NWPR Books

NWPR Books
11:58 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

In 'Alphabet' Mysteries, 'S' Is Really For Santa Barbara

The Santa Barbara County Courthouse, a Spanish-Moorish landmark, was built in 1929.
Anna Fox (harshlight) Flickr

Originally published on Thu August 15, 2013 6:27 am

Novelist Sue Grafton is a real hoot. She's just as likely to talk, in that native Kentucky drawl of hers, about her prized silver-coin mint julep cups as about a juicy murder mystery. But she does have a crime writer's imagination.

"I always say to people, 'Don't cross me, OK? Because you will be so sorry,'" she says. "'I have ways to kill you you ain't even thought of yet.'"

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NWPR Books
12:39 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

Shipping: The 'Invisible Industry' That Clothes And Feeds You

Ninety percent of what we wear, eat and consume is carried by container ships like this one at the state-run Jaya Container Terminal of Sri Lanka's port of Colombo.
Lakruwan Wanniarachchi AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 1:38 pm

Imagine a ship carrying goods in containers that, if lined up, would stretch around 11,000 miles long, or nearly halfway around the planet. Rose George spent several weeks aboard one such ship as research for her new book, Ninety Percent of Everything: Inside Shipping, the Invisible Industry That Puts Clothes on Your Back, Gas in Your Car and Food on Your Plate.

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NWPR Books
12:09 pm
Wed August 14, 2013

September Kids' Book Club Pick: 'Wonder'

Random House

When Madeleine L'Engle won the Newbery Prize for A Wrinkle in Time, she ended her speech with the thought that a book "can be a star, 'explosive material, capable of stirring up fresh life endlessly,' a living fire to lighten the darkness, leading out into the expanding universe."

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NWPR Books
11:20 am
Wed August 14, 2013

'Happiness, Like Water' Based On Nigerian-American Writer's Reality

Montreux Rotholtz Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 4:43 pm

Nigerian-American author Chinelo Okparanta was shortlisted for this year's prestigious Caine Prize for African Writing. But she says that initially, writing short stories wasn't a style she thought she'd be good at.

"When I started, I thought I was a novelist, and I had written some short stories and I thought that they failed at being whatever short stories should be," Okparanta tells Tell Me More's guest host Celeste Headlee. "I'm not sure how it ended up that I somehow learned to write a short story."

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NWPR Books
4:38 am
Wed August 14, 2013

Book News: Handwriting Offers Clues In Shakespeare Debate

Shakespeare's handwriting may offer clues to a mysterious passage in Thomas Kyd's Spanish Tragedy.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

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

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Wed August 14, 2013

'March' Sheds New Light On A Civil Rights Hero

Courtesy Top Shelf Productions

While the cynics among us might argue that America's high ideals and lofty rhetoric rarely transcend their inscriptions on stone, few would disagree that the 1963 March on Washington was one of the nation's finest hours. It was a transformational moment, and a portent for future blows to segregation and injustice.

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NWPR Books
4:13 am
Tue August 13, 2013

Book News: Museum, Kelly Clarkson Vie For Jane Austen's Ring

Kelly Clarkson bought a ring once owned by Jane Austen at auction, but the U.K. is trying to keep it in the country.
Harper Smith

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

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NWPR Books
3:03 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Heading West: The Gritty, Luminous 'Son Of A Gun'

Justin St. Germain teaches at the University of New Mexico.
William Bledsoe

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 5:17 pm

My parents married young — both were still undergraduates — and so by the time my father started graduate school in mathematics, he and my mother were the harried parents of three small children. They wanted us to see America. And so my father chose the University of Arizona — about as far as you could go from our West Virginia home without falling off the country's opposite edge. On our way, we stopped in Tombstone.

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NWPR Books
10:07 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Addictive 'Infatuations' Takes A Metaphysical Look At Crime

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 10:48 am

If you're like me, you probably feel exhausted just thinking about how much cultural stuff is out there. A friend recently told me he was reading an acclaimed Hungarian novelist whose books I've never opened. "Please tell me he stinks," I begged, "so I don't have to read him."

"Actually, he's great," came the reply, and I groaned. This was something I didn't want to know.

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NWPR Books
9:50 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Behind 'The New Black': The Real Piper's Prison Story

Taylor Schilling plays Piper in Netflix's Orange Is the New Black, which is based on Piper Kerman's memoir of her year in prison.
Jessica Miglio Netflix

Originally published on Fri August 16, 2013 8:18 am

Piper Kerman was a 24-year-old Smith College graduate in 1993, when she flew to Belgium with a suitcase of money intended for a West African drug lord.

This misguided adventure started when she began a romantic relationship with a woman who was part of what Kerman describes as a "clique of impossibly stylish and cool lesbians in their mid-30s." That woman was involved in a drug-smuggling ring, and got Kerman involved, too, though Kerman left that life after several months.

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