Top 10 Author Event Podcast Downloads October 2014

By Peter SM RSS Thu, November 13, 2014

Our Fall 2014 Author Events schedule continues through the end of the year and into 2015 with The Monday Poets series on the first Monday of every month, the business-minded Leading Voices lecture series, historian Jill Lepore's revealing look into the origins of Wonder Woman, performer and artist extraordinaire Alan Cumming, Richard McGuire, Charles Burns, & Chip Kidd holding court talking comics, storytelling, graphic design, and art, and the One Book, One Philadelphia kickoff in January!

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

Sherman Alexie | War Dances  Sherman Alexie | War Dances
Recorded 10/28/2009
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Praised for his unsentimental portrayals of contemporary life among Native Americans, Sherman Alexie writes stories and novels that are by turns hilarious and heartbreaking. His work has earned numerous awards, including the PEN/Hemingway Award for his short story collection The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight in Heaven and the National Book Award for his young adult novel, The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian. War Dances is a collection of stories of ordinary men on the brink of extraordinary change.

This recording contains explicit content.

Donna Tartt | The Goldfinch Donna Tartt | The Goldfinch
Recorded 10/30/2013
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Donna Tarrt burst onto the literary scene with her “gorgeously written, relentlessly erudite, and persistently (and quite anachronistically) high-minded” (Vanity Fair) debut novel, The Secret History. The book, packed with literary references from both classical Greek and contemporary literature, follows a group of classics students at a small Vermont liberal arts college who slay a stranger and then one of their own. Her second novel The Little Friend, set in 1970s Mississippi, begins with the shocking Mother’s Day discovery of the hanging body of a 9-year-old boy. The book received the W.H. Smith Literary Award and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction. The Goldfinch is her long-awaited third novel. 

"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 view a short video of a class in action:

Jared Diamond | The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? Jared Diamond | The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies?
Recorded 1/13/2013
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A globally renowned scholar and recipient of a National Science Medal, Jared Diamond is the author of the bestselling book Guns, Germs and Steel, recipient of the Pulitzer Prize. An ecologist and evolutionary biologist, Diamond is a professor of geography and physiology at UCLA and a founding member of the board of the Society of Conservation Biology. His other works include Collapse: How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed, Why is Sex Fun?, and The Third Chimpanzee. Informed by his decades of fieldwork around the globe, as well as evidence from Inuit, Amazonian Indians, and Kalahari San people, The World Until Yesterday offers a comprehensive depiction of traditional human societies and the practices we can learn from them.

Bill Bryson | A Short History of Nearly Everything Bill Bryson | A Short History of Nearly Everything
Recorded 5/20/2003
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Bill Bryson is the bestselling author of wiseacre travelogues A Walk in the Woods and I’m a Stranger Here Myself, as well as excursions into the English language including Mother Tongue and Bryson’s Dictionary of Troublesome Words. A Short History of Nearly Everything is an inviting exposition of some of the most difficult ideas designed.

Steven Pinker | A Sense of Style: A Writing Guide for the 21st Century Steven Pinker | A Sense of Style: A Writing Guide for the 21st Century
Recorded 10/1/2014
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“Sweeping, erudite, sharply argued, and fun to read” (Time), cognitive scientist and linguist Steven Pinker has charted the way humans form thoughts and engage the world through a wide array of scientific research, scholarly writing, popular books, and magazine articles. These bestsellers include The Better Angels of our Nature, The Language Instinct, and Pulitzer Prize finalists The Blank Slate and How the Mind Works. In 2010 and 2011 he was named to Foreign Policy magazine’s list of top global thinkers. Pinker’s new book, A Sense of Style, explores the ways in which the English language is being corrupted by texting and social media in order to propose practical guidelines for crafting useful, elegant prose.

Mark Bittman | How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food Mark Bittman | How to Cook Everything Fast: A Better Way to Cook Great Food
Recorded 10/9/2014
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Mark Bittman is one of America’s most critically praised and popular food writers. He penned the “Minimalist” column for The New York Times for 13 years and is the author of the ubiquitous How to Cook Everything series, called “the new, hip Joy of Cooking” (Washington Post). Some of his other work includes Cooking at Home with a Four-Star Chef, Vegan before 6 P.M., and the Public Television series Bittman Takes on America’s Chefs. He has won two James Beard Awards and the Julia Child general cookbook award. Bittman’s newest book features more than 2,000 from-scratch recipes that can be prepared quickly and easily. 

Julie Dannenbaum Memorial Culinary Arts Lecture

In conversation with Maureen Fitzgerald, Food Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer

S.C. Gwynne | Rebel Yell with Karen Abbott | Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy S.C. Gwynne | Rebel Yell with Karen Abbott | Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy
Recorded 10/22/2014
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A former long-time correspondent and editor at Time magazine, S.C. Gwynne has also written for the New York Times, Harper’s, and The Los Angeles Times, among several other publications. Gwynne’s books include Selling Money, Outlaw Bank, and Empire of the Summer Moon, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award. Rebel Yell humanizes the legendary life of Civil War General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson.

The pioneer of “sizzle history” (USA Today), Karen Abbott is the bestselling author of American Rose, a rollicking biography of chanteuse Gypsy Rose Lee; and Sin in the Second City, an historical account of America’s most famous turn-of-the-century brothels.  In Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy, Abbott tells the true story of four women—a socialite, a farmgirl, an abolitionist, and widow—who were spies in the Civil War. 

Ellis Wachs Endowed Lecture

James McPherson was not able to appear.

Sam Harris | Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion Sam Harris | Waking Up: A Guide to Spirituality Without Religion
Recorded 10/6/2014
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The cofounder and CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit dedicated to spreading secularism and scientific knowledge, Sam Harris is a popular skeptic, religious critic, and proponent of the “New Atheism.” His bestselling debut The End of Faith won the 2005 PEN Award for Nonfiction. His other books include Letter to a Christian Nation, The Moral Landscape, and Free Will. His articles have appeared in Newsweek, the New York Times, and the Los Angeles Times, among many other publications. In Waking Up, neuroscientist, philosopher, and author Harris mines hard truths from history’s greatest saints and prophets for those who desire spirituality without religion.

In conversation with Tamala Edwards, anchor, 6ABC Action News morning edition

Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. Ward | The Roosevelts: An Intimate History Ken Burns and Geoffrey C. Ward | The Roosevelts: An Intimate History
Recorded 9/11/2014
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“Not only the greatest documentarian of the day, but also the most influential filmmaker period” (The Baltimore Sun), Ken Burns has opened the doors of American history for millions of people. With an intimately personal yet grand style of storytelling, his films have resurrected the people and events both mythologized and lost to history. His documentaries include Baseball, Jazz, The Dustbowl, Brooklyn Bridge, and the landmark series The Civil War. His films have won 12 Emmy Awards and have twice been nominated for Oscars. A seven-part program that follows Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt for more than a century, Burns’s new series aired on PBS this fall.

Geoffrey C. Ward, Burns’ longtime collaborator, is the principal writer of The Civil War, Jazz, Baseball, and 13 other of the director’s PBS documentaries. For his work he has won seven Emmy Awards.  Ward is also author of A First-Class Temperament: The Emergence of Franklin Roosevelt, winner of the 1989 National Book Critics Circle Award for biography, as well as more than a dozen other books whose themes range from East Indian culture to Mark Twain.

Meelya Gordon Memorial Lecture

In conversation with Tracey Matisak

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