NWPR Books

NWPR Books
1:31 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

David Dinkins: Leading New York Is The 'Greatest Job There Is'

Former New York City Mayor David Dinkins
Jenny Dossin PublicAffairs

As New York City enters the final stretch of its latest mayoral campaign, Tell Me More host Michel Martin hears from a former Big Apple mayor who made history: David Dinkins.

Winning the office in 1989, Dinkins earned the glare of national attention not only as the mayor of one of the country's most important cities, but also as that city's first black mayor.

It was a difficult time for the city. Race relations were fractured, the economy was struggling, and many neighborhoods were gripped by a crack epidemic.

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NWPR Books
9:42 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Richard Dawkins Opens Up In 'Appetite For Wonder'

Courtesy of Ecco

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:42 am

He may be the most controversial atheist on the planet today, but there was once a time when Richard Dawkins was a respectable, churchgoing Christian.

In his new memoir, An Appetite for Wonder, the Oxford scientist recalls his erstwhile pious life: "I prayed every night ...[and kneeled] at the altar, where, I believed, an angel might appear to me in a vision." When the apparition finally came it was from a man with a long beard who claimed to understand how human beings evolved. Not that guy with the beard. He was an Englishman named Charles Darwin.

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NWPR Books
9:22 am
Wed September 25, 2013

The Pianist Who Plays 'The Rascal And The Sparrow'

Antonio Pompa-Baldi's new album is a tribute to Francis Poulenc and Edith Piaf.
Steinway & Sons

How do you make a piano sing? Italian-born pianist Antonio Pompa-Baldi tackles the question on his new album, The Rascal and the Sparrow, a tribute to Francis Poulenc and Edith Piaf, two titans of French song who each died 50 years ago. Pompa-Baldi shared his thoughts on the project in this email chat with NPR Music's Tom Huizenga.

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NWPR Books
4:25 am
Wed September 25, 2013

Book News: Donald Antrim, Karen Russell Win 'Genius Grant' Awards

Karen Russell's debut novel, Swamplandia! was a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012. Her most recent work is a collection of short stories, Vampires in the Lemon Grove.
Michael Lionstar

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

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NWPR Books
3:18 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

NFL's A Nonprofit? Author Says It's Time For Football Reform

Joseph Gareri istockphoto.com

Baseball may be America's pastime, but if you're counting dollar signs and eyeballs on fall TV, football takes home the trophy. Part sport, part national addiction, part cult, writer Gregg Easterbrook says, the "game that bleeds red, white and blue" could use some serious reform.

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NWPR Books
12:48 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Noir Storytelling And Art Thievery In Living Color In 'RASL'

It's drunk lightning. No, more of an Escherian stair step. Whatever you decide to call it, expect to spend a fair amount of the time you're reading Jeff Smith's RASL obsessing over the antihero's nose. Smith's dark tale of a dimension-jumping scientist, whose name is pronounced "razzle," is relayed in a jaggy style that couldn't be more different from that of the artist's Pogo-esque epic Bone. And smack in the middle of almost every panel, like a squiggle of punctuation for this comic's many idiosyncrasies, is RASL's strange schnoz.

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NWPR Books
12:23 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

'Reaped' Is A Reminder That No One Is Promised Tomorrow

iStockphoto.com

After winning a National Book Award for her novel Salvage the Bones, Jesmyn Ward has written a memoir that's framed by the deaths of five young men in her life. The cause of each death was different, but she sees them all as connected to being poor and black in the rural South:

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NWPR Books
8:10 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Stephen King On Getting Scared: 'Nothing Like Your First Time'

Stephen King is the author of more than 50 books, including The Shining, Carrie and The Dark Tower series.
Shane Leonard Courtesy of Scribner

Remember the first time you felt really terrified — and liked it? "Being scared is like sex," Stephen King says. "There's nothing like your first time."

For a lot of readers, King's 1977 horror novel The Shining may have been their first fictional scare. "An awful lot of the people who read The Shining were like 14 years old, they were at summer camp, they read it under the covers with a flashlight on," King tells NPR's David Greene.

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NWPR Books
4:45 am
Tue September 24, 2013

Book News: 'Captain Underpants' Tops List Of Most-Challenged Books

Scholastic Inc.

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

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NWPR Books
5:38 pm
Mon September 23, 2013

With Controlled, Clinical Prose Lahiri Explores Love And Sacrifice

Writer Jhumpa Lahiri attends the Fox Searchlight premiere of The Namesake.
Evan Agostini Getty Images

Jhumpa Lahiri's new book has been nominated for the National Book Award and shortlisted for the Man Booker prize. It's an ambitious undertaking, spanning decades and continents as the author tells the story of three generations of a family in Calcutta and Rhode Island.

The story opens with brothers Udayan and Subhash sneaking into an exclusive golf club near their home in Calcutta. Udayan, the younger brother, is bold and daring; Subhash tags along, timid but unwilling to let his brother take such a risk alone.

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