Books

Author Interviews
3:03 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

How Sugar Brought An End to Hawaii's Nationhood

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon February 27, 2012 7:40 am

If you've seen a Hawaiian tourism commercial, a beach movie, or even a cartoon with Daffy Duck in a lei and a grass skirt, you've heard the poignant strains of "Aloha Oe."

But the tune has a history stretching far beyond cartoons and commercials: It was composed in 1878 by the woman who would become the last queen of Hawaii, Lili'uokalani.

Hawaii is the only state to have once been an independent monarchy. And when Lili'u, as she called herself, was born in 1838, it was at its height.

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Author Interviews
5:40 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

A Theologian Has A Falling Out With God In 'Still'

HarperOne

Originally published on Mon March 4, 2013 11:46 am

Theologian Lauren Winner was 21 when she became a Christian.

Although she was raised in a Jewish household and had converted to Orthodox Judaism, she says she felt drawn to Christianity. Her surprising conversion is the subject of her first memoir, the bestseller Girl Meets God.

In Winner's new book, Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis, she writes about a spiritual crisis.

Winner, an ordained Episcopal priest who teaches Christian spirituality at Duke University, says it happened around the time her mother died and her marriage collapsed.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:25 am
Thu February 23, 2012

Beautiful Souls: How Humans Overcome Evil

Amid stories of horrific atrocities like the Holocaust and the ethnic cleansing that took place in the Balkans in the 1990’s, occasional tales of courage emerge: the stories of individuals who fly in the face of convention – or even the law – to stand up for what they know is right.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:00 am
Thu February 23, 2012

The Beauty of No

Author Interviews
2:58 am
Wed February 22, 2012

A 'Favored Daughter' Fights For Afghan Women

On the day she was born, Fawzia Koofi nearly died after being left outside in the unrelenting Afghan sun. But against all odds, Koofi survived and went on to become Afghanistan's first female deputy speaker of Parliament. Today, Koofi's name is floated in discussions about whether Afghanistan is ready for a first female president.

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You Must Read This
5:50 pm
Mon February 20, 2012

A Depressive Diarist Chronicles His Descent

istockphoto.com

Patrick deWitt is the author of The Sisters Brothers.

"Doesn't the act of noticing matter as much as what's noticed?" So asks the narrator of Harry Mathews' masterpiece of minutia, The Journalist.

On the mend from a nervous breakdown (though it's mentioned only in passing — "the steering wheel came off in my hands," he says), he's been encouraged by his doctor to keep a journal. A seemingly benign idea, and he throws himself into the task with gusto — far too much gusto, it turns out, as the journal soon eclipses his entire life.

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The Exchange
10:00 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Author Colin Woodard and his new book "American Nations" (REBROADCAST)

According to our guest today, Colin Woodard, America's political divisions aren't between red states and blue states, right and left, Republicans and Democrats but between 11 distinct North American cultural regions.  They are regions the he names "Yankeedom", "Greater Appalachia", "The Deep South" and "The Far West" and they have been created by centuries of Americans who settled there, each with their own unique cultures, religions, political traditions and ethnographic characteristics.  Woodard suggests that only by truly understanding these regions can we begin to see beyond these deep 

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Books News & Features
12:01 am
Mon February 20, 2012

Forget Lincoln Logs: A Tower Of Books To Honor Abe

A tower of books about Abraham Lincoln as seen from the top down.
Maxell MacKenzie

This President's Day, a group of historians in Washington, D.C., decided they wanted to do something different to recognize the legacy of Abraham Lincoln. But how do you memorialize someone who is already one of the most memorialized people in history?

Their solution: to physically illustrate Lincoln's importance by creating a tower of books written about him. The tower measures about eight feet around and 34 feet — that's three and a half stories tall.

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Author Interviews
4:15 pm
Sat February 18, 2012

Murder, Corruption And Cover-Ups In 'Bloodland'

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon March 18, 2013 6:11 pm

A troubled starlet dies in a helicopter crash off the Irish coast after sending a series of mysterious text messages. Three years later, a hungry young reporter desperate for work takes an assignment to write a quickie celebrity biography of her — but finds complexity and danger.

That seemingly accidental death is the catalyst for the events in Bloodland, a new thriller by Irish author Alan Glynn.

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Books
3:41 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

'Plotto': An Algebra Book For Fiction Writing

iStock Photo

It's been said that there are only seven basic plots in fiction. Pulp novelist William Wallace Cook would beg to differ.

According to Cook, there are a whopping 1,462 plots, all of which he laid out in his 1928 book, Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots.

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All Things Considered
5:13 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Stories of Love and Commitment from Dave Isay and StoryCorps

No doubt many of us are rushing out the door to grab a last minute Valentine’s Day gift for our significant others.

Our guest has a suggestion: hold off on the chocolates and flowers, and spend a little time talking to that loved one. 

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Author Interviews
12:01 am
Tue February 14, 2012

Networking Tips From The Ultimate Networker

Random House

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 8:36 am

"Relatively few people should start companies," Reid Hoffman says bluntly. And he should know. As a co-founder of popular social networking website LinkedIn and an influential Silicon Valley angel investor, he has engineered several startup success stories — and now he has distilled his business wisdom into a book, The Start-up of You: Adapt to the Future, Invest in Yourself, and Transform Your Career.

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Three Books...
1:32 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

3 Biting Books For Those Bitter On Valentine's Day

Nate iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue February 14, 2012 10:54 am

For those who find themselves alone this Valentine's Day, or who reject the holiday altogether, you might not want to read about star-crossed lovers pining for each other and — even worse — winding up together in the end. So here are three alternatives to comfort you this Feb 14. Each novel is just the right length to read in a single night with a box of drugstore-bought chocolates. And although these tales are indeed reflections on love, the characters they follow are skeptics.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
10:46 am
Thu February 9, 2012

Honey, Please Pay Attention

Photo by annstheclaf via Flickr Creative commons

Maintaining a healthy and happy relationship is challenging for any couple…perhaps more so when one, or both, partners suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder?  ADHD is an increasingly common diagnosis among school age children and can be tricky to identify in previously undiagnosed adults.  Symptoms are often similar to those of depression, anxiety, and even bipolar disorder.

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Books
12:01 am
Tue February 7, 2012

Dickens At 200: A Birthday You Can't 'Bah Humbug'

Born in 1812, English writer Charles Dickens was born 200 years ago on Feb. 7.
Rischgitz Getty Images

Tuesday marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of Charles Dickens — the great 19th century English novelist who gave us stories of pathos and comedy, and colorful portraits of the people of London, from the poor in the back streets, to the rich in the parks and avenues.

Lots of Dickens' phrases — like "Bah humbug" and "God bless us, every one!" — have slipped into our minds and our memories. And along with the words, the characters, too — from hungry orphan Oliver Twist to Little Dorrit to cruel Mr. Murdstone.

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The Exchange
10:00 am
Fri February 3, 2012

The Accordion Family

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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Book Reviews
4:47 pm
Wed February 1, 2012

S'il-Vous-Plait: Raising Your 'Bebe' The French Way

Barnesandnoble.com

When her first child was born, Pamela Druckerman expected to spend the next several years frantically meeting her daughter's demands. In the U.S., after all, mealtimes, living rooms and sleep schedules typically turn to chaos as soon as a baby arrives. That's the reason one friend of mine used to refer to his child as a "destroying angel."

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The Exchange
10:00 am
Fri January 27, 2012

The Little Known True Story of "Oppo" Research

We talk to the co-authors of a new book who spent years in the field of  political “opposition research”.   They’re the folks that dig up the dirt and unveil the skeletons on candidates for Presidential on down to the local school board.  It’s a story that involves shady characters, clandestine meetings and piles of documents, all aimed at bringing down your opponent and winning elections.

Guests

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:54 pm
Thu January 26, 2012

Books to get you through 'til Sunday

Historian Simon Schama calls it another example of British television’s “cultural necrophilia”. Well then, bring out your dead…the Downton Abbey miniseries now airing Sunday nights on PBS has invigorated public television, revved up sales of cloche hats and maxi skirts, and has publishers scrambling to appeal to readers who devour period dramas.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:53 pm
Thu January 12, 2012

OH. MY. GODS.

