Book News: Should Ayn Rand Be Required Reading? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Book News: Should Ayn Rand Be Required Reading?

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

  • Idaho state Sen. John Goedde (half-jokingly) introduced a bill this week that would require every Idaho high school student to read Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged and pass an exam in order to graduate. Goedde, a Republican who is chairman of the state Senate's Education committee, said the book made his son a Republican. While it's not clear how serious the proposal is, it's hit a nerve.
  • Today in inexplicable news: The Geico Gecko has written an advice book called You're Only Human: A Guide to Life, which is set to be published in April. The press material says the insurance company's spokeslizard "has spent the last few years traveling across America, like a modern-day de Tocqueville." It adds: "He's a philosopher, an aphorist, a humorist, an artist, a warm companion, a natural storyteller — and, in a grand tradition, a keenly observant and wise outsider who in the course of living and traveling among us has discovered quite a lot about the things that make us human."
  • Amazon has acquired a patent for reselling and lending digital books. Libraries are already lending digital materials, but the concept of selling "used" ebooks is pretty novel (sorry). According to the patent, "When the user no longer desires to retain the right to access the now-used digital content, the user may move the used digital content to another user's personalized data store when permissible and the used digital content is deleted from the originating user's personalized data store." But it seems Amazon will be able to impose limits on the number of times a particular piece of material is resold: "When a digital object exceeds a threshold number of moves or downloads, the ability to move may be deemed impermissible and suspended or terminated."
  • Author Lawrence Wright went on The Colbert Report this week to plug his new book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief. That's when host Stephen Colbert's interview really got interesting.
  • Little, Brown announced Thursday that its new publisher will be Reagan Arthur, who has worked with writers such as Kate Atkinson and George Pelecanos and oversaw bestsellers like Tina Fey's Bossypants. The company's current publisher, Michael Pietsch, will become CEO.

(About Book News)

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

Between World Wars, Gay Culture Flourished In Berlin

In Gay Berlin, Robert Beachy describes the rise of a gay subculture in the 1920s and '30s, how it contributed to our understanding of gay identity and how it was eradicated by the Nazis.
NPR

A Holy Land Christmas Porridge Honors A Damsel In Distress

Some Christians in Israel and the West Bank celebrate Eid el-Burbara on Dec. 17. The feast honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale.
WAMU 88.5

Hogan Cabinet Appointments Expected In Annapolis Today

Maryland governor-elect Larry Hogan will announce some of his cabinet appointments today, but there's no early indication which positions he will fill.

NPR

Google News Is Taken Offline In Spain, After A Call For Payments

In Spain, Google and other news aggregators would face steep fines if they publish headlines and abstracts without paying.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.