British retirees Rachel and Paul Chandler were sailing in the Indian Ocean in 2009 when their boat was hijacked by Somali pirates. They were held captive in Somalia for more than a year. Guest host Viviana Hurtado speaks to the couple about their experience, which they documented in the memoir Hostage: A Year at Gunpoint with Somali Pirates.
As of Friday morning, the book is No. 1 on Amazon's best-sellers list even though it's not due out until Sept. 11. The book's billed as a first-hand account by a former U.S. Navy SEAL who says he was part of that raid in Pakistan. It was written under a pseudonym Mark Owen.
"They say that New Orleans must be a great place to write mysteries because of all the crime there," says Julie Smith, the author of more than a dozen books set in the city. "But that has nothing to do with [crime] — it's all about the secrets." This piece initially aired July 15, 2008 on Morning Edition.
Comedy writer Maria Semple's latest, Where'd You Go, Bernadette, follows 15-year-old Bee as she tracks down her mother, Bernadette, who disappeared on the eve of a family trip to Antarctica. Bernadette is an epistolary novel that paints an acidly funny portrait of life in Seattle.
More than three-quarters of the nation's public libraries lend books electronically, a fact that's not widely known among the reading public. Some publishers worry that e-book borrowers don't buy books. But a recent study suggests that among those who read books electronically, 41 percent of those who borrow them from the library purchased their most recent e-book. Guest host Frank Sesno and his guests discuss the current and future role of e-books at our nation's libraries.
The author's new memoir, Winter Journal, is a history of his body — scars, panic attacks and near-death experiences. He tells Fresh Air how he got a reputation as a dirty fighter, why he doesn't drive and how hard it was to see his mother's dead body.
Journalist Seth Rosenfeld spent three decades pursuing government documents about the FBI's undercover operation in Berkeley, Calif., during the student protest movements in the '60s. His new book details how the FBI "used dirty tricks to stifle dissent on campus" and influenced Ronald Reagan's politics.
Each month, NPR's All Things Considered invites a poet into the newsroom to see how the show comes together, and to write an original poem about the news. This month, our NewsPoet is Tess Taylor. Want to write your own poem about the day's news? You can put them in the comments below.
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