Books

Word of Mouth
1:40 pm
Wed November 20, 2013

Caldecott Winner David Wiesner On His Latest Book, 'Mr. Wuffles'

Children’s book writer and illustrator David Wiesner is a three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal for most distinguished children’s picture book. His newest work is about a group of tiny extra-terrestial explorers, whose wee spaceship unwittingly becomes a plaything for a house cat named Mr. Wuffles. 

As with all of Wiesner’s books, Mr.Wuffles is nearly wordless, with dramatic visuals that propel readers from the plausible and everyday into the fantastical world of what could happen… 

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Word of Mouth
7:07 pm
Tue November 19, 2013

Shedding Light On The 'Almost Depressed'

Credit Venturist via Flickr Creative Commons

It’s estimated that one in ten Americans show signs of depression, but in a society where mental illness is simultaneously taboo and overexposed, it’s easy to stick to a black-and-white label to describe mental health.

As part of the 'Almost Effect'  series from Harvard Health Publications, two instructors at Harvard teamed up to write a book on that uncomfortable gray area between well-being and chronic depression. It's called Almost Depressed. 

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Word of Mouth
10:05 am
Tue November 19, 2013

How To Find Fulfilling Work

Credit MacMillan Publishers

Is there an adult out there who has not, in a moment of fatigue, insomnia, or on a particularly hard day at work, looked around at their life and asked, “Is this it? Is this what I want my life to be?”  Even people who have plenty of money and status and work in their industry of choice may find themselves fantasizing about a job that engages their spirit. A new book from the School of Life series sets out a practical guide to negotiating the myriad choices, overcoming the fear of change, and finding a career that has meaning. Roman Krznaric is a founding member of the school of life. He advises organizations from Oxfam to the UN on using empathy and conversation to create social change. He spoke to us from Oxford, England to talk about his new book How to Find Fulfilling Work.

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Word of Mouth
1:00 pm
Thu November 14, 2013

Letters To Jackie Kennedy: Condolences From A Mourning Public

Jackie and her daughter Caroline kneel before John F. Kennedy's coffin.
Credit Image Credit: Bettmann/Corbis via TLC.com

Fifty-years ago, on November 22nd, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot while traveling in his motorcade through Dallas. Kennedy was pronounced dead at 12:30 pm central time that day. By Monday, 45,000 letters of condolence had arrived at the White House. Two months later, nearly 800,000 had arrived -- addressed mostly to Jackie Kennedy and her family. Over the next two years, that number doubled. Handwritten, typed, and cabled, those letters captured the collective grief of the nation and the world and were then filed away for nearly forty six years.

Letters to Jackie, released in 2010, was a compilation of hundreds of those letters by history scholar, UNH professor, author and our guest Ellen Fitzpatrick.

Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy” is a new documentary based on her book and features a selection from those letters read by movie and theater actors. The special makes its television premiere on TLC this coming Sunday, November 17th.

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Word of Mouth
11:31 am
Tue November 12, 2013

The Art of Procrastination

The Art of Procrastination by John Perry

Feeling guilty about putting off something important?  Can’t seem to finish that daunting task at the top of the to-do-list?  Here’s a philosophy book for you: “The Art of Procrastination: A Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing John Perry is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Stanford University, and an admitted chronic procrastinator.  He wrote the book as a way of avoiding doing something else – a principle he calls “structured procrastination".

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All Things Considered
4:51 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Tomie de Paola Reflects On Art And Life "Then"

A postcard for the exhibition "Tomie de Paola: Then" shows the artist holding up an early painting.

Writer and artist Tomie de Paola is perhaps best known for his books about the "grandma witch" Strega Nona and her magic pasta pot.

The inspiration for this character came to de Paola in an unusual place: a faculty meeting at Colby-Sawyer College in New London, New Hampshire.

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Word of Mouth
2:49 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

"Furious Cool: Richard Pryor And The World That Made Him"

Credit via indiebound.org

Richard Pryor changed stand-up. He created comedy with no jokes. Instead, he unleashed a parade of street characters rarely glimpsed by white people and mortifying to middle class African Americans. Pryor wrote that the neighbors, whores and winos he saw growing up around his family’s bars and brothels inspired a lifetime of comedic material.

Pryor’s stand-up was outrageously blunt, fearlessly black and openly angry. His talent ran in tandem with episodes of self-destructive, violent, behavior -- often triggered by drug use – which jeopardized his career and endangered his life. Yet, in movies, Grammy-winning albums, and even a short-lived TV special, Richard Pryor’s unapologetically irreverent comedy crossed over to capture a huge American audience; Brothers Dave and Joe Henry among them. Dave is a screenwriter, Joe is a singer and songwriter and together they’ve written Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him.

