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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for December 2019: Martin interviews Cecelia Watson, author of Semicolon: The Past, Present, and Future of a Misunderstood Mark.

Fri, 12/06/2019 - 8:32am

The semicolon --- Stephen King, Hemingway, Vonnegut, and Orwell detest it. Herman Melville, Henry James, and Rebecca Solnit love it. But why? When is it effective? Have we been misusing it? Should we even care?

In SemicolonCecelia Watson charts the rise and fall of this infamous punctuation mark, which for years was the trendiest one in the world of letters. But in the nineteenth century, as grammar books became all the rage, the rules of how we use language became both stricter and more confusing, with the semicolon a prime victim. Taking us on a breezy journey through a range of examples—from Milton’s manuscripts to Martin Luther King Jr.’s “Letters from Birmingham Jail” to Raymond Chandler’s The Big Sleep—Watson reveals how traditional grammar rules make us less successful at communicating with each other than we’d think. Even the most die-hard grammar fanatics would be better served by tossing the rule books and learning a better way to engage with language.

Through her rollicking biography of the semicolon, Watson writes a guide to grammar that explains why we don’t need guides at all, and refocuses our attention on the deepest, most primary value of language: true communication.

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AADL Reads: Stephen Mack Jones

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 8:42am

Stephen Mack Jones stopped by the studio to discuss a lot of books, including his own "Lives Laid Away"!

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Author | Washington Post Associate Editor Steve Luxenberg: Separate: The Story of Plessy V. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation

Tue, 11/26/2019 - 9:21am

Plessy v. Ferguson is synonymous with Jim Crow laws and the unjust legal doctrine of “separate but equal.” But few Americans know more than the name of the case and have just a superficial understanding of its origins and outcome. Joins us as award-winning author Steve Luxenberg discusses one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the 19th century and his award-winning new book Separate: The Story of Plessy V. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation.

This sweeping, swiftly paced, and richly detailed book is essential reading for any American looking to understand racism, the long struggle for civil rights, and the deep, often surprising history of our nation’s most devastating divide. On June 7, 1892 Homer Plessy, a light-skinned Creole bought a first-class ticket on the East Louisiana Railroad, boarding the whites-only first-class car. The train conductor promptly arrested him. The resulting case Plessy v. Ferguson (Ferguson was the state judge that ruled against Plessy and upheld the state’s law) was argued before the Supreme Court in 1896. Drawing from letters, diaries, and archival collections, and weaving biography, history, and legal drama together on a grand scale, Luxenberg recreates the personalities and debates that informed the Court’s decision and shaped race relations for generations

The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson, and America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation was named a New York Times Editor's Choice, and was longlisted for the 2019 Cundill History Prize. As a work in progress, it won the 2016 J. Anthony Lukas Award for excellence in nonfiction. Steve Luxenberg is an associate editor at The Washington Post and an award-winning author. During his forty years as an editor and reporter, Steve has overseen reporting that has earned many national honors, including two Pulitzer Prizes. His first book, the critically-acclaimed Annie’s Ghosts: A Journey into a Family Secret, was a 2010 Michigan Notable Book and the 2013-14 Great Michigan Read. Steve lives in Baltimore.

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Author Event | The History of Tiger Stadium: A Love Letter to Baseball at Michigan & Trumbull

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 8:33am

After writing 9 books about the joy of canoeing & kayaking rivers, lifelong Michigan resident Doc Fletcher moves to dry land for his latest book: The History of Tiger Stadium: A Love Letter to Baseball at Michigan & Trumbull, honoring The Cathedral at The Corner where - together with great-grandparents, grandparents, parents, uncles, aunts, siblings, children, godchildren, & friends - we have cheered our Detroit Tigers. Although the structure is gone, the memories remain...

"It was a night game, the field a shade of green that was the most beautiful color I'd ever seen, the smells, sounds, and sights of the pre-game action delightfully overwhelming... the air filled with the bouquet of hot dogs, spilt beer, and a cigar aroma much like that of the House of Windsor stogies preferred by my Dad. Cries of the vendors peddling those items pierced the air. Several Tigers were engaged in a game of pepper along the box seats down the right field foul line, as nearby Bill Freehan tossed a ball back 'n forth with a teammate, entertaining the fans by playfully catching the ball behind his back."

Doc shares stories from the book of the characters on the field, in the stands, and those in the neighborhoods surrounding the ballpark, as well as about the broadcasters who brought the action to us when we couldn't be there ourselves.

