Michael Schaub is a writer, book critic and regular contributor to NPR Books. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Portland Mercury and The Austin Chronicle, among other publications. A native of Texas, he now lives in Portland, Ore.

The Two-Way
7:21 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Situation In Sinai Is 'Extremely Dangerous' As Egypt Moves Against Militants

In Cairo on Tuesday, Egyptian Army military policemen carried the coffin of one of the 16 border guards killed during an attack on a crossing post in the northern Sinai on Sunday.
Gianluigi Guercia AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 8:27 am

  • Steve Inskeep speaks with Leila Fadel on 'Morning Edition'

The news that Egypt's military has attacked groups of what it says are "Islamist militants" in the Sinai with missiles from aircraft and shells fired from tanks underscores how "extremely dangerous" the situation has quickly become along that nation's border with Israel, NPR's Leila Fadel said earlier today on Morning Edition.

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Participation Nation
7:07 am
Wed August 8, 2012

A Fantastic Camp In Front Royal, Va.

Tammy Jenkins is the medical coordinator for Camp Fantastic.
Courtesy of Camp Fantastic

This month we are collecting your stories about the good things Americans are doing to make their community a better place. Some of your contributions will become blog posts and the project will end with a story that weaves together submissions to make a story of Americans by Americans for Americans.

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Essays
7:03 am
Wed August 8, 2012

You Call That A Beach Book? Really?

You never know, this woman could be reading The Gulag Archipelago.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 5:09 pm

A couple of years ago, on a weekend in August, I was lying on the beach, reading. The sun shone, the waves crashed, and no plans lay ahead beyond soccer, grilling, maybe a stroll to the ice cream stand. My friend, on the towel next to mine, rolled over lazily and glanced at my book. His brow wrinkled. "Are you enjoying that?" he said, laughing.

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Book Reviews
7:03 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Divine Beings And Socially Awkward New Yorkers

Meet God, according to Simon Rich. He's a mostly nice dude — compassionate, though he gave up on listening to prayers and intervening in the lives of humans years ago. ("[H]e's really more of an ideas guy, you know?" explains an angel.) He loves golf and the music of Lynyrd Skynyrd, and he's not averse to enjoying a beer or two during the workday. He's easy to like, except for two things: He's planning to destroy all of humanity so he can focus on opening an Asian fusion restaurant in heaven; and even worse, he's a Yankees fan.

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Architecture
4:03 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Sky-High Design: How To Make A Bird-Friendly Building

Ayodha Ouditt NPR

Originally published on Thu August 9, 2012 10:44 am

Shiny glass buildings are a hallmark of modern architecture, but for birds, that shimmer can be deadly. Every year, an estimated 100 million to 1 billion birds die by flying into glass windows. By studying how birds interact with buildings, architects and ornithologists are trying to create special features designed to keep birds alive.

Below, click around to see architectural features that can make buildings safer for birds — or more deadly.

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Kitchen Window
3:28 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Grown-Up Ice Pops For The Young At Heart

Rina Rapuano for NPR

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 11:57 am

My mother was never one for spending money on food that other '80s kids took for granted. Canned ravioli, boxed macaroni and cheese, animal crackers and white bread were the kinds of things my kid palate craved to the point of obsession, forbidden fruits to be enjoyed only at friends' houses.

And while other mothers were stirring up alluring, fluorescent pitchers of Kool-Aid, my mom wouldn't dream of it. She was the queen of the frozen fruit-juice concentrates.

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Sweetness And Light
3:27 am
Wed August 8, 2012

How Can You Really Measure The Greatest Olympian?

Before U.S. swimmer Michael Phelps broke the record for the most medals, did anyone say the precious record-holder, gymnast Larisa Latynina, was the greatest Olympian?
Leon Neal AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 11:52 am

I always like it when Olympic champions from one sport go to another competition, so I was particularly touched to see Kobe Bryant, with his children in tow, watching as the magnificent Michael Phelps bid adieu to his sport by winning yet one last gold.

Phelps and Bryant are connected these days, too, because both have prompted some historical conversation. Kobe boasted that his current U.S. basketball squad could beat the sainted Dream Team of '92, while Phelps, simply by piling up more medals, opened up the barroom debate about who might be the greatest Olympian ever.

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Books News & Features
3:26 am
Wed August 8, 2012

With 'Last Book Sale,' Lit Giant Leaves One More Gift

Booked Up Inc. helped put author Larry McMurtry's hometown on the map when it became one of the largest used bookstores in the country.
Donna McWilliam AP

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 12:54 pm

Larry McMurtry is perhaps best known for novels like The Last Picture Show, Terms of Endearment and Lonesome Dove; but the author also has a career as a bookseller.

His store, Booked Up, spills across four buildings in his small hometown of Archer City, Texas, and houses nearly half a million rare and used books. But starting this Friday, McMurtry is holding an auction to whittle down that number — by a lot.

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First And Main
3:25 am
Wed August 8, 2012

Florida Market Draws Candidates Like Bees To Honey

Parkesdale Farm Market is run by Jim Meeks, 70, and his extended family, including his daughter-in-law Xiamara Meeks, 36. Business is booming and the stand has been a mainstay on presidential campaign stops since the days of George H.W. Bush.
Becky Lettenberger NPR

Originally published on Wed August 8, 2012 7:36 pm

As the presidential election nears, Morning Edition has begun a series of reports from an iconic American corner: First and Main. Several times in the next few months, we'll travel to a battleground state, then to a vital county in each state. In that county, we find a starting point for our visit: First and Main streets, the intersection of politics and real life.

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