Public Radio Market presents the best of the products featured on your favorite public radio programs.
Busted: A Tale of Corruption and Betrayal in the City of Brotherly Love by Wendy Ruderman, Barbara Laker
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Tell Me More: 'Busted' Blurs The Line Between Good And Bad Philadelphia Police
In the vein of Erin Brockovich, The Departed, and T. J. English’s Savage City comes Busted, the shocking true story of the biggest police corruption scandal in Philadelphia history, a tale of drugs, power, and abuse involving a rogue narcotics squad, a confidential informant, and two veteran journalists whose reporting drove a full-scale FBI probe, rocked the City of Brotherly Love, and earned a Pulitzer Prize .
In 2003, Benny Martinez became a Confidential Informant for a member of the Philadelphia Police Department’s narcotics squad, helping arrest nearly 200 drug and gun dealers over seven years. But that success masked a dark and dangerous reality: the cops were as corrupt as the criminals they targeted.
In addition to fabricating busts, the squad systematically looted mom-and-pop stores, terrorizing hardworking immigrant owners. One squad member also sexually assaulted three women during raids. Frightened for his life, Martinez turned to Philadelphia Daily News reporters Wendy Ruderman and Barbara Laker.
Busted chronicles how these two journalists—both middle-class working mothers—formed an unlikely bond with a convicted street dealer to uncover the secrets of ruthless kingpins and dirty cops. Professionals in an industry shrinking from severe financial cutbacks, Ruderman and Laker had few resources—besides their own grit and tenacity—to break a dangerous, complex story that would expose the rotten underbelly of a modern American city and earn them a Pulitzer Prize. A page-turning thriller based on superb reportage, illustrated with eight pages of photos, Busted is modern true crime at its finest.
Go Back Home by Audra McDonald
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Tell Me More: For Audra McDonald, Experience And Raw Emotions Make Better Music
Nonesuch releases Audra McDonald’s first solo album in seven years Go Back Home. After four seasons spent in Los Angeles playing Dr. Naomi Bennett on ABC’s hit medical drama Private Practice, the acclaimed singer and actress returned to New York and Broadway last year, winning her record-tying fifth Tony Award for her role in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. With Go Back Home, the Grammy Award-winning soprano, whose voice Stephen Sondheim has hailed as “one of the glories of the American theater,” makes her highly anticipated return to recording, presenting her most personal album to date.
Many of the selections on Go Back Home are by composers with whom McDonald has long been associated (Guettel, LaChiusa, Rodgers & Hammerstein, and Sondheim, among others), while some songs, including the Kander and Ebb title track, are by names that are relatively new to her repertoire. In addition, McDonald continues her tradition of championing works by an emerging generation of composers, represented on this recording by Adam Gwon, Heisler and Goldrich, and Will Reynolds (complete track list on next page). The album was produced by Doug Petty, who also produced McDonald’s 2006 release Build a Bridge; musical director Andy Einhorn conducted the ensemble.
Tomlinson Hill: The Remarkable Story of Two Families who Share the Tomlinson Name - One White, One Black by Chris Tomlinson
Fresh Air: On ‘Tomlinson Hill,’ Journalist Seeks Truth And Reconciliation
Relates the stories of two families, one black and one white, who trace their ancestry to the same Texas slave plantation, and the author’s discovery that his counterpart in the African American family is NFL running back LaDainian Tomlinson.
The Book of Unknown Americans: A Novel by Cristina Henriquez
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As Heard on Public Radio:
Dinner Party Download: Cristina Herriquez Gets to Know America
The Leanard Lopate Show: The Book of Unknown Americans
The Take Two: A Novel about the Immigration Story
When we talk about immigration, what’s often lost are the stories of the real people who have come to this country in hopes of a better life: their aspirations, losses, frustrations and joys.
These day to day experiences are what writer Cristina Henríquez captures in her new novel "The Book of Unknown Americans."
The book is about a group of immigrants who came to the U.S. from Latin America for various reasons. It incorporates the stories of 11 different characters, all of whom at some point speak in their own voice, and all of whose journeys to the U.S. have led them to the same apartment building in Delaware where their lives and destinies intertwine.
