Read: Marja Mills' The Mockingbird Next Door … Cristina Henríquez's The Book of Unknown Americans … Roberto Santibanez's Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales … Douglas Coupland's Worst. Person. Ever. … Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus' Minimalism Dan Ariely's The Honest Truth About Dishonesty Listen: Jenny Lewis ... Jungle ... Sammy Kershaw ... Richard Thompson ... Watch: Heaven Is for Real ... Made in America ... Blue Ruin ... David Suchet In the Footsteps of St. Paul ... James Garner tribute and more.

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Listen to Fresh Air:
A Genteel Peek Into Harper Lee's Quiet Life

The Mockingbird Next Door: Life with Harper Lee
By Marja Mills

Describes the story of a journalist who befriended the notoriously quiet and private author of To Kill a Mockingbird, eventually moving in next door to the writer and her sister and becoming part of their life in Alabama.



Listen to Take Two:
A novel about the immigrant story

The Book of Unknown Americans: A Novel
By Cristina Henríquez

Cristina Henríquez’s powerful novel The Book of Unknown Americans captures readers with the quiet beauty of her characters and their profoundly wrought experiences as immigrants in America. The story takes place in a run-down apartment building in Delaware, home to nine families who arrived in the States from various South and Central American countries, each looking to better the lives of the next generation. In alternating chapters, these men and women share stories of how their adopted country has left its mark on them, for better and worse. The close bond that develops between the Rivera and Toro families drives the novel forward, particularly the relationship between their children Mayor and Maribel, as closely held secrets and feelings of guilt, love, hope and despair are unpacked with warmth and compassion. With her cast of “unknown Americans,” Henriquez has crafted a novel that is inspiring, tragic, brave and above all, unforgettable



Listen to The Splendid Table:
How the flavors of the Middle East ended up in Mexico

Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales: Flavors from the Griddles, Pots, and Streetside Kitchens of Mexico
By Roberto Santibanez

Americans are having a love affair with the taco. What began as affection for the fast-food version — that hard yellow shell filled with ground beef and mysterious yellow cheese — has blossomed into an all-out obsession for the real thing, with upscale renditions and taco trucks popping up from coast to coast.

Now, with Tacos, Tortas, and Tamales, chef Roberto Santibañez shows you how to recreate the thrilling, authentic flavors of the taquerias of Mexico in your own home. In addition to tacos, the book also explores the equally exciting Mexican sandwiches called tortas and hearty tamales, as well as salsas, condiments, fresh juices and even desserts and refreshing margaritas.



Listen to All Things Considered:
Writing the Wicked Ways of the Worst. Person. Ever.

Worst. Person. Ever.
By Douglas Coupland

A cameraman with no redeeming social virtues endures a comedic downward spiral that takes him to an obscure Pacific island, where, while filming a reality show, he suffers comas, humiliation and wrongful imprisonment.



Listen to The Daily Circuit:
Bucking consumerism, minimalists say they've got all they need

Minimalism: Live a Meaningful Life
By Joshua Fields Millburn, Ryan Nicodemus

The authors discuss how minimalism allowed them to focus on life, citing personal examples of how they changed everything in their lives over a two-year span, during which time they left their corporate jobs, got out of debt, changed their diets, started exercising regularly, strengthened their core relationships, established exciting new relationships, began pursuing their passions, contributed to more people and found ways to be content and happy with their lives.



Listen to On Point:
Why We Lie

The Honest Truth About Dishonesty: How We Lie to Everyone — Especially Ourselves
By Dan Ariely

From Washington, D.C., to Wall Street, the classroom to the workplace, author and behavior economist Dan Ariely explores the question of dishonesty. He helps us understand why cheating is so prevalent and what we can do about it.


Explore Music: Rock | Classical | Bluegrass | Jazz



Listen to NPR First Listen:
Jenny Lewis, The Voyager

The Voyager
By Jenny Lewis

Celebrated California singer-songwriter Jenny Lewis presents The Voyager. This is the former Rilo Kiley frontwoman's third solo album and first in six years, following 2006’s Rabbit Fur Coat (with The Watson Twins) and 2008’s Acid Tongue.

