Literary Potpourri ~ August 29 and 30

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Barbarian Days” by William Finnegan
“Paper Towns” by John Green
“The Jezebel Remedy” by Martin Clark
“Wicked Charms” by Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton
“Crooked” by Austin Grossman
“Oregon Trail” by Rinker Buck
“Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party” by Alexander McCall Smith

INTERVIEW
Patrick Nolan, Associate Publisher and Editor in Chief, Penguin Books

TUNE IN TO THE PROGRAM FOR
A preview of the summer’s hottest books in wide range of genres: fiction, nonfiction, travel and occult. Elaine speaks with Patrick Nolan of Penguin Books about the publishing house’s distinguished 80 year anniversary.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

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Nonfiction Titles That Prove “Truth is stranger than fiction.” Show Aug 1 and 2

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“The Billion Dollar Spy” by David E. Hoffman
“Once Upon A Time in Russia” by Ben Mezrich
“The Spy’s Son” by Bryan Denson
“Arms and the Dudes” by Guy Lawson
“God’s Bankers” by Gerald Posner
“Two Hours” by Ed Caesar
“The Coloring Book” by Colin Quinn

INTERVIEW
Ben Mezrich, Author

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A preview of new nonfiction titles that prove “Truth is stranger than fiction.” Ben Mezrich returns to the program to introduce Elaine to his latest book about Vladimir Putin and the Russian oligarchs, “Once Upon a Time in Russia.”

People Who Changed Our World ~ Show July 11 and 12

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Elon Musk” by Ashlee Vance
“The Virgin Way” by Richard Branson
“Becoming Steve Jobs” by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
“Madison’s Gift” by David Stewart
“Strategy: A History” by Lawrence Freedman
“Napoleon: A Life” by Andrew Roberts
“Alibaba’s World” by Porter Erisman

INTERVIEW
Senator Gary Hart

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A spotlight on entrepreneurs, politicians and statesmen who changed our world. Elaine speaks with Senator Gary Hart about his new title, “The Republic of Conscience.”

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Ruth Rendell Dies At Age 85

Ruth Rendell, one of Britain’s best-loved authors, who delighted fans for decades with her dark, intricately plotted crime novels, passed away on May 2. Baroness Rendell of Babergh, the creator of Inspector Wexford and author of more than 60 novels, had been admitted to hospital after a serious stroke in January and died in London.

The crime writer Val McDermid voiced the sorrow of many Rendell fans when she heard the news. “Ruth Rendell was unique. No one can equal her range or her accomplishment; no one has earned more respect from her fellow practitioners. Current British crime writing owes much to a writer who over a 50-year career consistently demonstrated that the genre can continually reinvent itself, moving in new directions, assuming new concerns and exploring new ways of telling stories.”

Baroness Gail Rebuck, chair of Penguin Random House UK, said: “Ruth was much admired by the whole publishing industry for her brilliant body of
work. An insightful and elegant observer of society, many of her award-winning thrillers and psychological murder mysteries highlighted the causes she cared so deeply about. She was a great writer, a campaigner for social justice, a proud mother and grandmother, a generous and loyal friend and probably the best read person I have ever met. Her many close friends in publishing and the House of Lords will greatly miss her wonderful company and her truly unique contribution to our lives.”

Rendell’s novels included the Inspector Wexford crime series and the psychological thrillers she wrote as Barbara Vine. Her debut, “From Doon with Death,” introduced Wexford in 1964. “He sort of is me, although not entirely,” the author told the Observer in 2013 when the inspector made his 24th outing, in “No Man’s Nightingale.” “Wexford holds my views pretty well on most things, so I find putting him on the page fairly easy.”

Rendell landed her £75 publishing deal after a decade of life as a mother and housewife. She had been a journalist on the Chigwell Times, but resigned after it emerged that her report of a local tennis club dinner had been written without attending the event, meaning she missed the death of the after-dinner speaker during his speech.

Ian Rankin said he’d viewed Rendell as “probably the greatest living crime writer” and added that “if crime fiction is currently in rude good health, its practitioners striving to better the craft and keep it fresh, vibrant and relevant, this is in no small part thanks to Ruth Rendell”.

Rendell’s death closely follows that of fellow crime writer PD James, her good friend and political opponent in the House of Lords. A tribute by the broadcaster and writer Mark Lawson this weekend called them “the George Eliot and Jane Austen of the homicidal novel: different minds and style but equal talent”. He credited them with saving British detective fiction from the disdain of serious literary critics.

