Stuffocation is one of the most pressing problems of the twenty-first century. We have more stuff than we could ever need, and it isn’t making us happier. It’s bad for the planet. It’s cluttering up our homes. It’s making us stressed—and it might even be killing us.

James Wallman helps us deal with "the secret hoarder in all of us" in his book, Stuffocation: Why We've Had Enough of Stuff and Need Experience More Than Ever.

  Daniel Klein is a great friend of ours. Here is a guy who has a warm, humorous, and thoughtful way to shows how philosophy resonates in everyday life. Readers of his popular books Plato and a Platypus Walk into a Bar... and Travels with Epicurus come for enlightenment and stay for the entertainment.

As a young college student studying philosophy, Klein filled a notebook with short quotes from the world’s greatest thinkers, hoping to find some guidance on how to live the best life he could. Now, from the vantage point of his eighth decade, Klein revisits the wisdom he relished in his youth with this collection of philosophical gems, adding new ones that strike a chord with him at the end of his life.

His new book is Every Time I Find the Meaning of Life, They Change It: Wisdom of the Great Philosophers on How to Live.

  Elaine Sciolino, the former Paris Bureau Chief of the New York Times, invites us on a tour of her favorite Parisian street, offering an homage to street life and the pleasures of Parisian living.

While many cities suffer from the leveling effects of globalization, the rue des Martyrs maintains its distinct allure.

Sciolino reveals the charms and idiosyncrasies of this street and its longtime residents—the Tunisian greengrocer, the husband-and-wife cheesemongers, the showman who’s been running a transvestite cabaret for more than half a century, the owner of a 100-year-old bookstore, the woman who repairs eighteenth-century mercury barometers—bringing Paris alive in all of its unique majesty.

Elaine Sciolino’s new book is The Only Street In Paris: Life On The Rue Des Martyrs.

  As a journalist whose career spans three decades, CNN correspondent Tom Foreman has reported from the heart of war zones, riots, and natural disasters. He has interviewed serial killers and been in the line of fire. But the most terrifying moment of his life didn't occur on the job--it occurred at home, when his 18-year old daughter asked, "How would you feel about running a marathon with me?"

At the time, Foreman was approaching 51 years old, and his last marathon was almost 30 years behind him. The race was just sixteen weeks away, but Foreman reluctantly agreed. Training with his daughter, who had just started college, would be a great bonding experience, albeit a long and painful one.

He joins us to talk about the experience and the book he's written about it, My Year of Running Dangerously: A Dad, a Daughter, and a Ridiculous Plan

  Stephen King calls Abigail Thomas "the Emily Dickinson of memoirists."

Her latest book, What Comes Next and How to Like It, is an extraordinarily moving memoir about many things, but at the center is a steadfast friendship between Abigail Thomas and a man she met thirty-five years ago.

  Eat Pray Love made Elizabeth Gilbert one of the most read and beloved writers of our time. While Eat Pray Love was Gilbert’s personal memoir, many readers took it as stimulus to make changes, large and small, in their own lives.

In the decade since Eat Pray Love was published, people worldwide have sought further advice from Gilbert on how to lead a bold and creative life. Gilbert’s TED talk about creativity has nearly 10 million views, making it one of the most viewed TED talks of all time, and this past fall Gilbert went on tour with Oprah, speaking to over 100,000 people along the way.


   Waking Up to the Dark: Ancient Wisdom For a Sleepless Age by Clark Strand is a book for those of us who awaken in the night and don’t know why we can’t get back to sleep, and a book for those of us who have grown uncomfortable in real darkness—which we so rarely experience these days, since our first impulse is always to turn on the light.

In the tradition of Thomas Merton’s spiritual classic The Seven Storey Mountain or Thomas Moore’s Care of the Soul, Waking Up to the Dark is a resonant and personal project and a modern gospel that is an investigation of the relationship between darkness and the soul.

  Every year, perhaps even every week, there is some new gadget, device, service, or other digital offering intended to make our lives easier, better, more fun, or more instantaneous–making it that much harder to question how anything digital can be bad for us. Digital has created some wonderful things and we can hardly imagine life without them.

But digital—the most relentless social and economic juggernaut humanity has unleashed in centuries—is also destroying much of what we’ve taken for granted.

In Digital is Destroying Everything, Andrew Edwards takes us on a tour of today’s “blasted heath”, where many things we’ve held dear have been uprooted or entirely changed by digital–and where many new and intriguing flora and fauna are sprouting.

  We live in an age of awesome technological potential. From nanotechnology to synthetic organisms, new technologies stand to revolutionize whole domains of human experience.

One thing these technologies can’t do is answer the profound moral issues they raise. Who should be held accountable when they go wrong?

Wendell Wallach's book, A Dangerous Master forces us to confront the practical - and moral - purposes of our creations.

Harvey Wang

  Dave Isay is the founder of StoryCorps and the recipient of numerous honors, including six Peabody Awards, a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the 2015 $1 million TED prize.

StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 50,000 interviews from more than 100,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Millions listen to weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition on Friday mornings.

Isay is the author/editor of numerous books that grew out of his public radio documentary work, including three StoryCorps books. He will be at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA on Wednesday, August 5.