Stephanie Bastek

Stephanie Bastek  is the associate editor of the Scholar and the producer/host of the Smarty Pants podcast.

In Search of the Good Death

Examining our changing relationship with the afterlife

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 23, 2020

Quoth the Raven

There’s evermore to ravens than you think

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 09, 2020

Do You Believe in Magic?

A global history of our oldest—and most maligned—practice

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 16, 2020

Meet the Dean of American Cooking

How James Beard cultivated the authentic flavors of our cuisine

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 02, 2020

Who’s the Nerd Now?

How geek culture finally triumphed

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 25, 2020

How to Save Farming From Itself

The “quiet emergency” created by industrial agriculture

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 11, 2020

How Architecture Shapes Our Emotions

Why we shouldn’t give up on how cities make us feel

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 04, 2020

Jeremy Irons Reads T. S. Eliot

The legendary actor on why poetry matters

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 28, 2020

Studying Stones

What rocks reveal about the stories we’ve lost and the stories we tell

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 21, 2020

All the Fish in the Sea

The story of a Senegalese fishing community on the brink

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 14, 2020

Neglected Books Revisited, Part 2

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, July 20, 2015

This Is How an Empire Falls

The discomforting parallels between our current moment and the end of Rome

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 07, 2020

Neglected Books Revisited, Part 1

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, July 08, 2015

I Want to Believe

Hunting down America’s favorite fringe stories, cryptids, and alien encounters

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 31, 2020

The Oldest Living Music in the World

One man’s quest to uncover the mysteries of Europe’s most enduring folk songs

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 24, 2020

Twin Pandemics

A conversation about Covid-19 and racism with Philip Alcabes and Harriet Washington

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 17, 2020

Preaching the Floral Gospel

How the Plant Messiah saves species from the brink of extinction

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 10, 2020

Read Me A Poem, Won’t You?

Behind the scenes of our sister podcast

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 03, 2020

Whale Song

Unlocking the mysteries of the world’s largest mammals with old bones and new technology

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 26, 2020

Founding Falsehoods

Reconsidering how we’ve been telling stories about American history

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 19, 2020

The Antebellum Feminine Mystique

Contrary to fables, white female slave owners in the South were just as deeply invested in the institution as their male counterparts

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 12, 2020

Still Junk Science

How scientific inquiry has been complicit in, or explicitly aligned with, racism and white supremacy

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 05, 2020

Junk Science

How belief in biological racial difference pollutes the world of science, from eugenics to genetics

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 09, 2019

Let Me Tell You a Story

Audiobooks to disappear into

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Reading Together, Alone

Books were social media all along

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 29, 2020

Cræft in the Time of Corona

What we make with our hands tell us a lot about ourselves, even in a pandemic

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 22, 2020

Spy Games and Secrets

Matthew Quirk opens the dossier on thriller writing

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 15, 2020

Trouble Brewing

The story of how coffee recalibrated the world

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 08, 2020

Tropical Troublemakers

A new novel explores the true life and crimes of O. Henry

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 01, 2020

The Queen of American Folk Music

Resurrecting the legacy of Odetta, voice of the Civil Rights Movement

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 24, 2020

Here’s to Drinking at Home

Resurrecting a 500-year-old classic on how to partake

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 17, 2020

Dressing for Disaster

What does what we wear say about us?

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 10, 2020

A Good Time for Opera

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 03, 2020

Coronavirus vs. the Urban Commons

How can communal endeavors survive a pandemic?

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 27, 2020

What Zombie Movies Can Teach Us About Viruses

Dissecting how outbreak narratives infected our worldview

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 20, 2020

Zombies and Plagues and Bombs, Oh My!

How hyperbolic outbreak narratives have infected our worldview—from media to the government

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 23, 2018

How Global Agriculture Grew a Pandemic

The COVID-19 crisis was preventable—if only we’d listened to the epidemiologists sounding the alarm

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 13, 2020

All Your Friends Are Listening to This Podcast

How we can combine peer pressure and public policy to make the world a better place

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 06, 2020

Gimme Shelter

How housing became the foremost symbol of inequality, and what we can do about it

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 28, 2020

Past is Present

How violence, exploitation, and religion have ruled Latin America’s history—and might portend its future

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 21, 2020

The Meaning of Minimalism

Going beyond its glossy lifestyle image to the existentialism at its heart

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 14, 2020

The Global Garage Sale

What happens to all the stuff we downsize, declutter, and discard?

