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

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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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Finding Your Next Awesome Read: 5 Tips from Bestseller Lists to Forums

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When you read as much as we do, it can be hard to find a good new book. There are so many reads out there that it’s easy to be overwhelmed by all of the possibilities, often leading to a disappointing choice or wasted money and time. Avid readers have all kinds of tricks for picking out new books, from extensive to-be-read lists to spending hours and hours making stacks in the library. But we’re here to make the process just a little bit easier. Not only do we make sure to highlight new books we love and give you honest reviews on our site, but we’ve also rounded up some tips that we use personally in our search for…

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Could Your Short Story Get You on NPR?

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My first time listening to Selected Shorts on NPR was also my first real driveway moment. I was spellbound and couldn’t open the car door until I’d heard the rest of the story. There was something about a gifted actor reading a piece of fiction just meant to fit into a certain timeframe that was absolutely mesmerizing. Since then I’ve been absolutely hooked and attending a live recording at Symphony Space in New York City is on my “must see” list for 2016. And that story could even be yours. Here’s how: Selected Shorts has just announced that the Stella Kupferberg Memorial Short Story Prize writing competition is accepting stories of 750 words or less until midnight EST on March…

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Greg O’Brien: Learning to Live, and Not Die, with Alzheimer’s Disease

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There’s hardly a family in America that hasn’t been touched by Alzheimer’s disease. More than 5.4 million people live with the disease and 500,000 die from it each year. Alzheimer’s is not a normal part of aging and without being able to cure or prevent it, in the next 15 years it is expected to exceed heart disease and cancer as the leading cause of death. This could bankrupt Medicare. Public awareness of Alzheimer’s—a balance between science, medicine and faith—needs to change dramatically in anticipation of the looming Alzheimer’s epidemic that is headed for the baby boomer generation. This is why November has been designated as National Alzheimer’s Disease Awareness Month. Begun in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, who would wage his…

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A Prairie Home Companion Announces Chris Thile as New Host

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Here on this summer night in the grass and the lilac smell Drunk on the crickets and the starry sky Oh what fine stories we could tell with this moonlight to live them by. Garrison Keillor A Love Poem It’s Saturday morning and the Knoxville heat is sweltering. But, neither my future wife nor I are aware of the thick humidity or blazing sun as we drift around each other in our cramped kitchen. The smell of turkey bacon and eggs is wafting through the apartment, half-completed undergraduate assignments are littered in totally illogical places, and we’re laughing at our young orange tabby cat who is vaulting in and out of a cardboard box like a feline Olympian. In the…

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Walking 30 minutes a day is all the fitness you need

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Summer has fully sprung and you may think that you missed your chance to be summer-time fine. Maybe there just were enough hours in the day for the Pilates and Zumba and CrossFit. Maybe there are physical limitations to the types of exercises that you can safely manage. You would be wrong. In this Bookish Diva’s travels down the information super highway, I came across a nifty little story on NPR. (Let’s be honest, just about every story on NPR is a nifty little story.) Apparently, all we need is to walk, at a moderate pace, 30 minutes a day to reap those lovely health benefits. Said Dr. Tim Church, who studies the effects of physical activity at Louisiana State…

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NPR’s Alan Cheuse on writing without a net and what to read this summer

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Known as the “voice of books” on NPR, Alan Cheuse is the author of five novels and four collections of short fiction, most recently An Authentic Captain Marvel Ring (Santa Fe Writers Project, April). BookTrib had the opportunity to talk to Cheuse about his writing process, the power of short stories, and, of course, his book recommendations. How do you separate the job of talking about books from your own writing? I understand that what we call normal people, or “civilians,” work all day doing things that don’t allow them the pleasure of reading, so in the evenings they want to curl up with a good book. But that’s when I’m turning my movies on. As I see it, my…

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