books

The Faith Middleton Show
10:05 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Amy Bloom's New Novel, Lucky Us

Amy Bloom

Successfully erotic sex scenes are notoriously difficult to write, but novelist Amy Bloom has hit the jackpot in her new novel, Lucky Us, featuring one of the most glamorous orgy scenes of all time. The irresistibly steamy Hollywood party involves a roomful of stars and starlets dancing, flirting, and seducing in the old Hollywood of the 1940s.

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Planet Money
7:10 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Self-Published Authors Make A Living — And Sometimes A Fortune

The cover of Michael Bunker's self published book Pennsylvania Omnibus.
Michael Bunker

Originally published on Fri July 25, 2014 1:32 pm

Five years ago, printing your own book was stigmatized and was seen as a mark of failure.

"But now," says Dana Beth Weinberg, a sociologist at Queens College who is studying the industry, "the self-published authors walk into the room, and they say, oh, well, 'I made a quarter million dollars last year, or $100,000, or made $10,000.' And it is still more than what some of these authors are making with their very prestigious contracts."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Fri July 25, 2014

The Nose is Getting Weird (Al)

James Hanley is the co-founder of Cinestudio at Trinity College
Chion Wolf WNPR

Breathes there a man with soul so dead that he has never written a song parody?

Everybody does right? They get passed around on the schoolyard from the time we're little. Jingle Bells, Batman Smells, etc.

And, you might knock one out for a co-workers retirement party.

And, the internet is one big old song parody farm. In between last week's Nose on which we talked about a really terrible Comcast users service call and now, somebody on YouTube has set that call to music.  No kidding.

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Gender Identity
2:33 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

'Trans Bodies, Trans Selves': A Modern Manual By And For Trans People

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 3:18 pm

The growing number of people who identify as transgender is raising a lot of interesting and complicated questions about gender identity.

The new book Trans Bodies, Trans Selves is a collection of essays describing the varied experiences of transgender people — and the social, political and medical issues they face. It's written by and for transgender and gender-nonconforming people.

The idea was inspired by the groundbreaking 1970s feminist health manual Our Bodies, Ourselves.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Philippe Petit's "Perfect Crime"

High Wire artist Philippe Petit.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

Philippe Petit made his walk between the towers of the World Trade Center 40 years ago. He stayed up on that wire for 45 minutes, made 8 passes between the towers, got down on his knees, and he even laid down on it! But it's more than that one feat - it was a placeholder for a much broader philosophy of risk and creativity, and evidence of who the man really is.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:56 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Sumptuous Silence Transcription

Marie Coppola is an assistant professor of psychology and linguistics at the University of Connecticut where she directs the Language Creation Lab. She’s also the founder and Executive Director of Manos Unidas
Chion Wolf

Imagine having no capacity for language acquisition. Imagine developing a language with grammars that are completely independent from the spoken language of the surrounding hearing culture. Imagine being unable to engage in any of the thought processes I'm using right now.  Choosing words and bundles of words to convey meaning, pausing to ponder the interesting similarities between deafness and deficit. Grabbing for a phrase like language acquisition and appreciating the neat little package it represents. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:21 am
Thu June 26, 2014

The Book Show: June 26, 2014

Credit Moyan Brenn/flickr creative commons

Faith's motto on The Book Show is: Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join Faith and her book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories. If you're in a book club, please tell us what you've read and enjoyed.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:26 am
Mon June 23, 2014

The Scramble Is Proud of June Thomas

Credit Kevin Wong / Flickr Creative Commons

On Monday, we do The Scramble. And on the Scramble, we always start with a SuperGuest, which means that in defiance of public radio logic, we pick the person first and then figure out what the topics will be. 

This week we started with June Thomas, one of my favorite Slate.com writers and talkers, and someone I assumed would want to riff at least a little bit about pop culture. Instead, her top two choices are Gay Pride month and dentistry.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:41 am
Fri June 20, 2014

The Nose Is Live From the Yale Writers' Conference

MG Lord.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Jeff VanderMeer is one of the hottest writers in the science fiction and fantasy genre. MG Lord is a humorist and recovering political cartoonist who has written books about Elizabeth Taylor and Barbie. Louis Bayard writes historical fiction who specializes in detective novels, but his new book features Teddy Roosevelt stalking a mysterious beast through the Amazon. That's the river and jungle, not the book dealer.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:06 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Pencils: What's the Point?

Chion Wolf WNPR

Why pencils? Here's an answer from PencilRevolution.com, one of the many pencil blogs and websites we uncovered while prepping for this show: "The first and best reason to use pencils is because you like them, and enjoy writing, drawing with them. Because you feel better connected to the paper you're writing on (or the wall, etc.), and the earth, from which the clay, the graphite, and the wood all came. Because they smell good. Because sharpening them can be sort of a meditative process. Because you can chew on them. Or for reasons we can't explain."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:49 am
Mon June 16, 2014

The Scramble: Henry Alford on Garrison Keillor, Cash Frenzies, and Reworking the Reservation

Credit Steven Depolo / Flickr Creative Commons

Henry Alford is a very funny writer. I've been laughing at his writing since about 1990, when he erupted in Spy Magazine, with hilarious speculative pieces like, "What If The Pope Were A Dog?"

