books

The Faith Middleton Show
9:03 am
Thu December 18, 2014

The Book Show: December 18, 2014

Credit Chris/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
8:49 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Cracking the Code of Alan Turing

Priscilla Lydia McKenzie worked in Bletchley Park, recording movements of German ships.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Let me set the stage a little: A movie called "The Imitation Game" will be released nationwide Christmas day, the latest of several attempts to tell the story of Alan Turing. That story is so big, it can only be told in little pieces.

The piece most people focus on is Turing's work as the single most important code breaker in World War 2, the man who built a machine that broke apart the deeply encrypted Nazi code, and then gave the Allies an advantage that they were forced to conceal.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:09 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

Thomas Moore on "A Religion of One's Own"

Thomas Moore.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Thomas Moore was, for 13 years, a Servite monk. In 1992, he burst onto the national scene with "Care of the Soul", which combined the psychotherapeutic of Jung and James Hillman with ancient and contemporary religious and spiritual ideas. It was number 1 on the New York Times best seller list, and stayed on the list for a year.

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Podcasts
8:35 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Next Time, on Serial...One Bad Haircut

Eva. Sadie. Next time, on Serial...
Credit Jeff Cohen

As the inaugural season of Serial comes to an end, speculation about the second season heats up. What will the story be about? Will it be another crime mystery?

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Books
5:15 am
Thu December 11, 2014

Join The Morning Edition Book Club: We're Reading 'Deep Down Dark'

Kainaz Amaria NPR

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 11:21 am

Welcome to the first meeting of the Morning Edition Reads book club! Here's how it's going to work: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. And about a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

Ready? Here we go:

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The Colin McEnroe Show
1:00 pm
Wed December 10, 2014

A Little Jealousy is Good for Us All

Look Into My Eyes Creative Commons

In his new book, Jealousy, Peter Toohey explores the lesser talked about side of the green-eyed monster. That is, he takes a look at some of the ways that jealousy can actually be good for us. 

This hour, Peter joins us for a panel discussion about jealousy's impact on creativity. We take a look at how the emotion has fueled some of society's greatest books, plays, songs, and paintings -- and discuss what these works, in turn, tell us about ourselves. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:13 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Why We'll Always Need New Books

Brian Slattery is a freelance writer and the author of several books including “Lost Everything,” and most recently, “The Family Hightower.” He’s also the co-editor of the New Haven Review and a musician with Dr. Caterwaul’s Cadre of Clairvoyant Claptraps
Chion Wolf

In a recent essay in the New York Review of Books, Tim Parks contrasted E.L. James, who wrote "50 Shades of Grey," with Haruki Murakami, a more critically-acclaimed literary novelist. Parks wrote that  both addressed "the individuals need to negotiate the most intimate relationships in order to get the most from life without losing independence and selfhood." Wow.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
12:12 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

You're a Yellow-Bellied Coward!

Chris Walsh is acting director of the Arts and Sciences Writing Program at Boston University and the author of "Cowardice: A Brief History".
Chion Wolf WNPR

We're talking about cowardice today and it makes me think of two people - Hector and Dr. Bones McCoy.

We claim to despise cowardice and to exalt bravery but in real life, I think we value balance a little bit more.

Hector, in the Iliad, is a much debated figure. He seems on occasion to lose his nerve. He also on occasion seems to do something brave mainly because he could not live down the dishonor of not being brave. I've always liked Hector.

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The Faith Middleton Show
11:31 am
Thu November 20, 2014

The Book Show: November 20, 2014

Credit Jedediah Laub-Klein/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
The Colin McEnroe Show
10:36 am
Mon November 17, 2014

The Scramble Got Stuck In a Wormhole

Credit Iryna Yeroshko / Creative Commons

Let's play a game. I'm going to name five things and you tell me what they are - "An Unnecessary Woman," "All the Light We Cannot See," "Redeployment," "Station Eleven," "Lila." They are the five fiction finalists for this year's National Book Award which will be given out this week.  Don't feel bad if you didn't get the answer - I wouldn't have either. My  connection to the nominees begins and ends with having picked up one of the five books from a table at - of all places - Whole Foods.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Fri November 14, 2014

From Lovelace to Jobs: Talking Innovation with Walter Isaacson

Credit David Shankbone / Flickr Creative Commons

We live in amazing times. But where did all this stuff come from? And by stuff, I mean computers and the internet, and all the amazing platforms like Wikipedia, that exist on the internet. There are many answers to those questions. A common theme is, people who were very good at math. But that includes a woman, crippled by measles, living in the nineteenth century as the daughter of one of the most famous poets of all time, and a man living a hidden homosexual life in an era when that was a criminal offense, leading a team of code-breakers in England during WW2. Those were two of the most famous innovators investigated by Walter Isaacson.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:00 am
Thu November 13, 2014

The Psychopath Show

Ted Bundy is a famous American psychopath.
Credit Wikimedia Commons

You know lots of sociopaths right?

