Books & Beats

Book reviews and concert previews brought to you by Betsy Burton, co-owner of The King's English Bookshop, and Austen Diamond, producer of 13% Salt. Books & Beats airs Saturdays at 7:35 a.m. and 9:35 a.m. during NPR's Weekend Edition.

A tense Western featuring a story marked by a prison riot - Betsy Burton reviews Black River by S.M. Hulse (Houghton Mifflin). And Austen Diamond previews the upcoming show by songwriter Mark Kozelek, formerly of Red House Painters and Sun Kil Moon.

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Betsy Burton reviews Stewart O’Nan’s fictional biography of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s troubled years in Hollywood, West of Sunset (Viking Adult) and Austen Diamond previews the upcoming show by multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Kishi Bashi.

Betsy Burton introduces us to Ausma Zehanat Khan's The Unquiet Dead (Minotaur), a dark mystery novel set in Bosnia she says transcends its genre. And Austen Diamond previews Aoife O’Donovan’s upcoming concert in Park City.

Betsy Burton explores grief and time in How to be Both (Pantheon) by Ali Smith. And Austen Diamond gets us ready for SLUG Magazine's monthly concert series, Localized.

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Betsy Burton reviews Richard Ford's Let Me Be Frank With You (Ecco Press) and Austen Diamond previews live shows by Colorado-based Elephant Revival.

Betsy Burton previews Requiem for the Living (University of Utah Press) by Jeff Metcalf, a collection of 52 essays influenced by his prostate cancer diagnosis. And Austen Diamond previews the live show by local headbangers Eagle Twin.

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Betsy Burton reviews Mark Strand’s Collected Poems (Knopf) – a Pulitzer Prize winner and National Poet Laureate, Strand passed away last month. And Austen Diamond previews the upcoming holiday shows by The Lower Lights.

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Betsy Burton reviews Teresa Jordan’s The Year of Living Virtuously: Weekends Off (Counterpoint LLC) and Austen Diamond previews the show by Portland-Oregon-based Horse Feathers.

Teresa Jordan will visit The King’s English on Tuesday, December 9 at 7 p.m. to read from and sign her new book.

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Austen Diamond previews the upcoming show by singer-songwriter Joshua James and Betsy Burton reviews another heart-stopping mystery, this time it’s The Marco Effect by Jussi Adler-Olsen (Dutton Adult).

Austen Diamond previews the Salt Lake City show by Sallie Ford and her all-girl band, and Betsy Burton reviews Marilynne Robinson’s new novel Lila, which explores notions of love, death and redemption (Farrar, Straus and Giroux).

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Austen Diamond previews the show by L.A.-based octet Orgone, and Betsy Burton reviews Julie Schumacher’s comical academic novel, Dear Committee Members. (Doubleday)

Betsy Burton looks at Poke Rafferty’s latest adventures in the thriller For the Dead by Timothy Hallinan (Soho Crime).  And, Austen Diamond shares what’s in store for the Utah Symphony this season, its 75th anniversary.

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Austen Diamond previews the live show by Oakland-based Beats Antique, and Betsy Burton reviews Bryan Stevenson's Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (Spiegal & Grau) - a true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us. Stevenson founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a non-profit organization providing legal representation to defendants and prisoners denied fair treatment in the legal system.

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Austen Diamond previews the Salt Lake City show by British rockers Alt-J, and Betsy Burton reviews "Neverhome" by Laird Hunt (Little, Brown and Company).

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Austen Diamond previews the upcoming show by Minneapolis electronic poppers Poliça, and Betsy Burton reviews Eden Collinsworth’s “I Stand Corrected: How Teaching Western Manners in China Became Its Own Unforgettable Lesson ” (Nan A. Talese)  – a memoir, travel log, cultural history and book of etiquette. It’s also a look at contemporary China - its economy, business climate, family life and manners.

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Austen Diamond previews the upcoming show by the Seattle-based production duo, ODESZA, and Betsy Burton reviews Colm Toibin’s novel, “Nora Webster” (Scribner Book Company) – where we meet a newly widowed protagonist who’s awakening from grief and discovering her own sense of self, transforming from page to page.

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Austen Diamond previews The New Pornographers’ upcoming show in Salt Lake City, and Betsy Burton reviews “Levels of Life” (Vintage) by Julian Barnes.

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Betsy Burton reviews Martha Lear’s "Echoes of Heartsounds," (Open Road Media) the follow-up to her best-selling memoir "Heartsounds." And Austen Diamond previews indie-dance band Rubblebucket’s upcoming concert.

