Book Reviews

You'll Want To Accept The Dinner Invitation To 'The Immortal Evening'

NPR Books - October 23, 2014 - 10:06am

On a cold evening in London in 1817, painter Benjamin Haydon hosted a dinner with the likes of Keats and Wordsworth. Critic Stanley Plumly recreates the crackling conversation about art and science.

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'Test Kitchen': How To Buy The Safest Meat And Make The Juiciest Steaks

NPR Books - October 23, 2014 - 9:22am

The Cook's Illustrated Meat Book gives tips on how to shop for, store, season and cook meat. Why shouldn't you pack your burgers too tight? Two America's Test Kitchen editors explain.

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'Season Of The Witch' Shines A (Black)Light On The Occult In Rock

NPR Books - October 23, 2014 - 6:03am

Rock 'n' roll rebellion is mainstream today, but Peter Bebergal's new book summons a more shadowed past, when artists like Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin brought an occult mystique to the music.

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Atul Gawande: By the Book

New York Times book reviews - October 23, 2014 - 6:00am
The author, most recently, of “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” is a great fan of Dr. Watson: “He is intelligent, observant and faithful, the way we want all doctors to be.”






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Book News: Joan Didion's Life, As Seen On Kickstarter

NPR Books - October 23, 2014 - 5:46am

The nephew of the iconic essayist and novelist hopes to produce a documentary on her life, and he's turned to crowd-funding to make it happen. Also: There's been much ado about the dictionary lately.

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'Republic Of Imagination' Sings The Praises Of Literature

NPR Books - October 23, 2014 - 3:03am

The author of Reading Lolita in Tehran returns, this time with a paean to the importance of literature in a democratic society. Reviewer Heller McAlpin says Azar Nafisi may be preaching to the choir.

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Herbie Hancock: 'On A Path To Find My Own Answer'

NPR Books - October 23, 2014 - 2:31am

In a candid interview, the ever-innovative pianist traces the lines between Buddhist chants, Sly Stone and Miles Davis, while shedding new light on some hard facts about his past.

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ArtsBeat: Filling In an ’80s Comic With Real Graffiti Tags

New York Times book reviews - October 22, 2014 - 12:59pm
The creators of the first issue of DMC, a new series of comics, are using tags belonging to real graffiti artists.






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Disappearing Religions Charted In 'Heirs To Forgotten Kingdoms'

NPR Books - October 22, 2014 - 9:31am

When Gerard Russell was a diplomat in the Middle East, he met followers of ancient religions facing extinction. His new book includes the origins of the Yazidis, who are fleeing the Islamic State.

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Book News: Just Months In, A Publisher That Promised Innovation Ends Its Run

NPR Books - October 22, 2014 - 5:51am

Atavist Books launched with aims of upending the print-first publishing model. Now it's announcing its plans to close. Meanwhile, partnerships between public libraries and airports are taking off.

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Better Off Red: 'War Dogs' Puts Marines On Mars

NPR Books - October 22, 2014 - 3:03am

Greg Bear's latest space adventure goes from the Earth to Mars and back again with a grizzled group of "Skyrines" (Sky Marines, get it?) on the trail of a mysterious alien treasure.

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Among The Young And Privileged In North Korea

NPR Books - October 22, 2014 - 12:33am

American journalist Suki Kim spent six months teaching English at a North Korean University that serves the sons of the elite. She chronicles her experience in a new book, Without You, There Is No Us.

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Amazon Deal With Simon & Schuster Raises Questions For Other Publishers

NPR Books - October 21, 2014 - 12:27pm

Amazon has received a fair amount of bad press lately over its long-running dispute with the Hachette publishing house. So Monday's announcement of a deal with Simon & Schuster took some industry watchers by surprise.

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You Definitely Need This Condo Pony, And Other Products From 'SkyMaul'

NPR Books - October 21, 2014 - 12:27pm

"The Hot Dog Clock" and "The Forever Diaper" are also must-haves. A San Francisco comedy group is once again poking fun at the in-flight catalog SkyMall.

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Bookends: What’s the Most Terrifying Book You’ve Ever Read?

New York Times book reviews - October 21, 2014 - 11:13am
Francine Prose and Ayana Mathis discuss their scariest reading experiences.






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Leon Panetta’s ‘Worthy Fights’

New York Times book reviews - October 21, 2014 - 11:02am
Leslie H. Gelb reviews Leon Panetta’s memoir, which recounts a career in public service, including stints as White House chief of staff, director of the C.I.A. and defense secretary.






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Book News: Amazon Inks A Deal With A Publisher Not Named Hachette

NPR Books - October 21, 2014 - 6:07am

The online retailer has reached a multiyear deal with Simon & Schuster, one of the "Big Five" U.S. publishers. Meanwhile, Amazon's pricing dispute with Hachette Book Group persists.

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Who Is 'Limonov'? Not Even His Biographer Really Knows

NPR Books - October 21, 2014 - 3:03am

A new biography of the Russian political prankster/author/revolutionary Edward Limonov asks what turns out to be an unanswerable question: What's Limonov thinking, and what does he really want?

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From Sizzling Fajitas To The Super Bowl, How Sounds Help Sell

NPR Books - October 20, 2014 - 12:44pm

Joel Beckerman is a composer who specializes in sonic branding. His new book is called The Sonic Boom: How Sound Transforms the Way We Think, Feel, and Buy.

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