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February 26 2014

23:34

February 24 2014

06:32

February 22 2014

18:53

February 20 2014

16:00

February 19 2014

13:28

February 18 2014

07:31
00:15

February 17 2014

22:52
22:52
19:44

February 15 2014

01:23

February 14 2014

08:11

Blackbeard And The Golden Age Of Pirates

On Valentine’s Day, we’re talking booty —pirate booty—and the last days of the world’s most notorious pirate, Blackbeard.

“Capture of the Pirate, Blackbeard, 1718″ depicting the battle between Blackbeard the Pirate and Lieutenant Maynard in Ocracoke Bay. (Jean Leon Gerome Ferris / Creative Commons)

Guests

Colin Woodard, award-winning journalist and author. Author of “The Republic of Pirates: Being the True and Surprising Story of the Caribbean Pirates and the Man Who Brought Them Down.” Also author of “American Nations” and “The Lobster Coast.” State and national affairs writer for the Portland Press-Herald and the Maine Sunday Telegram. (@WoodardColin)

Captain Mike Daniel, ship captain, maritime explorer and underwater explorer. Founder of the Maritime Research Institute.

From Tom’s Reading List

Smithsonian Magazine: The Last Days of Blackbeard — “Out of all the pirates who’ve trolled the seas over the past 3,000 years, Blackbeard is the most famous. His nearest rivals—Capt. William Kidd and Sir Henry Morgan—weren’t really pirates at all, but privateers, mercenaries given permission by their sovereign to attack enemy shipping in time of war. Blackbeard and his contemporaries in the early 18th-century Caribbean had nobody’s permission to do what they were doing; they were outlaws. But unlike the aristocrats who controlled the British, French and Spanish colonial empires, many ordinary people in Britain and British America saw Blackbeard and his fellow pirates as heroes, Robin Hood figures fighting a rear-guard action against a corrupt, unaccountable and increasingly tyrannical ruling class.”

National Geographic: Blackbeard’s Shipwreck — “No one knows where the man named Edward Teach, or Tache, or Thatch, called home. Capt. Charles Johnson (who some believe was Daniel Defoe) claimed he came from Bristol in his 1724 tome, ‘A General History of the Robberies and Murders of the Most Notorious Pyrates,’ the primary source of most Blackbeard legends. Others trace him to a prominent family on Jamaica, or to the Carolinas.”

History: 8 Real-Life Pirates Who Roved the High Seas –”Blackbeard intimidated enemies by coiling smoking fuses into his long, braided facial hair and by slinging multiple pistols and daggers across his chest. In November 1717 he captured a French slave ship, later renamed the Queen Anne’s Revenge, and refitted it with 40 guns. With that extra firepower he then blockaded the port of Charleston, South Carolina, until the town’s residents met his demands for a large chest of medicine. “

February 12 2014

20:31

Some Romance Novels To Get You Started

There’s something to be said for the sheer size of the romance / erotic fiction genre — estimates peg the market at nearly $1.350 billion for 2013. But some of our listeners — and much of our staff, for that matter — might have a hard time making a good first dive into the romance market.

Two of our guests from our Feb. 12 hour on the big business of the romance book scene offered their suggestions on a few fun and well-written options for romance newbies. We’ve listed them here, with links and the like to get you reading.

Angela Knight’s Picks

“Master of the Night” by Angela Knight – The first of my Mageverse books in which the Knights of the Round Table are vampires sworn to protect humanity from its own self-destructive impulses.

“Dark Lover” by J.R. Ward —  The first of the Black Dagger Brotherhood books, featuring vampire heroes whose dedication to each other matches their love for the women in their lives.

“Naked in Death” by J.D. Robb — This is the first book of the In Death series featuring Lt. Eve Dallas and her husband Roarke as they solve murders in a near future New York. Wonderful characterization and writing.

“Vampire Mistress” by Joey W. Hill — After a woman is raped by vampires, a vampire assassin and a vampire hunter form an unlikely alliance to help her recover and heal. Seductive and intense with overtones of dominance and male submission; not for the faint-hearted.

Wendy Crutcher’s Picks

“Now or Never” by Logan Belle – Claire is looking forward to some romance now that her son is finally off to college. As a devoted single mother she desperately needs to get her groove back and make up for lost time. But a sudden crisis has her wondering if her sex life will be over before she even goes on her first date.

