Books

4:08am

Sat June 16, 2012
Author Interviews

A Shriver Learns It's Harder To Be Good Than Great

Originally published on Sat June 16, 2012 12:22 pm

When Mark Shriver's father died last year at the age of 95, it seemed that everyone who knew him — politicians, priests, waitresses, presidents and trash collectors — used the same phrase to tell him what they had thought of his father. He was "a good man."

A Good Man is also the title of Shriver's new memoir about his father, R. Sargent Shriver. The elder Shriver, who once ran for president, ran the War on Poverty, the Peace Corps, Job Corps and the Special Olympics. On top of that, he was U.S. ambassador to France and married into the Kennedy family.

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6:23am

Thu June 14, 2012
Critics' Lists: Summer 2012

Sail Into Summer With Novel Picks From Alan Cheuse

Originally published on Wed June 20, 2012 4:23 pm

Harriet Russell

Head to the bookstore or pick up your Nook or Kindle or iPad, and prepare, if you will, to make some decisions about your summer reading life. My suggestions this year tend to be fine new fiction, the kind that not only flows on the page but also makes a sort of music in your mind. So, word music it is! Strike up the orchestra! It's going to be a big summer for big broad American literary voices, voices that leap from the page and linger with you, echo through your summer and perhaps even beyond.

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3:32am

Tue June 12, 2012
U.S.

Loud Debate Rages Over N.Y. Library's Quiet Stacks

Originally published on Tue June 12, 2012 6:18 am

The New York Public Library's Rose Reading Room sits atop seven floors of book stacks, all closed to the public. Under a controversial renovation plan, many of those books would be moved to New Jersey.
Bebeto Matthews AP

Enter the glorious Rose Reading Room on the third floor of the New York Public Library on a weekday afternoon, and you'll find almost every chair filled.

Scholars and researchers still submit their book requests on slips of paper and wait for their numbers to appear on two large boards.

The stacks, filled with some 3 million volumes, are closed to the public, so books are retrieved from seven floors of shelving below. Still other volumes are stored off-site.

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4:05am

Sun June 10, 2012
Books

Two Poems From The Nation's New Top Poet

Originally published on Sun June 10, 2012 4:14 pm

English professor Natasha Trethewey was named the 19th U.S. poet laureate last week.
Jalissa Gray Creative Commons Image

Natasha Trethewey is the newly announced, 19th U.S. poet laureate. The position is described by the Library of Congress as "the nation's official lightning rod for the poetic impulse of Americans."

Trethewey tells Weekend Edition Sunday host Rachel Martin that it's a lot of responsibility.

"Just trying to be the biggest promoter of poetry; someone who's really got to do the work of bringing poetry to the widest audience possible," she says.

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4:04am

Sun June 10, 2012
Books

No One In 'The Red House' Gets Away Unscathed

Originally published on Mon June 11, 2012 10:50 am

iStockphoto.com

Ah, the family getaway. All of you together in one space — maybe a cabin in the mountains or a beach house. Delightful family meals, maybe some Scrabble. A time of togetherness and familial harmony.

That is decidedly not the kind of family vacation writer Mark Haddon draws inspiration from. In his latest novel, The Red House, Haddon peers inside the messy dynamics of a group of relatives, each grappling with their own fears and trying to make sense of themselves as a family, all while stuck in a vacation house in the remote English countryside.

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