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The place where young readers meet to talk about books. The show includes a celebrity reader and an interview with the author. The host is award winning public radio journalist Kitty Felde. Book Club won the California Library Association Technology Award and the DC Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Humanitites. Named one of the top 10 podcasts for kids by THE TIMES of London.
 
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show series
 
Superman, Batman, Captain America, and Iron Man are names that are often connected to the expansive superhero genre, including the multi-billion-dollar film and television franchises. But these characters are older and have been woven into American popular culture since their inception in the early days of comic books. The history of these comic bo…
 
Did Harry Potter make you wish you were going to boarding school? This week, we visit another extraordinary boarding school with invisible students and k'lepreechons. It's Hypatia Academy by Esther Goldenberg. It's the favorite book of this trio of Maryland readers. NPR's Morning Edition host Rachel Martin is celebrity reader. Kitty Felde is host. …
 
Dr. Emily Greble, Associate Professor of History at Vanderbilt University, is the author of Muslims and the Making of Modern Europe (Oxford University Press, 2021). Focusing on the Muslim inhabitants of the Austro-Hungarian Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, and later Yugoslavia, as they repeatedly adjusted to shifting borders and modern s…
 
"The journey is the oldest story known to humanity", says bestselling American author Amor Towles, whose third book is based on this archetypal narrative and takes a group of lost boys on an unpredictable road trip in The Lincoln Highway.Also, Booker Prize shortlisted author Anuk Arudpragasam with A Passage North and Vietnamese American Monique Tru…
 
When inspiration struck Robert McCrum to write a book about the Bard, it came while watching one of the playwright’s plays in Central Park, New York. Here, McCrum realized that we, today, are undoubtedly living in Shakespearean times. Joe Krulder, a British Historian, interviews Robert about his latest book, Shakespearean: On Life and Language in T…
 
Would you like to live forever? When is it okay to lie? How do we prepare for a disaster? These and other big questions are tackled by students at Farmdale Elementary School in Los Angeles as they discuss The Name of This Book is Secret by Pseudonymous Bosch. Actress Satomi Hoffman is celebrity reader. Kitty Felde is host. www.bookclubforkids.org…
 
The current opioid epidemic in the United States began in the mid-1990s with the introduction of a new drug, OxyContin, viewed as a safer and more effective opiate for chronic pain management. By 2017, the opioid epidemic had become a full-blown crisis as over two million Americans had become dependent on and abused prescription pain pills and stre…
 
In The Better Angels of Our Nature Harvard psychologist Steven Pinker argued that modern history has witnessed a dramatic decline in human violence of every kind, and that in the present we are experiencing the most peaceful time in human history. But what do top historians think about Pinker's reading of the past? Does his argument stand up to his…
 
It's time to rethink how we create and allocate money In Outgrowing Capitalism: Rethinking Money to Reshape Society and Pursue Purpose (Fast Company Press, 2021), Marco Dondi sheds light on the fact that most people do not have the economic security to focus on purpose and life fulfillment. He proposes that this is not the way things have to be; th…
 
Liane Moriarty's latest novel is Apples Never Fall and as another TV adaptation of her work wraps us, she is adamant she will never write books with a view to adaptation. Also, British-Turkish Elif Shafak's inventive The Island of Missing Trees set in a divided Cyprus and Booker shortlisted author Damon Galgut's equally inventive, The Promise.…
 
A century ago, it was a given that a woman with a college degree had to choose between having a career and a family. Today, there are more female college graduates than ever before, and more women want to have a career and family, yet challenges persist at work and at home. This book traces how generations of women have responded to the problem of …
 
On this episode, J.J. Mull interviews author Hannah Zeavin about her new book, The Distance Cure: A History of Teletherapy (MIT Press, 2021). Among Zeavin’s central interventions in the book is to reframe what is normally understood as the “therapeutic dyad” as always already a triad: therapist, patient, and mediating communication technology. Acro…
 
Called the “quarterback of the new anti-drug movement,” Kevin Sabet received his Ph.D. in social policy from the University of Oxford and has worked in drug policy for over two decades. He’s served as an advisor for three presidential administrations, Pope Francis and the United Nations, and in 2013 he founded the group he still leads, Smart Approa…
 
