It’s hard enough to keep your kids away from the Xbox on a normal weekday… it must be even tougher when they’re home for winter vacation. But technology might just help this time around: perhaps you can even convince your child to turn off the video game and pick up a Kindle...or a Nook… an iPad or even (yes!) paper…and dig deep into a great story.
Looking for a good book to take on summer vacation? Or are you in need of another great read?
The Book Doctors: freelance writer, editor, and reviewer Jeffrey Ann Goudie; chair of the department of English and senior dean at the Barstow School Mark Luce; and senior writer and arts editor at The Kansas City StarSteve Paul join us today to discuss their recent, favorite reads.
A granddaughter makes a children's book out of her grandmother's stories.
By Susan B. Wilson
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The illustrations in the children's book Through Eva's Eyes are from the perspective of a child. Trees tower overhead, shiny black boots are at eye level, and train cars dwarf people. But the subject matter isn't your typical children's fare.
Author Deb Olin Unferth's work has been featured in Harper's Magazine, McSweeney's, and The Believer. She's also the author of a collection of stories called "Minor Robberies" and the novel, "Vacation." Her new memoir is called "Revolution: The Year I Fell in Love and Went to Join the War."
It took Michael David Lukas seven years to write his debut novel, The Oracle of Stamboul, but as Martha Woodroof writes, the long struggle was worth it. Woodroof speaks with Lukas about going by three names, the young girl who inspired his novel and going broke for one's writing dreams.
LeVar Burton, former host of Reading Rainbow, and Shane Evans, a local author/illustrator, teamed up to teach children the importance of literacy.
By Susan B. Wilson
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Students from the Derrick Thomas Academy got to listen as both storytellers gave a reading at the Kansas City Public Library. LeVar Burton read his favorite book Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman, and Shane Evans read his most recent book Underground.
In The Quick and the Dead, Joy Williams fixes a gaze of cold but evocative detachment on the lives of an eclectic cast of characters living in the arid Southwest. Writer Sarah Braunstein says the surreal novel uses wit, candor and virtuosic prose to delve into "our subterranean selves."
By NPR Books
In 2000 I was a 23-year-old fledgling writer. I had no idea how to write a story but wanted to do nothing else.
Washington University in St. Louis recently learned it has a collection of books originally owned by Thomas Jefferson. The 28 titles, including 74 volumes, were donated to Washington University's libraries in 1880 with no mention of their provenance.
By Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis, Mo. – The discovery means Washington University has the largest collection of Jefferson's books after the University of Virginia and the Library of Congress.
Penned by the sibling team of novelist Stephen Amidon and cardiologist Thomas Amidon, The Sublime Engine captures the story of the human heart through the world of science, history, culture and our bodies.
It can be a frightening feeling, being out of place. Entering someone else's world and having to learn the ropes is a daunting task. Granta editor Ellah Allfrey recommends three books about encountering other cultures, from the extraterrestrial to the multicultural.
Eleanor Brown speaks with Weekend Edition Sunday host Liane Hansen about her new novel, The Weird Sisters, which imagines the lives of three sisters and their obsessive Shakespearean scholar father who prefers iambic pentameter to normal, everyday conversation.
Shakespeare (1564-1616) reads Hamlet to his family, circa 1600. The Weird Sisters is a new novel about a family that reads Shakespeare to each other.
Patrick Leigh Fermor's A Time To Keep Silence replicates in style and rhythm the very experience that it seeks to describe. The 95-page book recounts Fermor's visits to several French monasteries in the 1950s, and writer Adam Haslett found the book draws readers into deep contemplation.
The best cop stories are written by cops themselves ? and the crime reporters who cover them. Rick Baker, a retired Compton, Calif., police department detective sergeant, recommends some hands-on, eyewitness accounts by and about the men and women who keep us safe.
Jean Stafford's powerful, 1947 novel chronicles the gradual dissolution of a brother-sister bond. Writer Sigrid Nunez describes the tale as a coming-of-age story, not just for the siblings but also for their relationship.
By Sigrid Nunez/NPR
In 2010, readers everywhere honored the 50th anniversary of the publication of To Kill a Mockingbird. In the aftermath of that celebration I'd like to tell readers about another novel that charts the coming of age of a sister and brother, this one set not in the South but out west.
In I Love A Broad Margin To My Life, Maxine Hong Kingston continues to embrace creative storytelling, this time by writing her entire narrative in free verse. Ghosts from her past works are woven in and out of the story as she faces the challenges of aging.
Johnson County Librarian Debbie McLeod returns from this year's American Library Association midwinter meeting to tell us about the winners of this year's Association for Library Service to Children 2011 media awards, and read excerpts from the winners of this year's Randolph Caldecott Medal, The Newbery, and others.
Debut author Siobhan Fallon writes about the lives of soldiers and their families in her new short story collection, You Know When the Men Are Gone. Families, she says, take the strangeness of deployment and learn how to create a new normal.
In our daily barrage of information, real insight can be hard to come by -- it's easy to become overwhelmed or uninspired by our endless consumption of facts. Author Gish Jen recommends three fable-like fictions that reveal the fanciful side of daily realities.
Amy Chua, a professor of law at Yale, has written her first memoir about raising children the "Chinese way" ? with strict rules and expectations. Maureen Corrigan predicts the book will be "a book club and parenting blog phenomenon."