NWPR Books

NWPR Books
10:32 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Talent Or Skill?: Homing In On The Elusive 'Sports Gene'

According to author David Epstein, hitters like the Los Angeles Angels' Albert Pujols look at the movement of the pitcher's shoulder, torso or hand to help them hit the ball.
Brian Bahr Getty Images

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 8:59 pm

We've all had the experience of watching a great athletic performance — from gymnast Mary Lou Retton defying gravity to Michael Jordan sinking a mind-blowing turnaround jumper — and wondered: Were they born with that talent or can you get there with hard work and practice?

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NWPR Books
4:20 am
Mon August 5, 2013

Book News: Justice Department Proposes Punishments For Apple

The Justice Department is asking the court to force Apple to submit to broad oversight.
Eugene Hoshiko AP

Originally published on Mon August 5, 2013 11:10 am

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

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NWPR Books
2:03 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Finding Redemption In The Karaoke Bar

Sixteen years ago, Rob Sheffield had everything going for him. He was young, ambitious, working as a music critic in Charlottesville, Va., and married to the woman he thought he'd spend the rest of his life with.

All that changed suddenly when his wife died of a pulmonary embolism. Sheffield was a widow and not yet 30 years old.

There were many factors that helped him dig himself out of the deep depression that followed: moving to a new city, the simple passage of time. But the most unexpected antidote for his grief came in the form of karaoke.

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NWPR Books
1:38 pm
Sun August 4, 2013

Charles Manson: Master Manipulator, Even As A Child

Originally published on Sun August 4, 2013 3:38 pm

In the summer of 1969, all eyes were on Los Angeles, where nine people had been murdered. Among the dead was Sharon Tate, a movie star and wife of movie director Roman Polanski. Police said a cult called "The Family" was responsible.

The leader of The Family was the charismatic, ruthless and manipulative Charles Manson. America was captivated by him, and by the young women who, under his spell, had snuck into two houses in Los Angeles to murder people they had never met. The trial was nationally broadcast, and Manson became a household name.

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NWPR Books
2:35 am
Sun August 4, 2013

'The Moonstone' Is A Hidden Gem Of A Detective Novel

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni's latest book is Oleander Girl.

I was about 12 when I first encountered The Moonstone — or a Classics Illustrated version of it — digging through an old trunk in my grandfather's house on a rainy Bengali afternoon. I loved the Classics Illustrated series (the graphic novels of my youth that simplified famous novels for children), presenting us with swashbuckling plotlines, and heroes and villains that were unmistakably, unashamedly, what they were supposed to be.

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NWPR Books
9:37 am
Sat August 3, 2013

Not My Job: Charles Frazier Gets Quizzed On Frasier Crane

Greg Martin Courtesy of Charles Frazier

There are plenty of small-town guys who stick around, get a boring job and dream of writing a great novel. And nothing ticks off those guys like the ones who actually pull it off: Charles Frazier's first novel, Cold Mountain, was an international best-seller, and he followed it up with Thirteen Moons and Nightwoods.

Here in Asheville, N.C., we've invited Frazier to play a game called "I'm listening, Seattle." Three questions for Charles Frazier about Frasier Crane, fictional radio psychiatrist.

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NWPR Books
3:01 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Bodies On The Boardwalk: Murder Stirs A Sleepy Jersey Shore

The Jersey shore's iconic Star Jet roller coaster was inundated after Superstorm Sandy.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

When writer Chris Grabenstein plots his mysteries, the murders happen in the corny nooks of New Jersey's Jersey shore. After all, there's something delightfully cheesy about a beach town.

"I guess I'm a cheesy guy. I like this kind of stuff," Grabenstein says. "Ever since I was a kid I loved tourist towns."

The author points out shop names as we walk along his stretch of the shore. There's the Sunglass Menagerie, an ice cream shop called Do Me A Flavor, Shore Good Donuts and How You Brewin' coffee. I'll spare you the rest — Long Beach Island has 18 miles of this stuff.

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NWPR Books
10:26 am
Thu August 1, 2013

'America's Test Kitchen' On Grilling Peaches, Tofu And Burgers

Jack Bishop of America's Test Kitchen says the trick to grilling peaches is using fruit that's ripe but firm.
mccun934 via Flickr

When Bridget Lancaster and Jack Bishop talk about preparing food on the public TV series America's Test Kitchen, they're really good at explaining why the recipe works. Bishop is the editorial director of the show, and Lancaster is the lead instructor of its cooking school. They've both contributed to the new America's Test Kitchen DIY Cookbook. They join Fresh Air's Terry Gross to talk about preparing summer foods, and to answer some cooking questions from the Fresh Air staff.

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NWPR Books
4:41 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Book News: The Smell Of Chocolate Boosts Book Sales, Study Says

Originally published on Thu August 1, 2013 4:58 am

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

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NWPR Books
12:00 am
Thu August 1, 2013

How Andrew Carnegie Turned His Fortune Into A Library Legacy

Carnegie ultimately gave away $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country. "In bestowing charity the main consideration should be to help those who help themselves," he wrote.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 8, 2013 1:03 pm

Andrew Carnegie was once the richest man in the world. Coming as a dirt poor kid from Scotland to the U.S., by the 1880s he'd built an empire in steel — and then gave it all away: $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country.

Carnegie donated $300,000 to build Washington, D.C.'s oldest library — a beautiful beaux arts building that dates back to 1903. Inscribed above the doorway are the words: Science, Poetry, History. The building was "dedicated to the diffusion of knowledge."

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