Top 10 Author Event Podcasts Downloaded in February 2014

By Peter SM RSS Wed, March 12, 2014

View and listen to the Top 10 Author Event Podcasts Downloaded in February 2014.

Authors coming to the Free Library soon include Kevin Powers, Max Brooks, Bob Mankoff, Pat and Gina Neely, Lydia Davis, and Marlo Thomas, to name just a few! View our full schedule for upcoming Spring and Summer 2014 author events.

Betty Medsger | The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover's Secret FBI Betty Medsger | The Burglary: The Discovery of J. Edgar Hoover’s Secret FBI
Recorded 2/6/2014
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In 1971 a group of unlikely activists—ordinary people from diverse walks of life—broke into an FBI office just outside of Philadelphia and stole thousands of files that documented the dirty tricks, Constitutional violations, and domestic spying of J. Edgar Hoover’s “shadow” agency. Washington Post reporter Betty Medsger was the first to receive and report on these files. For three years she made headlines and history with this information, and continued her investigation long after she left the paper. After decades of silence, the former Philadelphia Evening Bulletin reporter convinced the anonymous activists to come forward with their story. In The Burglary, Medsger details how their actions “dealt the first significant blow to an institution that had amassed enormous power and prestige” (The New York Times) in this chillingly prescient tale that seems to foreshadow post-9/11 spying and state secrets. A former chair of the Department of Journalism at San Francisco State University and the founder of its Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism, Medsger is also the author of Winds of Change, Framed, and Women at Work.

In conversation with Bonnie and John Raines and Keith Forsyth.

Susan Cheever | E.E. Cummings: A Life Susan Cheever | E.E. Cummings: A Life
Recorded 2/18/2014
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In five novels and seven works of nonfiction ranging from memoir to literary history to biographical study, Susan Cheever demonstrates emotional intensity, bravery, and compassion. Her nonfiction books include My Name is Bill, a biography of Alcoholics Anonymous cofounder Bill Wilson—a “national treasure” (Kurt Vonngeut); Note Found in a Bottle, a memoir about her own drinking and recovery; and Home Before Dark, an “intimate, deeply felt, and often harrowing” (The New York Times Book Review) memoir of her father, Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer John Cheever. A Guggenheim fellow and a director of the Board of the Yaddo Corporation, Cheever was also nominated for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Her newest book is a reconsideration of the life and work of preeminent 20th century poet e.e. cummings.

Meelya Gordon Memorial Lecture

Matthew Quick | The Good Luck of Right Now Matthew Quick | The Good Luck of Right Now
Recorded 2/11/2014
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Author of the “charmingly nerve-wracking” (NPR) best-selling Silver Linings Playbook, Matthew Quick exploded into the literary world with his quirky 2008 book about mental illness and love that was adapted into the Academy Award-winning film. His young adult novels Sorta Like a Rockstar, Boy21, and Forgive Me, Leonard Peacock speak to—but never down to—teenage readers. His new book, The Good Luck of Right Now is a funny and inspiring story about family, friendship, grief, and Richard Gere. 

Introduced by Aurora Sanchez.

Gary Shteyngart | Little Failure: A Memoir Gary Shteyngart | Little Failure: A Memoir
Recorded 2/24/2014
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The satire of Nikolai Gogol and Richard Linklater meet in the absurdity, frenetic detail, and cultural obsessions of Gary Shteyngart’s novels. His 2002 debut, The Russian Debutante’s Handbook, won the Stephen Crane Award for First Fiction. He followed with Absurdistan and Super Sad True Love Story, which were lauded by the New York Times Book Review as among the best novels of their respective years. The “ridiculously witty and painfully prescient” (Time) Shteyngart returns with a tender, self-deprecating, rollicking memoir of his experiences in the contradictory worlds of uber-consumerist America and the perpetually deprived Soviet Union of his youth. It was in this space between that he struggled for purchase, for a voice, for love, and from which he ultimately emerged with a resonant and unflinching perspective on both worlds.

In conversation with Daniel Torday, visiting professor of creative writing at Bryn Mawr College and author of the National Jewish Book Award-winning novella The Sensualist.

View the hilarious book trailer with James Franco!

