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Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s by Lori Majewski, Jonathan Bernstein
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The Current: Transmission’s “Mad World” New Wave Dance Hour
Mad World is a highly entertaining oral history that celebrates the New Wave music phenomenon of the 1980s via new interviews with 35 of the most notable artists of the period. Each chapter begins with a discussion of their most popular song, but leads to stories of their history and place in the scene, ultimately painting a vivid picture of this colorful, idiosyncratic time. Mixtape suggestions, fashion sidebars, and quotes from famous contemporary admirers help fill out the fun. Participants include members of Duran Duran, New Order, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, Adam Ant, Echo and the Bunnymen, Devo, ABC, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Thompson Twins, and INXS.

Mad World: An Oral History of New Wave Artists and Songs That Defined the 1980s by Lori Majewski, Jonathan Bernstein

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

The Current: Transmission’s “Mad World” New Wave Dance Hour

Mad World is a highly entertaining oral history that celebrates the New Wave music phenomenon of the 1980s via new interviews with 35 of the most notable artists of the period. Each chapter begins with a discussion of their most popular song, but leads to stories of their history and place in the scene, ultimately painting a vivid picture of this colorful, idiosyncratic time. Mixtape suggestions, fashion sidebars, and quotes from famous contemporary admirers help fill out the fun. Participants include members of Duran Duran, New Order, The Smiths, Tears for Fears, Adam Ant, Echo and the Bunnymen, Devo, ABC, Spandau Ballet, A Flock of Seagulls, Thompson Twins, and INXS.

Family Life: A Novel by Akhil sharma
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As Heard on Public Radio:
All Things Considered: After a Disaster in ‘Family Life,’ Relief Never Comes
The Diane Rehm Show: Akhil Sharma ‘Family Life’
"Outstanding…Every page is alive and surprising, proof of [Sharma’s] huge, unique talent."—David Sedaris
Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival.

Family Life: A Novel by Akhil sharma

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle | iBooks

As Heard on Public Radio:

All Things Considered: After a Disaster in ‘Family Life,’ Relief Never Comes

The Diane Rehm Show: Akhil Sharma ‘Family Life’

"Outstanding…Every page is alive and surprising, proof of [Sharma’s] huge, unique talent."—David Sedaris

Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival.

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1954 Box Set by Charles M. Schulz
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NPR My Guilty Pleasure: Cursed With Mom Guilt? Charlie Brown Might Cure What Ails You
Fresh Air: Charles Schulz, ‘The Complete Peanuts’
Morning Edition: Letters From ‘Peanuts’ Creator Reveal Bittersweet Romance
Morning Edition: Schulz Sketched Own Life in ‘Peanuts’ Strip
Good grief! The Complete Peanuts is the most ambitious and most important project in the comics and cartooning genre: over a period of 12 years, Fantagraphics Books will release every daily and Sunday strip of Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts,” the best-known and best-loved series in the world.

The Complete Peanuts 1950-1954 Box Set by Charles M. Schulz

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NPR My Guilty Pleasure: Cursed With Mom Guilt? Charlie Brown Might Cure What Ails You

Fresh Air: Charles Schulz, ‘The Complete Peanuts’

Morning Edition: Letters From ‘Peanuts’ Creator Reveal Bittersweet Romance

Morning Edition: Schulz Sketched Own Life in ‘Peanuts’ Strip

Good grief! The Complete Peanuts is the most ambitious and most important project in the comics and cartooning genre: over a period of 12 years, Fantagraphics Books will release every daily and Sunday strip of Charles M. Schulz’s “Peanuts,” the best-known and best-loved series in the world.

Love Life by Rob Lowe
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As Heard on Public Radio:
Q with Jian Ghomeshi: Rob Lowe
The Leanard Lopate Show: Rob Lowe on How to Love Life
When Rob Lowe’s first book was published in 2011, he received the kind of rapturous reviews that writers dream of and rocketed to the top of the bestseller list. Now, in Love Life, he expands his scope, using stories and observations from his life in a poignant and humorous series of true tales about men and women, art and commerce, fathers and sons, addiction and recovery, and sex and love.

