TTBOOK began as an audio magazine of ideas – two hours of smart, entertaining radio for people with curious minds. It’s sort of journalistic, but it’s never about the President’s speech to the U.N., weapons inspections in Iraq, or yesterday’s stock market disaster. It’s the kind of show that would spend an hour on the future of capitalism, or on the roots of Islamic fundamentalism. It might also spend an hour on hair. Or salt. Or pirates, road trips, psychic phenomena, house cleaning, animal intelligence, high energy physics, or how to say you’re sorry. It’s the kind of show where someone might mention Charlotte Bronte or Anthony Trollope in one segment, U2 or They Might Be Giants in another.
The Magic Book
Books can be magical Codex Seraphinianus; The Book of Pythia; The Story of the Alepo Codex; The Talking Book; Alif the Unseen.
Owning Your Body
We explore what it means to own your body The Scar Project; The Barbershop; Aubrey Ralph - a look at being transgender; Jim Fleming on The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock; Sally Gross on movement and dance; David Stockman on The Great Deformation.
When a twin dies, what happens to the survivor? Bianca Bosker on "Original Copies: Architectural Mimicry in Contemporary China"; Marcus Boon on "In Praise of Copying"; Barry Vacker on "The End of the World -- Again: Why the Apocalypse Meme Replicates in Media, Science, and Culture"; Emily Anthes on "Frankenstein's Cat: Cuddling Up to Biotech's Brave New Beasts"; Christa Parravani on "Her".
Why Ferment? Inside the Fermentation Revival The Art of Fermentation - Sandor Katz; Fermentation Fest - Erik Lorenzsonn; The World's Greatest Cheese - Michael Paterniti; The Day the Yogurt Took Over - John Scalzi; BioCouture - Suzanne Lee; The Global Gut - Rob Knight.
We Are All Connected
Forget six degrees of separation, it's becoming fewer all the time. Lada Adamic on data science at Facebook; Alexander Stille on Revolutionary Poetry in Somalia; Olga Nunes on voice mail; Miguel Paz on Poderopedia; Jason Rohrer on Chain World.
How to Read a Book
bibliotherapy offers literary prescriptions for depression, anxiety, and even the common cold. The Ebook Revolution - Jason Merkoski; Slow Reading in a Hurried Age - David Mikics; Reader - Billy Collins; The Novel Cure - Ella Berthoud & Susan Elderkin; "S." - Doug Dorst; Social Media: The First 2,000 Years - Tom Standage.
Literature of Memory
Human memory is notoriously tricky. But for novelists, that unreliability makes memory an especially fertile ground for fiction. We’ll talk with some celebrated writers about truth, fiction and memory. Julian Barnes on "The Sense of an Ending"; Anna Rabinowitz on "Darkling"; Andre Aciman on "Alibis"; Michael Ondaatje on "The Cat's Table".
When The Muse Descends
Writer Nathan Englander explains how it feels when "the muse descends." When We Talk About the Muse; Sarah Jones - Creating Character; Lee Smolin - Creative Problems in Physics; Creativity in Art and Science - David Krakauer & Nathan Englander.
we’ll talk about Camus on his hundredth birthday and why he still has a lot to tell us about a world mired in political violence. Why Camus? ; Geoff Dyer on Camus; "The Myth of Sisyphus" - Mark Rowlands; Albert Camus & Jacques Monod - Sean Carroll; Growing Up Absurd - Steve Paulson; Against Suicide - Jennifer Hecht.
Film and Philosophy
Exploring philosophy through the lens of film. "To The Best of Our Knowledge: The Movie" ; Geoff Dyer on "Zona"; J.J. Murphy on Andy Warhol's Films; Kim Evans on "Charlie Kaufman, Screenwriter"; Barry Vacker on "Fight Club".
Alone in the Universe?
Imagine the headline... bold print, banner type, four words, "We Are Not Alone". In this hour we find out why astronomers believe that within a decade, you’ll wake up to news of life on another planet. Marc Kaufman on First Contact; Leslie Kean on UFOs; Dimitar Sasselov on Astrobiology; Guy Consolmagno on Theology and Astronomy; Orson Scott Card on Extraterrestrial Life.
What makes a scientific revolution? Rupert Sheldrake on "Science Set Free"; Thomas Kuhn's "Structure of Scientific Revolutions"; Margalit Fox on "The Riddle of the Labyrinth"; Stephen Greenblatt on "The Swerve"; Daphne Sheldrick on "Love, Life and Elephants".
Happy Halloween! Here's a spooky hour full of ghost stories and tales of the paranormal. Be careful, something here may haunt you. Eric Nuzum on "Giving Up the Ghost"; Listener Ghost Story: "The Lake"; Jeffrey Kripal on the Paranormal; Listener Ghost Story: "Presidential Phantasm"; Dan Chaon on "Stay Awake"; Listener Ghost Story: "You Are What You Eat"; Raymond Moody on "Paranormal: My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife".
Building Stories Chris Ware - Building Stories; Guide to Camp Homes; J.G. Ballard - High Rise; Meat Houses; Building Sound.
Margaret Atwood & Jonathan Lethem, two of our most acclaimed contemporary writers. "Dissident Gardens" - Jonathan Lethem; "MaddAddam" - Margaret Atwood; Thomas Pynchon - Boris Kachka; "Salinger" - Shane Salerno; Postcards from a Listener.
After the Romance
a defense of marriage, a commitment to the single life, a guide to keeping the heat in long-term relationships and just a few angry break-up songs. 28 Firsts - Whitney Jones; Passionate Marriage?; Open Up?; Husband & Husband; Smiling Singles?; Break-Up Songs.
When was the last time you wrote or received a real letter? Listeners on their Saved Handwriting; Adam Mansbach on Graffiti Writing; Scott Topper on the Dangers of Writing and Reading; Kitty Burns Florey on the Rise and Fall of Handwriting; Listeners on their Saved Handwriting II; Samara O'Shea on Letter Writing; DT Max on the Letters of David Foster Wallace.
What we talk about when we talk about immigration. Jose Antonio Vargas on Being Undocumented; Eddie Huang on Fresh Off the Boat; Ron Corn, Jr. on Saving the Menominee Language; The Story of the Arabian Nights; Yotam Ottolenghi on Jerusalem.
Four exceptionally creative people, musicians Jeremy Denk and Vijay Iyer, novelist Karen Russell and astrophysicist Sara Seager, in this hour of To the Best of Our Knowledge. Karen Russell, MacArthur genius; What makes a genius?; Jeremy Denk - art of piano; "Steal Like an Artist" mashup; Searching for E.T. - Sara Seager; Vijay Iyer - MacArthur winner.
Religious Belief, Secular Values
Would true separation of church and state help or hurt religion? Jacques Berlinerblau on "How To Be Secular"; Hanna Pylvainen on "We Sinners"; Robert Bellah on "Religion in Human Evolution"; Yann Martel on "Life of Pi"; Robert Richardson on William James.