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Baltimore Baseball & Barbecue with Boog Powell: Stories from the Orioles’ Smokey Slugger by Rob Kasper, Boog Powell
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Morning Edition: Deford: Frankly, Hot Dogs Best Served At The Ballpark
Since he started smacking long balls for the Baltimore Orioles, John “Boog” Powell has enjoyed the gustatory delights of his adopted hometown. A four-time All-Star and a fixture in two World Series, Boog also knows how to make one heck of a pit beef sandwich. Backyard barbecues at Boog’s Baltimore row house were once a post-game tradition for the team. After hanging up his spikes, the former MVP set up his now iconic barbecue operation at Camden Yards. Baltimore author Rob Kasper takes a behind-the-scenes look at the life of this smoky slugger from his Florida boyhood through his rise to major-league glory and beyond. Told in Boog’s colorful style, this rollicking journey is spiced with recipes and topped off with interviews from former teammates like Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer.

Baltimore Baseball & Barbecue with Boog Powell: Stories from the Orioles’ Smokey Slugger by Rob Kasper, Boog Powell

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

Morning Edition: Deford: Frankly, Hot Dogs Best Served At The Ballpark

Since he started smacking long balls for the Baltimore Orioles, John “Boog” Powell has enjoyed the gustatory delights of his adopted hometown. A four-time All-Star and a fixture in two World Series, Boog also knows how to make one heck of a pit beef sandwich. Backyard barbecues at Boog’s Baltimore row house were once a post-game tradition for the team. After hanging up his spikes, the former MVP set up his now iconic barbecue operation at Camden Yards. Baltimore author Rob Kasper takes a behind-the-scenes look at the life of this smoky slugger from his Florida boyhood through his rise to major-league glory and beyond. Told in Boog’s colorful style, this rollicking journey is spiced with recipes and topped off with interviews from former teammates like Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson and Jim Palmer.

Manipulator by Ty Segall
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NPR First Listen: Ty Segall, ‘Manipulator’
All Songs Considered: Guest DJ Ty Segall
THE SEGALL HAS LANDED. And it s fully loaded, with everything that TY SEGALL (and you and me) are gonna need in the world to come. Heads up! It s coming down fast. Sticking his hand deeper into the machines all around him, TY is reaching ever further to the outer limits of inner space orbited throughout TWINS and SLEEPER. And now more than ever, the chunks of the world that came before are like asteroids formed in his image … picking up speed … . Still fighting the power with all the energy that a deter- mined mind-patriot can conjure, Ty s a fighter who loves, a surfer, a spaceman, and yeah, a casualty like you, he ll never be free. But unlike you, he knows it and when he goes down and his head cracks in two, out pour the multi-colored manias that make up MANIPULATOR. Sour-sweet declarations fea- turing freaks and creeps alike: The Singer, The Faker, Mister Main, Susie Thumb, the Connection Man, and The Crawler, to name but a mutant fistful. To see these peeps, to realize their dreams and visions, TY kept working, kept writing, laying down more tracks than ever. New musi- cal expressions pop and surprise relentlessly throughout all the knockout tunes of MANIP- ULATOR with many sounds in the mix but LP most of all, SO many guitars! So Many. And different kinds of strings - the strangled-neck solo of The Singer, recalling the good old days down by the river with Neil. Numbed-and-unplugged discursions spiraling away from the funk on Mister Main. Three-quarter quartets raising their din in a few key places. Waves of sparkling acoustics with ominous, Lovely undertones and then, torrents of filthy git-grunge, exploding into the chorus, washing everything away, fusing the black- ness of SABBATH with the grime and grab-ass of the STOOGES and the sweet swinging tones of the STONES. All in the name of getting high- er on the music. Why have one guitar solo when you can have a few in the same space? There s so little time, and a LOT to say. In order to ensure that he got it all out, TY called a few friends to fill in special parts on certain MANIPULATOR songs. He got great touches from CHRIS WOODHOUSE (piano, synth & percussion), SEAN PAUL PRESLEY (vocals), BRIT LAUREN MANOR (vocals), STEVE NUTTING (drums), IRENE SALZER (violin), JESSICA IVRY (cello), MATTHIAS MCENTIRE (viola) and the TY SEGALL band (MIKAL CRONIN, CHARLES MOOTHEART, EM- ILY ROSE EPSTEIN). Plus, MIKAL arranged the strings and everyone played awesomely. The clarion call/siren song of his guitar….clouds of guitar billowing, blood rushing to the head, the tempera- ture going from blue to red….TY s on a mission, working to change chemistry through music with the streamlined pop and helium-cooled vocals of MANIPULATOR. These seventeen songs take many forms, as if TY is finally releasing all the thoughts that have been holding him down, that made him pick up the ax to begin with. By the end of MANIPULATOR, you ll feel that he must have chased all the demons but it s a big world, and MANIPULATOR has only begun to fight.