Everyone has heard of Alexei Navalny, the leader of Russia's opposition to Putin's rule. But what do we really know of him? Navalny: Putin's Nemesis, Russia's Future? (Oxford, 2021) provides the first detailed description of Navalny's history and trajectory. Most importantly, Ben Noble, Morvan Lallouet, and Jan Matti Dollbaum turn the one-dimension…
 
An event-by-event look at how institutionalized racism harms the health of African Americans in the twenty-first century A crucial component of anti-Black racism is the unconscionable disparity in health outcomes between Black and white Americans. Sickening: Anti-Black Racism and Health Disparities in the United States (U Minnesota Press, 2021) exa…
 
In 2019, John Boyne faced huge online backlash for a book he wrote about a trans teenager and he's channelled that experience in to his new comic novel, The Echo Chamber.Also, Booker Prize shortlisted author Nadifa Mohamed on The Fortune Men and Emily Bitto’s Wild Abandon, about men, booze, tigers and America.…
 
Race, while drawn from the visual cues of human diversity, is an idea with a measurable past, an identifiable present, and an uncertain future. The concept of race has been at the center of both triumphs and tragedies in American history and has had a profound effect on the human experience. Race Unmasked: Biology and Race in the Twentieth Century …
 
Marxism is having a moment; higher workloads, stagnating wages, rising costs of living, a new economic crisis every few years, a warming climate and now almost two years of a worldwide pandemic have all led to a number of people across the world, especially younger people, to self-identify with ideas once thought to be in the dustbin of history. Bu…
 
Histories of the Vietnam War are not in short supply. In U.S. history, it ranks alongside the Civil War and World War Two in terms of author coverage. The aftermath of the war has received a similar amount of attention, with historians noting the effect that the end of the war had on domestic politics and U.S. foreign policy. But what about shifts …
 
In Who Gets What — and Why: The New Economics of Matchmaking and Market Design (Mariner Books, 2015), Nobel Memorial Prize Winner Alvin Roth explains his pioneering work in the study of matching markets such as kidney exchange, marriage, job placements for new doctors and new professors, and enrollments in schools or colleges. In these markets, “bu…
 
For decades, scholars have been calling into question the universality of disciplinary objects and categories. The coherence of defined autonomous categories—such as religion, science, and art—has collapsed under the weight of postmodern critiques, calling into question the possibility of progress and even the value of knowledge. Jason Ānanda Josep…
 
“I admit to regular fits of feeling simply I am not a good person,” says Jonathan Franzen, author of The Corrections, “and it’s a question that fiction is uniquely poised to engage with”. And it’s a question that is at the heart of his new novel Crossroads.Also, Maggie Shipstead on her Booker Prize shortlisted novel Great Circle, and Robert Gott’s …
 
The basic story of the rise, reign, and fall of deconstruction as a literary and philosophical groundswell is well known among scholars. In this intellectual history, Gregory Jones-Katz aims to transform the broader understanding of a movement that has been frequently misunderstood, mischaracterized, and left for dead—even as its principles and inf…
 
How can we create a healthier world and prevent the crisis next time? In a few short months, COVID-19 devastated the world and, in particular, the United States. It infected millions, killed hundreds of thousands, and effectively made the earth stand still. Yet America was already in poor health before COVID-19 appeared. Racism, marginalization, so…
 
Movies open a window into our collective soul. In Screen Captures: Film in the Age of Emergency (New Star Books, 2021), Stephen Lee Naish guides us through recent cinematic phenomena that reflect/refract our contemporary political existence. Stephen Lee Naish is a writer, independent researcher, and cultural critic. He is the author of several book…
 
Washington, DC is known as the birthplace of hardcore punk. The raw, innovative, new sound coming out of the nation’s capital in the late 1970s is examined in Shayna Maskell’s Politics as Sound: The Washington, DC, Hardcore Scene, 1978-1983 (U Illinois Press, 2021). Maskell examines the DC hardcore scene between 1978 and 1983, focusing on the bands…
 
With the passing of those who witnessed National Socialism and the Holocaust, the archive matters as never before. However, the material that remains for the work of remembering and commemorating this period of history is determined by both the bureaucratic excesses of the Nazi regime and the attempt to eradicate its victims without trace. Dora Osb…
 
