Books | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

Books

RSS Feed
NPR

A Historic Arrival: New York's Grand Central Turns 100

Born from a deadly underground train crash, Manhattan's historic transit hub is credited with inventing the ramp and bringing electricity to both train tracks and terminal. Author Sam Roberts marks its centennial in Grand Central: How a Train Station Transformed America.
WAMU 88.5

Edna O'Brien: "Country Girl: A Memoir"

In 1960, Edna O'Brien published "The Country Girl," her first novel. Considered scandalous at the time, the book was burned by priests throughout her native Ireland. Undeterred, she spent the next 50 years creating a body of work that stands among the best writing of the 20th century. Diane talks with Edna O'Brien about her often lonely life and the work that sustained her.

WAMU 88.5

The Real Legacy Of Martin Luther King Jr.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Taylor Branch argues that while we invoke Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s name frequently, few understand the principles he championed or the history of race relations in America.

NPR

Tina Brown's Must-Reads: Hidden Lives

The Newsweek editor returns with a list of new reads about people with surprising lives — a CIA investigator, a successful businesswoman who started life as a child soldier, and a private-equity pioneer whose domineering personality drove his loved ones away.
NPR

Presidents Use Bully Pulpit To Shape American Language In 'Words'

In Words From the White House, linguist Paul Dickson looks at the ways presidents have used the office to create and shape American language. Presidents, Dickson says, must be eloquent and spontaneous, but they also need to communicate in a way that gives listeners something to latch onto.
NPR

Relationships And Rocket Ships In 'Last Girlfriend'

Everyone has relationship problems, even God — at least, according to humorist Simon Rich. His funny, surreal new collection, The Last Girlfriend on Earth: And Other Love Stories, explores dating and relationships, but also magic talking goats and rocket ships.
NPR

New Reading Standards Aim To Prep Kids For College — But At What Cost?

Almost the entire country has signed onto the Common Core Standards Initiative. The standards incorporate more nonfiction texts across all subjects to improve reading scores. But some fear the push for nonfiction reading could lead students away from passionate engagement with literature.
NPR

'All We Know': Three Remarkable But Forgotten Lives

Just nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award, Lisa Cohen's biography All We Know: Three Lives follows the stories of three women of the early 20th century. "I wanted to write a book that wasn't just about one great person," Cohen says, "but about a kind of collectivity."
NPR

U.K. Asks Students To Learn Poetry 'By Heart,' Not By Rote

Poetry By Heart is a new program in which students memorize two of 130 poems and recite them in a contest. Poet Jean Sprackland, who helped compile the list, says memorizing a poem makes it "something that lives with you forever."

Pages