Manipulator by Ty Segall

Buy  Buy CD | Vinyl | iTunes

NPR First Listen: Ty Segall, ‘Manipulator’

All Songs Considered: Guest DJ Ty Segall

THE SEGALL HAS LANDED. And it s fully loaded, with everything that TY SEGALL (and you and me) are gonna need in the world to come. Heads up! It s coming down fast. Sticking his hand deeper into the machines all around him, TY is reaching ever further to the outer limits of inner space orbited throughout TWINS and SLEEPER. And now more than ever, the chunks of the world that came before are like asteroids formed in his image … picking up speed … . Still fighting the power with all the energy that a deter- mined mind-patriot can conjure, Ty s a fighter who loves, a surfer, a spaceman, and yeah, a casualty like you, he ll never be free. But unlike you, he knows it and when he goes down and his head cracks in two, out pour the multi-colored manias that make up MANIPULATOR. Sour-sweet declarations fea- turing freaks and creeps alike: The Singer, The Faker, Mister Main, Susie Thumb, the Connection Man, and The Crawler, to name but a mutant fistful. To see these peeps, to realize their dreams and visions, TY kept working, kept writing, laying down more tracks than ever. New musi- cal expressions pop and surprise relentlessly throughout all the knockout tunes of MANIP- ULATOR with many sounds in the mix but LP most of all, SO many guitars! So Many. And different kinds of strings - the strangled-neck solo of The Singer, recalling the good old days down by the river with Neil. Numbed-and-unplugged discursions spiraling away from the funk on Mister Main. Three-quarter quartets raising their din in a few key places. Waves of sparkling acoustics with ominous, Lovely undertones and then, torrents of filthy git-grunge, exploding into the chorus, washing everything away, fusing the black- ness of SABBATH with the grime and grab-ass of the STOOGES and the sweet swinging tones of the STONES. All in the name of getting high- er on the music. Why have one guitar solo when you can have a few in the same space? There s so little time, and a LOT to say. In order to ensure that he got it all out, TY called a few friends to fill in special parts on certain MANIPULATOR songs. He got great touches from CHRIS WOODHOUSE (piano, synth & percussion), SEAN PAUL PRESLEY (vocals), BRIT LAUREN MANOR (vocals), STEVE NUTTING (drums), IRENE SALZER (violin), JESSICA IVRY (cello), MATTHIAS MCENTIRE (viola) and the TY SEGALL band (MIKAL CRONIN, CHARLES MOOTHEART, EM- ILY ROSE EPSTEIN). Plus, MIKAL arranged the strings and everyone played awesomely. The clarion call/siren song of his guitar….clouds of guitar billowing, blood rushing to the head, the tempera- ture going from blue to red….TY s on a mission, working to change chemistry through music with the streamlined pop and helium-cooled vocals of MANIPULATOR. These seventeen songs take many forms, as if TY is finally releasing all the thoughts that have been holding him down, that made him pick up the ax to begin with. By the end of MANIPULATOR, you ll feel that he must have chased all the demons but it s a big world, and MANIPULATOR has only begun to fight.

Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin
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All Things Considered: 'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes
The author shares his views of black thought and the conditions of black life in America during the 1940’s and early 1950’s.

Notes of a Native Son by James Baldwin

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

All Things Considered: 'This Fight Begins In The Heart': Reading James Baldwin As Ferguson Seethes

The author shares his views of black thought and the conditions of black life in America during the 1940’s and early 1950’s.

