NWPR Books

NWPR Books
12:06 am
Mon August 12, 2013

For Disaster Preparedness: Pack A Library Card?

Volunteers at the Queens Library in the Far Rockaway section of Queens hand out coats to people affected by Hurricane Sandy.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 12, 2013 8:43 am

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, libraries in New York helped the storm's victims turn a new page. Librarians helped thousands of people fill out relief forms, connect to the Internet and make plans to rebuild.

The New Dorp branch of the New York Public Library in Staten Island wasn't damaged during Sandy. But just a few blocks away, houses were inundated with as much as 16 feet of water. And days after the storm, many of the library's patrons still lacked the most basic services.

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NWPR Books
12:39 pm
Sun August 11, 2013

'Dressing Constitutionally': When Fashion And Laws Collide

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 7:19 am

How short is too short, according to the law? Wardrobe choices, or lack thereof, raise all sorts of issues — from First Amendment concerns to questions of equality, sexuality and control.

Ruthann Robson's new book, Dressing Constitutionally Hierarchy, Sexuality, and Democracy from Our Hairstyles to Our Shoes, examines anecdotes throughout history demonstrating the ways fashion and laws can conflict or influence one another. Robinson talks with Jacki Lyden, host of weekends on All Things Considered, about some of those examples.

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NWPR Books
9:38 am
Sun August 11, 2013

'Books On Bikes' Helps Seattle Librarians Pedal To The Masses

Farmers market visitors browse the offerings of Seattle Public Library's "Books on Bikes" program.
Gabriel Spitzer for NPR

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 11:09 am

By the loading dock of Seattle's downtown library, librarian Jared Mills checks his tire pressure, secures his iPads and locks down about 100 books to an aluminum trailer the size of a steamer trunk. The scene is reminiscent of something you'd see in an action movie, when the hero is gearing up for a big fight, but Mills is gearing up for something very different.

"If you're not prepared and don't have a lot of experience hauling a trailer, it can be kind of dangerous," Mills says, especially when you're going downhill. "The trailer can hold up to 500 pounds."

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NWPR Books
9:29 am
Sun August 11, 2013

Author, Feminist, Pioneer: The Unlikely Queen Of Sci-Fi

Stephen Burt latest book is the poetry collection, Belmont.

We can go to science fiction for its sense of wonder, its power to take us to far-off places and future times. We can go to political fiction to understand injustice in our own time, to see what should change. We may go to poetry — epic or lyric, old or new — for what cannot change, for a sense of human limits, as well as for the music in its words.

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NWPR Books
4:43 am
Sun August 11, 2013

Contested Memories Find Common Ground In 'The Storied South'

For four decades, William Ferris tracked down some of the most inspirational artists and historians of the American South. He sat down with Eudora Welty, Alice Walker, Pete Seeger, Bobby Rush and Alex Haley, capturing their reflections on tape and their images on camera.

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NWPR Books
2:20 am
Sun August 11, 2013

The Beauty And Calm Of 'Thinking In Numbers'

Inga Ivanova iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 14, 2013 11:09 am

There are numbers all around us. They are in every word we speak or write, and in the passage of time. Everything in our world has a numeric foundation, but most of us don't see those numbers. It's different for Daniel Tammet. He's a savant with synesthesia, a condition that allows him to see beyond simple numerals — he experiences them.

Tammet drew attention around the world about a decade ago when he recited, from memory, the number pi. It took him five hours to call out 22,514 digits with no mistakes.

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NWPR Books
3:55 am
Fri August 9, 2013

Book News: Barbara Mertz, Mystery Novelist Of Many Names, Dies

Author Barbara Mertz died Thursday morning, Aug. 8, 2013, at her home in Frederick, Maryland.
ASSOCIATED PRESS

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

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NWPR Books
1:03 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

'Dork Diaries' Reveal Secrets Of 'Not-So-Fabulous' Teen Life

Aladdin

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 4:13 pm

This month, NPR's Backseat Book Club goes snooping in Nikki Maxwell's "private and confidential" Dork Diaries. But the secret's already gotten out; the series launched four years ago, and there are already 12 million books in print in 34 different languages. The sixth in the series — Tales From a Not-So-Happy Heartbreaker — was just published in June.

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NWPR Books
4:43 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Book News: Publishers Object To Proposed Punishments For Apple

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 7:15 am

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

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NWPR Books
4:03 am
Thu August 8, 2013

Magic And Politics Beyond The Portal In 'Guide'

It's one of the most familiar stories in fantasy: someone from our world stumbles on a gateway to a world entirely other — usually magical, sometimes dangerous, and always ripe for a great adventure. But despite the iconic image of a paradise just beyond the doorway, the portal fantasy is often, at heart, a cynical work. After all, some of folkore's most notable archetypes were supernatural threats who crossed from their world to ours to beleaguer us.

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