The Voyager is Lewis’s most deeply personal album to date, documenting her struggle to cope following the death of her estranged father in 2010 and the subsequent break-up of Rilo Kiley. The Voyager’s rootsy, golden glow comes courtesy of Lewis and the artists she chose to produce various tracks, including Ryan Adams (who, alongside Mike Viola, produced all but three of the tracks), Beck, and Lewis’ longtime collaborator Johnathan Rice. The Voyager finds the always relatable songwriter at her sharp-witted best, singing about her recent experiences with honesty and incisiveness.



Watch KCRW Presents:
Jungle, "Busy Earnin" (Live)

By Jungle

"Jungle stands apart from their contemporaries who churn the blogosphere attracting cool hunters. Not only are the guys creative and talented songwriters, but they deliver an impressive live show that extends the music from their home production studios to the club.

"Making all the right musical references, Jungle bridges the gap between the roots of Manchester and the 80s influenced indie pop happening in America. It's a thread in the sonic fabric draped over the UK scene re-imagining club music for fans of rock music.

"Jungle is music that is — and should be — derivative of the past. The beats should make you dance, the melodies should sound strangely familiar, and the lyrics should be instantly memorable. While not all the songs on their debut meet that mark, they come satisfyingly close and deliver a strong first impression for music fans tired of aggregated blog scores. Fools try to predict what music will stand up to the test of time so stop worrying about whether or not this is your favorite album of the year, stop reading the reviews — this one included — and just listen to Jungle." — David Safar, Music Director, 89.3 The Current



Listen to All Things Considered:
George Jones: The Voice of Heartbreak

Do You Know Me? A Tribute to George Jones
By Sammy Kershaw

Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum selling artist with more than 30 charted singles and multiple number one hits, Sammy Kershaw is releasing a much-anticipated 14-song collection of tunes made famous by his long-time, dear friend, George Jones. The CD, titled Do You Know Me? A Tribute to George Jones, contains some of George's biggest hits, like "White Lightning," "Why Baby Why," "The Grand Tour," "He Stopped Loving Her Today" and many others, including Sammy's very own song written by himself for George, "The Route That I Took."

Sammy has sold in excess of 5 million albums and continues to perform sold-out shows throughout the U.S. and Canada. Every George Jones, Sammy Kershaw and true Country music fan will enjoy this collection of George Jones hits, sung by the artist that has been most compared to his idol, mentor and dear friend.



Acoustic Classics
By Richard Thompson

Acoustic Classics, a collection of newly recorded timeless Richard Thompson songs, features 14 tracks culled from his 40-plus-year music career. For the first time ever, acoustic versions of songs like "I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight" and "Dimming of the Day" mingle with cornerstone classics like "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" and "Beeswing" as well as other acoustically rendered gems.

"I really wanted to have something that would reflect the acoustic shows," Richard explains, "But we didn't have anything like that. Just some old, slightly scratchy recordings of solo sets that I wasn't really happy with." His last proper solo acoustic release was the live Small Town Romance, and that was more than 30 years ago! In the meantime, the acoustic shows have evolved as a full parallel to his band tours.


Explore Video: PBS | Comedy | Drama | Animation



Listen to Airtalk:
Heaven Is for Real

Heaven Is for Real

Based on the New York Times best-selling book, Heaven Is for Real recounts the true story of a small-town father who must find the courage and conviction to share his son’s extraordinary, life-changing experience with the world. Starring Academy Award nominee Greg Kinnear (Best Supporting Actor, As Good As It Gets, 1997) as Todd Burpo, the real-life father whose son Colton claims to have visited Heaven during a near death experience. Colton shares the details of his amazing journey with childlike innocence and speaks matter-of-factly about things that happened before his birth … things he couldn’t possibly know.



Listen to SCPR:
L.A. councilman balks at plans for Jay-Z summer festival in Grand Park

Made in America

A celebration of both the unifying power of music and pursuit of the American dream, Made in America is an all-access backstage pass to the one-of-a-kind festival created by rap superstar Jay Z, and directed by Academy Award winner Ron Howard. Featuring remarkable performances and fascinating backstage interviews with many of today's biggest music stars, Made in America shows how one giant celebration of music can change people's lives.



