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VOA慢速英语2010年-In Case You Missed it: Books, Music of

时间:2011-01-03 07:36来源:互联网 提供网友:hp2786   字体: [ ]

DOUG JOHNSON: Welcome to AMERICAN MOSAIC1 in VOA Special English.


I'm Doug Johnson.

This week, a special year-end show, we answer a question about the famous New Year’s Eve party in New York City’s Times Square.

Play some music we missed.

And talk about the best books of two thousand ten.


DOUG JOHNSON: In December, many American newspapers publish a list of the best books of the year. Mario Ritter tells us about some of the favorite books of two thousand ten.

Books of 2010

MARIO RITTER: “Freedom” by Jonathan Franzen is one of the most repeatedly2 praised books on this year’s lists of favorites. It tells about the ups and downs of the Berglund family over many years. Mr. Franzen fills the book with sharp observations about American politics, culture and society.

John Heald tests confetti that will be used in the New Year's celebration from a window above Times Square

Jennifer Egan’s book “A Visit from the Goon Squad” takes place in thirteen chapters over forty years. The story moves back and forth3 in time, from different viewpoints4. One main character is former rock musician Bennie Salazar who works5 for a record company. The other main character is a troubled young woman named Sasha who works for Bennie. The reader learns about their pasts and those of their friends.

The main character in “The Imperfectionists” by Tom Rachman is a failing English language newspaper published in Rome, Italy. Each chapter of the book tells about a reporter or editor working for this paper. Their stories are filled with intelligence and great personality.

“Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson takes place in a small town in England. Retired6 British army officer Ernest Pettigrew feels lonely after the death of his wife. He becomes friends with Mrs. Ali. She is a Pakistani-born shop owner living in the same town who has lost her husband. The two must decide between their feelings for each other and the opinions of friends and family about their relationship.

Two of the most popular non-fiction books of two thousand ten were about rock and roll stars. “Just Kids” is by rock singer Patti Smith. It tells about her friendship with the artist Robert Mapplethorpe in the nineteen sixties and seventies before they became famous.

“Life” is the autobiography7 of Rolling Stones guitarist Keith Richards. It is an honest and exciting look at the development of rock and roll and the wild times this famous band has experienced8.

“Unbroken” by Laura Hillenbrand tells about a man named Louis Zamperini. She tells about his extraordinary survival9 story after his plane crashed into the Pacific Ocean during World War Two.

Stacy Schiff has received great praise for her book “Cleopatra: A Life.” It tells about one of the most misrepresented and famous women in history, Cleopatra. She ruled ancient Egypt about two thousand years ago. One critic said Ms. Schiff has brought Cleopatra to life again by unearthing10 her story from centuries of lies.

New Year’s in Times Square

DOUG JOHNSON: We have a very timely11 question this week from Burma. Ko Maw Gyi asks if the New Year’s Eve celebration in New York City’s Times Square is the happiest place in the United States.

That is hard to judge. People all over America seem to have fun on New Year’s Eve. But, the Times Square New Year’s Eve party is surely the biggest, oldest and most famous in the country. It has been taking place for more than one hundred years.

This year, city officials say they expect one million people to attend the free outdoor event. Performers include musicians Taio Cruz and Kei$ha. There will also be a wedding of two Marines who met in Iraq. They won a competition to be married on stage at the New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square.

Fireworks go off as the New Year's Eve ball is raised for the celebration in Times Square last year

And, of course, at one minute before January first the beautiful, shiny New Year’s Eve ball will drop. The colorful crystal12 ball weighs almost five thousand four hundred kilograms. It is placed on top of the flagpole on the roof of One Times Square. It will slowly fall to the bottom of the pole at the exact start of two thousand eleven. Then, one ton of bright colored papers will rain down on the people below. On these papers people from around the world have written their wishes for the New Year.


We can not possibly play all the music we would like to on American Mosaic each week. So it has become a tradition at the end of the year to share some of the music we missed. Fritzi Bodenheimer has our story.

Music We Missed


Kanye West’s “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy is at the top of Spin Magazine’s list of forty best albums of two thousand ten. We covered that one just a few weeks back. However, number two on Spin’s list is “Halcyon Digest” from Deerhunter, a band we have never played. The indie-punk group formed in two thousand one in Atlanta, Georgia.

Here is “Helicopter” from “Halcyon Digest.”


Nicki Minaj performing in June

Nicki Minaj was on almost all the lists of critics’ favorites this year. Her album “Pink Friday” was also a big seller13. It is currently14 number eight on Billboard’s Top Two Hundred Albums chart. And she is on Billboard’s list of ten top new artists. Here is “Moment 4 Life” from “Pink Friday.”


We have played music from the Killers15. But, this year, its leader Brandon Flowers also did some work on his own. Flowers’ album, “Flamingo,” was released16 in September. Here he performs his young son’s favorite song from “Flamingo.” It is called “Crossfire.”


The band Sleigh Bells is very new. Members Alexis Krauss and Derek Miller17 met in a restaurant in Brooklyn, New York in two thousand eight. Their first album, “Treats,” was released in April. Sleigh Bells is described as noise-pop. And it is loud. Just listen to “Infinity Guitars,” from “Treats.”


