Curiosities

Culture, ideas and society.

Express Newspapers/Getty

As a music historian, Ted Gioia seeks out the stories of musical outsiders. His new book, Music: A Subversive History, explores the impact of music’s concealed influences and the power that music holds over us.

Provided by Riverhead Press

Do you use punctuation when you text? Do you replace words with emojis? Because Internet author Gretchen McCulloch says the Internet is changing the way we use language everywhere we communicate — not just online.

Kelsie Moore

It’s our favorite time of year: The RadioWest Holiday Books Show! Even if you never know what to buy your people for the holidays, choosing new books is easy thanks to recommendations from our panel of local professionals, Catherine Weller, Ken Sanders and Betsy Burton.

Provided by Knopf

Writer Pico Iyer has lived in Japan for 32 years — on a tourist visa. His new book Autumn Light explores life as an outsider in a country he very much feels is home, exploring along the way what home is and how we can communicate by not speaking at all. 

Created by Renee Bright / KUER

Judge Memorial Catholic High School recently forfeited a football game due to their high number of injured players. When is the risk too high for young, developing brains? We look at parents’ and coaches’ responsibilities to young kids who want to play tackle football, and what drives America’s continuing love affair with the game.

A closeup photograph of a tree.
Tim Slover - KUER

If trees could speak, what might they say? In Richard Powers’ Pulitzer Prize winning novel The Overstory, a tree tells a woman, “Your kind never sees us whole.” Powers joins us to talk about his book and how to see trees as more than “amputations.”

Provided by WNYCStudios

You know who just about everyone loves? Dolly Parton. But journalist Jad Abumrad’s podcast Dolly Parton’s America isn’t just about how amazing Dolly is; it’s a deep exploration of a great American icon “at the crossroads of America’s culture wars.”

Claire Harbage / NPR

The American Prairie Reserve’s goal is to create a wildlife conservation area on approximately 3.2 million acres of land in northeastern Montana, with the aim of reviving the land’s ecosystem. If this group of wealthy investors finds a way around their problems, the country may see the creation of what some people are calling the next Yellowstone.

A crime scene diorama with a figurine.
Simon & Schuster

Are you obsessed with true crime? Maybe you identify with the victim or the detective—or possibly even with the killer. The journalist Rachel Monroe says that women are the most ravenous consumers of true crime. In Savage Appetites, she sets out to learn why. 

The Aspen Institute, Flickr

  Through his work with the Harlem Children’s Zone, Geoffrey Canada has pioneered a new vision for what a school can be and how kids can escape the cycle of poverty. He joins us to discuss how we can ensure every child has an equal chance for success.

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