NPR Movie Review:
In Blue Ruin, Revenge Is Not Served Cool

Blue Ruin

Blue Ruin is a classic American revenge story, following a mysterious outsider whose quiet life is turned upside down when he returns to his childhood home, determined to carry out an act of vengeance. His inexperience as an assassin lands him in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family in this critically acclaimed new thriller by director Jeremy Saulnier (Murder Party).



David Suchet In the Footsteps of St. Paul

In this revelatory documentary, David Suchet (Agatha Christie's Poirot) sets off in search of one the great figures of the Bible — St. Paul the apostle. Controversial in his own time, Paul remains so today, a remarkable man of contrasts and confusions, a persecutor of Christians who experienced a miraculous conversion and an all-consuming drive to spread the faith. More than any other single person, Paul transformed Christianity from a small Jewish sect into the most powerful religion on earth.

Long fascinated by the apostle, Suchet takes a very personal quest, retracing the steps of a man believed to have traveled some 10,000 miles by foot across the lands of the Roman Empire and many more by sea. Along the way, Suchet talks to archaeologists, scholars, clerics and locals, each of whom sheds light on an individual who did so much to shape the history of Western civilization.

Public Radio Remembers James Garner

Explore Video: PBS | Comedy | Drama | Animation

Actor James Garner, whose wise-cracking but affable character made hits out of the TV shows Maverick and The Rockford Files, has died. He was 86.

Garner had a long career and remained active as a TV and film actor well into his 70s. His style as a leading man who was quicker with his tongue than his fist was established early as gambler Bret Maverick in the 1950s TV Western Maverick.

Garner carried that smooth-talking charisma into the private eye business in the '70s TV show The Rockford Files, for which he won an Emmy. Among his work on the big screen are roles in The Great Escape, Victor Victoria, Space Cowboys and The Notebook. He was nominated for an Oscar for the 1985 film Murphy's Romance, which co-starred Sally Field.


Weekend Edition: James Garner Dies at 86

"[James Garner] will be remembered as a guy who made it look very easy. You know, he was once asked by an interviewer how he wanted to be remembered, and he said, with a smile. And I think he's achieved that."

NPR: Appreciating James Garner: TV's Best Unhero

"Maverick became a classic role thanks to Garner's easy charm and quick wit. Some of that came from his down-to-earth approach to acting; claiming that he stole much of his technique from Henry Fonda while working alongside him as a bit player in a 1954 stage production of The Caine Mutiny Court Martial, Garner boiled his creative process down to a few short phrases in a 2005 People magazine interview.

"'I'm a Spencer Tracy-type actor,' he said, referencing another famously down-to-earth acting legend. 'Be on time, know your words, hit your marks and tell the truth.'"



The Rockford Files: Season One

Iconic television featuring James Garner in virtually every scene as the bumbling detective Jim Rockford. Episodes are fast-paced and fun to watch. The combination of having James Garner in the leading role along with great writing led to some amazing guest stars.



Maverick: Season One

In Maverick, wisecracking ladies' man Bret Maverick (James Garner) and his more serious brother Bart (Jack Kelly) — two handsome bachelors on the loose in the Wild West — have more success at the game of poker than the game of love. Yet they keep trying their luck in one frontier outpost after another. For fans of classic TV Westerns such as Cheyenne, Bonanza and Gunsmoke, Maverick is sure to be a perfect addition to their collections!



Murphy's Romance

Sally Field and James Garner star in this endearing comic love story from director Martin Ritt (Norma Rae). Field plays a gutsy divorced mother eager to make it as a horse trainer on a small desert ranch. Enter the town's most eligible widower, Murphy Jones (Garner).The lovable, free-wheeling pharmacist befriends Emma and eventually comes a-courting. But just when Emma may have found the right guy, her ne'er-do-well ex, Bobby Jack (Brian Kerwin), rides back into her life. Which one of these persistent suitors will lasso the reluctant filly? Share the warmth and feel-good humor of Field, Garner and Murphy's Romance!



