submission from: Susan Friedman
The Consolations of Philosophy
Alain de Botton

If you'd like something to read while you're drowning your sorrows, The Consolations of Philosophy by Alain de Botton is for you. "You want me to read philosphy?! Don't I feel bad enough already?" Ah, but gentle reader, this book is to the troubled soul as a cup of hot chocolate on a winter day is to the body. Not only easy to read, it hits many a nail right on the noggin. It is a comforting stroll through the centuries to snack on the wisdom of the ages on many of the ills that have always tormented humanity: unpopularity, not having enough money, frustration, broken hearts, inadequacy. Never preachy, but full of satisfying answers - a pleasure to read even if you're feeling great!

We received many calls and emails about Todd's interview with Martin Teicher, on the March 26th program. Dr. Teicher talked about how the physical structure of a child's developing brain is altered by abuse that occurs in early life. It's fascinating to consider how our environment can impact our physical selves. More about Dr. Teicher's work is at

submission from: John Tebeau
Food Politics
Marion Nestle

If you're a parent (and you care about your kids) you really may want to read this book. Along with Eric Schlosser's Fast Food Nation, it sheds a somewhat horrifying light on the food we eat. Think the US government (with all its nutrition standards and rules and regulations) has your best interests in mind? Think again, my friend. The FDA is bought and sold by the gigantic food industry - a juggernaut that makes the tobacco lobby look like a high-school homecoming committee. And this from a Washington insider that knows what she's talking about. Read it and weep, and think before you eat.

submission from: Amanda McWhorter
Indu Krishnan

Indu Krishnan is no ordinary documentarian. She is a South Asian female filmmaker-a rare combination-living every day as the ‘marginal man’ she so poignantly reveals in “Knowing Her Place”. It is a look into the life of another South Asian woman struggling to reconcile her two very different and distinct selves: independent, educated American and traditional, passive Indian. Krishan’s work gives a perspective on the immigrant experience many natives will never fully comprehend. “Knowing Her Place” can be found in libraries and online. Krishnan continues her work as part of PBS’ series “The New Americans”..

submission from: Amanda McWhorter
Corpse: Nature, Forensics, and the Struggle to Pinpoint Time of Death
Jessica Snyder Sachs

While the cause of death is often obvious, it is the time of that ending is inevitably more obscure. Science writer Jessica Synder Sachs chronicles the history of the quest to find an accurate body clock to mark death in "Corpse: Nature, Forensics and the Struggle to Pinpoint the Time of Death". The book is absolutely fascinating! From learning what rigor mortis really is to understanding the importance of a few plant fibers under the fingernails of the deceased, the book offers a simple but detailed look into the work of forensic pathologists. It’s both incredibly informative and deliciously gruesome!

submission from: John Tebeau
Empire Falls
Richard Russo

This fellow is the finest writer of fiction alive today. That I've read. Which isn't saying much, but people, you gotta believe me! Russo kills. I liked his last book Straight Man more, but all his books make for punchy, funny reading with well-drawn characters and superb dialogue.

submission from: John Tebeau
Up in the Old Hotel and Other Stories
Joseph Mitchell

Oh man, could this fellow write. Legendary New Yorker reporter extraordinaire, Mitchell tells a tale (usually about a New York eccentric from the 30's or 40's) in that matter-of-fact southern way. Like Mark Twain when he was a reporter, he lays out the details simply - deceptively so - then hits you over the head with (as one reviewer said) - boom! - The Meaning of Life. Reading this collection is like eating hot pancakes on Sunday morning with good syrup, lots of butter, and a cup of hot, black coffee.