NWPR Books

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
NWPR Books
3:46 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

10 Years, One Book: Norman Rush Brews A Literary Distillation

On the surface, Norman Rush's new novel is about a middle-aged man, Ned, who reunites with a group of college friends after one member of the group dies unexpectedly. But what transpires over the next few days ahead of the memorial service is less about Ned's relationship with these men and the heady, self-absorbed days of yore, and more about how Ned sees himself.

Read more
NWPR Books
12:38 pm
Sun September 8, 2013

'Five Days' Of Ambiguous Morality At Katrina-Hit Hospital

An aerial view of Memorial Medical Center surrounded by floodwaters on Sept. 9, 2005.
Kathy Anderson The Times-Picayune/Landov

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 3:26 pm

If we didn't experience Hurricane Katrina ourselves, we saw it: the ominous red pinwheel on the radar, the wrecked Superdome, the corpses. And certainly we saw our shame — America's inequality, negligence and violence were all laid bare by the storm.

But one tragedy went largely unwitnessed. And this is the subject of Sheri Fink's provocative new book, Five Days at Memorial: Life and Death in a Storm-Ravaged Hospital. The Pulitzer Prize-winning writer examines what happens when people make life-and-death decisions in a state of anarchy.

Read more
NWPR Books
12:14 am
Sun September 8, 2013

The 'Wild' Story Of Cheryl Strayed And Her Long-Lost Half-Sister

In addition to Wild, Cheryl Strayed is also the author of Torch and Tiny Beautiful Things.
Joni Kabana Courtesy Knopf

Originally published on Sun September 8, 2013 10:40 am

Back in 1995, Cheryl Strayed hiked 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail along the West Coast of the United States. After the three-month journey, she came out on the other side stronger in every way: better able to cope with her divorce, her past drug abuse and her mother's death.

Strayed described the life-changing trek in her 2012 bestselling memoir Wild, and received countless emails from readers describing how connected they felt to her story. But there was one message that stood out in particular:

Read more
NWPR Books
2:10 pm
Sat September 7, 2013

'Be Mine': Love And Identity Tangled In Tehran

Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 2:33 pm

How far would you go for love? In Sara Farizan's debut novel, a studious 17-year-old girl named Sahar finds herself deeply, head-over-heels in love with her childhood best friend and neighbor — another teenage girl named Nasrin.

Their story takes place in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal, making their love that much more forbidden. When Nasrin is engaged to be married to a man, Sahar is crushed. In order to openly be with Nasrin, Sahar considers gender-reassignment surgery, which is more accepted in Iran than homosexuality.

Read more

Pages