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After Getting 'Plunked' On The Head, A Little Leaguer Makes A Comeback

A young baseball player who gets hit by a fastball must find the courage to step back up to the plate. Michael Northrop, the author of Plunked, is no stranger to overcoming obstacles — he's dyslexic, and he says that learning to read was a real struggle when he was a kid: "I can't read fast. I can read carefully, though."
NPR

Catcher In The Fry? McDonald's Happy Meals With A Side Of Books

For two weeks in November, McDonald's will swap out the toys in its kids' meals for original books that have nutritionally focused themes. The fast-food giant's plunge into publishing has inspired some witty mock Mcbook titles. But critics of its marketing to kids aren't so amused.
NPR

Meet Ben's Sister Jane, History's Forgotten Franklin

For centuries, the memory of Jane Franklin has languished in brother Benjamin's shadow. While Ben is on currency and splashed across textbooks, Jane's life of curiosity and hardship has been forgotten. In Book of Ages, historian Jill Lepore draws a portrait of one of the American Revolution's "little women."
NPR

Alice Munro, 'Master' Of The Short Story, Wins Literature Nobel

Munro's short-story collections include Dance of the Happy Shades, The Moons of Jupiter and, most recently, Dear Life. The author, who has been writing for more than 60 years, is only the 13th woman to win the prize.
NPR

Rep. Gutierrez: I Am A Product Of The Civil Rights Movement

Chicago Congressman Luis Gutierrez's life has been marked by arrests, no-holds-barred Chicago-style political fighting, and even the occasional Molotov cocktail thrown through his window. He speaks with host Michel Martin about his life and new memoir Still Dreaming: My Journey from the Barrio to Capitol Hill.
NPR

Canadian Alice Munro Wins Nobel's Literature Prize

Alice Munro, "master of the contemporary short story," has won the Nobel Prize in Literature," the Royal Swedish Academy announced Thursday morning. In 2009, she won the Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime work.
NPR

Literary Establishment Fails To Acknowledge Certain Authors

When the Nobel Prize for literature is announced, there are some writers who automatically know they didn't make the short list. Some popular writers who make a lot of money believe there is a conspiracy against non-literary writers.
NPR

A Philosopher's 'Afterlife': We May Die, But Others Live On

Samuel Scheffler, a philosophy professor at New York University, presents a secular interpretation of life after death. In his book Death and the Afterlife, Scheffler argues that our belief that humanity will outlive us — our faith in the existence of future generations — gives meaning to our lives.
NPR

In 'Dallas 1963,' A City Of Rage, Seized By 'Civic Hysteria'

Bill Minutaglio and Steven L. Davis have written a portrait of the city that saw John F. Kennedy's death firsthand. In those years, they say, Dallas was a roiling stew of superpatriotism and Communist paranoia — and, above all, distrust of the president.
NPR

A Coming Of Age Story For The (Ice) Ages

The novel Shaman, by science fiction writer Kim Stanley Robinson is a coming of age novel set in the ice age. Reviewer Alan Cheuse says it is the latest to take up the question of what it was like to live 30,000 years ago on the cusp of change from Neanderthal to Cro-Magnon dominance of the human world.

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