Of Interest to Public Radio Fans:
NPR: James Garner Dies
NPR: James Garner - TVs best Un-Hero
Weekend Edition: James Garner dies at 86
All Things Considered: ‘Rockford Files’ Actor James Garner Dies
Much of Hollywood is mouring the passing of James Garner. James Garner passed away over the weekend at age 86. He is one of the most liked and hard working and probably underrated actors. Though his most known roles in The Rockford Files and Maverick are from the small screen, James Garner had a duel carreer starring in film for both the small screen and the big screen. Notable early films include “The Americanization of Emily,” “The Great Escape,” all the way to “Murphy’s Romance,” “Sunsets,” and “The Notebook.” His last television series was subbing in for John Ritter when he unexpectedly passed away on the sitcom 8 Simple Rules.
The Rockford Files: Iconic television featuring James Garner in virtually every scene as the bumbling detective Jim Rockford. Episodes are fast paced and fun to watch. The combination of having James Garner in the leading role along with great writing generally led to some amazing guest stars, pre “Love Boat” or “Fantasy Island.”
Maverick: This Western follows professional gambler Bret Maverick across the plains and prairie in search of love and the next big poker game.
Murphy’s Romance: The perfect foil to Sally Field in this wonderful romance. Sally Field plays a divorcee who needs all sorts of help running her horse farm and ultimately ends up in a love triangle featuring her ex husband and the older, wiser pharmacist portrayed by James Garner. Thoroughly enjoyable!
Victor/Victoria: A woman masquerading as a man portraying a woman. .. sounds like the perfect scenario for a farce from Blake Edwards. All goes fine until the woman, portrayed by Julie Andrews, falls in love with King Marchand, a Chicago club owner portrayed by James Garner. Excellent score by Henry Mancini as well as Oscar nominated supporting turns by Robert Preston and Lesley Anne Warren help this musical rank among the finest.
The Notebook: The love story of love stories is anchored by James Garner’s portrayal of Duke, who remains true to his one true love despite her battling dementia as he recounts their courtship every day in hopes of breaking through the fog and capturing one more moment with his wife.
The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee by Marja Mills
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All Things Considered: To Meet a Mockingbird, Memoir Describes Time with Harper Lee
Fresh Air: A Genteel Peek into Harper Lee’s Life
WBEZ: Harper Lee Says New Biography is Unathorized
Kojo Nnandi Show: Marja Miller
Describes the story of a journalist who befriended the notoriously quiet and private author of To Kill a Mockingbird, eventually moving in next door to the writer and her sister and becoming part of their life in Alabama.
Heaven is for Real
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NPR: Is ‘Heaven’ Real, Or Just A Place On Earth?
KPCC’s Airtalk: Heaven Is for Real
KPCC’s Filmweek: Heaven Is for Real
The Takeaway: Movie Date: Heaven is for Real
WNYC: At The Movies, ‘God’s Not Dead’
Based on the #1 New York Times best-selling book, Heaven is for Real recounts the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. Starring Academy Award® nominee Greg Kinnear (Best Supporting Actor, As Good As It Gets, 1997) as Todd Burpo, the real-life father whose son Colton claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton shares the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth … things he couldn’t possibly know.
The Voyager by Jenny Lewis
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NPR First Listen: Jenny Lewis, ‘The Voyager’
All Things Considered: Rainbow In The Dark: Jenny Lewis On Staring Down Sadness
Celebrated California singer songwriter Jenny Lewis presents The Voyager. This is the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman s third solo album and first in six years, following 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat (with The Watson Twins) and 2008’s Acid Tongue.
The Voyager is Lewis’s most deeply personal album to date, documenting her struggle to cope following the death of her estranged father in 2010 and the subsequent break-up of Rilo Kiley. The Voyager’s rootsy, golden glow comes courtesy of Lewis and the artists she chose to produce various tracks, including Ryan Adams (who, alongside Mike Viola, produced all but three of the tracks), Beck, and Lewis’ longtime collaborator Johnathan Rice. The Voyager finds the always relatable songwriter at her sharp-witted best, singing about her recent experiences with honesty and incisiveness.
Natchez Burning: A Novel by Greg Iles
Morning Edition: Writer Plumbs ‘Nature Of Evil’ In Hometown’s Violent, Civil Rights Past
When his father, a beloved family doctor and pillar of their Natchez, Miss., community, is accused of murdering a nurse, Penn Cage makes a shocking discovery that forces him to decide just how far he will go to protect those he loves.
Worst. Person. Ever. by Douglas Coupland
All Things Considered: Writing The Wicked Ways Of The ‘Worst. Person. Ever.’
