NWPR Books

NWPR Books
10:25 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Skeptic Takes A Tour Of Self-Help's 'Promise Land'

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 12:29 pm

A lot of self-help books have simple formulas. They promise 30 days or 10 easy steps to having thinner thighs, landing a spouse, having a great sex life, starting a new life after divorce, climbing the corporate ladder while dressed for success, and, of course, finding inner peace. And while many swear by the power of their favorite self-help philosophy, there are still a lot of skeptics.

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NWPR Books
10:17 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Book News: Kenyan Writer Comes Out In Defiance Of Anti-Gay Laws

Binyavanga Wainaina, editor of Kwani?, in 2003 in Nairobi, Kenya.
Khalil Senosi AP

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

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NWPR Books
9:00 am
Wed January 22, 2014

New Mavis Staples Biography Will 'Take You There'

Originally published on Wed January 22, 2014 6:33 pm

There are vocalists, there are singers and then there are voices — the first aims for the ear, the second for the brain, the third for the heart. A voice turns a composition into an emotional experience. And each time we have that experience, it's the depth of the connection that we remember. Frank Sinatra was a voice. So too were Marvin Gaye, George Jones and Billie Holiday. Aretha Franklin is a voice. So is Bob Dylan. And so is the Staple Singers' Mavis Staples.

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NWPR Books
8:06 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Here, Kitty, Kitty: Even Dog Lovers Should Read 'The Guest Cat'

The best novels are often the ones that change us. They speak to a void, sometimes quietly, other times loudly from the proverbial rooftop. When done right, they bring to the surface important questions and compel us to look inward. Over time, they stay with us — like small miracles.

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NWPR Books
9:23 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Exclusive First Read (And Listen!): B.J. Novak's 'One More Thing'

B.J. Novak is a writer and actor best known for his work on NBC's Emmy Award-winning comedy series The Office. One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories is his first collection.
Jennifer Rocholl

You may recognize the name B.J. Novak from the credit sequence of The Office — he was a writer and executive producer. He also played the entertainingly amoral Ryan Howard. Now, Novak is expanding his scope beyond the walls of Dunder Mifflin and taking on a range of human experience in this quirky new story collection, which ranges from linked vignettes to two-line miniplays about carrot cake.

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NWPR Books
6:16 am
Tue January 21, 2014

Life's Minutiae Gain New Magnitude In Dunn's 'Lines' Of Poetry

Poems dwell in an ambiguous space, shelved somewhere between fiction and fact, imagination and experience. Even when poems seem wholly authentic, we can't assume they're accurate — after all, "poetic license" is the catch-all excuse for blurry lines between truth and fabrication.

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NWPR Books
9:02 am
Mon January 20, 2014

The Politics Of Passing 1964's Civil Rights Act

Demonstrators march down Constitution Avenue during the March on Washington on Aug. 28, 1963.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Mon January 20, 2014 3:35 pm

Martin Luther King may not have had a vote in Congress, but he and the movement he helped lead were integral to getting the civil rights bill introduced. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the passage of that bill, now known as the Civil Rights Act.

Among other things, the act outlawed discrimination in public accommodations — including restaurants, hotels and motels — ending the era of legal segregation in those places.

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NWPR Books
11:50 am
Sun January 19, 2014

A Half-Century Later, Fearing's 'Big Clock' Still Ticks On

iStockphoto.com

Even if you've never read Kenneth Fearing's noir novel The Big Clock, it's likely you already know its basic story and its biggest twist: the book was (very) loosely adapted as the popular (and pretty excellent) 1987 thriller No Way Out, starring Kevin Costner, Gene Hackman and Sean Young.

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NWPR Books
8:59 am
Sun January 19, 2014

'Death Class' Taught Students A Lot About Life

iStockphoto

Plenty of college courses delve into the big philosophical questions of life, but Norma Bowe's class was different. For years, the nurse and college professor taught a class that forced students to confront death head-on — there were poems about death, trips to cemeteries and funeral homes, and "goodbye letter" writing assignments. At its core, the class became an opportunity for students to try to come to grips with the death or pending death of a loved one in their own lives.

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NWPR Books
7:29 am
Sun January 19, 2014

A Film Producer On The Rise, Hollywood Gets Biblical

Kevin Kwan

The online magazine Ozy covers people, places and trends on the horizon. Co-founder Carlos Watson joins All Things Considered regularly to tell us about the site's latest feature stories.

This week, Watson talks about a rising film producer who is getting his big break this year and the swath of films coming out dealing with biblical stories and Greek mythology.

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