Alan Cheuse has been reviewing books on All Things Considered since the 1980s. His challenge is to make each two-minute review as fresh and interesting as possible while focusing on the essence of the book itself.

Audie Cornish is host of All Things Considered, along with Robert Siegel and Melissa Block.

Previously, she served as host of Weekend Edition Sunday. Prior to moving into that host position in the fall of 2011, Cornish reported from Capitol Hill for NPR News, covering issues and power in both the House and Senate and specializing in financial industry policy. She was part of NPR's six-person reporting team during the 2008 presidential election, and had a featured role in coverage of the Democratic National Convention in Denver.

Book Reviews
2:38 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Book Review: 'Submergence'

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:04 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

The writer J.M. Ledgard leads multiple lives. He's a journalist and covers East Africa for the Economist, but Ledgard is also a novelist. Here's Alan Cheuse with a review of his latest book, "Submergence."

ALAN CHEUSE, BYLINE: James More, a British secret agent, has been captured by a Somalian affiliate of al-Qaeda, a peripatetic fringe group that keeps moving him back and forth across the mostly barren terrain of northeastern Africa, trying to hide from drone attacks and make jihad at the same time.

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Economy
2:38 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Construction Jobs Take A Hit In March After A Fall Boost

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:04 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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Africa
2:38 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

In Post-Coup Central African Republic, Instability Remains

Kadidja Mamath sells hot porridge made of rice, sugar and milk on the roadside in the capital city, Bangui. The 19-year-old says the people of CAR have suffered enough and are ready for the coups to stop.
Benno Muchler for NPR

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:04 pm

Tumult defines the Central African Republic. The landlocked nation in the heart of Africa is rich in natural resources such as diamonds, gold and uranium, but it remains one of the world's poorest countries. It has suffered from decades of misrule and coups.

The latest uprising occurred last month, when a rebel alliance seized control of the country and ousted the president. What followed were days of violence and looting, leaving the country in shambles: gas stations without pumps, hospitals without equipment, the university without computers.

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NPR News' Brian Naylor is a correspondent on the Washington Desk.

In this role, he covers politics and federal agencies, including transportation and homeland security.

With more than 30 years of experience at NPR, Naylor has served as National Desk correspondent, White House correspondent, congressional correspondent, foreign correspondent and newscaster during All Things Considered. He has filled in as host on many NPR programs, including Morning Edition, Weekend Edition and Talk of the Nation.

U.S.
2:29 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

FBI Building May Soon Be 'Put Out Of Its Misery'

The Federal Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Washington, just blocks from the White House, has long been the government building everyone loves to hate.
Manuel Balce Ceneta AP

Originally published on Fri April 5, 2013 4:04 pm

The nation's capital has been undergoing something of a building boom. Dozens of construction cranes dot the Washington, D.C., skyline.

So it comes as no surprise that the federal government is hoping to take advantage of the real estate values and unload what's seen by many as an eyesore on Pennsylvania Avenue: the J. Edgar Hoover Building, headquarters of the FBI.

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It's All Politics
2:15 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

The Democrats' Final Four On Gay Marriage

In the U.S. Senate, it's down to the Final Four versus the Dynamic Duo.

Only four Democratic senators remain who do not support same-sex marriage. Across the aisle, there are now two Republicans who have announced their support.

The new alignments mean that a majority — 53 senators — now support a concept that 85 senators voted to ban in 1996 with the Defense of Marriage Act.

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The Salt
1:50 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

Craft Beer-Crazy Oregon Poised To Name Official State Microbe

Oh, Portland: the Hopworks Urban Brewery's "pub bike."
Elly Blue/via Flickr

Originally published on Wed April 10, 2013 2:36 pm

A humble creature that has long toiled in obscurity for the benefit of humankind is poised to win a small measure of the distinction it deserves: designation as Oregon's official state microbe.

It looks to be the first microbe to gain official state recognition.

The microbe in question, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, plays a key role in the state's economy. Without it, sugar would not become alcohol, and Oregon would not have a craft beer industry worth $2.4 billion.

That's a lot of yeast.

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