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This week's edition of Books & Beats includes a preview of the four-piece New Wave pop powerhouse - homegrown in Provo - Neon Trees. And a review of Margaret Atwood’s collection of short stories, “Stone Mattress: 9 Tales” (Nan A. Talese). If you’re not a fan of short stories, you might want to give this collection a try - Atwood ties the stories together so that the book reads as a semi-detached novella.

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Austen Diamond takes you on an ambient, electronic trip with Tycho. And Betsy Burton reviews Emily St. John Mandel's novel "Station Eleven," a suspenseful, poetic vision of life after civilization’s fall to a pandemic (Knopf).

Austen Diamond talks about Jai Uttal’s upcoming visit to Salt Lake City – he’s a world musician and a master of Kirtan, an ancient form of meditative chanting. And we’ll meet Fiona Maye, a High Court judge in London who’s confronted by her husband about his desire to have an affair – Betsy Burton brings us a review of Ian McEwan’s latest, “The Children Act" (publish date: September 9, 2014 / Nan A. Talese).

New Books and Beats contributor Austen Diamond previews The Moth & the Flame’s upcoming show in their hometown of Provo, and Betsy Burton (co-owner of The King's English Bookshop) reviews “Fives and Twenty-Fives” (Bloomsbury USA) by Michael Pitre - a former Marine who recalls scenes of the Iraq war in his first novel.

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Betsy Burton reviews "Painted Horses" by Malcolm Brooks (Grove Press). Brooks will be at The King's English Bookshop on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 7 p.m. to discuss his book. And we wish a fond farewell to Dan Nailen, who's moving to greener pastures in the Pacific Northwest. Dan leaves us with a preview of the upcoming show by The Head & the Heart.

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Dan Nailen previews the upcoming show by former Blasters members and brothers Dave and Phil Alvin, and Betsy Burton reviews “A Colder War” by Charles Cumming – a novel of the new cold war – of Russia and Eastern Europe, of spies and moles and honey traps, of complex relationships not just between East and West but among allies on both sides.

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Dan Nailen previews the Jenny Lewis show – she’s a former member of Rilo Kiley and was featured recently on Morning Edition. And Betsy Burton reviews “The Great Glass Sea” (Grove Press) by Josh Weil…a story about twin brothers who live in the near future where capitalism reigns, so much so that a system of mirrors – a great glass sea – has been invented to transmit light so that night and productivity never fall.

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Dan Nailen previews the upcoming show by rockabilly hepcat Chris Isaak, and Betsy Burton reviews Ben Macintyre’s “A Spy Among Friends,” (Crown) which tells the story of British agent Kim Philby, the master spy who double-crossed the double crossers during World War II.

Betsy Burton is the co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop and Dan Nailen blogs about music and culture at SLCene.com.

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Dan Nailen previews upcoming shows by Motley Crue and The Wu Tang Clan, and Betsy Burton reviews “The Good Suicides” (Crown) by Antonio Hill, where you’ll meet Inspector Salgado of Barcelona, who’s investigating the suicides of several employees from a local cosmetics company upon their return from a motivational corporate retreat.

Betsy Burton is the co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop and Dan Nailen blogs about music and culture at SLCene.com.

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Experience the sound and atmosphere created by all 22 members of The Polyphonic Spree and take a hilarious satirical romp through the pretentious world of literary prizes with “Lost for Words” by Edward St. Aubyn (Farrar Straus and Giroux) – Dan Nailen and Betsy Burton bring you the details.

Betsy Burton is the co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop and Dan Nailen blogs about music and culture at SLCene.com.

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Dan Nailen previews the upcoming show by indie rockers The Hold Steady, and Betsy Burton reviews "Flying Shoes" by Lisa Howorth (Bloomsbury) - an honest, vivid and memorable novel...perfect reading for a lazy summer day.

Betsy Burton is the co-owner of The King’s English Bookshop and Dan Nailen blogs about music and culture at SLCene.com.

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This weekend's edition of Books & Beats features a preview of the launch of the 2014 Twilight Concert Series featuring Ms. Lauryn Hill. And just in time for Independence Day, dispel the myths you learned in grade school about the Statue of Liberty with a review of "Liberty's Torch: The Great Adventure to Build the Statue of Liberty" (Atlantic Monthly Press) by Elizabeth Mitchell.

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