Alan Cheuse Summer Reading List
The Top 100 Books Since 1900
Frost -- Texan singer Edith Frost has a third album out. It's called Wonder Wonder. Her music is folksy, her voice low and reedy and the album-- says reviewer Colin Berry -- is her best effort to date. The album is available on the Drag City label. (3:30)
Sexsmith -- Sarah Bardeen reviews the CD by Ron Sexsmith called Blue Boy. It's on Interscope records. For more, go to www.ronsexsmith.com. (3:45)
Summer Reading -- As the fourth part or our continuing review of America's summer reading list Paige Donner lists of the books she's reading this summer. Donner is a writer and director living in Malibu, California. Her selection reflects her California lifestyle. Read the full summer reading list. (2:15)
Better Day -- Scott Aiges reviews Better Day by the Continental Drifters. They're a New Orleans band that has combined an earthy roots rock sound with pure pop. The band suffered through some hard times a few years ago after a promising debut in the early '90s. But they have put their setbacks and personal issues behind them, and have produced an album that has a ring of triumph about it -- the sound of a band surviving itself. (4:30)
Better Day, by the Continental Drifters, is on the Razor and Tie record label.
Rooty -- Charles de Ledesma reviews the latest CD from Basement Jaxx. They're a British electronic dance duo who had a successful debut two years ago. On the new CD, Rooty, they continue their trademark sound -- breezy, exuberant, fun dance music with traces of funk and hip-hop, and great catchy vocal riffs. (3:00)
The label is Astralwerks.
A Sky So Close -- Reviewer Alan Cheuse comments on A Sky So Close, the first novel by Iraqi writer Betool Khedari. (1:30)
It's published by Pantheon Books.
Summer Reading No. 3 -- All Things Considered continues its summer reading series with a student's picks. Brandon Blackburn is a Ph.D. candidate in nuclear engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He's generally busy writing his thesis but he still manages a few ambitious reading projects. (1:30)
Summer Reading No. 2 -- This summer All Things Considered is hearing from readers around the country about their personal summer reading lists. Today we hear from Doug Cooper, a rancher outside of Casper, Wyoming. He's busy this summer, helping to put out forest fires throughout the west. But, he says he does have some time to do some reading. (2:00)
Bon Voyage -- Charles de Ledesma reviews Bon Voyage, by the United Future Organization. The CD takes jazz fusion to another level, mixing in Latin mambo, rockabilly, bossa nova and funk. UFO is a trio of Tokyo musicians, who deliver crafty infectious rhythms with great jazz riffs and vocals. It's on Instinct Records. (2:45)
Three Ravens -- Music critic Tom Manoff reviews The Three Ravens -- Elizabethan Folk and Minstrel Songs. The singer is Alfred Deller, countertenor. This is a re-release of a 1955 recording, which Manoff remembers vividly listening to as a young boy growing up in New York City. He finds Deller's voice otherworldly, magical, painting important words with poignant inflections. And the mythical stories of the Elizabethan songs are appropriately sung by a voice that transforms the listener to an otherworldly place of magic and myth. (4:45)
The CD is on the Vanguard Classics label, catalog # OVC 8104
Summer Reading -- As part of a new reading series, Mary Ellen Danley shares her summer reading list. Danley is retired and a volunteer at the city library in Sun City Arizona where she finds most of her books. Her list is long and varied but her primary goal is to relax and enjoy herself. (2:00)
Catcher in the Rye -- Book Reviewer Alan Cheuse decided to read J.D. Salinger's novel, The Catcher in the Rye, a second time upon the 50th anniversary of its publication date. Cheuse found new strengths and subtleties he hadn't noticed the first time around. The Catcher in the Rye is available in paperback from Little, Brown. (2:00)
End of Amnesia -- Music reviewer Colin Berry listens to the album End of Amnesia by Matt Ward -- and finds the music a great mix of country and folk. The CD is available on Future Farmer Recordings. (4:00)
The Morells -- David Greenberger reviews The Morells, a new CD by the band from Springfield Missouri. It's their first CD in 19 years. Their last album, released in 1982 was a critical success, but afterwards the members of the Morells disbanded and regrouped in various combinations under various names. Now, together again, the CD features original songs plus covers by the Coasters, Ben Vaughan, and Gene Phillips. The label is Slewfoot Records. There's information on-line at www.slewfootrecords.com or www.themorells.com. (3:30)
Computer Review -- The movie Final Fantasy opens this week. It is the first feature to have entirely computer-generated human-looking characters. It's gotten some negative reviews in print, but we found a "reviewer" who liked its technological advances -- for a selfish reason. The "reviewer" is a Mac G3 computer. (2:00)
Blue Mountain Roots -- Meredith Ochs reviews the new CD by Blue Mountain, a band steeped in great American folk tunes. The new release is called Roots. (3:45)
Roots by Blue Mountain is on Black Dog Records. For more, go to the Blue Mountain Web site.
The House of Returned Echoes -- Czech-born novelist Arnost Lustig survived internment in several Nazi concentration camps and the Soviet's post-war invasion of Prague before emigrating to the United States and becoming a faculty member at American University. His latest work of fiction is called House of Returned Echoes. (2:00)
The publisher is Northwestern University Press.
Ayeshteni -- Musician Natacha Atlas speaks French, Spanish, Arabic and English. She grew up in a Moroccan suburb of Brussels, and after she moved to England, she became known as Northampton's first Arabic rock singer. Now she has a new album called Ayeshteni. Critic Sarah Bardeen says the music is far less eclectic than you might expect. (4:00)
It's on Mantra records.
Tarika -- Charles de Ledesma reviews the latest CD from Tarika, a band from the African nation of Madagascar. It's called Soul Makassar. Tarika's music is filled with swinging infectious rhythms, and the delicate sound of the valiha, the guitar harp. The lyrics send strong messages about colonialism and corruption in Madagascar, and the ancestral links between that nation and Indonesia. (3:15)
The CD is on the Triloka label, catalog number TR-70000-2A.
I Don't Want to Go to Jail -- A new novel by Jimmy Breslin combines crime and comedy in a style not unlike HBO's television series The Sopranos. It's called I Don't Want To Go To Jail. Alan Cheuse has a review. (1:30)
I Don't Want To Go To Jail, by Jimmy Breslin, is published by Little Brown books.
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