Summer’s Over ~ Show September 19 and 20


“The Marriage of Opposites” by Alice Hoffman
“Tiny Little Thing” by Beatriz Williams
“The Book of Speculation” by Erika Swyler
“Saint Maizie” by Jami Attenberg
“Among the Ten Thousand Things” by Julia Pierpont
“In the Country” by Mia Alvar
“Who Do You Love?” by Jennifer Weiner

Beatriz Williams, Author

With autumn just days away, Elaine previews new titles that offer an escape from fall’s frantic pace. These stories offer up a literary romp back to the beach and the lazy days of summer. Beatriz Williams introduces us to her new book, “Tiny Little Thing.”

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Hispanic Authors ~ Show September 5 and 6


“Ripper” by Isabel Allende
“The Water Museum” by Luis Alberto Urrea
“Rag and Bone” by Michael Nava
“It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris” by Patricia Engel
“At Night We Walk in Circles” by Daniel Alarcon
“Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass” by Meg Medina
“The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho” by Anjanette Delgado

Michael Nava, Author

New works by Hispanic authors, tales told with atmospheric prose, carefully crafted characters and old fashioned storytelling. Michael Nava stops by to speak about his new title, “The City of Palaces.”

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Perfect For Summer Reading ~ Show August 8 and 9


“The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George
“The Position” by Meg Wolitzer
“Down the Rabbit Hole” by Holly Madison
“I Take You” by Eliza Kennedy
“My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry” by Frederik Backman
“Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan
“Circling the Sun” by Paula McLain

Mandy Smith, Author

A light, lively and easy to pack selection of titles perfect for your summer reading repertoire. Elaine speaks with Mandy Smith about “Cabin Fever,” her memoir chronicling her years as a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant.

Melissa Rivers To Write A Book About Her Mom

Melissa Rivers, the only child of late comedian Joan Rivers, will write about their relationship in a book to be published later this year, her publisher said on Wednesday.

In “The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation,” Rivers, 47, will share observations, personal stories and thoughts about her mother, who died following complications during a medical procedure last year at the age of 81. The book is scheduled to be released on May 5 in the United States and Canada.

“Joan was beloved the world over for her fearlessness and one-of-a-kind sense of humor. But no one was closer to her than her daughter and partner-in-crime,” Trish Boczkowski, vice president and editorial director of Crown Archetype, said.

Rivers said she wanted to write a book that would make her mother laugh. “In our family we always believed that laughter was the best medicine. Not only are there less side effects than Prozac, but it’s a lot cheaper than therapy.”

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Those Who’ve Taken The Road Less Traveled ~ Show Jan 10 and 11


“Tibetan Peach Pie: A True Account of an Imaginative Life” by Tom Robbins
“The Narrow Road to the Deep North” by Richard Flanagan
“To Rise Again at a Decent Hour” by Joshua Ferris
“Let Me Be Frank With You” by Richard Ford
“Everything I Never Told You” by Celeste Ng
“Little Failure” by Gary Shteyngart

John Waters, Actor/Author and Juan Jose Valdes of the National Geographic Society

A spotlight on those – both in fiction and non-fiction – who’ve taken the road less traveled. Guests today are John Waters, (yes, of “Hairspray” and “Pink Flamingos” fame) whose latest book “Carsick” chronicles his cross-country hitchhiking adventures; and Juan Jose Valdes of the National Geographic Society.

