I love to watch Book TV. The variety of interviews and discussions – all about nonfiction books – can’t be matched anywhere. And you can access the most recent offerings as well as a vast library of past programs from anywhere. Below are a few segments that you might enjoy, but be sure to check out the Book TV website for more.
Grace Humiston was unique. She was one of the early women in the United States to get a law degree (she finished her degree work at N.Y.U. in two years rather than three, and was seventh in her graduating class), she was a practicing lawyer, and, acting as a detective, she was able to crack crime cases that the men around either couldn’t or wouldn’t solve. “Mrs. Sherlock Holmes,” as she was called, made headlines all over the world for her successes, but she also made lots of powerful enemies. Brad Ricca, author of Mrs. Sherlock Holmes, has a fascinating story to tell about a remarkable woman whose story, but for his own diligent detective work, might have been lost to history.
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Lesley Stahl, who has been a TV reporter for many years, became a grandmother a few years ago. Her book about the joys of grandparenthood, Becoming Grandma, is filled with delightful stories that any grandparent – make or female – can relate to. In an interview from the Newseum in Washington, DC she shares some of them with us. One of the funniest of all is the story behind the photograph on the cover of her book.
By the way, if you ever go to Washington don’t miss the Newseum. Unlike the Smithsonian museums you have to pay to see the Newseum, but it’s worth the money.
Another must-see in Washington is the Folger Shakespeare Library. It has possibly the largest collection of Shakespeare folios and related items in the world. It’s also a research library for Shakespeare scholars.
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Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of the fantastic book The Emperor of All Maladies has received wide praise for his follow-up book The Gene: An Intimate History. He is extremely good at making complex medical ideas accessible to us common folks.
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“There are two times in a man’s life when he should not speculate,” wrote Mark Twain, “When he can’t afford it and when he can,” Unfortunately, he didn’t take his own advice. The result was a huge financial crisis – one that would have finished off many lesser men. On top of that many of the people he loved most died too young, resulting in depression and bitterness. Instead of giving up, he went on an around-the-world-speaking tour. Chasing the Last Laugh: Mark Twain’s Raucous and Redemptive Round-the-World Comedy Tour by Richard Zacks gives us lots of tidbits to enjoy about the unique Mr. Twain.