Michael Childers

Fear of Flying sold 18 million copies worldwide and helped tip feminism into a new focus on fulfilled sexuality. But it also introduced a meme so pervasive that the book's author, Erica Jong, worried the phrase "zipless f--k" would appear on her tombstone.

Jong recenly defined the phrase on NPR's Weekend Edition:

Biologist Paul Ehrlich became famous in the 1970s with his book The Population Bomb, which outlined a doomsday scenario in which the world’s supply of food and resources couldn't keep up with overpopulation.

Why not let one of Connecticut's best-selling authors tell it in her own words?:

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by Faith Middleton

Gather around book buddies. It's time to join in the hunt for books that will make life interesting. Whether you want escape, pleasure, thrills, wisdom, information, learning, or laughs, you'll hear about all kinds of good reads on our Book Show… Mysteries, Science, History, Comedy, Biographies, Thrillers, Memoirs, Politics, Food, Travel.

Chion Wolf

As a shot in the dark, this week I asked my rather large Facebook audience whether any of them were lapsed Catholics thinking about tiptoeing back to the church based on the recent comments of Pope Francis, who talked about rebalancing the church's priorities with possibly less emphasis on what he called an obsession with abortion, contraception and same-sex marriage.

From Norvelt to Nowhere is a book that begins in the shadow of nuclear annihilation, during the Cuban missile crisis in 1962. The first few paragraphs also disclose that nine elderly women in the town of Norvelt are dead by poison.

Did we mention it's a kids' book, too?

There are a lot of fascinating details hiding below the surface in the world of color. For instance, scientists once thought the average color of the entire universe was turquoise — until they recalculated and realized it was beige.

In Japan, you wait at a stoplight until it turns from red to blue, even though it's the same green color as American stoplights.

And in World War II, the British painted a whole flotilla of warships pinkish-purple so they'd blend in with the sky at dusk and confuse the Germans. That's right — pink warships.

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Faith's motto on The Book Show is… Life is short, but it can be ever so wide.

Join Faith and her book buddies for a call-in show recommending terrific books to read in all categories.

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If you seek parallels between J.D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon they're easy to find. Both were literary geniuses. Both were publicity-shunning recluses. Both men were psychosexually arrested by God knows what primal wound.

Salinger seemed able to bond only with very young women and girls. Pynchon had a pattern -- somehow linked to inability to form normal alliances --  of hijacking the wives and partners of his friends.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

 Wally Lamb, the best-selling author, advocate for female prisoners, and frequent contributor to The Colin McEnroe Show, reported last night that the Connecticut Department of Corrections had banned his book "She's Come Undone" and put "I'll Fly Away" on an "endangered list."  

Then we got this statement from the State Department of Correction less than a day after the news broke: 

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The Book Show gang joins Faith with recommendations in all categories. What’re you reading? What’ve you recently read and loved? Are you a librarian? A teacher? Are you part of a book club? Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter.


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Goddess of the Market: Ayn Rand and the American Right
by Jennifer Burns

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Join the Food Schmooze gang for a look at post-summer grilling. Plus, the cookbooks Wine Bites: 64 Nibbles That Pair Perfectly with Wine and The Book Club Cookbook: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors.

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Why do the smartest students often do poorly on standardized tests? Why did you tank that interview or miss that golf swing when you should have had it in the bag? Why do you mess up when it matters the most—and how can you perform your best instead?

Jonathan McNicol photo

The linguist John McWhorter joins us to talk about his book What Language Is (And What It Isn't, and What It Could Be). From Standard English to Black English; obscure tongues only spoken by a few thousand people in the world to the big ones like Mandarin—What Language Is celebrates the history and curiosities of languages around the world and smashes our assumptions about "correct" grammar. Plus, a look at the career con man and serial impostor Clark Rockefeller, who wasn't, ya know, actually a Rockefeller at all.

Harriet Jones

It's a common story for a personal passion to lead to a business opportunity. For one Connecticut entrepreneur it was the convergence of two passions -- baseball and art -- that launched her on the road to success. 



