Books

The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Howard Mansfield's "Dwelling In Possibility"

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”
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Word of Mouth
10:02 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Writers On A New England Stage: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin takes the stage.
Photo(s) by David J. Murray ClearEyePhoto.com

NHPR

and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Doris Kearns Goodwin, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. The Pulitzer prize-winning historian and biographer of several American presidents shifts to the progressive era with, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt William Howard Taft & The Golden Age Of Journalism.  The book follows two presidents who became friends and later bitter rivals, as well as a chronicle of the dawn of investigative journalism in America.

This broadcast was made possible with support from TransCanada.

The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Clive Thompson's "Smarter Than You Think"

Credit smarterthanyouthink.net

When the IBM supercomputer dubbed “Deep Blue” defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, it was considered a major blow for human intelligence, and a big moment for artificial intelligence.  But, as Clive Thompson explains in his new book, Kasparov went on to outsmart computers with human-machine teams.  It turned out that the combination of computers and human intelligence was unbeatable.  With digital realms at our fingertips, Thompson argues, our abilities have been enhanced to an extraordinary degree.

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Word of Mouth
2:04 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

The Best Overlooked Books Of 2013

Credit Dan Klimke via flickr Creative Commons

Well, the holidays are upon us and there’s nothing quite like a well-told story for seeking refuge from the chaos or a little too much quality time with family. A lot of big-name authors had terrific new titles out this year, but we have a fondness for books that don’t get full page ads or window displays – call it the literary equivalent of the island of misfit toys – great books waiting for a good home; you just have to know that they are there. 

With us today are two seasoned purveyors of overlooked books. Michele Filgate is a writer and critic as well as the events coordinator at community bookstore in Brooklyn. Liberty Hardy is events coordinator at Riverrun bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She’s also contributing editor for Book Riot.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed December 18, 2013

StoryCorps Founder David Isay

Credit storycorps.org

We're speaking with David Isay, StoryCorps founder and frequent contributor to NPR. His StoryCorps project's mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories about their lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews. They are all preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and many have aired on NPR's Morning Edition. David Isay has written a new book, "Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps".

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Word of Mouth
1:48 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Paper Is Dead! Long Live Paper!

Credit pawpaw67 via flickr Creative Commons

The digital age has rendered letter writing, paperboys, and checkbooks as old-fashioned as the rotary phone. While the proliferation of e-books, e-mail, and online newspapers appear to be hastening the death of the printed page, Nicholas Basbanes argues that we are far from becoming a paperless society. Nicholas is an impassioned bibliophile and author of On Paper: The Everything of its Two-Thousand-Year History.

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Word of Mouth
12:30 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Princesses Behaving Badly

Credit lindarodriguezmcrobbie.com/

As long as there have been stories of princesses, there have been little girls to love them. The Disney princess phenomenon seeds young imaginations with shiny pink costumes, and gossip magazines continue the fantasy with pages devoted to Kate Middleton, and before her, Princesses Grace and Diana – the latter proving that becoming royalty is no guarantee of living happily ever after. Beyond these two dimensional characters are scores of real princesses  -- sometimes tragic, often extraordinary human beings who left scant record of their lives. Mental Floss columnist Linda Rodriguez McRobbie scoured through history for stories of women who fought, stole, schemed and survived, and pulls them together in her new book, Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History – Without The Fairy-Tale Endings.

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Word of Mouth
11:27 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Live Free Or Sci-Fi: Speculative Fiction Set In The Granite State

In early September, 1965 a UFO sighting was reported near Exeter, New Hampshire.  Air force investigators were sent to question several eye witnesses who reported a “big orange ball” and a “huge dark object as big as a barn with flashing red lights” in the sky.  They dismissed the sighting as “nothing more than stars and planets twinkling…owing to a temperature inversion.” The incident is one of the best documented accounts of an alleged close encounter with the paranormal.  New Hampshire’s brush with paranormal fame makes it the perfect setting for a new compilation of short stories called Live Free or Sci-Fi. The book features stories that bend science and reality together into hair raising tales of speculative fiction.

Rick Broussard is the editor of Live Free or Sci-Fi and creator of the New Hampshire pulp fiction series. He is also the editor of New Hampshire Magazine.

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Word of Mouth
1:49 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Ted Williams' Complicated, Immortal Life

Credit via benbradleejr.com

“The Kid”, “The Splendid Splinter”, “Teddy Ballgame”; Ted Williams went by a few nicknames while playing for the Boston Red Sox.  Maybe none so fitting as: “The Greatest Hitter That Ever Lived.”  Williams was the last player in the major leagues to achieve a batting average over .400--which he did in 1941–in his third season in the majors. Ted Williams was obsessed with hitting, taking meticulous care of his bats, and was often observed swinging or posing for a pitch, whether he had a bat in his hands or not.

Off the field, the measure of Ted Williams is not so easy to follow. A private and mercurial man, he was moody and prone to bouts of rage. He would blow up at the press, his teammates, and his family. Williams married three times and had three children, but struck out as a father or husband. Ben Bradlee Jr., former editor and reporter for the Boston Globe, spent ten years trying to find out exactly why Ted Williams was the way he was. He interviewed more than six hundred people who knew “The Kid” going all the way back to his childhood. Ben Bradlee Jr.’s new book is called “The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams.”

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

2013 Holiday Books Show

Faith Meixell NHPR

Two New Hampshire independent booksellers give us their picks for the best reads of 2013. Here's a list of their favorites for the season, as well as a list of the books mentioned during the show.

GUESTS:

  • Michael Herrmann - Owner of Gibson's Bookstore in Concord
  • Dan Chartrand - Owner of Water Street Bookstore in Exeter

Best of the Season Book List from Michael & Dan:

(scroll down for list of programs mentioned during the show)

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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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