Lourdes Garcia-Navarro

This year, many people have been turning to music for catharsis, but Mama Haze, aka songwriter Meaghan Maples, has been tapping into music's healing powers for a long time. Before pursuing music full-time, the Oakland, Calif.-based artist was a doula and caregiver, often prescribing music as an antidote to patients' pain.

Maria Hinojosa has dedicated her career to telling the stories of Latinos and other communities often ignored by the media.

The Emmy award-winning journalist and longtime host of Latino USA on NPR is now telling her own story in a raw, very personal memoir, titled Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America.

Bill S. Preston Esquire and Ted "Theodore" Logan have been to heaven and hell, the past and the future. They've befriended Abraham Lincoln and Joan of Arc. They've bested the Grim Reaper in a game of Battleship.

Writer Nnedi Okorafor was born and raised in the U.S., but she says her immigrant parents were always talking about Nigeria. "We had the American experience, but they also didn't leave home behind ..." Okorafor says. Nigeria "didn't feel like a place of the past. It felt like a place of the now and the future."

This year's Tiny Desk Contest wrapped up at the beginning of August with the announcement of our winner, Linda Diaz, and her song "Green Tea Ice Cream." But NPR Music's panel of judges saw over 6000 entries from around the country, and there was more than one incredible submission.

Stephen Miller is the architect of Donald Trump's extreme policies on immigration.

And leaked emails have shown him pushing white-power ideology cloaked in pseudo-science.

So how did an affluent kid from the California suburbs — who liked mobster movies and wore gold chains — get on the path that led him to where he is now?

Koko Kondo was 8 months old and with her mother when the first atomic bomb hit her home city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. Her father, Methodist minister the Rev. Kiyoshi Tanimoto, had left earlier that morning.

"Suddenly, the whole house crashed," Kondo recounts. She was trapped beneath the rubble with her mother.

When cases of the coronavirus spiked in March, doctors and nurses across the country found themselves overwhelmed with work. The shutdown also took away an important creative outlet for a special breed of medical professional: classical musicians. That's why John Masko, a symphony conductor in Boston, founded the National Virtual Medical Orchestra, giving those in the medical field a chance to perform and connect with each other.

"I kept hearing from musician after musician from our ensemble [about] how much they wish they were playing," Masko says.

Humans have never been particularly good at eradicating entire viruses, and COVID-19 might not be any different.

So many of us do it: You get into bed, turn off the lights, and look at your phone to check Twitter one more time.

You see that coronavirus infections are up. Maybe your kids can't go back to school. The economy is cratering.

Still, you incessantly scroll though bottomless doom-and-gloom news for hours as you sink into a pool of despair.

For the past month, as anti-racism protesters across America have revived the campaign for the removal of statues, many eyes have focused on Richmond, Va. — the former capital of the Confederacy.

Richmond is home to Monument Avenue, a long stretch with towering statues dedicated to Confederate figures like Jefferson Davis, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee.

Some of those monuments have been toppled by protesters; others have been taken down by the city.

As the number of new coronavirus cases spikes in several states across the U.S., governors, county officials and business owners have been crafting laws and guidelines that mandate the use of face masks to help prevent the spread of the virus.

But even a simple cloth face covering has become political.

The settings: A lavish Capri wedding, Italian villas, mansions in the Hamptons and a mega-yacht.

The love interests: George Zao, a Chinese-Australian surfer, and Lucie Tang Churchill of, yes, those Churchills.

The book: Sex and Vanity. And it could only be written by Kevin Kwan, author of Crazy Rich Asians, who says he felt like it was time to move on from the decadent, glamorous world of that series.

Olivia Monroe has just moved to Los Angeles to open her own law firm.

Max Powell is a U.S. Senator who usually spends his weeks in D.C.

After a meet-cute at a hotel bar, they begin a casual, weekends-only long-distance fling. Or is it more? That's the setup for novelist Jasmine Guillory's new romance Party of Two. And it has some timely themes — Olivia is black, Max is white.

Padma Lakshmi — the host of the cooking competition Top Chef — is on a new gastronomical journey, taking her to places you've probably heard of, like Chinatown in San Franscisco, and others you may not, like Little Lima in New Jersey.

The new show is called Taste the Nation, and Lakshmi does not shy away from the complicated history and politics that remind us who is really at the center of our favorite "American" dishes: immigrants.

