Books

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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Book Reviews
11:23 am
Wed July 11, 2012

'A Door In The Ocean' Leads To Dark Depths

Originally published on Mon July 16, 2012 1:23 pm

Many of the key scenes in David McGlynn's striking new memoir, A Door in the Ocean, take place at the beach or in swimming pools. McGlynn was a surfer and competitive swimmer in his school days and still squeezes into his Speedos for races like the annual 5K "Gatorman" off the coast of La Jolla, Calif. Ocean swimming, in particular, transports McGlynn to another realm, and he does a terrific job of dramatizing the allure of solitary swims in open water. Midway through his book, he writes:

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The Sound of Books
7:20 am
Wed July 11, 2012

New Memoir From Ultra-Successful New York City Restaurateur Joe Bastianich

Today on The Sound of Books with Fred Kasten — the new memoir from ultra-successful New York City restaurateur Joe Bastianich — Restaurant Man.

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The Reading Life
7:00 pm
Tue July 10, 2012

Melanated Writers Collective and Little Free Libraries

This week on The Reading Life, meet members of the Melanated Writers Collective, an alliance of writers of color celebrating two years of working together. Kelly Harris and Neil Ranu talk about the importance of writerly support. And Linda Prout gives an update on the way Little Free Libraries are popping up all over our city.

Author Interviews
3:42 pm
Sat July 7, 2012

'Agent Garbo,' The Spy Who Lied About D-Day

Juan Pujol Garcia in his uniform as a lieutenant in the Spanish Republican Army.
Courtesy Tamara Kreisler

Originally published on Mon July 9, 2012 12:50 pm

Juan Pujol Garcia lived a lie that helped win World War II. He was a double agent for the British, performing so well that they nicknamed him for the enigmatic actress Greta Garbo.

Author Stephan Talty tells the story of this unlikely hero in a new book called Agent Garbo: The Brilliant, Eccentric Secret Agent Who Tricked Hitler and Saved D-Day.

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Africa
10:45 am
Thu July 5, 2012

'African Booker' Defies Image Of Tragic Continent

Originally published on Thu July 5, 2012 11:01 am

The Caine Prize for African Writing recognizes an African writer each year for a short story written in English. This year's prize went to Nigerian Rotimi Babatunde for "Bombay's Republic." It's about a Nigerian soldier who fought in Burma during World War II. Host Michel Martin talks with Babatunde and CNN's Nima Elbagir, one of the judges.

Books
10:45 am
Thu July 5, 2012

What Happens When The Honeymoon Is Over?

From the flowers, to the dress, to the cake, it's easy for brides to get caught up in planning the wedding. But after the honeymoon, a lot of couples ask, "now what?" Wedding Cake for Breakfast features essays by 23 brides in the year after they say "I do." Host Michel Martin talks with co-editor Wendy Sherman and contributor Andrea King Collier.

The Reading Life
6:45 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

NOLA Gay History and Bayou Soul Conference

This week on The Reading Life, Frank Perez and Jeffrey Palmquist talk about In Exile: The History and Lore Surrounding New Orleans Gay Culture and Its Oldest Gay Bar, and Clarence Nero tells us what's in store at the Bayou Soul Writers Conference.

American Dreams: Then And Now
4:37 pm
Tue July 3, 2012

Deval Patrick Says The Dream Is In Danger

Originally published on Wed July 4, 2012 11:03 am

Deval Patrick says he's living the American dream. He's the first black governor of Massachusetts, one of only two ever elected as governor in American history. But he says many Americans feel the dream is under threat. Host Michel Martin speaks with Governor Patrick about his new book, Faith In The Dream.

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