Monday, August 8, 2011: In 1962, eleven-year-old Carlos Eire and his older brother Tony boarded an airplane in Cuba and left their parents and country behind, becoming not only refugees but also orphans. The brothers were two of 14,000 children airlifted out of “Castroland” in a mass exodus known as Operation Pedro Pan. Carlos Eire is now a professor of History and Religious Studies at Yale University. He won a National Book Award for his memoir, Waiting for Snow in Havana. He picks up where that book left off, the moment he first set foot in Miami, with Learning to Die in Miami: Confessions of a Refugee Boy.
Tuesday, August 9, 2011: In his fourteenth book, John McWhorter asks readers to look at language the way a linguist does, to examine and appreciate the oral “tongue” as much as written language. McWhorter is a linguist and says that there is no such thing as “improper” grammar. He explains that and more, as discussed in What Language Is (And What It Isn’t and What It Could Be). Then, Inspired by the wartime experiences of her late father-in-law, award-winning author Bobbie Ann Mason has written a novel about an American World War II pilot shot down in Occupied Europe. Marshall Stone, a U.S. flyboy stationed in England had nine exhilarating bombing raids under his belt when enemy fighters forced his B-17 to crash-land in a Belgian field near the border of France. When Stone returns to his crash site decades later, he finds himself drawn back in time to the brave people who helped him escape from the Nazis. He especially recalls one intrepid girl guide who risked her life to help him—The Girl in the Blue Beret.
Wednesday, August 10, 2011: Joe and Terry Graedon are co-hosts of the public radio show The People’s Pharmacy and co-authors of many books, their latest is titled Quick and Handy Home Remedies. The Graedons join Bob to discuss their favorite beneficial foods and what items in your fridge or cupboard can treat some common ailments.
Thursday, August 11, 2011: Neurobiologist Dean Buonomano gives Bob a tour of our mental glitches —- why our memory is unreliable; we can’t do complicated math in our heads; we prefer instant gratification; and what we think is rational decision making is anything but. His new book is titled Brain Bugs: How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives. Buonomano is a professor in the Departments of Neurobiology and Psychology and the Brain Research Institute at UCLA. Then, Toronto chamber-folk collective The Wilderness of Manitoba released their debut album When You Left The Fire earlier this year. Founding members of the band Scott Bouwmeester and Will Whitwham play some songs for Bob and discuss their experimental approach to music making.
Friday, August 12, 2011: Doyle McManus, Washington columnist for the Los Angeles Times joins Bob to talk about politics and other news. Next, Bob talks with David Kindred, author of Morning Miracle. The book is an insider’s account of the workings of the Washington Post. Then, in this week’s installment of our ongoing series This I Believe, we hear the essay of Bryan McGuire. Whenever things went wrong in his life, he knew whom to blame: his father. In McGuire’s eyes, his dad was a collection of misdeeds and shortcomings, and they fueled his anger at the world. Then McGuire himself became a father, and he saw his dad in a new light, eventually finding the courage to forgive the old wrongs.