Read Learn Live Podcast
Arts & Culture Podcasts
Read Learn Live Podcast - Improve Yourself Through Literature
Arts & Culture Podcasts
Read Learn Live Podcast - Improve Yourself Through Literature
Learning America – Ep 96 with Luma Mufleh
It was a wrong turn that changed everything. When Luma Mufleh—a Muslim, gay, refugee woman from hyper-conservative Jordan—stumbled upon a pick-up game of soccer in Clarkston, Georgia, something compelled her to join. The players, 11- and 12-year-olds from Liberia, Afghanistan, and Sudan, soon welcomed her as coach of their ragtag but fiercely competitive group. Drawn into their lives, Mufleh learned that few of her players, all local public school students, could read a single word. She...
The Kaiju Preservation Society – Ep 95 with John Scalzi
When COVID-19 sweeps through New York City, Jamie Gray is stuck as a dead-end driver for food delivery apps. That is, until Jamie makes a delivery to an old acquaintance, Tom, who works at what he calls “an animal rights organization”. Tom’s team needs a last-minute grunt to handle things on their next field visit. Jamie, eager to do anything, immediately signs on. What Tom doesn’t tell Jamie is that the animals his team cares for are not here on Earth. Not our Earth, at at least. In an...
The Sleep Fix – Ep 94 with Diane Macedo
Roughly thirty percent of the population is estimated to be living with insomnia, while many more suffer from other sleep disorders. ABC anchor/correspondent Diane Macedo—a former insomniac herself—understands the struggle. Now, in The Sleep Fix, Macedo presents perspective-shifting research and easy-to-implement solutions to help millions of people finally get the shut-eye they need. Macedo’s mission is crucial to our health and well-being. Everything from our heart health to our mental...
Read Until You Understand – Ep 93 with Farah Jasmine Griffin
Farah Jasmine Griffin is the William B. Ransford Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University where she also served as the inaugural Chair of the African American and African Diaspora Studies Department. She is the author of five books including Who Set You Flowin?: The African American Migration Narrative (1995), If You Can’t Be Free, Be a Mystery: In Search of Billie Holiday (2001), Clawing at the Limits of Cool: Miles Davis, John Coltrane and the Greatest Jazz...
The Power of Nothing to Lose – Ep 92 with William L. Silber
Following books by Malcolm Gladwell and Dan Ariely, noted economics professor William L. Silber explores the Hail Mary effect, from its origins in sports to its applications to history, nature, politics, and business. A quarterback like Green Bay’s Aaron Rodgers gambles with a Hail Mary pass at the end of a football game when he has nothing to lose – the risky throw might turn defeat into victory, or end in a meaningless interception. Rodgers may not realize it, but he has much in common...
Catch the Rabbit – Ep 91 with Lana Bastašić
Winner of the 2020 European Union Prize for Literature, Lana Bastašić’s powerful debut novel Catch the Rabbit is a modern-day Alice in Wonderland set in post-war Bosnia, in which two young women plunge into the illusive landscape of their shared history. It’s been twelve years since inseparable childhood friends Lejla and Sara have spoken, but an unexpected phone call thrusts Sara back into a world she left behind, a language she’s buried, and painful memories that rise unbidden to the...
Ridgeline – Ep 90 with Michael Punke
Ridgeline is the thrilling, long-awaited return of the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Revenant In 1866, with the country barely recovered from the Civil War, new war breaks out on the western frontier—a clash of cultures between the Native tribes who have lived on the land for centuries and a young, ambitious nation. Colonel Henry Carrington arrives in Wyoming’s Powder River Valley to lead the US Army in defending the opening of a new road for gold miners and settlers....
A Master of Djinn – Ep 89 with P. Djèlí Clark
Forty years ago in Egypt, the mystic and inventor Al-Jahiz pierced the veil between realms, sending magic into the world before vanishing into the unknown. Think steampunk meets history meets detective novel meets magic! Now in 1912 Cairo, humans brush elbows with djinn in crowded tramcars and airships sail the skies. In this new world the Egyptian Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities maintains an uneasy peace. When someone claiming to be Al-Jahiz “returned” murders a...
From PA to LA – Ep 88 with Yogi Roth
From PA to LA isn’t like anything you’ve read before. Expect this book to cut deeper than your traditional tell-all. Built around a detailed, inside look at the Pitt and USC football programs, it is at heart a story about a small town kid from Pennsylvania who uses sports, travel and adventure as a way to develop his own winning philosophy of life. The underlying themes reveal a different, yet exhilarating path to getting the most out of each day in both our personal and professional lives....
Beloved Beasts – Ep 87 with Michelle Nijhuis
A vibrant history of the modern conservation movement―told through the lives and ideas of the people who built it. In the late nineteenth century, as humans came to realize that our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the movement’s history: from early battles to save charismatic species such as the American...
