Books

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And now to the news that the country's biggest digital book seller is teaming up with one of the biggest names in spy fiction, which brings us to our last word in business.

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The news business has changed a lot in recent years, and that's especially true of political news. But when you ask about a book that captures what it's like to report on a presidential campaign, one decades-old classic still rules: The Boys on the Bus by Timothy Crouse.

The rough-and-tumble account of the reporters who covered President Richard Nixon's re-election against George McGovern back in 1972 is part of a Morning Edition series on political history.

I'm an English professor, and I spent the first 15 years of my career trying to write like one. You might be surprised by what that's like. We don't emulate the fiction writers we most admire. We too rarely practice what we preach to our composition students — namely that good writing is simple and direct. In fact, we're notorious for maze-y sentences and ugly jargon. The point seems less to attract readers with clear prose than to smack them over the head with a sign that says, "Aren't I smart?"

Tina Brown, editor of The Daily Beast and Newsweek, tells us what she's been reading in a feature that Morning Edition likes to call "Word of Mouth." This month, Brown has been thinking about the contributions of journalists to global culture.

The Rise Of Hitler, As Seen By Americans Abroad

Welcome to the fourth installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club, where we select a book for young readers — and invite them to read along with us and share their thoughts and questions with the author.

Our selection for January — The Watsons Go to Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis — describes the civil rights era from the perspective of a young (and extremely mischievous) boy and his family.

Welcome to the second installment of NPR's Backseat Book Club! Every month, we invite kids to read a book along with us, and then send in their questions for the author.

Our book club selection for November is a classic that's celebrating a big anniversary. The Phantom Tollbooth — written by Norton Juster and illustrated by Jules Feiffer — was published 50 years ago. Juster tells NPR's Michele Norris that the story sprang from his own childhood.

Ever since Steve Jobs died on Oct. 5, much has been written but little revealed about a man who was the face of an iconic American company. But now comes the official biography, published less than three weeks after the death of the Apple co-founder. Over the course of two years and 40 interviews, biographer Walter Isaacson had unique access to Jobs, right up until Jobs' death at age 56.

Writer Malin Alegria's first novel, Estrella's Quinceanera, covers familiar territory for anyone who has ever been a 15-year-old girl battling with her mother — but the fact that the book's sassy protagonist, Estrella Alvarez, is Mexican-American makes her unique in the world of young adult fiction.

Food Network star Paula Deen loves seasoning, bacon and, of course, a bit of butter.

She also loves Southern cooking, which why her latest cookbook, Paula Deen's Southern Cooking Bible, explores the regional variations of Southern food.

Deen tells NPR's Steve Inskeep that she first discovered some of those variations in her home state of Georgia.

The staff at the New York Public Library made some noise Monday while celebrating a major birthday. The library's main building in Manhattan opened to the public exactly 100 years ago.

Ever since, the iconic neoclassic building has welcomed readers from all over the world.

It's also 100 years of Patience and Fortitude: the names of the lion statues that stand guard on the steps of the building on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.

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