Top 10 Author Event Podcast Downloads November 2014

By Peter SM RSS Fri, December 19, 2014

How time flies! We recently closed out another year of great conversations in our Author Events series here at the Free Library and can't wait for the new year to start right up again! Our 2015 schedule is now live and you'll definitely want to make room on your calendar for the continuation of our Monday Poets series on the first Monday of every month, the One Book, One Philadelphia kickoff event for this year's selection Orphan Train by Christina Baker, genre mashup maestro Seth Grahame-Smith, punk rock drumming legend Mary Ramone, the business-minded Leading Voices lecture series, theoretical physicist Dr. Michio Kaku, local celebrity chef Mark Vetri, award-winning actress Candice Bergen, and one of the world’s most revered writers, Toni Morrison!

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

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. 

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.

"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:

Nicholas D. Kristof | A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity Nicholas D. Kristof | A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity
Recorded 9/30/2014
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The first married couple to win the Pulitzer Prize, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn are acclaimed for their reporting about international social injustices, women’s issues, and Asia’s economic ascendance. In 2009 they received the Dayton Literary Peace Prize’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Kristof has written for the New York Times since 2001, during which time he received an additional Pulitzer for his columns about the genocide in Darfur. Also an accomplished and lauded print journalist, WuDunn now works as an executive at several of America’s top investment banking firms. The co-authors of two previous bestsellers, Kristof and WuDunn’s new book, A Path Appears, is an ambitiously profound look at people who are making the world a better place and the ways in which we can support their efforts.

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.

Alan Cumming | Not My Father's Son Alan Cumming | Not My Father’s Son
Recorded 11/17/2014
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Beloved star of stage and screen and “one of the most fun people in show business” (Time), Alan Cumming is renowned for his fearless portrayal of diverse characters. In the past few years, he has sung at venues around the globe; appeared in a handful of films; voiced a Smurf, a goat, and Hitler; entered upside down and suspended by his ankles in a Greek tragedy; recorded an album; made three documentaries; released a fragrance; and hosted Masterpiece Mystery. He is currently reprising his Tony Award-winning role of the Emcee in Cabaret on Broadway. With bawdy humor and insight, Cumming shares in his memoir the emotional story of his complicated relationship with his father and the deeply buried family secrets that shaped his life and career. 

In conversation with Wesley Stace, author, Wonder Kid.

Anjelica Huston | Watch Me Anjelica Huston | Watch Me
Recorded 11/13/2014
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Following her “extraordinary” (Vanity Fair), “evocative” (New York Times), and “magically beautiful” (The Boston Globe) coming-of-age memoir, Academy Award-winning actress Anjelica Huston writes in her newest memoir about her turbulent, high-profile seventeen-year relationship with Jack Nicholson; her rise to stardom; her collaborations with the greatest directors in Hollywood; the death of her father, the legendary director John Huston; and her marriage to sculptor Robert Graham. Scion of a multi-generational Hollywood dynasty, Huston has experienced a career that in many ways outshines her famous family. Her many honors include an Independent Spirit Awards and a Golden Globe Award, as well as multiple Oscar, BAFTA, and Emmy awards and nominations.

Carole Phillips Memorial Lecture

In conversation with Steven Rea, Film Critic, Philadelphia Inquirer

Eric Metaxas | Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life Eric Metaxas | Miracles: What They Are, Why They Happen, and How They Can Change Your Life
Recorded 11/4/2014
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Eric Metaxas is best known for his biographies, told with “passion and theological sophistication,” (The Wall Street Journal) of William Wilberforce and Dietrich Bonhoeffer, profoundly moral men who took unpopular stances and have since been vindicated by history. He is also the author of dozens of other works of nonfiction, children’s books, television scripts, and newspaper and periodical columns. Metaxas is a frequent contributor to news programs on CNN, Fox News Channel, and NPR, and also hosts a nationally syndicated Sunday morning program, 100 Huntley Street. His new book asks why miracles happen and what we can do to understand and use them in our lives.

E. O. Wilson | The Meaning of Human Existence E. O. Wilson | The Meaning of Human Existence
Recorded 10/28/2014
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Esteemed biologist E. O. Wilson’s ideas have had an immeasurable influence on our understanding of life, nature, and society. The author of more than 25 books, including two Pulitzer Prize-winning works of nonfiction, Wilson has won a raft of scientific and conservation prizes, including the prestigious National Medal of Science. He remains an outspoken advocate for conservation and biodiversity, fighting to preserve the wondrous variety of the natural world. His writing explores the world of ants and other tiny creatures, illuminating how all creatures great and small are interdependent. In his new book, he bridges science and philosophy to create a 21st-century treatise on human existence. 

In conversation with Dr. Ian G. Sheffer

Archer Mayor with Lynne Abraham | Proof Positive Archer Mayor with Lynne Abraham | Proof Positive
Recorded 11/5/2014
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Archer Mayor, the New York Times bestselling author of 25 Vermont-based mysteries featuring detective Joe Gunther, will team up with former Philadelphia District Attorney Lynne Abraham to compare notes on real and fictional crime, rural vs. urban crime, and how they have handled their many encounters with unusual situations.... with care, professionalism, humor, creativity, and no small amount of moxie.  Archer is a death investigator and police detective. His 25th Joe Gunther police procedural, Proof Positive, is now available.  Lynne Abraham served as Philadelphia District Attorney for 18 years and was the first woman to hold the position.

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

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