Love Life by Rob Lowe

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle | iBooks

As Heard on Public Radio:

Q with Jian Ghomeshi: Rob Lowe

The Leanard Lopate Show: Rob Lowe on How to Love Life

When Rob Lowe’s first book was published in 2011, he received the kind of rapturous reviews that writers dream of and rocketed to the top of the bestseller list. Now, in Love Life, he expands his scope, using stories and observations from his life in a poignant and humorous series of true tales about men and women, art and commerce, fathers and sons, addiction and recovery, and sex and love.

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull
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As Heard on Public Radio:
Marketplace: Pixar: From Toy Story to Today
The Takeaway: To Infinity and Beyond
Catmull’s new book, “Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” takes a look at the company’s history and their creative process.
The key, says Catmull, is being prepared to deviate from the plan: “Every one of our films, when we start off, they suck… our job is to take it from something that sucks to something that doesn’t suck. That’s the hard part.”

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces that Stand in the Way of True Inspiration by Ed Catmull

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle | iBooks

As Heard on Public Radio:

Marketplace: Pixar: From Toy Story to Today

The Takeaway: To Infinity and Beyond

Catmull’s new book, “Creativity Inc: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration” takes a look at the company’s history and their creative process.

The key, says Catmull, is being prepared to deviate from the plan: “Every one of our films, when we start off, they suck… our job is to take it from something that sucks to something that doesn’t suck. That’s the hard part.”

Being a Teen: Everything Teen Girls & Boys Should KNow About Relationships, Sex, Love, Health, Identity & More by Jane Fonda
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As Heard on Public Radio:
The Diane Rehm Show: Jane Fonda on ‘Being a Teen’
At age 76, Jane Fonda hasn’t slowed down one bit. She has a recurring guest role on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” she’s co-starring in a new Netflix comedy to be aired in 2015, her philanthropic activities are in full swing and she’s just released a new book. It’s called “Being a Teen: Everything Teen Girls Need to Know about Relationships, Sex, Love, Health, Identity and More.” A discussion with Jane Fonda on the teenage years.

Being a Teen: Everything Teen Girls & Boys Should KNow About Relationships, Sex, Love, Health, Identity & More by Jane Fonda

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle | iBooks

As Heard on Public Radio:

The Diane Rehm Show: Jane Fonda on ‘Being a Teen’

At age 76, Jane Fonda hasn’t slowed down one bit. She has a recurring guest role on HBO’s “The Newsroom,” she’s co-starring in a new Netflix comedy to be aired in 2015, her philanthropic activities are in full swing and she’s just released a new book. It’s called “Being a Teen: Everything Teen Girls Need to Know about Relationships, Sex, Love, Health, Identity and More.” A discussion with Jane Fonda on the teenage years.

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan
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As Heard on Public Radio:
All Things Considered: A Life’s Promise, Tragically Broken
An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world’s attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation.Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories by Marina Keegan

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle | iBooks

As Heard on Public Radio:

All Things Considered: A Life’s Promise, Tragically Broken

An affecting and hope-filled posthumous collection of essays and stories from the talented young Yale graduate whose title essay captured the world’s attention in 2012 and turned her into an icon for her generation.

Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

As her family, friends, and classmates, deep in grief, joined to create a memorial service for Marina, her unforgettable last essay for the Yale Daily News, “The Opposite of Loneliness,” went viral, receiving more than 1.4 million hits. She had struck a chord.

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi
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As Heard on Public Radio:
All Things Considered: In Book’s Trial Of U.S. Justice System, Wealth Gap Is Exhibit A
The Leanard Lopate Show: Injustice & Inequality
WBUR: Matt Taibbi on Inequality
The investigative journalist analyzes the emotionally galvanizing wealth gap in America and how it is transforming the meaning of rights, justice, and basic citizenship.

