There are a fair number of people out there who've been waiting for this novel for a good, long time. Because of who Ben Metcalf is (an outspoken essayist, the former literary editor for Harper's Magazine, an all-around light of the word-slinging world), there were a lot of people waiting to hate it. Maybe an equal number waiting to love it. The good news? Both sides are going to be happy.
Jason Reynolds' debut When I Was the Greatest put him on the radar of many YA readers looking for fresh new voices. His latest, The Boy in the Black Suit,begins in a place we've seen before: the senior lockers, the first day back at high school.
When Michele Serros burst onto the literary scene in the 1990s, she was a new kind of Latina writer: She didn't speak much Spanish, she listened to ABBA and she was a vegan who liked to surf and skateboard. Her success as a writer, poet and comedic commentator made her an inspirational voice for Chicanas of her generation and beyond.
Serros, who Newsweek once hailed as a "Woman to Watch for the New Century," died of cancer Sunday at her home in Berkeley, Calif. She was 48 years old.
Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 2:14 pm
After the holidays, it didn't take any time at all for TV to get back into the swing of things, at least on Sunday nights. Last Sunday, both The Good Wife on CBS and Downton Abbey on PBS returned with strong new episodes to start the New Year — and ABC premiered an odd little musical comedy series, called Galavant. All those shows are back with fresh episodes this Sunday, and this weekend, they're joined by a handful of returning cable series as well.
Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 12:04 pm
Empire comes to Fox with an interesting pedigree: It was created by Danny Strong (who's written multiple award-winning projects for HBO) and Lee Daniels, who made Precious and The Butler — both films with a sheen of prestige, but both films to which people reacted in complex ways. It stars Terrence Howard and Taraji P. Henson, who are both past Oscar nominees. The executive music producer is Timbaland, who's worked with all kinds of folks, including Jay-Z and Justin Timberlake.
Originally published on Thu January 8, 2015 2:02 pm
At times, Fox's new hip-hop centered family drama Empire feels like Dynasty by way of Jay-Z and Beyonce — or Glee with a beat.
Especially during scenes like the moment that pops up early in Wednesday night's debut episode, when two brothers improvise a song together during a house party that winds up sounding like it was pieced together over weeks in a Los Angeles recording studio.
North Alabama’s thermometers may bottom out as a hard freeze is expected to hit the state this evening into tomorrow. Forecasters are warning of a prolonged period of sub-freezing temperatures as an arctic cold front moves into the state. Tim Troutman is the lead forecaster for the National Weather Service in Huntsville. He says temps will be much cooler than normal…
Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 10:40 am
The first small mammal in Thomas Pierce's short story collection is Shirley Temple Three, "waist-high, with a pelt of dirty-blond fur that hangs in tangled draggles to the dirt." Shirley is a dwarf mammoth, a member of a species that hasn't been around for millennia, cloned for the sake of a television show called Back from Extinction.
Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 5:36 pm
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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:
The premise of "Descent," a new novel by Tim Johnston, is a familiar one. A teenaged girl disappears; her family agonizes over her fate. But reviewer Alan Cheuse says this is much more than your typical thriller.
Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 2:36 pm
Like many devoted fans, I jumped on the release of newly reconfigured, high-definition versions of HBO's classic cop series The Wire, binge-watching much of the show's five seasons on the HBO GO streaming service over the holidays.
From the time we started Pop Culture Happy Hour, Stephen Thompson and I have occasionally heard a plaintive cry: "Why do you guys mention The Bachelor?" And it's true: we do. It comes up from time to time as a strange example of perplexing television, but we would never let it run roughshod over an entire episode.
Originally published on Wed January 14, 2015 9:38 am
Four a cappella voices making divine music: This has been the heart of Anonymous 4's mission for nearly three decades. And as the group bids farewell this season, they're saying goodbye in a poignant way — with the release of an album that couldn't feel more timely. It commemorates the 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction.
The National Weather Service is looking into damage from last weekend’s storms in Alabama. APR’s Alex AuBuchon reports, forecasters are also looking ahead to some brutally cold weather starting tonight…