Books

Louise Penny was well into her forties when she published Still Life, the first in what has become the wildly popular Armand Gamache mystery series. The novels are set in Québec, where Gamache is Chief Inspector of the provincial police force. They are meticulously plotted, part police procedurals, part exploration of human nature - and the precarious balance between good and evil. Louise Penny is now out with the thirteenth in the series, Glass Houses.

Episode Music by Dana Boulé.

What & How Teenagers Are Reading Today

Aug 28, 2017

Our Week of Summer Favorites continues with a look at teen reading. Smartphones, e-readers, and other internet-based content, like Twitter and Facebook, are changing how and what teenagers read. And despite the image of adolescents with their faces in their phones, it turns out young adult fiction is among the most successful types of books on the market.

  This show originally aired on June 12, 2017.

IIP Photo Archive via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/Pj7gW9

On today's show: 

Richard Phibbs

Michael Cunningham is best known as the author of The Hours, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in fiction, which imagines a fateful day in the life of Virginia Woolf and its modern parallels.

But he's a man of many genres - he's also co-written a screenplay, walked readers through Provincetown, Mass with a travelogue, and turned fairy tales on their heads, as he does in his recent collection of short fiction, A Wild Swan and Other Tales.

Episode Music by Blue Dot Sessions
Ad Music by Uncanny Valleys

Ghostowns, Civics 101, & Andrew Greer

Jul 21, 2017
Logan Shannon for NHPR

On today's show:

Ben McLeod via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/2xMv5

On today's show: 

Joe Shlabotnik via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/d6GCKA

On today's show: 

This episode, we speak to Roxane Gay, author, essayist, teacher, and all around-superwoman. The author of New York Times bestsellers Bad Feminist and Difficult Women, her latest, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, is a candid and personal account of life inside her body, of weight, trauma, and self-care. We spoke to Roxane by phone from her home.

Episode music by Blue Dot Sessions
Ad music by Uncanny Valleys

What to Read Now That It's (Finally) Summer!

Jul 3, 2017
Susan Vaufrey via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/3akZQW

It's been a long time coming, but it's finally summer in New Hampshire!  If that means kicking back with a good book, we have some recommendations to share with you.  From political memoirs to historical novels and nonfiction, there's something for everyone, including the latest from favorite authors Michael Crichton, John Grisham, and Neil Gaiman.

This show originally broadcast on June 21, 2017. 

Author, outspoken vegetarian, social media abstainer and writing teacher Jonathan Safran Foer is author of three novels: Everything Is Illuminated, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close and, most recently, Here I Am, which follows four generations of a Jewish family grappling with identity, connection and disaster. His nonfiction book about factory farming, Eating Animals, was also a New York Times best-seller.

Episode music by Broke For Free
Ad music by Uncanny Valleys

via ianrankin.com

Ian Rankin is best known for two characters: Inspector John Rebus, the protagonist of now 21 mystery novels, and the city of Edinburgh, whose dark corners come alive in Rankin’s hands. Rebus made his debut in the 1987 crime novel Knots & Crosses. In Rankin’s newest novel - Rather Be the Devil - a retired Rebus returns to a case that has haunted him for decades.

Episode music by Podington Bear
Ad music by Uncanny Valleys

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Saint Anselm College in Manchester welcomed more than 2,700 books to its political library on Friday. The collection, which focuses on the presidency, first ladies and the founding fathers, includes many first editions and rare texts.

“I grew up in a house full of books, and have spent my  professional life concerned with their care, preservation and dissemination,” says Dr. Arthur Young, who is donating the collection he amassed during the previous 25 years. He and his wife Patricia were both librarians.

6.07.17: Why We Write About Ourselves & Hi, Anxiety

Jun 7, 2017
Beep. via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/9BgJXq

On today's show:

6.05.17: Nonstop Metropolis & Words on the Move

Jun 5, 2017
http://giphy.com/gifs/timelapse-new-york-city-manhattan-SuG8hEiyKDCDe

Whether it's the overuse of like, saying "nuculear", or using the word "literally", figuratively, misuse of language has a way of getting under our skin. A linguist assures us that language is always changing...so loosen up. Today, why dictionaries and grammar sticklers can't stop improper language.

Plus artists, researchers and cartographers re-interpret the city that never sleeps... Illustrating its distinctive culture, history and variety through maps.

