In early September, 1965 a UFO sighting was reported near Exeter, New Hampshire. Air force investigators were sent to question several eye witnesses who reported a “big orange ball” and a “huge dark object as big as a barn with flashing red lights” in the sky. They dismissed the sighting as “nothing more than stars and planets twinkling…owing to a temperature inversion.” The incident is one of the best documented accounts of an alleged close encounter with the paranormal. New Hampshire’s brush with paranormal fame makes it the perfect setting for a new compilation of short stories called Live Free or Sci-Fi. The book features stories that bend science and reality together into hair raising tales of speculative fiction.
“The Kid”, “The Splendid Splinter”, “Teddy Ballgame”; Ted Williams went by a few nicknames while playing for the Boston Red Sox. Maybe none so fitting as: “The Greatest Hitter That Ever Lived.” Williams was the last player in the major leagues to achieve a batting average over .400--which he did in 1941–in his third season in the majors. Ted Williams was obsessed with hitting, taking meticulous care of his bats, and was often observed swinging or posing for a pitch, whether he had a bat in his hands or not.
Off the field, the measure of Ted Williams is not so easy to follow. A private and mercurial man, he was moody and prone to bouts of rage. He would blow up at the press, his teammates, and his family. Williams married three times and had three children, but struck out as a father or husband. Ben Bradlee Jr., former editor and reporter for the Boston Globe, spent ten years trying to find out exactly why Ted Williams was the way he was. He interviewed more than six hundred people who knew “The Kid” going all the way back to his childhood. Ben Bradlee Jr.’s new book is called “The Kid: The Immortal Life of Ted Williams.”
Children’s book writer and illustratorDavid Wiesner is a three-time winner of the Caldecott Medal for most distinguished children’s picture book. His newest work is about a group of tiny extra-terrestial explorers, whose wee spaceship unwittingly becomes a plaything for a house cat named Mr. Wuffles.
As with all of Wiesner’s books, Mr.Wufflesis nearly wordless, with dramatic visuals that propel readers from the plausible and everyday into the fantastical world of what could happen…
It’s estimated that one in ten Americans show signs of depression, but in a society where mental illness is simultaneously taboo and overexposed, it’s easy to stick to a black-and-white label to describe mental health.
As part of the 'Almost Effect' series from Harvard Health Publications, two instructors at Harvard teamed up to write a book on that uncomfortable gray area between well-being and chronic depression. It's called Almost Depressed.
Is there an adult out there who has not, in a moment of fatigue, insomnia, or on a particularly hard day at work, looked around at their life and asked, “Is this it? Is this what I want my life to be?” Even people who have plenty of money and status and work in their industry of choice may find themselves fantasizing about a job that engages their spirit. A new book from the School of Lifeseries sets out a practical guide to negotiating the myriad choices, overcoming the fear of change, and finding a career that has meaning. Roman Krznaric is a founding member of the school of life. He advises organizations from Oxfam to the UN on using empathy and conversation to create social change. He spoke to us from Oxford, England to talk about his new book How to Find Fulfilling Work.
Fifty-years ago, on November 22nd, President John Fitzgerald Kennedy was shot while traveling in his motorcade through Dallas. Kennedy was pronounced dead at 12:30 pm central time that day. By Monday, 45,000 letters of condolence had arrived at the White House. Two months later, nearly 800,000 had arrived -- addressed mostly to Jackie Kennedy and her family. Over the next two years, that number doubled. Handwritten, typed, and cabled, those letters captured the collective grief of the nation and the world and were then filed away for nearly forty six years.
Letters to Jackie, released in 2010, was a compilation of hundreds of those letters by history scholar, UNH professor, author and our guest Ellen Fitzpatrick.
“Letters to Jackie: Remembering President Kennedy” is a new documentary based on her book and features a selection from those letters read by movie and theater actors. The special makes its television premiere on TLC this coming Sunday, November 17th.
Richard Pryor changed stand-up. He created comedy with no jokes. Instead, he unleashed a parade of street characters rarely glimpsed by white people and mortifying to middle class African Americans. Pryor wrote that the neighbors, whores and winos he saw growing up around his family’s bars and brothels inspired a lifetime of comedic material.
Pryor’s stand-up was outrageously blunt, fearlessly black and openly angry. His talent ran in tandem with episodes of self-destructive, violent, behavior -- often triggered by drug use – which jeopardized his career and endangered his life. Yet, in movies, Grammy-winning albums, and even a short-lived TV special, Richard Pryor’s unapologetically irreverent comedy crossed over to capture a huge American audience; Brothers Dave and Joe Henry among them. Dave is a screenwriter, Joe is a singer and songwriter and together they’ve written Furious Cool: Richard Pryor and the World That Made Him.
Halloween is a perfect time for ghost stories and fairy-tales. Yes...fairy tales. But not the sanitized stuff of Disney Princesses, but the grisly, violent, cautionary tales from which they were derived.
Of course, scary stories are told best by Word of Mouth, so we invited author Adam Gidwitz to share the rather horrible story of “Ashputtle,” or as you might know her, Cinderella. It’s one of the tales from his new book,The Grimm Conclusion, the third volume of delightfully dark, vividly re-told stories originally written by the Brothers Grimm.
Author Nicholson Baker joins us to talk about his recurring character Paul Chowder. The procrastinating poet first tuned up in Baker's novel The Anthologist, and is now the center of his latest book,Traveling Sprinkler.
In a new book called “Saved”, author Ben Hewitt explores a different way of looking at wealth. Rather than dwelling on monetary standards and what can be lost financially, Hewitt writes through experience of what can be gained when we prioritize personal relationships, community cooperation, and connectedness to the environment.
Ben Hewitt - Vermont based author. His new book is called "Saved: How I Quit Worrying about Money and Became the Richest Guy in the World"
With over twenty years of experience on the editorial side of design publishing, Charlotte and Peter Fiell are pioneers in bringing great design to the masses with big, beautiful glossy books. Their first book together, “Modern Design Classics Since 1945”, was published twenty-two years ago and introduced mid-century modern furniture to a new generation of design lovers and novices.
They are also the former editors-in-chief for the best-selling design imprint Taschen. Three years ago the design power couple established their own line of art and design books—Goodman Fiell—which publishes titles written by the couple in addition to books written by experts across a wide range of disciplines; from art and architecture to natural history and popular culture.