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Mary Roach's Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Mary Roach’s latest book Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal investigates how digestion works, from start to finish. Roach writes about the scientists who tackle the complex bodily process that fuels us and keeps us alive. Gulp is the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club’s April selection, so pick up a copy and start reading today! Mary Roach will be here April 17 to talk about the amazing, sometimes stomach-turning facts she learned about our digestive tract.

Leave your questions for the author below!

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Video: Rebecca Mead Talks About Some Things She Loves

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Rebecca Mead, author of My Life in Middlemarch, was here to talk about the great novel Middlemarch and why she's read it over and over. She answered a few other questions about other favorite books, what she's reading now, and what it's like to be a staff writer at The New Yorker.

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Rebecca Mead Discusses Middlemarch and My Life in Middlemarch

Friday, March 28, 2014

Many of our book club authors have listed Middlemarch as among of their favorite and most influential novels, so for our March selection, the Lopate Show Book club is reading George Eliot’s masterpiece, which is often called the greatest English novel. It deals with the complexity of love, the meaning of marriage, morality, and human aspiration and failure. Rebecca Mead joins us to talk about what makes the classic novel so great, and to discuss her book, My Life in Middlemarch. Mixing biography, reporting, and memoir, Mead explores Middlemarch’s important place in her own life, as well as the many lives the novel has led since it was written.

 

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Wave: Surviving Enormous Loss and Grief

Friday, February 28, 2014

Sonali Deraniyagala's memoir Wave is a harrowing account of losing her parents, husband, and two young sons when the tsunami struck Sri Lanka in 2004. 

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Video: Adrian Nicole LeBlanc

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Adrian Nicole LeBlanc shares some of her favorite authors, stand-up comedians, and tells us why she's been re-reading some feminist classics.

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Book Club: Random Family

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Leonard Lopate Show Book Club’s first selection for 2014 is Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx. Author Adrian Nicole LeBlanc spent years with one extended family in the Bronx to create a portrait of poverty, and of life in and of public housing, prison, and court. It received high praise when it was published in 2003, and remains as relevant and important a decade later. We chose it after we read Andrea Elliott's powerful New York Times series Invisible Child: Dasani's Homeless Life, which reminded us of the extensive reporting on a family's struggles with poverty in Random Family.

Share your thoughts and questions below!

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Video: Questions for Jonathan Franzen

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Novelist Jonathan Franzen shares a few of his favorite science fiction books from his high-school days. He also recommends Christina Stead's novel The Man Who Loved Children and Adelle Waldman's debut novel The Love Affairs of Nathaniel P. And he says the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge is a good place to take a walk and see some birds. Just don't ask him for hot new restaurant recommendations.

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The Twenty-Seventh City, by Jonathan Franzen

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Jonathan Franzen has been called one of the most important living fiction writers in America. His 2001 novel The Corrections won the National Book Award and Freedom was named as one the best books of 2010 by Time, the New York Times Book Review, and Publishers Weekly, among publications. We’re going back to his very first novel, The Twenty-Seventh City, written in 1988 and set in his home town, St. Louis. In the novel, St. Louis is a quietly dying city until it hires a charismatic young woman from Bombay, India, as its new police chief. The story predicts a number of shifts that were to come decades later in American life: suburban malaise, surveillance culture, domestic terrorism, and paranoia.

Leave your questions for Jonathan Franzen below!

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Questions for Peter Carey

Monday, October 21, 2013

What are your favorite books/who are your favorite authors?

     The library is too big for favorites. Recently I have enjoyed Donna Tartt's new novel, John Ralston Saul's Voltaire's Bastards, David Graeber's Debt, Chris Adrian's The Children's Hospital.

 

What authors or works do you think are underappreciated or overlooked?

     The Great Australian writer Helen Garney. Go out and buy The Spare Room now.

 

Do you have any writing rituals or habits? Where, when, and how do you write?

     Clean teeth. Put on shoes. Make coffee. Write with my nose.

 

Do you have favorite or least favorite words? What are they and why?

     MBA words of any sort—incentivise for instance. Ultilitarian, ugly words like "de-glove."

 

Are there certain kinds of characters or stories you’re drawn to in your own work?

     Obsessive people, angry people, anyone with dangerous levels of energy.

 

What's the last great thing you read/saw/listened to?

     Rachel Kusher's The Flame Throwers.