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The year’s notable fiction, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review.
ALL OUR NAMES. By Dinaw Mengestu. With great sadness and much hard truth, Mengestu’s novel looks at a relationship of shared dependencies between a Midwestern social worker and a bereft African immigrant.
ALL THE BIRDS, SINGING. By Evie Wyld. An emotionally wrenching novel traces a solitary sheep farmer’s attempt to outrun her past on a remote British island.
ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE. By Anthony Doerr. The paths of a blind French girl and an orphaned German boy converge in this novel, set around the time of World War II.
AMERICAN INNOVATIONS. By Rivka Galchen. Stories offer variations on a particular sort of woman: in her 30s, urban, emotionally adrift.
THE ASSASSINATION OF MARGARET THATCHER: Stories. By Hilary Mantel. One has the sense that Mantel is working with some complex private material in these suavely stylish, contemporary fables.
THE BALLAD OF A SMALL PLAYER. By Lawrence Osborne. In Osborne’s feverish novel, the playing is done on the gambling tables of Macau by a tortured embezzler on the run.
BARK: Stories. By Lorrie Moore. Moore’s first collection in 16 years allows each story the chance it deserves for leisurely appreciation, and lets the reader savor just what makes her work unique.
THE BLAZING WORLD. By Siri Hust¬vedt. A multifaceted portrait of a creative titan whose career and reputation have been blighted by the art establishment’s ingrained sexism.
THE BONE CLOCKS. By David Mitchell. In this latest head-¬spinning flight into other dimensions from the author of “Cloud Atlas,” all borders between pubby England and the machinations of the undead begin to blur.
THE BOOK OF STRANGE NEW THINGS. By Michel Faber. A pastor from Earth is picked to satisfy an alien planet’s mysterious yen for religious instruction.
THE BOOK OF UNKNOWN AMERICANS. By Cristina Henríquez. Latino immigrant characters face the challenges of assimilation.
BOY, SNOW, BIRD. By Helen Oyeyemi. Taking “Snow White” as a cultural touchstone, Oyeyemi’s novel offers up a cautionary tale on post-race ideology, racial limbos and the politics of passing.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF SEVEN KILLINGS. By Marlon James. Revolving around the assassination attempt on Bob Marley in 1976, this mesmerizingly powerful novel addresses politics, class, race and violence in ¬Jamaica.
CAN’T AND WON’T. By Lydia Davis. In these stories, the mundane and the fathomless appear together on the same street, and calamity is always close at hand.
THE COLD SONG. By Linn Ullmann. A guilt-ridden Norwegian family is set in motion by a nanny’s murder.
COLORLESS TSUKURU TAZAKI AND HIS YEARS OF PILGRIMAGE. By Haruki Murakami. A novel of a man’s traumatic entrance into adulthood and the shadowy passages he must then ¬negotiate.
DEPT. OF SPECULATION. By Jenny Offill. Building its story from fragments, observations, meditations and different points of view, Offill’s cannily paced second novel charts the course of a marriage.
THE DOG. By Joseph O’Neill. In O’Neill’s disturbing, elegant novel, his first since “Netherland,” a lost and tormented New York lawyer recognizes more darkness within himself than in the iniquitous place he works, Dubai.
EUPHORIA. By Lily King. King’s novel turns an episode in the life of Margaret Mead into a taut tale of competing egos and desires in a landscape of exotic menace.
EVERYTHING I NEVER TOLD YOU. By Celeste Ng. Tragedy tears away at a mixed-race family in 1970s Ohio.
F. By Daniel Kehlmann. Deserted by their enigmatic father, three brothers struggle with life in this sly tragicomedy.
FAMILY LIFE. By Akhil Sharma. Deeply unnerving and tender at the core, the novel charts a young man’s struggles to grow within a family shattered by tragedy and disoriented by its move from India.
