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Literature

Literature

Book News: Amazon Debuts Its Virtual Currency

May 14, 2013

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

In 2011, Jessica Buchanan was an aid worker in northern Somalia, helping to raise awareness about how to avoid land mines. The north was the relatively safe section of the country; that October, she traveled to the more dangerous southern region for a training. The night before she left, she texted her husband, Erik Landemalm, also an aid worker in Somalia. She asked him a question: "If I get kidnapped on this trip, will you come and get me?"

In December 1944, the Nazis looked like a spent force: The U.S. and its allies had pushed Hitler's armies across France in the fight to liberate Europe from German occupation.

The Allies were so confident that the Forest of Ardennes, near the front lines in Belgium, became a rest and recreation area, complete with regular USO performances.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin explores the lifestyles of the rich and fabulous with Jane Haddam’s Blood in the Water.

Title: Blood in the Water

Author: Jane Haddam

Pages: 282

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 0312644345

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

Anchee Min's best-selling memoir Red Azalea told the story of her youth in China during the Cultural Revolution. Her followup, The Cooked Seed, picks up nearly 20 years later as she arrives in America with $500 in her pocket, no English and a plan to study art in Chicago.

Min tells NPR's Rachel Martin that her life in China ended because of her relationship with Madame Mao, a former actress and the wife of Chairman Mao Zedong.

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

If you said the "s" word in the ninth century, you probably wouldn't have shocked or offended anyone. Back then, the "s" word was just the everyday word that was used to refer to excrement. That's one of many surprising, foul-mouthed facts Melissa Mohr reveals in her new book, Holy S- - -: A Brief History of Swearing.

Many high school seniors who are heading to college this fall have just paid their tuition deposits — the first real taste of what the college experience is going to cost them. These students are heading to school at a time that some consider a transformative moment for American colleges and universities. Costs are skyrocketing, and there are some real questions about what value college students are getting for their money.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin walks away from it all with One Step Too Far by Tina Seskis.

Title: One Step Too Far

Author: Tina Seskis

Pages: 185

Publisher: Kirk Parolles

ISBN: 978-0957544321

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

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

A Cartoon Tribute To Cats, And The Poets Who Loved Them

May 1, 2013

Tuesday marks the close of National Poetry Month, a 30-day celebration of all things versified and all people versifying. And in tangentially related news, for more than eight months, a book of cat-themed poetry — I Could Pee On This — has perched on the NPR best-seller lists. There it sits, insouciantly swishing its tail amid self-help books and memoirs, the poetry world's sole representative on the list.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin travels through time with Duane Swierczynski’s Expiration Date.

Title: Expiration Date

Author: Duane Swierczynski

Pages: 241

Publisher: Minotaur Books

ISBN: 0312363400

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

Dilruba Ahmed: An Outsider Turns To Poetry

Apr 29, 2013

April is National Poetry Month, and to celebrate, Weekend Edition is talking with younger poets about why they chose to write poetry and why it's still important in our everyday lives. This week, we spoke to Bangladeshi-American poet Dilruba Ahmed.

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin joins the deadly house hunt with Deader Homes and Gardens by Joan Hess.

Title: Deader Homes and Gardens

Author: Joan Hess

Pages: 310

Publisher: St. Martin’s Paperbacks

ISBN: 978-1250019493

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

On this week’s Shelf Discovery, Kristin battles the gods with a bunch of kids in Tellulah Darling’s My Ex from Hell.

Title: My Ex from Hell

Author: Tellulah Darling

Pages: 170  

Publisher: Te Da Media

ISBN: 978-0988054035

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 enrolls in a school for the criminally gifted with Jeffrey Salane’s Lawless.

Title: Lawless

Author: Jeffrey Salane

Pages: 336  

Publisher: Scholastic Press

ISBN: 978-0545450294

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

As the U.S. economy struggles to recover from the financial crash, and Europe is buffeted by a series of banking crises, attention has focused on the presidents and prime ministers who've tried to cope with it all. Journalist Neil Irwin, an economics writer for The Washington Post, says there's an elite group of policymakers who can make enormously important decisions on their own, often deliberating in secret, and in many ways unaccountable to voters.

As a Mormon missionary, Ryan McIlvain spent two years ringing strangers' doorbells, even as he experienced doubts about his own faith. McIlvain left the church in his mid-20s. His debut novel, Elders, is based on the experiences he had trying to convert people to join the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Elder" is the term used for a young Mormon on his mission.

Tina Brown, editor of the Daily Beast and Newsweek, joins NPR's Steve Inskeep again for an occasional feature Morning Edition likes to call Word of Mouth. She talks about what she's been reading and offers recommendations.

This month, as Brown prepares for her annual Women in the World Summit in New York City, her reading suggestions address just that: the role of women in the developing world.

Malala And The Media

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