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October's Book: Oscar and Lucinda, by Peter Carey

Monday, October 21, 2013

Oscar and Lucinda is Peter Carey's Booker Prize-winning 1988 novel, that tells the story of an unusual romance in 19th-century Australia. Oscar is a nervous Anglican minister, and Lucinda is an heiress who impulsively buys a glass factory, and the two share a guilty passion for gambling. The story culminates in a crazy expedition to transport a glass church across the Outback.

Buy, borrow, or download the book today and start reading now so you can join the conversation with Peter Carey! You can leave your thoughts and questions about the book as a comment, below.

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September's Book: Everything You Know, by Zoë Heller

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Leonard Lopate Show Book Club’s September selection is Zoë Heller’s first novel, Everything You Know. It’s a cynical dark comedy about a hack writer and accused murderer who becomes engrossed in his estranged daughter’s diaries after she commits suicide. They lead him to confront his failings as a father and in life. The New York Times called it “an acerbic, sneakily touching novel about the rehabilitation of a monster.”

Do you have a question for the author—leave it as a comment!

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Looking for Something to Read?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The season for beach reading might be drawing to a close, but if you're looking for a good book to read, here are some recommendations from producers and contributors of the Lopate Show.

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Video: Questions for Junot Diaz

Monday, August 19, 2013

Junot Diaz stopped by August 16 to talk about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao for the Lopate Show Book Club. Watch him talk about why Watership Down made such a big impression on him, writing advice, and reading while walking.

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Book Club: Junot Diaz on The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

Friday, August 16, 2013

The Pulitzer Prize-winning novel tells the story of Oscar, a sweet but extremely overweight "ghetto nerd" from New Jersey who dreams of becoming the Dominican J.R.R. Tolkien and, above all, finding love.

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Video: Questions for Ayad Akhtar

Friday, July 26, 2013

What are your favorite books/who are your favorite authors?

      More than favorite authors, I have favorite works. And I’m not sure I would distinguish between films and books in that category: The Death of Ivan Ilych. Seize the Day. Annie Hall. GoodFellas. The Human Stain. The Invisible Man. Bringing Up Baby. Boswell’s The Life of Samuel Johnson. A Bend in the River.

What are your favorite plays and why?

     I think all of my favorite plays share the same qualities of dramatic impact, social commentary, and an almost classical purity of form: "Hedda Gabler." "Look Back in Anger." "Glen Garry Glen Ross." "All My Sons."

What authors or works do you think are underappreciated or overlooked?

      Harold Brodkey. One of the finest writers of our American language. And likely the greatest long short fiction writer we’ve had.

Do you have any writing rituals or habits? Where, when, and how do you write?

      9 to 2 every day. In my office. I tend to work in intense spurts followed by short periods of relaxation. When I’m working on a play, having an upcoming reading is helpful, and I love to write in the midst of workshops, while I have the chance to hear actors work with the new material. As a novelist, the deadlines are more internal, and the work obviously much more solitary.

Do you have favorite or least favorite words? What are they and why?

      I’ve always adored the French word, oiseau. Which means bird. I love that it uses every vowel. And I love that you add an “x” for the plural:  oiseaux.

Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

     Persistence. It can take a very long time to get anywhere, artistically, professionally. Be open to criticism, and continue to do it. Persist.

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Join the Leonard Lopate Book Club - July's Book: American Dervish

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Ayad Akhtar’s novel American Dervish is our pick for the July Leonard Lopate Show Book Club! It’s a coming-of-age novel about Muslims in America that follows a young man named Hayat who has a romantic and spiritual awakening as he’s growing up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Ayad Akhtar won the Pulitzer Prize this year for his play “Disgraced,” and American Dervish is his debut novel. We hope you've been reading the book along with us. Leave your comments and questions!

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Video: Questions for Lydia Davis

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Writer and translator Lydia Davis was awarded the Man Booker International Prize in May. Here she talks about her favorite books, the challenges of translating Madame Bovary, and why she likes the often overlooked city of Dijon, France. Listen to her discussing Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary for the Leonard Lopate Show Book Club.

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June's Book: Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hilary Mantel joins us for the next Leonard Lopate Show Book Club to talk about Bring Up the Bodies, which won the 2012 Man Booker Prize.

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May's Book: F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby

Monday, May 06, 2013

We're broadcasting a discussion recorded in the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space in March. The Leonard Lopate Show Book Club joined the BBC World Book Club for a conversation about The Great Gatsby, by F. Scott Fitzgerald, with writer Jay McInerney and literature professor Anne Margaret Daniel. They answer questions from around the world about what makes The Great Gatsby one of the great classics of 20th-century American literature.

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