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The Daily Circuit: Movie Maven reviews ‘Great Expectations’
Cube Critics: 3 Reasons to See Great Expectations
The Current: Great Expectations
Great Expectations is a new adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic, starring Helena Bonham Carter, Ralph Fiennes, Holliday Grainger, Jason Flemyng, Robbie Coltrane, David Williams and Toby Irvine. Great Expectations is directed by Mike Newell.
The President Is a Sick Man: Wherein the Supposedly Virtuous Grover Cleveland Survives a Secret Surgery at Sea and Vilifies the Courageous Newspaperman Who Dared Expose the Truth by Matthew Algeo
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The Daily Circuit: 'The President is a Sick Man' is Tom Weber's book pick
An extraordinary yet almost unknown chapter in American history is revealed in this extensively researched exposé. On July 1, 1893, President Grover Cleveland boarded a friend’s yacht and was not heard from for five days. During that time, a team of doctors removed a cancerous tumor from the president’s palate along with much of his upper jaw. When an enterprising reporter named E. J. Edwards exposed the secret operation, Cleveland denied it and Edwards was consequently dismissed as a disgrace to journalism. Twenty-four years later, one of the president’s doctors finally revealed the incredible truth, but many Americans simply would not believe it. After all, Grover Cleveland’s political career was built upon honestyhis most memorable quote was Tell the truth”so it was nearly impossible to believe he was involved in such a brazen cover-up. This is the first full account of the disappearance of Grover Cleveland during that summer more than a century ago.
Outsider Baseball: The Weird World of Hardball on the Fringe, 1876–1950 by Scott Simkus
The Daily Circuit: In old days, baseball was a stranger sport
With new research and revelations that will surprise even the most ardent baseball history buffs, this engaging account tells the story of the mostly forgotten world of the mercenaries, scalawags, and outcasts who made up the independent professional ball clubs. Combining meticulous research with modern analytics, the book provides a deeper understanding of how vast and eclectic the world of professional baseball was during the first half of the 20th century. It illuminates an alternate baseball universe where Babe Ruth, Rube Waddell, and John McGraw crossed bats with the Cuban Stars, Tokyo Giants, Brooklyn Bushwicks, dozens of famous Negro league teams, and novelty acts such as the House of David and Bloomer Girls. Written in a gritty prose style, this entertaining book shares the stories of these unsung players and uses a critical lens to separate fact from fiction.
All Joy and No Fun: The Paradox of Modern Parenthood by jennifer Senior
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Fresh Air: Are We Having Fun Yet?
The Daily Circuit: Parenting Today ‘All Joy and No Fun’
All Things Considered: A Parenting Paradox: How Kids Manage to be ‘All Kids and No Fun’
Kojo Nomandi Show: Jennifer Senior
Drawing on a vast array of sources in history, sociology, economics, psychology, philosophy and anthropology, journalist Jennifer Senior challenges our culture’s most basic beliefs about parenthood, while revealing the profound ways children deepen and add purpose to our lives.
One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories by B. J. Novak
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The Daily Circuit: ‘One More Thing’ is Kerri’s Book Pick of the Week
NPR: Exclusive First Read (And Listen!): B.J. Novak’s ‘One More Thing’
NPR Book Review: 'One More Thing' Has A Few Too Many Things, But It's Still Funny
A debut collection by a writer for the television series The Office includes the title story, in which a boy’s lucrative sweepstakes win proves more harm than good for his family.
The Up Side of Down: Why Failing Well Is the Key to Success by Megan McArdle
The Daily Circuit: Megan McArdle on why it’s good to fail
For readers of Drive, Outliers, and Daring Greatly, a counterintuitive, paradigm-shifting new take on what makes people and companies succeed
Most new products fail. So do most small businesses. And most of us, if we are honest, have experienced a major setback in our personal or professional lives. So what determines who will bounce back and follow up with a home run? If you want to succeed in business and in life, Megan McArdle argues in this hugely thought-provoking book, you have to learn how to harness the power of failure.
McArdle has been one of our most popular business bloggers for more than a decade, covering the rise and fall of some the world’s top companies and challenging us to think differently about how we live, learn, and work. Drawing on cutting-edge research in science, psychology, economics, and business, and taking insights from turnaround experts, emergency room doctors, venture capitalists, child psychologists, bankruptcy judges, and mountaineers, McArdle argues that America is unique in its willingness to let people and companies fail, but also in its determination to let them pick up after the fall. Failure is how people and businesses learn. So how do you reinvent yourself when you are down?
Dynamic and punchy, McArdle teaches us how to recognize mistakes early to channel setbacks into future success. The Up Side of Down marks the emergence of an author with her thumb on the pulse whose book just might change the way you lead your life.
Science Friday: Science Goes to the Movies: Gravity
All Things Considered: Sandra Bullock Boxed in on Set of ‘Gravity’
Fresh Air: Houston, We Have a Space Flick
The Current: Cube Critics on ‘Gravity’
NPR: Movie Review - Gravity
GRAVITY, directed by Oscar nominee Alfonso Cuaron, stars Oscar winners Sandra Bullock and George Clooney in a heart-pounding thriller that pulls you into the infinite and unforgiving realm of deep space. Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a brilliant medical engineer on her first shuttle mission, with veteran astronaut Matt Kowalsky (Clooney). But on a seemingly routine spacewalk, disaster strikes. The shuttle is destroyed, leaving Stone and Kowalsky completely alone.
