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Peggy Orenstein wrote in the July 16 edition of the New York Times Magazine about the use of donor eggs in vitro fertilization. It’s a topic she knows: Orenstein pursued six years of treatments, including egg donation, before giving birth to her daughter. Her memoir is Waiting for Daisy: A Tale of Twosperm-and-egg.jpg Continents, Three Religions, Five Infertility Doctors, an Oscar, an Atomic Bomb, a Romantic Night and One Woman’s Quest to Become a Mother. PLUS Kelly Willis‘ Translated From Love is the first release from the “new traditionalist” country singer since 2002’s widely acclaimed Easy. The 12-track album features originals and covers — including the title tune (by Stephen Yerkey) and Willis’ reading of Iggy Pop’s “Success.” AND, Fresh Air’s book critic reviews Mr. Sebastian and the Negro Magician, the latest from Big Fish author Daniel Wallace. It’s about an inept illusionist who’s struck a deal with the devil, and it’s told by a rotating cast of narrators including a detective and an assortment of circus performers.

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British travel writer and novelist COLIN THUBRON spent seven months traveling the 7,000 mile-long Silk Road, the ancient trade route between Asia and Europe for his new book Shadow of the Silk Road. It provides a fascinating glimpse of modern Asia and its political, cultural and economic conflicts.

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Neko Case‘s albums play like chapters in one continuous story, full of characters, settings and emotions that define her ever-changing career. She’s not contained to one genre, instead dabbling in punk, country, pop and alternative. Nor is Case contained to one project: She’s a solo artist, singer in a pop group (The New Pornographers) and half of a country duo (The Corn Sisters). Case stands out as a singer-songwriter with the ability to reinvent herself on each new record, but tie them together through her unforgettable voice and powerful lyrics. The latest chapter in Case’s story is a solo album, Fox Confessor Brings the Flood, released in March 2006. The album is one of those rare pleasurable paradoxes: offbeat but faithful to the classics, artsy but accessible, emotional while remaining intriguingly playful.

NEKO CASE: Mighty Sparrow


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