Finally, we hear from country-folk performer Elizabeth Cook. She began making music as a small child with her parents who play guitar, bass18 and other instruments.

Cook hosts a weekday radio show. She plays CDs, talks about cooking and gives advice on home care.

We leave you with a song from Elizabeth Cook’s album “Welder.” Here is “Not California.”


DOUG JOHNSON: I’m Doug Johnson. Our program was written by Dana Demange and Caty Weaver19, who also was our producer.

We wish you all the best in the New Year. Join us again next week for AMERICAN MOSAIC, VOA’s radio magazine in Special English.


1 mosaic CEExS     
  • The sky this morning is a mosaic of blue and white.今天早上的天空是幅蓝白相间的画面。
  • The image mosaic is a troublesome work.图象镶嵌是个麻烦的工作。
2 repeatedly RkAzVA     
  • The loudspeakers blared the speech repeatedly.扬声器里反复大声地播送那篇演讲。
  • He repeatedly beat his foot upon the floor.他反复用脚敲着地板。
3 forth Hzdz2     
  • The wind moved the trees gently back and forth.风吹得树轻轻地来回摇晃。
  • He gave forth a series of works in rapid succession.他很快连续发表了一系列的作品。
4 viewpoints 781f2a30a78c7de9e38d4597d32791a9     
观点,意见,角度( viewpoint的名词复数 )
  • In any case, separation of the two viewpoints is mandatory. 无论如何,把这两种观点分开是必不可少的。
  • The two viewpoints are complementary and both approaches are of interest. 这两种方法是互为补充的而且都是有价值的。
5 works ieuzIh     
  • We expect writers to produce more and better works.我们期望作家们写出更多更好的作品。
  • The novel is regarded as one of the classic works.这篇小说被公认为是最优秀的作品之一。
6 retired Njhzyv     
  • The old man retired to the country for rest.这位老人下乡休息去了。
  • Many retired people take up gardening as a hobby.许多退休的人都以从事园艺为嗜好。
7 autobiography ZOOyX     
  • He published his autobiography last autumn.他去年秋天出版了自己的自传。
  • His life story is recounted in two fascinating volumes of autobiography.这两卷引人入胜的自传小说详述了他的生平。
8 experienced ntPz2t     
  • Experienced seamen will advise you about sailing in this weather.有经验的海员会告诉你在这种天气下的航行情况。
  • Perhaps you and I had better change over;you are more experienced.也许我们的工作还是对换一下好,你比我更有经验。
9 survival lrJw9     
  • The doctor told my wife I had a fifty-fifty chance of survival.医生告诉我的妻子,说我活下去的可能性只有50%。
  • The old man was a survival of a past age.这位老人是上一代的遗老。
10 unearthing 00d1fee5b583e89f513b69e88ec55cf3     
发掘或挖出某物( unearth的现在分词 ); 搜寻到某事物,发现并披露
  • And unearthing the past often means literally and studying the evidence. 通常,探寻往事在字面上即意味着——刨根究底。
  • The unearthing of "Peking Man" was a remarkable discovery. “北京人”的出土是个非凡的发现。
11 timely 3oVwM     
  • We are particularly grateful to him for his timely help.我们特别感谢他的及时帮助。
  • Your arrival was most timely yesterday.你们昨天来得非常及时。
12 crystal Qy7xu     
  • It used to be a crystal stream.那曾是条清澈见底的小溪。
  • Those fine wine glasses are made of crystal.那些漂亮的酒杯是用水晶做的。
13 seller Rzrwv     
  • I hope for this book to become a best seller.我希望这本书会成为一本畅销书。
  • She drove a hard bargain with the seller.她狠杀卖主的价。
14 currently SvMzI2     
  • Currently it is not possible to reconcile this conflicting evidence.当前还未有可能去解释这一矛盾的例证。
  • Our contracts are currently under review.我们的合同正在复查。
15 killers c1a8ff788475e2c3424ec8d3f91dd856     
凶手( killer的名词复数 ); 消灭…者; 致命物; 极难的事
  • He remained steadfast in his determination to bring the killers to justice. 他要将杀人凶手绳之以法的决心一直没有动摇。
  • They were professional killers who did in John. 杀死约翰的这些人是职业杀手。
16 released 23690fd759f17135ec9879b56ff2600c     
v.释放( release的过去式和过去分词 );放开;发布;发行
  • He was released on bail pending committal proceedings. 他交保获释正在候审。
  • With hindsight it is easy to say they should not have released him. 事后才说他们本不应该释放他,这倒容易。
17 miller ZD6xf     
  • Every miller draws water to his own mill.磨坊主都往自己磨里注水。
  • The skilful miller killed millions of lions with his ski.技术娴熟的磨坊主用雪橇杀死了上百万头狮子。
18 bass APUyY     
  • He answered my question in a surprisingly deep bass.他用一种低得出奇的声音回答我的问题。
  • The bass was to give a concert in the park.那位男低音歌唱家将在公园中举行音乐会。
19 weaver LgWwd     
  • She was a fast weaver and the cloth was very good.她织布织得很快,而且布的质量很好。
  • The eager weaver did not notice my confusion.热心的纺织工人没有注意到我的狼狈相。
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