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"Beyond the formative effects of reading on the individuals composing society, the fact that they have read the same books gives them experiences and ideas in common. These constitute a kind of shorthand of ideas which helps make communication quicker and more efficient. That is what we mean when we say figuratively of another person, We speak the same language."

—Charles Scribner, Jr.


NPR On Authors

'How To Cook Everything Fast'? Bittman Says Skip The Prep  Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:08:00 -0400
Rachel Martin talks to food writer Mark Bittman about his new cookbook, "How to Cook Everything Fast," which thumbs its nose at the French tradition of having ingredients prepped before you cook. 
'All The Truth Is Out' Examines How Political Journalism Went Tabloid  Tue, 30 Sep 2014 13:21:00 -0400
Matt Bai says that while voters have always cared about candidates' characters, some news used to be off limits. His new book looks at Gary Hart's 1987 affair that destroyed his political ambitions. 
For Single Women, An 'Infinite Variety Of Paths'  Tue, 30 Sep 2014 05:06:00 -0400
Getting married used to mark the start of a woman's adult life. But the average age women get married has gone from about 22 to about 27. The shift, says writer Rebecca Traister, has been profound. 
Vaccine Controversies Are As Social As They Are Medical  Tue, 30 Sep 2014 03:35:00 -0400
In writing her new book On Immunity, Eula Biss found that questions about vaccination touch on attitudes about environmentalism, citizenship and trust in the government. 
Hands-Free, Mind-Free: What We Lose Through Automation  Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:30:00 -0400
Robert Siegel is joined by author Nicholas Carr for a look at the future of automation and automobiles. Carr's new book, The Glass Cage, warns against the rise of automation in our lives. 
Lena Dunham On Sex, Oversharing And Writing About Lost 'Girls'  Mon, 29 Sep 2014 14:05:00 -0400
Dunham says when she started writing HBO's Girls, she was drawn to characters with "a bit of a Zelda Fitzgerald lost, broken woman quality." Her new essay collection is called Not That Kind of Girl
Inaugural Poet Recalls A Closeted Childhood Of Cultural Tension  Sun, 28 Sep 2014 17:06:00 -0400
Richard Blanco, who read "One Today" at Obama's inauguration in 2013, explores the collision of sexual, artistic and cultural identity in his new memoir about his childhood in Miami. 
'Guests' Is A Story Of Mystery, Manners And Dramatic Love  Sun, 28 Sep 2014 07:35:00 -0400
NPR's Linda Wertheimer talks to novelist Sarah Waters about her latest book, The Paying Guests. It's a historical novel and a lesbian love story, with a courtroom drama mixed in. 
From Glass To Artificial Light: The Innovations That Got Us To 'Now'  Sun, 28 Sep 2014 07:35:00 -0400
NPR's Linda Wertheimer speaks to Stephen Johnson about his new book and TV series, How We Got to Now. He looks at six innovations that he thinks shaped the modern world. 
Virtual Reality, Corporeality Collide In Cronenberg's First Novel  Sat, 27 Sep 2014 17:16:00 -0400
Director David Cronenberg's debut work of fiction is not for the faint of heart. Consumed follows two journalists as they chase stories of cannibalism, backroom surgeries, self-mutilation and murder. 
Writer Paul Theroux: The Short Story Is 'Diabolically Hard To Master'  Sat, 27 Sep 2014 09:04:00 -0400
"It's only 10 or 15 pages," he says, "but still you got to get it right." Theroux's new collection, Mr. Bones, tells stories of the odd person out. 
'Boy On Ice' Explores The Emotional And Physical Toll Of Dropping The Gloves  Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:35:00 -0400
In 2011, 28-year-old Derek Boogaard — one of the NHL's most fearsome fighters — was found dead of an accidental overdose of painkillers and alcohol. He also showed signs of serious brain injury. 
What's Mittens Thinking? Make 'Sense' Of Your Pet's Behavior  Fri, 26 Sep 2014 16:32:57 -0400
Animal behaviorist John Bradshaw's books Cat Sense and Dog Sense detail what cat and dog owners should expect from their animals. Cat Sense originally aired Sept. 5, 2013. Dog Sense originally aired May 26, 2011. 
After Childhood Abuse, 'Times' Columnist Says He Chose Life Over Vengeance  Wed, 24 Sep 2014 16:05:00 -0400
Charles Blow says he was 7 years old when he was sexually abused by a cousin. His new memoir, Fire Shut Up In My Bones, is about what he says happened, his recovery and his bisexuality. 
Remembering The 'Short And Tragic Life Of Robert Peace'  Tue, 23 Sep 2014 03:26:00 -0400
Robert Peace, a 30-year-old African-American, was a Yale University graduate and an almost straight-A student in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. He also dealt marijuana.