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NPR

'Dancing Fish,' 'Ammonites' And A Literary Life Well-Lived

For 44 years, British author Penelope Lively has been publishing children's books, short stories and novels. Her latest book, Dancing Fish and Ammonites, is subtitled "A Memoir," but critic Ellah Allfrey says it is "more a collection of thoughts, a scattering of advice and a reading list to treasure."
NPR

Sounds Intriguing: The World's Most Interesting Noises

As an acoustic engineer, Trevor Cox has spent most of his career getting rid of bizarre, unwanted sounds. But in The Sound Book, Cox turns up the volume on those sonic oddities. The book explores weird echoes and unexpected noises from around the globe — including "whisper galleries" and a chirping pyramid.
NPR

Wherefore Art Thou Robo-Shakespeare? Or Better Yet, How?

Nathan Matias is not a poet — at least, not in the conventional sense of the word. Rather, he's a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who has written a Shakespearean sonnet using a computer program. Matias' program used predictive language, limited only to word choices made by William Shakespeare, to produce an entirely new poem in the voice of the Bard. He joins us to talk about his process and beautiful product.
NPR

Review: 'An Officer And A Spy'

Alan Cheuse reviews An Officer and a Spy, a novel by Richard Harris that revives the Dreyfus Affair.
WAMU 88.5

The Enduring Popularity Of Sherlock Holmes

A popular BBC series and a lawsuit over whether his stories are in the public domain are drawing attention once again to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of one of literature's most iconic characters: Sherlock Holmes. We consider the enduring appeal of the "canon" of four novels and 56 short stories featuring Holmes and Watson, and the many interpretations they've inspired on page and screen.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Named Most Literate City For Fourth Year In A Row

The District is a bastion for bookworms, topping a list of literate cities going back to 2010.

NPR

For Military Couples, It's A Long Recovery 'When We Get Home'

Kayla Williams and Brian McGough met in Iraq in 2003 when they were serving in the 101st Airborne Division. Williams' new memoir, Plenty of Time When We Get Home, describes their homecoming after McGough sustained physical and cognitive injuries during an IED explosion.
NPR

Romance Novels Sweep Readers Off Their Feet With Predictability

At $1.4 billion, romance is by far the biggest sector of the publishing industry. Harper's editor Jesse Barron looked into the business of romance and its peculiarities for this month's issue. He says the key is copying the elements that made other authors successful — down to the cover model's pose.
NPR

With Fearlessness And A 'Code Name,' Iraqi Helped Navy SEALs

Interpreter "Johnny Walker" accompanied the U.S. military on countless missions in his war-torn home country of Iraq. His memoir, Code Name: Johnny Walker, details his experiences with the SEALs and his family's long path to U.S. citizenship.
NPR

Seed Librarians, Stone Carvers And Sheepherders Along The Hudson

British graphic designer Nick Hudson bicycled 500 miles along the Hudson River valley, striking up conversations with local artists and craftspeople as he went. Those stories — from maple syrup producers, sculptors, boat restorers and more — have been collected in a new book, Conversations on the Hudson.

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