© David J. Murray / ClearEyePhoto.com

Krista Tippett is probably best known as the host & creator of the public radio program On Being.  But she's also the author of three books that pull from her decades of interviews with a broad variety of thinkers and seekers, exploring the intersections between spirituality, science, and living. The most recent is called Becoming Wise: An Inquiry into the Mystery & Art of Living.  We spoke to her backstage at The Music Hall in Portsmouth, NH before a Writers on a New England Stage event.

Music: Podington Bear - "Daydreamer"

Political Speechwriting, Wishbones, & Every Body Yoga

May 19, 2017
Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/RUiA2j

On today's show:

Author Virginia MacGregor on Her New Book, Wishbones

May 18, 2017
virginiamacgregor.com

Feather is the complicated, feisty central character in a new YA novel called Wishbonesthe third novel by Virginia MacGregor, who now lives in New Hampshire.

You can join her for the Wishbones launch party on May 23rd at Gibson's Bookstore

 

Julie Jablonski via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/pXPSV5

On today's show:

  • Feather is the complicated, feisty central character in a new YA novel called Wishbones, the third novel by Virginia MacGregor, who now lives in New Hampshire. You can join her for the Wishbones launch party on May 23rd at Gibson's Bookstore
  • "The Working Tapes: Taxi Driver" is a raw recording of Studs Terkel's field interviews, conducted while researching what would become his seminal book Working. You can listen to this interview again at PRX.org
  • As head baker at King Arthur Flour, Martin Philip makes hundreds of loaves of bread a week. But just over a decade ago, Martin was working in the frenzied world of investment banking in New York City. Virginia and producer Hannah McCarthy visited Martin to get the story behind his rise to head baker. He’ll be sharing life stories and playing the banjo at the Capital Center for the Arts Salon Series this Saturday, May 20.
  • 10-Minute Writer's Workshop: Anita Shreve

Anita Shreve had a small, but devoted following as a literary author when her second novel, The Pilot's Wife was named an Oprah Book Club pick. The recognition propelled her into a New York Times bestselling novelist. Two days after her 18th novel, The Stars Are Fire, was released, she canceled her extensive book tour, later writing on her Facebook page that she would be undergoing chemotherapy.  

This most recent novel uses wildfires that raged through coastal Maine in 1947 as the backdrop for the story of one woman’s extraordinary resilience.

John Scalzi, the Hugo Award-winning author of science fiction both serious and less-so, is also an internet star from way, way back. He is former president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, perhaps best known for his Old Man's War series, his blog “Whatever,” and his novel Redshirts, which is currently being developed for television. He joined us in the NHPR studios while on tour for The Collapsing Empire, the first novel of a new space-opera sequence set in an all-new universe.

Episode music by Franco Luzzi

Tana French is the Edgar Award-winning author of the Dublin Murder Squad series. The newest, called The Trespasser, is the sixth in the best-selling, habit-forming series. "It’s taken for granted that anybody who’s read one [Tana French novel] will very shortly have read them all,” wrote Laura Miller in the New Yorker.

https://giphy.com/gifs/wvpublic-O2iMIrNhYCs9O/

On today's show:

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Ben Winters is a little incomprehensible. Not his output, which is consistently great, but his wild imagination and range. He's a teacher, a playwright, an Edgar and Phillip K. Dick Award-winning novelist, he's written children's books, an existential detective series and landed a New York Times bestseller with the Jane Austen-meets-the-kraken mash-up, Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters.

Andy Field via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/c7VEL

On today's show:

1950sUnlimited via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/dK2Pig

On today's show:

Jimmy Gutierrez / NHPR

Mario Batali is a superstar chef, restaurateur, television star and passionate advocate for simple, regional food. Also passionate about making that food more accessible, he is author or co-author of 7 cookbooks, including his most recent, Big American Cookbook.

We caught up with him before his appearance at The Music Hall for Writers on a New England Stage and asked him if his cookbook ideas pop up like a timer or simmer below the surface for a while.

Episode music by Jahzzar
Ad music by Uncanny Valleys
 

the dorsch via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/jA7c3V

On today's show:

Roger H. Goun via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/bF6sXx

On today's show:

James Yu via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/rZ3TL

On today's show:

3.13.17: Civics 101 & The Stranger in the Woods

Mar 13, 2017
Bureau of Land Management Oregon and Washington via Flickr CC / https://flic.kr/p/itv23E

On today's show:

Pages