NWPR Books

NWPR Books
11:44 am
Wed November 13, 2013

A 'Marriage', A Divorce, A Dying Dog And Essays Done Right

iStockphoto.com

Pity the poor essay collection. Unlike its close, more creative neighbor — the short story collection — or its snooty relation, The Novel, the humble essay collection is the wallflower of the literary world. And, when an essay collection is composed — as Ann Patchett's new volume partly is — of pieces previously printed in fashion and pet lovers' magazines, it really might seem like a grab bag of minor material — as, admittedly, a few of the pieces here are.

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NWPR Books
10:27 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Christmas Lights Make Slippers In Global 'Junkyard' Economy

A woman worker sorts used plastic bottles at a recycle center in Mumbai, India.
Rajanish Kakade AP

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 4:01 pm

When you think of recycling, you probably think of cans, plastic bottles and newspapers. Well, think a little bigger.

There are businesses devoted to recycling metal, paper, plastic, oil, textiles, cell phones, computers, motors, batteries, Christmas lights, cars and more. The hidden world of globalized recycling and reclamation, and its impact on the environment and the global economy, is the subject of the new book Junkyard Planet by journalist Adam Minter.

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NWPR Books
10:11 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Even When It Hurts 'ALOT,' Brosh Faces Life With Plenty Of 'Hyperbole'

This Is Why I'll Never Be An Adult" blog post. (It's now a popular Internet meme.)" href="/post/even-when-it-hurts-alot-brosh-faces-life-plenty-hyperbole" class="noexit lightbox">
You may recognize this drawing from Allie Brosh's popular "This Is Why I'll Never Be An Adult" blog post. (It's now a popular Internet meme.)
Courtesy Touchstone Books

Originally published on Mon December 9, 2013 1:21 pm

Allie Brosh's humorous, autobiographical blog, Hyperbole and a Half, has a huge following. In 2011, an editor of PC World included it in a list of the funniest sites on the Internet, and this year, Advertising Age included Brosh in its annual list of the year's most influential and creative thinkers and doers.

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NWPR Books
10:38 am
Mon November 11, 2013

In 'Fire And Forget,' Vets Turned Writers Tell Their War Stories

U.S. Army soldiers begin their journey home from Iraq on July 13, 2010.
Maya Alleruzzo AP

Originally published on Mon November 11, 2013 4:43 pm

This Veterans Day, considers these lines from the preface to Fire And Forget, a collection of short stories by veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan:

On the one hand, we want to remind you ... of what happened ... and insist you recollect those men and women who fought, bled, and died in dangerous and far-away places. On the other hand, there's nothing most of us would rather do than leave these wars behind. No matter what we do next, the soft tension of the trigger pull is something we'll carry with us forever.

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NWPR Books
9:56 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Sometimes The 'Tough Teen' Is Quietly Writing Stories

Matt de la Peña is the author of Ball Don't Lie, Mexican WhiteBoy, We Were Here, I Will Save You and, most recently, The Living.
Random House Children's Books

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 1:56 pm

A few years ago I did an author visit at an overcrowded junior high school in a rougher part of San Antonio. I write young adult novels that feature working-class, "multicultural" characters, so I'm frequently invited to speak at urban schools like this.

As is often the case, the principal and I talked as the kids filed into the auditorium. The student body was mostly Hispanic, he told me, and over 90 percent qualified for free and reduced lunch. It was an underprivileged school, a traditionally low-achieving school, but they were working hard to raise performance.

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NWPR Books
1:53 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

A Panorama Of Devastation: Drawing Of WWI Battle Spans 24 Feet

Detail from Plate 11 of Joe Sacco's The Great War: July 1, 1916: The First Day of the Battle of the Somme. On July 1st, at precisely 7:30 a.m., the attack commences.
Joe Sacco Courtesy of W. W. Norton & Company

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 3:58 pm

Joe Sacco is a cartoonist, graphic novelist and journalist; he's best-known for his dispatches from today's regions of conflict, like the Middle East and Bosnia, in cartoon form. But for his latest book, The Great War, Sacco turns his eye on history. He's recreated of one of the worst battles of World War I, the first day of the Battle of the Somme, from its hopeful beginning to its brutal end.

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NWPR Books
1:53 pm
Sun November 10, 2013

How Cynthia Rylant Discovered The Poetry Of Storytelling

Courtesy of Beach Lane Books

Originally published on Sun November 10, 2013 3:58 pm

Cynthia Rylant is a renowned author who has written for all age groups and been honored with both Caldecott and Newbery prizes for her work.

Her latest book, God Got a Dog, is a collection of poems that only took her one day to write.

"One poem ... just came out of the blue, and I sat down and I wrote it. And then after I finished writing it, I got an idea for another God poem, and so I wrote that one. And so it started in the morning and then by the end of the day, I was finished writing the book," she tells All Things Considered host Arun Rath.

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Sun November 10, 2013

A Youngest 'Daughter' Remembers Famines, Shame And Hope

AFP/Getty Images

Hong Ying's autobiography, Daughter of the River, is doubly astonishing. First, it's an account of the Cultural Revolution that's not written by an intellectual. There's a certain genre of Chinese memoir that looks at upheaval under Mao through an elite lens, and I have to admit, I've been growing tired of those books. But Hong Ying comes from a very different background indeed.

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NWPR Books
3:10 pm
Sat November 9, 2013

Amy Tan's Latest: Mothers, Daughters And The Oldest Profession

Family secrets, life-changing betrayals and the paradox of wondering about the old country while belonging to the new are at the heart of Amy Tan's work. She enthralled readers of her phenomenally successful first novel, The Joy Luck Club (1989), with the interlocking stories of four Chinese-born mothers and their four California-born daughters. Tan followed up with equally enduring portraits of fierce immigrant mothers who withheld secrets of the past while pushing their daughters forward in The Kitchen God's Wife (1991), and The Bonesetter's Daughter (2001).

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NWPR Books
2:01 pm
Sat November 9, 2013

'A Rose Is A Rose Is A' 75-Year-Old Kid's Book By Gertrude Stein

Excerpted from The World Is Round.
Courtesy of Harper Design

You might know Gertrude Stein from that college class where you studied her experimental fiction, or maybe you remember her as the host of salons for famous 20th-century artists like Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway.

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