Nancy Horan | Under the Wide and Starry Sky Nancy Horan | Under the Wide and Starry Sky
Recorded 1/30/2014
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Former journalist Nancy Horan writes ambitious fictionalizations of people known only from the pages of history. In her first novel, Loving Frank, she draws Frank Lloyd Wright and his mistress Mamah Borthwick Cheney forth from time’s hazy confines, telling the story of their long-lived but ultimately tragic affair. From the little-known Borthwick she created an “enigmatic Everywoman—a symbol of both the freedoms women yearn to have and of the consequences that may await when they try to take them” (The New York Times Book Review).  Horan’s newest novel similarly delves into “the opportunities and repercussions of individuals living outside of society's mores” (Bookmarks Magazine) as it explores the real-life relationship between famed Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson and a free-spirited American woman who left her husband and set sail for Belgium.

Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld | The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld | The Triple Package: How Three Unlikely Traits Explain the Rise and Fall of Cultural Groups in America
Recorded 2/20/2014
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In The Triple Package, co-authors, fellow professors at Yale Law School, and married couple Amy Chua and Jed Rubenfeld use startling statistics and pioneering research to examine the traits and factors that lead to success. Chua authored the bestselling World on Fire: How Exporting Free Market Democracy Breeds Ethnic Hatred and Global Instability and Day of Empire: How Hyperpowers Rise to Global Dominance, “provocative, evocative, nuanced, and highly readable” (Washington Post) examinations of globalization, culture, and the tensions in multicultural societies. Her contentiously popular 2011 memoir also helped popularize the term “tiger mother.” Rubenfeld has written two books about Constitutional law, as well as two thrillers, including 2006’s The Interpretation of Murder, “a gloriously intelligent exploration of what might have happened to Sigmund Freud during his only visit to America” (Library Journal).

Pine Tree Foundation Endowed Lecture.

"The Best Day of My Life So Far..."
Recorded 11/14/2010
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What happens when Philadelphia seniors open up by sharing stories from their lives? On Seniors' Storytelling Day, be ready to smile, laugh and even cry as our city's seniors take the stage to read stories that they have written, and answer questions from the audience.

Inspired by her friendship with her grandma, Benita Cooper launched The Best Day of My Life (So Far), a multimedia storytelling project to connect seniors with younger generations. Find out more about the project and get to know our storytellers before the event via Facebook, Twitter, and their blog.

View a short video of a class in action!

Roddy Doyle | The Guts with Wesley Stace | Wonderkid Roddy Doyle | The Guts with Wesley Stace | Wonderkid
Recorded 2/7/2014
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“Feisty, funky, rude, unpretentious and great fun” (Time Out), prolific novelist, dramatist, children’s author, and screenwriter Roddy Doyle writes fiction rooted in the vibrant colloquialisms and tight relationships of the Irish working class. His novel Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha won the Man Booker Prize. The Guts is the latest chapter in the Barrytown series. The first three novels—The Commitments, The Snapper, and The Van—were critical darlings and adapted into successful movies.

Under the name John Wesley Harding, novelist, singer, and songwriter Wesley Stace has released 15 albums in genres ranging from folk to pop music. His Cabinet of Wonders variety show, recently launched on NPR, has featured performances by countless rock luminaries. “The poignant and mordantly funny” (The Village Voice) Stace’s new novel, Wonderkid, follows the commercial and critical success of his previous books, Misfortuneby George, and Charles Jessold, Considered as a Murderer.

This podcast contains explicit content.

Tariq Ramadan | Islam and the Arab Awakening Tariq Ramadan | Islam and the Arab Awakening
Recorded 9/14/2012
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Tariq Ramadan is one of the leading scholars of Islam in the Western world and a professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at Oxford University. Deemed a "Muslim Martin Luther" by Paul Donnelly of the Washington Post, Ramadan was barred from entering the United States by the Bush administration in 2006; in 2010, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lifted the ban. He is the author of several books, including Radical Reform, In the Footsteps of the Prophet, and What I Believe, an accessible volume on modern Muslim life in the West. His new book, Islam and the Arab Awakening explores the origin of the uprisings in the Arab Spring and the undetermined role that religion will play in the mass movement’s future.

 Jan Karon | Light From Heaven Jan Karon | Light From Heaven
Recorded 12/8/2005
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At Home in Mitford, the first book in Jan Karon’s phenomenally successful Mitford Years series, was nominated for an ABBY by the American Booksellers Association in 1996, 1997, and again in 1998. In Light from Heaven, the long-anticipated final volume in the series, Karon ties up the loose ends of Father Timothy Kavanagh’s deeply affecting life and answers all the questions that fans have asked since the bestselling series began nearly a decade ago.

If you like what you hear, you can browse, listen to, and download more than 1,000 Author Event podcasts from our extensive archive!

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