FOURTH OF JULY CREEK. By Smith Henderson. An overburdened social worker becomes involved with a near-feral boy and his survivalist father in 1980 Montana.
A GIRL IS A HALF-FORMED THING. By Eimear McBride. An Irish writer’s odd, energetic first novel.
I PITY THE POOR IMMIGRANT. By Zachary Lazar. A Brilliant novel of spiritual discovery features Meyer Lansky, an American journalist and an Israeli poet’s murder.
THE LAUGHING MONSTERS. By Denis Johnson. A cheerfully nihilistic novel about two scammers and rogue spies in Africa derives much of its situation from several of his early journalistic pieces.
LENA FINKLE’S MAGIC BARREL. Written and illustrated by Anya Ulinich. Ulinich’s graphic novel traces the marital and romantic adventures of her immigrant heroine.
LET ME BE FRANK WITH YOU: A Frank Bascombe Book. By Richard Ford. In four linked stories, Ford’s aging Everyman surveys life after Hurricane Sandy batters New ¬Jersey.
LILA. By Marilynne Robinson. A young woman with a past of hardship and suffering makes a new start in Robinson’s fictional town of Gilead, Iowa.
LOVERS AT THE CHAMELEON CLUB, PARIS 1932. By Francine Prose. Prose, a subtle psychologist, has created a genuinely evil character in Lou Villars, a cross-dressing French racecar driver and Nazi collaborator.
THE MAGICIAN’S LAND. By Lev Grossman. In the strong final installment of a trilogy, an exiled magician attempts a risky heist.
THE MOOR’S ACCOUNT. By Laila La¬lami. Estebanico, the first black explorer of America, narrates this fictional memoir.
MY STRUGGLE. Book 3: Boyhood. By Karl Ove Knausgaard. The third installment of Knausgaard’s Proustian six-volume autobiographical novel.
THE NARROW ROAD TO THE DEEP NORTH. By Richard Flanagan. A frail humanity survives the unspeakable in this novel of the Burma-¬Thailand Railway of World War II.
NORA WEBSTER. By Colm Toibin. In Toibin’s luminous, elliptical novel, set in the late 1960s and early ’70s, an Irishwoman struggles toward independence after her husband’s unexpected death.
PANIC IN A SUITCASE. By Yelena Akhtiorskaya. As a Ukrainian family adapts to life in Brooklyn, old-country memories linger.
THE PAYING GUESTS. By Sarah Waters. Hard times, forbidden love, murder and justice are the themes of this nevertheless comic novel, set in London after World War I.
REDEPLOYMENT. By Phil Klay. Twelve stories by a former Marine who served in Iraq capture on an intimate scale the ways in which the war there evoked a unique array of emotion, predicament and heartbreak.
REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS. By Bret Anthony Johnston. A skillful and enthralling debut novel, a family is reunited after an abducted son comes home.
A REPLACEMENT LIFE. By Boris Fishman. In Fishman’s bold and wickedly smart first novel, a Soviet émigré writer in New York becomes disturbingly adept at forging applications for Holocaust reparations.
SONG OF THE SHANK. By Jeffery Renard Allen. Allen’s masterly novel blends the personal story of the enslaved autistic piano prodigy Thomas Wiggins with the history of the Civil War and Reconstruction.
10:04. By Ben Lerner. A Brooklyn-based narrator preoccupied with identity decides to help his best friend have a child in this brilliant second novel.
THIRTY GIRLS. By Susan Minot. The atrocities wrought by a murderous African rebel army with candor yet without sensationalism.
THOSE WHO LEAVE AND THOSE WHO STAY: Book 3, The Neapolitan Novels: “Middle Time.” By Elena Ferrante. The third novel in Ferrante’s series, which tracks a long and complicated friendship.
THE WALLCREEPER. By Nell Zink. A heady, rambunctious debut is an environmental novel, if a totally surprising and irreverent one.
WE ARE NOT OURSELVES. By Matthew Thomas. A gorgeous family epic follows three Irish-American generations.
WHEN MYSTICAL CREATURES ATTACK! By Kathleen Founds. This dark, rich little novel in stories shows Founds as a talented moralist of nearly Russian ferocity.

