Brian Castner arguably had one of the most nerve-wracking jobs in the U.S. military. He commanded two Explosive Ordnance Disposal units in Iraq, where his team disabled roadside IEDs, investigated the aftermath of roadside car bombings and searched door to door to uncover bomb-makers at their homes.
All summer long, fellow NPR program Weekends on All Things Considered is asking directors, actors and producers what movie they could watch over and over again. To Kill A Mockingbird is an all-time favorite for Whoopi Goldberg, the actor, comedian and talk show host.
The Latin funk group began as a side band by some members of the Grammy-winning Latin ensemble Grupo Fantasma. They wanted to test new sounds but quickly learned they had something bigger to offer. Now, Brownout is getting lots of fans and glowing reviews. Their newest album is Oozy. Member Greg Gonzales talks with guest host Maria Hinojosa.
One of my graduate school professors frequently made his students cry. Never mind that we were grown adults. A single cliche used in a class paper could result in public humiliation. And yet the competition to get into his class was fierce. No honor surpassed the chance to be taught (and belittled) by such a masterful mind.
In Washington, D.C., the glittering marble of public buildings and monuments can conceal the darkest of deeds. And in the crime novels of Mike Lawson, they do.
"When I started writing, the very first decision I made was, I wanted the book set in D.C.," says Lawson, who recently published his seventh Washington-based thriller, House Blood. "That was before I had a character, or anything else."
Twenty years ago, a dozen basketball players were dispatched to Barcelona to represent the United States in the Summer Olympics. The team was something the world of sports had never seen before and probably never will again. They were simply known as the Dream Team and that's the title of a new book written by Sports Illustrated reporter Jack McCallum. He looks back on a team stacked with big names: Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Charles Barkley and Magic Johnson.
Jennifer Weiner writes what is often referred to as women's fiction. But that term is imperfect for many reasons — so we'll just refer to her as the author of multiple best-sellers.
Weiner's written a bookshelf's worth of hits, like Good in Bed, and In Her Shoes, which became a hit movie starring Cameron Diaz. She also created and ran the ABC Family television series State of Georgia. And in her copious free time? She live tweets The Bachelorette.