Kieran Setiya

Midlife: A Philosophical Guide – Ep 33 with Kieran Setiya

How can you reconcile yourself with the lives you will never lead, with possibilities foreclosed, and with nostalgia for lost youth? How can you accept the failings of the past, the sense of futility in the tasks that consume the present, and the prospect of death that blights the future? In this self-help book with a difference, Kieran Setiya confronts the inevitable challenges of adulthood and middle age, showing how philosophy can help you thrive.

You will learn why missing out might be a good thing, how options are overrated, and when you should be glad you made a mistake. You will be introduced to philosophical consolations for mortality. And you will learn what it would mean to live in the present, how it could solve your midlife crisis, and why meditation helps.

Ranging from Aristotle, Schopenhauer, and John Stuart Mill to Virginia Woolf and Simone de Beauvoir, as well as drawing on Setiya’s own experience, Midlife combines imaginative ideas, surprising insights, and practical advice. Writing with wisdom and wit, Setiya makes a wry but passionate case for philosophy as a guide to life.

Kieran teaches Philosophy at MIT, working mainly in ethics, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind. In addition to Midlife: A Philosophical Guide, he is the author of Practical Knowledge, Reasons without Rationalism, and Knowing Right From Wrong. His work has been featured in Aeon, Hi-Phi Nation, Why? Radio, Five Books, the Guardian, and the New York Times. He has also written about baseball and philosophy. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

Check out Kieran’s Amazon Author Page
Kieran is also on Twitter

Continue reading …
Michael Nye

All The Castles Burned – Ep 32 with Michael Nye

Set in the early 1990s, All The Castles Burned is about Owen Webb, the son of working-class parents, receives a scholarship to the prestigious Rockcastle Preparatory Academy. He is befriended by the enigmatic Carson Bly, an upperclassman from a wealthy and powerful family. Their friendship, deepened through a love of basketball, becomes an obsession. During the summer before his sophomore year, Owen’s father is arrested for a shocking and unexpected crime. With his family torn apart, his anger and fear are carefully manipulated by Carson, whose mercurial personality becomes increasingly dangerous. Their once promising future begins to unravel in a tragic and unavoidable way.

Michael Nye is the author of two books, the story collection Strategies Against Extinction and the novel All the Castles Burned. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in American Literary Review, Boulevard, Cincinnati Review, Crab Orchard Review, Epoch, Hobart, Kenyon Review, and the Normal School, among many others. He lives in Columbus, Ohio. I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did.

Find Michael on:

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

Amazon Author

GoodReads

LinkedIn

Continue reading …
Laurie Gwen Shapiro

The Stowaway – Ep 31 with Laurie Gwen Shapiro

The Stowaway is the spectacular, true story of a scrappy teenager from New York’s Lower East Side who stowed away on the Roaring Twenties’ most remarkable feat of science and daring: an expedition to Antarctica.

It was 1928: a time of illicit booze, of Gatsby and Babe Ruth, of freewheeling fun. The Great War was over and American optimism was higher than the stock market. What better moment to launch an expedition to Antarctica, the planet’s final frontier? There wouldn’t be another encounter with an unknown this magnificent until Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon.

Everyone wanted in on the adventure. Rockefellers and Vanderbilts begged to be taken along as mess boys, and newspapers across the globe covered the planning’s every stage. And then, the night before the expedition’s flagship set off, Billy Gawronski—a mischievous, first-generation New York City high schooler desperate to escape a dreary future in the family upholstery business—jumped into the Hudson River and snuck aboard.

Could he get away with it?

From the soda shops of New York’s Lower East Side to the dance halls of sultry Francophone Tahiti, all the way to Antarctica’s blinding white and deadly freeze, Laurie Gwen Shapiro’s The Stowaway takes you on the unforgettable voyage of a plucky young stowaway who became a Jazz Age celebrity, a mascot for an up-by-your bootstraps era.

Laurie Gwen Shapiro is a native of New York City’s Lower East Side. She has most recently written articles for publications including The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Daily Beast, Slate, Aeon, Los Angeles Review of Books, and has her own history column focusing on unsung heroes for The Forward. Shapiro is also a documentary filmmaker who won an Independent Spirit Award for directing IFC’s Keep the River On Your Right: A Modern Cannibal Tale and an Emmy nomination for producing HBO’s Finishing Heaven. The Stowaway is her first non-fiction book.

Continue reading …
Ana Simo

Heartland – Ep 30 with Ana Simo

In a word-drunk romp through an alternate, preapocalyptic America, Ana Simo’s fiction debut, Heartland, turns the classic murder mystery on its head with the story of a thwarted author’s elaborate revenge on the woman who stole her lover, blending elements of telenovela, lesbian pulp noir, and dystopian satire.

Ana Simo is a New York playwright, essayist, and lesbian activist. Born and raised in Cuba, she immigrated to Paris in time to witness the May 1968 revolt, and participate in early women’s and gay and lesbian rights groups. Since moving to New York in 1973, she has written some dozen plays, collaborated with experimental artists, and co-founded literary and activist projects. She recently finished a second novel, Tannhäuser’s Dream, and is currently writing a new one, titled Divine Light.

