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Book Dreams

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Book Dreams

Eve Yohalem and Julie Sternberg / The Podglomerate

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Book Dreams is a podcast for everyone who loves books and misses English class. In each episode co-hosts Julie Sternberg and Eve Yohalem explore a book-related topic they can’t stop thinking about, everything from the genius of your favorite picture books to books bound in human skin. Julie and Eve are both award-winning authors, which allows them to come at interviews with an insider’s knowledge as well as all the wonder associated with storytelling. Book Dreams is brought to you by The Pod ...
 
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Ellen McGarrahan was a young reporter at the Miami Herald when she volunteered to witness the execution of Jesse Tafero, who’d been convicted of killing two police officers. That execution went horrifically awry, and watching it changed the course of Ellen’s life. She left journalism, became a private investigator, and reinvestigated the murders at…
 
What do wild bears and libertarians have in common? Turns out, more than you might think. In 2004 a group of libertarians founded the Free Town Project, a movement to take over a town and turn it into a libertarian utopia. After some research, the Free Towners decided that Grafton, New Hampshire, a town with a history of resistance to taxation that…
 
This week we’re running an episode from the fabulous podcast, History of Literature, about one of our favorite authors, Jane Austen. Each week on his podcast, literature enthusiast–and dear friend of Book Dreams–Jacke Wilson journeys through the history of literature, from ancient epics to contemporary classics. Recent episodes include conversation…
 
“My people are from Wisconsin. We used to be from New York. We had a little real estate problem.” -Charlie Hill, comedian and member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. (RE-RELEASE) In this week’s episode, Julie and Eve talk to comedian, writer, and actor Adrianne Chalepah and comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff about Native Americans and comedy. In he…
 
In 2011, a 27-year-old Austin Kleon gave a talk to college students outlining a simple list: 10 things he wished someone had told him about being creative when he was their age. Austin posted the advice to his blog after the talk, and the list went viral. A year later, his New York Times bestselling book Steal Like an Artist was born. Now, in 2022,…
 
“When Dostoyevsky was 28, he was arrested in the pre-dawn hours by the Czar's political police. ... [Nine months later] the men were brought out into a square in the middle of St. Petersburg in December. Three men were tied to stakes; there were hoods pulled over their heads. A firing squad came out to aim their rifles. Dostoyevsky was next in line…
 
We did it! We reached our 100th episode of Book Dreams! In celebration, we went back to our guests and asked them this question: What's one book you love and why do you love it? And so now, have we got book recommendations for you! Twenty-eight beloved books from twenty-four of our beloved guests. From old favorites to new discoveries, from short s…
 
It was a story that captured the attention of the public and art critics worldwide: A treasure trove of exceptional photographs was discovered after a storage locker auction in 2007. The then unknown photographer? Vivian Maier, a woman who worked her whole life as a nanny. Even after two documentaries were made about Vivian–one of which, “Finding V…
 
Is it possible for one person to write both award-winning literary speculative fiction and Marvel's newest “Captain America” series and also be a former civil rights lawyer, a film school graduate, and be less than 35 years old? If the person in question is author Tochi Onyebuchi, the answer is yes. In this episode, Julie and Eve talk with Tochi ab…
 
How’s this for fun? Take 27 incredible writers–including winners of the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award, PEN Awards, Women's Prize for Fiction, Edgar Award, and more–and invite each of them to write an erotic short story. Then publish the collection in one steamy anthology with the authors listed alphabetically at the beginning of the book …
 
“Wussy” European vampires. African folklore and mythology, and how they help establish that “homophobia is not African.” How reading Jackie Collins and Leon Uris during childhood fosters a lifelong passion for books. The structuring of an immersive, propulsive fantasy trilogy. This week on Book Dreams, Eve and Julie discuss all of this and so much …
 
How did a forensic and psychiatric nurse transform the way that the FBI studies, profiles, and catches serial killers? In this week’s episode of Book Dreams, Julie and Eve speak with Dr. Ann Wolbert Burgess, the inspiration for the psychological expert, Wendy Carr, on one of Eve and Julie’s favorite Netflix series, “Mindhunter,” as well as her co-a…
 
