Literature

Literature
1:13 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

'Klansville, U.S.A.' Chronicles The Rise And Fall Of The KKK

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 5:30 pm

As the civil rights movement gained momentum in the 1960s, Ku Klux Klan activity boomed. That fact itself may not be surprising, but in the introduction to his new book, Klansville, U.S.A., David Cunningham also reveals that, "While deadly KKK violence in Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia ha[d] garnered the lion's share of Klan publicity, the United Klan's stronghold was, in fact, North Carolina." North Carolina, Cunningham writes, had more Klan members than the rest of the South combined.

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Literature
7:00 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

February 11, 2013 Shelf Discovery: Warm Bodies

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin falls in love with the undead romance of Isaac Marion’s Warm Bodies.

Title: Warm Bodies

Author: Isaac Marion

Pages: 256

Publisher: Atria Books      

ISBN: 978-1476717463

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

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Literature
1:29 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

At 50, Does 'Feminine Mystique' Still Roar?

Betty Friedan, co-founder of National Organization for Women (NOW), speaks during the Women's Strike for Equality event in New York on Aug. 26, 1970, the 50th anniversary of women's suffrage.
AP

Originally published on Sun February 10, 2013 7:50 am

In 1963, Betty Friedan called it "the problem that has no name" and then proceeded to name it — and the name stuck. The problem was "The Feminine Mystique," which was also the title of her groundbreaking book, published 50 years ago.

Since its first publication in 1963, millions of people have read The Feminine Mystique. These days, many people read it in college — often in women's studies classes. Even so, when we talked with some young women in downtown Washington, D.C., many knew little or nothing about it.

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Literature
7:57 am
Fri February 8, 2013

Book News: Should Ayn Rand Be Required Reading?

Originally published on Fri February 8, 2013 3:37 pm

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

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Literature
1:54 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Hollywood Hot Shots, Scientology And A Story Worth The Risk In 'Going Clear'

AK2 iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 12:26 pm

In the 1970s, a young man named Paul Haggis was walking down a street in Ontario, Canada. He encountered a man peddling a book.

"And he handed the book to Paul, and he said, 'You've got a mind — this is the owner's manual,' " journalist Lawrence Wright tells NPR's Steve Inskeep. "And inside, there was a stamp saying 'Church of Scientology,' and Paul was intrigued, and he said, 'Take me there.' " Haggis soon became a member of the Church of Scientology — and he's a central character in Wright's new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief.

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Literature
8:11 am
Wed February 6, 2013

Even Balzac Had To Intern

Before he became a founder of realism and an unlikely literary sex icon, the young Honoré de Balzac was proofreading legal filings.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Originally published on Wed February 6, 2013 1:01 pm

A young man graduates from college. At his father's insistence, he begins interning at a law firm. But when it comes time to pursue the profession, he refuses: He wants to do something more meaningful. He wants to write.

Sound like your son/cousin/roommate/best friend? It was Honoré de Balzac.

That's right – before he became a founder of realism and an unlikely literary sex icon ("Do not suppose," an Italian count wrote to his wife, "that the ugliness of his face will protect you from his irresistible power"), the young Balzac was proofreading legal filings.

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Literature
8:00 pm
Mon February 4, 2013

February 4, 2013 Shelf Discovery: The Girl Next Door

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin searches for a scoop with The Girl Next Door by Brad Parks.

Title: The Girl Next Door

Author: Brad Parks

Pages: 323

Publisher: Minotaur Books          

ISBN: 978-1250013408

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

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Literature
9:39 am
Mon February 4, 2013

Sendak's 'Brother's Book': An Elegy, A Farewell

Originally published on Mon February 4, 2013 12:09 pm

Maurice Sendak, one of America's most beloved children's book authors, evocatively captured both the wonders and fears of childhood. His books, including Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There, revolutionized picture books by adding danger and darkness to the genre.

Over the course of his life, Sendak wrote and illustrated more than a dozen widely acclaimed books and illustrated almost 80 more. And although he died last May at 83, Sendak still has one more volume on the way.

