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Publisher's Summary

In this hour, Suzan Colon is the author of Cherries in Winter: My Family's Recipe for Hope in Hard Times. She tells Anne Strainchamps how her grandparents kept their spirits alive while it was a struggle to keep their bodies going when times were tough and money was tight.

Next, Wendy Burden is the author of Dead End Gene Pool, a memoir of her childhood among wealthy but highly dysfunctional remnants of the Vanderbilt fortune. She tells Jim Fleming that the real estate and the perks were great, but that she adopted Wednesday Addams as a role model in an effort to find a feeling of closeness within her family. The adult Wendy Burden is a widow, and has a terrific relationship with her two grown daughters.

Then, Michael Gates Gill told us in his first book how Starbucks saved his life. He's back with How to Save Your Own Life – a series of life lessons. He talks with Anne Strainchamps about the importance of listening to other people's stories, letting go of fear and being grateful for the gifts your parents gave you, whether they're still living or not.

After that, Barbara Ehrenreich calls her latest book Bright-sided: How the Relentless Promotion of Positive Thinking Has Undermined America. She tells Steve Paulson that too often, our focus on Positivity turns into a kind of victim blaming. She's a champion of realism and determination.

Finally, Salman Ahmad is a Pakistani rock star. His group is Junoon, and they're the most popular rock group in South Asia. Ahmad talks with Anne Strainchamps about being a Muslim rock star. His memoir is called Rock & Roll Jihad. And we hear lots of his music. [Broadcast Date: April 29, 2011]

Listen to:

  • Dead End Gene Pool by Wendy Burden
  • Cherries in Winter by Suzan Colon
  • How to Save Your Own Life by Michael Gates Gill
  • Bright-sided by Barbara Ehrenreich
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  • (P) and ©2011 Wisconsin Public Radio

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