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"I do not believe that civilization will be wiped out in a war fought with the atomic bomb. Perhaps two-thirds of the people of the Earth might be killed, but enough men capable of thinking, and enough books, would be left to start again, and civilization could be restored."

—Albert Einstein (1875-1955) German-born American theoretical physicist, theories of relativity, philosopher


NPR On Books

New Nation, New Cuisine: The First Cookbook To Tackle 'American Food' 
  Fri, 03 Jul 2015 07:03:00 -0400 
    The first American cookbook, published in 1796, promised local food and a kind of socioculinary equality. But generations later, foodies are still puzzling over how to define "American food."

Book Review: 'The Uses Of The Body,' Deborah Landau 
  Thu, 02 Jul 2015 16:30:15 -0400 
    Poet Tess Taylor reviews The Uses of the Body by Deborah Landau.

Get A 'Grip' On This Goofy Noir Sci-Fi Tale 
  Thu, 02 Jul 2015 11:03:00 -0400 
    This reissue of Gilbert Hernandez's series starts out noir — a young man with amnesia and a mysterious lipstick trace — but quickly gets weird. Critic Etelka Lehoczky says it's full of "goofy joy."

On World Cafe, A Look At The Grateful Dead's Legacy 
  Wed, 01 Jul 2015 15:19:37 -0400 
    As the Dead's Fare Thee Well Tour comes to a close, World Cafe talks with David Browne, the author of a new book on the legendary band.

For This Nostalgia Trip, 'We Don't Need Roads' 
  Wed, 01 Jul 2015 09:32:16 -0400 
    This oral history of the Back to the Future movies offers a wealth of fascinating historical trivia — but critic Genevieve Valentine says it's carefully broad scope can mean a lack of sharp analysis.

Misty Copeland Seeks To Inspire Other African-American Dancers 
  Wed, 01 Jul 2015 05:07:00 -0400 
    Misty Copeland is the American Ballet Theater's first female African-American principal dancer. She discusses her book, Firebird. (This piece initially aired on Sept. 9, 2014 on Morning Edition).

How A Stolen Backpack In Casablanca Inspired A Novel About Shifting Identity 
  Tue, 30 Jun 2015 13:33:00 -0400 
    The main character in Vendela Vida's new novel is alone in Morocco when her bag with her passport and credit cards is stolen. Vida says The Diver's Clothes Lie Empty was inspired by her own travels.

After 25 Years, A Comics Publisher Pauses To Collect And Reflect 
  Tue, 30 Jun 2015 12:24:00 -0400 
    A massive new anthology collects the impressive and varied work of the Montreal-based publisher Drawn And Quarterly, whose comics and graphic novels represent a deeply human kind of storytelling.

A Lyrical Coming Of Age Tale In 'Bird Hill' 
  Tue, 30 Jun 2015 10:03:17 -0400 
    Naomi Jackson's first novel follows a pair of Brooklyn sisters sent to live in their mother's small Barbados hometown. Critic Michael Schaub says "it's not a perfect book, but it's a lovely one."

'Philosopher Kings' Leaves Plato's Republic Far Behind 
  Tue, 30 Jun 2015 07:03:00 -0400 
    The second volume of Jo Walton's trilogy about the creation of a real-world Republic picks up 30 years after events of the first book. Reviewer Amal El-Mohtar says it's an expectation-shattering read.

Pop Culture Happy Hour, Small Batch Edition: Audiobooks 
  Mon, 29 Jun 2015 14:37:09 -0400 
    We have a conversation with one of our favorite regular-book enthusiasts about the special matter of the audiobook.

Mat Johnson On 'Loving Day' And Life As A 'Black Boy' Who Looks White 
  Mon, 29 Jun 2015 13:31:09 -0400 
    As a biracial child growing up in Philadelphia, writer Mat Johnson identified as black – but looked white. His new novel is about a man who returns to his hometown after inheriting a run-down mansion.

A Bar, Blackjack And Best-Sellers: One Author's Big Break 
  Sun, 28 Jun 2015 17:18:00 -0400 
    Ben Mezrich had been a struggling author, without a regular job and knee-deep in debt. But that all changed at a dive bar in Boston, when Mezrich saw a local college student whip out a $100 bill.

Like Seinfeld, 'Festival' Is About Nothing... And Everything 
  Sun, 28 Jun 2015 07:03:15 -0400 
    Milan Kundera's new novel is short on plot, but don't mistake that for dullness. Reviewer Jason Sheehan says the book is slim, funny and stunningly profound.

Raised By 5 Different Families, 7 Siblings Are Reunited In 'Bastards' 
  Sun, 28 Jun 2015 05:19:00 -0400 
    In her debut memoir Mary Anna King tells the story of her fractured upbringing and how — in the face of poverty — love and hard work were not sufficient to keep her family together.
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