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.
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.
Regarding the Pain of Others (update)
There are images that once seen, can't be forgotten. Like the recent photograph of a Syrian toddler who drowned when his family tried to flee their country. With his dark hair and bright red t-shirt and shorts, he has become the symbol of refugees fleeing Syria to Europe. This hour, the morality and ethics of photographing war and human crisis. Regarding the Pain of Others - Susan Sontag; At the Hour of Our Death - Sarah Sudhoff; Sonic Sidebar: William Christenberry; Potraits of the Mentally Ill - Michael Nye; The Rwanda Project - Art from War.
Political Engagement (Update)
We tune in to watch Donald Trump, Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina trade barbs. But what would it take to get people politically involved all year round, and not just during election season? Making Democracy Fun; Voices From The Internet Underground; Against Voting; Make Energy Democratic; Lands in Limbo.
Everything on Demand
With the help of a smartphone app, you can now order dinner, hire a driver, or even schedule a housecleaner. Whatever it is you need, there's probably an app for that. But does all this convenience come at a cost? This hour, the rise of the on-demand economy, and how it's changing the nature of work. How The Sharing Economy Is Reshaping Capitalism; America In The Age Of Instant Gratification; What It's Like To Work In The On-Demand Economy; Temporary And Part-Time: The Rise Of A New Precarious Workforce; Are Human Beings Actually Rational?; Why Do We Work?.
Writing for a Living (Repeat)
Ever dream of penning a best-seller? You're not alone. According to one estimate, more than 80 percent of Americans think they could publish a book. But what does it really take to make it as a writer? What Does It Take To Make It As A Writer?; Is It Better to Get an MFA Or Move To NYC?; How The Creative Class Got Crushed; Why Write? Nobel Prize-Winner Orhan Pamuk Offers His Take; Never Write For Free; A Self Publishing Success Story; What Motivates The World's Greatest Mountain Climber?.
The First People
It will go down as one of the most amazing archeological discoveries in history. Homo naledi - a new species of human-like fossils found in South Africa - is already rewriting the story of human evolution. These 15 skeletons are the largest cache of pre-human bones ever found, but so far, scientists don't know how old they are, or why they were placed in this burial site. Crawling Toward History; Homo Naledi: Our Newest Oldest Relative?; Werner Herzog on the Deep History of Chauvet Cave; Ancient Shamans and Roving Neandertals; Michelle Paver on Stone Age Novels; Remembering 9/11 Through The Lens Of A Photojournalist.
Are we living in a Golden Age of Narcissism? The Narcissist Next Door - Jeffrey Kluger; The Americanization of Narcissism - Elizabeth Lunbeck; Unworthy: How to Stop Hating Yourself - Anneli Rufus; Dangerous Idea: We Matter; On Our Minds: Sam Harris.
The Art of Collecting
The Art of the Collection
The Art of the Collection How Deep is Your Love? The Mania of Collecting Takes One Journalist to the Bottom of a River; Lorraine Daston on a History of Wonders; Artist Natasha Nicholson Lives Inside Her Art - Literally; Who's Got the Button? Gary Brockman Does.; David Axelrod on How to Run for President.
Hollywood is finally getting ready to give women superpowers. For decades, moviegoers only saw the likes of Batman, Spider Man, and Iron Man, but in recent years there's been a slate of strong female characters on screen. And there's more to come, including The Black Widow, Captain Marvel and the iconic Wonder Woman. This hour, we're talking about superheroines, in film and in real life. Wonder Woman's Fascinating Origin Story; What It's Like To Be A Real Life Spy Girl; What Does A Strong Female Character Look Like?; Let's Put An End To Sexist Language; How Pop Music Marginalizes and Excludes Women.
Death: After Life
Does death gives life meaning? You might think so, looking at the prominence of death and the afterlife in so many religions. For millennia, people have dreamed about immortality, and now transhumanists are trying to extend life by merging our selves with machines. Also, with so much of our lives lived online, how do we plan for our digital afterlives? "The Mysteries of Life are More Present"; "Not Knowing Is Itself Liberation"; Death After Dying; Mourning in the Digital Age; Humanity Beyond the Human; Reset: A Digital Afterlife Radio Drama; If the Earth Was Destined to Die ... A Thought Experiment; "Death Doesn't Bother Me, Anyway" Pt. 5; Note from Anne, On Being Haunted by Death.
