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.

Books & Beats: March 28, 2015

17 hours ago
Courtesy of the Artist.

In Betsy Burton's review of Night Life (Forge) by David Taylor, a rogue detective is caught between the CIA, FBI, and Joseph McCarthy's communist witch hunts.  Then Jazz SLC brings Manhattan Trinity to town--featuring pianist Kenny Barron.

Books & Beats: March 21, 2015

Mar 23, 2015

In Betsy Burton's review of The Enchanted (Harper Perennial) by Rene Denfeld, a prisoner, an investigator, and a fallen priest look for salvation on death row.  And Austen Diamond welcomes Hurray for the Riff Raff to Salt Lake City.  

Books & Beats: March 14, 2015

Mar 12, 2015
Courtesy of the Artist

In Betsy Burton's review of H is for Hawk (Grove Press) by Helen Macdonald, the grieving author finds comfort in companionship with a deadly predator. And the Pimps of Joytime tickle Austen Diamond's funky bone.  

Books & Beats: March 7, 2015

Mar 6, 2015

An older couple travels across dead King Arthur's Medieval Britain in Betsy Burton's review of The Buried Giant (Knopf) by Kazuo Ishiguro.  And Austen Diamond kicks Saint Patrick's Day off early with The Young Dubliners.   

Books & Beats: February 28, 2015

Mar 2, 2015
Courtesy of the Artist

Three generations of family drama plays out under one roof in Betsy Burton's review of A Spool of Blue Thread (Knopf) by Anne Tyler. Then, Austen Diamond navigates the lyrical acrobatics of Doomtree.  

Books & Beats: February 21, 2015

Feb 27, 2015
Courtesy of the Artist

Skateboarding saves a young boy from a life trapped indoors--Betsy Burton reviews Michael Christie's If I Fall, If I Die (Hogarth). And Austen Diamond keeps the spirit of Mardi Gras alive with Galactic.

One woman’s journey from local beauty queen to sit-com stardom - Betsy Burton reviews Funny Girl (Riverhead Hardcover) by Nick Hornby. Then—Austen Diamond shares how Dr. Dog captures the magic of their live shows.

Courtesy of the Artist

Explore the different roles medicine plays in life and death with Atul Gawande's Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End (Metropolitan Books) and a preview of Sleater-Kinney's highly anticipated reunion show.

The perfect book/concert combo for the mid-winter blahs - The Extraordinary Journey of the Fakir Who Got Trapped in an Ikea Wardrobe by Romain Puértolas (Knopf) and G. Love & Special Sauce.

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.

Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Courtesy of the Artist

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).

Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Gabriel Green/Courtesy of the Artist

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).

Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Tonje Thilesen/Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Courtesy of the Artist

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

Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Courtesy of the Artist

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.

Courtesy of the artist

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).