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Bob Elsewhere

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July 14 - August 1, 2014 

Monday, July 14, 2014

Bob talks to Anthony Marra about his novel, A Constellation of Vital Phenomena, which has just come out in paperback.  It was a New York Times bestseller when it was published in May 2013. This week it was shortlisted for the Pen Literary Award (for first fiction).  The novel is set in a small village in Chechnya, a breakaway republic in southern Russia during the 1990’s and early 2000’s.  During these years, Russian troops abducted anyone suspected of helping or sympathizing with Chechen separatists.  Marra’s characters in A Constellation of Vital Phenomena are not the soldiers, or partisans in the war, but ordinary people doing whatever they can to survive in a war zone.  Then, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater. 


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Just six weeks before Linor Abargil won the Miss World competition in 1998, she was kidnapped, raped, and stabbed by an Israeli travel agent in Italy.  Filmmakers Cecilia Peck andInbal Lessner tell this story in Brave Miss World, a documentary on Abargil’s experience and her work to end sexual violence.  Brave Miss World is available on Netflix. Then, we remember world-renowned conductor Lorin Maazel.  In 2008, Bob visited Maazel’s Virginia home to speak about the opera camp he ran there, his time with the New York Philharmonic and their unusual trip to North Korea.  Lorin Maazel died Sunday at the age of 84.  


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Once identified by art historian Robert Rosenblum as the 20th century’s “most overrated and underrated artist,” Andrew Wyeth’s work has long been a polarizing force in American art.  A new exhibition at the National Gallery of Art titled Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking Inhighlights the artist’s fascination with windows.  Curator Nancy Anderson talks with Bob about Wyeth’s work and life.   Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In is open until November 30, 2014.  Then, Jolie Holland was one of the founding members of the folk band The Be Good Tanyas. She’s been described as embodying “everything weird and wonderful in the history of American music.” Her new solo albumWine Dark Sea is now out. 


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Documentary filmmaker Dan Cohen’s new film, Alive Inside, won the Audience Award for Best Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year.  It shows the remarkable power of music on those suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia.  Cohen talks with Bob about his film and the experiences that inspired it. The film opens tomorrow in New York City.  Then, Bob talks with Cowboy poet Baxter Black about his latest book, Poems Worth Saving, a collection of Baxter’s favorite poems he’s done over the years.


Friday, July 18, 2014

First, Doyle McManus of the Los Angeles Times joins us each Friday for an analysis of politics, but this week he’s offering book suggestions appropriate for your day at the beach. Then, Bob talks with director Richard Linklater about his latest movie ‘Boyhood’ which he filmed over 12 actual years. The only special effect is watching the main character grow up on screen…starting in elementary school and ending on his first day in college.  The story follows family moves, unfortunate stepfathers and broken hearts and stars newcomer Ellar Coltrane as Mason, and Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke as his biological parents.


Monday, July 21, 2014

In 1969, four African American men set out to create “the pre-eminent voice for black women,” according to The New York Times.  That “voice” was Essence magazine. Bob talks to founder Edward Lewis and former executive Audrey Edwards about the magazine, its past, and their book The Man From Essence: Creating A Magazine for Black Women.  Then, Bob talks with Roger Blevins Jr. about the music of his oddly named band, Mingo Fishtrap.  They combine the sounds of Memphis and New Orleans, with a little north Texas thrown in, to create a funky sound all their own. The group’s latest album is titled On Time.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

 Armed with a notebook and binoculars, 50 years ago this month, a 26 year old Jane Goodall traveled to what is today Tanzania to study chimpanzees. Now 80 years old, and on the road 300 days of the year, Goodall is largely responsible for changing our perceptions of the relationship between humans and animals.  Goodall is the subject of the documentary Jane’s Journey, which is available online.  Then, it’s been more than twenty years since Scott Turow helped invent the legal thriller genre with his #1 bestseller, Presumed Innocent.  That book sold more than 6 ½ million copies and was on The New York Times bestseller list for 45 weeks.  Turow has remained a practicing lawyer over the years and has been very active in capital punishment reform in Illinois.  His latest suspense novel, Identical, is loosely based on the myth of the Greek god Zeus’s twin sons (one mortal and one immortal).  Identical is now available in paperback. 


