Books

Book Reviews
7:03 am
Fri June 8, 2012

Right On The Money: A 'Capital' Book For Our Times

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri June 8, 2012 6:59 pm

Lizzie Skurnick writes the "That Should Be a Word" column for the New York Times Magazine.

England has always reveled in its drawing-room dramas, from Jane Austen's social minefields to E.M. Forster's Howards End to Upstairs, Downstairs — and yes, the blockbuster Downton Abbey.

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Word of Mouth
12:19 pm
Wed June 6, 2012

From Police Report...to Prose

(Photo by Corey Garland, Garland Photography)

If If fiction writers can learn from police reports, true crime writers have the tricky task of transforming those reports into prose. Word of Mouth Senior Producer Rebecca Lavoie is also a true crime author. She and her husband Kevin Flynn have written and published two books, in the genre.

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Word of Mouth
11:01 am
Thu May 24, 2012

Writers on a New England Stage: Dan Brown

Dan Brown waits backstage at the Music Hall in Portsmouth
David J. Murray, www.cleareyephoto.com

International bestselling author Dan Brown talks about science, religion, and life after the Da Vinci Code at a benefit performance for Writers on a New England Stage, live from the Music Hall in Portsmouth. Brown’s novels, and the films based on them, have been banned by the Catholic church, inspired college courses, and have renewed dialogue about the interplay between science and religion. Brown, the son of a mathemeticiaa and a church organist, talks about his lifelong inquiry into life’s mysteries. 

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Word of Mouth
11:54 am
Wed May 23, 2012

Enemies: A History of the FBI

Photo Credit Roger Schultz, via Flickr Creative Commons

Recently CNET reported that the FBI had been lobbying congress for a law that would require social networking companies and other web-based communication systems to make sure their systems are surveillance-compatible. FBI director Robert Mueller seemed to confirm that in an appearance last week before the senate judiciary committee.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue May 22, 2012

The Accordion Family (REBROADCAST)

For centuries, that transition between teen-hood and adulthood has been accompanied with a newfound independence, where young men and women leave the roost, go to college, buy a house and raise a family.  But according to author Katherine Newman, high unemployment rates, the rise of short-term employment, longer life expectancies and the high cost of living have forced many a young adult back home to live with mom and dad.  They are called 'Accordion Families' and depending on the culture, they're met with a variety of acceptance.  Today we look closer into this new phenomenon called Accord

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Word of Mouth
11:43 am
Mon April 30, 2012

Who wrote The Book of Drugs?

Mike Doughty’s 2005 album Haughty Melodic was a breakthrough for the singer-songwriter…before going solo, Doughty had founded and fronted the 90’s band Soul Coughing…which he disbanded in 2000, much to the chagrin of die-hard fans. But  there was a reason beyond the typical story of egos and bad record deals for that band’s demise…one that Doughty hints at in haughty melodic’s biggest hit, "Looking at the World from the Bottom of a Well.”

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Author Interviews
2:21 pm
Sun April 22, 2012

India: A Country In The Midst Of Change

Riverhead Books

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 10:23 pm

Akash Kapur is the son of an Indian father and an American mother. In 2003, after working professionally in New York City for more than a decade, he decided to return to India. As he writes in his book, India Becoming: A Portrait of Life in Modern India, he arrived in a place he hardly recognized.

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Author Interviews
7:33 am
Sun April 22, 2012

Our Roaring 20s: 'The Defining Decade'

iStock Photo

Originally published on Sun April 22, 2012 11:43 am

It's almost that time of year again, when a new crop of 20-something college graduates prepares to take those first steps into the working world.

In her new book, The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter — And How to Make the Most of Them Now, University of Virginia clinical psychologist Meg Jay argues that those first years of adulthood are the most important time in a young person's life.

Jay recently joined NPR's Rachel Martin to discuss why the 20s are such a crucial age for both college grads and non-college grads.

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Books
11:04 am
Fri April 20, 2012

The St. Cuthbert Gospel: Looking Pretty Good At 1,300

The Gospel, buried with St. Cuthbert in 698, was recovered from his grave in 1104. Its beautiful red leather binding is original.
Courtesy of the British Library

How much would you pay for a very rare book?

The British Library in London has just paid about $14 million to purchase Europe's oldest intact book, known as the St. Cuthbert Gospel. It's a copy of the Gospel of St. John, thought to have been produced in northeastern England sometime during the seventh century.

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Books
10:15 am
Thu April 19, 2012

'Boys On The Bus': 40 Years Later, Many Are Girls

Reporters surround Sens. George McGovern (left) and Hubert Humphrey after a Democratic presidential debate in 1972.
George Brich AP

The news business has changed a lot in recent years, and that's especially true of political news. But when you ask about a book that captures what it's like to report on a presidential campaign, one decades-old classic still rules: The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse.

The rough-and-tumble account of the reporters who covered President Richard Nixon's re-election against George McGovern back in 1972 is part of a Morning Edition series on political history.

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Three Books...
8:49 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Jargon To Jabberwocky: 3 Books On Writing Well

iStockphoto.com

I'm an English professor, and I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to write like one. You might be surprised by what that's like. We don't emulate the fiction writers we most admire. We too rarely practice what we preach to our composition students — namely that good writing is simple and direct. In fact, we're notorious for maze-y sentences and ugly jargon. The point seems less to attract readers with clear prose than to smack them over the head with a sign that says, "Aren't I smart?"

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Word of Mouth
12:13 pm
Wed April 18, 2012

Let's Pretend This Never Happened

Blogger Jenny Lawson called upon a few of her biggest fans to make the trailer for her new memoir, including author Neil Gaiman there, musician Amanda Palmer, and Star Trek actors Wil Wheaton and Jeri Ryan, claiming to be Lawson in a YouTube video that’s been viewed more than seventy thousand times…

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Tina Brown's Must-Reads
7:50 am
Wed April 18, 2012

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: The Reporter's Role

Andrew Breitbart, the late editor and founder of BigGovernment.com, is shown in this file photo speaking at a rally at the conservative Americans for Prosperity "Defending the American Dream Summit" in Washington on Nov. 5.
Nicholas Kamm AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 18, 2012 7:23 pm

Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown has been thinking about the contributions of journalists to global culture.

The Rise Of Hitler, As Seen By Americans Abroad

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:29 am
Mon April 16, 2012

The Healthiest Man in the World?

Photo of A.J. Jacobs by Michael Cogliantry

A.J. Jacobs is serious about self improvement.

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Three Books...
10:16 pm
Fri April 13, 2012

Permanent Siesta: 3 Books To Whisk You Away

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue January 29, 2013 5:55 pm

One doesn't necessarily associate spring travel with heavy reading. For one, books are bulky luggage, the weighty enemies of economical packers; even an e-reader takes up precious space in one's overflowing duffel. And two, escapist migration to mountaintops or flowery fields or seaside locales for sun worship and meditative communion with nature connotes a markedly book-free environment, an escape from the office or the solemn halls of academe.

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