Literature

Literature
12:32 pm
Thu January 24, 2013

'Going Clear': A New Book Delves Into Scientology

The Church of Scientology building in Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard on Aug. 28, 2011.
AK2 iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 6:50 am

In the introduction to his new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, Lawrence Wright writes, "Scientology plays an outsize role in the cast of new religions that have arisen in the 20th century and survived into the 21st."

The book is a look inside the world of Scientology and the life of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, who died in 1986. A recent ad for Scientology claims to welcome 4.4 million new converts each year.

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Literature
8:00 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

January 21, 2013 Shelf Discovery: Extra Credit

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin goes back to school for murder and family dysfunction in Maggie Barbieri’s Extra Credit.

Title: Extra Credit

Author: Maggie Barbieri

Pages: 373

Publisher: Minotaur Books          

ISBN: 978-1250001887

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

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Literature
12:25 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

U.K. Asks Students To Learn Poetry 'By Heart,' Not By Rote

Emily Musette Hays performs in the 2012 Poetry Out Loud finals in Washington, D.C. The U.S. competition served as a model for the U.K.'s Poetry By Heart contest.
James Kegley The Poetry Foundation

Originally published on Sat January 19, 2013 7:13 am

When the Internet offers a superabundance of material to read, watch, listen to and play, it's easy to skim over text and half-listen to broadcasts. But the British government is inviting schoolchildren to put down their cellphones, turn off their news feeds and spend a long time lingering over a poem — so long that they learn it by heart.

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Literature
4:12 pm
Sun January 20, 2013

Connecting With Nature To Reclaim Our Natural 'Birthright'

Stephen Kellert is a professor emeritus and senior research scholar at Yale University.
John Mueller Yale University Press

Originally published on Sun January 20, 2013 5:29 pm

"Contact with nature is not some magical elixir but the natural world is the substrate on which we must build our existence," writes Stephen Kellert in his new book Birthright: People and Nature in the Modern World.

In it, he tells stories of the environment's effect on us, and ours on it. His writing builds on the traditions of Thoreau, John Muir and Rachel Carson. Modern society, he argues, has become adversarial in its relationship to nature, having greatly undervalued the natural world beyond its narrow utility.

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Literature
10:10 am
Wed January 16, 2013

Hold On To Your Tighty Whities, Captain Underpants Is Back!

Cover image

Originally published on Tue January 15, 2013 4:22 am

Let's face it. When you're a kid, sometimes adults can be a real drag. The new Captain Underpants book puts it this way: "Did you ever notice how grown-ups hate it when kids are having fun?"

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Literature
2:46 pm
Tue January 15, 2013

A New Chapter? A Launch Of The Bookless Library

In Texas, Bexar County officials compare the proposed digital-only library to an Apple store. The 4,989-square-foot modern space will contain 100 e-readers available for circulation, 50 e-readers for children, 50 computer stations, 25 laptops and 25 tablets on-site.
Courtesy of Bexar County

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 10:56 am

If your idea of a library is row upon row of nicely shelved hardcovers, then you'll be in for a surprise when a planned new library in San Antonio opens this fall.

"Think of an Apple store," Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff says while explaining the layout of the new library, BiblioTech.

In keeping with technological advances, the county will house a library of neatly arranged LCD screens and gadgets instead of the traditional banquet of dog-eared print and paper books. The public library will be one of the first digital-only libraries of its kind.

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Literature
7:00 pm
Mon January 14, 2013

January 14, 2013 Shelf Discovery

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin joins a mourning mom for a mystery in the mountains in Blind Faith by C. J. Lyons.



Title: Blind Faith


Author: C. J. Lyons


Pages: 401


Publisher: Minotaur Books          


ISBN: 978-1250014603



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


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Literature
6:26 am
Wed January 9, 2013

Richard Blanco Will Be First Latino Inaugural Poet

Poet Richard Blanco is the author of City of a Hundred Fires, Directions to the Beach of the Dead and Looking for the Gulf Motel.
Nico Tucci Courtesy Richard Blanco

Originally published on Wed January 16, 2013 3:44 pm

In 1961, Robert Frost became the first poet to read at a U.S. inauguration when he recited "The Gift Outright" at President John F. Kennedy's swearing in. Since then, only three other poets have taken part in subsequent inaugural ceremonies: Maya Angelou, Miller Williams and Elizabeth Alexander. Now, there's a fifth.

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Literature
1:50 pm
Tue January 8, 2013

'The Fall Of The House Of Dixie' Built A New U.S.

Random House

This month marks the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, which President Lincoln issued on Jan. 1, 1863, in the midst of the Civil War. The document declares that all those held as slaves within any state, or part of a state, in rebellion "shall be then, thenceforward and forever free."

Historian Bruce Levine explores the destruction of the old South and the reunified country that emerged from the Civil War in his new book, The Fall of the House of Dixie. He says one result of the document was a flood of black men from the South into the Union Army.

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Literature
10:18 am
Tue January 8, 2013

A Literary Sex Education In Mumbai

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 9:14 am

Manil Suri is the author of the forthcoming novel The City of Devi.