The Notebook

This love story of love stories is anchored by James Garner’s portrayal of Duke, who remains true to his one true love despite her battling dementia as he recounts their courtship every day in hopes of breaking through the fog and capturing one more moment with his wife.

Of Interest to Public Radio Fans

Splendid Table Offer

The Splendid Table's How To Eat Weekends

Sweet-Sour Chicken Meatballs
with Candied Lemon Peel

From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends

Prep time: 30 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 3 to 4 servings as main course; 6 to 8 as a starter

These are meatballs like no others. Rich with spices, cheese, peppery salami, nuts and candied fruit, there is clearly Arab ancestry in this dish. This particular recipe comes from Puglia, the heel of the boot, though you will find similar versions throughout Southern Italy.

These meatballs are unabashedly Catholic. A celebration dish, they’re traditionally served on occasions like Christmas, Easter and the Feast of St. Joseph, that day in the middle of Lent when people are allowed to take a break from their fasting and have a bit of fun. Believe us, the sexiness of this dish would certainly loosen things up.

Cook to Cook: Although candied citron is the traditional choice here, the quality of what we can find this side of the Atlantic leaves a lot to be desired. Unless you have a source for top-tier imported citron, you’re better off using homemade candied lemon peel instead.

Wine: Pair with a young, fresh red with vivid fruit, such as the Puglia wines, Salice Salentino, Primitivo or a Salento Rosso or serve a Tempranillo-based Ribera del Duero from Spain, or a New World Pinot Noir.



  • 2 large garlic cloves
  • 2 ounces hot capricola salami or pepperoni salami
  • 4 to 5 boned and skinned chicken thighs (about 1 pound), cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1/2 of a 10-ounce package frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry, or 1 pound fresh spinach, cooked, cooled and squeezed dry
  • 1/2 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 2/3 cup (3 ounces) grated Fontinella or Asiago cheese
  • 1/2 cup whole almonds, toasted and chopped medium-fine
  • Scant 1/3 cup (2.25 ounces) candied lemon peel, minced very fine
  • 1 large egg


  • Good tasting extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 large fresh basil leaves, torn
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup Master Broth or canned chicken broth

For Serving:

  • 4 cups tart salad greens


1. Make the meatballs: Using a food processor or a knife, mince together the garlic and the capricola or pepperoni into small pieces. Add the chicken thighs, spinach, onion, salt, pepper and cinnamon. Chop them very fine (but don’t puree). Turn everything into a bowl, blend in the bread crumbs, vinegar, cheese, almonds, lemon peel, and the egg; blend well.

2. Check the seasonings by sautéing a little patty of the mixture over medium high heat until it is firm. Taste and adjust seasonings to taste. Shape the rest of the meat into 2-inch balls.

3. Cook the meat balls: Film the olive oil over the bottom of a 12-inch, straight-sided sauté pan. Set over medium high heat. Add the meatballs (keep them from touching), turning down the heat to medium. Brown them on all sides, turning gently with a spatula. Be gentle; the meatballs are very fragile.

4. Tip the pan, spoon off most of the fat and pour in the wine. Simmer until thick and syrupy. Blend in the basil, sugar, vinegar, and broth. Cover and simmer very gently for 15 minutes, or until the meatballs’ centers have reached 170ºF. on an instant-reading thermometer.

5. When done, gently lift the meatballs into a shallow bowl. Boil down the pan juices, stirring with wooden spatula, until thick and rich tasting. Nestle the meatballs on a bed of tart salad greens, pour over the warmed pan juices and serve hot or warm.

From The Splendid Table's How to Eat Weekends: New Recipes, Stories & Opinions from Public Radio's Award-Winning Food Show by Lynne Rossetto Kasper and Sally Swift (Clarkson Potter/Publishers, 2011). Copyright © 2011 by American Public Media. Photographs copyright © 2011 by Ellen Silverman.

Keillor Reader


Ken Burns 10th Inning