NWPR Books

NWPR Books
12:06 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

The Case For Tammany Hall Being On The Right Side Of History

Seen here in 1935, the building that housed Manhattan's Democratic Party, known as Tammany Hall, still stands today.
AP

Originally published on Thu March 6, 2014 6:18 am

Back in 1900, when Americans in cities counted on ice to keep food, milk and medicines fresh, New York Mayor Robert Van Wyck's career ended when it emerged that a company given a monopoly on the ice business was doubling prices while giving the mayor and his cronies big payoffs.

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NWPR Books
8:15 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Hemingway Doesn't Always Live Up To His Code

An undated portrait of Ernest Hemingway in Cuba.
COPYRIGHT Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Originally published on Wed March 5, 2014 4:24 pm

The air was clear. Our prose was not.

We remembered what Scott had told us about a clean, well-designed place called Future of Storytelling. Scott said we could learn from it. He was right and it was good.

Through the website, we discovered the Hemingway App.

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NWPR Books
5:01 am
Wed March 5, 2014

Book News: Sherwin B. Nuland, Author Of 'How We Die,' Dies At 83

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

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed March 5, 2014

A Second Helping Of Retro Smooches In 'Young Romance 2'

They're the perfect couple, circa 1947. He's craggy, yet banal. She's well-coiffed and febrile. The circumstances? Dire. Always. Just as unfailingly, though, love will out for these two, for we're on familiar turf: the geometrically ordered, narratively numbing world of mid-century comic-book passion. More specifically, this is Young Romance 2: The Early Simon & Kirby Romance Comics, a collection of some of the first such comics ever produced.

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NWPR Books
11:46 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Kevin Young On Blues, Poetry And 'Laughing To Keep From Crying'

Kevin Young's 2012 essay collection The Grey Album: On The Blackness Of Blackness was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
Melanie Dunea CPi

In Kevin Young's new collection, Book Of Hours, poems about the death of his father appear alongside poems about the birth of his son.

He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that, in a way, those events were the anchors of his life.

"It was a way of just writing about what had happened and also the way that the cycle of life informed my life, from death to birth to ... a kind of rebirth that I felt afterward."

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NWPR Books
7:19 am
Tue March 4, 2014

What Really Happened The Night Kitty Genovese Was Murdered?

The most well-known image of Kitty Genovese is her 1961 mug shot, taken after a minor gambling arrest.
The New York Times Photo Archive Courtesy of WW Norton

In March 1964, there was a heinous murder in the Kew Gardens neighborhood of Queens, N.Y. Back then, there was no 911 emergency number, there were no good Samaritan laws and, despite her cries, there was no one coming to help Catherine Genovese.

Kitty, as she was known, was a bar manager on her way home from work in the early morning hours. According to news reports at the time, she was attacked not once but three times over the course of a half-hour. What's more: There were apparently 38 witnesses.

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NWPR Books
5:04 am
Tue March 4, 2014

When War-Torn Rubble Met Royal Imagination, 'Paris Became Paris'

Le Pont Neuf, shown here in an 18th-century painting by Nicolas-Jean-Baptiste Raguenet, was completed in 1606 by Henry IV. The bridge's construction kicked off the reinvention of Paris in the 17th century. Today, it's the oldest standing bridge across the Seine.
Public Domain

Today, Paris is a city of light and romance, full of broad avenues, picturesque bridges and countless tourists visiting to soak in its charms.

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NWPR Books
4:47 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Book News: 'Goodnight Moon' Author's Lullabies See The Light After 60 Years

If the latest compilation of works by Margaret Wise Brown, best known for the beloved children's book Goodnight Moon, puts you to sleep, that's a good thing.
Kathy Willens AP

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

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NWPR Books
12:07 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Book Club Meeting: Come Talk About Steinbeck's 'Grapes Of Wrath'

The Grapes Of Wrath opens in Dust Bowl Oklahoma.
AP

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

Late last week, an email exchange between NPR Books' team members went something like this:

Camila: OH MY GOD PIGS EAT BABIES!?!?

Nicole: YUP. But then, later, people eat pigs. So, does that make them even?

Colin: I trust this isn't a spoiler. Ahem.

Tanya: SPOILERS PEOPLE.

Camila: Not a spoiler cus it's NOT EVEN A BIG DEAL. That's the worst part. It's just like "Oh yeah, remember the time that pig ate that baby? Memories."

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NWPR Books
10:04 am
Mon March 3, 2014

During World War II, Even Filmmakers Reported For Duty

Maj. Frank Capra sits at his War Department desk in Washington on March 6, 1942. Capra's non-War Department films include It's A Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington.
AP

Originally published on Mon March 3, 2014 10:35 am

When America entered World War II, some of Hollywood's most celebrated directors enlisted and risked their lives. But they weren't fighting — they were filming combat.

Through the 1930s, Hollywood and the federal government held a mutual suspicion of each other. But after Pearl Harbor, the War Department asked Hollywood directors to make short documentaries that could be presented in theaters before the featured films. The ideas was to show Americans what was at stake, give them a glimpse of what our soldiers were going through and stir up patriotic feelings.

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