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NPR On Books

When It Comes To Creativity, Are Two Heads Better Than One?  Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:21:00 -0400
Joshua Wolf Shenk says it's time to debunk the myth of the lone genius. His new book explores creative partnerships — and explains how Emily Dickinson wasn't actually as much of a loner as we think. 
'Tigerman' Will Get Its Claws Into You  Thu, 24 Jul 2014 16:12:54 -0400
Nick Harkaway's new novel mixes up a heady brew of comics, longing, tea, murder, post-colonial guilt and mystical tigers. Reviewer Jason Sheehan says it's "not just good, it's shake-a-granny good." 
'Panic In A Suitcase' Puts A Fresh Spin On A Coming-To-America Story  Thu, 24 Jul 2014 14:26:00 -0400
Yelena Akhtiorskaya's debut novel is about a family that emigrates from Odessa to the Russian enclave of Brighton Beach in Brooklyn, N.Y. It's a funny tale full of insider knowledge and offbeat words. 
Book News: Amazon Exec Says Hachette Is Using Authors 'As Human Shields'  Thu, 24 Jul 2014 08:18:00 -0400
Also: President Obama will give the 2013 National Medal of Arts and National Humanities Medal to 21 artists, writers, academics and journalists; Katie Crouch on Sylvia Plath. 
Can I Get A Do-Over? Shadow Selves And Second Chances  Thu, 24 Jul 2014 07:04:00 -0400
Get your comic fix this week with Bryan Lee O'Malley's Seconds and The Shadow Hero, by Gene Luen Yang and Sonny Liew. Both books take up the idea of re-writing the past — but in very different ways. 
Cat PDA Vs. Human PDA, And Other Animal Behavior Explained  Wed, 23 Jul 2014 14:56:00 -0400
Veterinarian Vint Virga works with pets and zoo animals on behavior disorders. He talks about how house cats are more fulfilled when they forage for food, and how to show animals affection. 
Book News: Booker Prize, Now Open To U.S. Authors, Longlists 5 Americans  Wed, 23 Jul 2014 09:52:00 -0400
Also: a new short story by Zadie Smith; mermaid mythology. 
'Rocket Girl' Is A Jetpack-Powered 21st Century Angel  Wed, 23 Jul 2014 07:03:00 -0400
Amy Reeder and Brandon Montclare's effervescent comic about a flight-suited future teenager is now out in a paperback collection. Reviewer Etelka Lehoczky calls it "a high-spirited, often funny ride." 
Book Review: 'Angels Make Their Hope Here'  Tue, 22 Jul 2014 17:47:08 -0400
Alan Cheuse reviews Angels Make Their Hope Here, by Breena Clarke. 
How Scientists Created A Typhus Vaccine In A 'Fantastic Laboratory'  Tue, 22 Jul 2014 15:33:00 -0400
Arthur Allen's new book, The Fantastic Laboratory of Dr. Weigl, describes how a WWII scientist in Poland smuggled the typhus vaccine to Jews — while his team made a weakened version for the Nazis. 
Despite Disability, One Mountain Climber Reflects On His Advantages  Tue, 22 Jul 2014 14:02:00 -0400
Spencer West was born with a genetic disorder that led to both his legs being amputated. West tells host Michel Martin about how he climbed Mount Kilimanjaro using just his hands and arms. 
Book News: Thomas Berger, Author Of 'Little Big Man,' Dies  Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:29:00 -0400
Also: A survey suggests that the dispute between Amazon and Hachette may be deterring customers; Harper Lee apparently has questionable taste in coffee. 
London Through The Eyes Of Dickens In 'The Victorian City'  Tue, 22 Jul 2014 07:03:00 -0400
Most of us, when we think of Victorian London, think of the work of Charles Dickens. Historian Judith Flanders' uses Dickens' words to paint a vivid portrait of a vibrant but troubled city. 
By Trolley, Train, Show Boat Or Surrey, These Musicals Will Move You  Mon, 21 Jul 2014 16:17:00 -0400
When we asked movie critic Bob Mondello to contribute to our Book Your Trip series, he immediately began humming show tunes. Spend six minutes listening to this story and you'll be singing along, too. 
On 'Tomlinson Hill,' Journalist Seeks Truth And Reconciliation  Mon, 21 Jul 2014 15:20:00 -0400
Chris Tomlinson covered conflict, including apartheid in Africa, for 11 years. Then the great-great-grandson of Texas slaveholders realized he needed to write a book about his family's history.