Not long ago, he was asked to review a collection by another funny writer, Garrison Keillor. He did it, keenly aware that many people who find him funny are the kinds of people who find Keillor tiresome. And, maybe a bigger problem, Keillor had written some columns about gays and atheists that riled up not just Alford's fans, but people he knows pretty well. So what's a critic to do? Alford actually admired some things about the book, and said so. There was pushback. We'll talk about that today on The Scramble.

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Politics
8:16 am
Tue June 10, 2014

Hillary Clinton: I Helped Restore U.S. Leadership In The World

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addresses the American Jewish Committee Global Forum in Washington in May 2014.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 9:26 am

To hear Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and once and maybe future Democratic presidential candidate tell it, her new book, Hard Choices, isn't the kickoff to a 2016 campaign.

She still hasn't made up her mind about another run for the presidency, she told Renee Montagne, co-host of NPR's Morning Edition. It's more a review of the decisions she made as the nation's top diplomat.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:20 am
Mon June 9, 2014

The Scramble: Freakonomics, Tony Awards, and Rock Cats in Hartford

What our servers currently look like, via Wikimedia Commons

Freakonomics god Stephen Dubner is our SuperGuest for today's Scramble, and he talks about how to think more rationally and creatively, the upside of quitting, and the latest studies on happiness. Then, we chat with sports economist Andrew Zimbalist, and WNPR's capital region reporter Jeff Cohen, on the value of publicly-funded sports arenas. What's the status on the possible building of a baseball stadium in Hartford? Is it a done deal? What else have we learned and expect to understand about what a business like that may do to the city?

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DaVinci Code Author Opens Up
6:01 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Dan Brown on Overpopulation, God, and Global Warming

Mstyslav Chernov/unframe.com Creative Commons

Dan Brown does a lot of complicated historical research for his novels like The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. Sometimes, a simple raw number just jumps out at him, and onto the page.

"A couple years ago," he told me on WNPR's Where We Live, "I heard a statistic that just sort of floored me: In the last 80 years, the population on the planet Earth has tripled. I thought, 'That can't be right.'"

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Author Visit
2:01 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Children's Book Authors, Illustrators Visit Newtown

Newtown's C.H. Booth Library is hosting children's book authors and illustrators on June 6 and 7.
Ross MacDonald and Tony DiTerlizzi

Some of America's favorite children’s book authors will visit Newtown this weekend including the creators of Diary of A Wimpy Kid, Ella Enchanted, and The Spiderwick Chronicles. They’ll go to schools and talk with students on Friday and participate Saturday in panels and workshops.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

The Art and Power of Poetry

Poet and author Maya Angelou.
Credit York College ISLGP / Creative Commons

When the great poet Maya Angelou died last Wednesday, we learned about it during a conversation about the death penalty. Maybe you learned about it while reading about deadly violence in Ukraine, or the search for the kidnapped girls in Nigeria. 

Her death was sad news, to be sure. We don’t think we're the only ones who felt forced to step back from the news and consider the beauty and power of words.

This hour, in memory of Maya Angelou’s spirit, we welcome a group of Connecticut poets into our studio to read their work and try to measure the art and power of poetry.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:41 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Every Day I Write the Book: Luanne Rice and David Handler

Credit Horia Varlan / Creative Commons

Luanne Rice has written 31 novels, five of which have been made into movies or mini-series. Her work has been featured in playhouses across the country, including Connecticut's own Hartford Stage. Her latest book, The Lemon Orchard, uses her signature themes of family and loss to tackle the difficult path of illegal immigrants in America.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:25 am
Thu May 29, 2014

The Book Show: May 29, 2014

Credit Ryan Hyde/flickr creative commons

Faith's motto on The Book Show is… Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join Faith and her book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories. If you're in a book club, please tell us what you've read and enjoyed.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:30 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Geek Is Chic: How Comic Con Became a Pop Culture Phenomenon

John Kantor and Eric Gunther are members of the Connecticut Ghostbusters. It’s a nonprofit charity and costuming group, servicing Hartford, New Haven and Fairfield counties. They’ve appeared at various comic cons for charity.
Chion Wolf WNPR

People who attend Comic Con and Star Trek conventions -- or nerds in general -- used to be the butt of jokes, including a famous "Saturday Night Live" skit by William Shatner, where he tells "Trekkers" to get a life.