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Author Event | jessica Care moore - "We Want Our Bodies Back"

Wed, 11/20/2019 - 8:20am

jessica Care moore, an internationally renowned poet, playwright, performance artist, and producer from Detroit, previews her newest work: "We Want Our Bodies Back."  Moore first came to national prominence when she won the “It’s Showtime at the Apollo” competition a record breaking five times in a row.  She is the 2013 Alain Locke Award Recipient from the Detroit Institute of Arts, and her poetry has been heard at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and the London Institute of Contemporary Arts.  She is the CEO of Moore Black Press, Executive Producer of Black WOMEN Rock!, and founder of the literacy-driven Jess Care Moore Foundation.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for November 2019: Martin interviews Jonathan Scott, author of The Vinyl Frontier: The Story of the Voyager Golden Record

Thu, 11/07/2019 - 3:00pm

In 1977, a team led by the great Carl Sagan was assembled to create a record that would travel to the stars on NASA’s Voyager probe. The Vinyl Frontier reveals the inside story of how the record was created, from the first phone call to the final launch, when Voyager 1 and 2 left Earth with a playlist that would represent humanity to any future alien races that come into contact with the probe. Each song, sound and picture that made the final cut has a story to tell.

The Golden Record is a 90-minute playlist of music from across the globe, a sound essay of life on Earth, spoken greetings in multiple languages, and more than 100 photographs, all painstakingly chosen by Sagan and his team to create an aliens' guide to Earthlings. The final playlist contains music written and performed by well-known names such as Bach, Beethoven, Chuck Berry and Blind Willie Johnson, as well as music from China, India and more remote cultures, such as a community in Small Malaita in the Solomon Islands.

Through interviews with all of the key players involved with the record, this book pieces together the whole story of the Golden Record. It addresses the myth that the Beatles were left off of the record because of copyright reasons and will include new information about US president Jimmy Carter’s role in the record, as well as many other fascinating insights that have never been reported before. It also tells the love story between Carl Sagan and the project’s creative director Ann Druyan that flourishes as the record is being created.                                                                                              

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AADL Reads: Sarah Dessen

Tue, 10/29/2019 - 8:29am

Sarah Dessen, author of The Rest of the Story and SO MANY other YA novels, stopped and talked with us for a while about YA fiction, movie adaptations, and more!

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for October 2019: Martin interviews C.M. Kushins, author of Nothing's Bad Luck: The Lives of Warren Zevon.

Tue, 10/01/2019 - 1:07pm

As is the case with so many musicians, the life of Warren Zevon was blessed with talent and opportunity yet also beset by tragedy and setbacks. Raised mostly by his mother with an occasional cameo from his gangster father, Warren had an affinity and talent for music at an early age. Taking to the piano and guitar almost instantly, he began imitating and soon creating songs at every opportunity. After an impromptu performance in the right place at the right time, a record deal landed on the lap of a teenager who was eager to set out on his own and make a name for himself. But of course, where fame is concerned, things are never quite so simple.

Drawing on original interviews with those closest to Zevon, including Crystal Zevon, Jackson Browne, Mitch Albom, Danny Goldberg, Barney Hoskyns, and Merle Ginsberg, Nothing's Bad Luck tells the story of one of rock's greatest talents. Journalist C.M. Kushins not only examines Zevon's troubled personal life and sophisticated, ever-changing musical style, but emphasizes the moments in which the two are inseparable, and ultimately paints Zevon as a hot-headed, literary, compelling, musical genius worthy of the same tier as that of Bob Dylan and Neil Young.

In Nothing's Bad Luck, Kushins at last gives Warren Zevon the serious, in-depth biographical treatment he deserves, making the life of this complex subject accessible to fans old and new for the very first time.

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Author Event | Paul Vachon Discusses "Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline"

Thu, 09/05/2019 - 12:27pm

Let’s take a walk—a long walk, back over three centuries. At the dawn of the eighteenth century Detroit was established as simply an outpost for the French to take advantage of the fur trade while keeping the British at bay. The new book Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline, by Paul Vachon, points out many of the seminal events and noteworthy turning points of Detroit’s long journey, some little known: the city’s fall to the British during the War of 1812, the existence of slavery in Detroit as late as the 1820's, and Mayor Hazen Pingree’s aggressive advocacy for the everyday citizen against corporate interests. Chapters devoted to the twentieth century highlight Detroit’s underappreciated architectural heritage, the development of its notable cultural institutions, as well as the exploits of assorted scoundrels, such as the Black Legion, the Purple Gang, Harry Bennett and Father Charles Coughlin.

Martin Bandyke hosts author Paul Vachon as he discusses and shows images from Detroit: An Illustrated Timeline.

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Martin Bandyke Under Covers for September 2019: Martin interviews Carey Cranston, President of the American Writers Museum.

Wed, 08/28/2019 - 10:18am

The American Writers Museum opened in downtown Chicago in May 2017, and its mission is to celebrate the enduring influence of American writers on our history, our identity, our culture, and our daily lives.

American writing is distinctive, diverse, and comes in many forms from across the nations. As the only museum devoted to American writers and their works, AWM connects visitors with their favorite authors and writings from more than five centuries, while inspiring the discovery of new works of every type – poetry, lyrics, speeches, drama, fiction, nonfiction, journalism, and more.

The authors and works presented by the Museum are not meant to be a definitive list of who is the greatest or most influential. Instead, the museum presents authors and works as part of a continuum that will grow and change.