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interviews

“Joni on Joni:” Portrait Of An Artist Through Interviews

in Pop Culture by

She’s been called bragging and scornful, philosophical and deep, and also a beguiling flirt.  All those sides show up in a fascinating anthology of Joni Mitchell’s most illuminating interviews titled Joni on Joni: Interviews and Encounters with Joni Mitchell (Chicago Review Press), edited by Susan Whitall, writer and editor of Creem magazine. The interviews span the years 1966 to 2014 and cover everything from her friends to her insights to her music. Collectively, the material paints a revealing picture of the artist. Few artists of the 20th century are as intriguing as Joni Mitchell. She was a solidly middle-class, buttoned-up bohemian, an anti-feminist who loved men but scorned free love; and a female warrior taking on the male music establishment.…

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True Crime: A Podcast That Goes Inside the FBI Through Literature

in Nonfiction by

FBI investigations and FBI agents are often used as inspiration by writers as they pen climactic crime stories and heart-thumping thrillers. However, most people, including writers, have never met a real FBI agent. The only connections they have with the FBI are the ones they make through books, TV, and movies. When real FBI agents call someone on the phone or show up at a business or residence to investigate actual cases, the response or cooperation they receive is often influenced by the last book that person read or TV show they watched about the FBI. How does anyone know if these portrayals are accurate or full of clichés and misconceptions? Why not just eavesdrop on the FBI? Problem solved.…

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Jenifer Lewis: The ‘Mother of Black Hollywood’ Gets Down and Dirty in New Memoir

in Nonfiction by

If Jenifer Lewis can’t make you laugh, then you just don’t have a sense of humor. Lewis’ career spans nearly four decades and she has played mother to almost every major African-American character in television and film, earning her the moniker, “The Mother of Black Hollywood.” In an NPR interview, Lewis discussed that title with pride. “I played Tupac’s mama, Tina Turner’s mama, Whitney Houston’s mama, and the list goes on and on.” Her credits are very diverse and include: The Preacher’s Wife, What’s Love Got to Do With It and Disney’s The Princess and the Frog, Poetic Justice, Sister Act, Beaches, Jackie’s Back, The Temptations, A Different World, Think Like a Man, Think Like a Man, Too and most recently, Black-ish.  I always said…

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Rion Amilcar Scott ‘Unapologetically’ Broaches Racism and Oppression in ‘Insurrections’

in Nonfiction by

Last night I was walking down Prospect St. in Stamford, Connecticut and I found myself trailing behind a black man wearing a black hoodie. My pace was significantly quicker than his. As I was about to turn to the front door of my apartment building, I was almost on the guy’s heels. I saw his shoulders tense up and he slowly turned around to look at me. I gave him a blinking nod. There was relief and frustration written all over his face. His eyes said, “Really? You got me all worked up like that for nothing.” He turned around as I pulled out my keys. I didn’t think much of this encounter until I realized that I was white…

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VMA Week: Photographer Afshin Shahidi Gives BookTrib a ‘Private View’ of Icons Prince, Beyonce in an Exclusive Interview

in Nonfiction by

  One of my favorite pictures of Prince is the cover photo of Afshin Shahidi’s forthcoming book, Prince: A Private View. One of the reasons I am so enamored of this picture is due to the striking contrast of black and white in Prince’s clothing against the simplistic set— what appears to be a plain hallway. What is even more endearing to me as a 30+ year fan is that Prince, who was of a smaller stature, even in the most ordinary of spaces was ginormous. He was a larger than life figure in life and in his passing his absence has left a chasm that no artist now or in the future will be able to fill.  Through his…

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DIY MFA: Character Relationships that Resonate with Jane Green

in Fiction by

This week, Gabriela Pereira interviews New York Times bestselling author Jane Green about her latest novel The Sunshine Sisters, a story with such intricate character relationships that it’s far more than a beach read. Jane Green is the author of eighteen novels, seventeen of which are New York Times bestsellers. Her novels have been published in over 25 languages, with over ten million books in print worldwide. In the past, she joined the ABC News Team to help write their first enhanced digital book about the history of Royal marriages, and then joined as a correspondent covering the wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton. Not only has she spent her time writing books and blogs, but she has also contributed…

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Sybil’s List: Publishers Weekly Book Reviewer Sybil Steinberg’s List of Reads

in Potpourri by

We love a good booklist to peek our interest and inspire us to read more. Westport Connecticut resident Sybil Steinberg, contributing editor and former book review section editor for Publishers Weekly puts together a list of her favorites several times a year and recently she presented her July 2017 picks to a standing room only crowd at the Westport Library. I had a chance to catch up with Sybil and ask her a few questions… BookTrib: Your list of recommendations is so long, what is your favorite genre and how much do you read? Steinberg: Books are my passion. I read three or four books a week. I try to keep a balance between fiction and nonfiction. I’m an avid…

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Video: Interview with Diane Saxton and Peregrine Island: A Novel

in Fiction by

The Peregrine family’s lives are turned upside down one summer when so-called “art experts” appear on the doorstep of their Connecticut island home to appraise a favorite heirloom painting. When incriminating papers, as well as other paintings, are discovered behind the artwork in question, the appraisal turns into a full-fledged investigation. Antagonism mounts between grandmother, mother, and child, who begin to suspect one another, as well as the shady newcomers in their midst, of foul play. As the summer progresses and the Peregrines discover facts about their past in the course of the investigation, they learn that people―including them―are not always who they appear to be. But when they uncover the painting’s deepest secret, it gives them the gift of…

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Video: Missed It? Watch Interview with Carolyn Carpeneti and Taking Flight: Mastering Executive Function

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What should we do when our children struggle academically? Should we let them fail so they’ll learn from their mistakes and do better next time? Perhaps. But what if they lack the organizational tools to succeed? Carolyn Carpeneti’s son had effectively coped with learning differences through high school and was accepted into the university of his dreams. Only weeks into his freshman year, Carpeneti was stunned to discover that her son was flunking. The problem, it turned out, was not lack of intelligence, interest, or motivation but weak executive function—the ability to plan, organize, manage time, initiate action, and achieve goals, a skill set that often does not develop in the human brain until the late teens and midtwenties. Executive…

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Top 5 Jon Stewart Author Interviews on The Daily Show

in Potpourri by

Jon Stewart’s exit from The Daily Show this week isn’t just a loss for television viewers, but for book lovers as well. We challenge all talk show hosts left in his wake to do what he has done for books: not just to promote them, but to celebrate them and their authors as a vital part of our culture. Authors of best-selling and notable books have been a staple of the late-night talk show for as long as the format has existed. From Johnny Carson to Dick Cavett to Tom Snyder to David Letterman to Seth Meyers, talk-show hosts have welcomed authors, injecting a little intellectual discussion between interviews with vapid celebrities hawking their latest blockbuster film. It was Jon…

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Video: Missed It? Interview with Carla Neggers and Declan’s Cross

in Fiction by

An escape to an idyllic Irish seaside village is about to turn deadly in this riveting new novel by master of romantic suspense Carla Neggers.  For marine biologist Julianne Maroney, two weeks in tiny Declan’s Cross on the south Irish coast is a chance to heal her broken heart. She doesn’t expect to attract the attention of FBI agents Emma Sharpe and Colin Donovan, who are in Ireland for their own personal retreat. Ten years ago, art was stolen from a mansion in Declan’s Cross, but it has never been recovered and the elusive thief never caught. Now, from the moment Julianne sets foot on Irish soil, everything goes wrong. The well-connected American diver who invited her to Ireland has…

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