Books

Word of Mouth
2:12 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

7.09.14: Sialkot Soccer Balls, Thoughts for English Teachers, and Keeping Calm

Credit John Cooper via Flickr Creative Commons

High tech can sometimes mean hand stitching. We discuss the production of World Cup soccer balls in Siaklot, Pakistan with Atlantic assistant editor, Joe Pinsker. Next, a conversation about the intricacies of teaching high school English with writer and teacher Nick Ripatrazone. Then, Dr. Jordan Ellenberg takes us through the most unread books of summer using his formula, the Hawking Index. And, we talk to "Joyland" author Emily Schultz about the strange events that followed the release Steven King's book of the same title. Plus, a look into the history of the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster.

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

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Word of Mouth
2:52 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

7.06.14: TV Openers, Lost Histories, And The Truth About Bug Spray

Credit Joel Christian Gill

Whether it’s a catchy theme song, or a single image - think Mary Tyler Moore tossing her cap into the air – some TV credit sequences are etched in our minds. Today we listen for the greatest TV opening sequences of all time. Plus, a look at a graphic novel that reveals the untold stories of African-American history…including that of Richard Potter, for whom the New Hampshire town of Potter Place is named. Then, tis the season for mosquitoes, black flies, and ticks. How are you preventing pesky bites? We sample the rainbow of bug repellant…from witch hazel to DEET.

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


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Word of Mouth
2:46 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

7.03.14: Megan Abbott, The Audio Orchard, And HitchBOT

Credit hitchBOT.me

Looking for a gripping summer read? How about The Crucible, with text messaging? Writer Megan Abbott discusses her new novel The Fever, which is based on a true story of mass hysteria among high school girls. And then, rebellious teens take note: hitchhiking is ill-advised…but what if you’re a machine? We’ll chat with the developers of Hitchbot, a robot that is set to hitch rides across Canada.  Plus, we visit the Audio Orchard to select to pluck the month’s best new songs.

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


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Word of Mouth
11:39 am
Thu June 26, 2014

Word Of Mouth Voted Best N.H. Radio Talk Show

Our brand new badge of honor.

We are so proud to have been voted Best New Hampshire Radio Talk Show by the readers of New Hampshire Magazine.

Six years after launching Word of Mouth, we still feel like upstarts and appreciate our listeners coming through. Thank you!  It's pleasure to bring you stories that spark curiosity and wonder about the world around us, and will continue spreading interesting information the best way we know how: through Word of Mouth.

And not only was Word of Mouth voted Best New Hampshire Radio Talk Show, but NHPR was voted Best FM Radio Station!

With all that in mind, here is a look back at some of your favorite Word of Mouth stories from the past year.

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Word of Mouth
12:00 pm
Wed June 25, 2014

Writers On A New England Stage: Bill Bryson's "One Summer: 1927"

Bill Bryson Photo by David J. Murray, ClearEyePhoto.com

Word of Mouth presents a special rebroadcast of Writers on a New England Stage with Bill Bryson, presented by NHPR and The Music Hall and recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. He joined Virginia Prescott on stage last October to talk about his book “One Summer: 1927.” It is now available in paperback.

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Word of Mouth
3:37 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

The Debate: Should Adults Be Embarrassed To Read YA?

Credit rachelkramerbussel.com via Flickr Creative Commons

When Ruth Graham published the Slate article “Against YA” there was an immediate push back. Here we’ve compiled some of our favorites for both sides of the debate.

Nay to YA

Against YA,” by Ruth Graham for Slate.

Here it is, the original article. It’s well-reasoned with a lot of good points, even if it’s getting billed with the uber-polarizing line, “you should be embarrassed to read YA.”  Many criticisms seem to skip straight to the part where Graham says adults shouldn't be reading YA, but there's more in here, so take a look.

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Word of Mouth
1:39 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

6.10.14: The Exo-Skeleton Kicking Off The World Cup And Why Reading YA Is Embarassing

Credit Thomás via Flickr Creative Commons

The world cup kicks off in Sao Paulo this Thursday amid controversy, corruption, and protest. Today, a profile of the neuroscientist behind a bionic exoskeleton that will make a miraculous kickoff at the world cup possible. But first, Stephen Dubner, co-author of Freaknomics, explains some of the decisions that are part of playing in the world cup. And then, a conversation with Ruth Graham, who triggered a fury among young adult fans by claiming "Adults should be embarrassed about reading literature for children".