What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye
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All Things Considered: "What’s Going On?:" A New Generation Answers
Morning Edition: "What’s Going On?:" A Departure That Defined A Generation
Weekend Edition: Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?:” Songs We Love
It has been hailed as Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece and soul music’s finest moment. What’s Going On, a song cycle focusing on the shattered American dream of the early 1970s, melded a darkly atmospheric, jazzy sound with heartfelt lyrics about the country’s military plight abroad and socio‑economic problems at home, to create what many still perceive as the apex of artistic musical expression. 
Released in May 1971, Gaye’s 11th studio album cast the singer‑songwriter‑musician with the four‑octave vocal range — who had spent the past decade recording sensual R&B hits — in the role of a disillusioned Vietnam War veteran. The reason for his disillusionment? On his return, he discovers that the America whose values he’s been defending is plagued by poverty, police brutality, drug abuse, abandoned children, urban decay and civil unrest. In more ways than one, What’s Going On was different than anything that Gaye or Motown had previously issued, taking its inspiration from the classic track of the same name that he’d recorded in June 1970 and which, in March 1971, hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100.

What’s Going On by Marvin Gaye

Buy  Buy CD | Vinyl | iTunes

All Things Considered: "What’s Going On?:" A New Generation Answers

Morning Edition: "What’s Going On?:" A Departure That Defined A Generation

Weekend Edition: Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On?:” Songs We Love

It has been hailed as Marvin Gaye’s masterpiece and soul music’s finest moment. What’s Going On, a song cycle focusing on the shattered American dream of the early 1970s, melded a darkly atmospheric, jazzy sound with heartfelt lyrics about the country’s military plight abroad and socio‑economic problems at home, to create what many still perceive as the apex of artistic musical expression. 

Released in May 1971, Gaye’s 11th studio album cast the singer‑songwriter‑musician with the four‑octave vocal range — who had spent the past decade recording sensual R&B hits — in the role of a disillusioned Vietnam War veteran. The reason for his disillusionment? On his return, he discovers that the America whose values he’s been defending is plagued by poverty, police brutality, drug abuse, abandoned children, urban decay and civil unrest. In more ways than one, What’s Going On was different than anything that Gaye or Motown had previously issued, taking its inspiration from the classic track of the same name that he’d recorded in June 1970 and which, in March 1971, hit number two on the Billboard Hot 100.

Parks & Recreation: Season 6
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NPR’s Monkey See: Oh, Donna: On Loving One Of Television’s Great Women
NPR’s Monkey See: 'Parks And Recreation': Good For Nerds, Good For America
Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!: Not My Job: We Quiz Nick Offerman On The Finer Points Of Manhood
This Is NPR: Parks and Recreation Spoof PubRadio
Fresh Air: For Amy Poehler, Comedy Is A Walk In The ‘Park’
The Diane Rehm Show: A Conversation with Rob Lowe
Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler returns as Leslie Knope in the hilarious sixth season of Parks and Recreation. The citizens of Pawnee loathe their merger with the neighboring town of Eagleton, and blame all their troubles—both real and imagined—on Councilwoman Knope. The personal lives of those in City Hall are equally as tumultuous: Andy (Chris Pratt) must temporarily say “cheerio” to his wife, April (Aubrey Plaza), when he takes a dream job in London; Ron (Nick Offerman) adjusts to his new domestic roles; and Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) eagerly await the birth of their child… if they can survive the woes of pregnancy. From Primetime Emmy Award-winning executive producers Greg Daniels (The Office) and Michael Schur (The Office, Saturday Night Live) comes this three-disc set featuring a sensational ensemble cast and iconic guest stars such as Lucy Lawless, Henry Winkler, Heidi Klum, Kristen Bell and Sam Elliot. Take a trip to the small town with the big heart as you watch all 22 episodes back-to-back and commercial free!

Parks & Recreation: Season 6

Buy  Buy DVD

NPR’s Monkey See: Oh, Donna: On Loving One Of Television’s Great Women

NPR’s Monkey See: 'Parks And Recreation': Good For Nerds, Good For America

Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me!: Not My Job: We Quiz Nick Offerman On The Finer Points Of Manhood

This Is NPR: Parks and Recreation Spoof PubRadio

Fresh Air: For Amy Poehler, Comedy Is A Walk In The ‘Park’

