Heart of a Samurai tells the true story of 14-year-old Manjiro, a boy who was shipwrecked, rescued by whalers and taken to America. It was the late 1800s, when Japan was cut off from the outside world — until Manjiro returned and influenced the shogun to open the country to diplomacy.
One of the first things Michelle Obama did as first lady was to dig up part of the beautifully manicured South Lawn of the White House and plant a vegetable garden. In her new book she says America has a long, proud history of gardening and it's time to reconnect with it.
Linguist David Crystal believes every word has a story to tell, even the ones as commonplace as "and." In The Story of English in 100 Words, he compiles a collection of words — classic words like "tea" and new words like "app" — that explain how the English language has evolved.
Memorial Day marks the start of barbecue season for many backyard grillers. Host Michel Martin gets some tips for how to grill it up. She checks in with rockabilly singer Ruby Dee, author of Ruby's Juke Joint Americana Cookbook.
Cartoonist Alison Bechdel follows her 2006 book about her father with a new memoir, Are You My Mother? It weaves together stories of her own life with the theories of British psychoanalyst Donald Winnicott — with a cameo from Virginia Woolf.
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