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"The experience to be gathered from books, Though often valuable, is but of the nature of learning; Whereas the experience gained from actual life, Is of the nature of wisdom; And a small store of the latter Is worth vastly more than a stock of the former."

—Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) Self Help -1859


NPR On Books

Book Review: 'Once In The West'  Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:08:12 -0400
Tess Taylor reviews Christian Wiman's new collection of poems, "Once in the West." 
'How To Cook Everything Fast'? Bittman Says Skip The Prep  Tue, 30 Sep 2014 16:08:12 -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. 
Book News: First-Ever Kirkus Prize Picks 18 Finalists  Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:16:00 -0400
Kirkus Reviews has been around, in varying forms, for over 80 years — but it's the new kid in town this awards season. Today, the publication announced the finalists for its inaugural Kirkus Prize. 
In A Desolate Montana, 'The Ploughmen' Unearths Dark Truths  Tue, 30 Sep 2014 07:03:00 -0400
Kim Zupan's debut novel is about the relationship between a deputy sheriff and a hardened killer. This book explores the line between good and evil in a manner that's as honest as it is unsettling. 
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. 
Novelist Caitlin Moran Wryly Shows 'How To Build A Girl'  Mon, 29 Sep 2014 18:03:00 -0400
Caitlin Moran's semi-autobiographical novel is an earnestly written look at a young woman's self-reinvention. How to Build a Girl tackles class, gender and sexuality with both humor and sincerity. 
Book Review: 'All The Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid'  Mon, 29 Sep 2014 16:13:00 -0400
The new book by Matt Bai explores the political resonance of Gary Hart, whose presidential ambitions were dashed when he revealed he had an affair. 
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
Book News: Listen To The First-Timers Nominated For PEN Prize  Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:19:00 -0400
A night before the winner's declared, the writers shortlisted for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize read their works. Listen here first. Also: Thomas Pynchon might soon be coming to the big screen. 
'Rooms' Is Haunted By People (And Ghosts) That Can't Let Go  Mon, 29 Sep 2014 07:03:13 -0400
YA author Lauren Oliver's debut adult novel features an old mansion occupied by dysfunctional characters, both living and dead. Oliver fits these seemingly disparate lives together like a puzzle ring. 
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.