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Today Will Be Different: A Novel

Today Will Be Different book coverFEATURED FICTION:

A brilliant novel from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.

Eleanor knows she’s a mess. But today, she will tackle the little things. She will shower and get dressed. She will have her poetry and yoga lessons after dropping off her son, Timby.

She won’t swear. She will initiate sex with her husband, Joe. But before she can put her modest plan into action-life happens. Today, it turns out, is the day Timby has decided to fake sick to weasel his way into his mother’s company.

It’s also the day Joe has chosen to tell his office-but not Eleanor-that he’s on vacation. Just when it seems like things can’t go more awry, an encounter with a former colleague produces a graphic memoir whose dramatic tale threatens to reveal a buried family secret.

TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT is a hilarious, heart-filled story about reinvention, sisterhood, and how sometimes it takes facing up to our former selves to truly begin living.” (via Amazon)

WRBH’s Best Seller Fiction program airs Monday through Friday at 9AM and again at 10PM. Your reader for this book is Jackie Bullock.

Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives

Another Day in the Death of America by Gary Yonge book coverFEATURED NON-FICTION

Winner of the 2017 J. Anthony Lukas Prize

 
Shortlisted for the 2017 Hurston/Wright Foundation Award
 
Finalist for the 2017 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism
 
Longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non Fiction
 
On an average day in America, seven children and teens will be shot dead. In Another Day in the Death of America, award-winning journalist Gary Younge tells the stories of the lives lost during one such day. It could have been any day, but he chose November 23, 2013.
 
Black, white, and Latino, aged nine to nineteen, they fell at sleepovers, on street corners, in stairwells, and on their own doorsteps. From the rural Midwest to the barrios of Texas, the narrative crisscrosses the country over a period of twenty-four hours to reveal the full human stories behind the gun-violence statistics and the brief mentions in local papers of lives lost.

This powerful and moving work puts a human face– a child’s face –on the “collateral damage” of gun deaths across the country. This is not a book about gun control, but about what happens in a country where it does not exist. What emerges in these pages is a searing and urgent portrait of youth, family, and firearms in America today.”

WRBH’s Best Seller Non-Fiction program airs Monday through Friday at 6AM and again at 4PM. Your reader for this book is Ellen Hazard.
 

Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind

Sapiens book cover photoFEATURED GREAT LITERATURE:

“From a renowned historian comes a groundbreaking narrative of humanity’s creation and evolution—a #1 international bestseller—that explores the ways in which biology and history have defined us and enhanced our understanding of what it means to be “human.”

One hundred thousand years ago, at least six different species of humans inhabited Earth. Yet today there is only one—homo sapiens.

What happened to the others? And what may happen to us?

Most books about the history of humanity pursue either a historical or a biological approach, but Dr. Yuval Noah Harari breaks the mold with this highly original book that begins about 70,000 years ago with the appearance of modern cognition.

From examining the role evolving humans have played in the global ecosystem to charting the rise of empires, Sapiens integrates history and science to reconsider accepted narratives, connect past developments with contemporary concerns, and examine specific events within the context of larger ideas.

Dr. Harari also compels us to look ahead, because over the last few decades humans have begun to bend laws of natural selection that have governed life for the past four billion years.

We are acquiring the ability to design not only the world around us, but also ourselves. Where is this leading us, and what do we want to become?” (via Amazon)

WRBH’s Great Literature program airs Monday through Friday at 10AM. Your reader for this book is Phil Radecker and the music used in the open and close is: 

Shirley Jackson: A Rather Haunted Life

Shirley Jackson a Rather Haunted Life book coverFEATURED BIOGRAPHY:

“This “historically engaging and pressingly relevant” biography establishes Shirley Jackson as a towering figure in American literature and revives the life and work of a neglected master.

Still known to millions primarily as the author of the “The Lottery,” Shirley Jackson (1916–1965) has been curiously absent from the mainstream American literary canon. A genius of literary suspense and psychological horror, Jackson plumbed the cultural anxiety of postwar America more deeply than anyone. Now, biographer Ruth Franklin reveals the tumultuous life and inner darkness of the author of such classics as The Haunting of Hill House and We Have Always Lived in the Castle.