"Well, I grew up listening to the Red Sox on the radio, and on the only station that we had on our TV, you know, back in the Seventies. And my dad was a baseball coach and an umpire, so we just grew up with the Red Sox as sort of part of the family."

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The Book Show gang joins Faith with recommendations in all categories.


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Today’s show features two loosely-related interviews. Billy Collins is probably the most popular poet in the United States and this summer he’s guest curating and guest voicing The Writer’s Almanac, a popular Garrison Keillor radio segment which showcases one poem every day and then looks back-- usually because of birthdays—at creators of the past.

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This hour, we look at Pam Powell’s Salad Days: Recipes for Delicious Organic Salads and Dressings for Every Season. And all-star Jacques Pépin joins us to discuss Essential Pepin.

How Can We Make Kids Enjoy Summer Reading?

Jul 31, 2013
Flickr Creative Commons, Tom (hmm a rosa tint)

Summer’s here, surf’s up, and you can watch all your favorite TV episodes in re-runs, but instead you have to read — what? David Copperfield? Eight-hundred pages long? That doesn’t seem fair. But that’s what your school told you to read. 

I’m Mark Oppenheimer, your guest host for the Colin McEnroe Show, and today we’ll be talking about summer reading. Not the kind you choose to do, but the kind your school makes you do. The kind you get tested on in September.

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If you've ever read a book on an e-reader, unleashed your inner rock star playing Guitar Hero, built a robot with LEGO Mindstorms, or ridden in a vehicle with child-safe air bags, then you've experienced first hand just a few of the astounding innovations that have come out of the MIT Media Lab over the past 25 years. We'll look at the transformative innovations that these digital magicians have up their sleeves for the coming years with Frank Moss, author of The Sorcerers and Their Apprentices.

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One of the world's most beautiful endangered species, butterflies are as lucrative as gorillas, pandas, and rhinos on the black market. In this cutthroat $200 million business, no one was more successful—or posed a greater ecological danger—than Yoshi Kojima. Jessica Speart’s Winged Obsession covers the pursuit of the world’s most notorious butterfly smuggler. Speart is our guest.

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Today we'll talk about the art of biography. When you think about it, it's a strange thing for a writer to do. Spending years learning every detail of another human's life.

Do biographers ever get sick of their subjects? Do they rue the day they decided to immerse themselves in another person's life? Or do they get infatuated?

In The Mood For Some New Summer Music?

Jul 24, 2013
Glenn Hall

Been searching for that new band? Or a cool summer song you can blast while driving on I-84 with your windows down? Well, we got your back ...

Today, The Colin McEnroe Show welcomed their seasonal panel of music mavens. Their picks were good. Like really good. If you asked me to name a couple of my favorites, I'd suggest Jason Isbell (who will play at the Arch Street Tavern in Hartford on Sunday, Aug. 4), Colorway (a band from Northampton), and the fantastic psych-rock 12 string guitar on "Shelter Song" by Temples, a UK-based quartet.

Chion Wolf

You know who needs this show today?


I'm having a musically starved summer, at least in terms of modern recorded music. I've made it out to some live shows, but I really have no idea what's being released these days.

I can sum up my relation to music his summer in the following way: I was going to order the new Laura Marling CD, but I didn't. That's it. Meanwhile to force myself to do bicycle training runs every night, I've been playing an obscure 1978 Todd Rundgren song called "Determination." Sad, really.

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The world’s most popular astrophysicist, Neil deGrasse Tyson, joins us. Plus a look at Secret Sex Lives, Suzy Spencer’s year on the fringes of American sexuality.

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Elliott Plack / Flickr Creative Commons

Today we’ll talk to two veterans of the Iraq war. Brian Castner served three tours of duty in the Middle East, two of them as the commander of an Explosive Ordnance Disposal unit in Iraq. His book, The Long Walk, chronicles his "story of war and the life that follows."

When veteran Kevin Powers returned from Iraq, he turned his experiences there into The Yellow Birds, a novel about two young privates trying to stay alive at war. Castner and Powers join us for the full hour.