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NPR

From 'App' To 'Tea': English Examined In '100 Words'

Linguist David Crystal believes every word has a story to tell, even the ones as commonplace as "and." In The Story of English in 100 Words, he compiles a collection of words — classic words like "tea" and new words like "app" — that explain how the English language has evolved.
NPR

Add A Little Texas To Your Holiday Cookout

Memorial Day marks the start of barbecue season for many backyard grillers. Host Michel Martin gets some tips for how to grill it up. She checks in with rockabilly singer Ruby Dee, author of Ruby's Juke Joint Americana Cookbook.
NPR

A Portrait Of The Cartoonist And Her Mother

Cartoonist Alison Bechdel follows her 2006 book about her father with a new memoir, Are You My Mother? It weaves together stories of her own life with the theories of British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott — with a cameo from Virginia Woolf.
NPR

'Finding Ultra': The Ultimate Athletic Test

The Ironman World Championship takes place this fall in Hawaii. Host Rachel Martin talks with super-endurance athlete Rich Roll, who has competed in several ironman and ultraman competitions. He's the author of Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, Becoming One of the World's Fittest Men, and Discovering Myself.
NPR

A Quest For Roots Uncovers Ordinary People

Lawrence Jackson went through most of his life not knowing much about his family history, but when he had a child, he wanted to pass along a family tree. His search took him across Virginia, where he found out more than he ever expected.
NPR

Author's Tweets Give New Meaning To Short Fiction

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Jennifer Egan tweeted a science fiction story from the New Yorker fiction Twitter account (@NYerFiction) this week. In the story, Egan takes a character from her novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad, and sets her in a futuristic world in which she is a female spy. Host Scott Simon talks with Egan about the first time The New Yorker has serialized fiction on Twitter.
NPR

'Istanbul': A Twisted Tale Of Foreign Espionage

In Joseph Kanon's new spy thriller, Istanbul Passage, former intelligence aide Leon Bauer is caught in the complexities of post-World War II life, in a story of moral compromise and shifting loyalties.
WAMU 88.5

Richard Ford: "Canada" (Rebroadcast)

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Richard Ford talks about his first novel in six years, "Canada."

NPR

Examining 'The Leftovers,' After The Rapture

What if the rapture actually occurred? That's the plot of Tom Perrotta's novel The Leftovers, which examines the aftermath of an unexplained rapturelike event in which millions of people around the globe inexplicably disappear into thin air.
NPR

15 Summer Reads Handpicked By Indie Booksellers

Not sure what to read this summer? NPR's Susan Stamberg asked three booksellers to share their top five picks for the books you shouldn't miss. They recommend tales of con artists, grade-school spies, refugees and ranchers — plus an exploration of why stories make us human.

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