Interviews By Topic

Cash

Journalist Anand Giridharadas says that sometimes, major philanthropic gifts are a lot less altruistic than they may appear.More

person and dog

Ecofeminist philosopher Donna Haraway has a reputation for tackling the big intellectual questions of our time — and blowing them wide open. Steve spoke with her for the Los Angeles Review of Books.More

give the gift of a clean kitchen

Psychologist Elizabeth Dunn on how to spend money on ourselves and others in a way that maximizes happiness.More

Anne Lamott

Writer Anne Lamott says that the children’s classic made her feel like there was room in the world for imaginative, adventurous girls who just might wear mismatched knee socks. More

Werner Herzog

Filmmaker Werner Herzog, whose films include "Grizzly Man" and "Cave of the Forgotten Dreams," recommends a nonfiction collection of J.A. Baker's observations of peregrine falcons, recorded in the early 1960s.More

Catan

Board game critic Eric Thurm argues that games carry subliminal messages — and that even some of the most innocuous games are often more political than we think.
 More

Mahjong tiles

Board games are a tradition for a lot of us. But have you ever thought about where those traditions come from? Producer Angelo Bautista investigates the history of mahjong.More

chess fight

Chess has a reputation as a highly-intelligent, elegant game. But sportswriter Brin-Jonathan Butler says it’s also addictive — and sadistic.More

Martin Amis

Martin Amis has written his fair share of novels and essay collections. For a writer, you expect their favorite books to be a source of inspiration. For Amis, Saul Bellow's 1953 novel is a source of writer's block.More

desks

Young people seem to be feeling the pressure to be perfect more than anyone else. Social psychologist Tom Curran tells us how neoliberalism and the digital age created a generation that feels guilty about falling short of flawlessness.More

prison

Feeling regret about committing a crime matters in criminal sentencing. But if emotion isn't supposed to have a place in the law, should it matter? Susan Bandes tells us how judges and juries evaluate remorse, and why.More

Jericho Brown

As a black, gay poet, Jericho Brown considers it “hilarious” that he discovered sex through one of the whitest writers in American history — John Updike. More

Kim on screen

Author Lucas Mann writes that calling reality TV a guilty pleasure is "the dumbest cultural cliche." "To The Best Of Our Knowledge" producer Haleema Shah asked him about his relationship with reality TV and the person he watches it with — his wife.More

window

Cognitive scientist Donald D. Hoffman and neurologist Suzanne O’Sullivan share their respective research on fundamental questions about the existence of consciousness to try to teach Steve a bit more about what science can tell us about the line between perception and reality.More

girl reading

New York Times Book Review Editor Pamela Paul on why reading — and more importantly, a deep connection to when, why, where and how of what we read — is so important at every age. More

Author Susan Orlean on how the worst library fire in American history brought an entire city together to save 700,000 books.More

Piles of books

Who says reading has to be a solitary experience? Producer Shannon Henry Kleiber brings us along to her yearly reading ritual: a gathering of super smart, funny women who make an entire reading plan for the next 12 months — together.More

Chloe and Anne

People really remember the first books they fall in love with. That came up in a conversation Anne had on stage with three writers — Chloe Benjamin, Natalia Sylvester and Rebecca Traister. They were each sharing a favorite book.More

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