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"I am sure of this, that by going much alone a man will get more of a noble courage in thought and word than from all the wisdom that is in books."

—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-82) American writer, philosopher, poet, essayist


NPR On Authors

A 'Lasciviously LA' Lunch With Crime Novelist James Ellroy  Sun, 14 Sep 2014 17:08:00 -0400
Ellroy's new novel, Perfidia, follows the Los Angeles police response to a brutal murder on the eve of Pearl Harbor. In a vintage steakhouse, the author discusses the book and his tech-free lifestyle. 
Sprinting Toward Epiphany: Talking With A Songwriter Turned Novelist  Sun, 14 Sep 2014 07:48:00 -0400
NPR's Lynn Neary talks storytelling with John Darnielle, the creative force behind the indie-folk band The Mountain Goats and author of the new novel Wolf In White Van
In The Quest To Make A Difference, 'A Path Appears'  Sun, 14 Sep 2014 07:48:00 -0400
Everyone wants to "make a difference" but the question is: how? Journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn set out to find the answer in their new book, A Path Appears. 
In Margaret Atwood's Latest, The Past Is Powerfully Present  Sat, 13 Sep 2014 17:09:00 -0400
Her new collection, Stone Mattress, features characters still shaped by events in their youth. She's also working on a project that's all about the future: a book that won't be read for a century. 
A Cheerful Mortician Tackles The Lighter Side Of Death  Sat, 13 Sep 2014 16:55:09 -0400
Caitlin Doughty has built a following on YouTube by humorously discussing the morbid elements of her profession. In her new book, she explains that she's been interested in death since childhood. 
Wendy Davis Tells Of Her Own Difficult Abortions In 'Forgetting'  Sat, 13 Sep 2014 10:40:00 -0400
A champion of abortion rights, the Texas gubernatorial candidate reveals she terminated two of her pregnancies — once because her life was endangered. 
Franklin Expedition Find May Reveal 'The Horror Of The Darkness'  Sat, 13 Sep 2014 07:39:00 -0400
One of the ships from a failed expedition to the Arctic in the 1800s was recently discovered. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Dan Simmons, who wrote a best-selling fictionalized account of the disaster. 
Peter Thiel In 'Zero To One': How To Develop The Developed World  Sat, 13 Sep 2014 07:39:00 -0400
NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to investor and Paypal cofounder Peter Thiel about his new book, Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future. 
Woodrow Wilson Brought New Executive Style To The White House  Fri, 12 Sep 2014 14:21:11 -0400
Wilson used a groundbreaking moral argument to get the U.S. involved in World War I. A. Scott Berg's book fills in missing pieces of the president's life. Original interview broadcast Sept. 10, 2013. 
9 Ridiculously Cute Underwater Puppies (You're Welcome)  Tue, 09 Sep 2014 03:32:00 -0400
Seth Casteel explains the logistics of shooting his latest book: "I'm wearing a dog costume so that the dogs can feel like I'm one of the pack. ... Just kidding. ... I usually just wear a wet suit." 
Misty Copeland On Broadening 'Beauty' And Being Black In Ballet  Tue, 09 Sep 2014 03:30:00 -0400
In her new children's book, Firebird, Copeland seeks to inspire other young African-American dancers. "It's hard to be the one that stands out," she says. 
How 'Gatsby' Went From A Moldering Flop To A Great American Novel  Mon, 08 Sep 2014 13:25:00 -0400
In So We Read On, Maureen Corrigan looks at the story behind The Great Gatsby, from F. Scott Fitzgerald's life to the era in which it's set. She says it's her favorite novel, but it wasn't always. 
Fact Meets Fiction In Tale Of A Slave, Explorer And Survivor  Sun, 07 Sep 2014 17:36:00 -0400
A Moroccan slave named Estebanico was one of only four men to survive a 1528 expedition to America from Spain. The Moor's Account, a fictional memoir by Laila Lalami, tells the story through his eyes. 
A Nameless Character Lost And Adrift In 'The Dog'  Sun, 07 Sep 2014 10:19:50 -0400
NPR's Lynn Neary talks to Joseph O'Neill about his new novel, The Dog. Its protagonist, reeling from a breakup, escapes from New York to Dubai, only to find its not the fresh start he'd hoped for. 
'What If' There Were An Entire Book Devoted To Absurd Hypotheticals?  Sun, 07 Sep 2014 06:13:00 -0400
In a new book, Randall Munroe — creator of the web comic xkcd and a former NASA roboticist — tackles pressing questions like What would happen if all of humanity jumped at once in Rhode Island?