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


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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed June 4, 2014

Must-Read Books For Summer 2014

As the warm weather finally arrives, we’re looking at what’s new this season in books suited for coming days at the beach, in the mountains, or even your backyard. There’s a new series from New Hampshire children’s author Paul Durham, a memoir from Mariano Rivera, and a new novel from perennial favorite JK Rowling. (digital post by Faith Meixell)

GUESTS:

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Murder Of Joseph Smith: Alex Beam's "American Crucifixion"

Credit alexbeam.net

We're sitting down with Boston Globe columnist Alex Beam to talk about his new book, "American Crucifixion," examining the life of Joseph Smith, founder of the Mormon Church.

GUEST: 

  • Alex Beam – columnist for the Boston Globe and author of several books, most recently “American Crucifixion.”

LINKS:

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The Exchange
5:40 am
Mon May 12, 2014

America's Bitter Debate Leading Up To WWII: Lynne Olson's "Those Angry Days"

Credit lynneolsen.com

We're sitting down with Lynne Olson, author of new book "Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America’s Fight Over World War II, 1939-1945." We'll discuss the bitter debate leading up American involvement in World War Two, a critical time in U.S. History.

GUEST:

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Word of Mouth
11:43 am
Tue March 25, 2014

3.25.14: Walter Kirn, Snake Oil, Johnny Cash & "MFA Versus NYC"

Credit via amazon.com, Chris Devers and Heinrich Klaffs via flickr Creative Commons & nplusonemag.com

No fooling: today's show deals with some dangerous imposters. It's not all lies and deception, however. We also have some "lost" sounds from the man in black himself. Finally, Chad Harbach talks about his controversial essay about making it as a writer. Grab your headphones and turn up the volume; we've got the stories behind the stories.

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

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Word of Mouth
1:06 pm
Tue March 18, 2014

3.18.14: The Sugar Season, A Syrup Taste Test With Douglas Whynott, & The Best Family Cars

Author Douglas Whynott & Host Virginia Prescott
Credit Sarah Thomas / NHPR

Today on Word of Mouth, a sweet conversation with a man who knows maple syrup. Emerson writing professor and author, Douglas Whynott joins us to discuss his new book The Sugar Season: A Year in the Life of Maple Syrup and One Family's Quest for the Sweetest Harvest. Plus, we'll put Whynott to the test when he joins Virginia in a blindfolded taste test of 4 grades of authentic, New Hampshire made maple  syrup and one imposter.

Also on the show, Jamie Page Deaton breaks down her list of the top choices for family cars. 

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

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Word of Mouth
4:21 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

3.12.14: Andre Dubus III, Children's Books, South By Southwest, & Vermont's Heroin 'Epidemic'

Credit W.W. Norton

Author Andre Dubus III talks about his new book "Dirty Love"

  • A successful professional hopes to win back his wife after proving her infidelity. A bank clerk crowding in on 30 and hoping for a family moves in with her compulsive, demeaning boyfriend.  A bartender who fancies himself a poet cheats on his pregnant wife, and a pretty teenaged girl gets shamed on Youtube and reaches out for the promise of a new future and a new love on Skype. These characters all live in the faded beach towns and leafy suburbs of the New England coast. They are united by their clumsy attempts at connection and are the subjects of four loosely connected novellas in a new book called “Dirty Love” by Andre Dubus III. The national book award-winning author of “House of Sand and Fog” and “Townie” again presents gritty, frustrated lives on the skids of the American dream... NOTE: Andre's reading and book signing at the New England College has been rescheduled to April 16th due to weather.
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Word of Mouth
1:46 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Required Reading: Fiction Vs. Non-Fiction

First Edition copy of the Hemingway classic.

We invited Nick Ripatrazone and Natasha Vargas-Cooper onto the program to discuss their difference of opinions on the traditional High School English reading list. Here in the Word of Mouth pod we have our own take on what those reading lists meant to us, and what we think the future public radio hosts and producers of tomorrow should be exposed to while sitting in High School English.

We all agreed that a good teacher can help create lasting memories of books often thought of as staid and not accessible to the average High School student. It also became apparent that required reading lists vary depending on where you went to High School. Zach, Logan & Virginia wish Catcher in the Rye had been required, and Taylor listed it as one of his favorites.

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Word of Mouth
1:44 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

3.10.14: Debating Required Reading Lists, Sam Lipsyte & Papal Gossip

Remember High School English class? Chances are you were assigned the classics: Shakespeare, The Scarlet Letter, maybe a Hemingway novel thrown in for good measure. Today on Word of Mouth—a debate on the required reading list.

