WCBE

Literature

Literature

Mara Wilson says that the most complicated relationship she has ever had is with a fictional 6-year-old girl. That's because you probably know Wilson best as Matilda, from the 1996 film adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic.

"I wanted to be her so badly ... " Wilson tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "She's kind of like my big sister overshadowing me."

Wilson, now 29, was a successful child actress — you may also recognize her from her starring roles as Natalie Hillard in Mrs. Doubtfire, or as Susan Walker in Miracle on 34th Street.

As you open Angel Catbird, Margaret Atwood's new comic book, your mind may wander through her previous works in search of comparisons and common themes. In her case, that's quite a trip. Though best-known for more than 40 books of fiction, poetry and essays, she's also a creator of comics.

'Everfair' Looks Into Steampunk's Dark Heart

Sep 7, 2016

I've been excited to read Everfair for the last six years.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin gets cozy with the classics in author Katherine Bolger Hyde’s Arsenic with Austen.

Title: Arsenic with Austen (Crime with the Classics #1)

Author: Katherine Bolger Hyde

Pages: 312

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 978-1250065476

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin ventures under the sea with the little mermaid in the audio edition of Sarah Mlynowski’s Sink or Swim.

Title: Sink or Swim (Whatever After #3)

Author: Sarah Mlynowski

Runtime: 3 hours, 19 minutes

Publisher: Scholastic Audio

AISN: B00HZ6N5M2

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

"Every path that leads to new victories is lined with crosses of the dead," wrote one early practitioner of proto-lobotomies. Luke Dittrich's new book asks: How many lives does a medical breakthrough cost? "By the middle of the twentieth century," Dittrich writes, "the breaking of human brains was intentional, premeditated, clinical." But were "all those asylums, all those lesions, all those broken men and women," worth what we now know about the human brain?

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin connects with an old woman and a strange little boy in Monica Wood’s The One-in-a-Million Boy.

Title: The One-in-a-Million Boy

Author: Monica Wood

Pages: 334

Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

ISBN: 978-0544617070

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

Blue Monday was a comic weirdly out of time. Creator Chynna Clugston-Flores started drawing the adventures of music-loving high-schooler Bleu Finnegan and her band of mad, mod friends in the late 1990s — but somehow they lived in a world where grunge never happened, where Adam Ant and Paul Weller were still style icons and The English Beat ruled the airwaves (in other words, my kind of place).

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin runs from spiders in the first book in author Ezekiel Boone’s creepy-crawly new series, The Hatching.

Title: The Hatching

Author: Ezekiel Boone

Pages: 303

Publisher: Emily Bestler Books

ISBN: 978-1501125041

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

'Dark Matter' Is A Jet-Propelled Science Thriller

Jul 31, 2016

Your time is valuable. I know that. There are roughly a billion books published every year and you've only got time to read a few of them. There are important books and acclaimed books and books you can put down like junk food — like sitting on the couch in your underwear and eating that whole bag of barbecue potato chips because there's no one there to tell you not to. You have to make some choices.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin robs a bank with a bunch of bumbling crooks in the audio edition of Jeff Diamant’s true crime story Heist!.

Title: Heist! The Oddball Crew Behind the $17 Million Loomis Fargo Theft

Author: Jeff Diamant

Runtime: 5 hours, 34 minutes

Publisher: Blackstone Audio

AISN: 011VM6NF6

Jason Dessen, the protagonist of the new novel Dark Matter, is just a regular guy: He's 40, a devoted husband, a professor of physics at a small college, and a loving father to a teenage son.

But one day he's drugged and kidnapped and wakes up to find he's in a very different world. Not just a different world — a different life.

Blake Crouch joins NPR's Elise Hu to talk about the new book, and about why he loves imagining alternate realities.

In the summer of 2004, after two decades of estrangement, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Susan Faludi received an e-mail from her father. It read:

Dear Susan,

I've got some interesting news for you. I've decided that I have had enough of impersonating a macho aggressive man that I have never been inside.

The letter was signed, "Love from your parent, Stefánie." Faludi's 76-year-old father, Steven, had had gender reassignment surgery.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin hits rock bottom with a grieving wife and mother in Jack Jordan’s My Girl.

Title: My Girl

Author: Jack Jordan

Pages: 128

Publisher: CreateSpace

ISBN: 978-1532815386

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

Welcome to the second installment of Read, Watch, Binge! our summer recommendation series. As you may recall from last month's list, we were tired of algorithms that only matched books to books or movies to movies. So this month, we've enlisted the help of real live humans to pair books with movies, musicals, TV, comics, podcasts and more.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin travels back to the early days of radio with author Sarah-Jane Stratford’s Radio Girls.

Title: Radio Girls

Author: Sarah-Jane Stratford

Pages: 365

Publisher: NAL

ISBN: 978-0451475565

And read Kristin's full review on NightsAndWeekends.com.

Underground Airlines will start a lot of conversations. A lot.

The book's narrator is an African-American man living in a near-future United States in which slavery has never been entirely eliminated ("Big Abe," meaning President-elect Lincoln, was shot early in his campaign, and several Southern states amended the Constitution to retain it).

There aren't many lucky people in the fictional Jamaican town of River Bank, the setting for Nicole Dennis-Benn's debut novel Here Comes the Sun. A long drought has robbed many residents of their livelihoods, and their homes are being threatened by developers who want to build yet another huge resort, one where rich, white tourists can sequester themselves away from the reality of the poverty-stricken villages that surround it.

'Faith' Makes Fat A Force To Reckon With

Jul 6, 2016

It's got to be said: The costume is ... not great. Faith, the plus-sized superhero starring in her debut volume from Valiant Comics, is a "psiot" who fights crime armed with the powers of flight and telekinesis. Unfortunately, she does it wearing a sort of half-coat, half-smock in the toothpastey palette of white with blue trim. Her matching white pants and plain white boots evoke a snowsuit. Faith's costume is so graceless, it almost seems like the work of an artist who's channeling unspoken fatophobia.

Robert F. Kennedy is often remembered as a liberal icon who worked to heal racial strife, decrease poverty and end the war in Vietnam. But biographer Larry Tye says the New York senator was actually a political operative whose views changed over time.

"Throughout his life, [Kennedy] paid attention to what went right and wrong," Tye tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "He grew by actually seeing things up close; he took things to heart in ways that few politicians do."

Pages