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Literature

Literature

  JA Jance will be in Columbus with the Thurber House on March 10. We talked about how she got started, why she doesn't like the word "prolific," and why you shouldn't plan even fictional murders in restaurants.

And don't forget to comment on the Craft website for a chance to win her book.

A few years ago, Morning Edition interviewed President Obama at the White House. At the time, it was a major news story, but there was another story going on behind the scenes.

Madhulika Sikka, now the executive editor of NPR News, had accompanied the team to the White House, and while NPR's Steve Inskeep was talking to the president, Sikka was waiting on a phone call from her doctor. She had been warned a few days before that the news might not be good.

Researcher danah boyd is obsessed with how teenagers use the Internet. For the legions of adults who are worried about them, that's a good thing.

With a Ph.D from the University of California, Berkeley, and a masters from MIT, and as a senior researcher with Microsoft, boyd is something of a star in the world of social media. For her new book It's Complicated, she spent about eight years studying teenagers and how they interact online. She says she wrote the book in part to help parents, educators and journalists relax. "The kids are all right," she says.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin races toward the thrilling conclusion to Anders de la Motte’s Game trilogy with Bubble.

Title: Bubble

Author: Anders de la Motte

Pages: 468

Publisher: Atria / Emily Bestler Books

ISBN: 978-1476712949

                                  

Leah Vincent was born into the Yeshivish community, an ultra-Orthodox sect of Judaism, in Pittsburgh.

"Yeshivish Judaism life is defined by religious law," Vincent tells NPR's Arun Rath. "We keep extra-strict laws of kosher, observe the Sabbath every week, maintain a separation of the sexes and a degree of isolation from the outside world."

When she was 16, she was caught exchanging letters with a male friend. Contact with men is forbidden in her sect, and she was cast out from her community.

Pulitzer-prize finalist Chang-Rae Lee tells me about his latest novel, working with students, and the potential for going into writing as a money-making career (his advice: don't).

First person to comment at the Craft website gets two free books!

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

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin views international politics through the eyes of a teen with J. C. Carleson’s The Tyrant’s Daughter.

Title: The Tyrant’s Daughter

Author: J. C. Carleson

Pages: 150

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 978-0449809976

                                  

Book News: Slam Poet Maggie Estep Dies

Feb 14, 2014

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

On July 4, 1913, Robert Frost wrote to his good friend John Bartlett, describing his strengths as a poet: "To be perfectly frank with you I am one of the most notable craftsmen of my time. ... I alone of English writers have consciously set myself to make music out of what I may call the sound of sense."

Frost was 39 years old when he wrote those words. Despite the hubristic and self-assured tone, he had published one book of poetry, A Boy's Will, and was relatively unknown in literary circles.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin journeys through space with Star Road by Matthew Costello and Rick Hautala

Title: Star Road

Author: Matthew Costello and Rick Hautala

Pages: 326

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books

ISBN: 978-1250013224

                                  

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

Book News: Fragment Of Jane Austen's Handwriting Found

Feb 4, 2014

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

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin battles an icy queen with Karen Foxlee’s Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy.

Title: Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy

Author: Karen Foxlee

Pages: 151

Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf Books for Young Readers

ISBN: 978-0385753548

                                  

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

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

For the historical novelist, the past sometimes seems like one great filing cabinet of material that may lend itself to successful novelization. And in the case of France's so-called "Belle Epoque," the gifted English writer Robert Harris seems to have opened the right drawer. His latest novel, An Officer and a Spy, is set during this period of peace and prosperity between the end of the Franco-Prussian war and the lead-up to the First World War.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin is matched up with A Taste of Chocolate, a short e-book by Vonnie Davis.

Title: A Taste of Chocolate

Author: Vonnie Davis

Pages: 38

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press 

ISBN: 978-1-61217-907-0

                                  

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

Update: On Jan. 27, the American Library Association awarded the Caldecott Medal to Locomotive by Brian Floca. Three Caldecott Honor books were also named, including Journey by Aaron Becker and Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner.

Our original post:

One of the world's most beloved books is The Little Prince by Antoine Saint-Exupery. Published in 1943, almost two million copies are sold every year, in about 250 languages.

If asked where you think the book was written, you might say Paris. You'd be wrong. Try Long Island — as in Long Island, N.Y.

When the late Nikos Kefalidis bought the house on Beven Road in Northport, Long Island, in the late 1970s, he knew that 30 years before, Saint-Exupery had written and illustrated part of Le Petit Prince in that house.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin goes back to high school with Lisi Harrison’s Pretenders.

Title: Pretenders

Author: Lisi Harrison

Pages: 212

Publisher: Poppy   

ISBN: 978-0316222440

                                  

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

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

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin disconnects with Anders de la Motte’s Buzz.

Title: Buzz

Author: Anders de la Motte

Pages: 322

Publisher: Atria / Emily Bestler Books    

ISBN: 978-1476712918

                                  

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

Ishmael Beah was just barely a teenager when his town became engulfed in Sierra Leone's civil war in the mid-1990s. In his 2007 memoir, A Long Way Gone, Beah describes how, after he lost his parents and brothers to the conflict, he wandered the countryside with a band of boys and was recruited as a child soldier by government forces. The memoir describes the hellish atrocities committed by child soldiers on both sides of the conflict.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin reminisces about the past with Maggie Barbieri’s Once Upon a Lie.

Title: Once Upon a Lie

Author: Maggie Barbieri

Pages: 290

Publisher: Minotaur Books          

ISBN: 978-1250011671

                                  

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

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin gears up for college with the characters in Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando’s Roomies.

Title: Roomies

Author: Sara Zarr and Tara Altebrando

Pages: 216

Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers     

ISBN: 978-0316217491

                                  

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

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin investigates the audio version of Lars Kepler’s The Fire Witness.

Title: The Fire Witness

Author: Lars Kepler

CDs: 12 (15 hours)

Publisher: Macmillan Audio        

ISBN: 978-1427231567

                                  

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

If your holiday shopping trip includes a stop at the bookstore, you might consider adding audiobooks to your gift list. And this year, as you slip on headphones to sample the offerings, what you hear might surprise you.

According to Robin Whitten, the founder and editor of AudioFile magazine, the genre has far surpassed the conventions of the taped readings of yore.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin returns to the Delta with Nick and Desmond in Rick Gavin’s Nowhere Nice.

Title: Nowhere Nice

Author: Rick Gavin

Pages: 282

Publisher: Minotaur Books          

ISBN: 978-0312583194

                         

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

Poem: Nelson Mandela, 'An Ordinary Man'

Dec 16, 2013

On Sunday, South Africans will lay to rest the remains of Nelson Mandela.

The legacy left by the activist and political prisoner who transformed a nation and became president is being remembered by politicians, historians and artists.

Among them is Thabiso Mohare, a young South African spoken word artist who performs under the name Afurakan. He wrote a poem for NPR about Mandela called "An Ordinary Man."

Fans of the writer Paul Auster know an enormous amount about him. His novels often draw on autobiographical details, and he has written five books that are explicitly about his own life.

Last year, he published a memoir called Winter Journal that tells the story of his life through the story of his own body — every scar and blemish. Now Auster has published a companion autobiography of his intellectual self, called Report from the Interior.

Each year, millions of people from different faiths make religious journeys. They travel far, to Mecca, Jerusalem, the Ganges River or Lourdes, France, to walk the paths of prophets, saints and martyrs.

"Pilgrimage is something built into the human condition," says George Weigel, author of Roman Pilgrimage: The Station Churches. "There seems to be something hardwired into us, spiritually, that the idea of a journey from A to B becomes part of the rhythm of the spiritual life."

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