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Word of Mouth
1:45 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

What Is "Twee"?

Flower crowns: Twee. Children with adult expressions: even more so.
Credit Waponi via Flickr Creative Commons

We spoke with Marc Spitz about his new book Twee, in which he tries to give a comprehensive and explanatory history of “the gentle revolution.”

(You can hear that conversation here.)

The tenants of Twee are varied but they come down to this: there is darkness in this world that can only be overcome by cultivating passions that foster beauty and evoke a sense of innocence, goodness, and childhood.

In other words, when the world gets scary, just put a bird on it.

As with any cultural movement, the question of Twee can spark long debates (and trying to sort through “Twee vs. Not Twee” makes an awesome party game). To get you up to speed, here’s a handy list of things that are definitively Twee. As Twee defies categorization, we present this to you as a holistic experience, books mixing with music mixing with…hairstyles?

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Word of Mouth
1:36 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

6.9.14: Understanding Twee, Michael Blum, And Comedian Todd Glass

Credit laverrue via Flickr Creative Commons

We are in the midst of a cultural movement…it’s called Twee and boy is it precious. Today we look into the gentle revolution that is Twee…from artisanal pickles to Wes Anderson films, why this retro wish for innocence is thriving. Then, we hear from a local jazz musician who has just released his debut album to good reviews. He has a long career ahead of him since he’s only 20 years old. Plus, a conversation with comedian Todd Glass. He’s been performing stand-up since 1982, but he made his boldest move in 2012 when he came out publicly as gay on Marc Maron’s podcast WTF.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

6.9.14 Full Show

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Word of Mouth
1:34 pm
Wed March 26, 2014

3.26.14: Novelist Ismael Beah & The Economics Of Satisfaction Guaranteed

Credit via indiebound.org

L.L. Bean, The North Face, Nordstrom and Land’s End all sell apparel, but they have another thing in common: they guarantee their merchandise for life. But is that really a shrewd business move? Today on Word of Mouth, the pros and cons of the lifetime guarantee.  Plus, Producer Zach Nugent interviews a few people who have tested that policy, and talks to one company’s PR rep about the fine print of their policy.

Also today, child-soldier-turned novelist Ishmael Beah talks about rebuilding lives, communities, and trust after a brutal war.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

3.26.14: Novelist Ismael Beah & The Economics Of Satisfaction Guaranteed

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Word of Mouth
12:15 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

Writers On A New England Stage - B.J. Novak

B.J. Novak reads from his book, "One More Thing"
Photo by David J. Murray ClearEyePhoto.com

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with B.J. Novak, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth.

Best known for his role as “Ryan the Temp” on The Office, Novak talks with us about his debut collection of short stories One More Thing which he thinks is even more revealing than a memoir.

We’ll also get his take on his rising fame, and the not-so-heavy burden of being a celebrity author.

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Word of Mouth
1:45 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Writers On A New England Stage: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

Virginia Prescott and Justice Sotomayor
Photo(s) by David J. Murray ClearEyePhoto.com

Writers on a New England Stage: Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor

NHPR and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. Justice Sotomayor sat down with Virginia Prescott to discuss her memoir, My Beloved World. She's not permitted to comment on current cases, which gave Virginia plenty of time to discuss Justice Sotomayor's childhood in the Bronx, what it was like to throw out the first pitch at Yankee Stadium and counseling a Sesame Street character, Abby Cadabby on possible career choices.

Word of Mouth
12:05 pm
Wed January 22, 2014

Entering The 'Promise Land' Of Self-Help

Credit via promiselandbook.com

Three weeks into the New Year, sticking to that resolution to exercise more or stop eating sugar or drink less may feel a little extreme. So, what do you do? Shrug your shoulders and reach for another cupcake? Log onto veganlife.com? Head for the bookstore to find somebody, anybody, who can guide us to be fitter, happier, radiant human beings? From the meditations of Marcus Aurelius to Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanac,”  people have been reaching for advice on how to be more fully actualized since long before being self-actualized was a term. The writer Jessica Lamb-Shapiro set out to explore the 11-billion dollar industry of self-improvement books, seminars, and coaching to figure out why people follow them so devoutly--if they work--and what happens when they don’t. She’s written a memoir called, Promise Land: My Journey Through America’s Self-Help Culture.

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Word of Mouth
10:51 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Nicholson Baker On Paul Chowder And 'Traveling Sprinkler'

Credit Photo of Nicholson Baker courtesy the Poetry Foundation

Author Nicholson Baker joins us to talk about his recurring character Paul Chowder. The procrastinating poet first tuned up in Baker's novel The Anthologist, and is now the center of his latest book, Traveling Sprinkler.

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