It could be anyone from your ex-spouse to the guy who cut you off on your drive to work today. It's a term we throw around loosely to refer to anyone whoever lied to us or didn't follow the rules. 

But, if we use it that way, it's not a very useful term. A sociopath is not the same thing as a jerk. In fact, the person you know who strikes you as a jerk is probably not a sociopath because it's not in the best interests of sociopaths to let you know what kind of people they are and sociopaths are usually pretty good about acting in their own best interests.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:48 am
Wed November 12, 2014

A Conversation with Kara Sundlun on "Finding Dad: From 'Love Child' to Daughter"

Kara Sundlun.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

If you know the name Kara Sundlun, you probably associate it with an especially sunny form of T.V. journalism. She co-hosts the show, Better Connecticut, and as the name suggests, it's about 98% dedicated to positive experiences.

Kara's own life has been more problematic. She grew up aware that her biological father was a man who refused to raise her or even have contact with her.

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Bush
3:33 am
Tue November 11, 2014

43 On 41: A President Traces The Life Of His Father

Former President George W. Bush (right) and his father, former President George H.W. Bush, wave as they leave a family wedding in Washington, D.C., in May 2006.
Normand Blouin-Pool Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 9:16 am

Only twice in American history has a son followed his father into the presidency. The first was John Quincy Adams. The second, George W. Bush, has now written a biography of his father, George H.W. Bush. It's called 41: A Portrait of My Father.

The 43rd president of the United States traces the life of the 41st from his youth in New England through his entry into the Texas oil business, combat during World War II, party politics, diplomacy, the White House, retirement — and skydiving.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:58 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

Go Ahead And Talk To Yourself. You're Not Crazy!

A man talking to himself. Photo from www.mybrainsolutions.com.

Do you talk to yourself? Is it a silent inter-narrative or do you talk aloud? What form of address to you use to yourself?

When I'm mad at myself I sometimes address myself as Colin. But, I sense that when LeBron speaks to himself as LeBron, it's more affirming. 

I talk aloud quite a bit. A hangover, I think, from growing up as an only child.

The Spanish and Argentine novelist Andres Neumann has a new work, "Talking to Ourselves," in which he explores the solitary inner narrative that each of us conducts either silently, aloud, or writing a diary. 

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The Faith Middleton Show
12:42 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

The Book Show: November 6, 2014

Credit Andrea López, 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
10:00 am
Mon November 3, 2014

The Scramble: Automation, Visconti, Movie Cinemas

Credit Tom Jervis / Creative Commons

First up on the Scramble today, writer and thinker Nicholas Carr, whose new book, "The Glass Cage" is about our blind surrender to automation. Most tellingly about the way we surrender (unthinkingly) control to sophisticated computer tools. 

You'll hear for instance, the story of a luxury cruise ship that ran aground on a sand bar because the GPS was spitting out wrong information and the entire crew ignored visual evidence that should have been a dead giveaway.

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Entertainment
3:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

A Candid Memoir From Comedian Amy Poehler? 'Yes Please'

Amy Poehler plays Leslie Knope on Parks and Recreation, which will air its final season next year. Poehler says, "It's a privilege in television to be able to have a proper goodbye."
Colleen Hayes NBC

When comedian Amy Poehler was in her 20s, she read her boyfriend's journal and found out that he didn't think she was pretty.

"It was almost like an itch being scratched, which was, 'Aha! I knew that you didn't think I was pretty!' ... And then it was followed by a real crash because ... my ego was bruised," Poehler tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross.

Poehler says it taught her that the earlier you figure out your "currency," the happier you'll be. For Poehler, that meant not leaning on her looks to be successful.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:42 am
Thu October 23, 2014

The Book Show: October 23, 2014

Credit Jedediah Laub-Klein/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
The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu October 23, 2014

A Salute to Hamlet

Darko Tresnjak is the Tony Award-winning Artistic Director of Hartford Stage.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Whenever I see a production of Hamlet, I am newly floored by its impact on language, no matter how many times you tell yourself that a lot of our spoken language is in this play, you're freshly assaulted by how many things people say all the time that come from Hamlet. It's crazy.

