8.10.16: Playing Dead, The Bookshelf, & Here's What's Awesome

Aug 10, 2016

Today on the show, a writer explores the greatest escape plan: pseudocide... We'll hear about the global disappearance industry that plots, facilitates and forges documents for fake deaths - and the investigators who track them down.

And from Team Refugee to Superfan Mavis, a rundown of Olympic tweets, memes, and illegal gifs... Including a very photogenic Tongan flagbearer.

Listen to the full show. 

Playing Dead

Elizabeth Greenwood was feeling overwhelmed. After quitting her job teaching in a Bronx public school, she was back in school -- with a new student loan piled onto a mound of undergraduate debt. She was sharing her fantasy of escaping to Belize when a friend joked that she should just fake her death. That got her thinking, and then fairly obsessed with how and why people commit "pseudocide"... The ultimate ticket to a fresh start.

Elizabeth discovered a global disappearance industry that plots, facilitates and documents fraudulent deaths. She spoke to people who tried to pull it off...investigators who track fraudsters down...and to those left behind to pick up the pieces.  Her new book, Playing Dead: A Journey Through the World of Death Fraud plunges into the mechanics and desperation that make ending a life appear to be an act of survival.

The Bookshelf: Novelist Deena Goldstone

Today on The Bookshelf, host Peter Biello speaks with novelist Deena Goldstone about her new book Surprise Me, a novel that brings to mind the famous, reclusive NH resident, J.D. Salinger - and offers a dignified rendition of a usually salacious relationship archetype.  

You can listen to this episode of The Bookshelf again and read about Deena Goldstone's top 5 book recommendations here: The Bookshelf: Novelist Deena Goldstone

Here's What's Awesome

The Olympics inspire us, thrill us, indulge our lust for competition in a direct and dramatic way...they engage us in the pursuit of what may seem impossible, and never have to leave our comfy chair. That's kind of where Brady Carlson, our longtime awesomator, comes into this strained introduction -- he observes the squabbles and strategies and fixations and silliness that happens online...sifts out the superfluous and brings it to us.

Today, a glimpse of the 2016 games in Rio in what will be his last run through the awesome filter for this program in this studio. Yep later this month, NHPR's  reporter and weekend host and talented fill-in host and all around day brightener is heading to Wisconsin Public Radio...we are all in mourning. 

You can learn more about everything that's awesome here: Here's What's Awesome: Rio Olympics Edition