Is The World Running Out Of Food? Joel Bourne, THE END OF PLENTY


We spend the hour talking with journalist Joel K. Bourne, Jr. about population, the threat of famine and new ways to prevent it. His book is The End of Plenty: The Race To Feed A Crowded World. Continue reading


Juliana Barbassa on Rio on the brink & Ta Nehisi Coates on fathers and sons

We take the pulse of Brazilian society with journalist Juliana Barbassa — the forces holding it back and the people’s push for more democracy. Her book is Dancing with the Devil in the City of God.

Then, Ta-Nehisi Coates just received a MacArthur “genius” fellowship. We re-air our 2008 interview with him about his memoir, The Beautiful Struggle

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Marcel Theroux, STRANGE BODIES & Jessica Abel, OUT ON THE WIRE


Marcel Theroux talks about his new novel Strange Bodies. It’s a fantastic multi-genre romp — part sci-fi, part thriller, part disquisition on literary immortality. And then we pivot to the renaissance in radio storytelling, talking with cartoonist Jessica Abel about her graphic book, Out On The Wire: The Storytelling Secrets of the New Masters of Radio.

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Refugees of War: Lou Ureneck, THE GREAT FIRE & Lissa Evans, CROOKED HEART


Lou Ureneck talks about his book, The Great Fire. It tells the story of the burning of Smyrna by the Turks and the rescue of thousands of civilians by an American. We also talk with British novelist Lissa Evans about her dark comedy Crooked Heart, set in wartime London. It’s about a young refugee from the Blitz and his rescuer, a small time con artist. Continue reading


Sci-fi Imagines Climate Change: Paolo Bacigalupi’s THE WATER KNIFE & SHIPBREAKER


Paolo Bacigalupi talks about his new thriller, The Water Knife. It’s about the fight over water supplies in the American Southwest that erupts when a climate-driven mega-drought hits the region.

Then, we re-air portions of our 2011 interview with Bacigalupi about his sci fi novel for young adults, Shipbreaker. Also set in the climate-changed world of the near future, it takes place in Florida in a time of sea level rise. Continue reading


Saving The New York Public Library

New York Public Library - Patience & Fortitude, the LIbrary Lions

Journalist Scott Sherman talks about the fight to save the New York Public Library. His book is Patience and Fortitude: Power, Real Estate, and the Fight to Save a Public Library (Melville House, 2015). Then, we air part of our 2014 interview with Eric Alterman about his book Inequality And One City: Bill de Blasio and the New York Experiment. Continue reading


Banking On The Extinction Of Wild Tigers


J.A. Mills  talks about her book, Blood of the Tiger: A Story  about Conspiracy, Greed, and the Battle to Save A Magnificent Species. It’s about how the survival of tigers in the wild are threatened by tiger farms in China. Then, Martin Windrow tells us about his memoir of a unique human/avian friendship, The Owl Who Liked Sitting on Caesar Continue reading

Web Extras

Web Only Extra: J.A. Mills on the Climate Change Threat To Tigers

bloodWildlife investigator J.A. Mills tells Francesca how climate change adds to the dire threats facing wild tigers. Her book is Blood of the Tiger: A Story  about Conspiracy, Greed, and the Battle to Save A Magnificent Species.

Listen to the full interview with J.A. Mills



Artists, Development Wars and Murder on Long Island’s North Fork

North Fork

Christopher Bollen talks about his mystery novel, ORIENT. It’s about what happens when conflicts over development erupt in a community on the East End of Long Island — and several bodies turn up. Then we re-air our 2014 interview with Tana French about her mystery novel, A SECRET PLACE. It’s just been re-issued in paperback. Continue reading


The Real Story Behind The Atom Bombing Hiroshima & Nagasaki


We spend most of the hour with Paul Ham talking about his new book, HIROSHIMA NAGASAKI: The Real Story of the Atomic Bombings and Their Aftermath. We also listen back to an excerpt from last year’s interview with Naomi Klein about her book, THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: Capitalism vs The Climate. It’s just out in paperback from Simon and Schuster. Continue reading


Memory of the Survivor: Peter Filkins on H.G. Adler’s THE WALL and THE JOURNEY


Translator Peter Filkins talks about the third novel in German Jewish writer H.G. Adler’s trilogy about the Holocaust, The Wall. Later, we re-play a previous interview with Filkins about his translation of the first novel in the trilogy, The Journey.

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Greece On The Brink & Dollar Democracy: James Angelos & Peter Mathews


James Angelos talks about his illuminating look at the Greek crisis, The Full Catastrophe. Also, political analyst Peter Mathews discusses the state of democracy in the US. His book is Dollar Democracy. Continue reading