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Diana Vreeland's Rise To 'Empress Of Fashion'

Diana Vreeland had a troubled childhood; her mother often told her she was ugly. But she later became editor-in-chief of American Vogue and one of the country's most revered fashion icons. Her life is captured in the new biography, Empress of Fashion: A Life of Diana Vreeland. Host Michel Martin talks with author Amanda Mackenzie Stuart.
NPR

Death Of The (Predatory) Salesman: These Days, It's A Buyer's Market

In his new book, To Sell Is Human, Daniel H. Pink describes how access to information has empowered buyers and dramatically changed the sales landscape. Caveat emptor — buyer beware — is still good advice, Pink says, but so is caveat venditor — seller beware.
NPR

Author Ben Fountain's Book Picks For 2013

Ben Fountain's first novel, Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, was nominated for the 2012 National Book Award. He's well-read for 2013, so we thought we'd ask him what to look forward to in the book world.
NPR

The Renaissance Man Who Got It All Wrong

In A Man of Misconceptions: The Life of an Eccentric in an Age of Change, John Glassie writes of 17th-century Jesuit priest and scientist Athanasius Kircher, a renaissance man who studied magnetism, Mount Vesuvius, even the blood of plague victims. The only problem? His theories were often wrong.
NPR

'The Book Of Gin' Distills A Spirited History

From medieval medicine to18th-century English "crack", gin has come a long way. But according to Richard Barnett, author of The Book of Gin, now is "the best time in the last 500 years to be drinking" it.
NPR

Margaret Atwood's Brave New World Of Online Publishing

Charles Dickens wrote many of his greatest works in serial form, but serial publishing has fallen by the wayside since his day. Now, it's being revived online, and Margaret Atwood is publishing a future-dystopia novel called Positron in installments via the literary website Byliner.
NPR

Talking About What It Means 'To Be Black'

In his 2012 book, How To Be Black, comedian Baratunde Thurston offers a humorous and poignant commentary on race in America. As part of our annual series on books we missed, Thurston shares his take on the conversations Americans have about race — as well as the ones we should have, but avoid altogether.

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