Our National Parks
National Parks rock! National Parks: The Greatest American Invention; No More National Parks!; Cheryl Strayed on her memoir "Wild"; El Capitan Daredevils – The story of the few who have climbed the 3000 foot granite wall of Yosemite National Park.; Listening in on One Square Inch of Silence; The Adventure Gap: Why do so Few African-Americans go to National Parks?.
Death: The Wake
How do we mark death and celebrate lost lives around the globe? In this hour, we hear stories from inside the funeral industry, and learn about burial and mourning rituals throughout history. Tending to the Body; Ask a Mortician; Ghanaian Coffins are a Fantasy of Life and Dreams [Slideshow]; Does Caring for the Dead Make Us Human?; Coming of Age in a Funeral Home; "Death Doesn't Bother Me Anyway, Pt. 4"; A Poet's Elegy to His Son; On the Music in This Hour [Playlist].
Are you tired of the old way of fiction? Are Japanese cell phone novels just not doing it for you any more? Fear not. Today, we meet writers who are blowing up the novel by inventing new forms of fiction. Blurring The Lines Between Fiction And Reality; Karl Ove Knausgaard on Remembering and Recreating Memories; BookMark: "Mes Amis"; The Novel As Television Series; Long-Lost Country Music Album Finally Released After 40 Years.
Death: The Last Moment
In this hour, we explore the medical, spiritual and psychological mysteries of the moment of death. A Buddhist chaplain talks about preparing - now - to meet our final moments mindfully. And, as resuscitation science makes it ever-more possible for us to bring back people whose hearts have stopped, we take a look at the growing scientific debate over near-death experiences. Being with Death; "Death Doesn't Bother Me, Anyway" Pt. 3; Blurring the Line Between Life and Death [Video]; Can Science Explain Near-Death Experiences? [Video]; Can Hallucinogens Help with End-of-Life Anxiety?; Mindful Dying; Christian Wiman Reads "For D.".
Death: Exit Plan
We live much longer than we used to, thanks to medical advances, but what are the emotional and financial costs of extending life? Some doctors don't know how to talk with their patients about preparing for death, so there's now a push to have frank conversations about end-of-life care. Also,one family's story of working within Oregon's "Death with Dignity" law. Katy Butler on Heaven's Door; Atul Gawande Advocates Compassionate Medical Care [Video]; One City Talks about Death; A Photographer's Days with His Father; "Death Doesn't Bother Me, Anyway" Pt. 2; Choosing Death With Dignity; "When Death Comes," Read by Mary Oliver.
Remembering David Foster Wallace
David Foster Wallace changed the landscape of American writing. His novels dissect our media-saturated culture in unflinching detail. And his essays are passed around to friends with the words, “You have to read this.” He became a literary rock star in his early thirties for his sprawling novel “Infinite Jest,” which introduced the world to his looping, verbose, cerebral style. And now, there’s a new Hollywood movie about David Foster Wallace, starring Jason Segel and Jesse Eisenberg. Today, we celebrate the life and work of David Foster Wallace. How To Live Authentically In An Inauthentic World: Laura Miller on David Foster Wallace; David Foster Wallace Discusses Infinite Jest; The Cult of DFW: How David Foster Wallace Became A Literary Icon; "Life Can Become This Incredibly Funny, Sharp, Alive Thing" - David Lipsky Remembers David Foster Wallace; David Foster Wallace: Our Last Interview ; "He Made You Love The Way Americans Talk" - Lev Grossman Reflects on David Foster Wallace; A Supposedly Fun Thing: Hear David Foster Wallace Deliver An Anti-Cruise Diatribe; "I Can Still Hear His Voice" - Amy Wallace-Havens Remembers Her Brother, David Foster Wallace; David Foster Wallace's Famous Commencement Address, "This is Water".
Summer Music Festivals
Ah, summer music festivals... beer tents, starry nights, a great lineup of bands. And tens of thousands of strangers. The festival-ization of American music has more of us shelling out for expensive tickets to multi-day, multi-stage festivals. Are they worth it? And, how did we get here? Why Do We Love Summer Music Festivals?; Bon Iver Puts Wisconsin Hometown On The Map With Indie Music Fest; Too Young For Woodstock? Here's What You Missed; Groovier Than Woodstock; Why I Hate Summer Music Festivals; Indigo Girls On The Power Of All-Women's Music Festivals.