In 2019, a librarian at the Central Library in Bristol, England, uncovered a mystery. Pasted to the bindings of four Renaissance books were scraps of parchment from a medieval manuscript. And on these scraps, written in old French, were two names that have captivated readers for almost a millennium: Merlin and Arthur. In this week’s episode, Eve an…
 
Can an author write a novel about a classical musician and get all the details right? And can he make that world the backdrop for a gripping contemporary thriller? If the author is Brendan Slocumb, then the answer is a resounding yes. In this episode, Brendan joins Eve and Julie to talk about his debut novel, The Violin Conspiracy, about a concert …
 
After hearing New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul call Ian Urbina’s The Outlaw Ocean “one of the best narrative non-fiction books by a journalist I've ever read,” we instantly decided to invite Ian on Book Dreams and were thrilled when he accepted. A Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist, Ian based The Outlaw Ocean on five years…
 
If you like hearing about the craft of writing and the writing life, you’ll love this bonus episode from The #AmWriting Podcast. #AmWriting focuses on fun, practical, actionable advice for writers of all kinds, and they have a long history of conducting great interviews with great authors. In this episode, hosts KJ, Sarina, and Jess talk with autho…
 
What does the natural world look like after human beings abandon it? Nuclear waste sites, war zones, slag heaps, ghost towns–journalist Cal Flyn delves into the history and rebirth of these neglected places in her book, Islands of Abandonment: Nature Rebounding in the Post-Human Landscape. In this episode of Book Dreams, Cal shares with Eve and Jul…
 
“It always looked like the women outside of the church were having the most fun. They were wearing the tight jeans and the heels, and I was like, ‘It's so unfortunate. They're going to hell.’” –Deesha Philyaw Even as a child, author Deesha Philyaw understood that church teachings about women and sexuality didn’t “really align with what we know to b…
 
Deep beneath the asphalt streets of New York City lurks a breed of creature that’s haunted the subway’s subterranean labyrinth for over a century. No, it’s not sewer alligators or radioactive rats. Instead, we’re speaking of…bookworms. And documentarian Uli Beutter Cohen has been on the hunt to capture their travels. In 2014, Uli founded the viral …
 
“I think a lot about how to map the scale of our own lives against the scale of existence.” –Kathyrn Schulz Not long after Kathryn Schulz fell in love with the woman she would marry, her beloved father died. Now she’s written a memoir, Lost & Found, in which she shares these deeply personal stories and expands them into a consideration of the ways …
 
What are dreams made of? What role can they play in predicting the future, and why? To what extent have they shaped the past? What can we glean when we know the content of our dreams, and what does science have to say about why that is? And should we all be taking naps? In this Book Dreams episode on–you guessed it–a book on dreams, Brazilian neuro…
 
(RE-RELEASE) What happens when a Harvard professor puts the weight of her reputation behind an alleged ancient gospel with monumental implications for the Roman Catholic Church, and the gospel turns out to be a fake? In 2012, Karen King, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard’s Divinity School, announced the discovery of a gospel in which Jesu…
 
LIVE EPISODE: If you love Jane Smiley, this episode is for you. Eve and Julie are joined by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author in an interview that was recorded live for Miami Book Fair 2021. They discuss Jane’s most recent book, Perestroika in Paris, as well as Jane’s writing process, beloved pets, and what it’s like to be a writer in Paris. Unlike…
 
MINI EPISODE: Do you lose your keys, your wallet, your glasses…in your own home? Do you forget the names of people you met two minutes ago? How often do you start a sentence with what’s that word I’m thinking of? Yeah, us too. This is the second in a series of “mini episodes” where Eve or Julie picks a book on a topic she needs help with, and then …
 
“Today we're learning things as fundamental as the shape of our universe, or how the universe might've begun or ended. We are learning new things about planets and solar systems beyond our own that could potentially host life. And these … [findings are] fundamental to who we are as humans and who we are as planet citizens.” In this episode of Book …
 