Continue reading …
Jenn Jordan

Darwin Carmichael Is Going To Hell – Ep 29 with Jenn Jordan

It’s tough living in the 21st century, when mythical beings not only roam the earth, but camp out on your sofa and raid your refrigerator. Jobs are scarce; angels infest Brooklyn (the demons have taken all the good property in Manhattan) and minor gods bus tables at the local diner. The mortals of New York must balance not only their checkbooks but keep a close eye on their souls’ karmic account.

Darwin lives in Brooklyn, the borough of choice for hipsters, artists, deities and an assortment of mythological creatures. Darwin has a problem. Due to an unfortunate incident involving some intense snogging, an unbalanced high chair, and a framed image of the Buddha, he acquired a massive karmic deficit. Long story short, he’s going to go to Hell. Darwin doesn’t particularly want to go to Hell, so he’s doing everything he can to save his immortal soul.

Managing his complete karmic rehabilitation, a soul-crippling day-job in financial aid counseling, life in a ridiculously gentrified, rent-inflated neighborhood, and a pack of free-loading stoner angels is tricky, to say the least.

His best friend, Ella Fitzgerald, the daughter of saints with good karma to burn, coaches Darwin on saving his soul. His 2000 year old pet manticore, Skittles, provides moral support, the wisdom of the ancients, and fluffy hugs. Darwin must contend with his obnoxious roommate—art student and suspected alien Matt Westbury—but there’s also his friendly minotaur landlord, Patrick, who drinks Darwin’s beer and fixes the sink.

Every day is a fresh hell, but it’s a chance at redemption.


Jenn is the co-author of Darwin Carmichael is Going to Hell with Sophie Goldstein, with whom she is working on her second book. She is also a graduate student in medieval history at Stony Brook University, where she is writing a dissertation on women in medieval Sicily and Southern Italy.

Continue reading …
Anca Szilágyi

Daughters of the Air – Ep 28 with Anca Szilágyi

Tatiana “Pluta” Spektor was a mostly happy, if awkward, young girl–until her sociologist father was disappeared during Argentina’s Dirty War. Sent a world away by her grieving mother to attend boarding school outside New York City, Pluta wrestles alone with the unresolved tragedy and at last runs away: to the streets of Brooklyn in 1980, where she figuratively–and literally–spreads her wings. Told with haunting fabulist imagery by debut novelist Anca L. Szilagyi, this searing tale of love, loss, estrangement, and coming of age is an unflinching exploration of the personal devastation wrought by political repression.

Anca L. Szilágyi grew up in Brooklyn. Her debut novel, Daughters of the Air, releases December 2017. Her essays and short stories appear in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Electric Literature, Gastronomica, and Fairy Tale Review, among other publications. She is the recipient of the inaugural Artist Trust / Gar LaSalle Storyteller Award, a Made at Hugo House fellowship, and awards from the Vermont Studio Center, 4Culture, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, and the Jack Straw Cultural Center. The Stranger hailed Anca as one of the “fresh new faces in Seattle fiction.” She lives in Seattle with her husband. Learn more about her at ancawrites.com.

Anca’s social media:

Twitter

Instagram

Goodreads

Continue reading …
Karen Swan

The Paris Secret – Ep 27 with Karen Swan

In this glittering tale of forgotten treasures and long-held secrets, international bestseller Karen Swan explores one woman’s journey to discovering the truth behind an abandoned apartment and a family whose mysteries may be better left undiscovered.

When high-powered fine art agent Flora Sykes is called in to assess objets d’art in a Paris apartment that has been abandoned since WWII, she is skeptical at first—until she discovers that the treasure trove of paintings is myriad…and priceless. The powerful Vermeil family to whom they belong is eager to learn more and asks Flora to trace the history of each painting.

Despite a shocking announcement that has left her own family reeling, Flora finds herself thrown into the glamorous world of the Vermeils. But she soon realizes there is more to this project than first appears. As she researches the provenance of their prize Renoir, she uncovers a scandal surrounding the painting—and a secret that goes to the very heart of the family. The fallout will place Flora in the eye of a storm that carries her from London to Vienna to the glittering coast of Provence.

Xavier Vermeil, the brusque scion of the family, is determined to separate Flora from his family’s affairs in spite of their powerful attraction to one another. Just what are the secrets he is desperately trying to hide? And what price is Flora willing to pay to uncover the devastating truth…?

Karen Swan began her career in fashion journalism before giving it all up to raise her three children and a puppy, and to pursue her ambition of becoming a writer. She lives in the forest in Sussex, writing her books in a treehouse overlooking the Downs. Her books include Christmas at Tiffany’s, Summer at Tiffany’s, The Perfect Present, Christmas in the Snow, Christmas on Primrose Hill and The Paris Secret.

Continue reading …
Sarah Scoles

Jill Tarter and The Search For Extraterrestrial Intelligence – Ep 26 with Sarah Scoles

For anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky and wondered, “Are we alone?” Sarah Scoles examines the science behind the search for extraterrestrial intelligence and its pioneer, Jill Tarter, the inspiration for the main character in Carl Sagan’s Contact.