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The year’s top non-fiction titles, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review
AMERICAN MIRROR: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell. By Deborah Solomon. The author pays respect to Rockwell for his dedication through periods of self-doubt, depression and marital tumult.
BEING MORTAL: Medicine and What Matters in the End. By Atul Gawande. A meditation on living better with age-related frailty, serious illness and approaching death.
BUILDING A BETTER TEACHER: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone). By Elizabeth Green. The gaping chasm between what the best teachers do and how they are evaluated.
CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? Written and illustrated by Roz Chast. This scorchingly honest, achingly wistful graphic memoir looks at the last years of Chast’s nonagenarian parents.
CHINA’S SECOND CONTINENT: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in ¬Africa. By Howard W. French. The author delves into the actual lives of the Chinese who have uprooted themselves to live and work in Africa.
CUBED: A Secret History of the Workplace. By Nikil Saval. This account of office design and technology since the Civil War offers insights into the changing nature of work.
DEEP DOWN DARK: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free. By Héctor Tobar. A graphic recounting of the quandaries faced by the victims of Chile’s 2010 mine disaster.
DEMON CAMP: A Soldier’s Exorcism. By Jennifer Percy. Percy’s first book follows an anguished Army veteran who searches for salvation in a Christian exorcism camp.
DUTY: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. By Robert M. Gates. One of the few Obama administration members who come off well in this frank account — probably one of the best Washington memoirs ever — is Hillary Clinton.
DYING EVERY DAY: Seneca at the Court of Nero. By James Romm. A classicist tries to unravel the enigma of the Stoic philosopher who was the Roman emperor Nero’s adviser.
EICHMANN BEFORE JERUSALEM: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer. By Bettina Stangneth. Eichmann in this study is a more motivated Nazi than in Arendt’s version.
ELEPHANT COMPANY: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II. By Vicki Constantine Croke. A rich portrait of a fascinating Englishman in extraordinary times.
EMBATTLED REBEL: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief. By James M. McPherson. The Confederate president as “a product of his time and circumstances.”
THE EMPATHY EXAMS: Essays. By Leslie Jamison. Considerations of pain, physical and emotional, and how it affects our relationships with one another and with ourselves.
FACTORY MAN: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — and Helped Save an American Town. By Beth Macy. Macy’s folksy concentration on her local hero makes complex global issues -understandable.
FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES: A Memoir. By Charles M. Blow. The Times Op-Ed columnist describes overcoming his rage at being abused as a child.
FORCING THE SPRING: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality. By Jo Becker. A fly-on-the-wall account of the 2013 Supreme Court case that led to the overturn of California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
GANDHI BEFORE INDIA. By Ramachandra Guha. It was as a young lawyer in South Africa that Gandhi forged the philosophy and strategies later put to such effect in India.
GEEK SUBLIME: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty. By Vikram Chandra. Chandra, who is both a novelist and a programmer, traces the connections between art and technology.
HOTEL FLORIDA: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War. By Amanda Vaill. A collective portrait of Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, and two other couples.
THE HUMAN AGE: The World Shaped by Us. By Diane Ackerman. An optimistic survey of the technology and innovations that define our human-dominated epoch.
THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. By Rick Perlstein. Engrossing and at times mordantly funny, Perlstein’s book treats the years 1973-76 as a Rosetta stone for American politics today.
THE INVISIBLE FRONT: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War. By Yochi Dreazen. Dreazen uses one military family’s tragedy to examine the troubling rise of postwar suicides.
THE INVISIBLE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN RACE: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures. By Christine Kenneally. ¬ A smart and highly entertaining look at the revelations DNA can provide.