Weekend Edition: How Bad Can He Be? Only The ‘Worst. Person. Ever.’
A cameraman with no redeeming social virtues endures a comedic downward spiral that takes him to an obscure Pacific island, where, while filming a reality show, he suffers comas, humiliation and wrongful imprisonment.
Those Who Wish Me Dead by Michael Koryta
NPR: Lose Yourself In The Wild Forests Of ‘Those Who Wish Me Dead’
After witnessing a murder, a young teen is hidden in a wilderness skills program for troubled kids while the killers embark on a methodical quest to reach him.
The Grimm Reader: The Classic Tales of the Brothers Grimm
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All Things Considered: Surviving An Adult World In Fairy Tales, And Real Life
This collection of classic fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm, including both famous and lesser-known works such as “Cinderella,” “Snow White” and “The Seven Ravens,” highlights the historical and cultural context of the stories, as well as their contemporary significance. Original.
Money and Tough Love: On Tour with the IMF by Liaquat Ahamed
Weekend Edition: Author Finds The Human Side Of The IMF
In Money and Tough Love Liaquat Ahamed offers brilliant insight into the heart of one the world’s most influential institutions. At turns factual and informative, and others emotive and anecdotal, Ahamed joins in on the IMF’s world missions to Washington, Tokyo, and Dublin in true James Bond meets The Financial Times style. Pulitzer prize-winning author and pre-eminent financial thinker, Ahamed reveals the human stories behind the headlines, ranging from chatting about the state of the economy to Irish cab drivers, to Dior with none other than the IMF’s Christine Lagarde.
Carlo Bergonzi: The Sublime Voice by Carlo Bergonzi
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NPR’s Deceptive Cadence: A Voice Of Velvet And Bronze: Carlo Bergonzi At 90
Carlo Bergonzi is widely considered to be one of the great tenors of the 20th century. His golden tone, thrilling dynamism, and lively phrasing served him well, especially in his choice roles by Verdi and Puccini. While little in this collection falls below the level of excellent, particularly fine are the excerpts from Un Ballo in Maschera (featuring Bergonzi’s wicked chuckle in “E’ scherzo od è follia”), La Bohème (has “Che gelida manina” ever been sung with such seductive nuance?), and La Traviata, though in this Bergonzi is even better on his RCA recording with Prêtre. (Rigoletto deserves top mention as well, but I confess to lately being under the thrall of Jan Peerce on the recent Naxos release.)
Curiously, Bergonzi’s Pinkerton just misses first rate stature, perhaps because he keeps the character within ordinary human dimensions—something that, eschewing the “noble” presentation of some other tenors, makes the character all the more easy to despise. An unexpected item is “Dio! Mi potevi scagliar” from Otello, a role that, except for a disastrous first attempt last year at age 75, Bergonzi never sang on stage. No such worries here: it sounds just fine.
Bergonzi had the ability to bring characters to life by imbuing his singing with a tactile emotional intensity. You can hear this to great effect in his Cavaradossi, Pagliacci, and Radames; in fact you hear it in everybody he plays in this set. No, he doesn’t have the voluminous heft of Del Monaco or the piercing “squillo” tones of Björling, but Bergonzi’s spinto voice is handsomely beautiful, while his audible delight and masterly musicianship are seminars in singing for any aspiring tenor and a source of pleasure for any opera lover. The recordings, culled from the Decca, Deutsche Grammophon, and Philips catalogs, present the tenor in clear, dynamic sound.
between the kiss and the chaos by Tracy Silverman
Tiny Desk Concert: Tracy Silverman
What informs almost every bar…is the blazing virtuosity of Tracy Silverman…you will be astonished that anybody can play the fiddle like that.’ -Chicago Tribune
In this ear-grabbing new release from Delos, revel in both the compositional wizardry and the stunning electric violin virtuosity of Tracy Silverman: perhaps the leading exponent of his instrument. Like quite a few other leading composers of our day, he spices his heady creations with classic American genres like jazz and rock, achieving a fascinating contemporary fusion that will beguile a huge range of modern listeners. The recording showcases both the compositional wizardry and the stunning electric violin chops of Tracy Silverman: a leading virtuoso of his instrument. The main fare, Between the Kiss and the Chaos, is a catchy fusion of jazz, rock and classical that promises to attract a huge range of modern listeners The esteemed Calder Quartet provides expert and enthusiastic collaboration; all is captured in Delos’ hallmark sonic glory.