The Divide: American Injustice in the Age of the Wealth Gap by Matt Taibbi

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

As Heard on Public Radio:

All Things Considered: In Book’s Trial Of U.S. Justice System, Wealth Gap Is Exhibit A

The Leanard Lopate Show: Injustice & Inequality

WBUR: Matt Taibbi on Inequality

The investigative journalist analyzes the emotionally galvanizing wealth gap in America and how it is transforming the meaning of rights, justice, and basic citizenship.

In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen
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As Heard on Public Radio:
Weekend Edition: 'In Paradise,' Mattiessen Considers Our Capacity for Cruelty
Fresh Air: Peter Mattiessen on Writing & Zen Buddhism
NPR Reviews: In Paradise
Joining a diverse group of visitors at the site of a former Nazi concentration camp, Polish-American academic Clements Olin performs research while witnessing personal and political tensions erupting among his fellow participants.

In Paradise by Peter Matthiessen

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle | iBooks

As Heard on Public Radio:

Weekend Edition: 'In Paradise,' Mattiessen Considers Our Capacity for Cruelty

Fresh Air: Peter Mattiessen on Writing & Zen Buddhism

NPR Reviews: In Paradise

Joining a diverse group of visitors at the site of a former Nazi concentration camp, Polish-American academic Clements Olin performs research while witnessing personal and political tensions erupting among his fellow participants.

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 honesty—his 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.

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

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

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 honesty—his 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
  Buy Book | Kindle
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.

Outsider Baseball: The Weird World of Hardball on the Fringe, 1876–1950 by Scott Simkus

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

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.

The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon by Willie Perdomo
  Buy Book | Kindle
NPR: Percussive Poems In ‘Shorty Bon Bon’ Pin The Stage To The Page
Through dream song and elegy, alternate takes and tempos, prizewinning poet Willie Perdomo’s third collection crackles with vitality and dynamism as it imagines the life of a percussionist, rebuilding the landscape of his apprenticeship, love, diaspora, and death. At the beginning of his infernal journey, Shorty Bon Bon recalls his live studio recording with a classic 1970s descarga band, sharing his recollection with an unidentified poet. This opening section is followed by a call-and-response with his greatest love, a singer named Rose, and a visit to Puerto Rico that inhabits a surreal nationalistic dreamscape, before a final jam session where Shorty recognizes his end and a trio of voices seek to converge on his elegy.

The Essential Hits of Shorty Bon Bon by Willie Perdomo

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

NPR: Percussive Poems In ‘Shorty Bon Bon’ Pin The Stage To The Page

Through dream song and elegy, alternate takes and tempos, prizewinning poet Willie Perdomo’s third collection crackles with vitality and dynamism as it imagines the life of a percussionist, rebuilding the landscape of his apprenticeship, love, diaspora, and death. At the beginning of his infernal journey, Shorty Bon Bon recalls his live studio recording with a classic 1970s descarga band, sharing his recollection with an unidentified poet. This opening section is followed by a call-and-response with his greatest love, a singer named Rose, and a visit to Puerto Rico that inhabits a surreal nationalistic dreamscape, before a final jam session where Shorty recognizes his end and a trio of voices seek to converge on his elegy.

The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style by Nelson George
  Buy Book | Kindle
Tell Me More: How ‘Soul Train’ Shaped A Generation
An authoritative history of the groundbreaking syndicated television show that has become an icon of American pop culture, from acclaimed author and filmmaker Nelson George, “the most accomplished black music critic of his generation” (Washington Post Book World).
When it debuted in October 1971, seven years after the Civil Rights Act, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African-Americans and the sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music. The brainchild of radio announcer Don Cornelius, the show’s producer and host, Soul Train featured a diverse range of stars, from James Brown and David Bowie to Christine Aguilera and R. Kelly; Marvin Gaye and Elton John to the New Kids on the Block and Stevie Wonder.
The Hippest Trip in America tells the full story of this pop culture phenomenon that appealed not only to blacks, but to a wide crossover audience as well. Famous dancers like Rosie Perez and Jody Watley, performers such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Barry White, and Cornelius himself share their memories, offering insights into the show and its time—a period of extraordinary social and political change. Colorful and pulsating, The Hippest Trip In America is a fascinating portrait of a revered cultural institution that has left an indelible mark on our national consciousness.

