NWPR Books

NWPR Books
4:01 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Adventures Ripped From The Headlines: Questions For Alex Berenson

This week sees the publication of The Counterfeit Agent, the 8th book in author Alex Berenson's thriller series featuring former military man and CIA recruit John Wells. Wells can kill with his bare hands, he likes to exorcise his demons in the dead of night, at breakneck speed on the back of a motorcycle — and by the way, he's converted to Islam (a plot point TV viewers are seeing on Homeland years after Berenson featured it). Even after leaving the CIA, Wells never really leaves his job.

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NWPR Books
12:55 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

'Dancing Fish,' 'Ammonites' And A Literary Life Well-Lived

Published as Dancing Fish and Ammonites: A Memoir in the U.S., Penelope Lively's new book carries the alternative subtitle "A Life in Time" in its British incarnation. This seemed more apt to me, for this is less a memoir in the conventional sense and more a collection of thoughts, a scattering of advice and a reading list to treasure.

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NWPR Books
12:28 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Practicing 'Extreme Medicine,' From Deep Sea To Outer Space

Most of us have never been submerged under more than a few feet underwater. But just a few meters down, the water compresses the tissues of your body so that you become more dense. At that point, "You're more likely to sink than float," says Dr. Kevin Fong.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 9:39 am

Dr. Kevin Fong works on "the edges" of medicine — researching how humans survive extremes of heat, cold, trauma, outer space and deep sea. "We're still exploring the human body and what medicine can do in the same way that the great explorers of the 20th century and every age before them explored the world," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

In his book Extreme Medicine, Fong describes how avant garde medicine is challenging our understanding of how our bodies work and the boundary between life and death.

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NWPR Books
11:21 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Exclusive First Read: 'Young Money' By Kevin Roose

Most people who follow the headlines are aware of the lifestyles of Wall Street's titans — and the vast bonuses that fund those lives of luxury. Kevin Roose's new Young Money looks at the bottom of that ladder: the college kids who arrived on Wall Street after the economic crash of 2008, prepared to put their noses to the grindstone in the hopes of making it big — or just making a decent living.

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NWPR Books
8:25 am
Tue February 11, 2014

'One More Thing' Has A Few Too Many Things, But It's Still Funny

Dimitrios Kambouris Getty Images

How entertaining is B.J. Novak? With One More Thing, the standup comic, scriptwriter and actor (best known for his work on The Office), takes his talents to the page in 64 fresh, short, offbeat and often hilarious stories, many of which involve updating classics for satirical effect — whether with a rematch between the tortoise and the hare, or by replacing detective Encyclopedia Brown from children's literature with Wikipedia Brown, who is hopelessly distracted by tangential subjects.

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NWPR Books
2:13 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Sounds Intriguing: The World's Most Interesting Noises

iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 12:55 pm

Trevor Cox has heard it all. He's a professor of acoustic engineering at the University of Salford in England, and he delights in discovering unusual noises. He's also author of The Sound Book: The Science of the Sonic Wonders of the World, which describes some of what he's found.

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NWPR Books
10:41 am
Mon February 10, 2014

For Military Couples, It's A Long Recovery 'When We Get Home'

Brian McGough and Kayla Williams met in Iraq in 2003.
Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Co.

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 5:24 am

Kayla Williams and Brian McGough met in Iraq in 2003, when they were serving in the 101st Airborne Division. She was an Arabic linguist; he was a staff sergeant who had earned a Bronze Star. In October of that year, at a time when they were becoming close but not yet seeing each other, McGough was on a bus in a military convoy when an IED went off, blowing out the front door and window.

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NWPR Books
9:00 am
Mon February 10, 2014

In The Wake Of Tragedy, The Possibility Of Understanding

Philip Seymour Hoffman
Ian Gavan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 12, 2014 11:12 am

The death of the brilliant actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, killed by an apparent heroin overdose at the age of 46, is a frightening reminder of the torture that is addiction. After a bout with drugs when he was younger, Hoffman was clean for two decades. But he started taking prescription pain pills in 2012 and checked into a rehab program last year. On Sunday he was found dead in a Manhattan apartment, along with dozens of small envelopes of drugs.

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NWPR Books
3:33 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

Romance Novels Sweep Readers Off Their Feet With Predictability

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 10:26 am

Romance novels are a $1.4 billion industry, dwarfing the literary book market by millions.

Last summer, Harper's editor Jesse Barron attended the Romance Novel Convention in Las Vegas. Emceed by a handsome novel-cover model named Jimmy, the event helped professionals and novices alike to pool resources, share ideas and generally have a love fest.

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NWPR Books
2:03 pm
Sun February 9, 2014

With Fearlessness And A 'Code Name,' Iraqi Helped Navy SEALs

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Originally published on Sun February 9, 2014 3:33 pm

For years, Johnny Walker interpreted for the U.S. Navy SEALs on missions all over his home country of Iraq. He served on over a thousand missions, and stood out as an invaluable part of nearly every team he worked with.

No, Johnny Walker isn't his real name. The SEALs gave him the nickname in honor of his love of Johnnie Walker Whisky — and to protect his identity, a necessary precaution even today.

"Bad guys, if they hear your real name, they can find you," he tells NPR's Arun Rath.

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