Summer’s Over ~ Show September 19 and 20

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“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

INTERVIEW
Beatriz Williams, Author

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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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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

TS Eliot’s Home To Be Turned Into Writer Retreat

TS ELIOT’S HOME TO BE TURNED INTO WRITER RETREAT

T.S. Eliot, the Nobel Prize-winning author of “The Waste Land,” was born in St. Louis in 1888. He left the U.S. for England in his 20s and ultimately adopted British citizenship. Eliot, however, spent his formative childhood summers in a wood-shingled, seven-bedroom seaside house on Gloucester’s Eastern Point, built for his family in 1896. Last year, the heads of the T.S. Eliot Foundation, a British nonprofit, were surprised to learn the house was not only largely intact and beautifully restored, but up for sale. In December, they bought it for $1.3 million — and plan to turn it into a center and writers’ retreat. It will also be used as a location for symposia on Eliot or poetry; and as a learning center about poetry for schoolchildren. It is planned to be operational by mid-2016.

The acquisition comes as part of a small wave of events uncovering local influences on the Modernist poet. On April 6, an exhibition was unveiled at Harvard University, where Eliot attended college and graduate school. It celebrates the 100th anniversary of “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.” There is also the American release of “Young Eliot,” the first in a projected two-volume biography by Robert Crawford, which gives new attention to Eliot’s years in Gloucester and Cambridge.

Championed by Ezra Pound, Eliot published “Prufrock” in Poetry magazine when he was just 26 . Through “The Waste Land” and “Four Quartets,” he established a somber, lyrical style that mixed contemporary references into more formal, religiously inflected lines. He also wrote essays, plays in verse, and the playful rhyming poems of “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats,” the basis for the musical “Cats” by Andrew Lloyd Weber.

A few of Eliot’s works make direct reference to the North Shore. One poem in “Four Quartets” is “The Dry Salvages,” referring to a set of weather-blasted rocks off Rockport. His sequence “Landscapes” includes a stanza about Cape Ann. Still, even after a year at Milton Academy and college at Harvard, he never felt fully anchored in the region. “Eliot lived his life as a fish out of water,” said Carey Adina Karmel, the curator of the Harvard show. Though his father was a St. Louis brick manufacturer, they were descended from the same Boston clan that produced Harvard president Charles William Eliot. But Thomas Stearns Eliot found the association uncomfortable. He felt, as he wrote in 1928, like “a New Englander in the South West, and a South Westerner in New England.” Eventually he would leave both places for good. He stayed in England, marrying two British women in succession, abandoning his native Unitarianism for the Anglican Church, and taking British citizenship.

But Eliot loved the house in Gloucester, to which the family returned each summer. “When I come home after the war I should like to be able to go straight to Gloucester,” he wrote to his mother from London in 1917.

Dana Hawkes, an expert on animation art and entertainment memorabilia for the British auction house Bonhams, sold the house to the foundation after living there for 16 years. She and her husband, the late Jerry Weist (a comics expert and the founder of the Million Year Picnic store in Harvard Square), fell in love with the house even before they knew about the Eliot history.

The house was much unchanged since Eliot’s day, but it was “a wreck,” Hawkes said. “We just wanted to take the original bones and clean it up.” Today, it has a modern kitchen and bathrooms, but you can see traces of the wealthy Victorian family with seven children that built it for seaside comfort, with imposing brick fireplaces and spacious closets. Hawkes said they found the word “Harvard” and a skull and crossbones painted in the attic — perhaps dating from the days of the Eliots.

After her husband’s death in 2011, Hawkes decided to sell the house. A representative of the T.S. Eliot Foundation commented, “We were moved by the idea of using Eliot’s money to buy back the house his father had built in 1896 — and moved also by the irony of Eliot’s money buying back the house of parents who had doubted his decision to stay in England and become a poet.”

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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

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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

PULITZER WINNERS ANNOUNCED

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

Business And Government ~ Show April 11th and 12th

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators and Icons Accelerate Success” by Shane Snow
“How to Fly a Horse” by Kevin Ashton
“Frank: A Life in Politics from the Great Society to Same Sex Marriage” by Barney Frank
“On His Own Terms” by Richard Norton Smith
“Essentialism” by Greg McKeown
“The One Page Financial Plan” by Carl Richards
“Leap First” by Seth Godin

INTERVIEW
Congressman Barney Frank

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A show that gets down to business with books from creative thinkers who innovate – in the corporate world, and in government. Congressman Barney Frank stops by to discuss his memoir, “Frank.”

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

Mein Kampf To Be Republished

The book that once served as a kind of Nazi bible, banned from domestic reprints since the end of World War II, will soon be returning to German bookstores.

The prohibition on reissue for years was upheld by the state of Bavaria, which owns the German copyright and legally blocked attempts to duplicate it. But those rights expire in December, and the first new print run since Hitler’s death is due out early next year. The new edition is a heavily annotated volume in its original German that is stirring an impassioned debate over history, anti-Semitism and the latent power of the written word.
The book’s reissue, to the chagrin of critics, is effectively being financed by German taxpayers, who fund the historical society that is producing and publishing the new edition. Rather than a how-to guidebook for the aspiring fascist, the new reprint, the group said this month, will instead be a vital academic tool, a 2,000-page volume packed with more criticisms and analysis than the original text.

Still, opponents are aghast, in part because the book is coming out at a time of rising anti-Semitism in Europe and as the English and other foreign-language versions of “Mein Kampf” — unhindered by the German copyrights — are in the midst of a global renaissance.

Although authorities here struck deals with online sellers such as Amazon.com to prohibit sales in Germany, new copies of “Mein Kampf” have become widely available via the Internet around the globe. In retail stores in India, it is enjoying strong popularity as a self-help book for Hindu nationalists. A comic-book edition was issued in Japan. A new generation of aficionados is also rising among the surging ranks of the far right in Europe. The neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party in Greece, for instance, has stocked “Mein Kampf” at its bookstore in Athens.

Regardless of the academic context provided by the new volume, critics say the new German edition will ultimately allow Hitler’s voice to rise from beyond the grave. “I am absolutely against the publication of ‘Mein Kampf,’ even with annotations. Can you annotate the Devil? Can you annotate a person like Hitler?” said Levi Salomon, spokesman for the Berlin-based Jewish Forum for Democracy and Against Anti-Semitism. “This book is outside of human logic.”

A rambling, repetitive work panned by literary critics for its pedantic style, “Mein Kampf” was drafted by Hitler in a Bavarian jail after the failed Nazi uprising in Munich in November 1923. It was initially published in two volumes in 1925 and 1926, with later, joint editions forming a kind of Nazi handbook. During the Third Reich, some German cities doled out copies to Aryan newlyweds as wedding gifts.

The book also laid the groundwork for the Holocaust, stating, for instance, that Jews are and “will remain the eternal parasite, a freeloader that, like a malignant bacterium, spreads rapidly whenever a fertile breeding ground is made available to it.”

Contrary to popular belief, “Mein Kampf” — or “My Struggle” — was never banned in postwar Germany; only its reprinting was. Of the more than 12.4 million copies in existence before 1945, hundreds of thousands are thought to survive. Old copies can still be sold in antiquarian bookstores.

Yet vocal opposition appears to be growing. Charlotte Knobloch, head of the Jewish community in Munich, said she had not vigorously opposed it when the project first surfaced. But her position, she said, hardened after hearing from outraged Holocaust survivors.

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THE 2014 NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE NON-FICTION TITLES

THE 2014 NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW NOTABLE NON-FICTION TITLES
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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TYPEWRITER FOR SALE

TYPEWRITER FOR SALE

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.”

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