The Diane Rehm Show: A Conversation with Rob Lowe

Golden Globe winner Amy Poehler returns as Leslie Knope in the hilarious sixth season of Parks and Recreation. The citizens of Pawnee loathe their merger with the neighboring town of Eagleton, and blame all their troubles—both real and imagined—on Councilwoman Knope. The personal lives of those in City Hall are equally as tumultuous: Andy (Chris Pratt) must temporarily say “cheerio” to his wife, April (Aubrey Plaza), when he takes a dream job in London; Ron (Nick Offerman) adjusts to his new domestic roles; and Ann (Rashida Jones) and Chris (Rob Lowe) eagerly await the birth of their child… if they can survive the woes of pregnancy. From Primetime Emmy Award-winning executive producers Greg Daniels (The Office) and Michael Schur (The Office, Saturday Night Live) comes this three-disc set featuring a sensational ensemble cast and iconic guest stars such as Lucy Lawless, Henry Winkler, Heidi Klum, Kristen Bell and Sam Elliot. Take a trip to the small town with the big heart as you watch all 22 episodes back-to-back and commercial free!

The Amazing Spider-Man 2
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NPR: Such A Lovely Couple, If Only The Supervillains Would Leave Them Alone
The Current: Movie Maven: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’
WQXR: The Amazing Spider-Music
Airtalk: Filmweek: The Amazing Spider-Man 2
WNYC: New Spider-Man Opens Summer Movie Season of Remakes and Reboots
The Takeaway: Movie Date: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’
It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than himself. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

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NPR: Such A Lovely Couple, If Only The Supervillains Would Leave Them Alone

The Current: Movie Maven: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

WQXR: The Amazing Spider-Music

Airtalk: Filmweek: The Amazing Spider-Man 2

WNYC: New Spider-Man Opens Summer Movie Season of Remakes and Reboots

The Takeaway: Movie Date: ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’

It’s great to be Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield). For Peter Parker, there’s no feeling quite like swinging between skyscrapers, embracing being the hero, and spending time with Gwen (Emma Stone). But being Spider-Man comes at a price: only Spider-Man can protect his fellow New Yorkers from the formidable villains that threaten the city. With the emergence of Electro (Jamie Foxx), Peter must confront a foe far more powerful than himself. And as his old friend, Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), returns, Peter comes to realize that all of his enemies have one thing in common: Oscorp.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Novel by Haruki Murakami
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All Things Considered: Haruki Murakami Paints A ‘Colorless’ Character In A Vividly Imagined World
Thirty-six-year-old Tsukuru Tazaki meets a woman named Sara who raises questions about a painful incident from his youth in which his closest friends all cut off relations with him without explanation, and inspires him to find out why.

Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage: A Novel by Haruki Murakami

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

All Things Considered: Haruki Murakami Paints A ‘Colorless’ Character In A Vividly Imagined World

Thirty-six-year-old Tsukuru Tazaki meets a woman named Sara who raises questions about a painful incident from his youth in which his closest friends all cut off relations with him without explanation, and inspires him to find out why.

Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar
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Fresh Air: Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America’s Medical System
Marketplace: 'No medical student goes to…become a businessperson'
A timely industry exposé and memoir by the cardiologist author of Intern calls for a reestablishment of moral practices in patient care while revealing how liability- and profit-driven practices in American healthcare are subjecting patients to unnecessary tests and high fees.

Doctored: The Disillusionment of an American Physician by Sandeep Jauhar

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

Fresh Air: Cardiologist Speaks From The Heart About America’s Medical System

Marketplace: 'No medical student goes to…become a businessperson'

A timely industry exposé and memoir by the cardiologist author of Intern calls for a reestablishment of moral practices in patient care while revealing how liability- and profit-driven practices in American healthcare are subjecting patients to unnecessary tests and high fees.

Sweetness #9: A Novel by Stephan Eirik Clark
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Fresh Air: 'Sweetness #9' Satirizes Food Wars And Artificial America
Years after covering up unsettling side effects discovered while testing a popular artificial sweetener, David Leveraux’s family is exhibiting the same side effects, and he wonders if the cause is the sweetener or just the American condition.

Sweetness #9: A Novel by Stephan Eirik Clark

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

Fresh Air: 'Sweetness #9' Satirizes Food Wars And Artificial America

Years after covering up unsettling side effects discovered while testing a popular artificial sweetener, David Leveraux’s family is exhibiting the same side effects, and he wonders if the cause is the sweetener or just the American condition.