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 13, 2019

House of Mirrors

Carmen Maria Machado on her meta-memoir of a harrowing relationship

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 06, 2019

Getting Physical

How people experienced their bodies in the Middle Ages

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, November 22, 2019

A Good Yarn

Once upon a time, a woman adopted a 676-pound bale of wool and got an inside look at a disappearing industry

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, November 08, 2019

Live, Laugh, Love Ancient Philosophy

Bringing self-help back to its ancient Greek roots

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 11, 2019

From Black Cabs to Blacklisted

Mike Isaac on how Uber went so wrong

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 25, 2019

Where the Wild Things Are

How a radical conservation effort is transforming a former farm into a verdant, biodiverse landscape—and challenging our ideas about what conservation looks like

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 18, 2019

The Banjo and the Ballot Box

How country music has been used on the campaign trail—and in political office

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 04, 2019

What Makes a Refugee?

A writer explores how displaced people, and adopted countries, should respond to the highest levels of displacement on record

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 27, 2019

Why Has American Classical Music Ignored Its Black Past?

And the immigrant composer who predicted a different future

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 13, 2019

Fashion Kills

How our hunger for more clothes is killing the environment and exploiting workers

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 06, 2019

The Next Menu

What will our dinner tables look like 30 years into the climate crisis?

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 30, 2019

One Job Should Be Enough

How workers’ voices were silenced in America—and how they’re fighting back

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 23, 2019

Bloodsuckers

How the mosquito changed human history—for better and for worse

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 16, 2019

A Delicate Elephant Balance

Could human partnership be the secret to saving this Asian giant?

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 02, 2019

You Never Step Into the Same Internet Twice

Linguist Gretchen McCulloch on the new rules of language

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 26, 2019

Aida’s Story

What one woman’s life between two countries can teach us about the humanitarian crisis at the border

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 12, 2019

How a Language Dies

Chronicling the disappearance of a remote Papua New Guinean tongue—and everything else that goes with it

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 28, 2019

Crimes Against Sexuality

How true crime stories were used to fan the flames of homophobia—and let killers get away with murder

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 21, 2019

Stick Shifts and Safety Belts

How car culture swallowed America

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 14, 2019

The Wine-Merchant’s Son’s Tale

The first biography of Geoffrey Chaucer in a generation explores the places that inspired the English poet

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 07, 2019

Meat Made

How 19th-century beef created modern America

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 31, 2019

The Space Between Our Ears

How movement, gesture, and spatial reasoning form the foundation of thoughts

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 17, 2019

Totes Adorbs

A philosopher digs into the subversive meaning of “cuteness”

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 10, 2019

Little Boxes, Big Ideas

Looking to America’s history of experimental suburbs to solve the housing crisis

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 03, 2019

The Ten Commandments of Bible Translation

Robert Alter talks about capturing the art of the original Hebrew

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 19, 2019

“Making Books Is a Countercultural Act”

A glimpse into the inner workings of a polyphonic publishing house

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 26, 2019

Daughters of War

Writing women back into battle

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 12, 2019

Not Ready to Make Nice

Meet Lillian Smith, forgotten southern radical

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 05, 2019

The Man Who Changed the Face of Spring

How an English eccentric saved Japan’s cherry blossoms—and spread them around the world

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 29, 2019

White Like Me

How a photograph of a young girl transformed a movement

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 22, 2019

A Woman’s Place

White female slave owners in the South were just as deeply invested in the institution as their male counterparts

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 15, 2019

The Backdoor to Equality

Alternative arguments for fair treatment

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 08, 2019

A Different Sort of Superhero

Black Panther reminds us of comic book protagonists outside the mainstream

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 01, 2019

The Gray Edges of Blackness

Emily Bernard’s essays explore her own experience of race in America

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 22, 2019

Postcolonial Punchlines

Alain Mabanckou on what a joke can do

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 15, 2019

Heroin’s Long History

What our historical fascination with opium can tell us about the present

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 08, 2019

Searching for the Spirit of Acid House

Has electronic dance music lost its soul?

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 01, 2019

The Snow Maiden

Our final episode of 2018 is a send-off to the solstice

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 21, 2018

The Microscopic House Guest

Coming to terms with the abundance of life in our homes

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 07, 2018

Opera 101

A crash course in how to love one of the most elusive art forms

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, November 30, 2018

Through a Lens Darkly

A photographer on how we represent conflict

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, November 16, 2018

Too Much Future

How East German punks tore down the Berlin Wall

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, November 09, 2018

Bad Blood

Why the 17th-century vampire still haunts us today

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, October 31, 2018

The Future Is Feminist Book Collecting

How women are shaking up the rarefied world of antiquarian books

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 26, 2018

Threepenny Thriller

An 18th-century thief gets a 21st-century update

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 28, 2018

Shifting Sands

We’re almost out of this tiny grain—and we’re only now beginning to pay attention

