Curiousities

Culture, ideas and society.

Renee Bright / KUER

Have you ever heard of the Texas Dip? It’s a wild curtsy you might see performed—or botched—at a debutante ball. Kristen Richardson calls it a magic trick. And, yes, debutantes are still a thing. They’re the subject of her new book The Season.

Erik Neumann

As an observer of nature, Terry Tempest Williams knows the impact that water, time and wind have a landscape. In her new book “Erosion,” Williams turns her gaze and pen to other types of erosion: the social breakdown of trust, democracy and compassion.

Michael Lionstar

In her most recent book, The Lost Art of Scripture, religious scholar Karen Armstrong looks into the history of sacred texts, showing how religious practitioners' relationships with them have changed, and how many of us have lost sight of what they were originally written for. 

Sharah Meservy for Plan-B Theatre Company

Nothing quite says happy holidays like a futuristic AI take over – which is why our annual Radio Hour is bringing you “a little sentient AI for the holidays.” Join us for Plan-B Theatre Company’s live performance of Utah playwright Matthew Ivan Bennett’s sci-fi experiment, “CIRCLE.”

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.”

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