JUST MERCY: A Story of Justice and Redemption. By Bryan Stevenson. An activist lawyer’s account of a man wrongfully convicted of murder reads like a call to action.
LIMONOV. By Emmanuel Carrère. Translated by John Lambert. Carrère applies his affinity for the big questions to his biography of an uncategorizable Russian writer.
LITTLE FAILURE: A Memoir. By Gary Shteyngart. A hilarious and touching account of his family’s move from Leningrad to Queens, and his emergence as a writer.
THE MADWOMAN IN THE VOLVO: My Year of Raging Hormones. By Sandra Tsing. Loh’s memoir wittily describes her roller-coaster ride through “the change.”
NAPOLEON: A Life. By Andrew Roberts. (Viking, $45.) Roberts brilliantly conveys the sheer energy of this military and organizational whirlwind.
NO GOOD MEN AMONG THE LIVING: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes. By Anand Gopal. A devastating look at how we got ¬Afghanistan wrong.
NOT I: Memoirs of a German Childhood. By Joachim Fest. The author’s father’s opposition to Hitler brought his family into danger.
ON IMMUNITY: An Inoculation. By Eula Biss. (Graywolf, $24.) Drawing on science, myth and literature, Biss spellbindingly examines the psychological fog of fear that surrounds immunization today.
ON THE RUN: Fugitive Life in an American City. By Alice Goffman. A young sociologist’s remarkably reported ethnography of a poor black Philadelphia ¬neighborhood.
100 ESSAYS I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WRITE: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater. By Sarah Ruhl. How to be creative when life and children intervene.
THE PARTHENON ENIGMA. By Joan Breton Connelly. With first-rate scholarship, an archaeologist reinterprets the Parthenon frieze in this exciting and revelatory history.
PAY ANY PRICE: Greed, Power, and Endless War. By James Risen. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Times reporter chronicles the excesses of the war on terror in this powerful book.
PENELOPE FITZGERALD: A Life. By Hermione Lee. Lee takes on the challenge of an elusive late-bloomer — the great novelist and biographer who published her first book at 58 and became famous at 80.
PRO: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. By Katha Pollitt. In this manifesto, Pollitt argues that women should stop apologizing and reclaim abortion as a “positive social good.”
THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League. By Jeff Hobbs. A heartbreaking journey from a New Jersey ghetto to Yale to a drug-¬related murder.
THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: An Unnatural History. By Elizabeth Kolbert. A powerful examination of the role of man-made climate change in causing the current spasm of plant and animal loss that threatens the planet.
A SPY AMONG FRIENDS: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal. By Ben Mac¬intyre. This account of the British spymaster who turned out to be a Russian mole reads like John le Carré but is a solidly researched true story.
STUFF MATTERS: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World. By Mark Miodownik. Materials we think banal and boring — paper, concrete, glass, plastic — hold hidden wonders.
THE TEACHER WARS: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession. By Dana Goldstein. Goldstein offers a lively, personality-driven survey of the public education system, and offers ideas for its reform.
THIRTEEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David. By Lawrence Wright. How marathon sessions of bare-knuckle diplomacy forged a framework for peace between Israel and Egypt in 1978.
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: Capitalism vs. the Climate. By Naomi Klein. In her consequential analysis, Klein argues there is still time to avoid catastrophe, but not within the current rules of capitalism.
THROWN. By Kerry Howley. With its sly humor and trenchant vision, this genre-bending work finds sublime poetry in the world of mixed martial arts.
THE TRIP TO ECHO SPRING: On Writers and Drinking. By Olivia Laing. A charming and look at the alcoholic insanity of six famous authors: John Cheever, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Carver.
THE TRUE AMERICAN: Murder and Mercy in Texas. By Anand Giridharadas. Competing visions of the American dream collide in this account of a post-9/11 hate crime and its unlikely ¬reverberations.
WORLD ORDER. By Henry Kissinger. Kissinger’s elegant, wide-ranging cri de coeur is a realpolitik warning for future generations from a skeptic steeped in the past.

