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The Unbanking of America Lisa Servon
January 13, 2017 10:48 AM PST
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Lisa Servon, author of the book The Unbanking of America: How The New Middle Class Survives, just published last week by Houghton Mifflin.

Lisa has been Professor of Management and Urban Policy at The New School. She holds degrees from Bryn Mawr, Penn, right down the road and a PhD from UC Berkley in Urban Planning. And is currently involved in City and Regional Planning at Penn. She wrote Bridging the Digital Divide.

Before I begin a summary of this great book, let me start off as I now am perforce required to do since the election when I interview an erudite and well reasoning author of a non-fiction book dealing with our economy, public policy or other important social issue.

I have to tell you that I wake up every morning feeling fine. Then I sit up and say, “Donald J. Trump is President of The United States of America. My day is then ruined and I feel as if I am living in an episode of South Park.

SO it is always somewhat disarming to talk to someone logical and articulate because those are qualities that no longer seem to exist in our government just as the word inappropriate has no more meaning. Ok enough of that.

The Unbanking of America is a book that tells us a story. A story of how banking has changed in America. What it used to be and what it has now become.

Who has been disenfranchised and why and how new systems have come into place, some underground and shadowy, some mainstream that have taken the place of a checking account at Bank of America or that bastion of dishonesty, Wells Fargo.

Lisa double-checks her own perceptions by going out into the workforce and verifying some assumptions and surprising herself by undermining her previous assumptions in some situations.

She goes to work at RiteCheck, a check cashing establishment in the Bronx and Check Center a payday lender in Oakland. These institutions considered predatory by people like me over the past years, turn out to be “not so bad” in many ways. When compared to alternatives.

In conclusion Lisa opens our eyes to the coping mechanisms that a good portion of our society must engage in in order to survive today’s economy.

Welcome Lisa and thanks for joining us today.

1Q1A Unbanking of America Lisa Servon
January 13, 2017 10:39 AM PST
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Lisa Servon, author of the book The Unbanking of America: How The New Middle Class Survives, just published last week by Houghton Mifflin.

Lisa has been Professor of Management and Urban Policy at The New School. She holds degrees from Bryn Mawr, Penn, right down the road and a PhD from UC Berkley in Urban Planning. And is currently involved in City and Regional Planning at Penn. She wrote Bridging the Digital Divide.

Before I begin a summary of this great book, let me start off as I now am perforce required to do since the election when I interview an erudite and well reasoning author of a non-fiction book dealing with our economy, public policy or other important social issue.

I have to tell you that I wake up every morning feeling fine. Then I sit up and say, “Donald J. Trump is President of The United States of America. My day is then ruined and I feel as if I am living in an episode of South Park.

SO it is always somewhat disarming to talk to someone logical and articulate because those are qualities that no longer seem to exist in our government just as the word inappropriate has no more meaning. Ok enough of that.

The Unbanning of America is a book that tells us a story. A story of how banking has changed in America. What it used to be and what it has now become.

Who has been disenfranchised and why and how new systems have come into place, some underground and shadowy, some mainstream that have taken the place of a checking account at Bank of America or that bastion of dishonest, Wells Fargo.

Lisa double-checks her own perceptions by going out into the workforce and verifying some assumptions and surprising herself by undermining her previous assumptions in some situations.

She goes to work at RiteCheck, a check cashing establishment in the Bronx and Check Center a payday lender in Oakland. These institutions considered predatory by people like me over the past years, turn out to be “not so bas” in many ways. When compared to alternatives.

In conclusion Lisa opens our eyes to the cooping mechanism that a good portion of our society must engage in in order to survive today’s economy.

Welcome Lisa and thanks for joining us today.

Dava Sobel-The Glass Universe
December 12, 2016 09:35 AM PST
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of the Avid Reader. Today we are happy to have as our guest Dava Sobel, author of The Glass Universe: How The Ladies Of The Harvard Observatory Took The Measure Of The Stars, published just last week by Viking.

Ms. Sobel is a prolific author whose books I have enjoyed immensely over the years including Galileo’s Daughter, Longitude, The Planets, A More Perfect Heaven and others and I am automatically in love with anyone who writes about leap seconds and the transit of Venus.

Many of her works have been translated into film as documentaries for Nova and Granada.

The Glass Universe tells a story, lovingly, of a romance that began with a husband and wife and their devoted life of science and moves forward with a romance that deals with the search for meaning and essence in the night sky.

The women of the Harvard Observatory, a veritable Harem if you will (and that is what they were called) culled through countless photographic plates coated with emulsion that accurately transcribed the night sky through painstaking and hour long exposures taken by their male counterparts night after night through various observatories. From the first photograph of a star (Vega), to the discovery of novae and variable stars, to coupled or double stars, these women immortalized by Ms. Sobel achieved a place in astronomical science that gave us the shoulders of giants upon which we now stand.

The spectroscopic views that the plates give us provide a veritable window into the makeup of our universe. Chemist’s arms became a million or a billion miles long and hydrogen, helium, calcium, oxygen were winnowed out from these glass plates of which they were 100s of thousands.

Now Ms. Sobel shows us the lives of those women through their work and through their personal and sometimes very emotional lives. And the result is a book that reminds us that it is sometimes the man behind the mirror, after all and the woman behind the glass that make all the difference in our understanding of the universe and how we are here. And isn’t that really the actual reason WHY we are here in the first place?

