Interviews By Topic

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

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

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

Haleema reporting in Pakistan

You could say that the work of nation-building is never really done. Haleema Shah has been thinking about that after a recent trip to a country close to her heart — Pakistan.More

tea set

Journalist Adam Minter wrote a whole book about what happens to our things when we don’t want them anymore. It’s called “Secondhand: Travels in the New Global Garage Sale” Angelo asked him: why don’t we think more about the things we donate?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

Tommy Orange

Tommy Orange says he wasn't much of a reader in his early years. But a chance encounter with an absurd, experimental novel by John Kennedy Toole showed him a path to writing a novel that was truly his own.More

The Museum of Everyday Life is in Clare Dolan’s barn.

"Museum of Everyday Life" founder and curator Clare Dolan calls it "an ongoing, revolutionary experiment" — a celebration of "the mysterious delight embedded in the banal but beloved objects we touch everyday.More

whale at House on the Rock

When Angelo visited the House on the Rock for the firs time, at first he saw a testament to one man's obsession and demented imagination. But then he started to think — does he have his own bizarre collection of stuff in his home?More

disposable razor

Half the reason we buy so much new stuff is that our old stuff keeps breaking. Author Giles Slade says there's a reason for that — planned obsolescence.More

washing machine in a house.

In her new book, author Eula Biss reckons with a new phase in her life, moving from an apartment in Chicago to the first house her family owns. While that dream is about as American as the proverbial apple pie, Biss ruminates on the reality that it’s an impossible dream for many people.More

shadow arm

Do you ever have trouble sleeping? Steve Paulson does. And maybe you do too. How can something so simple be so hard — for so many people?More

lightbulb in dark

There is nothing fun about lying awake at 3 a.m. But in her book "Insomnia," writer Marina Benjamin argues for embracing it.More

man walking to work

The anthropologist David Graeber says “BS jobs” are an epidemic. Especially in that circle of hell known as middle management.More

dollar bill

"Before there was money, there was debt" says David Graeber in his book “Debt: The First 5,000 Years."More

clock

In interviewing hundreds of women, writer and journalist Ada Calhoun learned something startling: that her insomnia, which felt so personal and private, might actually be generational and gendered.More

lady in shadow

Guy Leschziner is a sleep physician, running one of the largest sleep clinics in Europe, with a specialty in bizarre conditions. He told Steve about the moment he first realized how much sleep matters.More

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