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The Ploughmen: A Novel by Kim Zupan
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NPR: In A Desolate Montana, ‘The Ploughmen’ Unearths Dark Truths
Valentine Millimaki, a young deputy, and John Gload, a hardened killer awaiting trial, form an uneasy and complicated bond in a novel set on the plains of Montana.
On Immunity: An Inoculation by Eula Biss
Morning Edition: Vaccine Controversies Are As Social As They Are Medical
NPR: Measles Hits Amish Communities, And U.S. Cases Reach 20-Year High
NPR: Get The Measles, Get Ready To Be Out For Two Weeks
On Point: With Outbreaks, States Push Back On Anti-Vaccine Movement
The Diane Rehm Show: New Report Shows Too Few Are Opting For Life-Saving HPV Vaccine
The Leonard Lopate Show: The Risks of Not Vaccinating
NPR Spotlight: Vaccines
An examination of the pervasive fears and myths surrounding vaccine research, from a mother’s perspective to the historical and cultural factors that cause people to doubt government regulations and the medical establishment.
All the Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid by Matt Bai
All Things Considered: Book Review: ‘All The Truth Is Out: The Week Politics Went Tabloid’
Fresh Air: 'All The Truth Is Out' Examines How Political Journalism Went Tabloid
The former chief political correspondent for The New York Times Magazine brilliantly revisits the Gary Hart affair and looks at how it changed forever the intersection of American media and politics.
In 1987, Gary Hart-articulate, dashing, refreshingly progressive-seemed a shoo-in for the Democratic nomination for president and led George H. W. Bush comfortably in the polls. And then: rumors of marital infidelity, an indelible photo of Hart and a model snapped near a fatefully named yacht (Monkey Business), and it all came crashing down in a blaze of flashbulbs, the birth of 24-hour news cycles, tabloid speculation, and late-night farce. Matt Bai shows how the Hart affair marked a crucial turning point in the ethos of political media-and, by extension, politics itself-when candidates’ “character” began to draw more fixation than their political experience. Bai offers a poignant, highly original, and news-making reappraisal of Hart’s fall from grace (and overlooked political legacy) as he makes the compelling case that this was the moment when the paradigm shifted-private lives became public, news became entertainment, and politics became the stuff of Page Six.
Hope for Film: From the Frontline of the Independent Cinema Revolutions by Ted Hope
The Business: “Hope for Film”
An inspiring, tell-all look at the indie film business from one of the industry’s most passionate producers, Hope for Film captures the rebellious punk spirit of the indie film boom in 1990s New York City, its collapse two decades later and its current moment of technology-fueled regeneration. Ted Hope, whose films have garnered 12 Oscar nominations, draws from his own personal experiences working on the early films of Ang Lee, Eddie Burns, Hal Hartley, Michel Gondry, Nicole Holofcener, Todd Solondz and other indie mavericks, relating those decisions that brought him success as well as the occasional failure.
Whether navigating negotiations with Harvey Weinstein over final cuts or clashing with high-powered CAA agents over their clients, Hope offers behind-the-scenes stories from the wild and often heated world of low-budget cinemawhere art and commerce collide. As mediator between these two opposing interests, Hope offers his unique perspective on how to make movies while keeping your integrity intact and how to create a sustainable business enterprise out of that art while staying true to yourself. Against a backdrop of seismic changes in the indie-film industry, from corporate co-option to the rise of social media, Hope for Film provides not only an entertaining and intimate ride through the ups and downs of the business of art-house movies over the last 25 years, but also hope for its future.
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies by Nick Bostrom
To the Point: Super Smart Robots: Not Your Enemy, But Not Your Friend
Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life.
The human brain has some capabilities that the brains of other animals lack. It is to these distinctive capabilities that our species owes its dominant position. If machine brains surpassed human brains in general intelligence, then this new superintelligence could become extremely powerful - possibly beyond our control. As the fate of the gorillas now depends more on humans than on the species itself, so would the fate of humankind depend on the actions of the machine superintelligence.
But we have one advantage: we get to make the first move. Will it be possible to construct a seed Artificial Intelligence, to engineer initial conditions so as to make an intelligence explosion survivable? How could one achieve a controlled detonation?
This profoundly ambitious and original book breaks down a vast track of difficult intellectual terrain. After an utterly engrossing journey that takes us to the frontiers of thinking about the human condition and the future of intelligent life, we find in Nick Bostrom’s work nothing less than a reconceptualization of the essential task of our time.
Aarti Paarti: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul by Aarti Sequeira
Good Food: Indian Sweets from Kulfi to Falooda
A beautifully-written cookbook weaving Indian and Middle Eastern recipes from her childhood with American dishes she has grown to love—from the Food Network personality.
AARTI PAARTI: An American Kitchen with an Indian Soul
A collection of memories and 101 recipes from the popular blogger(www.aartipaarti.com) and Food Network personality. The recipes will make cooking with traditional Indian flavors and spices approachable for the US market. Aarti’s stories will dissolve the “foreign-ness” of Indian flavors and make seemingly complicated technique and flavor accessible. She will take the intimidation factor out of cooking Indian food by simplifying traditional recipes, offering many specific how-to’s, and also tips on using traditionally Indian spices in new ways, in everyday dishes. And there is a streak of Middle Eastern in some of these recipes given her youth in Dubai.