When Beyoncé deems your music "flawless," you know you've probably made it. That's more or less what happened to the sister R&B duo, Chloe x Halle, when they passed their latest album, Ungodly Hour, to Beyoncé for feedback.

"We love Beyoncé so much and we value her opinion so very much, so whenever we can get her feedback on something, it's very much appreciated," Halle Bailey says. "But for this album, we only heard positive things and that she loved it. So that really made us happy and feel proud."

Rows of armed agents were deployed around the protests in Washington, D.C. this past week, but it was not obvious who they were: They had no name tags, no badge numbers and no emblems to identify which agencies they worked for.

Their arrival sparked shock and alarm. Now, Democratic lawmakers are calling for legislation that would make it illegal for these officers to not identify themselves.

Zeshan Bagewadi is in many ways, a classic soul singer. As Zeshan B, he channels the music of Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye and Otis Redding. His signature, though, is combining that classic soul sound with lyrics that pay tribute to his South Asian roots. On his latest album, Melismatic, his first collection of entirely original compositions, he sings in both English and Urdu.

The first sign that something was wrong came with stomach pains. It was April 30, and 9-year-old Kyree McBride wasn't feeling well.

His mother, Tammie Hairston, thought it might have been something that he ate. But soon, young McBride was battling a 102-degree fever.

Worried he may have contracted the coronavirus, Hairston took her son to the hospital. "It was a quick in and out of the emergency room," she said. Doctors told her to take him home and monitor him.

Alt.Latino host Felix Contreras joins Weekend Edition host Lulu Garcia-Navarro for their monthly new music chat. The tracks featured this week come from several corners of the Latin music world and all center on themes of inspiration and emotional release, which Felix says is exactly what we need during these difficult times. Listen to the conversation in the audio player above and check out all of the tracks below.

On her latest EP, Noah Cyrus wants you to know that you're not alone in feeling alone. Blending the spirit of classic country music with the sensibilities of today's pop, it's called The End of Everything — which feels like a good title for this moment.

Noah comes from quite the musical family, but now, with songs like "July" and "I Got So High That I Saw Jesus," she's finding her own voice.

"I wasn't afraid of fighting," Ilhan Omar writes about her childhood in Somalia in her new memoir. "I felt like I was bigger and stronger than everyone else — even if I knew that wasn't really the case."

In This Is What America Looks Like: My Journey from Refugee to Congresswoman, Omar chronicles her childhood in a middle-class family compound in Mogadishu, followed by civil war, four years in a refugee camp, a journey to the United States and ultimately her election to Congress as a Democrat representing Minnesota's 5th district.

A young Hillary Rodham, madly in love with the man she met at Yale Law School, abandons her own path and heads to Arkansas. Slowly she starts to uncover Bill Clinton's many infidelities and makes a choice.

What would have happened if Hillary Rodham had never married Bill Clinton?

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

If you are anything like me, this pandemic may have sent you back seeking solace in the films from your childhood, "Mary Poppins," "The Sound Of Music." If so, this voice will be familiar and very, very comforting.

Elizabeth Acevedo's new Clap When You Land is a novel, in verse, about two sisters losing their father, their hero, and finding each other along the way.

Camino Rios lives with her aunt in the Dominican Republic, and waits all year for her dad to visit her for the summer. Yahaira Rios lives in New York with her parents, and asks every year if she can go with her dad on his annual business trip. Neither sister knows about the other — until their dad dies in a plane crash leaving New York for the Dominican Republic.

Nnamdi Ogbonnaya, who releases music as NNAMDÏ, has been a staple of Chicago's indie scene for years. He's been called the city's "weirdest musician," and his most recent album, Brat, explores what happens when a kid who dreams of being an artist actually finds success.

What happens when you go back to a place you thought was your home, only to find it profoundly different? That's the subject explored in Puerto Rican indie pop duo Buscabulla's debut album, Regresa, out on May 8.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

Idi Amin, Fidel Castro, Enver Hoxha, Saddam Hussien, and Pol Pot. Sure, they were ruthless leaders — but more importantly, what did they eat?

In the new book How to Feed a Dictator, journalist Witold Szablowski tracks down the chefs who served these five men, to paint intimate portraits of how they were at home and at the table.

Pages