Now "fandom" is a huge industry. It generates more than $500 million by one estimate, and is growing in both revenue and attendance. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:11 am
Tue May 27, 2014

A Conversation With Joe Muto On FOX Holes, Gawker, and Media Machines

Joe Muto.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

On any given day, it's pretty easy to find all the ways in which modern media has substituted politicization for truth and/or serious reflection. Today, you could take the so-called Santa Barbara killing spree by Elliot Rodger. After the usual first round of back and forth sniping about the availability of weapons.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Mon May 26, 2014

The "World's Strongest Librarian" On Tourette Syndrome, Weightlifting, and Mormonism

Josh Hanagarne is the author of The World's Strongest Librarian.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The story of Josh Hanagarne isn't necessarily funny. He was born with Tourette Syndrome, a poorly understood neuropsychiatric disorder which inflicts on Josh a blizzard of tics, flinches, whoops and yelps.  Most disconcertingly, he frequently hits himself in the face.

Josh's first refuge was books, and that led to a career as a librarian. His second refuge was playing the guitar, which somehow distracted his mind from the triggers producing the tics. And his third refuge was exercise, specifically strength and weight training. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:21 am
Fri May 23, 2014

The Nose is Wary of Marrying Harry

Jim Chapdelaine is a musician, producer, composer, and recording engineer.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Can the culture of one nation ever understand that of another? Critics say Fox's newest reality show in which 12 witless contestants believe their in a fight to the near death for the attention of England's Prince Harry. "I Wanna Marry Harry" is said to represent a new low in reality television.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 23, 2014

A Conversation with Dan Brown; the Charles W. Morgan Sets Sail; the History of Ham Radio

J Holt
Chion Wolf WNPR

Author Dan Brown has written some of the biggest blockbuster books, from The Da Vinci Code to his latest book, Inferno. He’s coming to Hartford next month to talk with John Dankosky at the Bushnell. This hour, he joins us for a preview of that conversation.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Tue May 20, 2014

Filling You In On the World of Taxidermy

A taxidermied squirrel at the Institute Library in New Haven.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Taxidermy stops time. Creatures are born, they live they die, they decay into dust. But taxidermy catches the wolf or the woodpecker in the middle of the cycle and keeps it there. That's why there's something unsettling and a little creepy about taxidermy. Never forget, the most memorable taxidermist in cinema history was Norman Bates.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:11 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

The Book Show: May 15, 2014

Credit walknboston/flickr creative commons

Today's show originally aired March 20, 2014.

Faith's motto on The Book Show is… Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join Faith and her book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories. If you're in a book club, please tell us what you've read and enjoyed.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:37 am
Wed May 14, 2014

If You Give a Kid a Book They Want, They'll Read It

Victoria Ford Smith is an assistant professor of English at the University of Connecticut
Chion Wolf

The first children's room in a public library may have been in Hartford, Connecticut. The head librarian here, Caroline Hewins was an early advocate for taking seriously the reading needs of children starting in the late 19th century. Prior to that children's lit wasn't really treated as a genre that could stand on its own two feet.  

Today, of course, it's massive and diverse. Its themes range from light to darkness, its language may be mannered or naturalistic, its art may be glorious or crude.  And, there really seems to be a readership for all those possibilities. But, some would say we need more diversity.

Today on the show, we talk about children's books, first from the perspective of two authors and then with a scholar and a librarian.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:58 am
Tue May 13, 2014

New Yorker Cartoon Editor Bob Mankoff

Credit For Inspiration Only/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton:  He wrote one of the greatest cartoon lines ever, a sentence that rocketed through the country like a speeding train: How about never—is never good for you?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:12 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Navigating Our World: Maps to GPS

John Smith's 1616 map of New England is the first printed map devoted specifically to this region.
Credit John Smith of Jamestown / Creative Commons

When friends say they're going to Paris I make them promise to get a Plan de Paris,  which is a pocket-sized book of little maps and one big, huge fold-out map which you never use because it makes you look like a befuddled tourist and it's really hard to fold back into the little book. But the Arrondissement maps and Plan are essential. If you have them, you'll understand where you are and where you're going. If you don't, not so much. My point is this-it's just not true that we don't need or use maps anymore. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Murder of Joseph Smith

Joseph Smith Jr., Founder of the Latter Day Saint Movement.
Credit Unknown Painter / Wikimedia Commons

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is the religious version of recession food. Since the end of the Civil War, the Mormon membership numbers have grown every single year, and quite often they've grown at an astonishing pace.  In the late 1970's and 80's, they added members at a rate of 5-6% a year. Today, their worldwide membership is around 15 million. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:51 am
Thu May 1, 2014

The Book Show: May 1, 2014

Credit Ryan Hyde/flickr creative commons

Faith's motto on The Book Show is… Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join Faith and her book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories. If you're in a book club, please tell us what you've read and enjoyed.

Read more

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