NWPR Books

NWPR Books
8:57 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Film Critic Kenneth Turan Picks 54 Films That Are 'Not To Be Missed'

The 1950 film Sunset Boulevard, starring Gloria Swanson and William Holden, is one of the 54 movies Kenneth Turan says should not be missed.
CinemaPhoto Corbis

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 9:40 am

You normally hear Los Angeles Times and Morning Edition film critic Kenneth Turan reviewing new movies, but this week, we're talking about old films with him instead. That's because he's written a new book called Not to Be Missed: Fifty-Four Favorites from a Lifetime of Film. In it, he offers up tidbits of Hollywood history and behind-the-scenes drama, as well as his critical analysis of some of the world's greatest movies — some familiar, some obscure.

Read more
NWPR Books
12:28 pm
Wed June 4, 2014

'Burning Down The House' Makes The Case Against Juvenile Incarceration

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 1:57 pm

The American rate of juvenile incarceration is seven times that of Great Britain, and 18 times that of France. It costs, on average, $88,000 a year to keep a youth locked up — far more than the U.S. spends on a child's education.

But the biggest problem with juvenile incarceration, author Nell Bernstein tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies, is that instead of helping troubled kids get their lives back on track, detention usually makes their problems worse, and sets them in the direction of more crime and self-destructive behavior.

Read more
NWPR Books
7:39 am
Wed June 4, 2014

'Night Heron' And 'The Director' Provide A Double Shot Of Intrigue

I suppose it's preaching to the converted to announce that David Ignatius has done it again. But here he is, having written yet another deeply engaging spy thriller, rooted at that point where the intricacies of the intelligence community and the everyday world of civilians converge. However, it's a reviewer's duty to point out some fascinating new turns in the man's work — in particular, the highlighting of Internet communications as a source of secret information over the conventional collection of data in the field, and the actual manipulation of events by means of writing code.

Read more
NWPR Books
2:36 pm
Tue June 3, 2014

From Lunch (n.) To Balding (adj.), Some Words Are Just 'Bad English'

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 8:02 pm

Ammon Shea, author of Reading the OED, has just come out with a new book about words — words like "dilapidated," "balding" and "lunch." Shea says those words were once frowned upon, as were more than 200 other words he has compiled.

Read more
NWPR Books
8:32 am
Tue June 3, 2014

'Kingfisher' Girls Will Dance Their Way Into Your Heart

I'm completely confident in stating, without an ounce of hyperbole, that this is the best fairy tale retelling I've ever read.

I don't say this lightly. I've lived and breathed fairy tales for as long as I can remember. Fairy tales were an alphabet for me, and subversive retellings were the language in which I found my favorite poems, short fiction and novels. And Genevieve Valentine's The Girls at the Kingfisher Club, in setting "The 12 Dancing Princesses" in Prohibition-era New York, uses this language to sing jazz standards and teach me the Charleston.

Read more
NWPR Books
2:10 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

'How Not To Be Wrong' In Math Class? Add A Dose Of Skepticism

Rudyanto Wijaya iStockphoto

Originally published on Sat June 7, 2014 8:01 pm

In How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking, University of Wisconsin professor Jordan Ellenberg celebrates the virtues of mathematics, especially when they're taught well. He writes that a math teacher has to be a guide to good reasoning, and "a math course that fails do so is essentially teaching the student to be a very slow, buggy version of Microsoft Excel. And, let's be frank, that really is what many of our math courses are doing."

Read more
NWPR Books
8:48 am
Mon June 2, 2014

'Drunk Mom' Tackles New Motherhood And Old Addictions

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 9:35 am

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Read more
NWPR Books
2:05 am
Sun June 1, 2014

The Humble Knish: Chock-Full Of Carbs And History

A woman in front of Mrs. Stahl's knish shop in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighborhood where author Laura Silver went as a child.
Courtesy of the University Press of New England

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 4:45 am

When Laura Silver's favorite knish shop in New York closed it doors, she started to investigate why it shut down. And that led to a years-long research project, she tells Weekend Edition's Rachel Martin.

Her book Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food explores the history of the baked delicacy filled with meat or vegetables and what it means to the people who love it.

Read more
NWPR Books
9:19 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Magic From The Margins In Long-Awaited 'Long Hidden'

Originally published on

As I was growing up, the fantasy worlds of J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis provided a way to escape a childhood I wasn't quite sure I would survive. Myth is powerful stuff; it opened doorways to alternate realities that helped me see more clearly the twisted power lines that dictated my upbringing. But that was my childhood: the childhood of a white, middle class girl who could relate to middle class white hobbits and the Pevensie children and the icky evil they encountered (which, trust me, was very icky).

Read more
NWPR Books
6:08 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Burton Calls On 'Star Trek' Fans To Bring 'Reading Rainbow' To The Next Generation

Reading Rainbow went off the air in 2009, but the show's host, LeVar Burton, is keeping the brand alive. He is raising money for an interactive website to "bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere."
GPN/Nebraska ETV Network and WNE

What happens when you tap into the nostalgia surrounding not one, but two, beloved television franchises? LeVar Burton is about to find out.

For 26 years host Burton encouraged kids to embark on reading adventures on the PBS show Reading Rainbow. After the show went off the air in 2009, Burton acquired the rights to the brand and its library.

Read more

Pages