Arts and Culture

Susan Orlean

For as long as she can remember, Susan Orlean has had a favorite book, "The Sound and the Fury," by William Faulkner. A Southern gothic novel set over a period of three decades, the book explores the lives of the members of one family, the Compsons. Told from multiple perspectives and set in several time periods, it’s not a chronological or easy read.More

Ruth Ozeki pulling a book from the beach.

Books can take us anywhere, but they can also take us any time. Ruth Ozeki pulls us through time and across an ocean in her novel "A Tale For the Time Being."More

Henry Morton Stanley (center) meets David Livingstone (right)

Nineteenth century European explorer David Livingstone died of malaria nearly 150 years ago, but as author Petina Gappah explains, Africans are still debating his legacy today as they assess the impact of European colonialism.More

'RuPaul's Drag Race' Season 11

The streaming age means our shows are watched individually, on our own time. That makes it all the more remarkable that a television show about drag queens can bring people together in person.More

gathering for food

Staff meetings, family reunions, dinner parties — even with all the digital ways we have to connect, face-to-face gatherings are still a regular part of our lives. Priya Parker thinks we need new traditions to make those gatherings meaningful.More

boring meeting

Author and speaker Mamie Stewart offers six ways that your meetings could be more productive — and less miserable.More

Reaching for 0 decibels

The world is getting noisier and it's hurting us. When George Mickelson Foy got worried about all of the toxic noise in his life, he set on a quest for absolute silence.More

rock and roll

For author Jennifer Egan — whose novel "A Visit From The Goon Squad" documents the inner life of lifelong rock and roll stars—the pauses in rock ballads might say as much or more than the riffs.More

AI robots and dragons

Victor LaValle is the editor of a collection of short stories where — even in dire situations and terrifying futures — everyone has a place, and a chance at being the hero.More

Football

Point of attack. Defensive Line. Football and war have a lot in common. Former foreign policy advisor to President Bill Clinton Michael Mandelbaum talks conflict and the game.More

Eula Biss

"On Immunity: An Inoculation" author Eula Biss recommends a memoir in which author Maggie Nelson asks questions that bend conventions about gender, sexuality, motherhood, family and identity itself.More

Common

Rapper Common is eager to talk about hope – specifically, how we can make hope in our lives.More

Megan Stielstra

Author Megan Stielstra tells the story of how she first crossed paths with "The Chronology of Water," Lidia Yuknavitch's award-winning memoir — the anti-memoir that broke new ground for speaking with candor about the joy and the pain of living.More

Paul Beatty

Paul Beatty, the Booker Prize Winning Author of "The Sellout" recommends "The Nazi and the Barber," a novel by Holocaust survivor Edgar Hilsenrath. More

The Sellout

Talking about race is fraught these days, so it took guts for Paul Beatty to write his novel "The Sellout." It's a satire about a young black man who winds up on trial at the Supreme Court. And along the way, he enslaves an old friend and re-segregates the local high school.More

Yuval Noah Harari

Sometimes you stumble upon a book that sets you on a whole new path. For Israeli historian and philosopher Yuval Norah Harari — author of "Sapiens," "Homo Deus," and "21 Lessons for the 21st Century" — it wasn’t a novel, a memoir, or even a history book that changed his world. It was a book about chimpanzees.More

Lidia Yuknavitch

The main character in Jeff VanderMeer’s other-worldly tale is a polymorphous bear who moves in magical and unexpected ways, and keeps secrets in his fur. It’s both a futuristic story and one with deep history, the kind of dystopian fiction that drew Yuknavitch in, again, and again.More

Spruce Grain Picea #0909-11A07 (9,550; Sweden) Rachel Sussman

Photographer Rachel Sussman has documented 30 of the oldest living things in the world. Beautiful and romantic, her photos document both the adaptation and fragility inherent to surviving for tens of thousands of years. More

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