Literature

Literature
3:09 am
Thu July 4, 2013

For 'Star-Spangled Banner,' A Long Road From Song To Anthem

American lawyer Francis Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry from a boat about 8 miles away.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Thu July 4, 2013 9:48 am

All over the country on Thursday, fireworks will light up the sky. In many places, those fireworks will come with a patriotic soundtrack — one that wouldn't be complete without "The Star-Spangled Banner." The song officially became America's national anthem in 1931, but it's been around since the early 19th century.

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Literature
7:21 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Book News: Authors Lose Class-Action Status In Google Books Case

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Literature
7:00 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

July 1, 2013 Shelf Discovery: The Barbed Crown

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin goes undercover with American spy Ethan Gage in William Dietrich’s The Barbed Crown.

Title: The Barbed Crown

Author: William Dietrich

Pages: 339

Publisher: HarperCollins

ISBN: 978-0062194077

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

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Literature
3:55 am
Mon July 1, 2013

Rotenberg's Toronto Thrillers Mix Canadian Courtesy With Murder

From the Toronto Islands, one of many real-life Toronto locales in Robert Rotenberg's legal thrillers, visitors have a clear view of the city's skyline.
Sean Dawsean via Flickr

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 11:10 am

Robert Rotenberg has written four legal thrillers set in Toronto, that old industrial city on the shores of Lake Ontario. He's a criminal lawyer — all his books are centered on trials — and he loves his city so much that he makes multicultural Toronto a character in his books. His first release, Old City Hall, is even named after a Toronto landmark: a beautiful stone building that is now used as a courthouse.

Real Courtrooms, Real Courtesy

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Literature
4:05 pm
Sun June 30, 2013

How One Woman Nearly Deciphered A Mysterious Script

An ancient tablet contains records written in Linear B — a script that was discovered in the 19th century and remained undeciphered for decades.
Sharon Mollerus Wikimedia Commons

Originally published on Mon July 1, 2013 12:17 pm

Critics have called Margalit Fox's new book, The Riddle of the Labyrinth, a paleographic detective procedural. It follows the story of the laborious quest to crack a mysterious script, unearthed in Crete in 1900, known by the sterile-sounding name Linear B.

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Book Reviews
12:10 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Globetrotting Cartoonist Heads Home In 'User's Guide'

Originally published on Thu June 27, 2013 12:25 pm

It looks like a last-minute gift, like one of those tiny tomes that live near the register on the counter of your favorite bookstore, hoping to catch the attention (or at least the impulse) of shoppers in the check-out line. Given its digest-sized dimensions and jokey title, you'd be forgiven for assuming A User's Guide to Neglectful Parenting is a hastily assembled collection of cornball homilies, like those miniature books about dads, grads and golf that double as greeting cards this time of year. But don't be fooled.

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Code Switch
2:15 pm
Tue June 25, 2013

As Demographics Shift, Kids' Books Stay Stubbornly White

At a San Jose, Calif. library, a young reader browses a shelf of books featuring a variety of main characters: ducks, hens, white kids, black kids. Libraries help drive demand for children's books with nonwhite characters, but book publishers say there aren't enough libraries to make those books best-sellers.
San Jose Library Flickr

Originally published on Tue June 25, 2013 11:14 am

When it comes to diversity, children's books are sorely lacking; instead of presenting a representative range of faces, they're overwhelmingly white. How bad is the disconnect?

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Literature
7:00 pm
Mon June 24, 2013

June 24, 2013 Shelf Discovery: The Liars’ Gospel

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin explores the gospels’ story with Naomi Alderman’s The Liars’ Gospel.

Title: The Liars’ Gospel

Author: Naomi Alderman

Pages: 230

Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

ISBN: 978-0316232784

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

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Literature
7:00 pm
Mon June 17, 2013

June 17, 2013 Shelf Discovery: Love Rehab

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin checks herself into Jo Piazza’s Love Rehab.

Title: Love Rehab

Author: Jo Piazza

Pages: 142

Publisher: Open Road Media

ISBN: 978-1453295076

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

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Literature
5:16 pm
Tue June 11, 2013

What Kids Are Reading, In School And Out

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:11 pm

Walk into any bookstore or library, and you'll find shelves and shelves of hugely popular novels and book series for kids. But research shows that as young readers get older, they are not moving to more complex books. High-schoolers are reading books written for younger kids, and teachers aren't assigning difficult classics as much as they once did.

