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"There are times when I think that the ideal library is composed solely of reference books. They are like understanding friends--always ready to meet your mood, always ready to change the subject when you have had enough of this or that."

—Donald J. Adams (b. 1924) [Maxwell Smart] American actor


NPR On Books

This Weekend, Experience The Enduring Power Of 'The Millstone' 
  Sun, 01 Mar 2015 06:04:35 -0500 
    Margaret Drabble's The Millstone, set in the 1960s, tells the story of a young, unmarried woman who finds herself pregnant. Author Tessa Hadley says this 50-year-old novel is a weekend must-read.

A 'Show Boat' With An Asian-American Cast Hits The Rocks 
  Sat, 28 Feb 2015 10:03:17 -0500 
    Racial tensions between blacks and whites are at the heart of the "Ol' Man River" musical. Asian-American actors say it doesn't make sense to get on board.

'The Sellout' Is A Profane Riff On Race And Culture 
  Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:01:44 -0500 
    In Paul Beatty's new satirical novel, The Sellout, the narrator wants to re-segregate his hometown outside of Los Angeles. NPR's Scott Simon talks to the author about using humor to write about race.

Pakistani Author Mohsin Hamid And His Roving 'Discontent' 
  Sat, 28 Feb 2015 08:01:00 -0500 
    Mohsin Hamid combines the personal and political in his new book, Discontent and Its Civilizations. NPR's Scott Simon talks with the Pakistani author about his new collection of essays.

Uncovering Hidden Black History, On Screen And On The Page 
  Sat, 28 Feb 2015 07:03:15 -0500 
    On TV and in the movies, it can sometimes seem like black people only existed during slavery or the civil rights era. K. Tempest Bradford recommends some books that bring hidden history to light.

The Persistence — And Impermanence — Of Memory In 'The Buried Giant' 
  Sat, 28 Feb 2015 06:08:00 -0500 
    Kazuo Ishiguro's first novel in a decade follows an old couple on what might be their last journey: Hunting for memories of a son they think they had, in a land covered with memory-shrouding mists.

Book Review: 'Satin Island' By Tom McCarthy 
  Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:42:59 -0500 
    Alan Cheuse reviews a new experimental novel by Tom McCarthy called Satin Island.

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Nonfiction, Week Of February 26, 2015 
  Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:03:21 -0500 
    Elizabeth Kolbert's The Sixth Extinction, about how human activity is affecting different species, appears at No. 6.

NPR Bestsellers: Paperback Fiction, Week Of February 26, 2015 
  Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:03:21 -0500 
    An isolated bookstore owner starts to change his life after receiving a mysterious package in Gabrielle Zevin's The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry. It appears at No. 7.

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Nonfiction, Week Of February 26, 2015 
  Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:03:21 -0500 
    Falconer Helen Macdonald looks back on her decision to train a fierce goshawk in the wake of her father's sudden death in H is for Hawk. It debuts at No. 7.

NPR Bestsellers: Hardcover Fiction, Week Of February 26, 2015 
  Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:03:21 -0500 
    In Richard Price's The Whites, a New York City detective investigates a murder that connects to something in his own dark past. It debuts at No. 4.

NPR Bestsellers: Week Of February 26, 2015 
  Fri, 27 Feb 2015 16:03:21 -0500 
    The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.

From Poker Amateur To World Series Competitor In 'The Noble Hustle' 
  Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:44:17 -0500 
    Colson Whitehead's book, now out in paperback, was born of an assignment to write about the World Series of Poker. It's a sharp observational tale of poker: those who play it and how it changed him.

Small Batch Edition: 'The Sculptor' And Other Grand Graphic Novels 
  Fri, 27 Feb 2015 13:09:49 -0500 
    Glen Weldon and Petra Mayer talk about Scott McCloud's The Sculptor and recommend other graphic novels you might enjoy.

This Month (And Every Month), Black Sci-Fi Writers Look To The Future 
  Fri, 27 Feb 2015 07:03:00 -0500 
    For years, black authors stood out in science fiction and fantasy because there were so few. Now, says Alaya Dawn Johnson, though there are still obstacles, black authors are making themselves heard.
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