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Literature
9:34 am
Mon February 4, 2013

The Inconvenient Truth About Polar Bears

A polar bear looks up as the sound of the camera catches his ear on the edge of the Hudson Bay, outside Churchill, Manitoba, Canada.
Paul J. Richards AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 6:41 pm

In 2008, reports of polar bears' inevitable march toward extinction gripped headlines. Stories of thinning Arctic ice and even polar bear cannibalism combined to make these predators into a powerful symbol in the debate about climate change.

The headlines caught Zac Unger's attention, and he decided to write a book about the bears.

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Literature
5:17 am
Sat February 2, 2013

How To Save A Public Library: Make It A Seed Bank

The seed library is a partnership between the Basalt Public Library and the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute. Seed packets encourage gardeners to write their names and take credit for their harvested seeds.
Courtesy of Dylan Johns

Originally published on Sat February 2, 2013 3:07 pm

Despite the cold and snow, some signs of spring are starting to break through in Colorado. The public library in the small town of Basalt is trying an experiment: In addition to borrowing books, residents can now check out seeds.

In a corner of the library, Stephanie Syson and her 4-year-old daughter, Gray, are just finishing a book with a white rabbit on the cover.

When Gray approaches the knee-high shelves filled with seed packets, she zeroes in on a pack labeled "rainbow carrots."

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Literature
11:08 am
Fri February 1, 2013

In Search Of A Father, Finding Herself

Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Thu January 31, 2013 7:03 am

Nicole Georges grew up believing she became a half-orphan when her father died in his 30s, but when a palm reader suggested that her father — the one her mother had told her died of colon cancer — might still be alive, she began to look more closely at the whole of her unexamined life. This personal reconsideration is the heart of Calling Dr. Laura, an inventive graphic memoir that recounts this quest, as well as Nicole Georges' coming into her own as an artist and daughter.

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Literature
3:47 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Netflix Moves Back Into Content Production With 'Cards'

Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Tue February 12, 2013 11:26 am

Netflix customers will soon have a new option: Along with the company's usual offerings, viewers will be able to watch a new show called House of Cards, a political drama adapted from a British show, and starring Kevin Spacey. David Fincher (known for The Social Network and Seven) will direct the first two episodes. But what's new about House of Cards is that all 13 episodes will be available at once — and they were financed by Netflix itself.

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Literature
8:00 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

January 28, 2013 Shelf Discovery: Excuse Me for Living

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin checks herself into the rehab romance Excuse Me for Living by Ric Klass.

Title: Excuse Me for Living

Author: Ric Klass

Pages: 300

Publisher: Arcade Publishing     

ISBN: 978-1616087807

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

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Literature
8:41 am
Mon January 28, 2013

'Pride And Prejudice' Turns 200

standard and square crops
Jen Sorensen

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 6:05 pm

This week marks an important milestone for anyone who swoons at the very mention of Mr. Darcy. Pride and Prejudice is turning 200, and to celebrate its bicentennial, cartoonist Jen Sorensen drew up an illustrated version of the classic.

Literature
8:19 am
Mon January 28, 2013

A Colorful Anniversary: The Caldecott Medal Turns 75

The Polar Express won the Caldecott Medal in 1986, and was turned into an animated movie with Tom Hanks in 2004.
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Mon January 28, 2013 10:11 am

Some children's book illustrators might not have gotten a lot of sleep over the weekend. That's because they might have been wondering if this could be the year they win one of the grand prizes of children's literature: the Randolph Caldecott Medal.

This year is the 75th anniversary of the Caldecott, which is given to the most distinguished children's picture book of the year. The winner is being named Monday morning at a meeting of the American Library Association.

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Literature
8:33 am
Fri January 25, 2013

'Insurgents' Hoped To Change Military From Within

Barbara Sax AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu January 24, 2013 1:30 pm

National security reporter Fred Kaplan was the first to publicly link Paula Broadwell to Gen. David Petraeus in last fall's affair scandal, but that's not the topic of his new book. In fact, it's barely an addendum. Instead, Kaplan focuses in depth on counterinsurgency — a cornerstone of Petraeus' legacy.

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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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