A Beginner’s Guide to America – Ep 86 with Roya Hakakian
A stirring, witty, and poignant glimpse into the bewildering American immigrant experience from someone who has lived it. Also, a mirror held up to America. Into the maelstrom of unprecedented contemporary debates about immigrants in the United States, this perfectly timed book gives us a portrait of what the new immigrant experience in America is really like. Written as a “guide” for the newly arrived, and providing “practical information and advice,” Roya Hakakian, an immigrant herself,...
The Women’s History of the Modern World – Ep 85 with Rosalind Miles
The internationally bestselling author of Who Cooked the Last Supper? presents a wickedly witty and very current history of the extraordinary female rebels, reactionaries, and trailblazers who left their mark on history from the French Revolution up to the present day. Now is the time for a new women’s history — for the famous, infamous, and unsung women to get their due — from the Enlightenment to the #MeToo movement. Recording the important milestones in the birth of the modern feminist...
Mental Illness and Graphic Novel as Memoir – Ep 84 with Joshua Kemble
Josh thought he was living the artist’s dream. The young, ambitious comic book creator had a hip Portland apartment, an affectionate fiancé, and his whole life ahead of him. Until the night he finds himself on Burnside Bridge, willing himself to jump. How did he get here? Two Stories is a confessional graphic memoir that grapples with questions of faith, mental illness, depravity, and, ultimately, redemption in a fallen world. Here’s a great trailer for the book: Joshua Kemble is a...
Don’t Judge a College Athlete by Their Cover – Ep 83 with Corey Sobel
The Redshirt challenges tenacious stereotypes, shedding new light on the hypermasculine world of American football. Over the course of their first year playing for a Division One college football program that is willing to win at all costs, roommates Miles Furling and Reshawn McCoy are forced to choose between their true selves and the selves that have been imposed on them by the game. Corey Sobel’s debut novel, The Redshirt, was published by the New Poetry & Prose Series at the University...
A Mayan Creation Story – Ep 82 with Ilan Stavans
Popul Vuh: A Retelling is an inspired and urgent prose retelling of the Mayan myth of creation by acclaimed Latin American author and scholar Ilan Stavans, gorgeously illustrated by Salvadoran folk artist Gabriela Larios and introduced by renowned author, diplomat, and environmental activist Homero Aridjis. The archetypal creation story of Latin America, the Popul Vuh began as a Maya oral tradition millennia ago. In the mid-sixteenth century, as indigenous cultures across the continent were...
Stories From a Syrian Refugee – Ep 81 with Perween Richards
Drawn from her experiences of growing up as a young woman in the ‘world’s largest prison’—Gaza—Nayrouz Qarmout’s stories in The Sea Cloak (translated by Perween Richards) stitch together a stirring patchwork of perspectives exploring what it means to be a Palestinian today. Whether following the daily struggles of orphaned children fighting to survive in the rubble of recent bombardments, or mapping the complex tensions between political forces vying to control Palestinian lives, these...
You Ought To Do A Story About Me – Ep 80 with Ted Jackson
You Ought To Do A Story About Me: Addiction, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Endless Quest for Redemption is the heartbreaking, timeless, and redemptive story of the transformative friendship binding a fallen-from-grace NFL player and a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who meet on the streets of New Orleans, offering a rare glimpse into the precarious world of homelessness and the lingering impact of systemic racism and poverty on the lives of NOLA’s citizens. Author Ted Jackson is a...
E.E. Cummings And The Great War – Ep 79 with Alison Rosenblitt
An incisive biography of E. E. Cummings’s early life, including his World War I ambulance service and subsequent imprisonment, inspirations for his inventive poetry. E. E. Cummings is one of our most popular and enduring poets, one whose name extends beyond the boundaries of the literary world. Renowned for his formally fractured, gleefully alive poetry, Cummings is not often thought of as a war poet. But his experience in France and as a prisoner during World War I (the basis for his first...
Our Moral Character – Ep 78 with Christian B. Miller
We like to think of ourselves, our friends, and our families as decent people. We may not be saints, but we are still honest, relatively kind, and mostly trustworthy. Author and philosopher Christian B. Miller argues in his new book, “The Character Gap: How Good Are We?” that we are badly mistaken in thinking this. Hundreds of recent studies in psychology tell a different story: that we all have serious character flaws that prevent us from being as good as we think we are – and that we do...
In Praise of Walking – Ep 77 with Shane O’Mara
In this captivating book, neuroscientist Shane O’Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits walking confers on our bodies and brains, and to appreciate the advantages of this uniquely human skill. From walking’s evolutionary origins, traced back millions of years to life forms on the ocean floor, to new findings from cutting-edge research, he reveals how the brain and nervous system give us the ability to balance, weave through a crowded city, and run our “inner GPS” system. Walking is good...