Tag Archives: Book Excerpt

Podcast

Emigrés from The USSR: Svetlana Stalin & Elena Gorokhova

Rosemary Sullivan talks about her extraordinary new biography of Svetlana Stalin, Stalin’s Daughter (Harper Collins, June 2015.) 

Then, Russian émigré Elena Gorokhova explores the inner divide that splits the soul of the immigrant in her new memoir Russian Tattoo (Simon and Schuster, 2015). Continue reading

Podcast

Why Diets Don’t Work And Supplements May Be Bad For You

Catherine Price talks about her book VITAMANIA: Our Obsessive Quest For Nutritional Perfection (Penguin). Then food psychologist Traci Mann tells us why diets don’t work and how we can get to — and stay at — our leanest live-able weight. Her book is Secrets from the Eating Lab: The Science of Weight Loss, the Myth of Willpower, and Why You Should Never Diet Again. Continue reading

Podcast

Social Insecurity: 401k’s & The Retirement Crisis

In 2008, WV guest James W. Russell got a big shock, like hundreds of thousands of other Americans who thought their 401k’s were going to give them a comfortable retirement. His retirement portfolio took a big hit, so he decided to investigate just why our retirement system is so insecure.

What he found out, he’s put into his explosive book, SOCIAL INSECURITY: 401(k)s and the Retirement Crisis. We spend the hour talking with Russell about 401k’s, pension plans, and social security — and what can be done to make sure we don’t end up poor in our old age. Continue reading

Podcast

Meditation For The Rest Of Us

ABC anchorman and meditator Dan Harris talks about his book, 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story. Then, renowned psychiatrist and author of Thoughts Without A Thinker Mark Epstein discusses his latest book, The Trauma Of Every Day Life. It’s about how Buddhist meditation can help us heal from trauma and use it to achieve greater wisdom. Continue reading

Podcast

Rebel Girls & Boys

Historian Lara Vapnek talks about her biography of the great labor organizer and champion of civil liberties, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn. And later, we talk with civil liberties lawyer and journalist, Bill Newman about his collection of essays reprising his long engagement with civil liberties and social justice, When The War Came Home.

Continue reading

Podcast

Master Thieves & Lethal Legacies

Stephen Kurkjian talks about his new book Master Thieves. It’s about the record-breaking art heist at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston in 1990 and who might have done it.

Then, forty years after the end of the Vietnam War, its lethal legacy continues. We talk with George Black about his story, “The Lethal Legacy of the Vietnam War” in the March 16 issue of The Nation. Continue reading

Podcast

The Difference Between Men & Women? The Freedom To Choose

Investigative journalist Jenny Nordberg talks about her book, THE UNDERGROUND GIRLS OF KABUL: In Search of a Hidden Resistance in Afghanistan. It’s about how some young girls in Afghanistan are disguised as boys — an ancient practice in a gender-apartheid society.

And feminist writer Katha Pollitt discusses how access to safe, legal abortions is under threat in America and what that means for women’s rights. Her book is PRO: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. Continue reading

Podcast

The Power of Asking Questions: Ethel Payne, First Lady Of The Black Press

Acclaimed biographer James McGrath Morris discusses his just-released biography, Ethel Payne, First Lady Of The Black Press. Few Americans today have ever heard of Ethel Payne, much less understood the giant role she played in reporting the story — and advancing the agenda — of the civil rights movement in America. Through Payne’s riveting personal story, Morris takes the reader on an inspiring journey through the civil rights movement — and to a greater understanding of issues that continue to resonate strongly today. Continue reading

Podcast

Kids and Character Building: What Works Best?

Psychologist Walter Mischel talks about his new book The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control (Little, Brown, September 2014). It’s about his famed experiment testing delayed gratification in kids and what it can teach all of us.

And grownups everywhere complain that our kids are spoiled — but is that really true? Or is it just a case of conservative ideology going mainstream? Alfie Kohn talks about his latest book, The Myth of the Spoiled Child: Challenging the Conventional Wisdom about Children and Parenting (Da Capo Lifelong Books, March 2014.)

