books

Books
8:55 am
Thu February 3, 2011

The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration

Between World War I and the 1970s, six million African Americans migrated from the South to the North and West. A new book chronicles their stories.

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Books
9:41 am
Mon January 31, 2011

Three Eyewitness Books About Crime Fighting

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.

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Books
3:15 pm
Thu January 27, 2011

In 'Mountain Lion,' Sibling Love Becomes Loathing

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.

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.

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Books
11:11 am
Thu January 27, 2011

A 'Warrior Woman' Confronts Mortality, In Verse

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.

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Books
9:46 am
Mon January 24, 2011

The National Book Critics Circle Finalists for 2010 Awards

Best-selling authors crowded the list of finalists for the National Book Critics Circle awards, announced on Saturday, January 22, 2011.

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The National Book Critics Circle Finalists for 2010 Awards

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Fiction

Jennifer Egan. A Visit From The Goon Squad, Knopf

Jonathan Franzen. Freedom. Farrar, Straus And Giroux.

David Grossman. To The End Of The Land. Knopf.

Hans Keilson. Comedy In A Minor Key. Farrar, Straus And Giroux

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Books
9:12 am
Fri January 21, 2011

2011 Children's Book Award Winners

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.

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Books
8:48 am
Fri January 21, 2011

A Creative Cocktail Of Poetry And History In 'Molotov'

A writer's chance encounter with Vyacheslav Molotov's personal library leads to an encompassing, poetic and creative portrait of Russia's history and present.

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Books
1:32 pm
Wed January 19, 2011

An Army Wife Reflects On 'When The Men Are Gone'

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.

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Books
10:28 am
Tue January 18, 2011

Three Modern Fables To Capture Your Imagination

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.

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Books
12:52 pm
Fri January 14, 2011

Tiger Mothers: Raising Children The Chinese Way

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."

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Books
1:08 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

'Gryphon': Beautiful Stories For A Snowy Afternoon

Charles Baxter is a genius of the quotidian. From his earliest stories on, he has shown a gift for illuminating the surreal just below the surface of daily life.

Charles Baxter is a genius of the quotidian. From his earliest stories on, he has shown a gift for illuminating the surreal just below the surface of daily life. In five novels ? from First Light (1987) to The Soul Thief (2008) ? and four story collections, he has created a fictional universe both familiar and fabulous.

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Books
9:00 am
Tue January 11, 2011

A Memoir Of Memory, Mental Illness And Trauma

Writer Mira Bartok's memoir The Memory Palace, is, in part, about the car accident that left her with traumatic brain injury and about her relationship with her schizophrenic mother. She explains how her brain injury helped her understand -- and reconnect with -- her mother.

LISTEN TO THE INTERVIEW

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Books
8:26 am
Thu January 6, 2011

Tragic Loss And Love Affirmed In 'Figment'

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination is much more than a memoir about a stillborn child. Elizabeth McCracken's story of stunning loss and grief is also a moving and affirming story of love.

I have to admit, the last thing I wanted to do was read?An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination. Sure, it seemed like every critic in the country had raved about this book, but a memoir about a stillborn child??No thanks.

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Books
2:46 pm
Tue December 28, 2010

Perfect Thank You Notes: Heartfelt And Handwritten

John Kralik decided he needed a daily dose of gratitude, so he made a New Year's resolution to write one thank you note a day for an entire year. He wrote to family, friends, co-workers, and even his Starbucks barista ? and shares what he learned in his book, 365 Thank Yous.

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Books
12:19 pm
Tue December 28, 2010

A Female Explorer Discovered On The High Seas

Jeanne Baret didn't set out to be the first woman to circumnavigate the globe when she stepped aboard the Etoile in 1766. Disguised as a man, the French botanist was looking for plants.

Jeanne Baret didn't set out to be the first woman to circumnavigate the globe. When she stepped onboard the Etoile in 1766, she was looking for plants.

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Books
8:33 am
Mon December 13, 2010

Librarians Share Favorite Children and Teen Books of 2010

Johnson County youth librarians visit to recommend some of the best children and youth books of 2010.

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Books
2:47 pm
Fri December 10, 2010

Fresh Delivery: Indie Booksellers Pick 2010 Favorites

It's that time of year again! Susan Stamberg chats with three independent booksellers about their favorite reads of the year, from an atlas of remote islands to a children's book about feminist heroes.