Through the 1960s and '70s and well into the present century, Harold Robbins' name has stood out in India as someone who has perhaps educated the entire repressed subcontinent (or at least its English-speaking population) about sex.

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Literature
8:00 pm
Mon January 7, 2013

January 7, 2013 Shelf Discovery: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin rides shotgun with the grim reaper for Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet by Darynda Jones.

Title: Fourth Grave Beneath My Feet

Author: Darynda Jones

CDs: 9 (10.5 hours)

Publisher: Macmillan Audio        

ISBN: 978-1427225948

And read Kristin's

on NightsAndWeekends.com.

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Literature
9:54 am
Mon January 7, 2013

'The Great Agnostic': Giving Up Politics To Preach Against Religion

Originally published on Sun January 6, 2013 10:02 am

Attention American history buffs, here's a name you might not have heard before: Robert Ingersoll. According to author Susan Jacoby, he was "one of the most famous people in America in the last quarter of the 19th century."

"He went around the country," Jacoby tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "He spoke to more people than presidents. He was also an active mover and shaker behind the scenes of the Republican Party."

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Literature
2:55 pm
Fri January 4, 2013

A Story Of Slavery, Loss And Hope In 1850s Ohio

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 2:19 pm

In the aftermath of the Compromise of 1850, a controversial bill that included the Fugitive Slave Act, the journey to freedom became increasingly difficult for enslaved people. In Tracy Chevalier's newest novel, Ohio and its intricate network of Underground Railroad activity provides a rich background for this period.

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Literature
8:57 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Exclusive First Read: 'A Memory Of Light,' By Robert Jordan And Brandon Sanderson

Tor Books

Originally published on Mon January 7, 2013 7:26 pm

  • Hear An Excerpt From The Audiobook

Normally, we avoid dropping our readers into the middle of an established series, but we're making an exception for A Memory of Light, the final volume in one of the most epic, sprawling works of fantasy ever written — Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time." In progress since 1990, it now stretches to 14 volumes. Jordan himself, tragically, did not live to finish the series; his widow, Harriet, chose fantasy author Brandon Sanderson to complete the last few books after Jordan's death in 2007.

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Literature
8:00 pm
Mon December 31, 2012

December 31, 2012 Shelf Discovery: Swift Run

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin hits the slopes with Laura DiSilverio’s Swift Run.

Title: Swift Run

Author: Laura DiSilverio   

Pages: 292

Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books          

ISBN: 978-0312623814

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

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Literature
5:55 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

Author Ben Fountain's Book Picks For 2013

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and the short story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara." href="/post/author-ben-fountains-book-picks-2013" class="noexit lightbox">
Ben Fountain is the author of Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk and the short story collection Brief Encounters With Che Guevara.
Thorne Anderson

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 6:33 pm

Last spring, weekends on All Things Considered spoke with author Ben Fountain just as he released his widely acclaimed first novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk. Later in the year, it was nominated for the National Book Award.

We asked Fountain to share with us what he's looking forward to in the book world next year. He says he's read about 25 books for release in 2013 and tells host Jacki Lyden, "The state of American fiction is really strong, at least from where I'm standing."

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Literature
7:50 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Close The Year Out With Some Best-Selling Last Words

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:27 pm

People often make lists of the greatest opening lines in fiction, but closing lines really appeal to me. They're your final moments with a book and can help you remember and treasure it forever.

The last weekend of the year seems an appropriate time to consider the final words of our favorite novels and short stories. Here are some that I'm especially fond of:

The Great Gatsby
F. Scott Fitzgerald
"So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past."

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Literature
11:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Margaret Atwood's Brave New World Of Online Publishing

Margaret Atwood has written 13 novels, including The Handmaid's Tale and Oryx and Crake.
George Whiteside

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

If you're a Margaret Atwood fan — and you've got some spare change under the couch cushions — just a few dollars will get you a stand-alone episode of the new novel she's writing in serial form.

It's called Positron, and Atwood is publishing it on Byliner, a website launched last year that's one of many new sites billing themselves as platforms for writers.

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Literature
9:40 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

Change Is The Only Constant In Today's Publishing Industry

Penguin and Random House, two of the biggest players in publishing, announced in October that they would merge.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

The publishing industry has been in flux for years. First chain stores, then Amazon, then e-books — many forces have combined to create dramatic change in the traditional publishing model.

Mike Shatzkin is the founder and CEO of the publishing industry consulting firm Idea Logical. He says one of the biggest changes happening in publishing right now is the planned merger of two of the biggest players in the field, Penguin and Random House — with whispers of further mergers to come.

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Literature
4:23 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

E-Books Destroying Traditional Publishing? The Story's Not That Simple

Publishers are finding that flexible pricing on e-books can help bring in new readers.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

What counts as a book these days, in a world of Kindles, Nooks and iPads — and eager talk about new platforms and distribution methods?

Traditional publishers are traveling a long and confusing road into the digital future. To begin with, here's the conventional wisdom about publishing: E-books are destroying the business model.

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