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

When reports began that thousands of unaccompanied children were crossing the U.S. border, the Arizona Republic dispatched nine reporters and photographers to Central America, Mexico and the Rio Grande Valley.  In four short weeks, the paper produced a very impressive multi-part multimedia series titled “Pipeline of children: A border crisis.”  Bob Ortega is one of the lead reporters for the series.  Then, Bob sits down with members of the Austin-based classical collective Mother Falcon for a private concert in our performance studio.  They’ll play a few songs from their latest “orchestral rock” album titled You Knew and discuss the unique challenges that face an 18-member touring band.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Director and actor Rob Reiner has either directed and/or acted in some of the most beloved movies of the 20th century.  His credits includes This Is Spinal Tap, Stand By Me, The Princess Bride, When Harry Met Sally, A Few Good Men, and Sleepless in Seattle.  His new film, And So It Goes, stars Diane Keaton and Michael Douglas as next door neighbors brought together by Douglas’s character’s teenage granddaughter.  And So It Goes opens nationwide tomorrow.  Then, Bob talks with The Bacon Brothers about their latest album 36 Cents.  The six-piece band features actor Kevin Bacon and his brother, Michael, a film score composer.  Since making the band official in 1995, the Brothers have released seven albums.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Next, journalist James Nestor was on assignment in Greece when he saw a man dive 300 feet below the ocean’s surface on a single breath of air.  When the man returned four minutes later, Nestor decided to learn all he could about freedivers - extreme athletes who rely on their lungs instead of breathing equipment.  Nestor’s interest in humans with amphibious abilities turned into a book, Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science, And What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves. Next, over 40 years ago, readers first met the fearless adventurer, marine engineer, and government agent Dirk Pitt in author Clive Cussler’s The Mediterranean Caper.  A copywriter by day, Cussler started writing at night to keep himself company while his wife worked a nightshift.  His book, Zero Hour, is available in paperback. 


Monday, July 28, 2014

In 2011, 13 young women and one young man in the small town of LeRoy, New York experienced “conversion disorder,” a mysterious malady that results in uncontrollable tics, stutters and seizures.  Novelist Katherine Howe used this real-life incident as the basis for her new book, Conversion.  Then, Ernest Ranglin is a Jamaican guitarist and composer recognized as one of the pioneers of both reggae and ska. Ranglin gave Bob Marley his first hit and it’s his guitar handiwork that you hear on most reggae standards. Now 82-years-old, Ranglin is adding a new album to his discography. Bless Up is the perfect soundtrack for the summer.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Author David Baldacci’s books have sold more than 110 million copies worldwide.  Now he turns his gifted and charmed pen to writing for young people, with his first fantasy YA novel The Finisher.  Then, feminist film critic Molly Haskell wrote a memoir about her sixty year old brother, Chevey Haskell, who came out as transgendered and now lives as Ellen Hampton. Bob talks to Haskell about her brother and her book My Brother My Sister: Story of a Transformation, which is now available in paperback.


Wednesday, July 30, 2014

 Year after year, American students rank in the bottom third in international rankings of math and science scores. In reading, the U.S. doesn’t even make the top ten, trailing Canada and Estonia among others.  In her book, investigative journalist, Amanda Ripley, follows the lives of three American exchange students who spent a year studying in countries that consistently receive the highest marks to find out why children in Finland, Poland, and South Korea do so well.  Ripley book is titled The Smartest Kids in the World and it’s available in paperback.  Then, east African singer-songwriterSomi moved from New York City to Lagos, Nigeria to find inspiration. She returned 18 months later with a heart full of stories and an album to boot. Somi joins Bob for a conversation about her life, her travels, and her sophomore album The Lagos Music Salon. 


Thursday, July 31, 2014

Bob talks to Washington Post National Security editor Peter Finn, and translator/writer Petra Couvee about their new book, The Zhivago Affair: The Kremlin, the CIA, and the Battle Over a Forbidden Book.  Then, Bob talks to director Tate Taylor, and actor Chadwick Bosemanabout their new film, Get on Up.  It’s about the Godfather of soul, James Brown.


Friday, August 1, 2014

Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times, joins Bob to discuss the latest political news.  Then, Bob talks to actor Brendan Gleeson and director John McDonagh about their new film, Cavalry.    And finally, we hear a new commentary from children’s book writer and illustrator Daniel Pinkwater.