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 21, 2018

Black Birds of the Tower

There’s evermore to ravens than you think

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 12, 2018

Something Witchy This Way Comes

The social forces at work behind history’s favorite scapegoat

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 05, 2018

Fryderyk Chopin: A Life and Times

A video teaser for Alan Walker’s new biography

by Stephanie Bastek | Thursday, September 20, 2018

Weirdo Capital of the West

The fantastical saga of Oklahoma City

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 14, 2018

Smell Ya Later

How 19th-century Americans used their noses to fight for urban change

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 07, 2018

A Road Unforeseen

Read an excerpt from Meredith Tax’s book about the women fighting the Islamic State—and winning

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Women v. ISIS

Feminism in the Syrian desert, microbes everywhere, and one agony aunt

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Long Live the Library

Our favorite public institution provides far more than books

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 24, 2018

Strange Fruit and Stolen Lives

The ugly story of the whitest county in America

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 17, 2018

Call of the Wild

How a radical conservation effort has transformed a former farm

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 10, 2018

Making the Most of #MeToo

A second-wave feminist on 21st-century feminism

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 03, 2018

Wonderbrain

Inside the extraordinary minds of people who feel others’ emotions, hear hallucinations, and get lost in their own homes

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 27, 2018

No-No Novel

Resurrecting the legacy of John Okada, the first Japanese-American novelist

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 20, 2018

Get Rich or Die Trying

In the shadow of the Silicon Valley of death

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 04, 2018

Stitching History

What an old quilt can teach us about antebellum America

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 11, 2018

Revenge of the Nerds

How geek culture finally triumphed

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, May 25, 2018

An Epirotic Odyssey

One man’s quest to uncover Europe’s oldest surviving folk music

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 01, 2018

Go Tell It on the Mountain

A tribute to our protected wilderness

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 22, 2018

Letter From Underwater

Facing rising sea levels on our own shores

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 15, 2018

Lock Her Up

The decades-long U.S. government plan to imprison “promiscuous” women

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 08, 2018

How to Be a Wolf

An ode to Anthony Bourdain

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 08, 2018

A Whale of a Show

Unlocking the mysteries of the world’s largest mammals with old bones and new technology

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 29, 2018

Wimbledon Unwound

The surprising sexual politics of tennis

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 06, 2018

Graveyard Clay and The Dirty Dust

Compare two translations of “Cré na Cille,” Máirtín Ó Cadhain’s Irish masterpiece

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, March 16, 2016

When the Chicken Hits the Fan

Bobbie Ann Mason on fiction and character

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 27, 2018

The Floral Gospel

How the Plant Messiah saves species from the brink of extinction

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 20, 2018

Voicing a Legend

Jeremy Irons on reading T. S. Eliot and why poetry matters

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 13, 2018

Go Fish

The story of a Senegalese fishing community on the brink

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 06, 2018

Burmese Daze

How political powers in Myanmar engineered the Rohingya crisis

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 30, 2018

To Infinity (and Beyond!)

Math for the masses

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 23, 2018

The Killers’ Canon

What the publishing habits of the 20th century’s dictators reveal

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 16, 2018

Top of the Tots

What child prodigies have to tell us about our achievement obsession

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 09, 2018

Renaissance Rumor Mill

The man behind the great men of the Renaissance

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 16, 2018

Reclaiming Craftiness

What the things we make with our hands tell us about ourselves

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 09, 2018

A Revolutionary Change of Heart

How a moving essay on war and suffering sprang from a childhood book

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 02, 2018

Rhapsodies in Blue

Vulgar tongues, cruel etymologies, and a spot of poetry

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 15, 2017

Once and Future Food

Imagining a new world of teas and tastes

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 29, 2017

Back in the USSR

A glimpse inside the house that Stalin built, and Italy’s anti-fascist First Family

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 13, 2017

Witches Never Die

Burial practices around the world, from mummies to dancing skulls, and the history of magic’s bad girls

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 27, 2017

The Three Percent

Literature in translation—including the first fiction ever published in English from Madagascar and Tibet

