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In Winter, Keeping Warm With Beloved Books 
  Sun, 25 Jan 2015 07:03:13 -0500 
    Critic Juan Vidal says winter is a time for turning inwards and warding off the chill with your favorite books, the ones you return to over and over again when the days get shorter and snow closes in.


For A Taste Of Grimdark, Visit The 'Land Fit For Heroes' 
  Sun, 25 Jan 2015 07:03:13 -0500 
    Richard K. Morgan's epic sword-and-planet (and alien technology) Land Fit For Heroes series is a good introduction to grimdark, a subgenre that aims to show the gritty underside of fantasy fiction.


In 'Dear Father,' A Poet Disrupts The 'Cycle Of Pain' 
  Sun, 25 Jan 2015 06:29:00 -0500 
    J. Ivy says his father grew up in pain and passed that pain on to the next generation. In his new book, he says that forgiveness is an ongoing act — and you must constantly remember to forgive again.


'Driving The King' A Story Long In The Works 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:02:00 -0500 
    Driving The King is a fictionalized account of the adventures of Nat King Cole and his bodyguard driver. Author Ravi Howard says the idea was planted long ago.


Huckabee Serves Up 'God, Guns' And A Dose Of Controversy 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 17:02:00 -0500 
    Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee sees America as divided into "Bubble-ville" and "Bubba-ville," a cultural split he describes in his new book, Gods, Guns, Grits, and Gravy.


Why A Black Man's Murder Often Goes Unpunished In Los Angeles 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 08:42:00 -0500 
    From witnesses to reluctant gang members, Jill Leovy says, "everybody's terrified." Her book, Ghettoside, uses the story of one murder to explore the city's low arrest rate when black men are killed.


Two Outcasts Form An Artistic Bond In 'Mr. Mac And Me' 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 07:59:00 -0500 
    Painter's daughter Esther Freud weaves her own experiences into the story of a lonely little boy in a British seacoast town, who befriends the great Art Nouveau designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh.


Do You Have To Read 'Frog?' No, But You Might Want To 
  Sat, 24 Jan 2015 07:03:13 -0500 
    Reviewer Jason Sheehan says Mo Yan's Frog is not without issues, but still offers a thoughtful tale of a dark era in modern Chinese history, touched with humor and occasional magic.


When Pop Broke Up With Jazz 
  Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:35:00 -0500 
    For the first half of the 20th century, Tin Pan Alley songwriters like Irving Berlin and the Gershwins dominated pop music. By the the 1950s, tastes had changed, and the music changed with them.


NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of January 22, 2015 
  Fri, 23 Jan 2015 16:03:18 -0500 
    After obsessively observing a "perfect couple" every day on her commute, Rachel Watson sees something dark that forces her to get involved. Paula Hawkin's The Girl on the Train debuts at No. 2.


In The World's 'Sixth Extinction,' Are Humans The Asteroid? 
  Fri, 23 Jan 2015 13:20:00 -0500 
    Scientists think an asteroid killed the dinosaurs. In today's extinction, humans are the culprit. Originally broadcast Feb. 12, 2014.


Debate: Is Amazon The Reader's Friend? 
  Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:01:53 -0500 
    Two teams of editors and writers, including best-selling author Scott Turow, face off over Amazon's influence over the publishing industry, in the latest debate from Intelligence Squared U.S.


Delicious Short Stories, Ripe On The Vine In 'Honeydew' 
  Thu, 22 Jan 2015 12:03:00 -0500 
    Reviewer Alan Cheuse has rapturous praise for Edith Pearlman's new story collection: "The first thing I wanted to do after finishing was, well, I wanted to go right back and start from the beginning."


The Vastness Of Violent Loss In 'See How Small' 
  Thu, 22 Jan 2015 07:03:00 -0500 
    Scott Blackwood's new novel, based on a real murder case, follows a community rocked by the slaying of three teenage girls. Reviewer Michael Schaub calls it "brutal, necessary and near perfect."


The Past, Present And Future Of High-Stakes Testing 
  Thu, 22 Jan 2015 03:39:00 -0500 
    Steve Inskeep talks with NPR Ed's Anya Kamenetz about her book, The Test: Why Our Schools Are Obsessed with Standardized Testing — But You Don't Have to Be.
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