Literature

"The Days Of Abandonment" by Elena Ferrante

Alissa Quart recommends Elena Ferrante's "Days of Abandonment" and Elizabeth Hardwick's "Sleepless Nights."

Patti Smith

Legendary poet and singer Patti Smith has two selves. On stage, she revels in collaborating with the people around her and creating a memorable performance. But she reveals a very different self in her memoir "M Train." 

Time

James Gleick, a science writer with a special interest in the cultural impact of technology, recently sat down with Steve Paulson to talk about the cultural history of time travel and its enduring appeal.

Birdle

Helen Macdonald's book "H is for Hawk" turned her goshawk Mabel into one of the most memorable literary characters of recent years. Mabel is no longer with her, but Helen now has a new avian companion — an ornery and very smart parrot.

Horror

Can playing out negative scenarios lead to a more positive life?

Phoscheck drop during the 2013 Springs Fire, one of an ever growing list of wildfires in California due to hot, dry conditions and drought.

Reflecting on the devastating fires in California, we revisit a conversation with a longtime "hotshot" crew firefighter, Mary Pauline Lowry.  

If you've ever been bullied, you've probably had revenge fantasies. But you probably haven't taken it to the extreme that Allen Kurzweil has. He actually tracked down his childhood bully. He writes about his experience in "Whipping Boy: The Forty-Year Search for My Twelve-Year-Old Bully."

Palestine

Carlos Fraenkel wanted to take philosophy out into the streets, so he met with students at Palestinian and Egyptian universities, and found that Plato, Maimonides and other great philosophers can open up a culture of conversation and debate.

"Infinite Jest" by David Foster Wallace

David Foster Wallace wrote memorably about AA in his famous novel "Infinite Jest." Writer Marshall Boswell reads one of his favorite passages.

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