WCBE

Literature

Literature

Before I read Adelle Waldman's brilliant debut novel, The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P., I had about as much interest in reading about the hip, young literary types who've colonized Brooklyn as I do in watching Duck Dynasty, that reality show about a family of bearded Luddites who live in the Louisiana swamps. Both clans are ingrown and smug, each, in their own way, disdainful of the American mainstream.

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On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin takes a chance on the romance of An Accidental Kiss by Dawn Douglas.

Title: An Accidental Kiss

Author: Dawn Douglas

Pages: 35

Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

ASIN: B00BK9V6PI

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

On the Noodle Road is one attempt to answer an old chestnut: Did Marco Polo really bring noodles from China to Italy? If not, where did they really come from? Or — to put it another way — from what point along the storied byways of the Silk Road did that humble paste of flour and water first spring into its multifarious existence?

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

Andrew Carnegie was once the richest man in the world. Coming as a dirt poor kid from Scotland to the U.S., by the 1880s he'd built an empire in steel — and then gave it all away: $60 million to fund a system of 1,689 public libraries across the country.

Carnegie donated $300,000 to build Washington, D.C.'s oldest library — a beautiful beaux arts building that dates back to 1903. Inscribed above the doorway are the words: Science, Poetry, History. The building was "dedicated to the diffusion of knowledge."

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

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin finds trouble in paradise in the latest Dixie Hemingway mystery, The Cat Sitter’s Cradle

Title: The Cat Sitter’s Cradle

Author: Blaize and John Clement

Pages: 290

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 978-1250009326

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

What if the X-Men were real? And what if they weren't mutants in spandex, but people like you and me and Bob in accounting, just endowed with superhuman talents for things like pattern recognition, programming and strategy?

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

The Mysterious History Of 'Marijuana'

Jul 23, 2013

We've decided to take a weekly look at a word or phrase that's caught our attention, whether for its history, usage, etymology, or just because it has an interesting story. This week, we look into how we came to call cannabis "marijuana," and the role Mexico played in that shift.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin explores a doctor’s troubled past in Always Watching by Chevy Stevens.

Title: Always Watching

Author: Chevy Stevens

Pages: 338

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

ISBN: 978-0312595692

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

Ted is a theoretical physicist facing a slew of resolutely concrete problems. His son is racing headlong into puberty. His daughter's prodigious intellect causes her to stand out at school — the very last thing the girl wants. His elderly father-in-law isn't remembering much, these days, save for the fact that he hates Ted's guts. His wife is sick and getting sicker, just as his employer, a prominent think tank, threatens to fire him for lack of productivity. To keep his job, and its health care coverage, Ted needs an idea.

There's been a frenzy of excitement since last year when Disney bought Lucasfilm, creator of the Star Wars franchise, and announced it would make more Star Wars movies. Fans are eagerly awaiting hints of what might happen next in the story, and one way the franchise keeps fans interested is through a pantheon of Star Wars books, the latest of which is Troy Denning's Star Wars: Crucible.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin travels to Texas for a deadly family reunion with Janice Hamrick’s Death Rides Again

Title: Death Rides Again

Author: Janice Hamrick

Pages: 310

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 978-1250005557

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

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

In July, NPR's Backseat Book Club traveled to Hanging Moss, Miss., where Gloriana June Hemphill, better known as Glory, is just an ordinary little girl. But this is no ordinary summer — it's 1964 and the town has shut down the so-called "community" swimming pool to avoid integration.

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

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin delves into the world of reality TV with Alison Gaylin’s Reality Ends Here.

Title: Reality Ends Here

Author: Alison Gaylin

Pages: 236

Publisher: Pocket Star

ASIN: B00A27X6CK

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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?

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.

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.

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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