And, Sam Lipsyte joins us to talk about his collection of short stories now out in paper back, The Fun Parts.

Also today, this week marks the one year anniversary of Pope Francis’ election. We consider what his papacy has meant to the image of the Catholic Church.

Listen to the full show and click Read More for individual segments!


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Word of Mouth
12:41 pm
Mon March 3, 2014

N.S.F.W. & N.S.F.NPR With B.J. Novak

B.J. Novak at The Music Hall
Credit Photo by David J. Murray / ClearEyePhoto.com

B.J. Novak read several stories from his new book One More Thing, during his performance at The Music Hall, and we included a few in our broadcast. However, there was one story that was particularly funny, and probably not safe for work and definitely not safe for public radio. The following audio is presented without edits and may contain language you are not accustomed to hearing on public radio airwaves.

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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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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon February 17, 2014

Brenda Wineapple's Civil War Book, Ecstatic Nation

In this new approach to the Civil War, Wineapple provides the reader with a sense of the passions and tragedies of the era, including character studies of the vibrant and flawed personalities behind the scenes.

GUEST:

  • Brenda Wineapple – teaches literature at both New York's New School University and Columbia University.  Wineapple is also professor of modern literary and historical studies at Union College.  Her previous book is White Heat: the Friendship of Emily Dickinson and Thomas Wentworth Higginson.
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Word of Mouth
1:53 pm
Wed February 12, 2014

Book Recommendations From The Pros

Credit German Poo-Caamano via flickr Creative Commons

The National Book Critic's Circle Awards are upon us and joining us to discuss the nominees are:

Michele Filgate is events coordinator at Community Bookstore in Brooklyn, NY. She’s also a writer and critic.

Eric Banks is a board member and past president of the NBCC. He’s the former editor of Bookforum and Artforum and the director of the NY Institute for the Humanities.

See below for the complete list of nominees that Michele and Eric discussed during the segment.

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The Exchange
8:00 am
Mon December 30, 2013

Charles Wheelan's Naked Economics

Dartmouth professor Charles Wheelan joins us to discuss his best-selling book “Naked Economics: Undressing The Dismal Science”.  Wheelan presents the economic principles behind Federal Reserve policy, the government’s response to the recession, international trade, and more.

GUESTS:

  • Charles Wheelan -  Professor at Dartmouth College, author of the international best-sellers Naked Statistics and the recently revised and updated Naked Economics: Undressing the Dismal Science  
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The Exchange
9:00 am
Thu December 26, 2013

Howard Mansfield's "Dwelling In Possibility"

Mansfield has spent his literary life writing stories that connect people to the land where they live. In his latest book, he explores the idea of one’s ‘dwelling’ - from mansions to condos to sheds and how, as he says, "they succeed or fail to shelter us, body and soul.”

GUEST:

  • Howard Mansfield: noted New Hampshire author, whose latest book is “Dwelling In Possibility”
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Word of Mouth
10:02 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Writers On A New England Stage: Doris Kearns Goodwin

Doris Kearns Goodwin takes the stage.
Photo(s) by David J. Murray ClearEyePhoto.com

NHPR

and The Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Doris Kearns Goodwin, recorded live at The Music Hall in Portsmouth. The Pulitzer prize-winning historian and biographer of several American presidents shifts to the progressive era with, The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt William Howard Taft & The Golden Age Of Journalism.  The book follows two presidents who became friends and later bitter rivals, as well as a chronicle of the dawn of investigative journalism in America.

This broadcast was made possible with support from TransCanada.

The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon December 23, 2013

Clive Thompson's "Smarter Than You Think"

Credit smarterthanyouthink.net

When the IBM supercomputer dubbed “Deep Blue” defeated chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997, it was considered a major blow for human intelligence, and a big moment for artificial intelligence.  But, as Clive Thompson explains in his new book, Kasparov went on to outsmart computers with human-machine teams.  It turned out that the combination of computers and human intelligence was unbeatable.  With digital realms at our fingertips, Thompson argues, our abilities have been enhanced to an extraordinary degree.

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Word of Mouth
2:04 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

The Best Overlooked Books Of 2013

Credit Dan Klimke via flickr Creative Commons

Well, the holidays are upon us and there’s nothing quite like a well-told story for seeking refuge from the chaos or a little too much quality time with family. A lot of big-name authors had terrific new titles out this year, but we have a fondness for books that don’t get full page ads or window displays – call it the literary equivalent of the island of misfit toys – great books waiting for a good home; you just have to know that they are there. 