Recipes include: Cornflake & Kaya French Toast, Real Deal Hummus, Masala Kale Chips, Mum’s Everyday Dal, Sambar (Vegetable & Lentil Stew), Pregnancy Potatoes (Crispy masala potato wedges), Indian Street Corn, Saag Paneer, Quinoa Tabbouleh, Chickpea & Artichoke Masala, Tandoori Chicken, Bombay Sloppy Joes, Spicy Sticky Lamb Chops, Mango Pulled Pork Sandwiches, Masala Shrimp & Grits, Homemade “Magic Shell” with Garam Masala & Sea Salt, Strawberry-Rose Petal Shortcakes.
Finally, the narratives that open each chapter are wonderfully evocative, telling the story of a woman who was an outsider experiencing many cultures and cuisines: an Indian in Dubai, going to a British school; an international student attending Northwestern University to become an American journalist; and a wife of a Los Angeles man who leaves her job at CNN and becomes a Food Network Star. She finds that food always saves her and encourages us all to find the warmth in cooking.
Not That Kind of Girl: A Young Woman Tells You What She’s “Learned” by Lena Dunham
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Fresh Air: Lena Dunham On Sex, Oversharing And Writing About Lost ‘Girls’
The creator and star of HBO’s Girls documents her coming-of-age in and out of the spotlight, recounting her experiences with everything from dieting and embarrassing sex to dirty old men and performing in less-than-ideal conditions.
My Prison, My Home: One Woman’s Story of Captivity in Iran by Haleh Esfandiari
On Point: Sexual Violence Under ISIS Control
My Prison, My Home is the harrowing true story of Iranian-American scholar Haleh Esfandiari’s arrest on false charges and subsequent incarceration in Evin Prison, the most notorious penitentiary in Ahmadinejad’s Iran. Esfandiari’s riveting, deeply personal, and illuminating first-person account of her ordeal is the inspiring tale of one woman’s triumph over interrogation, intimidation, and fear. Offering a shocking, close-up view inside the paranoid mindset of the repressive Ahmadinejad regime, My Prison, My Home sheds light on a high-stakes international incident that sparked protests from some of the world’s most influential public figures—including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and former U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright
Cider, Hard and Sweet: History, Traditions, and Making Your Own by Ben Watson
On Point: The Hard And Soft Rules Of Apple Cider
In this richly informative and entertaining book, Ben Watson explores the cultural and historical roots of cider. He introduces us to its different styles—draft, farmhouse, French, New England, and sparkling—and also covers other apple products, like apple wine, apple juice, cider vinegar, and Calvados.
Cider is the new thing in today’s drinking world, even though it’s been around for centuries. In spite of its long and colorful history, cider has remained relatively underappreciated by the American public. The purchase in 2012 of a Vermont-based cidermaker for over $300 million signaled that this is all likely to change very soon. Richly informative and entertaining, Cider, Hard and Sweet is your go-to source for everything related to apples, cider, and ciderm aking. It includes great information on apple varieties, cidermaking basics, barrel fermentation, and recipes for cooking with cider—with instructions for making boiled cider and cider jelly, and recipes for dishes with cider braises and marinades. It also teaches readers how to recognize a good cider and takes you from buying store-bought to making the genuine article at home. B&W photographs and illustrations throughout
Zero to One: Notes on Startups, or How to Build the Future by Peter Thiel, Blake Masters
On Point: Peter Thiel Thinks We All Can Do Better
If you want to build a better future, you must believe in secrets.
The great secret of our time is that there are still uncharted frontiers to explore and new inventions to create. In Zero to One, legendary entrepreneur and investor Peter Thiel shows how we can find singular ways to create those new things.
Thiel begins with the contrarian premise that we live in an age of technological stagnation, even if we’re too distracted by shiny mobile devices to notice. Information technology has improved rapidly, but there is no reason why progress should be limited to computers or Silicon Valley. Progress can be achieved in any industry or area of business. It comes from the most important skill that every leader must master: learning to think for yourself.
Doing what someone else already knows how to do takes the world from 1 to n, adding more of something familiar. But when you do something new, you go from 0 to 1. The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. The next Larry Page or Sergey Brin won’t make a search engine. Tomorrow’s champions will not win by competing ruthlessly in today’s marketplace. They will escape competition altogether, because their businesses will be unique.
Zero to One presents at once an optimistic view of the future of progress in America and a new way of thinking about innovation: it starts by learning to ask the questions that lead you to find value in unexpected places.
Lincoln’s Gamble: The Tumultuous Six Months that Gave America the Emancipation Proclamation and Changed the Course of the Civil War by Todd Brewster
The Leonard Lopate Show: Dark Days Preceded Lincoln’s Brightest Moment
A brilliant, authoritative, and riveting account of the most critical six months in Abraham Lincoln’s presidency, when he penned the Emancipation Proclamation and changed the course of the Civil War.
