Sunday 9:00 - 11:00pm
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.
An Attitude of Gratitude
Thanksgiving How to Cultivate Gratitude; Raising Gracious Children; The Problem with Gettng Help; Gifting is, well, complicated; Punk Turns 40!; Patti Smith.
Both practically and symbolically, our voices are one of the primary ways that we interact with the world around us. Since ancient Greece, the voice has represented participatory democracy, and today we still argue about whose voices to include in our national conversations. But even though we might think of our voices as our own—and ourselves as free to use them—it turns out that the voice is one of the most disciplined, trained, standardized, regulated dimensions of human life and expression. This hour, we confront the politics of the voice, from stereotyping to vocal fry. And we also talk to a soundscape ecologist who listens—perhaps closer than anyone—to the voices of the natural world. Does He Sound Gay?; Hollywood's "Urban" Voice Problem; Sounding Off On Vocal Fry; From Telephones to Auto-Tune; Hearing a Disappearing World.
Very New Poems (update)
Poetry is back! Elegy for a Dead World; Narrator-in-residence at the Pfister Hotel; A Poet's Glossary; The Poet Laureate of Twitter; Veterans Day.
Living Dangerously: Live in Utah
There are many ways to live dangerously. Sure, you can take part in a death defying feat like skydiving, but living dangerously also sometimes involves taking intellectual risks, opening up, and being honest with yourself. To the Best of Our Knowledge recently travelled to Salt Lake City to speak with a few people, live onstage, about what it means to live dangerously. Rock Climber Overcomes Loss by Learning How to Fly; Two Activists Challenge the Mormon Church from Inside and Out; Canopy Biologist Studies Movement from Treetops to Prisons; Finding Joy and Discomfort in the History of the National Parks.
We explore what makes a short story with Ben Marcus, Jesse Eisenberg and Diane Cook. Also, Margaret Atwood on her new novel. Addicted to Short Stories; Ben Marcus on Robert Coover's "Going for a Beer"; Jesse Eisenberg the Writer; From "This American Life" to These Surreal Short Stories; Margaret Atwood Blends Dystopia and Social Satire.
New African Voices
Welcome to the next generation of African writers. They’re young, multi-lingual, and breaking out of all the old literary boxes. This hour, why Africa has one of the most exciting literary scenes on the planet. New African Literature; Somali-American Fantasy; Nigerian Science Fiction; South African Crime Fiction; Dangerous Idea: A Palace of Unbuilt Roads; On Our Minds: The Poetry of Race.
Writing Funny (Update)
We explore the fine art of comedy writing with Simon Rich, Bob Odenkirk and Megan Amram. And we dissect a cultural icon -- "The New Yorker" cartoon with the magazine's cartoon editor, Bob Mankoff. Spoiled Brats - Simon Rich; Bob Odenkirk on Comedy as an Act of Truth and Destruction; Science...for Her! - Megan Amram; The New Yorker Cartoons - Bob Mankoff; Is Adulthood Dead?; What Do Your Passwords Say About You?.
Our Mysterious Universe
For all the amazing discoveries that scientists have made, the cosmos is still full of mysteries - from dark matter to quantum entanglement. Will physicists ever explain the universe, or is it fundamentally unknowable? We explore the frontiers of physics and ponder what it means to live with mystery Did We Find an Alien Civilization?; The Unknowable Universe; Is Quantum Entanglement for Real?; In the Newton Archives; On Being Terry Gilliam.
H.P. Lovecraft's weird tales of cosmic horror loom large 125 years after his birth. His literary tentatcles have oozed their way into movies, books, games and graphic novels. We explore Lovecraft's life, work and legacy. Was he a literary master or a monster? The Magickal Realism and Continuing Influence of H.P. Lovecraft; The Ecology of Noise in Lovecraft's Fiction; Eugene Thacker Goes "From Beyond"; H.P. Lovecraft's Racism; The Call of Cthulhu (for Beginning Readers); Going Beyond Lovecraft: Thomas Ligotti.
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".