With us today are two seasoned purveyors of overlooked books. Michele Filgate is a writer and critic as well as the events coordinator at community bookstore in Brooklyn. Liberty Hardy is events coordinator at Riverrun bookstore in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. She’s also contributing editor for Book Riot.

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Wed December 18, 2013

StoryCorps Founder David Isay

Credit storycorps.org

We're speaking with David Isay, StoryCorps founder and frequent contributor to NPR. His StoryCorps project's mission is to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories about their lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 45,000 interviews. They are all preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, and many have aired on NPR's Morning Edition. David Isay has written a new book, "Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude From the First Ten Years of StoryCorps".

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Word of Mouth
1:48 pm
Tue December 17, 2013

Paper Is Dead! Long Live Paper!

Credit pawpaw67 via flickr Creative Commons

The digital age has rendered letter writing, paperboys, and checkbooks as old-fashioned as the rotary phone. While the proliferation of e-books, e-mail, and online newspapers appear to be hastening the death of the printed page, Nicholas Basbanes argues that we are far from becoming a paperless society. Nicholas is an impassioned bibliophile and author of On Paper: The Everything of its Two-Thousand-Year History.

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Word of Mouth
12:30 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Princesses Behaving Badly

Credit lindarodriguezmcrobbie.com/

As long as there have been stories of princesses, there have been little girls to love them. The Disney princess phenomenon seeds young imaginations with shiny pink costumes, and gossip magazines continue the fantasy with pages devoted to Kate Middleton, and before her, Princesses Grace and Diana – the latter proving that becoming royalty is no guarantee of living happily ever after. Beyond these two dimensional characters are scores of real princesses  -- sometimes tragic, often extraordinary human beings who left scant record of their lives. Mental Floss columnist Linda Rodriguez McRobbie scoured through history for stories of women who fought, stole, schemed and survived, and pulls them together in her new book, Princesses Behaving Badly: Real Stories From History – Without The Fairy-Tale Endings.

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Word of Mouth
11:27 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Live Free Or Sci-Fi: Speculative Fiction Set In The Granite State

In early September, 1965 a UFO sighting was reported near Exeter, New Hampshire.  Air force investigators were sent to question several eye witnesses who reported a “big orange ball” and a “huge dark object as big as a barn with flashing red lights” in the sky.  They dismissed the sighting as “nothing more than stars and planets twinkling…owing to a temperature inversion.” The incident is one of the best documented accounts of an alleged close encounter with the paranormal.  New Hampshire’s brush with paranormal fame makes it the perfect setting for a new compilation of short stories called Live Free or Sci-Fi. The book features stories that bend science and reality together into hair raising tales of speculative fiction.

Rick Broussard is the editor of Live Free or Sci-Fi and creator of the New Hampshire pulp fiction series. He is also the editor of New Hampshire Magazine.

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Word of Mouth
1:49 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Ted Williams' Complicated, Immortal Life

Credit via benbradleejr.com

“The Kid”, “The Splendid Splinter”, “Teddy Ballgame”; Ted Williams went by a few nicknames while playing for the Boston Red Sox.  Maybe none so fitting as: “The Greatest Hitter That Ever Lived.”  Williams was the last player in the major leagues to achieve a batting average over .400--which he did in 1941–in his third season in the majors. Ted Williams was obsessed with hitting, taking meticulous care of his bats, and was often observed swinging or posing for a pitch, whether he had a bat in his hands or not.

Off the field, the measure of Ted Williams is not so easy to follow. A private and mercurial man, he was moody and prone to bouts of rage. He would blow up at the press, his teammates, and his family. Williams married three times and had three children, but struck out as a father or husband. Ben Bradlee Jr., former editor and reporter for the Boston Globe, spent ten years trying to find out exactly why Ted Williams was the way he was. He interviewed more than six hundred people who knew “The Kid” going all the way back to his childhood. Ben Bradlee Jr.’s new book is called “The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams.”

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The Exchange
9:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

2013 Holiday Books Show

Faith Meixell NHPR

Two New Hampshire independent booksellers give us their picks for the best reads of 2013. Here's a list of their favorites for the season, as well as a list of the books mentioned during the show.

GUESTS:

  • Michael Herrmann - Owner of Gibson's Bookstore in Concord
  • Dan Chartrand - Owner of Water Street Bookstore in Exeter

Best of the Season Book List from Michael & Dan:

(scroll down for list of programs mentioned during the show)

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