Photo by Sp!ros via Flickr Creative Commons

How many times have we heard that studying the classics is no longer useful, an anachronism? Then out come movies like Clash of the Titans, or Troy, and suddenly everyone is hungry for more. From Star Wars to Harry Potter, references to ancient myths are inescapable.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:31 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Hope: A Tragedy

 There are strange noises and a rotten smell  coming from the attic of Solomon Kugel’s old farmhouse in upstate New York. His wife resents him, his kid is sickly and his mother, who grew up in the United States, imagines herself a Holocaust survivor with PTSD. Yet, Kugel remains an optimist, which his shrink declares is the problem: the more hell bent one is on life, the more terrified of death.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
11:23 am
Wed January 11, 2012

Three Wishes, Three Surprise Endings

Karen and Casey Jordan via Flickr

Statistics from the Pew Research Center show that single women over 35 now account for around fifteen percent of the birthrate in the united states. One reason may be that there are so many more options for women who have delayed motherhood -- from adoption to using donor sperm to freezing their own eggs. Journalists Pamela Ferdinand, Carey Goldberg, and Beth Jones all had fulfilling careers, rich friendships, and hapless relationship histories.

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The Exchange
10:00 am
Tue January 10, 2012

Author Colin Woodard and his new book "American Nations"

According to our guest today, Colin Woodard, America's political divisions aren't between red states and blue states, right and left, Republicans and Democrats but between 11 distinct North American cultural regions.  They are regions the he names "Yankeedom", "Greater Appalachia", "The Deep South" and "The Far West" and they have been created by centuries of Americans who settled there, each with their own unique cultures, religions, political traditions and ethnographic characteristics.  Woodard suggests that only by truly understanding these regions can we begin to see beyond these deep 

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:23 pm
Mon January 9, 2012

10 Tea Parties You Haven't Heard About

Photo by Spychick via Flickr Creative Commons

With the first in the nation primary swirling around us, we turn to the spread of the Tea Party…circa 1774. We’re talking about the Annapolis Tea Party…the New York Tea Party, and other protests that boiled over in the colonies from Maine to North Carolina. These copycat protests were buried by the 92,000 pounds shoved overboard in Boston.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:11 pm
Thu January 5, 2012

The Civil War Era's Kardashian

News of the spectacular break-up between actress Adah Issacs Menken and bareknuckle boxing champ John Heenan splashed across the papers that year. Heenan accused his wife of bigamy. That was just one charge against the woman who was best known for bounding across the stage strapped to a horse in a skin-tight flesh colored costume.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:09 pm
Tue January 3, 2012

2012 Publishing Predictions

Photo by Mr.T in DC, courtesy of Flickr creative commons

Winter is a bountiful time for booklovers…the choices are abundant, and publishers and retailers are tripping over themselves to get people buying books - in any format.  The e-book has breathed some life into the publishing industry, but traditional books are still selling at independent bookstores. As part of Word of Mouth’s 2012 Nostradamus Edition, Jason boog, blogger and editor of the publishing website Galley Cat, makes his predictions for what the publishing industry will face in the coming year.  

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The Exchange
10:00 am
Mon January 2, 2012

1493 (Rebroadcast)

In a new book, author Charles Mann explores what happened in the years after Columbus’s famed voyage to the Americas.  He says it altered everything:  sparking a new era of globalization and not just in commerce:  but radical changes in crops, cultures, and politics.  We’ll talk with Mann about this expansive look at this new era and how the world changed after Columbus.  

Guests

  • Charles C. Mann - Author of 1493:Uncovering the New World Columbus Created
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Word of Mouth
10:21 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Word of Mouth for 12.24.2011

(Photo by zizagou76 via Flickr Creative Commons)

                                                                            

Part 1:

Why Music Writing Matters in 2011

In his introduction to an anthology of The Best Music Writing 2011, Alex Ross shares a selection of tweets reacting to bassist and singer Esperanza Spaulding’s upset over teen star Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:57 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

The Overlooked Books of 2011

Photo by: hashmil

The publishing industry stayed afloat this year by designing and selling books for e-reader; those devices jumped from novelty items to the mainstream. Brick and mortar booksellers had a rougher time. Biblio behemoth Borders closed stores across the country. Closer to home, RiverRun Books in Portsmouth nearly closed its doors, but was saved by a swarm of Locavestors. The indie bookstore is one place where unsung gems can shine. We’re ticking through some of the year’s books that didn’t have big names, big budgets, and big promoters to sell them.

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Word of Mouth - Segment
12:31 pm
Thu December 22, 2011

Why Music Writing Matters in 2011

(Photo by Nicole Abalde via Flickr Creative Commons)

In his introduction to an anthology of The Best Music Writing 2011Alex Ross shares a selection of tweets reacting to bassist and singer Esperanza Spaulding’s upset over teen star Justin Bieber for the Best New Artist Grammy.

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Pages