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All Things Considered
4:58 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

A Vampire Novel Featuring New Hampshire's Colonial Governor

Vampire novels are big these days, but here’s one with a few twists: for one thing, part of the book takes place in 19th century Portsmouth.

And the lead vampire is named for the colonial governor of New Hampshire.

The book is called The Vampire Benning Wentworth and the End of Times, and it's written by Paul Jesep, a columnist, a former resident of Portsmouth and an ordained Orthodox priest.

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Word of Mouth
9:58 am
Thu October 31, 2013

The Grimm Conclusion: These Fairy Tales Are Not For The Faint Of Heart

Halloween is a perfect time for ghost stories and fairy-tales. Yes...fairy tales. But not the sanitized stuff of Disney Princesses,  but the grisly, violent, cautionary tales from which they were derived. 

Of course, scary stories are told best by Word of Mouth, so we invited author Adam Gidwitz to share the rather horrible story of “Ashputtle,” or as you might know her, Cinderella. It’s one of the tales from his new book, The Grimm Conclusionthe third volume of delightfully dark, vividly re-told stories originally written by the Brothers Grimm.

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Word of Mouth
10:51 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Nicholson Baker On Paul Chowder And 'Traveling Sprinkler'

Credit Photo of Nicholson Baker courtesy the Poetry Foundation

Author Nicholson Baker joins us to talk about his recurring character Paul Chowder. The procrastinating poet first tuned up in Baker's novel The Anthologist, and is now the center of his latest book, Traveling Sprinkler.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon October 28, 2013

Rebroadcast: Author Ben Hewitt And His Book "Saved"

In a new book called “Saved”, author Ben Hewitt explores a different way of looking at wealth. Rather than dwelling on monetary standards and what can be lost financially, Hewitt writes through experience of what can be gained when we prioritize personal relationships, community cooperation, and connectedness to the environment.

Guest:

  • Ben Hewitt - Vermont based author. His new book is called "Saved: How I Quit Worrying about Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World"
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Word of Mouth
11:26 am
Thu October 24, 2013

Design Icons Charlotte & Peter Fiell Talk Shop

Charlotte & Peter Fiell
Credit fiell.com / Fiell Publishing

With over twenty years of experience on the editorial side of design publishing, Charlotte and Peter Fiell are pioneers in bringing great design to the masses with big, beautiful glossy books. Their first book together, “Modern Design Classics Since 1945”, was published twenty-two years ago and introduced mid-century modern furniture to a new generation of design lovers and novices.

They are also the former editors-in-chief for the best-selling design imprint Taschen. Three years ago the design power couple established their own line of art and design books—Goodman Fiell—which publishes titles written by the couple in addition to books written by experts across a wide range of disciplines; from art and architecture to natural history and popular culture.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Hedrick Smith's "Who Stole The American Dream?"

By looking at corporate and financial structures from an historical perspective, Smith contends that over four decades our middle class has been dismantled and that we have become two Americas.

GUEST:

  • Hedrick Smith - author, prize-winning investigative reporter and documentary producer. Among the books that Smith has written are The Power Game: How Washington Works and Rethinking America.

*Hedrick Smith will be appearing at Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord on Tuesday, October 22nd at 7.

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Books
3:02 pm
Fri October 18, 2013

What's The Most Famous Book Set In New Hampshire?

According to this map posted on BusinessInsider.com, John Irving's Hotel New Hampshire is the most famous book set in New Hampshire. 

But what about Peyton Place? A Separate Peace? Or Irving's other classic, A Prayer For Owen Meany?

We'd love to know what you think should hold the title...leave us a note on Facebook with your pick.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Brenda Wineapple's Civil War Book, Ecstatic Nation

In this new approach to the Civil War, Wineapple provides the reader with a sense of the passions and tragedies of the era, including character studies of the vibrant and flawed personalities behind the scenes.

GUEST:

  • Brenda Wineapple – teaches literature at both New York's New School University and Columbia University.  Wineapple is also professor of modern literary and historical studies at Union College.  Her previous book is White Heat: the Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
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Word of Mouth
2:20 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Amy Grace Loyd: The Woman Who Made Playboy A Great Read

Credit iphonebookstore via Flickr Creative Commons

We turn now to that exemplary literary magazine, Playboy.  Hugh Hefner’s magazine has always been about the centerfold and male fantasy and an air-brushed version of female sexuality…but it's also a great read. Really.

