NWPR Books

NWPR Books
8:36 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Suburban Islands Of Regret, More Than 'Nine Inches' Apart

Nine inches is the minimum distance required between middle school students during slow dances in the title story of Tom Perrotta's first book of short stories in 19 years. Nine miles — or make that nine light-years — is the distance between many of the narrators in these 10 stories, and the family and friends they've alienated with their stupid mistakes.

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NWPR Books
7:57 am
Wed September 11, 2013

Book News: Richard Dawkins Under Fire For Child Abuse Remarks

Author and evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins made a March 2012 visit to NPR headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Doriane Raiman NPR

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

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed September 11, 2013

In These 'Gardens,' The Tree Rings Of The Radical Left

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 2:48 pm

Mohsin Hamid's latest novel is called How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia.

Jonathan Lethem's latest novel, Dissident Gardens, is expansive in scale. Chronologically speaking, it begins in the 1930s with Communist Party meetings in the U.S. It passes through the rise of McCarthyism, the establishment of the New York Mets, the hippie Age of Aquarius and the AIDS crisis. It ventures briefly abroad, to such places as behind-the-Iron-Curtain East Germany and war-torn Nicaragua. It ends in the Obama era of Occupy sit-ins and a rampant TSA.

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NWPR Books
2:20 pm
Tue September 10, 2013

After Tragedy, Lost Live On In 'Maid's Version' Of The Story

iStockphoto.com

For readers new to Daniel Woodrell's work, The Maid's Version is a perfect introduction and an invitation to read more. It's a short book — almost a novella at a mere 164 pages — but there are lifetimes captured here. Woodrell sets the story in his beloved Missouri Ozarks, and he writes with clear-eyed observation, introducing the reader to characters whose lives are shaped as much by their rural landscape as by the moral ambiguities — the collective lies, constraints and collusions — that form the necessary glue holding their community together.

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NWPR Books
11:00 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Woodrow Wilson Brought New Executive Style To The White House

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 1:41 pm

Woodrow Wilson, America's 28th president, left the White House in 1921 after serving two terms. But today he remains a divisive figure.

He's associated with a progressive income tax and the creation of the Federal Reserve. During his re-election bid, he campaigned on his efforts to keep us out of World War I, but in his second term, he led the country into that war, saying the U.S. had to make the world safe for democracy. The move ended America's isolationism and ushered in a new era of American military and foreign policy.

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NWPR Books
10:39 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Photos: Enter A World Of Cupcake Sledding And Broccoli Lawns

Broccoli Mower: "Douglas stubbornly refused to accept his wife's opinion that he had let the lawn go too long without attention."
Christopher Boffoli Courtesy Workman Publishing

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 9:28 am

Lots of us play with our food. But for photographer Christopher Boffoli, it's become a full-time career.

Boffoli rose to fame a couple of years ago. You may have seen some of his photographs — amusing dioramas featuring miniature plastic figurines in dramatic settings crafted from food — when they went viral back in 2011. More than 200 such images — at least half of which, Boffoli says, have not been previously published — are collected in a new book, Big Appetites.

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NWPR Books
4:17 am
Tue September 10, 2013

Book News: NoViolet Bulawayo, Jhumpa Lahiri Shortlisted For Booker Prize

NoViolet Bulawayo is a Zimbabwean author. She is currently a Stegner Fellow at Stanford University.
Smeeta Mahanti Courtesy Reagan Arthur Books

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

  • The shortlist for the Man Booker Prize, Britain's most prestigious literary award, was announced Tuesday morning. Although the prize is limited to writers from the British Commonwealth and the Republic of Ireland, the list skews international, and includes authors from Zimbabwe, New Zealand and Canada. The complete shortlist is:

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Tue September 10, 2013

'Someone' Quietly Mesmerizes With Intimate, Ordinary Story

Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 3:04 pm

I'll be honest. I often judge books by their titles — and Someone, isn't promising. It's generic, vague. Flat. And in the hands of a less talented author, this beautifully intimate novel would have been just that.

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NWPR Books
12:05 am
Tue September 10, 2013

During Katrina, 'Memorial' Doctors Chose Who Lived, Who Died

Floodwaters from Hurricane Katrina fill the streets near downtown New Orleans on Aug. 30, 2005.
David J. Phillip AP

Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 4:08 am

On Aug. 30, 2005, a doctor climbed the stairs through a New Orleans hospital to the helipad, which was rarely used, and so old and rusted it wasn't even painted with the hospital's current name.

From that helipad over Memorial Medical Center, the doctor looked out over New Orleans, now flooding after Hurricane Katrina. He considered the more than 2,000 people in the hospital below — 244 of them patients.

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NWPR Books
10:41 am
Mon September 9, 2013

For Novelist Jonathan Lethem, Radicalism Runs In The Family

Jonathan Lethem's other books include The Ecstasy of Influence, Chronic City and Girl in Landscape.
John Lucas Courtesy Doubleday

Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 12:01 pm

People who don't believe in God but have an almost religious belief in causes are at the center of Jonathan Lethem's new novel, Dissident Gardens. The novel opens in 1955 Queens, N.Y., when Rose Zimmer, a secular Jew and Communist, is expelled from the party, ostensibly because the local committee disapproves of her affair with a black police officer.

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