This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jennifer Ludden in Washington. Neal Conan is away. It's graduation season, and that means 20-somethings and parents sitting through long commencement ceremonies while the older and wiser give advice. Here's comedian Stephen Colbert speaking at the University of Virginia.
Director Steven Soderbergh had been looking for a way to frame a film about the extravagant entertainer Liberace for years when a friend recommended the book Behind the Candelabra: My Life with Liberace.
The book — a memoir — is by Scott Thorson, who for five years was Liberace's lover, though that wasn't publicly disclosed at the time.
Halfway through The Unwinding, George Packer — author of the highly praised The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq (2005) — delineates how quickly political idealism can disappear when one becomes exposed to a world of easy money.
Lionel Shriver doesn't shy away from hot-button topics. Her breakout novel, We Need to Talk About Kevin, from 2003, was about the mother of a teen who kills seven classmates in a school massacre (it was made into a film with Tilda Swinton). Her 2010 novel, So Much for That, which took aim at the American health care system, was nominated for the National Book Award.
On the night of Oct. 19, 1984, Erik Vogel was uneasy about flying. It was snowing; his plane's de-icer and autopilot weren't working; and his co-pilot had been bumped to fit one more passenger on his 10-seater. But the young pilot was behind schedule and he felt like his job was on the line, so he took off, as he did most days, shuttling between the remote communities that dot the Canadian wilderness.
Phil Jackson is famous not only for coaching stars — Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen with the Chicago Bulls, Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O'Neal with the L.A. Lakers — but also for his distinctive "zen" approach to basketball. He introduced his teams to yoga and meditation, and regularly assigned his players books to read.
Over the 60 years that Mel Brooks has been in the entertainment business, his name has become synonymous with comedy. He is the man who broke Broadway records for most Tony Award wins with The Producers (an adaptation of his own movie); who satirized Westerns and racism in Blazing Saddles; and who poked fun at monster movies with Young Frankenstein.
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Pablo Helguera is a New York-based artist working with sculpture, drawing, photography and performance. His new book isHelguera's Artunes. You can see more of his work atArtworld Salon and on his own site.
“An Accidental Memoir: How I Killed Someone and Other Essays and Stories” Author: Wendy Reed Publisher: NewSouth Books Pages: 208 Price: $24.95 (Cloth)
Wendy Reed is a familiar and respected member of the Alabama literary community, having co- edited two books on Southern women and spirituality for the University of Alabama Press, and been a prize-winning producer/writer on “Discovering Alabama,” not to mention the literary interview show “Bookmark.”
A new exhibit at a southeast Alabama museum includes dozens of photographs from World War II.
The exhibit, "Memories of World War II Photographs from the Archives of The Associated Press," will be on display at the Wiregrass Museum in Dothan now through July 14.
The Dothan Eagle reports (http://bit.ly/14nBr1z) that the museum becomes one of more than 20 museums throughout the U.S. that have shown the exhibit since it originally opened to the public on May 24, 2004, at Washington's Union Station.
Two stars from the popular reality show "Duck Dynasty" are planning to attend an event in Auburn.
The Opelika-Auburn News reports (http://bit.ly/11QbYRb) that Silas "Uncle Si" Robertson and Alan Robertson, both from the A&E cable show, are among celebrities set to appear at the Aug. 24 event at Auburn Arena.
Tickets for the event are being sold through Youth First and Youth for Christ in Auburn, with proceeds from the event going toward Youth for Christ.