Skip to main content


Archives - June 2012

Rachel Simon is the award-winning author of six books and a nationally-recognized public speaker on issues related to diversity and disability. Her titles include the bestsellers, THE STORY OF BEAUTIFUL GIRL and RIDING THE BUS WITH MY SISTER. Both books are frequent selections of book clubs and school reading programs around the country. Rachel's work has been adapted for theater, NPR, the Lifetime Channel, and Hallmark Hall of Fame. Rachel Simon lives in Wilmington, Delaware. Here, she talks about the eye-opening experience of recording RIDING THE BUS WITH MY SISTER.
Anita Amirrezvani was born in Tehran, Iran, and raised in San Francisco. For ten years, she was a dance critic for newspapers in the Bay Area. She has received fellowships from the National Arts Journalism Program, the NEA's Arts Journalism Institute for Dance, and the Hedgebrook Foundation for Women Writers. Amirrezvani is a student in the MFA program in fiction at San Francisco State University. Here, she talks about her father's love of poetry.
A.J. Jacobs is the author of DROP DEAD HEALTHY: One Man's Humble Quest for Bodily Perfection, available now in paperback and audiobook format. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers THE KNOW-IT-ALL, THE YEAR OF LIVING BIBLICALLY, and THE GUINEA PIG DIARIES. He is the editor at large of Esquire magazine, a contributor to NPR, and has written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Entertainment Weekly. Visit him at
Chris Cleave is the author of INCENDIARY and the #1 New York Times bestseller LITTLE BEE. His third novel, GOLD will be published by Simon & Schuster on July 3. He lives with his wife and three children in Kingston-upon-Thames, England. Visit him at or on Twitter @ChrisCleave.
Meg Jay, PhD, is a clinical psychologist who specializes in adult development, and twentysomethings in particular. She is an assistant clinical professor at the University of Virginia, and maintains a private practice in Charlottesville, Virginia. Dr. Jay earned a doctorate in clinical psychology, and in gender studies, from the University of California, Berkeley. THE DEFINING DECADE is her first book.
Anthony Swofford served in a U.S. Marine Corps Surveillance and Target Acquisition/Scout-Sniper platoon during the Gulf War. After the war, he was educated at American River College; the University of California, Davis; and the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. He has taught at the University of Iowa and Lewis and Clark College. His fiction and nonfiction have appeared in The New York Times, Harper's, Men's Journal, The Iowa Review, and other publications. A Michener-Copernicus Fellowship recipient, he lives in New York.
Janis Ian is an American songwriter, singer, multi-instrumental musician, columnist, and science fiction fan-turned-author. She had a highly successful singing career in the 1960s and 1970s, and has continued recording into the 21st century. In 1975, Ian won a Grammy Award for her song, "At Seventeen". Here, she answers's questions about recording her memoir, SOCIETY'S CHILD.
David Maraniss, an associate editor at The Washington Post and fellow of the Society of American Historians,is the author of critically acclaimed bestselling bookson Bill Clinton, Vince Lombardi, Vietnam and the sixties,Roberto Clemente, and the 1960 Rome Olympics. He wonthe 1993 Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of Clinton, waspart of the Post team that won the 2007 Pulitzer for coverageof the Virginia Tech tragedy, and has been a Pulitzer finalistthree other times. He lives in Washington, D.C., and Madison, Wisconsin, with his wife, Linda.
Lisa Brackmann is a writer, Chinese student and beach bum. Her first published novel was ROCK PAPER TIGER (Soho Press, 2010), which made a number of year’s end “best” lists, including Amazon’s Top 100 Books of 2010 and Top 10 Mystery/Thrillers. Her second, GETAWAY (Soho Press, 2012), is about a Mexican vacation gone very wrong. She blames the margaritas…Here, she talks about her father's approval of her writing career. 
Jim Bouton was a pitcher for the New York Yankees from 1962 to 1968. In 1969 he played for the Seattle Pilots. In 1970 his book BALL FOUR detailed the inside story of the sometimes unruly life of professional baseball players. The book caused a sensation, and Bouton was severely criticized by baseball commissioner Bowie Kuhn. In 1978 Bouton made a brief comeback with the Atlanta Braves. He has written books and screenplays and appeared in movies and on television, and is credited with developing Big League Chew, bubble gum that resembles chewing tobacco. Here, he talks about bringing the book to life by reading it aloud.