books

The Reading Life
1:56 pm
Tue July 31, 2012

New Culinary Library and Poet Abi Pollokoff

This week on The Reading Life: We’ll talk with Liz Williams, founder of the Southern Food and Beverage Museum, and library director Charles Brown about the new culinary library the museum is starting with the New Orleans Public Library. And we’ll hear from all around book person Abi Pollokoff — award-winning poet, Tulane Review editor, and Pelican Publishing editor. Susan also reviews the book Alif the Unseen.

The Reading Life
2:00 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Author William Joyce and Poet Chris Hannan

This week on The Reading Life: More of Susan's interview with the fabulous Oscar-winner William Joyce about The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore and storyteller Coleen Salley, as well as a reading by poet/lawyer Chris Hannan.

The Sound of Books
7:50 am
Wed July 18, 2012

Widely-Praised New Memoir from California Writer and Grief Therapist Claire Bidwell Smith

Today on The Sound of Books with Fred Kasten: the widely-praised new memoir from California writer and grief therapist Claire Bidwell Smith, The Rules of Inheritance.

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The Reading Life
7:00 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

James Lee Burke

This week on The Reading Life, our entire show is devoted to a conversation with James Lee Burke, whose new novel in the Dave Robicheaux series is Creole Belle.

Books
4:27 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Encyclopedia Brown: The Great Sleuth From My Youth

cover detail

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 10:35 am

Donald Sobol, the creator of the beloved character Encyclopedia Brown, died last week of natural causes, his family says. He was 87. The first in the Encyclopedia Brown series book was published in 1963, and the series has never gone out of print.

Crime novelist and forensic pathologist Jonathan Hayes has this appreciation of the character Sobol gave young readers.

While other boys got hooked on books about sports legends and race car drivers, there was something about Donald Sobol's boy detective Encyclopedia Brown that spoke to me right away.

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Crime In The City
4:04 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Big Crime, Little State: Murder, Mystery In R.I.

Roger Williams, memorialized with a statue in Prospect Terrace Park, founded Providence in 1636. According to crime writer Bruce DeSilva, corruption set in not long after.
Will Hart via Flickr

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 9:20 am

Providence, R.I., has a history of mob violence rivaling that of New York or New Jersey, but it comes with a gritty intimacy that could only be found in the nation's littlest state. Author Bruce DeSilva says that's what makes Providence the perfect place to set his crime fiction.

"It is big enough to have the usual array of urban problems," he says. "But it's so small that it's claustrophobic. It's very hard to keep a secret in places like that."

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"Help Me To Find My People"
1:15 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Piecing Together Stories Of Families 'Lost In Slavery'

While many families were ripped apart, some were preserved. Charlie Crump, a former slave from North Carolina, kept ties with his granddaughter.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 10:26 am

For decades, slavery tore apart African-American families. Children were sold off from their mothers, and husbands were taken from their wives. Many desperately tried to keep track of each other, even running away to find loved ones. After the Civil War and emancipation, these efforts intensified. Freed slaves posted ads in newspapers and wrote letters — seeking any clue to a family member's whereabouts.

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Author Interviews
3:04 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

Chewing Chia Packs A Superfood Punch

The chia plant is "a petite nutrient-packed powerhouse" writes Wayne Coates. There is evidence that the Aztecs used the seeds as early as 3,500 B.C.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 5:10 pm

When you hear the word chia, you probably think of chia pets. Maybe you even mutter that catchy slogan: "ch-ch-ch-chia."

Or maybe not, but lately, chia seed has been getting buzz beyond those terra cotta figurines. It's becoming a popular health food. Rich in fiber, protein and the highest plant source of Omega 3s, the little seeds pack a major nutritional punch.

Wayne Coates grows and sells chia seeds and has a book called Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood.

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Author Interviews
3:31 pm
Sat July 14, 2012

'Sunny Chernobyl': Beauty In A Haze Of Pollution

Garbage litters the banks of India's holy Yamuna River on World Water Day 2010. For decades, the Yamuna has been dying a slow death from pollution. According to Blackwell, even its most ardent defenders refer to it as a "sewage drain."
Manan Vatsyayana AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 3:04 am

In some of the dirtiest places on Earth, author and environmentalist Andrew Blackwell found some beauty. His book, Visit Sunny Chernobyl, tours the deforestation of the Amazon, the oil sand mines in Canada and the world's most polluted city, located in China.

Blackwell says his ode to polluted locales is a bid for re-engagement with places people have shrunk away from in disgust.

Radioactive To Its Core

His first stop was the site of the world's worst nuclear disaster, Chernobyl.

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NPR Story
12:54 pm
Thu July 12, 2012

Writer Puts Expendable 'Redshirts' In The Spotlight

Originally published on Fri July 13, 2012 11:08 am

Fans of Star Trek long ago noted that anonymous security officers who accompanied the show's stars rarely survived the experience. Shortly after being beamed down, they would be vaporized, stomped or eaten for dramatic effect. It's a plot device so common that these expendable crewmen became known collectively as redshirts.

In his novel Redshirts, science fiction writer John Scalzi follows Andrew Dahl, a similarly expendable ensign as he sorts out this life-expectancy issue.

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