Welcome Dava. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Dava Sobel 1Q1A The Glass Universe
December 12, 2016 09:34 AM PST
itunes pic

Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of the Avid Reader. Today we are happy to have as our guest Dava Sobel, author of The Glass Universe: How The Ladies Of The Harvard Observatory Took The Measure Of The Stars, published just last week by Viking.

Ms. Sobel is a prolific author whose books I have enjoyed immensely over the years including Galileo’s Daughter, Longitude, The Planets, A More Perfect Heaven and others and I am automatically in love with anyone who writes about leap seconds and the transit of Venus.

Many of her works have been translated into film as documentaries for Nova and Granada.

The Glass Universe tells a story, lovingly, of a romance that began with a husband and wife and their devoted life of science and moves forward with a romance that deals with the search for meaning and essence in the night sky.

The women of the Harvard Observatory, a veritable Harem if you will (and that is what they were called) culled through countless photographic plates coated with emulsion that accurately transcribed the night sky through painstaking and hour long exposures taken by their male counterparts night after night through various observatories. From the first photograph of a star (Vega), to the discovery of novae and variable stars, to coupled or double stars, these women immortalized by Ms. Sobel achieved a place in astronomical science that gave us the shoulders of giants upon which we now stand.

The spectroscopic views that the plates give us provide a veritable window into the makeup of our universe. Chemist’s arms became a million or a billion miles long and hydrogen, helium, calcium, oxygen were winnowed out from these glass plates of which they were 100s of thousands.

Now Ms. Sobel shows us the lives of those women through their work and through their personal and sometimes very emotional lives. And the result is a book that reminds us that it is sometimes the man behind the mirror, after all and the woman behind the glass that make all the difference in our understanding of the universe and how we are here. And isn’t that really the actual reason WHY we are here in the first place?

Welcome Dava. Thank you so much for joining us today.

Strangers In Their Own Land-Arlie Hochschild
December 12, 2016 09:32 AM PST
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Arlie R. Hochschild, author most recently of Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger And Mourning On The American Right, published in September by the new press and a finalist for the National Book Award.

Her previous works include The Outsourced Self, The Unexpected Community, So How’s The Family and Other Essays, The Managed Heart and many others.

Each of these and her other work focuses in good part on emotions and how the control of those emotions or the direction of each, helps to create the everyday world we live in and drives the stressors and motivation and motivates each of us as we live our workaday lives.

Strangers In Their Own Land is about as timely a book as you could imagine. It rides the swell of alt-right anger and mourning and comes close to an expression of the phenomenon that we find ourselves immersed in today as we speak. And dependent on whether you are one of those strangers, or an alt-left like me, you are either ebullient and feel that you are ready for the zombie apocalypse.

With that Arlie, welcome and thanks so much for joining us today.

Arlie Hochschild-Strangers In Their Own Land
December 12, 2016 09:30 AM PST
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of The Avid Reader. Today our guest is Arlie R. Hochschild, author most recently of Strangers In Their Own Land: Anger And Mourning On The American Right, published in September by the new press and a finalist for the National Book Award.

Her previous works include The Outsourced Self, The Unexpected Community, So How’s The Family and Other Essays, The Managed Heart and many others.

Each of these and her other work focuses in good part on emotions and how the control of those emotions or the direction of each, helps to create the everyday world we live in and drives the stressors and motivation and motivates each of us as we live our workaday lives.

Strangers In Their Own Land is about as timely a book as you could imagine. It rides the swell of alt-right anger and mourning and comes close to an expression of the phenomenon that we find ourselves immersed in today as we speak. And dependent on whether you are one of those strangers, or an alt-left like me, you are either ebullient and feel that you are ready for the zombie apocalypse.

With that Arlie, welcome and thanks so much for joining us today.

Annual Best Books by Sam and Donna
December 12, 2016 09:26 AM PST
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Every year Sam and Donna of Wellington Square Bookshop post their best books of 2016 in this lively and insult laden episode of the Avid Reader

James Gleick Time Travel
November 10, 2016 08:09 AM PST
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Good afternoon everyone and welcome to another edition of the Avid Reader. Today our guest is James Gleick, author of Time Travel, a history. Published in September by Pantheon. Suppose it could have easily been Time Travel a future but then this interview would have been done some time ago.

James was born in NYC graduated from Harvard and worked for years as an editor and reporter for the NYT.

He recently wrote The Information, a history, a theory, a flood. Before that was Chaos a National Book Award and Pulitzer Prize finalist. He also wrote Genius: The Life and Science of Richard Feynman (my hero) and Isaac Newton both shortlisted for the Pulitzer Prize. As well as so many others.

Without Time (both the book and the concept), there would be very little to do. Here or anywhere. We would have all the space in the universe and no place to go.

Time gives us a chance to be born to play baseball, to fall in love, to marry have children, watch them grow, grow old ourselves die as we remember chunks of what was a life either well lived or not.

And wouldn’t it be nice if we could go back through time and lazily revisit those moments that we hold so dear or perhaps better yet scurry back to those moments where we went terribly wrong and perhaps took the road more travelled and perhaps carefully and with plenty of time untangle what would otherwise be Gordian knots but with the advantage of slowing things down and letting the gears slip backward are now just slipknots.

But...James says we can’t do it.

But he has provided us with a framework within which we structure our universe and our consciousness’ highway and James has given us a bit of a roadmap to that highway and whether or not it is a one way street or a thoroughfare which can be traversed both ways.

The Fix Jonathan Tepperman
November 10, 2016 07:08 AM PST

 
1Q1A Jonathan Tepperman The Fix
November 10, 2016 07:06 AM PST
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