NWPR Books

NWPR Books
8:45 am
Wed February 5, 2014

An Olympic Preview, From The Canon Of Russian Literature

The Krasnaya Polyana mountain range, viewed from the Olympic host city of Sochi, shows off the stunning landscape of southern Russia.
Richard Heathcote Getty Images

It is fitting that the Winter Olympics, one of the world's fiercest competitions, is taking place amid the breathtaking beauty of the Caucasus.

For centuries, Russia's greatest writers have been inspired by this volatile region full of not only immense natural beauty but also human misery. No matter how or why these writers came to the area, they found a land full of possibility and pain, rich in beauty, yet rife with violence: in short, a concentrated microcosm of the contradictions of life itself.

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NWPR Books
6:36 am
Wed February 5, 2014

What Are Indie Booksellers Like At Parties?

Stacks of books on a store table.
iStockphoto

Martha Woodroof has been writing about the First Novel Experience. For this post, she reports on her travels to the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute in January.

The American Booksellers Association Winter Institute was billed as providing independent booksellers with a chance to get together "...in vibrant Seattle for three-plus days of networking, special events, and professional development."

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NWPR Books
5:00 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

A Widow's Quiet Life Leaves Room For Sex, Guns And Literature

iStockphoto

As of last week, what I knew about Beirut could fit in a sandwich bag. What I knew about being a blue-haired, 72-year-old woman, never mind a widow and a shut-in, was a whole lot less. Now, one week later, I'm much more informed, and I'm happy to encourage you to become so, too.

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NWPR Books
9:48 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Are We Having Fun Yet? New Book Explores The Paradox Of Parenting

The title of Jennifer Senior's book — All Joy and No Fun — contrasts the strains of day-to-day parenting with the transcendent experience of having a child.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 1:09 pm

When you're a parent — even when you're a miserably sleep-deprived parent — sometimes magical things happen in the dead of night. Jennifer Senior's son was 1 month old when, during a late-night feeding, he looked directly at her and cooed. "It was this recognition, like 'Oh, you're my mom,' " she tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "I'd like to think that when I'm dying I'll remember that. ... Even in my depressive, sleep-deprived, hysterical, Looney Tunes state, I remember thinking that was just the bomb — that was magic."

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NWPR Books
4:02 am
Tue February 4, 2014

A Little Knowledge Is 'Definitely Maybe' A Dangerous Thing

Boris and Arkady Strugatsky coauthored the 1971 science fiction novel Roadside Picnic.
Courtesy of the Strugatsky Estate

A great truth is this: Some discoveries, like the sting of a painful memory, do a number on your psyche. Definitely Maybe accomplishes just that. It's one for those with a penchant for the strange, those drawn to the grim and the darkly funny — those, like myself, interested in the beautifully rendered pessimism of manic scientists. Never mind, just for a moment, the current state of science fiction. Arkady and Boris Strugatsky, brothers, celebrated Russian geniuses, give it all in this dystopian gem. All and then some.

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NWPR Books
9:58 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Anna Quindlen Spins A Tale Of Middle-Aged Reinvention

Courtesy of Random House

Rebecca Winter is at a crossroads. The famous photographer had been living off of sales of one particular photograph for years. When the money stream starts to dry up, she reluctantly decides to rent out her Manhattan apartment and move to a small, rural town far from her seemingly fabulous New York life. It is here that she tries to map out her next chapter. No longer married, no longer needed as much by her grown son, no longer as successful as she used to be.

That's where we meet the main character in Anna Quindlen's newest novel, Still Life with Bread Crumbs.

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NWPR Books
7:13 am
Mon February 3, 2014

Amazon Plunges Into Christian Publishing With Waterfall Imprint

Amazon Publishing

The online superstore Amazon got its start selling books — and it's been getting into the publishing business as well, with imprints for genres like science fiction, romance and mystery.

Until now, though, it hasn't had its fingers in one of the biggest slices of the publishing pie: Christian books. That changed this past week, with the introduction of the Waterfall Press imprint.

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NWPR Books
3:42 pm
Sun February 2, 2014

'Unnecessary Woman' Lives On The Margins, Enveloped In Books

Trinette Reed iStockphoto

Aaliyah lives in the heart of Lebanon's capital, but she is cut off from parties, war and family.

The title character of Rabih Alameddine's new novel spends her days alone in her Beirut apartment. She translates her favorite books into Arabic, and her manuscripts pile up, unsold. At 72, the former bookstore employee is long divorced without any children.

"She fell in love with books," Alameddine says. "So this is a woman who, whether it is by choice or by circumstance, has been forced into the margins of society."

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NWPR Books
11:17 am
Sun February 2, 2014

American Muslim Men Balance Faith And Love In 'Salaam'

Originally published on Tue February 4, 2014 11:16 am

What exactly do Muslim men want? That's the theme of a new book of essays called Salaam, Love. It's the companion volume to one that came out last year called Love, InshAllah, which focused on the lives of American Muslim women.

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NWPR Books
11:17 am
Sun February 2, 2014

Gothic Thriller Takes Two Young Girls Down A 'Dark Road To Mercy'

Courtesy of HarperCollins

Twelve-year-old Easter Quillby has learned to keep her expectations low in order to protect herself from more disappointment in life. It's a coping mechanism she developed to keep her and her 6-year-old sister, Ruby, safe after their mom unexpectedly passed away. But when their estranged dad kidnaps them from foster care, they're forced to live in the middle of his past and present mistakes — all the while trying to figure out what family is supposed to mean.

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