NWPR Books

NWPR Books
8:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Don't Know What To Do With Your Life? Neither Did Thoreau

The works of Henry David Thoreau have influenced generations of readers, but Thoreau himself wasn't always celebrated. His schoolmates and neighbors found him standoffish and regarded his fascination with plants and Indian relics as downright odd.
AP

Originally published on Mon February 17, 2014 11:59 am

Every year, students come into my office and say, "I don't know what I want to do with my life." Of course, plenty of people in the world don't have the luxury of such cluelessness, but my students don't look like they're enjoying their privilege; they look scared and depressed, as though they've already failed some big test of character. They might find some comfort in Michael Sims' new biography of the young Henry David Thoreau called, simply, The Adventures of Henry Thoreau.

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NWPR Books
5:05 am
Mon February 17, 2014

What Honest Abe's Appetite Tells Us About His Life

Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, used to cook alongside his wife.
Brady Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 8:55 am

Most people know Abraham Lincoln for his achievements as president. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation and held the nation together through the trauma of the Civil War. His Gettysburg Address is one of the best known in American history.

But what you might not know is that Lincoln cooked.

From his childhood to his days in the White House, food played an integral part in shaping Lincoln's life, food historian Rae Katherine Eighmey tells Tell Me More's Michel Martin.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Last Chance To Read 'Grapes Of Wrath' Before It Turns 75

These Grapes of Wrath copies may look well-loved, but don't be fooled. A lot of us are opening them up for the first time.
Jim Tuttle NPR

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 1:43 pm

John Steinbeck's Dust Bowl saga has been on required reading lists for decades, but somehow a lot of us at NPR Books have never read it. (We know! We know!) So when we realized the 75th anniversary was coming up on April 14, we thought: What better way to pay tribute to Steinbeck's Pulitzer Prize-winning epic than to actually crack it open?

That is to say: We're hosting a Grapes of Wrath book club and you're all invited to join.*

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Mon February 17, 2014

It's French, But Ooh, It's Pulpy: The Dark Adventures Of Fantômas

Fantômas begins as many a good tale begins: with listeners crowding around a fire. In this case, guests of the venerable Marquise surround a retired magistrate who, with relish, tells of the terror that is Fantômas. Fantômas, the criminal mastermind — I would love the book just for the mystery of the name, though in fact, the name isn't even his: it is given to him by rumor, or maybe the police. We know nothing of Fantômas: he is believed to take on the identity of others, sometimes famous others, sometimes several at once.

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NWPR Books
7:44 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

'Eliot Ness': Actually Untouchable, Except When It Came To Women

Getty Images

Hollywood's been known to dramatize even the most dramatic of real-life narratives. So of course the real Eliot Ness wasn't nearly as dashing as Robert Stack or Kevin Costner (although maybe he was).

He wasn't a G-man; he never carried an FBI badge. Nor was he the lawman who brought the tax case that put away America's most famous mobster, Al Capone — even though the Capone case made him a household name. But he was a genuine pioneer of modern police work.

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NWPR Books
7:43 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

Through The Mind Of A Novelist, Lincoln Shares His Life Story

Jerome Charyn is the author of nearly 50 books, a variety of fiction and nonfiction.
Mariana Cook Courtesy of Liveright

Abraham Lincoln may be the most biographied, analyzed, deified, second-guessed and impersonated figure in U.S. history. He's been seen as Carl Sandburg's mournful prairie genius and Gore Vidal's shrewd railroad lawyer, who knew when to play the rube.

He's been portrayed in comprehensive histories by James McPherson, Doris Kearns Goodwin, and hundreds more in the sweeping movies of John Ford and Steven Spielberg.

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NWPR Books
4:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

To Strive, To Seek, To Find: The End Of A Baseball Era

The 2014 season will mark Derek Jeter's 20th — and last — season with the New York Yankees.
Jim McIsaac Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 18, 2014 10:12 am

The step is not as quick. The swing is not as crisp or as powerful. In the career of every great athlete, there comes a moment of profound reckoning: Should you continue when your skills have clearly diminished? If you can't be the absolute best anymore, should you settle for just being really, really good?

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NWPR Books
4:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Swoon Reads: The Next Romance Bestseller, Selected By You

Swoon Reads, a new young adult romance imprint at Macmillan publishing, solicits manuscripts and invites users to read and rate them. The most popular manuscript gets a first printing of 100,000 copies." href="/post/swoon-reads-next-romance-bestseller-selected-you" class="noexit lightbox">
Swoon Reads, a new young adult romance imprint at Macmillan publishing, solicits manuscripts and invites users to read and rate them. The most popular manuscript gets a first printing of 100,000 copies.
Swoon Reads

The rise of self-publishing has already catapulted a few lucky writers to the top of bestseller lists. And major publishing houses often try to woo these stars into their fold. Swoon Reads, a new young adult romance publisher, is taking this dance a step further. It has added crowdsourcing to the mix, promising a contract to the writer whose book wins the hearts of a community of online readers.

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NWPR Books
2:58 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Isabel Allende Apologizes For Comments About Mystery Novels

Isabel Allende is apologizing for her comments about mystery novels.
Peter Morgan AP

Author Isabel Allende is best known for her works of magical realism such as The House of Spirits, but it was comments she made during an NPR interview about her new book, Ripper, a mystery novel, that angered fans of crime fiction.

Here's what she told NPR's Arun Rath:

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NWPR Books
1:07 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Author Of Book Yanked In India Says Move Has Backfired

Indian activists from the student wing of Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party protest near the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi on May 25, 2010, against Wendy Doniger's The Hindus. Penguin Books, India, said this week that it would withdraw the book and pulp it.
Anindito Mukherjee EPA/Landov

Originally published on Fri February 14, 2014 5:09 pm

We told you earlier today [Friday] about a University of Chicago professor whose book was withdrawn in India after a Hindu group brought a court challenge against the publisher, Penguin Books, India.

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