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TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Our guest James Balog is an award-winning photographer, whose work explores the relationship between humans and nature. It's a subject that's taken on increased urgency, he believes, with growing evidence of the impact of climate change. He was last on our show to talk about climate change and the melting of Arctic glacial ice, which he documented through time-lapse photography. That led to his project the Extreme Ice Survey and his film "Chasing Ice."

Before I talk about individual essays in Emily Bernard's new book, Black Is the Body, I want to pay it an all-inclusive tribute. Even the best essay collections routinely contain some filler, but of the 12 essays here, there's not one that even comes close to being forgettable.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. The latest version of "A Star Is Born" is nominated for seven Oscars, including best picture, leading actor and leading actress. This is the fourth version of the film. The 1954 version, starring Judy Garland, is a classic. Garland's daughter, singer and actress Lorna Luft, has written a book about "A Star Is Born" and what her mother went through while making it. Luft's father, Sid Luft, produced the 1954 version and was married to Garland when it was made.

Random House copy chief Benjamin Dreyer is not a fan of the word "very."

"It's not a dreadful word," he allows, but "it's one of my little pet words to do without if you can possibly do without it."

"Very" and its cousins "rather" and "really" are "wan intensifiers," Dreyer explains. In their place, he advises that writers look for a strong adjective that "just sits very nicely by itself" on the page. For example, "very smart" people can be "brilliant" and "very hungry" people can be "ravenous."

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm Terry Gross. Before states ran legal lotteries, there was the underground street version, the numbers. Some numbers games were run by organized crime. Some were run by enterprising individuals whose best chance at prosperity was through the underground economy. In 1960s Detroit, at a time when a lot of African-Americans were shut out of job and economic opportunities, Fannie Davis started running her own numbers operation. She did well and raised her five children in a comfortable home that she owned.

Fresh Air Weekend highlights some of the best interviews and reviews from past weeks, and new program elements specially paced for weekends. Our weekend show emphasizes interviews with writers, filmmakers, actors and musicians, and often includes excerpts from live in-studio concerts. This week:

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

This is FRESH AIR. I'm David Bianculli, editor of the website TV Worth Watching, sitting in for Terry Gross. The Grammy awards are coming up next weekend, and one of the performers up for a Best New Artist Grammy is our first guest, Margo Price.

Next year will mark the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Mysterious Affair at Styles, Agatha Christie's first novel featuring fictional detective Hercule Poirot.

An acutely observant crime-solver in the tradition of Sherlock Holmes, Poirot has since been played on screen by such actors as Albert Finney, Peter Ustinov and, most famously, David Suchet, who starred in Poirot, a lengthy series presented in the U.S. by PBS.

Copyright 2019 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

TERRY GROSS, HOST:

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