Books

The Reading Life
1:44 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Researching Bobby Dunbar

This week on The Reading Life: Tal McThenia and Margaret Dunbar Cutright, authors of  A Case for Solomon: Bobby Dunbar and the Kidnapping That Haunted a Nation.

And then we talk with Maureen O’Dwyer, who facilitates the Southern Literature reading group at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Author Interviews
12:39 pm
Tue September 4, 2012

Conservation Biologist Explains Why 'Feathers' Matter

Thor Hanson's own cast of Archaeopteryx lithographica presents what he calls the "ancient wing written in stone."
Thor Hanson Basic Books

Originally published on Tue September 4, 2012 1:11 pm

It was the absence of feathers that got conservation biologist Thor Hanson thinking about the significance of them. Hanson was in Kenya studying the feeding habits of vultures, and he noticed the advantages that vultures had relative to other birds because of their bare, featherless heads.

"Having lost their feathers allows [vultures] to remain much cleaner and more free from bacteria and parasites and disease," Hanson tells Fresh Air contributor Dave Davies.

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Author Interviews
4:03 pm
Sun September 2, 2012

The Writer Who Was The Voice Of A Generation

After struggling with depression for much of his adult life, writer David Foster Wallace committed suicide on Sept. 12, 2008.
Giovanni Giovannetti Effigie

Originally published on Sun September 2, 2012 5:57 pm

When writer David Foster Wallace committed suicide in 2008 at the age of 46, U.S. literature lost one of its most influential living writers.

The definitive account of Wallace's life and what led to his suicide was published in the New Yorker in March of the following year.

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Author Interviews
4:04 pm
Sat September 1, 2012

Following The Footnotes Of The Revolutionary War

In his book, Robert Sullivan considers, among other things, how little Emanuel Leutze's 1851 painting Washington Crossing the Delaware has in common with the actual historic crossing, which took place at night and during a snowstorm.
Metropolitan Museum of Art AP

Originally published on Sat September 1, 2012 5:37 pm

When we think of the seminal moments in the birth of the United States of America, many people would point to the battles of Lexington, Concord and Bunker Hill. But according to Robert Sullivan, the founding landscape of our nation is not in Massachusetts. It is in and around New York.

In his new book, My American Revolution: Crossing the Delaware and I-78, Sullivan writes that the majority of battles in the Revolutionary War were fought in the middle colonies: New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania.

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The Two-Way
7:32 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Pentagon Sends Former Navy SEAL A Warning Over Bin Laden Raid Book

This image courtesy of publisher Dutton, a member of Penguin Group USA, show the cover of the upcoming book "No Easy Day."
AFP/Getty Images

The Department of Defense fired a warning shot against the former Navy SEAL who is about to release a book with his version of the secret raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

The Pentagon addressed the letter to "Mr. Owen," the pen name of Matt Bissonnette. In the letter, Jeh Charles Johnson, from the Pentagon's office of the general counsel, says that Bissonnette signed a non-disclosure agreement that stated he would "never divulge classified information."

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Author Interviews
2:24 am
Fri August 31, 2012

Against The Odds, A 'Miracle Boy Grows Up'

Originally published on Fri August 31, 2012 11:48 am

Ben Mattlin has defied expectations for his entire life — starting with being alive at all. Mattlin has a condition called spinal muscular atrophy, and many infants born with it don't live past age 2. But Mattlin grew up to be one of the first students using a wheelchair to attend Harvard. He married, had a family and is now the author of a new memoir, Miracle Boy Grows Up: How the Disability Rights Revolution Saved My Sanity.

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Author Interviews
11:40 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Victor LaValle On Mental Illness, Monsters And Survival

Victor LaValle is also the author of Slapboxing with Jesus, The Ecstatic and Big Machine.
E. Robateu Random House

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 12:58 pm

In Victor LaValle's new novel, The Devil in Silver, a man is mistakenly committed to a mental hospital where a buffalo-headed monster stalks patients at night.

The plausibility of a monster roaming the hospital's halls made sense, says LaValle, who has a personal connection to the mentally ill.

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The Two-Way
9:24 am
Wed August 29, 2012

Former Navy SEAL's Account Of Bin Laden Raid Differs From Govt. Version

This image courtesy of publisher Dutton, a member of Penguin Group USA, show the cover of the upcoming book "No Easy Day."
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 29, 2012 10:45 am

The Associated Press and The Huffington Post have gotten their hands on early copies of No Easy Day. As Mark wrote earlier this month, the book is a firsthand account of the secret military raid that killed Osama bin Laden.

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The Reading Life
2:00 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

Poems and Pink Ribbons and Tigers, Oh My!

This week on The Reading Life: Sharon Carter Sheridan and Jarvis DeBerry of the Poems and Pink Ribbons writing workshop for breast cancer survivors and those living with breast cancer.

Also, Susan welcomes Cornell Landry, whose new book is The Tiger and the Honey Badger Take on the Zoo; and Susan has some thoughts on reading about New Orleans after Katrina.

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Author Interviews
1:34 pm
Tue August 28, 2012

'Real Romney' Authors Dissect His Latest Campaign

Michael Kranish (left) is the deputy chief of the Washington bureau of The Boston Globe. Scott Helman is a staff writer at The Globe. Both have covered politics, presidential campaigns and Congress.
courtesy of the authors

Originally published on Thu August 30, 2012 11:17 am

In The Real Romney, Boston Globe reporters Michael Kranish and Scott Helman examine Mitt Romney's political rise since 1994, when he ran for the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts. They explain how Romney shifted from supporting abortion rights to heavily courting social conservatives in the 2008 Republican primary.

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