“It's a piece of family lore or legend that I've been hearing since I was a quite young boy.” In this week’s episode of Book Dreams, acclaimed author Sunjeev Sahota shares with Eve and Julie the family and personal experiences that helped shape his latest, transfixing novel, China Room. Set in both 1920s rural India and 1990s small-town England, th…
 
Belle da Costa Greene. Morgan Library visionary. One of the most prominent and influential librarians in history. Democratizer of museums. And, until two decades after her death, no one outside her family knew she was passing as white. We know a lot about public-facing Belle: she was JP Morgan's personal librarian from 1905 until his death in 1913,…
 
Pigeons: rats with wings or wonder birds? Rosemary Mosco, science writer and naturalist, enters the dovecote with Eve and Julie to settle the debate. The author and illustrator of A Pocket Guide to Pigeon Watching: Getting to Know the World’s Most Misunderstood Bird, Rosemary defends her feral, feathered friends with an extraordinary (yet widely un…
 
What happens when an author takes a genre that's considered a bedrock of American culture and flips the wagon upside-down? As Tom Lin puts it, “I’m not following the rules of the American Western.” The author of the debut novel The Thousand Crimes of Ming Tsu, Tom subverts the “old, old notions of what makes an American” and redefines the classic g…
 
What if our experience of ancient Greek plays, rather than involving stultifying boredom, could instead evoke powerful emotions? Bryan Doerries–author of many books involving ancient Greek plays and Artistic Director of Theater of War Productions–talks with Julie and Eve about the tragic loss in his life that caused Greek plays to suddenly begin “s…
 
A modern western set in hell. A tale of revenge between Krampus and Santa. One man's determined trek through the brutal landscape of purgatory. These dark stories, and more, all sprang from the imagination of the author and American gothic fantasy artist known simply as Brom. In this episode, Julie and Eve talk to Brom about what it’s like to both …
 
If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is the worth of a word? David Shariatmadari, author of Don't Believe A Word: The Surprising Truth About Language, talks with Julie and Eve about little-known origins of words and how their modern-day usage both reflects and impacts culture. For example, the word “happiness” no longer suggests a fleeting …
 
What’s it like for a professional ballerina to try a sedentary art form like writing? Georgina Pazcoguin, soloist with the New York City Ballet, talks with Eve and Julie about the creation of her debut memoir, Swan Dive: The Making of a Rogue Ballerina, in which she shakes the “stereotype of the uptight ballerina to bits.” Georgina takes Eve and Ju…
 
Even when history has been overlooked, ignored, or suppressed, that doesn’t mean it’s hidden. Researching and writing her novels, Kaitlyn Greenidge--author of Libertie and We Love You, Charlie Freeman--“approach[es] Black history from a place of abundance, from the idea that Black people have always been multifaceted, have always been fighting for …
 
Magic. It’s just a bunch of hocus pocus…or is it? World-renowned magician Joshua Jay--author of the new book How Magicians Think: Misdirection, Deception, and Why Magic Matters--lays his cards on the table for Eve and Julie as they explore the artistry and mastery of the craft. They discuss what draws people to magic and why some devote their entir…
 
Hidden behind an Olympic gymnast’s smile or a classical ballerina’s serene grace is a darker reality, one involving grueling work and, often, physical and emotional pain. Megan Abbott, Edgar Award-winning author of the recent novel The Turnout, explores the insular worlds of gymnastics, ballet, and cheerleading and uses them to spotlight the damage…
 
What does it say about the American Dream if immigrants achieve financial success but their children, and their children’s children, still experience a lack of belonging? What does it mean to be part of groups that are both privileged and treated as outsiders? What are the flaws in the stories we tell ourselves about our parents’ generation, and wh…
 
Bryan Christy's investigations as a reporter have led to police raids of ivory shops in Vatican City, the defrocking of a pedophile monsignor, the arrest and imprisonment of the “Pablo Escobar of wildlife trafficking,” and the closing of China's ivory market. What strategies did he use to track down criminals? What mistakes did he make? Why were hi…
 