Jill Tarter is a pioneer, an innovator, an adventurer, and a controversial force. At a time when women weren’t encouraged to do much outside the home, Tarter ventured as far out as she could―into the three-Kelvin cold of deep space. And she hasn’t stopped investigating a subject that takes and takes without giving much back.

Today, her computer’s screensaver is just the text “SO…ARE WE ALONE?” This question keeps her up at night. In some ways, this is the question that keep us all up at night. We have all spent dark hours wondering about our place in it all, pondering our “aloneness,” both terrestrial and cosmic. Tarter’s life and her work are not just a quest to understand life in the universe: they are a quest to understand our lives within the universe. No one has told that story, her story, until now.

It all began with gazing into the night sky. All those stars were just distant suns―were any of them someone else’s sun? Diving into the science, philosophy, and politics of SETI―searching for extraterrestrial intelligence―Sarah Scoles reveals the fascinating figure at the center of the final frontier of scientific investigation. This is the perfect book for anyone who has ever looked up at the night sky and wondered if we are alone in the universe.


Sarah Scoles a Denver-based freelance science journalist and contributor at WIRED Science. She is the author of MAKING CONTACT: JILL TARTER AND THE SEARCH FOR EXTRATERRESTRIAL INTELLIGENCE, and her work has appeared in The Atlantic, the Washington Post, Motherboard, Scientific American, Popular Science, and others. Previously, she was was an associate editor at Astronomy and a public education officer at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Green Bank, West Virginia. She has an MFA in Fiction Writing from Cornell University and a BA in Astrophysics from Agnes Scott College.

Continue reading …
Lindsay Krasnoff

The Making of Les Bleus – Ep 25 with Lindsay Krasnoff

Dr. Lindsay Sarah Krasnoff is an international sports writer, historian, and consultant, working at the intersections of sports, international affairs, and global communications. The author of The Making of Les Bleus: Sport in France, 1958-2010, her work on how identity, immigration, race, gender, and diplomacy play into our world today appears in CNN International, Sports Illustrated, Roads & Kingdoms, The New Yorker, The New York Times, Review France Forum, Vice Sport, and more.

The Making of Les Bleus traces the Fifth Republic’s quest to create elite athletes in two global team sports, football and basketball, primarily at the youth level. While the objective of this mission was to improve performances at international competitions, such programs were quickly seized upon to help ease domestic issues and tensions.

Continue reading …
What are we even doing

What Are We Even Doing With Our Lives? – Ep 24 with Chelsea Marshall and Mary Dauterman

In this episode, Jon interviews Chelsea Marshall and Mary Dauterman about their book, What Are We Even Doing With Our Lives?

In this a charming, satirical “children’s” book, BuzzFeed’s animals editor turned video producer and acclaimed art director/illustrator poke fun at our contemporary, hyper-connected, and often mundane millennial age and the absurdities of the #blessed time and place in which we all now live.

Welcome to “Digi Valley,” the epitome of twenty-first-century urban life! The animal-people who call it home do cool things: life coach, cat landlord, baby DJ teacher, app developer, iPhone photographer, new media consultant, beauty blogger, and, of course, freelancer. On the street, in the coffee shop, at the farmer’s market, or the local vegan café, you’ll meet new friends like Frances and Sadie, Freelance Frank, Realtor Rick, and Bethany the Beauty Blogger as they bike, drive, bus, hoverboard, and Uber their way around town–or just sit and enjoy a latte while doing important things on their devices.

Everybody in Digi Valley is very, very busy–texting, tweeting, video chatting, sending selfies, swiping for dates, and binging on their favorite shows. Whether you’re looking for a job at the latest media startup or want to publish your own web series, this urban mecca has something for everyone. And with the emotionally sensitive, tech-friendly Digi Valley Elementary School, it’s a great place to raise kids too!

In What Are We Even Doing With Our Lives? Chelsea Marshall and Mary Dauterman have created an authentic fictional world that illuminates the funny, silly, earnest experience of millennial life. But watch out when the unthinkable happens–the internet goes down! Filled with dozens of illustrated spreads, What Are We Even Doing With Our Lives? is the most honest children’s book for all ages ever written . . . like seriously.

Chelsea Marshall is the lead animals editor at BuzzFeed, where her written and video content has amassed hundreds of millions of views (yes, indeed, it is truly viral). Chelsea also has a history in television, having worked for The Colbert Report, SNL, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. In addition to running the successful animal section at BuzzFeed, she travels the country doing improv, hosting shows with headliners like SNL’s Michael Che, and leading BuzzFeed’s humor-writing workshops. She has been profiled by GQ and Time magazine for her humor writing and flown across the country to lead a panel for CatCon and interview a surfing potbelly pig. She has a sassy shiba named Hadley Bean who has a beautiful face.

Mary Dauterman is a Brooklyn based creative who works in a variety of mediums. She is the author/illustrator of What Are We Even Doing With Our Lives? (Dey Street, 2017) and Dirty Library (Running Press, 2014), two sarcastic picture books she made with two of her best buds.

Continue reading …