Placing Jackson within an American Gothic tradition that stretches back to Hawthorne and Poe, Franklin demonstrates how her unique contribution to this genre came from her focus on “domestic horror.” Almost two decades before The Feminine Mystique ignited the women’s movement, Jackson’ stories and nonfiction chronicles were already exploring the exploitation and the desperate isolation of women, particularly married women, in American society. Franklin’s portrait of Jackson gives us “a way of reading Jackson and her work that threads her into the weave of the world of words, as a writer and as a woman, rather than excludes her as an anomaly” (Neil Gaiman).

The increasingly prescient Jackson emerges as a ferociously talented, determined, and prodigiously creative writer in a time when it was unusual for a woman to have both a family and a profession. A mother of four and the wife of the prominent New Yorker critic and academic Stanley Edgar Hyman, Jackson lived a seemingly bucolic life in the New England town of North Bennington, Vermont. Yet, much like her stories, which channeled the occult while exploring the claustrophobia of marriage and motherhood, Jackson’s creative ascent was haunted by a darker side. As her career progressed, her marriage became more tenuous, her anxiety mounted, and she became addicted to amphetamines and tranquilizers. In sobering detail, Franklin insightfully examines the effects of Jackson’s California upbringing, in the shadow of a hypercritical mother, on her relationship with her husband, juxtaposing Hyman’s infidelities, domineering behavior, and professional jealousy with his unerring admiration for Jackson’s fiction, which he was convinced was among the most brilliant he had ever encountered.

Based on a wealth of previously undiscovered correspondence and dozens of new interviews, Shirley Jackson―an exploration of astonishing talent shaped by a damaging childhood and turbulent marriage―becomes the definitive biography of a generational avatar and an American literary giant.” (via Amazon)

WRBH’s Biographies program airs Monday through Friday at 9PM. 

At The Existentialist Cafe: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails

At The Existentialist Cafe book coverFEATURED BOOK OFF THE SHELF:

“From the best-selling author of How to Live, a spirited account of one of the 20th century’s major intellectual movements and the revolutionary thinkers who came to shape it.

Paris, 1933: Three contemporaries meet over apricot cocktails at the Bec-de-Gaz bar on the rue Montparnasse. They are the young Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and longtime friend Raymond Aron, a fellow philosopher who raves to them about a new conceptual framework from Berlin called phenomenology. “You see,” he says, “if you are a phenomenologist, you can talk about this cocktail and make philosophy out of it!”

It was this simple phrase that would ignite a movement, inspiring Sartre to integrate phenomenology into his own French humanistic sensibility, thereby creating an entirely new philosophical approach inspired by themes of radical freedom, authentic being, and political activism. This movement would sweep through the jazz clubs and cafés of the Left Bank before making its way across the world as existentialism.

Featuring not only philosophers but also playwrights, anthropologists, convicts, and revolutionaries, At the Existentialist Café follows the existentialists’ story from the first rebellious spark through the Second World War to its role in postwar liberation movements such as anticolonialism, feminism, and gay rights. Interweaving biography and philosophy, it is the epic account of passionate encounters – fights, love affairs, mentorships, rebellions, and long partnerships – and a vital investigation into what the existentialists have to offer us today, at a moment when we are once again confronting the major questions of freedom, global responsibility, and human authenticity in a fractious and technology-driven world.” (via Amazon)

WRBH’s Book Off The Shelf program airs Monday through Friday at 1:30PM. Your reader for this book is Charlotte Travieso and the music used in the open and close is: 

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Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives

Another Day in the Death of America: A Chronicle of Ten Short Lives

FEATURED NON-FICTION:  “Winner of the 2017 J. Anthony Lukas Prize   Shortlisted for the 2017 Hurston/Wright Foundation Award   Finalist for the 2017 Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism   Longlisted for the 2017 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Non Fiction   On an average day in America, seven children and teens

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