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"History is a living horse laughing at a wooden horse. History is a wind blowing where it listeth. History is no sure thing to bet on. History is a box of tricks with a lost key. History is a labyrinth of doors with sliding panels, a book of ciphers with the code in a cave of the Saragossa sea. History says, if it pleases, Excuse me, I beg your pardon, it will never happen again if I can help it."

—Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) American writer known for free verse, Smoke and Steel


NPR On Books

Book News: Happiness Study Says Library Trips Are As Good As A Pay Raise 
  Thu, 24 Apr 2014 07:57:00 -0400 
    Also: The shortlist for the 2014 Caine Prize was announced; Richard H. Hoggart, key witness in the obscenity trial of Lady Chatterley's Lover, has died.

Mitterrand's Taste For 'Intrigue' And Contradiction 
  Thu, 24 Apr 2014 07:03:15 -0400 
    Philip Short's new biography of French president Francois Mitterrand, A Taste for Intrigue, is a compelling, polished portrait of a slippery, contradictory figure who relished reinventing himself.

Book News: Gabriel García Márquez Left An Unpublished Manuscript 
  Wed, 23 Apr 2014 08:09:00 -0400 
    Also: a previously unpublished story by Shirley Jackson; tips to tell whether you are in a Charles Dickens novel.

Better (?) Living Through Chemistry In 'Afterparty' 
  Wed, 23 Apr 2014 07:03:00 -0400 
    Darryl Gregory's new novel, Afterparty, envisions a future where anyone with the right gear can make his own custom drugs. Critic Jason Sheehan calls it a juicy jumble of second-generation biopunk.

Book Review: 'In Praise Of Hatred' 
  Tue, 22 Apr 2014 16:06:12 -0400 
    Alan Cheuse reviews the novel In Praise of Hatred, by Khaled Khalifa. The book, which was recently translated to English, features a young Muslim girl in 1980s Syria.

'Forcing The Spring' Tells One Chapter In Story Of Marriage Equality 
  Tue, 22 Apr 2014 15:51:00 -0400 
    The strategy of going to the Supreme Court to challenge Proposition 8 was controversial within the gay-rights movement. Now, Jo Becker's new book is proving to be controversial as well.

Book News: Ex-Supreme Court Justice Wants 6 Changes To Constitution 
  Tue, 22 Apr 2014 08:13:00 -0400 
    Also: The battle over the word "literally," Claudia Rankine won the $50,000 Jackson Poetry Prize.

'Chameleon Club' Takes On Too Many Colors 
  Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:03:00 -0400 
    Francine Prose's new Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932 concerns itself with the malleability of truth — but stumbles with characters who are flamboyantly quirky, rather than truly engaging.

Exclusive First Read: Colson Whitehead's 'The Noble Hustle' 
  Tue, 22 Apr 2014 07:01:00 -0400 
    Colson Whitehead's account of his anhedonic adventures at the World Series of Poker is tough and tasty — like a good piece of beef jerky.

The Tawdry Ballad Of A Man, A Casino And A Game Of Chance 
  Mon, 21 Apr 2014 17:28:00 -0400 
    The Ballad of a Small Player is set in the murky underworld of Macau's casinos. Reviewer Tash Aw calls the novel a masterful and thrilling collision of old Asia and 21st century glamour.

Book News: 'Rabbit-Proof Fence' Author Doris Pilkington Garimara Dies 
  Mon, 21 Apr 2014 07:34:00 -0400 
    Also: a poem by Michele Glazer; the best books coming out this week.

Far From 'Infinitesimal': A Mathematical Paradox's Role In History 
  Sun, 20 Apr 2014 17:00:00 -0400 
    It seems like a simple question: How many parts can you divide a line into? The troublesome answer was square at the root of two of Europe's greatest social crises.

'Traveling Pants' Author Tries Traveling In Time 
  Sun, 20 Apr 2014 08:05:09 -0400 
    NPR's Petra Mayer profiles YA author Ann Brashares, whose new book The Here and Now follows a young girl and her community who've escaped a terrible future via time travel and landed in our present.

Exploring The Secret History Of The Cubicle 
  Sun, 20 Apr 2014 08:05:00 -0400 
    The new book, Cubed: A Secret History of the Workplace, is a look at how the white-collar world came to be the way it is, and what it might become. NPR's Rachel Martin speaks with author Nikil Saval.

BBC Icon Finds Children's Adventure In An Element Hunter 
  Sun, 20 Apr 2014 08:05:00 -0400 
    Simon Mayo, a veteran broadcaster for the BBC, has written a series of children's books about a boy obsessed with the periodic table. He talks to NPR's Rachel Martin about the latest, Itch Rocks.
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