Bahamas Is Afie by Bahamas
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Morning Becomes Eclectic: Bahamas
Mountain Stage: Bahamas On Mountain Stage
KCRW Presents: Bahamas
World Cafe: Bahamas On World Cafe
Fresh Air: 'Barchords': An Intense, Pensive Album About Love
The new release, Bahamas Is Afie, is the first self-produced album from the Ontario-based musician. With this record he pursued a far more complex sound than on prior releases and is responsible for the majority of the instrumentation. The album follows 2011’s Barchords, which was praised for being a reserved yet melodically rewarding exploration of relationships and heartache by The New Yorker. SPIN recently premiered the first pre-release track from the album, All The Time, saying Bahamas distills his brand of breezy soul…with summer-ready falsetto harmonies that float over a distorted riff, before ending with a quick solo, a move that reminds this laidback Canuck can shred.

Bahamas Is Afie by Bahamas

Buy  Buy CD | Vinyl | iTunes

Morning Becomes Eclectic: Bahamas

Mountain Stage: Bahamas On Mountain Stage

KCRW Presents: Bahamas

World Cafe: Bahamas On World Cafe

Fresh Air: 'Barchords': An Intense, Pensive Album About Love

The new release, Bahamas Is Afie, is the first self-produced album from the Ontario-based musician. With this record he pursued a far more complex sound than on prior releases and is responsible for the majority of the instrumentation. The album follows 2011’s Barchords, which was praised for being a reserved yet melodically rewarding exploration of relationships and heartache by The New Yorker. SPIN recently premiered the first pre-release track from the album, All The Time, saying Bahamas distills his brand of breezy soul…with summer-ready falsetto harmonies that float over a distorted riff, before ending with a quick solo, a move that reminds this laidback Canuck can shred.

Tied to a Star by J Mascis
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NPR First Listen: J Mascis, ‘Tied To A Star’
J Mascis’ Tied to a Star is the follow up to his acclaimed Sub Pop debut Several Shades of Why. The album, led by the songs “Every Morning” and “Wide Awake,” was recorded and produced by Mascis and mixed by John Agnello at Bisquiteen in Amherst, MA. Tied to a Star also features guest appearances from musicians Ken Maiuri (Young@Heart Chorus), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Chan Marshall (Cat Power).

Tied to a Star by J Mascis

Buy  Buy CD | Vinyl | iTunes

NPR First Listen: J Mascis, ‘Tied To A Star’

J Mascis’ Tied to a Star is the follow up to his acclaimed Sub Pop debut Several Shades of Why. The album, led by the songs “Every Morning” and “Wide Awake,” was recorded and produced by Mascis and mixed by John Agnello at Bisquiteen in Amherst, MA. Tied to a Star also features guest appearances from musicians Ken Maiuri (Young@Heart Chorus), Pall Jenkins (Black Heart Procession), Mark Mulcahy (Miracle Legion) and Chan Marshall (Cat Power).

Swimmin’ Time by Shovels & Rope
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NPR First Listen: Shovels & Rope, ‘Swimmin’ Time’
Swimmin’ Time is Shovels & Rope’s follow-up to their acclaimed 2012 album O’ Be Joyful. “Birmingham” (the number one song on American Songwriter’s year-end list) and the rest of O’ Be Joyful put Shovels & Rope on the larger stage in many ways from an appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman to an acclaimed set on PBS’ Austin City Limits and festival slots at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza and ACL.

Swimmin’ Time by Shovels & Rope

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NPR First Listen: Shovels & Rope, ‘Swimmin’ Time’

Swimmin’ Time is Shovels & Rope’s follow-up to their acclaimed 2012 album O’ Be Joyful. “Birmingham” (the number one song on American Songwriter’s year-end list) and the rest of O’ Be Joyful put Shovels & Rope on the larger stage in many ways from an appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman to an acclaimed set on PBS’ Austin City Limits and festival slots at Coachella, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch, Newport Folk Festival, Lollapalooza and ACL.

The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker by Mike Rose
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The Daily Circuit: Mike Rose on ‘The Mind at Work,’ valuing the skills of American workers
Weekend Edition: The American Worker and ‘The Mind at Work’
On Being: The Meaning of Intelligence
As did the national bestseller Nickel and Dimed, Mike Rose’s revelatory book demolishes the long-held notion that people who work with their hands make up a less intelligent class. He shows us waitresses making lightning-fast calculations, carpenters handling complex spatial mathematics, and hairdressers, plumbers, and electricians with their aesthetic and diagnostic acumen.  Rose, an educator who is himself the son of a waitress, explores the intellectual repertory of everyday workers and the terrible social cost of undervaluing the work they do. Deftly combining research, interviews, and personal history, this is one of those rare books that has the capacity both to shape public policy and to illuminate general readers.