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Literature
7:16 am
Tue June 11, 2013

Book News: Sales Of Orwell's '1984' Spike After NSA Revelations

Originally published on Tue June 11, 2013 7:17 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Literature
7:00 pm
Mon June 10, 2013

June 10, 2013 Shelf Discovery: Club Monstrosity

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin attends group therapy with a monstrous bunch in Jesse Petersen’s Club Monstrosity.

Title: Club Monstrosity

Author: Jesse Petersen

Pages: 194

Publisher: Pocket Star

ISBN: B008X6R6OG

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

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Literature
6:54 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Book News: Iain Banks, Genre-Defying Author, Dies

Scottish novelist Iain Banks wrote science fiction under the name Iain M. Banks, and mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks.
Ray Charles Redman

Originally published on Mon June 10, 2013 7:44 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Literature
5:53 pm
Sun June 9, 2013

Three-Minute Fiction: The Round 11 Winner Is ...

Ben Jahn, the winner of Round 11, received a 2010 National Endowment for the Arts grant in fiction to begin the novel he's currently working on.
Courtesy of Ben Jahn

Originally published on Sun June 9, 2013 6:36 pm

The search is over for the winner of Round 11 of Three-Minute Fiction, the contest where listeners submit original short stories that can be read in about three minutes.

We received help this round from graduate students at 16 different writing programs across the country. They poured through thousands of submissions and passed the best of the best along to our judge this round, novelist Karen Russell.

Here was your challenge for this round: A character finds something he or she has no intention of returning.

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Literature
7:37 am
Thu June 6, 2013

Book News: A.M. Homes Takes Women's Prize For Fiction

A.M. Homes, author of May We Be Forgiven, poses prior to Wednesday's awards ceremony for the Women's Prize For Fiction at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Ben Stansall AFP/Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Literature
10:39 am
Wed June 5, 2013

Start Storing Up: Indie Booksellers Pick Summer's Best Reads

Andrew Bannecker

Originally published on Thu March 20, 2014 4:06 pm

NPR's Susan Stamberg asked three of our go-to independent booksellers — Rona Brinlee of The BookMark in Neptune Beach, Fla.; Daniel Goldin of Boswell Book Co. in Milwaukee; and Lucia Silva, former book buyer at the now-closed Portrait of a Bookstore in Studio City, Calif. — to help fill our beach bags with good reads. What they came up with is a summer book list that's full of youth and ritual.

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Literature
7:00 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

June 3, 2013 Shelf Discovery: Into the Void

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin gets a lesson in Jedi history from Tim Lebbon’s Into the Void

Title: Into the Void (Star Wars: Dawn of the Jedi)

Author: Tim Lebbon

Pages: 235

Publisher: LucasBooks

ISBN: 978-0345541932

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

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Literature
1:10 pm
Mon June 3, 2013

'Fairyland': A Girl Grows Up In San Francisco's Gay Community

W.W. Norton & Co.

Originally published on Tue June 4, 2013 9:58 am

While these days it's not uncommon to meet children with gay parents, in the 1970s it was. Alysia Abbott was one of those kids. When her parents met, her father — Steve Abbott — told her mother he was bisexual. But when Alysia was a toddler, her mother died in a car accident and Steve came out as gay. He moved with his daughter to San Francisco, just as the gay liberation movement was gaining strength.

While her father had not initially wanted a child, Abbott says he enjoyed spending time with her when she was a baby. Her mother's death brought the two of them even closer.

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Literature
7:25 am
Wed May 29, 2013

Book News: Kipling Admitted Plagiarizing 'Promiscuously'

English poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling poses in 1925.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

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Literature
2:56 pm
Tue May 28, 2013

Stephen King On Growing Up, Believing In God And Getting Scared

Stephen King delves into the seedy underworld of carnies for his latest novel, Joyland.
Hard Case Crime

Originally published on Fri June 14, 2013 2:29 pm

For 20 years, Stephen King has had an image stuck in his head: It's a boy in a wheelchair flying a kite on a beach. "It wanted to be a story, but it wasn't a story," he tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. But little by little, the story took shape around the image — and focused on an amusement park called "Joyland" located just a little farther down the beach.

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