I drove to Chicago this weekend for Family Weekend at Loyola University. I listened to Wisconsin Public Radio most of the way out and all the way home. They had some great programs! I listened to two hours of To the Best of Our Knowledge, or TTBOOK. The first hour was entitled "Libraries."
"Libraries" included Maryanne Wolfe, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research at Tufts University, and author of "Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain" who talked about the decline of "deep reading" today. If you love to read, you will love her description of what happens during what she calls "deep reading."
Science fiction and fantasy author Ursula Le Guin reiterated her thoughts on reading, which recently appeared in an essay in Harper's Magazine called "Notes on the Alleged Decline in Reading."
Geraldine Brooks, author of People of the Book, recounted some of the amazing history of the Sarajevo Haggadah.
Alberto Manguel has a personal library of some thirty thousand volumes. Manguel talks about his library and his latest book, "The Library at Night." His other books on reading are "A Reading Diary" and "A History of Reading."
In hour two, "The Horror, The Horror," Andrew Davidson, author of Gargoyle, read from the opening of his novel, a harrowing description of a burn victim's suffering that is definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart. In fact, I had stopped reading it but started again after hearing the interview. It's good.
This hour also featured Kelly Link, who writes teen/young adult horror (Pretty Monsters), Richard Hand, author of "Terror on the Air!: Horror Radio in America, 1931 - 1952." and Glenn Kay, author of "Zombie Movies: The Ultimate Guide," with audio clips from radio shows and zombie movies.
What a great lineup! If you click through to the web site you can listen to the interviews, see a listing of the CDs and books featured, and go to authors' web sites.
Next I listened to University of the Air, which on this day was a chatty program with John DeMain comparing recordings of the same piece conducted by two different conductors, with a lot of cheery backstage anecdotes on the roles of the conductor and orchestra in creating a sound.
Finally, a fantastic program on "Simply Folk" featuring songs about Fall. The selections were wonderful. Unfortunately, they don't have it available online for listening, but here's the playlist.