Rendell won prizes including the Crime Writers’ Association Cartier Diamond Dagger for “sustained excellence in crime writing”, and, as a Labour life peer, helped pass a law preventing girls being sent abroad for female genital mutilation.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

New Book On Donations To Clinton Foundation

NEW BOOK ON DONATIONS TO CLINTON FOUNDATION

Hillary Clinton has dismissed an upcoming book that will reportedly outline favorable treatment from her State Department in exchange for foreign donations to her family foundation.

“We are back into the political season and there are all kinds of distractions and attacks,” Clinton told reporters in New Hampshire. “And I am ready for that. I know that that comes, unfortunately, with the territory. It is, I think, worth noting Republicans seem to be talking only about me. I don’t know what they would be talk about if I wasn’t in the race. But I am in the race, and hopefully we will get onto the issues and I look forward to that.”

“Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich,” by Peter Schweizer, comes out May 5. But some of her potential Republican presidential opponents have already been briefed on its contents. Sen. Rand Paul has said the book will make Americans “question” Clinton’s candidacy.

Clinton’s spokesman also dismissed the New York Times report as focusing “on attacks rather than ideas. It appears this book is being used to aid this coordinated attack strategy, twisting previously known facts into absurd conspiracy theories,” Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon. “It will not be the first work of partisan-fueled fiction about the Clintons’ record, and we know it will not be the last.”

According to the Times, Schweizer outlines a number of examples in which he alleges foreign governments that contributed to the Clinton Foundation or paid Bill Clinton high speaking fees got a boost from the State Department while Clinton was secretary of State.

“We will see a pattern of financial transactions involving the Clintons that occurred contemporaneous with favorable U.S. policy decisions benefiting those providing the funds,” Schweizer writes in the book.

During Clinton’s four years at State, the Foundation banned all donations from foreign governments to avoid any conflicts of interest. After she stepped down in 2013, however, the Foundation again began collecting donations from foreign governments — a practice it’s said will continue during Clinton’s run for president.

The Times reports that members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee — including Paul and Sen. Marco Rubio, who have both officially launched their bids for the GOP presidential nomination — have been briefed on the contents of the book, and some of the campaigns have copies of it.
GOP outside groups are sure to pounce on an issue the GOP sees as potentially disqualifying for Clinton in her second play for the White House. The donations drew added scrutiny earlier this year when a number of media reports raised questions about the very issue outlined in Schweitzer’s upcoming book.

Republicans have already begun using the donations to question whether she can be trusted to treat foreign governments fairly if elected president, and are certain to launch further attacks along that line going forward.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Pulitzer Winners Announced

Anthony Doerr’s novel All the Light We Cannot See and Elizabeth Kolbert’s nonfiction work The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History were among the books awarded 2015 Pulitzer Prizes, April 20 at Columbia University.

Inspired by the “horrors of World War II,” Doerr’s novel was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The Pulitzer jury described All The Light We Cannot See as a novel written in “short elegant chapters that explore human nature and the contradictory power of technology.” In addition to a being critical success, All the Light was one of 2014’s top-selling books and continues to sell well with a total of 1.6 million print and digital copies now in circulation.

Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. The jury described the book as “an exploration of nature that forces readers to consider the threat posed by human behavior to a world of astonishing diversity.”

David I. Kertzer’s The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for biography for its “engrossing” look at the lives of “two men who exercised nearly absolute power over their realms.”

Gregory Pardlo’s Digest was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, for a collection of “clear-voiced poems,” that are “rich with thought, ideas and histories public and private.”

Elizabeth A. Fenn’s Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for history.
Pulitzer Prize winners will receive $10,000 and a Pulitzer Prize certificate.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Political Books Making Headlines ~ Show May 16th and 17th

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Reagan: The Life” by H.W. Brands
“Twelve Days” by Alex Berenson
“Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848 to 1868” by Cokie Roberts
“The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783 to 1789” by Joseph J. Ellis
“Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth” by Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer
“Madam President” by Nicolle Wallace
“The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House” by Kate Andersen Brower

INTERVIEW
Allan Topol, Author

TUNE INTO THE PROGRAM FOR

An “inside the Beltway” look at political books making headlines. Elaine presents a mix of new histories from Pulitzer Prize winners, page-turning political fiction and White House memoirs.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows