Public Radio Market presents the best of the products featured on your favorite public radio programs.
The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit by Graham Joyce
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NPR: 'Electric Blue Suit' Is A Wise, Wistful Look At Memory And Mystery
Working at a run-down English family resort during the sweltering summer of 1976, college student David searches for his biological father among suspicious characters and amid eerie visions of a mysterious man.
Dear Committee Members: A Novel by Julie Schumacher
Fresh Air: In A Funny New Novel, A Weary Professor Writes To ‘Dear Committee Members’
Enduring budget cuts at his small liberal arts college, literature professor Jason Fitger despairs of his writing ambitions and imposed role in a star pupil’s would-be opus while writing wryly comic, passive-aggressive letters to students and colleagues.
Working Stiff: Two Years, 262 Bodies, and the Making of a Medical Examiner by MD, Judy Melinek, T.J. Mitchell
All Things Considered: Medical Examiner: ‘Staying Alive Is Mostly Common Sense’
A New York City forensic pathologist describes her experiences working as a medical examiner during the events of September 11, the subsequent anthrax attack, and the plane crash of Flight 587.
Friendswood: A Novel by Rene Steinke
Weekend Edition: Chemical Dump Poisons A Texas Town In ‘Friendswood’
Steinke’s sense of this small Texas town, with its explosive and interconnected lives and deaths, is absolutely masterful.” — Elizabeth Gilbert
A big, moving novel of one tight-knit Texas community and the events that alter its residents’ lives forever.
Friendswood, Texas, is a small Gulf Coast town of church suppers, oil rigs on the horizon, hurricane weather, and high school football games. When tragedy rears its head with an industrial leak that kills and sickens residents, it pulls on the common thread that runs through the community, intensifying everything. From a confused fifteen-year-old girl beset by visions, to a high school football star tormented by his actions, to a mother galvanized by the death of her teen daughter, to a morally bankrupt father trying to survive his mistakes, René Steinke explores what happens when families are trapped in the ambiguity of history’s misstepswhen the actions of a few change the lives and well-being of many.
Driving the narrative powerfully forward is the suspenseful question of the fates of four Friendswood families, and Steinke’s striking insight and empathy. Inspired in part by the town where she herself grew up, this layered, propulsive, psychologically complex story is poignant proof that extreme public events, as catastrophic as they might seem, must almost always pale in comparison to the intimate personal experiences and motivations of grief, love, lust, ambition, anxiety, and regret.
Your Face in Mine: A Novel by Jess Row
Weekend Edition: Race Change Surgery Is Reality In ‘Your Face In Mine’
NPR: False Equivalencies Mar This Bold ‘Face’
Shocked by a childhood friend’s decision to dramatically change his appearance after immersing himself for twenty years in black culture, widower Kelly Thorndike confronts morally ambiguous choices about race, identity, and belonging.
Lauren Bacall 1924 - 2014
Award-winning actress Lauren Bacall was Humphrey Bogart’s partner on and off the screen. She was nominated for an Academy Award, won two Tony Awards and received an honorary Oscar in 2009. Beautiful, elegant, sultry and sexy, one more link to “old hollywood” has been lost and will be missed. In 1999, Bacall was the 20th out of 25 actresses listed on the AFI’s 100 Years… 100 Stars list with films such as “To Have or Have Not,” “Key Largo,”: “How To Marry a Millionaire,” and “The Mirror has Two Faces.”
As Heard on Public Radio:
Morning Edition: Hollywood, Broadway Icon Lauren Bacall Dies at 89
All Things Considered: The Countless Lives of Lauren Bacall
Fresh Air: Lauren Bacall
Great Classic Film Legends: Lauren Bacall - 4 classic films demonstrating both her beauty and talent - Includes Key Largo, Blood Alley, Dark Passage and Designing Woman.
The Mirror has Two Faces - Lauren Bacall was the odds on favorite to win the best supporting actress Oscar for her portrayal of Barbara Streisand’s overbearing, manipulative, over-the top, controlling mother.
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NPR: It’s Faction Against Faction In A Grim Future Chicago
The Current: Movie Maven: ‘Divergent’
KCRW’s The Business: 'Divergent' Producers Launch a Franchise
Morning Edition: From Action Hero To Teenage Nerd, Shailene Woodley Has Range
KCRW Film Reviews: Divergent
WBEZ: Ten things you didn’t know about Divergent
Take Two: 25-year-old bestselling author Veronica Roth on her hit ‘Divergent’ trilogy
Morning Edition: 'Divergent': A Film About A Risk Taker That Plays It Safe
NPR’s Monkey See: Pop Culture Happy Hour: Divergent
NPR’s Monkey See: Not So ‘Divergent’: The Cookie-Cutter Nonconformist
Morning Edition: A Meteoric Rise For Young ‘Divergent’ Author
Divergent is set in a world where people are divided into distinct factions based on human virtues. Tris Prior (Shailene Woodley) is warned she is Divergent and will never fit into any one group. When she discovers a conspiracy by a faction leader (Kate Winslet) to destroy all Divergents, Tris must learn to trust in the mysterious Four (Theo James) and together they must find out what makes being Divergent so dangerous before it’s too late. Based on the best-selling book series by Veronica Roth.
Benjamin Booker by Benjamin Booker
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All Things Considered: For Benjamin Booker, A Missed Shot Became A Music Career
The Current: Album Review: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’
The Current: Benjamin Booker performs in The Current studio
KCRW: Benjamin Booker
NPR First Listen: Benjamin Booker, ‘Benjamin Booker’
World Cafe: Benjamin Booker On World Cafe
NPR All Songs TV: Benjamin Booker, ‘Have You Seen My Son?’
Benjamin Booker is a young New Orleans based singer-songwriter. He is influenced by The Gun Club, Blind Willie Johnson, and T. Rex. Benjamin Booker’s debut self-titled album was produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For The Riff Raff)
Taming the Feast: Ben Ford’s Field Guide to Adventurous Cooking by Ben Ford, Carolynn Carreño
KCRW Good Food: Taming the Feast
Chef Ben Ford worked at Chez Panisse before moving to Los Angeles to work at Campanile and Chadwick. His new cookbook, Taming the Feast, offers DIYers diagrams, line drawings, and timelines for creating a backyard party to satisfy the masses.
Only Run by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
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Morning Becomes Eclectic: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
NPR First Listen: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, ‘Only Run’
”As Always,” the first song on Clap Your Hands Say Yeah’s fourth album, is an enormous sounding rush of ambient noise, thunderclap snare shots, iridescent guitar beauty and singer Alec Ounsworth guardedly assuring, ”Sooner or later I will change/And we will be all right.” The mix of rich ambition and shaky optimism defines a band that’s traded clattery low-fi post-punk for music that’s high drama and hooky hearty….”Only Run” is an album that rarely seems overblown, even when the songs are big enough to fill a cathedral.
A Chinaman’s Chance: One Family’s Journey and the Chinese American Dream by Eric Liu
Morning Edition: Author Explores Irony And Identity In ‘A Chinaman’s Chance’
The author examines the role of today’s Chinese Americans, describing his family’s search for identity in the traditions of both countries and reconciling the sometimes opposing views on success, virtue, power and purpose in life.
Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety by Eric Schlosser
Fresh Air: Nuclear ‘Command And Control’: A History Of False Alarms And Near Catastrophes
The author of Fast Food Nation presents a minute-by-minute account of an H-bomb accident that nearly caused a nuclear disaster, examining other near misses and what the author perceives as America’s growing susceptibility to a catastrophic event.
The Golden Echo by Kimbra
NPR First Listen: Kimbra, ‘The Golden Echo’
Kimbra’s 2nd album The Golden Echo is ambitious, sophisticated, and complex, just like its creator. The Golden Echo was produced by Rich Costey who has been on her dream list of collaborators since she was 15. The lyrics find her grappling with a range of subject matter, from feeling nostalgic about young love on “90s Music,” to being caught up in a place of narrowness on “Mad House,” to wanting to run away and make a new life on “Carolina,” to the vulnerability that follows succumbing to temptation on “Be Everlovin Ya.” Kimbra wrote several of the songs with Daniel Johns from Silverchair, another idol of hers.
Sparks by Imogen Heap
NPR First Listen: Imogen Heap, ‘Sparks’
Weekend Edition: Painting Her Songs In The Air, Imogen Heap Keeps Innovating
Grammy and Ivor Novello award winning recording artist Imogen Heap will release her highly anticipated 4th solo album “Sparks” on August 19th, 2014 through RCA Records.
Sparks has been on a well traveled journey, one which Heap began at 6am 14 March 2011, with a live stream from her home studio in a small village on the outskirts of London, gathering ‘sound seeds’ from fans and weaving them together to form the first song (Lifeline). Fast forward, 4 continents later, a dozen related projects and 14 tracks, the album cover artwork was then completed by those who pre-ordered the limited edition, super deluxe box set by sending in their footprints! The stunning piece of artwork and packaging, designed and developed over the past three years by Imogen and her creative team with CSV (the company behind Radiohead’s special packaging) it is the very first time that Imogen has released such a super deluxe package.
Says Heap, “The album began with someone sending in the sound of striking a match for what became Lifeline in March 2011. I then dived into the most immense, intense creative 2 and a half years of my life that took me all over the planet, collaborating on so many projects with so many people and often totally spontaneously. The album is then in some ways for me grounded with fans’ footprints bringing the finishing touch for the album art, as so many of them came along for the ride.”