In his latest book Cloud Cuckoo Land, Pulitzer Prize winner Anthony Doerr explores the human desire to create utopian worlds in places far from home.CS Pacat on their latest fantasy adventure Dark Rise, and Patricia Lockwood on being shortlisted for this years' Booker Prize for No One Is Talking About This.…
 
Over the past seventy years, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM, has evolved from a virtually unknown and little-used pamphlet to an imposing and comprehensive compendium of mental disorder. Its nearly 300 conditions have become the touchstones for the diagnoses that patients receive, students are taught, researchers …
 
Nature, it has been said, invites us to eat by appetite and rewards by flavor. But what exactly are flavors? Why are some so pleasing while others are not? Delicious is a supremely entertaining foray into the heart of such questions. With generous helpings of warmth and wit, Rob Dunn and Monica Sanchez offer bold new perspectives on why food is enj…
 
Suppose you had a sibling with Down Syndrome? How would this change your life? That's the question in The Jigsaw Puzzle King by Gina McMurchy-Barber. Readers from Hamilton Wentworth District School Board Remote School in Ontario, Canada discuss the book and discuss the merits of peanut butter and pickle sandwiches. We're joined by celebrity reader …
 
Western Jihadism: A Thirty Year History (Oxford University Press, 2021) tells the story of how Al Qaeda grew in the West. In forensic and compelling detail, Jytte Klausen traces how Islamist revolutionaries exiled in Europe and North America in the 1990s helped create and control one of the world's most impactful terrorist movements--and how, after…
 
Albeit inspired by a progressive vision of a working environment without walls or hierarchies, the open plan office has come to be associated with some of the most dehumanizing and alienating aspects of the modern office. Jennifer Kaufman-Buhler's fascinating new book Open Plan: A Design History of the American Office (Bloomsbury, 2021) examines th…
 
Horror fans are attracted to movies designed to scare us, but others shudder already at the thought of the sweat-drenched nightmares that terrifying movies often trigger. The fear of sleepless nights and the widespread beliefs that horror movies can have negative psychological effects and display immorality make some of us very, very nervous about …
 
British rapper, poet and writer, Akala, equates reading and writing to a form of magic. He brings this passion to the page in his debut YA novel, The Dark Lady, about pickpocket Henry, set in the time of Shakespeare's London. Also, The Overthinkers, a debut by a Sydney writing duo and Nick Earls on his heart surgery recovery as well as Empires, his…
 
Why are white evangelicals the most skeptical major religious group in America regarding climate change? Previous scholarship has pointed to cognitive factors such as conservative politics, anti-science attitudes, aversion to big government, and theology. Drawing on qualitative fieldwork, Robin Veldman's book The Gospel of Climate Skepticism: Why E…
 
In July 1947, not even three months after Jackie Robinson debuted on the Brooklyn Dodgers, snapping the color line that had segregated Major League Baseball, Larry Doby would follow in his footsteps on the Cleveland Indians. Though Doby, as the second Black player in the majors, would struggle during his first summer in Cleveland, his subsequent tu…
 
Mary Wollstonecraft’s A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, first published in 1792, is a work of enduring relevance in women’s rights advocacy. However, as Sylvana Tomaselli shows, a full understanding of Wollstonecraft’s thought is possible only through a more comprehensive appreciation of Wollstonecraft herself, as a philosopher and moralist who…
 
The Picky Eagle: How Democracy and Xenophobia Limited U. S. Territorial Expansion (Cornell UP, 2020) explains why the United States stopped annexing territory by focusing on annexation's domestic consequences, both political and normative. It describes how the U.S. rejection of further annexations, despite its rising power, set the stage for twenti…
 
Today’s Postscript (a special series that allows scholars to comment on pressing contemporary issues) engages the latest chapter in American abortion politics as the United States Supreme Court has just allowed a Texas statute banning abortions after 6 weeks to go into effect. Lilly Goren and Susan Liebell have assembled a panel of experts in polit…
 
"My favourite memories as a kid, are watching Saturday afternoon movies," says two time Pulitzer Prize winner, Colson Whitehead, "so I gave myself permission to do a heist book and started planning." Harlem Shuffle was the result. Also, Marion Frith's timely debut Here In the After about an Australian soldier who served in Afghanistan and Charlotte…
 
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