What happens when a Harvard professor puts the weight of her reputation behind an alleged ancient gospel with monumental implications for the Roman Catholic Church, and the gospel turns out to be a fake? In 2012, Karen King, the Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard’s Divinity School, announced the discovery of a gospel in which Jesus refers to “…
 
In this episode of Book Dreams, Julie and Eve talk with Charles Person, the youngest and only surviving member of the original Freedom Riders. In May of 1961, thirteen men and women in Washington, D.C. boarded two public buses headed for New Orleans, to test whether states across the South were abiding by the Supreme Court’s recent decision forbidd…
 
Vanessa Zoltan, author of the recently published Praying with Jane Eyre: Reflections on Reading as a Sacred Practice, is not your usual chaplain. She is an atheist who produces podcasts about treating Harry Potter, Twilight, and romance novels as sacred texts, and she runs pilgrimages and walking tours that explore sacred reading and writing. In th…
 
“It’s a testament to [Jo Ann] Beard, a towering talent, that she ... deliver[s] a book as forceful as it is fine, leaving us both awed and unsettled.” -- New York Times review of Festival Days In this week’s episode, Eve and Julie talk to Jo Ann Beard about Festival Days, her extraordinary new collection of essays, some of which took decades to wri…
 
MINI EPISODE: Need help easing anxieties? Or resisting your cravings for sugar? Julie does. For this week’s episode, she sought help from neuroscientist Judson Brewer, author of Unwinding Anxiety: New Science Shows How to Break the Cycles of Worry and Fear to Heal Your Mind and The Craving Mind: From Cigarettes to Cellphones to Love--Why We Get Hoo…
 
What’s it like to see stories through the eyes of a visual artist? Marla Frazee, multiple award-winning children’s book author and illustrator, shares her vision in a captivating conversation with Eve and Julie. The recipient of two Caldecott Honors and the Boston Globe Horn Book Award, Marla knew that she wanted to become an illustrator before she…
 
“My people are from Wisconsin. We used to be from New York. We had a little real estate problem.”--Charlie Hill, comedian and member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. In this week’s episode, Julie and Eve talk to comedian, writer, and actor Adrianne Chalepah and comedy historian Kliph Nesteroff about Native Americans and comedy. An enrolled member…
 
The Baby-Sitters Club. You may know the books, but do you know their story? David Levithan--Editorial Director at Scholastic; Founding Editor of Scholastic’s PUSH imprint; and New York Times bestselling author of 23 books, including Boy Meets Boy, Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist (co-written with Rachel Cohn), and, most recently, The Mysterious Dis…
 
We’ll take book recommendations for $1,000, please! In a first for Book Dreams, Eve and Julie have teamed up with Brookes May--host of the podcast Books with Brookes--to play a game they’re officially calling “You Want Me to Read What?” The rules are simple: Eve, Julie, and Brookes assign each other off-the-beaten-path books and then reconvene to s…
 
Storybound is a radio theater program designed for the podcast age. In each episode, listeners will be treated to their favorite authors and writers reading some of their most impactful stories, designed with powerful and immersive sound environments. Season 4 of Storybound features writers including Chuck Klosterman, Morgan Jerkins, Matt Haig, Nic…
 
How does an author write her extended family into a madcap romantic comedy and live to tell the tale? Jesse Q. Sutanto--author of the YA thriller The Obsession; the middle-grade fantasy novel Theo Tan and the Fox Spirit; and the debut adult novel Dial A for Aunties, which is being adapted by Netflix into a film--discusses with Eve and Julie the cul…
 
What strange and unexpected paths might one author take delving into his family's history? Menachem Kaiser--author of Plunder: A Memoir of Family Property and Nazi Treasure, a New York Times Editor’s Choice and People Magazine Best New Book of 2021--shares with Eve and Julie how his attempts to reclaim a building that had belonged to his grandfathe…
 
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