“When the Marquess Met His Match” By Laura Lee Gurhke – Lady Belinda Featherstone’s job is to guide American heiresses to matrimony, and away from men like Nicholas, Marquess of Trubridge. But the charming, disreputable marquess needs a wealthy bride, and he hires Belinda to help him find one. Her task seems easy: find that scoundrel the sort of wife he so richly deserves. But Nicholas’s hot, searing kiss soon proves her task will be anything but easy.

“Dirty” by Megan Hart – I met him at the candy store. He turned and smiled at me and I was surprised enough to smile back. This was not a children’s candy store, mind you—this was the kind of place you went to buy expensive imported chocolate truffles for your boss’s wife because you felt guilty for having sex with him when you were both at a conference in Milwaukee. Hypothetically speaking, of course.

“My Fair Concubine” by Jeannie Lin – Yan Ling tries hard to be servile — it’s what’s expected of a girl of her class. Being intelligent and strong-minded, she finds it a constant battle. Proud Fei Long is unimpressed by her spirit — until he realizes she’s the answer to his problems. He has to deliver the emperor a “princess.” In two months can he train a tea girl to pass as a noblewoman?

“Aftershock” by Jill Sorenson — As an emergency paramedic, Lauren Boyer is dedicated and highly capable. Until an earthquake strikes, trapping her beneath the freeway with a group of strangers—including Iraq war veteran Garrett Wright…

“High Noon” by Nora Roberts –A woman who walks fearlessly into danger–but must draw on her courage to let love into her life.

“Count to Ten” by Karen Rose – In all his years in the Chicago Fire Department, Lieutenant Reed Solliday ahs never experienced anything like this recent outbreak of house fires – devastating, vicious and in one case, homicidal. He has another problem – his new partner, Detective Mia Mitchell. She’s brash, bossy, and taking the case in a direction he never imagined.

“Addicted” by Charlotte Stein – Kit Connor has always led a safe, cautious life. But when Kit’s friend points out that her erotic writing lacks something, she decides to attend a Sexual Healing group to improve her knowledge.

 

07:51

The Big Business of Bodice Rippers

The best-selling literary genre in the world: romance novels. We’ll look at the red-hot literature of love.

 

A collection of romance novels on display. (Courtesy RoniLoren / Flickr)

A collection of romance novels on display. (Courtesy RoniLoren / Flickr)

Guests

Jesse Barron, editor at Harper’s Magazine.

Wendy Crutcher, librarian at the Orange Country Public Library. Romance Writers of America “Librarian of the Year” in 2011. Blogger at “The Misadventures of Super Librarian.” (@superwendy)

Angela Knight, New York Times-bestselling romance and erotic author. (@AngelaKnight)

From Tom’s Reading List

NPR: Romance Novels Sweep Readers Off Their Feet With Predictability — “One thing that you have understand if you’re gonna get into writing romance is that the things that are valued in that genre are not the same things that are valued when we read something like literary fiction. So you’re gonna want to hone your prose until its extremely clear, it’s very, very fast, the dialogue is funny and the plots are really engaging.”

Huffington Post: The Real Men Who Read Romance Novels — “Romance novels are often dismissed as guilty pleasures and something to be ashamed of by both men and women. In fact, as a woman, I often notice people are surprised to learn that I, with my two English literature degrees, write romance novels. While guys reading ‘girls books’ confounds our gender expectations and may lead to an extra element of surprise and snark, it seems that attitude often just comes with the genre — no matter who is reading it.”

Bangor Daily News: Romance Writers name Old Town woman Librarian of the Year — “When Romance Writers of America announced that Whitten had received the award, she received congratulations from members via email from all over the United States. She will be the guest of honor at the organization’s conference in July in Atlanta, where she will address several thousand people. ‘I’m passionate about the romance genre, a strong proponent of it,’ Whitten said.”

February 11 2014

16:51

5by5 | The Incomparable #145: He Lives By a Stupid Code

"Game of Thrones" season 3, and other 2012-13 TV. http://5by5.tv/incomparable/145
16:50

5by5 | The Incomparable #95: Don't Take the Cinnamon Challenge

Season 2 of HBO's "Game of Thrones." http://5by5.tv/incomparable/95
16:49

5by5 | The Incomparable #48: Can I Get Some Extra Dragons on That, Please?