In 2005, writer Amy Grace Loyd was hired to revive Playboy’s traditions of stories from the likes of Hunter S. Thompson and short fiction from Margaret Atwood, or that scandalous interview with Presidential candidate Jimmy Carter.  Amy was Playboy’s Fiction and Literary Editor for seven years, and she recently wrote in Salon about some of the ribbing she took for a job she loved. She also recently published her first novel, called “The Affairs of Others."

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Word of Mouth - Segment
1:56 pm
Mon October 7, 2013

Why Are Some Things Considered Disgusting?

Revulsion kept early humans from eating spoiled meat, or snuggling up to people covered with oozing sores. Today, some cultures prize cheeses writhing with maggots, or drink liquor made from fermented saliva. This is not a trick to get you to “eeewww” but a way to evoke the visceral nature of disgust, which as Rachel Herz found, is powerful enough to convict suspects, incite genocide, and make us writhe and wretch within seconds. 

Rachel is an instructor at Brown University and expert on the psychology of smell and emotion and the author of “That’s Disgusting: Unraveling the Mysteries of Repulsion.”

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Word of Mouth
12:35 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Poet Sophie Cabot Black

Poet Sophie Cabot Black will be appearing at the Brattleboro Literary Festival this weekend.
Credit via The Poetry Foundation

The Biblical story of Abraham and Isaac is horrifying, unforgettable and open to interpretation. Faithful Jews, Christians and Muslims regard God’s demand that Abraham sacrifice his beloved son as a lesson about the demands of faith, the rewards for obedience, or for some, evidence of God’s cruelty.  

Others see the essence of the story not in the command not to sacrifice, but the command to stop. The parable is alluded to throughout “The Exchange” by Sophie Cabot Black, one of the poems about the exchange of love and money and sex and time which anchors her third collection of poems. Black is among the many writers who will be sharing her work with audiences at the Brattleboro Literary Festival this weekend. 

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Word of Mouth
11:44 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Davy Rothbart: My Heart Is An Idiot

In his book, My Heart is an Idiot, Davy Rothbart chronicles his shocking and sometimes disturbing real life stories about traveling around America, looking for love, and meeting strangers who take strange to a whole new level. He’s also the creator of Found Magazine and a regular contributor to This American Life.

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Word of Mouth
10:01 am
Thu September 19, 2013

The Rebranding Of Sylvia Plath

Credit Image courtesy Smith College

This year marks the 50th anniversary of poet Sylvia Plath’s death by suicide, the singular lens through which many readers and academics have viewed her life, writing, and marriage. Now, a new generation is re-discovering Plath from a fresh perspective, one not colored by her sad and macabre death. 

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu September 19, 2013

Howard Mansfield On "Dwelling In Possibility"

Credit howardmansfield.com

Mansfield has spent his literary life writing stories that connect people to the land where they live. In his latest book, he explores the idea of one’s ‘dwelling’… from mansions to condos to sheds and how, as he says, ‘they succeed or fail to shelter us…body and soul”.

  GUEST:

  • Howard Mansfield: Noted New Hampshire author, whose latest book is “Dwelling In Possibility”.

*Howard will be speaking and reading from his book this Saturday at the Toadstool Bookshop in Peterborough at 11:00 AM.

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Word of Mouth
12:29 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Hey Authors: Quit Writing Books!

Credit ed_needs_a_bicycle via Flickr Creative Commons

When was the last time you read a book? Not for work, not a kid’s bedtime story, but a real honest to goodness book, just for the pleasure of reading?

If you sheepishly answered, "more than a year ago," you’re not alone. A recent survey puts the number of Americans who have failed to crack a spine in more than a year at one in four. While new technological distractions have certainly cut into our reading time, our next guest would also like to blame the Sisyphean task of merely trying to choose a book that’s worthy of reading. His solution? Authors should take a break from writing to give readers a chance to catch up.

Colin Robinson is a co-founder of the New York based independent publisher OR.

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Word of Mouth
9:40 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Graphic Novel Illustrates The Birth Of The Bomb

There’s not a ton to look at in Los Alamos, New Mexico these days, but one of the most terrifying and iconic series of pictures in the history of the human race were once taken there, a little over 65 years ago, when a group of pioneer scientists photographed the world’s first atomic bomb test. They captured a speck of light, that turned into a snow-globe burning hotter than the surface of the sun, that turned into a mushroom cloud, now a universal symbol of epic destruction.  

