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Read: Peter Matthiessen's In Paradise … Todd Burpo's Heaven Is for Real … Marina Keegan's The Opposite of Loneliness … Jane Fonda's Being a Teen … Akhil Sharma's Family Life … Ed Catmull's Creativity, Inc. Listen: Dan Wilson … The Both … Rodney Crowell ... Watch: Great Expectations Philomena The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection gifts for gardeners and more.

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Listen to Weekend Edition:
Matthiessen Considers Our Capacity for Cruelty

In Paradise: A Novel
By Peter Matthiessen

In the winter of 1996, more than a hundred women and men of diverse nationality, background and belief gather at the site of a former concentration camp for an unprecedented purpose: a weeklong retreat during which they will offer prayer and witness at the crematoria and meditate in all weathers on the selection platform, while eating and sleeping in the quarters of the Nazi officers who, half a century before, sent more than a million Jews to their deaths. Clements Olin, an American academic of Polish descent, has come along, ostensibly to complete research on the death of a survivor, even as he questions what a non-Jew can contribute to the understanding of so monstrous a catastrophe. As the days pass, tensions, both political and personal, surface among the participants, stripping away any easy pretense to healing or closure. Finding himself in the grip of emotions and impulses of bewildering intensity, Olin is forced to abandon his observer’s role and to embrace a history his family has long suppressed,— and with it, the yearnings and contradictions of being fully alive.


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NPR:
Heaven Is for Real Excerpt

Heaven Is for Real: A Little Boy's Astounding Story of His Trip to Heaven and Back
By Todd Burpo, Lynn Vincent

The miraculous chronicle of the four-year-old son of a small town Nebraska pastor who undergoes emergency surgery and nearly dies — then later recounts how he met both his miscarried sister (whom no one had told him about) and his great grandfather who died 30 years before (complete with impossible-to-know details) as well as how he visited Heaven.


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Listen to All Things Considered:
A Life's Promise, Tragically Broken

The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Stories
By Marina Keegan

Marina Keegan’s star was on the rise when she graduated magna cum laude from Yale in May 2012. She had a play that was to be produced at the New York International Fringe Festival and a job waiting for her at the New Yorker. Tragically, five days after graduation, Marina died in a car crash.

Even though she was just 22 when she died, Marina left behind a rich, expansive trove of prose that, like her title essay, captures the hope, uncertainty and possibility of her generation. The Opposite of Loneliness is an assemblage of Marina’s essays and stories that, like The Last Lecture, articulates the universal struggle that all of us face as we figure out what we aspire to be and how we can harness our talents to make an impact on the world.


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Listen to The Diane Rehm Show:
Jane Fonda on Being a Teen

Being a Teen: Everything Teen Girls & Boys Should Know About Relationships, Sex, Love, Health, Identity & More
By Jane Fonda

At age 76, Jane Fonda hasn’t slowed down one bit. She has a recurring guest role on HBO’s The Newsroom, she’s co-starring in a new Netflix comedy to be aired in 2015, her philanthropic activities are in full swing and she’s just released a new book. This thorough, concise guide offers straight talk about:

• The male and female body as it changes and matures.
• Teen relationships: what it takes to create happy, supportive, positive and meaningful connections with family, friends and others.
• Identity empowerment: how to be authentic and thrive in today’s world.
• Sex and sexuality for boys and girls: how teens should take care of their bodies, embrace their experiences and strengthen self-esteem.
• Strategies for working through the toughest challenges, including bullying, sexual abuse, eating disorders, pregnancy and more.


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Listen to All Things Considered:
After a Disaster in Family Life, Relief Never Comes

Family Life: A Novel
By Akhil Sharma

Finally joining their father in America, Ajay and Birju enjoy their new, extraordinary life until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother incapacitated and the other practically orphaned in this strange land in the second novel from the author of An Obedient Father.

"Outstanding ... Every page is alive and surprising, proof of [Sharma’s] huge, unique talent." — David Sedaris


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Listen to Marketplace:
Pixar: From Toy Story to today

Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration
By Ed Catmull, Amy Wallace

Creativity, Inc. is a book for managers who want to lead their employees to new heights, a manual for anyone who strives for originality, and the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar Animation — into the meetings, postmortems and "Braintrust" sessions where some of the most successful films in history are made. It is, at heart, a book about how to build a creative culture — but it is also, as Pixar co-founder and president Ed Catmull writes, "an expression of the ideas that I believe make the best in us possible."

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The Current:
Dan Wilson performs in The Current studio

Love Without Fear
By Dan Wilson

From his early days as singer and guitarist for Minneapolis cult favorites Trip Shakespeare to his Grammy-winning turn as songsmith for acts like the Dixie Chicks and Adele, Dan Wilson’s career has been a humble and inspiring Midwestern success story.

Pouring his passions and talent into various collaborations, production efforts and graphic art, Wilson has dedicated a relatively scant amount of time (though plenty of effort) to his career as a solo artist. 2007’s sharp collection Free Life was only his first studio LP and it took him another seven years to follow it up with the warm, meditative Love Without Fear.

Although Wilson began his career in the mid 1980s, he’s chosen his projects carefully and since the dissolution of Semisonic (his second and most successful band) in 2001, he’s made it his business to stand for quality over quantity. The eleven songs on Love Without Fear pull from the various styles in which Wilson has worked, blending bits of country and Americana with straight-ahead rock and pop, all fused to a sturdy spine of classic singer/songwriter music. Even more so than on Free Life, the songs are delivered on warmly recorded acoustic guitar or piano and tastefully backed by a band of industry pros and guests like Blake Mills, Nickel Creek’s Sean Watkins, and Dixie Chick Natalie Maines.