All Things Considered: Cate Blanchett finds Humor in the Painfully Absurd
Fresh Air: Movie Review - Blue Jasmine
Cube Critics: Blue Jasmine
Cate Blanchett stars as a former New York socialite teetering between her troubled past and a fresh start in San Francisco.
All Things Considered: How Breakthrough ‘Captain Phillips’ Actor Connected To the Role
Fresh Air: Tom Hanks is ‘Captain Phillips’ in High Seas Hostage Drama
MPR News: Hollywood Turns to Minneapolis for ‘Captain Phillips’ Casting
Cube Critics: Somoli Actors Shine in ‘Captain Phillips’
Captain Phillips is a multi-layered examination of the 2009 hijacking of the U.S. container ship Maersk Alabama by a crew of Somali pirates. It is - through director Paul Greengrass’s distinctive lens - simultaneously a pulse-pounding thriller, and a complex portrait of the myriad effects of globalization. The film focuses on the relationship between the Alabama’s commanding officer, Captain Richard Phillips (two time Academy Award (R)-winner Tom Hanks), and the Somali pirate captain, Muse (Barkhad Abdi), who takes him hostage. Phillips and Muse are set on an unstoppable collision course when Muse and his crew target Phillips’ unarmed ship; in the ensuing standoff, 145 miles off the Somali coast, both men will find themselves at the mercy of forces beyond their control. The film is directed by Academy Award (R) nominee Paul Greengrass, from a screenplay by Billy Ray based upon the book, A Captain’s Duty: Somali Pirates, Navy SEALs, and Dangerous Days at Sea, by Richard Phillips with Stephan Talty.
Thank You for Your Service By David Finkel
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All Things Considered: "Thank You’ Follows America’s Soldiers Home
This American Life: WIll They KNow Me Back Home?
The Daily Circuit: When Soldiers Come Home to a New Struggle
The Leanard Lopate Show: The Good Soldiers
To The Best of Our Knowledge: David Finkel on The Good Soldiers
NPR Staff Picks, 2013 Recommended by Bilal Qureshi, All Things Considered staff December 2013 Award-winning journalist David Finkel’s book Thank You For Your Service is a startlingly intimate and moving portrait of the “after-war” — the enduring emotional wounds of battle for those who’ve returned from America’s wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Finkel has covered those wars from the front lines for The Washington Post, but here he embeds in the suburban homes and broken families of soldiers living with the ghosts of those battles. There have been many articles about post-traumatic stress disorder and the broken state of mental health care for veterans. But in Finkel’s beautifully written and deeply empathetic book, those issues become individual lives and families, impossible to forget.
Lying by Sam Harris
Here & Now: The High Price of Telling Lies
The Daily Circuit: 7 Lies and a Fact about Lying
In Lying, best-selling author and neuroscientist Sam Harris argues that we can radically simplify our lives and improve society by merely telling the truth in situations where others often lie. He focuses on “white” lies—those lies we tell for the purpose of sparing people discomfort—for these are the lies that most often tempt us. And they tend to be the only lies that good people tell while imagining that they are being good in the process.
How To Build a Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery
The Daily Circuit: How to Build a Happy City
The Leanard Lopate Show: Does City Living Make us Happy?
What makes a city a more livable, happy place? In his new book, “Happy City,” author Charles Montgomery travels the world to find the answers and came up with a recipe for the urban ingredients that lead to life satisfaction.
ORFEO: A Novel by Richard Powers
The Daily Circuit: ORFEO is Kerri’s Book Pick of the Week
Kerri’s book pick of the week is by National Book Award winner Richard Powers. His new work, “Orfeo,” is a modern interpretation of a Greek myth, weaving together bio-terrorism, homeland security and a professor on the run.
A summary from The Millions:
"Orfeo" follows a retired music professor who’s built a DIY genetics lab where he finds musical patterns in DNA sequences. When his dog dies unexpectedly, the FBI seizes the lab, and he goes on the lam. It seems that DNA and music are inextricably paired for Powers, who noted in an essay on having his genome sequenced, "If the genome were a tune played at a nice bright allegro tempo of 120 beats per minute, it would take just short of a century to play."
The Kings of Summer
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The Daily Circuit: Screen Time: The best family films of 2013
The Kings of Summer is a unique coming-of-age comedy about three teenage friends — Joe (Nick Robinson), Patrick (Gabriel Basso) and the eccentric and unpredictable Biaggio (Moises Arias) — who, in the ultimate act of independence, decide to spend their summer building a house in the woods and living off the land. Free from their parents rules, their idyllic summer quickly becomes a test of friendship as each boy learns to appreciate the fact that family — whether it is the one you are born into or the one you create — is something you can’t run away from.
Despicable Me 2
Gru, his adorable girls, and the mischievous Minions are back with a cast of unforgettable new characters in the blockbuster sequel to the worldwide phenomenon. Just as Gru has given up being super-bad to be a super-dad, the Anti-Villain League recruits him to track down a new criminal mastermind and save the world. Partnered with secret agent Lucy Wilde, Gru, along with the wildly unpredictable Minions, must figure out how to keep his cover while also keeping up with his duties as a father. Assemble the Minions for laugh-out-loud comedy in “one of the funniest, most enjoyable movies ever!”