What I’m listening to and what you should be listening to.
Have You Heard? :: Divided by Design: Race, Neighborhoods, Wealth and Schools
A history of racial segregation in neighborhoods and schools that is still feeding inequality to this very day.
To the Best of Our Knowledge :: What is School For?
I was worried that this would be peppered with corporate reform ideology and myths, but actually has some interesting stories on teacher burnout, multicultural studies, and the importance of the humanities.
The Truth :: Brain Chemistry
A funny/poignant audio drama about the life of a brain in a jar in the future, starring Scott Adsit of 30 Rock.
Hit Parade :: The Great War Against the Single Edition
It’s a good thing that Hit Parade is published infrequently, because I think I’m going to post every episode here. This is the story of how record companies from the 1960s to the 2000s tried to make people by the more expensive full albums in order to get a copy of a popular song. Deeply fascinating, with lots of Casey Kassem cameos.
99% Invisible :: The Athletic Brassiere
The hidden story of the sports bra (nee, the “Jock Bra”) and how it helped transform women in sports.
Snap Judgment Presents: Spooked :: A Friend in the Forest
The Snap Judgment spinoff podcasts tells creepy stories for the month of October, and this contemporary ghost story from Ireland is particularly eerie.
Author: Rob Blackwell
Title: A Soul To Steal
Publication Info: CreateSpace (2011)
A couple of disclosures before I begin this review. First, I know the author as we went to college together and more importantly were both DJ’s at the college radio station, WCWM. Second, I’ve always been drawn to “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” – partly because I grew up 45 minutes from the town in New York (then known as North Tarrytown) and visited frequently – and the Headless Horseman is a prominent feature of Blackwell’s novel. The story is part crime novel, part thriller, part supernatural and an original amalgam of all the above. Set in a small town in Virginia, two reporters for a local paper Quinn and Kate have to deal with the return of serial killer who tormented the town a dozen years earlier. This would be bad enough but each character has personal demons to face as well, some of which appear in very tangible forms. There are a few flaws to the book as events transpire and relationships form far too rapidly to be believable. I also wonder why when Quinn runs a journalist’s writings through software that can help identify the author why he doesn’t do the same with the letters of the serial killer Lord Halloween (other than that the mystery would have been solved a hundred pages earlier). These flaws can be overlooked though because this book really is a page turner and has moments of being very unsettling and very humorous. The ending promises a sequel that I forward to reading.
Recommended books: The Dark Half by Stephen King, The Bone Garden by Tess Gerritsen, and Capitol Hell by Joseph M. Pendal.