While working on “Sparks,” Heap turned songs into projects and projects into songs, to bring her out of her studio and ‘let life in’ rather than postponing things until her album was done. This fresh approach found Imogen collaborating with everyone from her fans to unsuspecting passers-by, gardeners to filmmakers, scientists to newspaper journalists and brings us her most diverse and daring body of work to date. From the River Thames (You Know Where To Find Me) to 5000 feet up in the Himalayas (Climb to Sakteng, Cycle Song), from her local community garden (Neglected Space) to 6 weeks in the Chinese metropolis of Hangzhou (Xizi She Knows), Heap was soaking it up, writing, developing, recording and producing. Sounds of a dishwasher door to a Bhutanese dranyen, the voice of a crumbling wall to 700 fans’ becoming a spoken word chorus. Some of Heap’s projects include her brilliant Mi.Mu Gloves, developed over this album period with an incredible team of scientists, engineers and artists (Me The Machine) and dabbled in generative and reactive music with music app developers RJDJ (Run-Time) connected to a jogging app. From the deeply personal love songs Propeller Seeds and Entanglement to the crowd sourced response to the Sendai earthquake (Lifeline), her trademark honesty runs through the album.
Robin Williams - 1951 - 2014
Robin Williams passed away yesterday of an apparent suicide. He was a comedic genius who first rose to fame on television in the series “Mork and Mindy.” The success of this show led to a diversified carreer in television, feature films, stand-up and regular appearances on the USO tour. Among his many feature films are “Mrs. Doubtfire,” “Dead Poet’s Society,” “Good Morning Vietnam,” and his Oscar winning performance in “Good Will Hunting.”
One of my favorite stand up routines if Robin Williams’ riff on how the game of golf was created. Watch
Press Play with Madeleine Brand: Remembering Robin Williams
Fresh Air: Robin Williams: In Looking For Laughs, ‘You Have To Be Deeply Honest’
NPR’s Monkey See: Robin Williams: A Supreme Talent Who Was Always On
NPR’s Monkey See: Remembering The Big-Hearted Comedy Of Robin Williams
NPR ED: What Robin Williams Taught Us About Teaching
All Things Considered: 'An Evening With Robin Williams,' Circa 1982
All Things Considered: Robin Williams, A Stand-up Act — On Stage, On Set And In Life
Morning Edition: Robin Williams’ Death Leaves Fans Reminiscing
Here & Now: After Robin Williams’ Death, A Look At Depression
Here & Now: Celebrating The Work Of Robin Williams
PRI’s The World: Many veterans remember Robin Williams’ morale-boosting performances for the troops
MPR Newscut: Robin Williams and his black dog
MPR Newscut: Why Robin Williams’ death has hit us so hard
NPR: Actor-Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63
All Things Considered: Robin Williams, Comedic Master And Oscar Winner, Dies At 63
Morning Edition: Versatile Comedian Robin Williams Dies At 63
Below, we highlight a few of his best performances.
Mork & Mindy - The series that propelled Robin Williams to superstardom! It was his hilarious and funny portrayal of Mork from Ork as he struggled to adjust to life on Earth and report his findings back to his leader. ”Mork’s Mixed Emotions” was listed as the 94th best episode of all time by TV Guide.
Mrs. Doubtfire - A wonderful comedy about a divorced father struggling to maintain a relationship with his children who dons a wig and dress to become his ex-wife’s housekeeper and nanny.
Insomnia - This may be the performance that is most suprising (with the possible exception of One Hour Photo). Robin Williams and Al Pacino at the top of their game! Both performances are nuanced and surprising. Al Pacino plays a homicide detective with a past who comes to Alaska to solve a murder where the Midnight Sun wreaks havok on his sleep and judgement as he tries to solve the case.
Good Will Hunting - Robin Williams Oscar winning performance for Best Supporting Actor anchors this feature film as he portrays the teacher who is the last resort to reaching one of the most intelligent humans who happens to have had one too many run ins with the law.
Dead Poets Society - Another brilliant supporting turn as a teacher who inspires his students to “Sieze the Day!” Williams portrays John Keating, a teacher who inspires his students with his non-traditional approach to teaching but fails to impress other faculty at the upper class prep academy.
Good Morning Vietnam - Oscar nominated turn as a radio DJ who brings laughter to a war torn 1965 Saigon as he entertains the troops with his stories and music while upsetting the upper brass.
Aladdin - Robin Williams took the role of the genie for scale as a “thank you” to Disney for casting him in Good Morning Vietnam. And here is a case of the genie who stole the movie with some of his best ad-libbed worked mixed into the scripted animated feature thus creating a Genie for all ages! What a vocal powerhouse of a perfomance - so much so that Disney all but promoted Robin Williams’ Genie as a lead character even though he was not featured in much of the animated film.