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Read: Neil Patrick Harris' Choose Your Own Autobiography … Cary Elwes, Joe Layden's As You Wish … Allyson Hobbs' A Chosen Exile … Benjamin Errett's Elements of Wit … Jake Halpern's Bad Paper Dan Pashman's Eat More Better Listen: U2 ... Stars ... Hozier ... You + Me ... Watch: X-Men: Days of Future Past ... Fargo ... Los Angeles Plays Itself ... Halloween Treats and more.

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Listen to Fresh Air:
What's it Like to be Neil Patrick Harris? He Gives You Options

Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography
By Neil Patrick Harris

The star of How I Met Your Mother shares his experiences as a child star, Broadway performer and father in a humorous account creatively designed in the style of the popular interactive adventure series.


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Listen to All Things Considered:
Take a Peek at the Making of The Princess Bride

As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride
By Cary Elwes, Joe Layden

In a twenty-fifth anniversary, behind-the-scenes account of the making of the cult classic film, the lead actor shares never-before-told stories and exclusive photographs as well as interviews with fellow actors and producers of the film.


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Listen to All Things Considered:
Black People Passing in White America

A Chosen Exile: A History of Racial Passing in American Life
By Allyson Hobbs

Countless African Americans have passed as white, leaving behind families and friends, roots and communities. It was, as Allyson Hobbs writes, a chosen exile. This history of passing explores the possibilities, challenges, and losses that racial indeterminacy presented to men and women living in a country obsessed with racial distinctions.


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Listen to Weekend Edition:
Book Offers a Get-Wit-Quick Workout

Elements of Wit: Mastering the Art of Being Interesting
By Benjamin Errett

We’ve all been in that situation where we need to say something clever, but innocuous; smart enough to show some intelligence, without showing off; something funny, but not a joke. What we need in that moment is wit — that sparkling combination of charm, humor, confidence, and most of all, the right words at the right time.

Elements of Wit is an engaging book that brings together the greatest wits of our time, and previous ones from Oscar Wilde to Nora Ephron, Winston Churchill to Christopher Hitchens, Mae West to Louis CK, and many in between.

With chapters covering the essential ingredients of wit, this primer sheds light on how anyone — introverts, extroverts, wallflowers, and bon vivants — can find the right zinger, quip, parry, or retort (…... or at least be a little bit more interesting).


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Listen to Fresh Air:
Bad Paper Explores the Underworld of Debt Collection

Bad Paper: Chasing Debt from Wall Street to the Underworld
By Jake Halpern

The Federal Trade Commission receives more complaints about rogue debt collecting than about any activity besides identity theft. Dramatically and entertainingly, Bad Paper reveals why. It tells the story of Aaron Siegel, a former banking executive, and Brandon Wilson, a former armed robber, who become partners and go in quest of “paper” — the uncollected debts that are sold off by banks for pennies on the dollar. As Aaron and Brandon learn, the world of consumer debt collection is an unregulated shadowland where operators often make unwarranted threats and even collect debts that are not theirs.


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Listen to Morning Edition:
Friction Can Save Your Sandwich, and Other Tips for Better Bites

Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious
By Dan Pashman

The creator of the WNYC podcast The Sporkful and host of the Cooking Channel web series You're Eating It Wrong presents a photo-augmented collection of humorous — and scientific — essays on cooking, eating and loving food with all one's heart.

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Explore Music: Rock | Classical | Bluegrass | Jazz

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From NPR:
The Dream of Ridiculous Men

Songs of Innocence
By U2

Songs of Innocence is U2’s first album since No Line on the Horizon (2009), marking the longest gap between studio albums of their career. After the latter’s relatively lukewarm commercial performance, lead singer Bono expressed uncertainty over how the band could remain musically relevant. During the album’s five-and-a-half-year gestation period, they reportedly worked on three separate projects with multiple producers, including an aborted companion to their previous record called Songs of Ascent. However, they struggled to complete an album to their satisfaction and continually delayed a release. After working with Danger Mouse for two years, the group collaborated with Flood, Epworth, and Tedder to complete the record. Thematically, it revisits the group members’ youth in Ireland, paying tribute to musical inspirations Ramones and the Clash, while touching on childhood experiences, loves and regrets. Bono described it as "the most personal album we’ve written."


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Listen to Q with Jian Ghomeshi:
Stars give the human experience a soundtrack

No One Is Lost
By Stars

Whether playing string-infused melancholia or insistent dance-floor fodder, Stars' members infuse their songs with the weariness and wisdom of someone who understands the realities behind our worst fears. Knowledge of death and disappointment and war lies barely concealed beneath even the most effervescent exterior of a Stars song.

Still, there's brightness — even cheer — to No One Is Lost, the Montreal band's seventh album. Stars recorded it within earshot of a since-closed discotheque, and it shows: Singers Amy Millan and Torquil Campbell are both uniquely skilled at interrogating the loneliness that can fuel even the most raucous nightlife pursuits.


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Listen to Morning Becomes Eclectic:
Hozier

Hozier
By Hozier

"Hozier's music is that of substance. He taps directly into the reality surrounding issues that matter, wraps it up in poignant lyrics and delivers it in the smoothest sonic package you can imagine.