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, November 10, 2017

Jane Austen and the Making of Desire

On being a Regency fanboy, and America’s weird relationship with sex

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, November 20, 2017

Funny Business

Cullen Murphy on growing up in the golden age of make-believe

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 08, 2017

Brainwaves

A composer and a neuroscientist unravel the story of human creativity

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 15, 2017

CSI: Roman Empire

How climate change and disease might have been the real killers

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 22, 2017

School’s Out for Segregation

How charter schools and other private measures undermine a public good

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, January 26, 2018

Seeing Red

How the artistic avant-garde made a modern China

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, January 12, 2018

Scientists and Saints

Women’s roles and rituals under the microscope

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 01, 2017

Lady Pirates and Oceans of Plastic

One very daring journey and the pirate who puts Blackbeard to shame

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, August 11, 2017

What the Nose Knows

Smell detectives, laughing gas, and all the forces we cannot see

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, July 28, 2017

Love Games and First Impressions

How to judge tennis—or a stranger’s face

by Stephanie Bastek | Thursday, July 13, 2017

From Beer to Eternity

Exploring ancient ales and fermentation re-creations

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, June 27, 2017

From the Horse’s Mouth

True tales of horse historians, mad bombers, and infinite jam jars

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, June 09, 2017

Twin Peaks

Reporting from the world’s highlines and highlands

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Fox in the Big House

Soviets, poetry, and foxes, oh my!

by Stephanie Bastek | Thursday, April 20, 2017

Out of the Closet and Into the Courts

How sex met the law, plus the coolest queen in Africa

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, April 07, 2017

All the Rage

Enlightenment, architecture, and a few Irish favorites

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 17, 2017

Unlikely Encounters

Between fact and fiction, poetry and motion, and Milton Friedman and China’s General Secretary

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, March 03, 2017

From Côte d’Ivoire to the California Coast

Plus: Phillip Lopate tells us a secret

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, February 10, 2017

Red: The History of a Color

Read an excerpt from Michel Pastoureau’s new book about the color of love and rage

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Portraits of a Movement

Plus: our new visual arts blog, and a tour of Trump’s conflict of interest

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, January 27, 2017

Mary Roach & a Double Dose of Shakespeare

Listen to the debut episode of our new podcast

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, June 13, 2016

Superheroes Are So Gay!

Dig into the queer politics of American comics

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, June 27, 2016

Reading Lolita in Maximum Security Prison

Plus: underground art beneath Dupont Circle and headless chickens in Chile

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, July 11, 2016

Go West, Young Scholar

Or, how to enjoy a California wine in a national park full of rattlesnakes

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, July 25, 2016

A New Story for Black Americans

Plus: secrets of political conventions and the alchemy of crowdsourced poetry

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Ku Klux Kounty

Plus, tall tales from Claude Monet and Betty MacDonald

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 07, 2016

High Art and Low Chairs

Plus: a book’s journey from foreign lands to American shelves, and espionage

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, October 21, 2016

Fighting the Zika Virus with John Wayne (and John Aubrey)

Well, not exactly

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, November 07, 2016

The Aftermath

Finding hope in unexpected places: prison, protest, and poetry

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Sounds Like a Revolution

An interview with Madeleine Thien, plus: catching up with Jessica Love on language

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 16, 2016

The Winners of the 2015 Phi Beta Kappa Book Awards

by Stephanie Bastek | Thursday, October 01, 2015

Scurvy: The Disease of Discovery

Read an excerpt from Jonathan Lamb’s new book about every sailor’s favorite ailment

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, December 16, 2016

Krazy

Read an excerpt from Michael Tisserand’s new biography of George Herriman

by Stephanie Bastek | Thursday, December 08, 2016

23/7

Read an excerpt from Keramet Reiter’s new book about the rise of solitary confinement

by Stephanie Bastek | Thursday, November 03, 2016

Ghostland

Read an excerpt from Colin Dickey’s history of America’s most haunted places

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, October 17, 2016

How to Travel Without Seeing

Read an excerpt from Andrés Neuman’s dispatches from Latin America

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, September 26, 2016

Weapons of Math Destruction

Read an excerpt from Cathy O’Neil’s book on how Big Data increases inequality and threatens democracy

by Stephanie Bastek | Friday, September 09, 2016

The Story of Egypt

Read an excerpt from Joann Fletcher’s book about the civilization that shaped the world

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, August 30, 2016

I Contain Multitudes

Read an excerpt from Ed Yong’s new book about the microbes within us

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Catullus’ Bedspread

Read an excerpt from Daisy Dunn’s new biography of Rome’s most erotic poet

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Engineering Eden

Read an excerpt from Jordan Fisher Smith’s new book about the trial that changed our national parks

