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The 'Big Data' Revolution: How Number Crunchers Can Predict Our Lives

Thursday, March 07, 2013

Companies and governments have access to an unprecedented amount of digital information, much of it personal: what we buy, what we search for, what we read online. Kenneth Cukier, co-author of the book Big Data, describes how data-crunching is becoming the new norm.

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The Devil To Pay In Oates' 'Accursed' America

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Set at the turn of the century within the grand houses of Princeton, The Accursed is populated with specters, demons and even a vampire. But the real monsters in Joyce Carol Oates' chilling tale are the members of Princeton's elite, who preach from the pulpits and judge without compassion.

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A Fiendish Fly Recalls Kafka In 'Jacob's Folly'

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The main character in Rebecca Miller's new novel is a pest with a past, and his gnat-like status offers him one great advantage: Those convex eyes allow him to see fully into the hearts of humans, specifically two other characters whose paths intersect with his.

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The Takeaway

'Gun Guys' Challenges the Stereotypes about Firearms and Those Who Love Them

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

The classic American "gun guy" is shotgun-toting John Wayne, riding his way through cowboy movies like "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon," "El Dorado," and "True Grit."  Author Dan Baum describes himself as more of a Woody Allen than a John Wayne, and yet he has loved guns since his first successful shoot at the age of five. Baum describes his unlikely passion for firearms in his new book, "Gun Guys: A Road Trip."

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Book News: 'Superman' Artist Quits Amid Uproar Over Author's Views On Homosexuality

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Also: The influence of Victor Hugo's Les Miserables on Hugo Chavez; Jeb Bush's new book on immigration; and a 9-year-old saves himself and friends from quicksand after reading a survival guide.

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Second-Person Narrator Tells Readers 'How To' Live, Love — And Get Filthy Rich

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

Mohsin Hamid chooses an unusual second-person structure throughout his new novel, How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia. NPR's Steve Inskeep says that, though largely mute in a narrative told to an unnamed "you," the hero "speaks powerfully through his ambition and his longing."

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In Sly Self-Help Novel, Selling Clean Water Gets You 'Filthy Rich'

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

In Mohsin Hamid's fictional how-to, a nameless protagonist makes a fortune selling knockoff bottled water in a thirsty Asian metropolis. Hamid joins NPR's Steve Inkeep to discuss the book's conceit and the side effects of rampant development.

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Hamid's How-To For Success, 'Filthy Rich' In Irony

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Mohsin Hamid's How to Get Filthy Rich in Rising Asia presents itself as a how-to manual for success in South Asia. The story of a street urchin's corrupt path to prosperity, the novel puts critic Alan Cheuse in mind of that quintessential American story of an unscrupulous striver, The Great Gatsby.

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Financial Advisers Selling Bogus Advice?

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Skipping $4 lattes will save you some money — but buying into bogus financial advice won't. Finance journalist Helaine Olen says many of the so-called 'financial experts' are selling you advice to make themselves rich. She discusses her book, Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry with host Michel Martin.

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'Out Of Order' At The Court: O'Connor On Being The First Female Justice

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, discusses her new book about the history of the court, and why she doesn't like the term "swing vote." O'Connor served for 24 years, retiring in 2006 to care for her ailing husband.

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Book News: Male Authors Still Get Far More Coverage, Survey Shows

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Also: Alice B. Toklas' fudge recipe; a fireproof edition of Fahrenheit 451; and a Milton scholar on ghostwriting the Sweet Valley High series.

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Skipping Out On College And 'Hacking Your Education'

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Dale Stephens says many students would be better off ditching college and finding alternate ways to complete their educations. His new book, Hacking Your Education, explores that idea. "When you think about education as an investment, you have to think about what the return is going to be," he says.

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Jeb Bush: Legal Residency, Not Citizenship, For Illegal Immigrants

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says the United States should overhaul its laws to make immigration easier and to give illegal immigrants a way to legal residence, not citizenship. He says granting citizenship would provide an incentive for others to come to the U.S. illegally.

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To 'Sum It Up': A Legendary Basketball Coach Braves Alzheimer's

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Pat Summitt grew up on a rural farm and went on to a stellar career in basketball. As head coach of the Tennessee Lady Vols, she won more games than any other basketball coach in NCAA history. Her new memoir, Sum It Up, records her memories even as she is losing them to Alzheimer's.

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'Wave' Tells A True Story Of Survival And Loss In The 2004 Tsunami

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Sonali Deraniyagala lost her husband, two sons and parents to the Indian Ocean tsunami that claimed the lives of more than 200,000 people. Her new memoir recounts the events of that fateful day.

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A Multimedia Journey Through 'The Persian Square'

Monday, March 04, 2013

Iran is often portrayed as dangerous, violent and politically unstable. But that's only one side of the story. Art, technology and culture are central to Persian identity. The new digital book The Persian Square shows surprising ties between Iran and the U.S. Host Michel Martin speaks with author and NPR Senior Producer Iran Davar Ardalan.

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Book News: 'New Yorker' Plagiarist's Book Pulled From Shelves

Monday, March 04, 2013

Also: The best books coming out this week; Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the movie; and cakes that look like classic works of literature.

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Three-Minute Fiction Readings: 'Three Little Words' And 'The Escape'

Sunday, March 03, 2013

NPR's Bob Mondello and Tamara Keith read selections from Round 10 of our Three-Minute Fiction contest. Sunday's stories are "The Escape" by Lisa Turano of Asheville, N.C., and "Three Little Words" by Rick Hodges of Arlington, Va.

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Time Rules In Jamaica Kincaid's New Novel, 'See Now Then'

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The marriage of Mr. and Mrs. Sweet is anything but sweet. In Jamaica Kincaid's first new novel in 10 years, she traces the unraveling of a marriage. See Now Then follows the joy, pain and destruction that time can wreak on a union.

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Secretly Working To Win The War In 'Atomic City'

Sunday, March 03, 2013

The U.S. military called its Oak Ridge, Tenn., facility "Site X." During World War II, thousands of workers there enriched uranium for the first atom bomb — even if they didn't know it at the time. Author Denise Kiernan's new book, The Girls of Atomic City, follows some of the women who worked there.

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