This book podcast is like Radiolab for books, studying different aspects of books, reading, and language. Past episodes have focused on the 2018 Nobel crisis in literature, Agatha Christie’s mysterious disappearance, and how Shakespeare was saved.

Edna Ferber

In this episode, we profile the most famous American writer you probably never heard of--Edna Ferber.

Episode 17 Is Reading Endangered?

People don't read as much as they used to. At least that's what people say. But is it true? And if they are reading less, why does it matter? Or does it matter? And the internet is bad for reading right? These questions and more in this episode.

Episode 16 The Patron Saint of Libraries

The story of how Andrew Carnegie transformed the public library in America.

Episode 15 Touch of Genius

The story of how Louis Braille brought reading to the blind.

Episode 14 Used

Last month, a large used book collection and distribution company suddenly went out of business, leaving a hole in the local used book ecosystem. In this episode, we follow that story into the modern world of used book-selling.

Episode 13 “La Cote Basque 1965”

In 1975, Truman Capote published a short story in Esquire magazine that led a New York socialite to commit suicide and the fallout effectively ended Capote's literary career. This is the story of the story, "La Cote Basque 1965."

episode 12 Democracy by the Book

Last fall, a woman with no prior political experience decided to run for city commission in her small college-town. So she went to the library, checked out a book called How to Win a Local Election. And she did. This is her story and the story of the book that helped her win.

Episode 11 The Nobel Crisis

In a shocking development, the 2018 Nobel Prize for Literature will not be awarded. In this episode, we explore what happened, how it happened, and what might happen still.

Episode 10 The Original Gone Girl

The story of the strange 11-day disappearance of Agatha Christie: what did happen, what didn't happen, and what might have happened.

Episode 9 How to Hack the New York Times Bestseller List

Last summer, an unknown book came out of nowhere to debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list ...