Ghost Stories (update)
Celebrate Halloween with this spooky hour full of ghost stories from our wonderful listeners, and real-life tales of the paranormal. Haunted houses, near-death experiences, and spectral raccoons... so many ways to be un-dead. Being Terrified by Ghosts; A Listener Ghost Story: "The Lake"; Spectral Raccoons - Need We Say More?; A Listener Ghost Story: "Presidential Phantasm"; A Ghost in Your Own Life; A Listener Ghost Story: "You Are What You Eat"; My Life in Pursuit of the Afterlife.
Check Your Privilege
Privilege checking has become a mainstay of a certain kind of conversation about race or identity. One person reminds -- or accuses -- another of enjoying all kinds of unearned advantages, thanks to their skin color, gender, class or sexual orientation. Checking someone else’s privilege can be a form of hostility. Checking your own can be an act of humility. Either way, it can oftentimes be be painful. But does anyone actually benefit from talking about privilege? This hour, the benefits and drawbacks of talking about privilege. A Primer On Exploring White Privilege; Let's Stop Talking About Privilege; Sensitivity Or Censorship: How Language Policing On College Campuses Is Shaping America's Future; The Case For Teaching Children About The Origins Of Diversity; What Organizations Get Wrong About Diversity; The Moral Argument For Human Cloning, Genetic Enhancement.
Our planet is facing a mass extinction crisis. By the end of the century, we could lose up to half of all living species. But people are working hard to save endangered species and habitats, and a few scientists are even trying to bring lost species - like passenger pigeons and woolly mammoths - back to life. How To Clone a Mammoth - Beth Shapiro; Are You Ready for the Next Mass Extinction?; Recording America's Rarest Bird; From the Sabertooth to the Grizzly; Dangerous Idea: Tax Water Use; Writing the American West.
Every new year brings a fresh start, another chance to remake yourself. We all aspire to be better people, but following through on our goals can often be difficult. How Habits Work — and How to Change Them; Scrutinizing Self-Help; Sonic Sidebar: Should I Ask For Advice?; Help Wanted; Dangerous Idea: The Multispecies City; On Our Minds: Nick Bostrom on Computer Superintelligence.
Walk long enough and far enough, and you will never be the same. This week, stories of people who transformed their lives by picking up their feet, blazing trails, and going off-road. "Walking Saved My Life" - Cheryl Strayed; What Makes Werner Walk?; Grandma Gatewood's Walk; Walking England's Coast; BookMark: Michel Faber on Kurt Vonnegut's "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater"; This Year's Funniest Autobiography - John Cleese's New Memoir.
This Martian Life
Sending humans to Mars used to seem like an impossible dream. But with the discovery of flowing water on Mars and the blockbuster movie "The Martian," even NASA is talking about a human mission to Mars. So why do people want to go to the Red Planet? We hear from a Mars One finalist and from the commander of one of NASA's Mars simulations; for 8 months she lived in a dome on the side of a volcano. Also, two science fiction heavyweights: Andy Weir describes the improbable origins of his blockbuster novel "The Martian," and Kim Stanley Robinson wonders what it would be like to travel to the nearest habitable star system 12 light years away. His answer? Like being trapped in a Motel 6. One in A Hundred: Finalist for Private Mars Program On Her Hopes and Fears; The Modern Mars MacGyver: Andy Weir on his Breakout Novel "The Martian"; Simulating Mars — From a Dome in Hawaii; Could Traveling to Mars Save Humanity?; Whistlers and Bow Shocks: Hearing the Sounds of Space; Leaving the Cradle: Kim Stanley Robinson on Traveling Beyond Our Star System.
Religion in a Troubled World
The Bible and the Quran are some of our most sacred and revered texts. They're also full of violent passages. Is religion the source of violence and intolerance around the world? We look at how sacred texts inspire both violence and liberation. Karen Armstrong Examines the Link Between Religion and Violence ; Abraham and Isaac; Black Sacred Music - Robert Darden [Playlist]; Humanist Manifesto - A.C. Grayling; BookMark: Mario Vargas Llosa's "Conversation in the Cathedral"; Photographing Angola Prison.
Outsiders used to be the outcasts, misfits, and under-employed. Now outsiders are thriving and they're changing the way we think about what is mainstream and what is alternative. How Outsiders Are Redefining Normal; Colin Wilson's "The Outsider"; How to Unleash Your Inner Misfit; Joseph Mitchell's Literary Journalism; Grammy Award-Winning Jazz Pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba.