Books

Author Ben H. Winters‘ best-selling 2016 novel “Underground Airlines” is set in present day, but in an America where Abraham Lincoln never took office and slavery is legal in four states.

Here & Now‘s Meghna Chakrabarti revisits a conversation with Winters from last July about the novel, which is out in paperback on July 18, and the difficulties that he had as a white author dealing with such a racially charged topic.

Ilna Colemere holds an iPad over a children's nonfiction book about the solar system. 

"So we're gonna access the camera and you hold it over and eventually" Colemere trails off while maneuvering the iPad over the page.

As we watch, suddenly the music fades up from the iPad, and a three-dimensional sun rises from the two-dimensional book with the planets quickly orbiting it. 

This is augmented reality. Using a smartphone or iPad and an app from the book's publisher, you can see a wealth of unseen content, self-narrating books, or ones with 3D models. 

It all began rather simply.

"Mr. and Mrs. Brown first met Paddington on a railway platform," goes the opening line in the opening book of Michael Bond's Paddington Bear series. Readers, for their part, first met the orphan bear from Peru in 1958, in the pages of A Bear Named Paddington.

I need a book doctor.

If you haven’t heard that term before, a book doctor is someone who will take a presumably moribund manuscript, put it on a strict regimen of big picture prescriptions – a look with a tongue depressor down the throat of the thing, shining a light there to see about improving development, structure, organization, and flow. The closer, more surgical examination to get at finer, more granular line edits can go to an editor or proofreader. A book doctor looks at the macroeconomics of these created worlds.

 

In the 1950s and '60s, if there were any children's books in a house, at least one of them was likely to be a Little Golden Book. With their golden spines and brightly colored pictures, they begged to be grabbed off a shelf by a curious child — which is exactly what their creators intended. Those beloved books celebrate their 75th birthday this year.

First introduced shortly after the start of World War II, many of them — such as The Tawny Scrawny Lion, The Saggy Baggy Elephant and The Poky Little Puppy — have become classics.

Pages