Petra Mayer en Questions For Earl Swift, Author Of 'Auto Biography' This '57 Chevy station wagon was once pristine, the epitome of American automotive glory: two-tone green, with sweeping fins and enough chrome to blind pedestrians. But by the time journalist Earl Swift came across it, those days were gone, and it was subsiding gently into a heap of rust and torn upholstery.<p>Then a newspaper reporter in Norfolk, Va., Swift had been looking for a local car with a story to tell, but it hadn't been an easy search. "I experienced a slew of false starts," he told me via email. Sat, 17 May 2014 23:08:23 +0000 Petra Mayer 60905 at 'Traveling Pants' Author Tries Traveling In Time Author Ann Brashares became a young adult superstar more than a decade ago with the <em>Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants</em>, a feel-good series of books about the adventures of four best friends and a really great pair of jeans. It was eventually made into a couple of movies.<p>Brashares' new book, <em>The Here and Now</em>, ventures into unfamiliar territory for her: a dystopian future of "blood plagues" and time travel. Tue, 22 Apr 2014 00:28:08 +0000 Petra Mayer 59017 at Winging It: Biking Around Again In Margaritaville I love Key West, and I go there as often as possible: pina coladas, drag queens, shady hammocks, feral chickens — it's the best. There's just one problem: everyone gets around the island by bike, and I've never learned to ride one. Obviously that had to change.<p>Why didn't I learn? I really don't remember, and neither did my mom, when I asked her about the one time my parents tried to teach me. "You got on a big bicycle that was so big you couldn't really turn the wheels and got discouraged."<p>I've tried to learn a few times since then — particularly after I discovered Key West. Mon, 30 Dec 2013 15:41:24 +0000 Petra Mayer 51146 at NPR NSFW? Checking Out The Sexy Books On Mobile <p></p> Tue, 17 Dec 2013 00:15:48 +0000 Petra Mayer 50275 at Allons-y! Why We've Been Traveling With 'Doctor Who' For 50 Years This afternoon, millions of fez-wearing fans around the world will tune in to a very special episode of <em>Doctor Who</em>. The venerable British sci-fi series turns 50 today — though the time traveling alien Doctor himself is probably somewhere on the wrong side of 1,000.<p>From scrappy, low-budget beginnings (bubble-wrap monsters, anyone?), <em>Doctor Who</em> has become a global phenomenon. Only soap operas can match it for longevity and popularity. So what's the secret to the Doctor's appeal?<p>Well, let's start with a ringtone — mine, to be exact. Sat, 23 Nov 2013 09:21:00 +0000 Petra Mayer 48734 at 'Boxers & Saints' & Compassion: Questions For Gene Luen Yang Gene Luen Yang broke out in 2006 with <em>American Born Chinese</em>, the first graphic novel nominated for a National Book Award. It weaves three stories — about a Chinese-American boy, a terrible stereotype named Chin-Kee and the mythical Monkey King — into a complex tapestry of identity and assimilation.<p>Yang returns to the theme of identity and sense of self in his latest book, another National Book Award candidate. <em>Boxers & Saints</em> is a diptych following a Chinese boy and girl as their lives are upended by the Boxer Rebellion. Wed, 13 Nov 2013 02:16:11 +0000 Petra Mayer 47637 at Austen Unvarnished: Q&A With Jo Baker, Author Of 'Longbourn' The world of Jane Austen — gracious country houses, empire-waist dresses, card parties and suppers and genteel raillery and a touch of social anxiety — is familiar literary ground. And no house is more familar and comforting than Longbourn, home to Elizabeth and Jane Bennet. But what goes on behind the scenes? Who irons those dresses and prepares those suppers? Wed, 16 Oct 2013 17:09:20 +0000 Petra Mayer 46102 at Did The Cat Eat Your Gymsuit? Then These Books Are For You Young adult literature is big business right now; bookstores and movie theaters are full of titles like <em>The Hunger Games</em>, <em>Divergent</em> and<em> The Fault in Our Stars</em>.<p>So what better time to look at the original golden age of YA literature? Author — and occasional NPR reviewer — Lizzie Skurnick has written for and about teens, and now she's starting her own imprint, dedicated to publishing beloved and forgotten YA books from the 1930s through the 1980s — including, let's be truthful, some that made me squeal with excitement when I saw them on her bookshelf. Thu, 03 Oct 2013 22:37:12 +0000 Petra Mayer 45263 at Questions For Hugh Howey, Author Of 'WOOL' <strong></strong>After a varied career as a computer repairman and yacht captain, Hugh Howey turned his hand to writing. He'd self-published several novels and stories when the sci-fi dystopia <em>WOOL</em>, originally just a novella, found sudden runaway success in 2011. Howey found himself writing sequel after sequel to keep up with reader demand — the latest volume, <em>Dust</em>, was released in August.<p>Over email, Howey describes <em>WOOL</em> as "like the TV show <em>Lost</em>, except with an ending that makes sense. Sat, 31 Aug 2013 15:56:14 +0000 Petra Mayer 42989 at Fans Are Like Friends To 'Reigning Queen' Of Women's Fiction Go to your nearest paperback rack, and odds are, you'll see two or three, or four, or — well, a lot of books by Debbie Macomber, an author <em>The Sacramento Bee</em> has dubbed "the reigning queen of women's fiction."<p>Macomber has 170 million books in print; the newest, <em>Rose Harbor in Bloom</em>, has just been released. Sun, 18 Aug 2013 18:20:00 +0000 Petra Mayer 42027 at