Literature

"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.

Cabin in the woods

Howard Axelrod was accidentally blinded in one eye in a freak accident when he was in college. Disoriented and depressed, he retreated to an off-the-grid cabin in the Vermont wilderness. 

Where do you turn to for inspiration on how to live a meaningful life? Religion? Family? Great books? Poet David Whyte finds inspiration in everyday words. In his book Consolations, Whyte examines the deeper, often surpising meanings of 52 ordinary words.

Air Dates:
  • May 12, 2018
  • July 15, 2017
  • January 11, 2016

Can science tell you how to "get happy?"  This hour,  the psychology and history behind the very idea of happiness. 

General Electric dial

Kurt Vonnegut joined his brother, Bernard, at General Electric in the late 1940s. Ginger Strand explains how Kurt's time at G.E. influenced his fiction.

Environmentalist Jennifer Jacquet recommends "Last Chance to See" by Douglas Adams and Mark Carwardine.

"The Dark Is Rising" by Susan Cooper

Wizarding fiction didn't start with "Harry Potter," says the author of "H is for Hawk." Every year, MacDonald reads this tale of a boy who finds out he's one of the "old ones," part of a series from author Susan Cooper. She says it reconnects her with a sense of wonder inspired by what might lurk beneath the surface of the seen world.

dogtags

Revenge is a major theme in Elliot Ackerman’s debut novel “Green on Blue.” The novel is told from the point-of-view of an Afghan boy named Aziz who’s seeking to avenge his brother Ali.

New York

Garth Risk Hallberg's "City on Fire" is a sweeping 900-page story about New York City in the mid-1970s, chronicling everything from the punk music scene to the rise of Wall Street's runaway hedge funds. Hallberg says he's fascinated by the idea of creative destruction.

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