The first season of HBO's "Game of Thrones." http://5by5.tv/incomparable/48
16:47

5by5 | The Incomparable #34: The Wrath of James Caan

The translation of books to the screen. http://5by5.tv/incomparable/34
07:41

the joy and rebellion of e.e. cummings

Susan Cheever on the poet e.e. cummings, all lower-case, and radical.

Poet e.e. cummings, pictured on the cover of Susan Cheever's new biography,

Poet e.e. cummings, pictured on the cover of Susan Cheever’s new biography, “E.E. Cummings: A Life.” (Random House)

Guest

Susan Cheever, writer and author of “E.E. Cummings: A Life.” Also author of “Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography,” “Desire: Where Sex Meets Addiction,” “American Bloomsbury,” and “Home Before Dark.” (@susancheever)

From Tom’s Reading List

Vanity Fair: The Prince of Patchin Place — “Nothing was wrong with Cummings—or Duchamp or Stravinsky or Joyce, for that matter. All were trying to slow down the seemingly inexorable rush of the world, to force people to notice their own lives. In the 21st century, that rush has now reached Force Five; we are all inundated with information and given no time to wonder what it means or where it came from. Access without understanding and facts without context have become our daily diet.”

The Wall Street Journal: Book Review: ‘E.E. Cummings’ by Susan Cheever — “”Susan Cheever met Cummings, who was a friend of her father, the writer John Cheever, but her book never quite makes its ambitions clear. She provides a narrative synthesis of the three previous biographies by Charles Norman (1958), Richard S. Kennedy (1980) and Christopher Sawyer-Lauçanno (2004), outlining the poet’s life from childhood to death. She plays with the chronology of events, beginning at nearly the end, then circling back as a novelist might to find the poet’s beginnings, yet the book offers virtually no new research and has little to say about Cummings’s working life.”

Cleveland Plain Dealer: Susan Cheever elegantly blends biography, memoir and cultural history in ‘E. E. Cummings: A Life’ – “At Harvard, Peck’s Bad Boy replaced the Little Lord Fauntleroy in Cummings, and Cummings père, a local minister, was not pleased. In college, Cummings fils discovered the allures of alcohol and sex, wrote for student publications and would soon begin the experiments with punctuation, capitalization, grammar and line spacing that still make his work immediately recognizable.”

Read An Excerpt From “E.E. Cummings: A Life” By Susan Cheever

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February 10 2014

05:51

‘The Snowden Files’

A new biography of Edward Snowden lays out the life and motivations of the world’s “most wanted man.”

This handout file photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2013, and made available by Human Rights Watch shows NSA leaker Edward Snowden during his meeting with Russian activists and officials at Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow, Russia . (AP)

This handout file photo taken on Friday, July 12, 2013, and made available by Human Rights Watch shows NSA leaker Edward Snowden during his meeting with Russian activists and officials at Sheremetyevo airport, Moscow, Russia . (AP)

Guests

Luke Harding, foreign correspondent for The Guardian. Author of “The Snowden Files: The Inside Story of the World’s Most Wanted Man.” Also co-author of “WikiLeaks: Inside Julian Assange’s War on Secrecy,” which served as the basis of the film “The Fifth Estate.” (@lukeharding1968)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: The Needles in the Monumental N.S.A. Haystack –”The portrait he creates of Mr. Snowden is a familiar one — a geek and gamer most at home online, who never graduated from high school but whose ‘exceptional I.T. skills’ landed him a job with the Central Intelligence Agency and later as an N.S.A. contractor.”

CNN: Edward Snowden: World’s most wanted man, says new book — “The Guardian is a key player in the Snowden saga, having provided an outlet for the former NSA contractor-turned-whistle-blower to expose what he knew about the U.S. government’s mass surveillance programs. Harding accessed a wealth of inside information, such as this story about how Snowden first connected via e-mail with Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald.”

The Daily Beast: Snowden Keeps Outwitting U.S. Spies – “Some allies of Snowden have speculated that any kind of master file of Snowden documents could only be accessed through a pass code or cryptographic key broken out into pieces controlled by several people in multiple jurisdictions throughout the world. That way. No one government could force a single person to give up access to Snowden’s motherlode.”

Read An Excerpt Of “The Snowden Files” By Luke Harding

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