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Books
3:11 pm
Wed December 8, 2010

Lee Judge: Stuff They Wouldn't Print

The Stuff They Wouldn't Print: A Collection of Rejected Political Cartoons includes Judge's take on Tiger Woods' troubles, Ronald Reagan's colon surgery, and an imagined talk between Hillary Clinton and Lorena Bobbit.

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Books
2:55 pm
Tue December 7, 2010

Book Club Picks: Give 'Em Something To Talk About

Making suggestions for your book club can be risky business. If everyone loves the book, you're a hero. If they hate it, it takes a while to live it down. NPR's Lynn Neary comes to the rescue with five book club recommendations that are sure to make for good conversation.

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Books
2:37 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Best Gift Books 2010: Art, Nature, Cute Canines

Even in a year notable for economic bust and an e-reader boom, big art books, lush photo retrospectives and other gems both quirky and collectible continue to roam the earth. Here are gift-book suggestions for every taste and budget.

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Books
12:34 pm
Thu December 2, 2010

Book Doctors Recommended Reading

The Book Doctors, aka, Mark Luce of the Barstow School, Kaite Stover of the Kansas City Library, and Steve Paul of The Kansas City Star share their recommendations for new and old books that make good winter reads.

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Recommendations from Mark Luce:

Fantomas, Marcel Allain

Life, Keith Richards

The Killer Inside Me, Jim Thompson

The Good Soldier: A Tale of Passion, Ford Maddox Ford

Quartet, Jean Rhys

Return of the Soldier, Rebecca West

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Books
11:26 am
Tue November 30, 2010

NPR's Michele Norris on The Grace of Silence

After the election of Barack Obama, All Things Considered host Michele Norris set out to write a book about "the hidden conversation on race" that is going on in this country.

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Books
10:33 am
Tue November 30, 2010

Best Books Of Winter: Alan Cheuse Makes His List

Literary Santa delivers his list of favorite fiction, nonfiction and poetry ? a box of the best books from 2010 that he'd like to bring to your house on a snowy morning.

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Books
12:48 pm
Tue November 23, 2010

People Are Talking ... About These Five Books

Some books aren't just great reads -- they're great discussions, too. Critic Heller McAlpin picks the best literary conversation starters of 2010 -- guaranteed to give you something to talk about.

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Books
12:40 pm
Tue November 16, 2010

Art Of Storytelling Alive And Well In Audio Books

George Guidall

George Guidall has narrated more than 900 audio books, from old classics to the latest fiction. "I've often described myself as a literary hermit crab," he says. "I scuttle around the currents of literature and find a home in someone else's imagined truth."

Growing up, George Guidall wasn't much of a reader. "I hear my mother keep telling me, even now, 'George you never pick up a book. You just don't read,'" he says.

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Books
11:02 am
Tue November 16, 2010

'The Dirty Life': From City Girl To Hog Butcher

In her memoir, The Dirty Life, former Manhattan travel writer Kristin Kimball recounts her move from the big city to a muddy farm -- with a love story along the way.

In a way, Kristin Kimball was lucky. She'd never farmed before, so when she moved to a farm in upstate New York, she had no idea what she was getting into. Her husband, Mark, did know ? but then, Kimball tells NPR's Melissa Block, "he's crazier than I am."

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Books
12:51 pm
Mon November 15, 2010

<i>We Could Be Brothers</i>

Derrick Barnes' latest book for young adults explores how issues of race, class and manhood impact middle school African American boys.

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Books
3:52 pm
Thu November 11, 2010

The Autobiography of Mark Twain

Twain scholar Robert Hirst shares what parts of Twain's life were so controversial that America's most celebrated writer didn't want to come out until a century after his death.

Before his death, Twain left instructions that some of the most controversial and inflammatory sections not be published until 100 years after his death.

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Books
10:07 am
Thu November 11, 2010

Bloody Crimes

Historian James Swanson captures the dramatic story in his book Bloody Crimes: The Chase for Jefferson Davis and the Death Pageant for Lincoln's Corpse.

When Abraham Lincoln was assassinated in 1865, his funeral procession stretched 1600 miles from Washington, D.C., to Springfield, Illinois, and was witnessed by millions of Americans.

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Books
11:44 am
Tue November 9, 2010

Hedges Laments The 'Death Of The Liberal Class'

From organizing workers to preventing war to making the economy more green, journalist Chris Hedges argues that, for decades, liberals have surrendered the good fights to corporations and ruling powers.

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From organizing workers to preventing war to making the economy more green, journalist Chris Hedges argues that, for decades, liberals have surrendered the good fights to corporations and ruling powers.

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