Literary Potpourri ~ August 29 and 30


“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

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

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.

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Lost Sherlock Holmes Story Discovered In An Attic

An historian has unearthed the first unseen Sherlock Holmes story in more than 80 years. It’s a story Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote to help save a town bridge.

Walter Elliot, 80, found the 1,300-word tale starring the famous detective in a collection of short stories written for a local bazaar. The wooden bridge in the Scottish town of Selkirk was destroyed by the great flood of 1902 and locals organized a three-day event to raise funds for a new one in 1904.

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Elaine Meets Alexander McCall Smith At Miami Book Fair International

Alexander McCall Smith has written more than 100 books, including academic titles, short story collections, and immensely popular children’s books. But he is best known for his acclaimed No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series. Perhaps you’ve seen the delightful HBO series, which aired in 2009. McCall Smith is the author of several other series… including one featuring female sleuth named Isabel Dalhousie. Look for the tenth mystery in that series, The Strange Habits of Happiness, in Spring 2015. McCall Smith’s newest series for kids is based on the adventures of the beloved Precious Ramotswe as a little girl.

McCall Smith was born in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), and was educated there and in Scotland. He became a law professor in Scotland, and returned to Africa to work in Botswana, where he helped establish a law school at the University of Botswana. For many years, he was Professor of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh, and a visiting professor at numerous other universities. In addition to his university work, McCall Smith has been the vice-chairman of the Human Genetics Commission of the UK, the chairman of the British Medical Journal Ethics Committee, and a member of the International Bioethics Commission of UNESCO.

McCall Smith currently lives in Edinburgh. His hobbies include playing wind instruments. In fact, he is the co-founder of an amateur orchestra called “The Really Terrible Orchestra.” He has also written several librettos, including one for The Okavango Macbeth, set among a troop of baboons in the Okavango Delta, which has been staged in Africa and in the UK.

Listen to the upcoming shows for Elaine’s interview of Alexander McCall Smith.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to, or at, click on Archived Shows

JK Rowling Weighs In On Scottish Separatism



J K Rowling, creator of Harry Potter, has donated £1m to the Scottish anti-independence campaign “Better Together.” A long-standing supporter, Rowling’s donation is the organization’s largest single gift to date.

Rowling, who lives in Edinburgh, said: “My hesitance at embracing independence has nothing to do with lack of belief in Scotland‘s remarkable people or its achievements. The simple truth is Scotland is subject to the same 21st-century pressures as the rest of the world. It must compete in the same global markets, defend itself from the same threats and navigate what still feels like a fragile economic recovery. The more I listen to the Yes Campaign, the more I worry about its minimisation and even denial of risks. Dramatically differing figures and predictions are being slapped in front of us by both campaigns, so that it becomes difficult to know what to believe.” She continued: “If we leave, though, there will be no going back. This separation will not be quick and clean: it will take microsurgery to disentangle three centuries of close interdependence, after which we will have to deal with three bitter neighbors.”