Continue reading

Podcast

The Four Big Reasons America Is Falling Apart — Plus, The Two Sides of Mario Cuomo

Bob Herbert talks about his penetrating new book, Losing Our Way: An Intimate Portrait of a Troubled America. It connects the dots between our crumbling infrastructure, the jobs crisis, mass defunding of public education and the multi-trillion dollar tab for ongoing wars to explain why America is falling apart.

And former New York Governor Mario Cuomo was buried this week to throated praise for his liberal legacy. But how liberal was that legacy, really? Investigative reporter Greg Palast talks about the two Marios he knew and worked for: the golden throated defender of the working man and the back room dealer.

Continue reading

Podcast

Doing Right by Our Companion Animals

Ellen Cooney talks about her newest novel, The Mountaintop School For Dogs. It’s a mystery about an unusual and redemptive rescue operation. We also replay our conversation with animal behaviorist Vint Virga about his book, The Soul of All Living Creatures: What Animals Can Teach Us About Being Human.

Ellen Cooney

EllenCooneyWe use the word “humane” to describe behavior that is compassionate and caring. But maybe we should use something like “canane” instead or, yes, even “felane.” Because, can we really hold up humans as exemplars of such behavior? Maybe we need to act more like our companion animals act toward us.  If more of us treated them as well as they treat us, we’d have a lot fewer traumatized, abused and neglected animals. We also might have fewer traumatized, abused and neglected humans.

MttopcvrEllen Cooney ponders these questions in her new work of fiction, The Mountaintop School For Dogs And Other Second Chances. Wrapped within a kind of mystery novel is an exploration of our relationship to the animals who share our lives. What happens when things go wrong, either through misunderstanding or evil intent?

Cooney’s protagonist is a young woman who has been through some traumas of her own. Answering a mysterious ad in the paper, she finds herself in the midst of a unique rescue operation for abused dogs. What she learns there not only changes the lives the animals she has come to help, but her life, as well.

Ellen Cooney is the author of numerous previous novels, including Lambrusco, which we spoke about with her in 2008. She lives in Maine with her canine companions.

Read an excerpt from The Mountaintop School For Dogs

Vint Virga
soul-of-all-creatures-680x440We love our cats and dogs and thrill to the sight of wild animals. But we tend to forget that we are animals ourselves — and thus share our fragile planet with what are really our cousins in the animal kingdom.

Veterinary behaviorist Vint Virga says that other animals have much to teach us about being human — not just the biological traits we share, but also other qualities like resilience, compassion and being present in the moment.

Virga draws on his 25 years of working with both domestic pets and zoo animals to explore these themes in his thoughtful and moving book The Soul of All Living Creatures.

Vint Virga has appeared as a featured guest on ABC World News, PBS Nature, and National Geographic Explorer. He is one of only 61 behavioral veterinarians in the US. The Soul of All Living Creatures won a Nautilus Book Award in 2014.

Read an excerpt from The Soul of All Living Creatures

Podcast

Following The Thread of History To Find Ourselves

David Laskin talks about his family memoir of Jewish life in the twentieth century, The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century. Then, a poet’s dialog with the 1886 diary of an ordinary woman: Sarah Sousa talks about her books, Diary of Esther Small, 1886 and Church of Needles.

Continue reading

Podcast

Paying The Price Of The War On Terror. Also, Talking Climate For Everyone

Journalist James Risen talks about his explosive new book, Pay Any Price: Greed, Power, and Endless War. And George Marshall talks about what’s been keeping the climate crisis from seizing the hearts and minds of the public — and how to change that. His important book is Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change. Continue reading

Podcast

Rowing For The Gold Against Hitler & Shakespeare From The Female POV

Daniel James Brown talks about his bestseller, THE BOYS IN THE BOAT: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Then, a re-telling of the story of Romeo and Juliet — from the POV of Juliet’s nurse. We talk with historian-turned-novelist Lois Leveen about JULIET’S NURSE.

Continue reading