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, July 20, 2016

“Guns Don’t Kill People, People Kill People” and Other Myths

Read an excerpt from Dennis A. Henigan’s updated book about gun control

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Neither Snow Nor Rain

Read an excerpt from Devin Leonard’s eclectic history of the U.S. Postal Service

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, June 27, 2016

The Sting of the Wild

Read an excerpt from Justin O. Schmidt’s new book about venomous bugs

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Good Neighbors

An excerpt from Nancy L. Rosenblum’s new book about everyday American life

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, June 14, 2016

India’s War

An excerpt from Srinath Raghavan’s new book about India in WWII

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, June 08, 2016

America’s Snake

An excerpt from Ted Levin’s new book about the rise and fall of the rattlesnake

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, May 24, 2016

My Life with Wagner

An excerpt from Christian Thielemann’s book about a lifetime of conducting

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, May 17, 2016

The Edge of the Empire

Travel ancient Britannia in this excerpt from Bronwen Riley’s new book

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, May 10, 2016

67 Shots

Read an excerpt from Howard Means’s new history of the Kent State shootings

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Black Hole Blues

Read an excerpt from Janna Levin’s new book about the soundtrack of the universe

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Jazz of Physics

Read an excerpt from Stephon Alexander’s book about the music of the universe

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, May 03, 2016

A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking

A brief excerpt from Adam Briggle’s new book about fighting Big Oil in Texas

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Hamburgers in Paradise

Read an excerpt from Louise O. Fresco’s new book about the story of food

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Masters of Empire

Read an excerpt from Michael A. McDonnell’s new book about Great Lakes Indians

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Unruly Equality

Read an excerpt from Andrew Cornell’s new history of anarchism

by Stephanie Bastek | Thursday, January 07, 2016

Philip Sparrow Tells All

Read an excerpt from the lost essays of Samuel Steward

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, January 11, 2016

Five Dollars and a Pork Chop Sandwich

Read an excerpt from Mary Frances Berry’s new book about vote buying

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, February 01, 2016

The Profiteers

Read an excerpt from Sally Denton’s book about the world-building Bechtel Corporation

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Almost Home

Read an excerpt from Githa Hariharan’s new collection of travel essays

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, March 23, 2016

The Rarest Bird in the World

Read an excerpt from Vernon R. L. Head’s new memoir about the search for the Nechisar Nightjar

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Mechanical Horse

Read an excerpt from Margaret Guroff’s new history of the bicycle in America

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Nothing Ever Dies

Read an excerpt from Viet Thanh Nguyen’s new book about Vietnam and the memory of war

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Meaning of the Library

A brief excerpt from a new collection of essays, edited by Alice Crawford

by Stephanie Bastek | Thursday, August 06, 2015

Strangers Drowning

A brief excerpt from Larissa MacFarquhar’s new book about extreme virtue

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Society of Genes

Read an excerpt from Itai Yanai and Martin Lercher’s new book on evolutionary biology

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Mushroom at the End of the World

An excerpt from Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing’s new book about life in ecological crisis

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You Could Look It Up

Read an excerpt from Jack Lynch’s new ode to the encyclopedia

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Changing the Subject

An excerpt from Sven Birkerts’s latest book about art in the Internet age

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, October 07, 2015

One Child

Read an excerpt from Sarah Conley’s new book about the morality of having children in our imperiled world

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, December 14, 2015

Latest Readings

A brief excerpt from Clive James’s new collection of essays

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Workshops of Empire

A brief excerpt from Eric Bennett’s new book about creative writing and the Cold War

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, October 13, 2015

South Toward Home

A brief excerpt from a new book by Margaret Eby

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Getting Screwed

Read an excerpt from Alison Bass’s new book on sex workers and the law

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, November 09, 2015

The Firebrand and the First Lady

Read an excerpt from Patricia Bell-Scott’s book about Eleanor Roosevelt and Pauli Murray

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, February 08, 2016

The Invention of Nature

A brief excerpt from Andrea Wulf’s new book about Alexander von Humboldt

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Pedigree

A brief excerpt from Nobel prizewinner Patrick Modiano’s memoir

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Mindware

A brief excerpt from Richard E. Nisbett’s new book

by Stephanie Bastek | Thursday, August 20, 2015

A Strange Business

A brief excerpt from James Hamilton’s new history of art dealership

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, September 14, 2015

Database of Dreams

Read an excerpt from Rebecca Lemov’s new book about the prehistory of Big Data

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The White Road

Read an excerpt from Edmund de Waal’s new book about porcelain

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Wonder of Wuthering Heights

An interview with Alison Case, author of the novel “Nelly Dean”

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Doomed to Re-Tweet It

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, March 04, 2015

The Phi Beta Kappa Awards Short List

Fifteen books are in the running for three $10,000 awards

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A Victorian Mystery No More

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, September 07, 2015

Ahead of the Curve?

by Stephanie Bastek | Monday, June 08, 2015

Wat Wreck

by Stephanie Bastek | Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Email wall test

by Stephanie Bastek | Tuesday, January 22, 2013