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For Biographers, The Past Is An Open (Electronic) Book

Biographers of Gandhi or Catherine the Great could rely on paper archives, but those days are fading fast. WNYC's Ilya Marritz reports that that old ways of digging up the past are changing as people rely more and more on electronic communication.

An Alternate Universe Delights In Complex, Perplexing 'Duplex'

Books about quantum mechanics can be pretty dry stuff. But when a novelist conjures up multiple worlds, the results can be spellbinding, even when it's no easy read. Such is the case with Duplex, the latest book from Kathryn Davis. Reviewer Rosecrans Baldwin, says this one's worth the effort.
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Dr. Norman Rosenthal: "The Gift Of Adversity"

Dr. Norman Rosenthal was the first to diagnose and treat seasonal affective disorder. The psychiatrist on facing adversity and setbacks in his own life.


Book News: Seamus Heaney's Last Words Were 'Don't Be Afraid'

Also: The Hugo Awards; a push to ban a Toni Morrison book from Alabama school reading lists, the best book coming out this week.

For F. Scott And Zelda Fitzgerald, A Dark Chapter In Asheville, N.C.

The Golden 1920s couple didn't fare as well in the 1930s, and the North Carolina mountain town was host to a particularly sad time. NPR's Susan Stamberg discovered a little-known story of the Jazz Age darlings, and their devastating connections to Asheville.

From Peace To Patriotism: The Shifting Identity Of 'God Bless America'

In the new book God Bless America: The Surprising History of an Iconic Song, author Sheryl Kaskowitz explores the lyrical evolution of Irving Berlin's enduring song and explains how its early popularity reflected the anxiety of the pre-war period and sparked a surprising anti-Semitic and xenophobic backlash.

Hardcore With A Heart: Joburg Thrillers Star A Spunky P.I.

Jassy Mackenzie's crime novels, set in Johannesburg, star the not-always-law-abiding private investigator Jade de Jong. Mackenzie says that de Jong and "Joburg" are well-matched: both the P.I. and her hometown are intimidating on the outside, but kind once you look beyond the surface.

Wendy Williams Dishes Her Own Dirt

Television talk show host Wendy Williams is known for pushing the envelope and dishing the dirt on celebrities. But her rise to fame wasn't always glamorous. Host Michel Martin speaks with Williams about her career, her battle with addiction, and her latest book Ask Wendy. This segment initially aired May 6, 2013 on Tell Me More.

The Private War Of J.D. Salinger

Authors Shane Salerno and David Shields spent nine years doing research for Salinger, a new book about one of America's most revered writers. Salerno talks to Weekend Edition Sunday guest host Wade Goodwyn about Salinger's life and the stories behind his work.

With Modern Makeovers, America's Libraries Are Branching Out

Library or Apple store? The Digital Commons at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library in Washington, D.C., has more screens than it does books. It's just one example of the many ways libraries are remodeling to meet the needs of 21st century users.