December 31, 2011 Queen Elizabeth II has ruled the United Kingdom for an exceptionally long time. In six decades, her reign has spanned 12 prime ministers, 12 American presidents and six popes. She's one of the world's most famous women, instantly recognizable, yet eternally private. Guest host Jacki Lyden talks with author and BBC host Andrew Marr about his book, The Real Elizabeth, a portrait of the queen taken from interviews with those closest to her.
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December 31, 2011 Ellis Avery's novel The Last Nude imagines the hidden affair between art deco painter Tamara de Lempicka and her model Rafaela. From afar, the boldly colored paintings appear polished and cool-headed, but up close, Avery says, you can see they were created in a state of passion.
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December 30, 2011 "Now I'll Never Be Able to Finish That Poem to Bob" by Paul Violi
December 30, 2011 "The Mysterious Arrival of an Unusual Letter" by Mark Strand
December 30, 2011 Poet Tracy K. Smith's three favorite poems of 2011 blur the private and public, the personal and political, and will refresh how you look at language and the world.
December 29, 2011 "Love, You Got Me Good" from Bringing the Shovel Down by Ross Gay
December 29, 2011 "Look" from Space, in Chains by Laura Kasischke
December 29, 2011 "Soft Money" from Money Shot by Rae Armantrout
December 29, 2011 Author Kate Bussmann doesn't turn on the TV when news breaks — she heads for Twitter. Her new book chronicles a year of cultural and political news through the widely used microblogging site.
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December 29, 2011 In The Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin chronicles the U.S. ambassador William Dodd's attempts to warn the U.S. of the growing threat that the Nazi Party posed.
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December 29, 2011 A child of Sri Lankan immigrants, music journalist S.H. "Skiz" Fernando, Jr. grew up eating Sri Lankan food. But he didn't master the art of the cuisine until he moved to Sri Lanka and enlisted the help of his aunts. Fernando shares the results in Rice and Curry: Sri Lankan Home Cooking.
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December 29, 2011 The NPR Bestseller Lists are produced in collaboration with the American Booksellers Association. The lists are compiled from weekly surveys of close to 500 independent bookstores nationwide.
December 29, 2011 Earth (The Book), Jon Stewart's visitor's guide to the human race, is No. 15 on the list this week. It's a hilarious summation of humanity, that applies The Daily Show's trademark wit, irreverence and intelligence to every facet of human existence.
by Jon Stewart, David Javerbaum et al.
by Jennifer S. Holland
by Rebecca Skloot
by Bill Bryson
by Todd Burpo and Lynn Vincent
by Old Farmer's Almanac
December 29, 2011 Abraham Verghese's Cutting for Stone has been on the list for 100 weeks. The novel tells the story of a secret love affair between an Indian nun and a British surgeon in Addis Ababa, and their twin boys, Marion and Shiva Stone.
by Abraham Verghese
by Tea Obreht
by Kathryn Stockett
by Stieg Larsson
by Garth Stein
December 29, 2011 A History of the World in 100 Objects by the director of the British Museum spends its fifth week on the list. The book profiles human innovations that shaped civilization — from weapons and the domestication of cows to currency and music.
by Neil MacGregor
by Walter Isaacson
by Laura Hillenbrand
by Bill O'Reilly and Martin Dugard
by Robert K. Massie
by Erik Larson
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