Love Without Fear is a strong, mature work and it’s great to hear Wilson step out from behind his collaborators to present his own work again. His songwriting may have brought him the most success, but it’s Wilson’s superb tenor voice that gives those songs a life of their own. Let’s hope it’s not another seven years before we hear it again.


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Listen to NPR Music:
The Both: Tiny Desk Concert

The Both
By The Both

Critically acclaimed musicians Aimee Mann and Ted Leo have joined forces for a collaborative project they call The Both. Building on a friendship forged while they were on tour together last year, it was Leo’s solo sets that piqued Mann’s interest in getting on stage with him and writing music together. Of the project, Mann notes, “Honestly, I feel like for the first time, I’m part of a rock band.”


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Listen to Mountain Stage:
Rodney Crowell

Tarpaper Sky
By Rodney Crowell

Esteemed musician, songwriter and author Rodney Crowell has teamed up with New West Records to release Tarpaper Sky, his new self-produced album. It comes fast on the heels of Old Yellow Moon, Crowell's critically lauded collaboration with Emmylou Harris, which won a 2013 Grammy Award and was named 2013 Album of the Year by the Americana Music Association.

Crowell has pushed the boundaries of country, folk and roots music since long before the term Americana was coined as a genre, making a name for himself and gaining respect as both a songwriter and as an artist. Celebrating 40 years of making music, Crowell has created an album that harks back to some of his most revered and loved works.

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Listen to The Current:
Movie Maven: Great Expectations

Great Expectations

From the director of Four Weddings and a Funeral comes this fresh, absorbing film adaptation of Charles Dickens' beloved novel starring Helena Bonham Carter and Ralph Fiennes. After Pip, an orphaned blacksmith's apprentice (Jeremy Irvine) inherits a fortune from an anonymous benefactor, his future seems promising. But a bitter heiress (Bonham Carter) is intent on preventing Pip from finding true love in this lush, satisfying drama that also stars Jason Flemyng, Robbie Coltrane and Holliday Grainger.


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Listen to Here & Now:
The Real Philomena

Philomena

When she fell pregnant as a teenager in Ireland in 1952, Philomena Lee (Judi Dench) was sent to the convent to be looked after as a fallen woman. She cared for her baby for three years until the Church took him from her and sold him, like countless others, to America for adoption. Coerced into signing a document promising never to attempt to see her child again, she nonetheless spent the next fifty years secretly searching for him, unaware that he was searching for her from across the Atlantic.


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The Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection (1949-1959)

Since 1949, Mr. Magoo has bumbled his way to good fortune for more than six decades. His endearing misadventures in everyday life and his stubborn self-confidence have entertained generations.

Voiced by the multitalented comedic actor Jim Backus, the nearsighted Mr. Magoo was an instant hit and went on to become a classic animated character starring in two Academy Award winning theatrical shorts, three television series and two television specials.

This special collector’s edition brings together for the first time on DVD all 53 theatrical cartoons, including 12 cartoons in anamorphic widescreen for the first time, and the feature film 1001 Arabian Nights, all in one deluxe collection.

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Gifts for Gardeners

It’s hard to choose a gift for a gardener! Do you get them a plant or seeds? Many gardeners wish to pick their own tools because they want to know how they feel in their hands (which makes picking a gift even more difficult). So, after searching long and hard, I came across this great feature from Charlie Nardozzi, host of Vermont Garden Journal, where he provides a list of gifts that any gardener would love: from gloves to lip balm, universal tools to helpful products such as plant ties and protective covers. Read the full article here or visit the Vermont Garden Journal archives.

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Women’s Garden Gloves
(6 Pairs)

Felco Classic Manual Pruning Shears

Velcro Plant Hooks
and Ties


CobraHead Weeder
and Cultivator

Canvas Garden Tool Belt

Harvest Guard
Row Cover

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Additional Resources for Gardeners:

Here & Now: How to Garden in Drought and Heat

With much of the country under drought conditions and temperatures soaring in the rest of the country, what is a backyard gardener to do?

Ahmed Hassan is a professional landscaper and former host of Turf Wars and Yard Crashers on the DIY network and HGTV. Hassan told Here & Now that the most important things to think about when prepping your garden for drought are the type of plants you use and how you treat your soil.

Vermont Garden Journal: Tomato Blight

We've all seen it happen. Your tomatoes are growing great with vigorous growth, flowers and even small fruits. Then it starts on the bottom leaves with some spots or browning. Slowly it spreads. Then more quickly to engulf the plant until by mid summer your prized tomatoes are nothing but stems with a few fruits. Welcome to the world of blight.

The Victory Garden: Raised Beds

We're talking about raised beds. Raised beds make gardening easier, there's just no doubt about that. It's easier to control the soil, the drainage. It's also easier to reach — for anyone who is tired of crawling around in the dirt.

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Of Interest to Public Radio Fans
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APHC Grandstand

We’ve received a lot of requests for this show, so we’re excited to announce that A Prairie Home Companion will be back at the Minnesota State Fair Grandstand on August 29 — tickets are on sale now!

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

David Edin
dedin@mpr.org
Merchandise Manager


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Tim Russell

SPONSOR

Downton Abbey Season 4

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