On July 12, 1862, Abraham Lincoln spoke for the first time of his intention to free the slaves. On January 1, 1863, Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, doing precisely that. In between, however, was perhaps the most tumultuous six months of his presidency, an episode during which the sixteenth president fought bitterly with his generals, disappointed his cabinet, and sank into painful bouts of clinical depression. Most surprising, the man who would be remembered as “The Great Emancipator” did not hold firm to his belief in emancipation. He agonized over the decision and was wracked by private doubts almost to the moment when he inked the decree that would change a nation.
Popular myth would have us believe that Lincoln did not suffer from such indecision, that he did what he did through moral resolve; that he had a commanding belief in equality, in the inevitable victory of right over wrong. He worked on drafts of the document for months, locking it in a drawer in the telegraph room of the War department. Ultimately Lincoln chose to act based on his political instincts and knowledge of the war. It was a great gamble, with the future of the Union, of slavery, and of the presidency itself hanging in the balance.
In this compelling narrative, Todd Brewster focuses on these critical six months to ask: was it through will or by accident, intention or coincidence, personal achievement or historical determinism that he freed the slaves? The clock is always ticking in these pages as Lincoln searches for the right moment to enact his proclamation and simultaneously turn the tide of war. Lincoln’s Gamble portrays the president as an imperfect man with an unshakable determination to save a country he believed in, even as the course of the Civil War remained unknown.
Age of Opportunity: Lessons from the New Science of Adolescence by Laurence Steinberg
The Leonard Lopate Show: Why Adolescence Is a Minefield that Affects Our Whole Lives
A leading authority draws on new research to explain why the adolescent years are so developmentally crucial, and what we must do to raise happier, more successful kids.
Adolescence now lasts longer than ever before. And as world-renowned expert on adolescent psychology Dr. Laurence Steinberg argues, this makes these years the key period in determining individuals’ life outcomes, demanding that we change the way we parent, educate, and understand young people.
In Age of Opportunity, Steinberg leads readers through a host of new findings — including groundbreaking original research — that reveal what the new timetable of adolescence means for parenting 13-year-olds (who may look more mature than they really are) versus 20-somethings (who may not be floundering even when it looks like they are). He also explains how the plasticity of the adolescent brain, rivaling that of years 0 through 3, suggests new strategies for instilling self-control during the teenage years. Packed with useful knowledge, Age of Opportunity is a sweeping book in the tradition of Reviving Ophelia, and an essential guide for parents and educators of teenagers.
Lady Parts by Andrea Martin
The Leonard Lopate Show: Andrea Martin on Acting, Family, and Chimps in Tutus
A hilarious, entertaining, and often moving memoir, from the multiple Tony and Emmy-awarding winning actress and comedienne, and SCTV alum, Andrea Martin
Whether lighting up the small screen in her new TV series, Working the Engels, on NBC, or stealing scenes on the big screen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Hedwig and the Angry Inch, or starring on the stage in her recent Tony award winning role as Berthe in Pippin, Andrea Martin has long entertained audiences with her hilarious characterizations and heartwarming performances. Martin has worked stages, sets and even trapezes across North America, playing to houses packed with adoring fans, all of whom instantly recognize the star who has entertained us for nearly forty years.
In Andrea Martin’s Lady Parts, Martin, for the first time, shares her fondest remembrances of a life in show business, motherhood, relationships, no relationships, family, chimps in tutus, squirrels, and why she flies to Atlanta to get her hair cut. Martin opens up her heart in a series of eclectic, human, always entertaining and often moving essays. Lady Parts will make you giggle and may make you cry. This is a powerful collection of stories by a woman with a truly storied life.
We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel by Matthew Thomas
The Leonard Lopate Show: The Promises of the Postwar Era in Matthew Thomas’s Novel We Are Not Ourselves
Destined to be a classic, this “powerfully moving” (Chad Harbach, The Art of Fielding), multigenerational debut novel of an Irish-American family is nothing short of a “masterwork” (Joshua Ferris, Then We Came to the End).
Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed.
When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream.
Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.
Through the Learys, novelist Matthew Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.
Epic in scope, heroic in character, masterful in prose, We Are Not Ourselves heralds the arrival of a major new talent in contemporary fiction.
The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control by Walter Mischel
The Leonard Lopate Show: The Marshmallow Test and Investigating Where Willpower Comes From
Renowned psychologist Walter Mischel, designer of the famous Marshmallow Test, explains what self-control is and how to master it.
A child is presented with a marshmallow and given a choice: Eat this one now, or wait and enjoy two later. What will she do? And what are the implications for her behavior later in life?
The world’s leading expert on self-control, Walter Mischel has proven that the ability to delay gratification is critical for a successful life, predicting higher SAT scores, better social and cognitive functioning, a healthier lifestyle and a greater sense of self-worth. But is willpower prewired, or can it be taught?
In The Marshmallow Test, Mischel explains how self-control can be mastered and applied to challenges in everyday life—from weight control to quitting smoking, overcoming heartbreak, making major decisions, and planning for retirement. With profound implications for the choices we make in parenting, education, public policy and self-care, The Marshmallow Test will change the way you think about who we are and what we can be.