The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style by Nelson George

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

Tell Me More: How ‘Soul Train’ Shaped A Generation

An authoritative history of the groundbreaking syndicated television show that has become an icon of American pop culture, from acclaimed author and filmmaker Nelson George, “the most accomplished black music critic of his generation” (Washington Post Book World).

When it debuted in October 1971, seven years after the Civil Rights Act, Soul Train boldly went where no variety show had gone before, showcasing the cultural preferences of young African-Americans and the sounds that defined their lives: R&B, funk, jazz, disco, and gospel music. The brainchild of radio announcer Don Cornelius, the show’s producer and host, Soul Train featured a diverse range of stars, from James Brown and David Bowie to Christine Aguilera and R. Kelly; Marvin Gaye and Elton John to the New Kids on the Block and Stevie Wonder.

The Hippest Trip in America tells the full story of this pop culture phenomenon that appealed not only to blacks, but to a wide crossover audience as well. Famous dancers like Rosie Perez and Jody Watley, performers such as Aretha Franklin, Al Green, and Barry White, and Cornelius himself share their memories, offering insights into the show and its time—a period of extraordinary social and political change. Colorful and pulsating, The Hippest Trip In America is a fascinating portrait of a revered cultural institution that has left an indelible mark on our national consciousness.

The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison
  Buy Book | Kindle
NPR: 'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain
Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison’s visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about each other? How can we feel another’s pain, especially when pain can be assumed, distorted, or performed? Is empathy a tool by which to test or even grade each other? By confronting pain—real and imagined, her own and others’—Jamison uncovers a personal and cultural urgency to feel. She draws from her own experiences of illness and bodily injury to engage in an exploration that extends far beyond her life, spanning wide-ranging territory—from poverty tourism to phantom diseases, street violence to reality television, illness to incarceration—in its search for a kind of sight shaped by humility and grace.

The Empathy Exams: Essays by Leslie Jamison

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

NPR: 'Empathy Exams' Is A Virtuosic Manifesto Of Human Pain

Beginning with her experience as a medical actor who was paid to act out symptoms for medical students to diagnose, Leslie Jamison’s visceral and revealing essays ask essential questions about our basic understanding of others: How should we care about each other? How can we feel another’s pain, especially when pain can be assumed, distorted, or performed? Is empathy a tool by which to test or even grade each other? By confronting pain—real and imagined, her own and others’—Jamison uncovers a personal and cultural urgency to feel. She draws from her own experiences of illness and bodily injury to engage in an exploration that extends far beyond her life, spanning wide-ranging territory—from poverty tourism to phantom diseases, street violence to reality television, illness to incarceration—in its search for a kind of sight shaped by humility and grace.

Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers by Frank X Walker
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Tell Me More: Civil Rights Turmoil In Verse: Retelling Medgar Evers’ Story
Around the void left by the murder of Medgar Evers in 1963, the poems in this collection speak, unleashing the strong emotions both before and after the moment of assassination. Poems take on the voices of Evers’s widow, Myrlie; his brother, Charles; his assassin, Byron De La Beckwith; and each of De La Beckwith’s two wives. Except for the book’s title,”Turn me loose,” which were his final words, Evers remains in this collection silent. Yet the poems accumulate facets of the love and hate with which others saw this man, unghosting him in a way that only imagination makes possible.

Turn Me Loose: The Unghosting of Medgar Evers by Frank X Walker

Buy  Buy Book | Kindle

Tell Me More: Civil Rights Turmoil In Verse: Retelling Medgar Evers’ Story

Around the void left by the murder of Medgar Evers in 1963, the poems in this collection speak, unleashing the strong emotions both before and after the moment of assassination. Poems take on the voices of Evers’s widow, Myrlie; his brother, Charles; his assassin, Byron De La Beckwith; and each of De La Beckwith’s two wives. Except for the book’s title,”Turn me loose,” which were his final words, Evers remains in this collection silent. Yet the poems accumulate facets of the love and hate with which others saw this man, unghosting him in a way that only imagination makes possible.

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