA! Weems explores the science "of when we laugh and why."

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1:02 pm
Mon March 24, 2014

Book Club Meeting: Come Talk About 'Grapes Of Wrath,' Chapters 11-20

A family prepares to leave Oklahoma for California in 1939, just as the Joads did in John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.
Russell Lee Library of Congress

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:44 pm

We made it to California! And if you're reading along, you, like us, are two-thirds of the way through John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl classic. So it's time again for us to gather and share our thoughts.

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