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Junky old typewriters aren’t typically worth a fortune—unless the screenplay for a Hollywood classic like Alfred Hitchock’s Psycho was written on it. The 1959 faded green Olympia that Joseph Stefano used to adapt Robert Bloch’s novel into the screenplay for Psycho was auctioned on Nov. 20—and the bidding started at an exorbitant $25,000.

Psycho went on to win four Oscars and carve out a place in movie history with its iconic shower murder scene. Stefano’s most notable change from the novel was his decision to begin the movie with Janet Leigh’s Marion Crane, instead of killer Norman Bates. In doing so, “Stefano changed the drift of the audience’s affections, and changed film history in the process: it was the first time a leading lady had been murdered within the first 20 minutes of a movie.”

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Authorisms – words, phrases or names created by a writer have been great new additions to our language. Here are some of the best:
1. Banana Republic – A politically unstable, undemocratic and tropical nation whose economy is largely dependent on the export of a single limited-resource product, such as a fruit or a mineral. The term was coined by O’Henry in his 1904 collection of short stories entitled “Cabbages and Kings.”
2. Beatnik – Created in 1958 by San Francisco Chronicle columnist Herb Caen about a party for “50 beatniks.” “I coined the word ‘beatnik’ because Russia’s Sputnik was aloft then. The word popped out.”
3. Bedazzled – To be irresistibly enchanted, dazed or pleased A word that Shakespeare debuts in “The Taming of the Shrew” when Katharina says: “Pardon, old father, my mistaking eyes, that have been so bedazzled with the sun that everything I look on seemeth green.”
4. Catch-22 – The working title for Joseph Heller’s classic about the mindlessness of war was Catch-18, a reference to a military regulation that keeps pilots in the story flying one suicidal mission after another. The only way to be excused from flying such missions is to be declared insane, but asking to be excused for the reason of insanity is proof of a rational mind and bars being excused. Shortly before the appearance of the book in 1961, Leon Uris’s bestselling novel “Mila 18” was published. To avoid numerical confusion, Heller decided to change 18 to 22.
5. Cyberspace – Novelist William Gibson invented this word in a 1982 short story, but it became popular after the publication of his sci-fi novel “Neuromancer” in 1984. He described cyberspace as “a graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system.
6. Freelance – One who sells services to employers without a long-term commitment to any of them;
an uncommitted independent, as in politics or social life. The word is not recorded before Sir Walter Scott introduced it in “Ivanhoe.” Scott’s freelancers were mercenaries who pledged their loyalty and arms for a fee. “I offered Richard the service of my Free Lances, and he refused them. I will lead them to Hull, seize on shipping, and embark for Flanders; a man of action will always find employment.”
7. Hard-Boiled – Hardened, hard-headed, uncompromising. A term documented as being first used by Mark Twain in 1886 as an adjective meaning “hardened”. In a speech he alluded to hard-boiled, hide-bound grammar.
8. Malapropism – An incorrect word in place of a word with a similar sound, resulting in a nonsensical, often humorous utterance. This eponym originated from the character Mrs Malaprop, in the 1775 play “The Rivals” by Irish playwright and poet Richard Brinsley Sheridan. As you might expect, Mrs Malaprop is full of amusing mistakes, like “He’s the very pineapple of success!” The adjective Malaproprian is first used, by George Eliot. “Mr. Lewes is sending what a Malapropian friend once called a ‘missile’ to Sara.”
9. Serendipity – The writer and politician Horace Walpole invented the word in 1754 as an allusion to Serendip, an old name for Sri Lanka. He explained he had based the word on the title of a fairy tale, “The Three Princes of Serendip.” The three princes were always making discoveries, by accidents and sagacity, of things they were not looking for.
10. Whodunit – A traditional murder mystery. Book critic Donald Gordon created the term in the July 1930 “American News of Books” when he said of a new mystery novel: “Half-Mast Murder, by Milward Kennedy – A satisfactory whodunit.”

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Letterman Book Nominated For Humor Prize


Late Show host David Letterman is among the finalists for the 2014 Thurber Prize for American Humor. His satirical picture book, This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me), written with Bruce McCall, is one of three titles up for the prize.

The other finalists are Liza Donnelly for Women on Men, and John Kenney for Truth in Advertising. The finalists were selected by the judges: humorist Henry Alford, novelist Meg Wolitzer, and novelist and critic John Searles.

The winner of the prize, named in honor of humorist James Thurber, will be presented in New York City on September 30.

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