"Hozier deftly moves from topic to topic in his debut album and casts light on problems, both personal and public, that are universally shared. ... He understands how to blend sharp-tongued lyrics seamlessly into a captivating soundscape, be it understated or anthemic. The hooks will remain in your ears and the lyrics on your mind. Hozier is a substantial yet incredibly accessible album." — Kelsey Brannan, Minnesota Public Radio's The Current


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Listen to Weekend Edition:
A Pop Star and an Indie Folk Singer Intersect

rose ave.
By You + Me

You + Me consists of Alecia Moore (Pink) and Dallas Green and is a passion project for the two. The artists met through Alecia's husband, Carey Hart, and instantly felt a connection and wanted to work together. Alecia invited Dallas to Los Angeles to write a song or two and ended up writing eight songs together in one week. The duo then decided to finish and record an album. Dallas Green, also known as City and Colour, has received critical praise worldwide, selling out arena tours and some of the most prestigious venues across the globe. He has released 4 studio albums, all of which achieved Platinum status in Canada. Green is also the recipient of three Juno Awards including two prestigious Songwriter of the Year awards (2009, 2012).

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Explore Video: PBS | Comedy | Drama | Animation

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From Classical MPR:
Interview: John Ottman, X-Men: Days of Future Past composer

X-Men: Days of Future Past

The ultimate X-Men ensemble fights a war for the survival of the species across two time periods in X-Men: Days of Future Past. The beloved characters from the original X-Men film trilogy join forces with their younger selves from the past, X-Men: First Class, in order to change a major historical event and fight in an epic battle that could save our future.


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Listen to MPR News:
Hoot or insult? Fargo television series debuts on FX

Fargo: Season One

2014 Emmy Winner: Outstanding Miniseries; Outstanding Directing for a Miniseries, Movie, or Dramatic Special (Colin Bucksey); Outstanding Casting for a Miniseries, Movie, or Special

An original adaptation of the Academy Award-winning feature film, Fargo features an all-new “true crime” story and follows a new case and new characters, all entrenched in the trademark humor, murder and “Minnesota nice” that made the film an enduring classic. Oscar winner Billy Bob Thornton stars as Lorne Malvo, a rootless, manipulative man who meets and forever changes the life of small town insurance salesman Lester Nygaard, played by BAFTA Award winner and Emmy-nominated Martin Freeman. Colin Hanks plays Duluth Police Deputy Gus Grimly, a single dad who must choose between his own personal safety and his duty as a policeman when he comes face-to-face with a killer. Allison Tolman also stars as Molly Solverson, an ambitious Bemidji deputy.


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Listen to KCRW's Design and Architecture:
Los Angeles Plays Itself

Los Angeles Plays Itself

Using clips from well-known mainstream movies to lesser-known obscurities, director Thom Andersen explores the myths and realities of the city as produced by Hollywood and as viewed by contemporary philosophy. He divides the film into three segments: “The City as Background,” “The City as Character,” and “The City as Subject.” In addition to the pre-manufactured images, he also provides footage of the actual landscape, showcasing structures like Union Station and LAX. His commentary touches on various political and social views of the city, often voiced through criticism or praise of other filmmakers and their work.

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Halloween Treats
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Listen to Tell Me More:
Bette Midler

Hocus Pocus

A wildly entertaining Halloween classic you can share with your whole family. Bette Midler casts a spell on all who dare to watch with her wonderful, comic performance. She is joined by Kathy Najimy and Sarah Jessica Parker.


Studio 360:
Jessica Lange’s Dark Magic

American Horror
Story: Coven

 

Marketplace:
Twin Peaks returns to a TV landscape it helped create

Twin Peaks:
The Entire Mystery

 

Weekend Edition:
A Hit Show With
Two Meanings

The Walking Dead: Season Four


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Listen to NPR:
Dead Man’s Bones: Halloween Arrives Early

Dead Man's Bones
By Dead Man's Bones

What is "Halloween" music? Is it the atmospheric soundtracks played at Haunted Houses? Is it scary-sounding music like The Misfits horror punk? Is it the Monster Mash?

My favorite record to listen to every October is Dead Man's Bones. Here's what NPR says about Ryan Gosling's eerie side-project:

"Halloween may or may not be suitable for adults — Spencer Gifts and Party City vote 'yes' — but the members of Dead Man's Bones celebrate the holiday every day of the year regardless. They don't dress up, but members Zach Shields and Ryan Gosling founded their project based on their mutual love of ghosts, werewolves and zombies; it's a love they thought worth celebrating as often as possible.

"All together, they subvert some of indie rock's most beloved tropes, with feigned amateurism and naivete replaced by literal amateurs and real children. [The song 'My Body's a Zombie for You'] even subverts Gosling's own childhood singing career, when he was a trained and polished heartthrob in the '90s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club. The song ends on the children's zealous playground chant — 'I'm a Z-O-M-B-I-E, zombie!' — which betrays just how much fun is it to sing about stuff that scares us, zombies and love included."


Be Afraid of the Dark: The Essential Halloween Music Collection

 

The 99 Darkest Pieces of Classical Music

 

Kidz Bop
Halloween Hits


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Disney Frozen Elsa Musical Light-Up Dress

Picking a unique costume may seem like an intimidating challenge, so we've selected a few of our favorites to share with you. Personally, I believe any costume can be made unique with the addition of a few well-crafted accessories. Most importantly, remember to have fun! If you like your costume, who cares what everybody else is wearing? Have a Happy Halloween and safe Trick-or-Treating!


Guardians of the Galaxy Star-Lord
Boys Costume

 

Captain America Shield

 

Underdog Dog Costume


Pink Ladies Jacket

 

Trophy Head Deer

 

Workout Video Star

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Of Interest to Public Radio Fans
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Folk Alley

Folk Alley celebrates Halloween with a special 5-hour stream of spooky folk music, including ghost stories, murder ballads, gory tales, supernatural songs, and myths of death, witches, goblins and vampires. WARNING: If you are the least bit squeamish, afraid of the dark, living with an impressionable child, or have a heart condition — DO NOT LISTEN to this music stream. You've been warned.

Listen: Folk Alley Scream Stream

As always, sign up for our Facebook fanpage to keep up with all the news!

Have a great week!
David Edin
dedin@mpr.org
Merchandise Manager


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