Jonathan Fetter-Vorm is co-founder of Two Fine Chaps, a graphic imprint dedicated to adapting and illustrating classic works of literature and natural science… he’s also the author and illustrator of Trinity: A Graphic History of the First Atomic Bomb.

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All Things Considered
2:00 pm
Mon August 26, 2013

'Eggplant Alley': A Look At A Tumultuous Time, With Parallels To Today

This month All Things Considered has been talking with authors who write in or about New Hampshire.

We conclude the series with D.M. Cataneo. His new novel Eggplant Alley tells the story of Nicky Martini, a 13 year old growing up in a run-down New York City neighborhood during the turbulent year of 1970.

D.M. Cataneo talks about the book with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson.

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Word of Mouth
1:37 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Joyce Maynard: "The Word Most Consistently Used Is 'Shameless'"

Credit Courtesy JoyceMaynard.com

Say the name "Joyce Maynard" and you’re likely to get some pretty visceral reactions…from those who’ve admired her career since her time as a reporter for the New York Times and her later syndicated column “Domestic Affairs,” and from her detractors…those who are critical of her relentless self-examination and her revelations about her relationship with J.D. Salinger. Salinger was living as a recluse in Cornish, New Hampshire when he began exchanging letters with Maynard after reading an article she wrote as a freshman at Yale. She dropped out of college and moved in with Salinger. She was eighteen…Salinger was 53.

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Writers on a New England Stage
3:18 pm
Tue August 20, 2013

John Irving

Kevin Flynn for NHPR

From the youth spent at Philips Exeter Academy that pervades his body of work, through his studies with Kurt Vonnegut at the prestigious Iowa Writers Workshop – known for producing authors the like of Pulitzer winners John Cheever and Philip Roth - John Winslow Irving has emerged as a true literary heavyweight, distinctly American of voice, and one of the most influential cultural exports to come out of New Hampshire.

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All Things Considered
5:53 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

'Elisha Barber': A Grim (And Gory) Version Of Medieval England

Note the cutting tools on the cover of Elisha Barber. Author EC Ambrose says they're there to advise the reader of what's ahead, should he/she decide to open the book.

This month All Things Considered has been been talking with authors who write in or about New Hampshire.

Today’s guest writes in the Granite State, but her book is definitely not set here.

It’s a dark fantasy novel set in an alternate version of 14th century England, with sorcery, battles, and plenty of blood.

It’s called Elisha Barber, and the author is E.C. Ambrose, who joins host Brady Carlson in the studio to talk about the book.

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All Things Considered
5:52 pm
Mon August 12, 2013

Building A Family, One Mountain Climb At A Time

The cover of "The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie."

In 2011, author Dan Szczesny and his wife unexpectedly became caretakers to two nine-year-olds. One of them, a girl named Janelle, joins Dan on a quest to hike the New Hampshire mountains known as the “52 with a view.” That quest is the basis for Dan’s book The Adventures of Buffalo and Tough Cookie.

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Word of Mouth
11:53 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Indie Bookseller Will "Not Complain About Amazon Anymore"

Credit xsas via Flickr Creative Commons

Tom Holbrook is the co-owner and manager of the independent RiverRun Bookstore in Portsmouth and one of our partners for the writers on a New England Stage series.  Tom recently sent out an email saying “why I’m not going to complain about Amazon anymore” to the more than 2500 members of RiverRun’s e-mail list. Word of Mouth Senior Producer Rebecca Lavoie tracked Tom down to find out what was behind it. We have a copy of Tom's email posted on our Facebook page, Word of Mouth Radio.

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Word of Mouth
11:56 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Of Dice And Men: Dungeons & Dragons And The People Who Play It

Credit via ofdiceandmen.com

Recounting his relationship with Dungeons and Dragons, David Ewalt writes, “I don’t know if I played D&D because other kids my age thought I was a nerd, or if they thought I was a nerd because I played D&D.”  The progenitor of many of today’s role-playing games has gained a reputation for attracting social outcasts and misfits and as a gateway for teenage boys to consider Satan and suicide. Like millions of kids who played twenty-side die in basements and game rooms across the country, Ewalt grew up…and had less time for a game that could suck up the idle hours of youth. He’s among those picking up the old dice bag for a D&D revival. David Ewalt is now an editor for Forbes, and author of the new book Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons and Dragons and the People Who Play It. It hits stores August 20th.

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