Johanna Eldredge Morrissey

The Bookshelf is NHPR's series on authors and books with ties to the Granite State.  All Things Considered host Peter Biello features authors, covers literary events and publishing trends, and gets recommendations from each guest on what books listeners might want to add to their own bookshelves. If you have an author or book you think we should profile on The Bookshelf, send us an email. The address is

On this episode, author, columnist and critic Olivia Laing. Her most recent work, The Lonely City, is part memoir, part searching exploration of loneliness and artists whose outsider experience inspired and fed  their creativity - from seeming social gadfly Andy Warhol to the reclusive Henry Darger. She is also the author of To the River and The Trip to Echo Spring.

ebru via flickr Creative Commons /

Wendy's, McDonald's and Burger King are competing for customers with deeply discounted menus. But can that strategy rescue a waning fast food market?

On today’s show, fast food is falling into a discount trap. Also today, the best sellers list is heavy with memoirs from celebrities and everyday people. We'll explore why writers want to share their secrets and delve into the art of a great memoir.

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In this 10-Minute Writer's Workshop web extra, author Kate Christensen - novelist, memoirist, foodie. We caught up with her, at the farm in northern New Hampshire she calls home, after the publication of her latest book, How to Cook a Moose.


Sara Plourde / NHPR

Recently, the multi-talented poet/artist/rock legend Patti Smith joined us to discuss her latest memoir, M Train, for our program Writers on a New England Stage. Before the show, we sat down with Patti in the greenroom of the Music Hall to talk about her writing process. The conversation is part of a series we call the 10-Minute Writer's Workshop.

What's harder to write - the first sentence or the last?

Photo(s) by David J. Murray /

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Justice Sotomayor sat down with Virginia Prescott to discuss her memoir, My Beloved World. She's not permitted to comment on current cases, which gave Virginia plenty of time to discuss Justice Sotomayor's childhood in the Bronx, what it was like to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium and counseling a Sesame Street character, Abby Cadabby on possible career choices.

Photo Courtesy Augusten Burroughs

It's been ten years since Augusten Burroughs' memoir Dry was published. In that decade, the author of Running With Scissors has gotten married, stayed sober, and written a self-help book, This is How: Surviving What You Think You Can't, now out in paperback.


Last year we spoke to Jenny Lawson about her memoir Let’s Pretend This Never Happened (A Mostly True Memoir. Since then the book has enjoyed time on the NY Times best seller list and even garnered the number one spot in the first week it was out. Now that it’s out in paperback --once again on the NY Times best seller list, in the number 7 slot--and Jenny is touring the country to promote it, we thought it would be a great time to revisit Virginia’s conversation with her from April of 2012.

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.”

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…

A 'Favored Daughter' Fights For Afghan Women

Feb 22, 2012

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.