The Mind at Work: Valuing the Intelligence of the American Worker by Mike Rose

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

The Daily Circuit: Mike Rose on ‘The Mind at Work,’ valuing the skills of American workers

Weekend Edition: The American Worker and ‘The Mind at Work’

On Being: The Meaning of Intelligence

As did the national bestseller Nickel and Dimed, Mike Rose’s revelatory book demolishes the long-held notion that people who work with their hands make up a less intelligent class. He shows us waitresses making lightning-fast calculations, carpenters handling complex spatial mathematics, and hairdressers, plumbers, and electricians with their aesthetic and diagnostic acumen.  Rose, an educator who is himself the son of a waitress, explores the intellectual repertory of everyday workers and the terrible social cost of undervaluing the work they do. Deftly combining research, interviews, and personal history, this is one of those rare books that has the capacity both to shape public policy and to illuminate general readers.

Cold Sweat: My Father James Brown and Me by Yamma Brown, Robin Gaby Fisher
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NPR: James Brown’s Daughter Recalls A Painful Childhood in ‘Cold Sweat’
Yamma Brown is one of James Brown’s daughters. The struggles she went through, both as a child and as an adult, provide a profound examination of the nature of celebrity, violence, and survival.

Cold Sweat: My Father James Brown and Me by Yamma Brown, Robin Gaby Fisher

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

NPR: James Brown’s Daughter Recalls A Painful Childhood in ‘Cold Sweat’

Yamma Brown is one of James Brown’s daughters. The struggles she went through, both as a child and as an adult, provide a profound examination of the nature of celebrity, violence, and survival.

Small Blessings: A Novel by Martha Woodroof
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Weekend Edition: College Professor’s Life Is Upended In ‘Small Blessings’
From debut novelist Martha Woodroof comes an inspiring tale of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at the bookshop, and the ten-year old son he never knew he had.
Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, managing the oddball faculty in his department and caring, alongside his formidable mother-in-law, for his wife Marjory, a fragile shut-in with unrelenting neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom’s brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess a decade earlier.
Then, one evening at the bookstore, Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the shop’s charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to their home for dinner, out of the blue, her first social interaction since her breakdown. Tom wonders if it’s a sign that change is on the horizon, a feeling confirmed upon his return home, where he opens a letter from his former paramour, informing him he’d fathered a son who is heading Tom’s way on a train.  His mind races at the possibility of having a family after so many years of loneliness. And it becomes clear change is coming whether Tom’s ready or not.
A heartwarming story with a charmingly imperfect cast of characters to cheer for, Small Blessings’s wonderfully optimistic heart that reminds us that sometimes, when it feels like life has veered irrevocably off track, the track shifts in ways we never can have imagined.

Small Blessings: A Novel by Martha Woodroof

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

Weekend Edition: College Professor’s Life Is Upended In ‘Small Blessings’

From debut novelist Martha Woodroof comes an inspiring tale of a small-town college professor, a remarkable new woman at the bookshop, and the ten-year old son he never knew he had.

Tom Putnam has resigned himself to a quiet and half-fulfilled life. An English professor in a sleepy college town, he spends his days browsing the Shakespeare shelves at the campus bookstore, managing the oddball faculty in his department and caring, alongside his formidable mother-in-law, for his wife Marjory, a fragile shut-in with unrelenting neuroses, a condition exacerbated by her discovery of Tom’s brief and misguided affair with a visiting poetess a decade earlier.

Then, one evening at the bookstore, Tom and Marjory meet Rose Callahan, the shop’s charming new hire, and Marjory invites Rose to their home for dinner, out of the blue, her first social interaction since her breakdown. Tom wonders if it’s a sign that change is on the horizon, a feeling confirmed upon his return home, where he opens a letter from his former paramour, informing him he’d fathered a son who is heading Tom’s way on a train.  His mind races at the possibility of having a family after so many years of loneliness. And it becomes clear change is coming whether Tom’s ready or not.

A heartwarming story with a charmingly imperfect cast of characters to cheer for, Small Blessings’s wonderfully optimistic heart that reminds us that sometimes, when it feels like life has veered irrevocably off track, the track shifts in ways we never can have imagined.

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