But then there are all sorts of questions about staging Hamlet. There can be, and there have been many theories about what to emphasize in the play. Themes of sex, politics, indecision, suicide, and reality testing are either brought to the fore, or pushed to the back. No matter what happens on the stage, it's a really, really good story.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:25 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Who Says You Can't Begin Again?

The Deadly Nightshade

Survivors do it. Children do it. Retirees do it, too—begin again despite what came before.

Look around and you will see people returning to college in later life to earn a degree. You'll find individuals choosing love after the shock of a lying spouse. And then there are the lives of children.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:02 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Pondering Modern Love

Credit Javie Delgado, Flickr Creative Commons

It's hard to improve on the poet, Rilke, who wrote, "Love consists of this, that two solitudes meet, protect, and greet each other." But did Rilke have to deal with Angry Birds and Snap Chat?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:13 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Kids Today Are SO Spoiled!

Credit Lord Jim / Creative Commons

Kids today are so spoiled! Alfie Kohn says politicians, academics, and the media spend a lot of time instilling in parents the fear that they're ruining their children with too much love. 

But, Kohn says wait a minute! Instead of assuming we're spoiling kids who don't show grit, motivation, and a competitive spirit, maybe we should instead question those values we hold dear.  

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:07 am
Tue October 7, 2014

An Interview With Steven Pinker

Steven Pinker researches language and cognition as a Johnstone Family Professor in the Department of Psychology at Harvard University. He writes for several publications.
Simon Fraser University

Why should we care about writing when texting is quicker and easier to bypass inflexible grammar rules that perplex even the most seasoned writers? Mixed metaphors, split infinitives, passive sentences, ugh!!

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Writers on the Rails
10:08 am
Thu September 25, 2014

Book News: Amtrak Unveils Writers Picked For A Residency On The Rails

All aboard the writer's desk.
Mat Hayward Getty Images for Amtrak

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 7:34 am

The daily lowdown on books, publishing, and the occasional author behaving badly.

Amtrak has announced the inaugural class of its brand-new writers residency program. Out of a crop of some 16,000 applications, the railroad service has picked just 24 writers to ride the rails on a long-distance train — and to write while they do so.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
6:00 am
Thu September 25, 2014

The Anatomy of a Villain

Credit Anna Fox / Creative Commons

A couple of weeks ago, I was sick with the April flu, lying in bed in a New York apartment, and trying to distract myself by watching one of the film adaptations of "Nicholas Nickleby." I found myself repeatedly moved to tears, especially when anything good or kind happened. Okay, part of this was that I felt a little vulnerable, and may have over identified with poor tubercular Smike. But another part, I'm convinced, was the excitement generated by pure moral language, which you don't encounter so much in modern culture.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:38 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Evolving Damnation: The American History of Hell

Credit Gags9999 / Flickr Creative Commons

If you were dreaming up a new religion, maybe you wouldn't include the idea of hell. But in traditional forms of Christianity, even as they evolve, hell seems almost grandfathered in. They can't quit hell. Or can they? A 2013 Harris poll found that while 74 percent of U.S. adults believe in God, and 68 percent believe in heaven, only 58 percent believe in the devil and in hell, down four percentage points from 2005. Still, 58 percent! That seems like a lot.

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The Faith Middleton
12:45 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

The Book Show: September 11, 2014

Credit Jedediah Laub-Klein/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
The Faith Middleton Show
1:18 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Remembering Great Books

Credit David Masters/flickr creative commons

If you're in search of great reads, here's a list to get you started. Gina Barreca joins Faith to talk about the books many of us have forgotten about.  

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Language
10:28 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Where Have All The Poets Gone?

Critic Juan Vidal wonders why so few modern poets pack the punch of Allen Ginsberg, Pablo Neruda or Amiri Baraka.
Michael Stroud Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 5, 2014 2:48 pm

For centuries, poets were the mouthpieces railing loudly against injustice. They gave voice to the hardships and evils facing people everywhere. From Langston Hughes to Jack Kerouac and Federico García Lorca — so many — verse once served as a vehicle for expressing social and political dissent. There was fervor, there was anger. And it was embraced: See, there was a time when the poetry of the day carried with it the power of newspapers and radio programs. It was effective, even as it was overtly political. What has happened?

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