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A Gossipy, Nostalgic History Of A Publishing 'Hothouse'

The prestigious publishing company Farrar, Straus and Giroux helped define the intellectual life of post-World War II America. Boris Kachka's book explores the company's history, from its founding in 1946 to its sale to a German conglomerate in 1994 and beyond.
NPR

Of Neurons And Memories: Inside The 'Secret World Of Sleep'

Think of everything your brain processes in a single day: your breakfast, a stain on a book cover, a meeting at work. If you remembered all those things, your brain would reach capacity. Author and neuroscientist Penelope Lewis says sleep helps sort through the memories that are worth keeping.
NPR

Island Reads: Finding Out Ancestors Were Slave Owners

Andrea Stuart found that one of her ancestors owned some of her other relatives. She tells their unheard story in the book Sugar in the Blood. Guest host Celeste Headlee talks with Stuart about her family history, the moral complexity of slavery and finding roots in the past.
NPR

Book News: Slam Poet's 'OCD' Love Poem Makes Waves

Also: Katherine Boo, Robert Hass win PEN Literary Awards; gender at The New York Review of Books; John Cheever's prison visit.
NPR

In 'Alphabet' Mysteries, 'S' Is Really For Santa Barbara

Private investigator Kinsey Millhone is one of the most well-known characters in modern crime fiction, but there's another star in Sue Grafton's thrillers: the fictional city of Santa Teresa, based on Santa Barbara, Calif.
NPR

Shipping: The 'Invisible Industry' That Clothes And Feeds You

Rose George spent several weeks aboard a container ship to research Ninety Percent of Everything, her book about the shipping industry. She writes, "There are more than one hundred thousand ships at sea carrying all the solids, liquids and gases that we need to live."
NPR

'Happiness, Like Water' Based On Nigerian-American Writer's Reality

Born in Nigeria, Chinelo Okparanta was raised in the U.S. by her parents who were Jehovah's Witnesses. She talks to guest host Celeste Headlee about writing the truth about her home country, even if it's an ugly truth.
NPR

Book News: Handwriting Offers Clues In Shakespeare Debate

Also: Foreign Policy's blog The Cable says there's fresh evidence the CIA kept tabs on Noam Chomsky; new books from Dave Eggers and Ron Burgundy.
NPR

Tina Brown On The Dark Side Of Innovation And Progress

Renee Montagne talks with Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast, for the Morning Edition regular feature, "Word of Mouth." Brown has three reads looking at the dark side to notions of innovation and progress.
NPR

Book Review: 'Return To Oakpine'

Alan Cheuse recommends a new novel by Ron Carlson. Return to Oakpine is about a man trying to go home again — to a town in Wyoming — in middle age.

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