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Nerdette is a safe space for nerding out about all the things you're watching, reading, and encountering IRL. Interviews with your favorite (or soon-to-be favorite) authors, artists, astronauts, and more.

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Nerdette is a safe space for nerding out about all the things you're watching, reading, and encountering IRL. Interviews with your favorite (or soon-to-be favorite) authors, artists, astronauts, and more.

    Happy Zoomsgiving From Nerdette To You

    Happy Zoomsgiving From Nerdette To You

    And from you to Nerdette! Despite [insert disaster of your choice], we’re still thankful for a lot of things in 2020. Like baked goods and game shows and the people we can still visit over the internet. We asked you to tell us about the stuff you’re grateful for right now and, obviously, you did not disappoint. Press play to listen. Us? We’re thankful for you. So hang in there, stay safe and have a happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Nerdette.

    • 15분
    Book Club: ‘The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue’

    Book Club: ‘The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue’

    Welcome to the Nerdette Book Club! Each month, we read a book and chat about it with a rotating group of panelists. This month’s pick is The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V. E. Schwab. It’s about a girl from the 1700s whose curiosities and ambitions are bigger than the small town she lives in. When she finds a way to break free from the expectation to marry and settle down, she takes it without thinking twice. But what she thinks is an amazing chance to live unhindered is actually a deal with the devil, and a centuries-long curse. Listen along as Nerdette host Greta Johnsen discusses the book with cultural critic and nonfiction writer Eva Recinos and All The Books! podcast host Liberty Hardy. We also hear from many of you, who (with a few minor quibbles) all seemed to love this spellbinding story.

    • 52분
    Tweets, Sweets ... And A Convo About Animal Penises

    Tweets, Sweets ... And A Convo About Animal Penises

    Say what now?  We made it to another weekend! Now let us get you ready for it. First, we talk about the “news” of the week with Hari Kondabolu and W. Kamau Bell, comedians and hosts of the Politically Re-Active podcast.  Then we have a conversation you’ve all been waiting for: Emily Willingham tells us about her new book titled Phallacy: Life Lessons from the Animal Penis. It’s wild! And last but not least, Yossy Arefi introduces us to the countertop staple we didn’t know we needed so badly: Snacking Cakes. Join us!

    • 24분
    Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy On Curiosity, Creativity and Crosswords

    Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy On Curiosity, Creativity and Crosswords

    Wilco singer/guitarist Jeff Tweedy has been busy. He has a new solo album out called Love is the King. And his new book How to Write One Song has a lot of advice for aspiring songwriters. But it’s also about a lot more than that. Nerdette host Greta Johnsen spoke with Tweedy from his recording studio in Chicago. What’s your definition of a song? Jeff Tweedy: I think of a song as a moment that you can recreate, and that you can intentionally set out to share with someone. It doesn’t have to be musical. I think a lot of the ways we treat our friends is a type of song. Just the notion that you know how to make your mom laugh is a bit of a song. I think we can start with the idea of a song as being anything you want it to be, honestly, and move out from there towards whatever your musical ability allows. You say that you weren’t trying to write a self-help book. But so much of it is about how to give yourself permission to try something new and how to finally scratch that creative itch. It is a self-help book after all? Tweedy: Self-help is such an oxymoronic thing. If you can help yourself, you don’t need a book! But I think the book was a way for me to share a lifestyle that I think is beneficial to me. I don’t think the book succeeds quite as well as a direct practical guide to writing a song, even though there is some of that. I think it’s more successful as a kind nudge toward something that makes living worthwhile. You use the phrase “inviting inspiration” a lot, which counters the argument that making stuff is about sitting around waiting for divine inspiration to hit. Tweedy: Yeah. I think there is a gestation period for a lot of inspiration. And to me, opening yourself up to doing the work on a daily process allows that gestation to have a foothold in your consciousness. I don’t think a bolt of inspiration is going to have much of a place to land in your psyche if you aren’t actively seeking, on a daily basis, something that surprises you or excites you. I look at it more like you’re putting yourself in the path of inspiration consciously. I just believe that’s how it happens much more than somebody, for example, not having any intention of writing a song at all, and getting struck by a bolt of lightning, and then they have an amazing song that comes out of them. That doesn’t happen. What happens is, people who really like the idea of writing a song try it a lot, and then someday they’re walking along, and something clicks. And it’s because they did all that other work You’ve talked about, in terms of being creative, that the stakes are super low. What do you mean by that? Tweedy: I mean that you aren’t going to hurt anybody with a bad song. I don’t see a lot of downside. The only real downside there can be is to your ego, and I think it’s good for your ego to be bruised and challenged. I think your ego works for you in a lot of really healthy ways. It helps preserve your esteem and your sense of self. But it also can really inhibit you from growing and learning more about yourself. And to challenge that protective nature of your ego, I think, is really helpful for people. So the worst-case scenario is, you figure out you’re not really good at something, and nobody gets hurt. It’s just not brain surgery, And at the same time, the irony of it is, songs can mean everything! They can have such exalted places in our hearts and our spirit. They have such enormous ability to heal and retrieve lost emotions, and to pull us into some more communal space of believing in the world. I can’t think of anything more beautiful in the world than a song that means a lot to somebody. This conversation was lightly edited for clarity and brevity. Press the ‘play’ button to hear the full episode.

    • 21분
    Book Club: V.E. Schwab On ‘The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue’

    Book Club: V.E. Schwab On ‘The Invisible Life Of Addie LaRue’

    Would you take a deal with the devil? In The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, a new novel from renowned fantasy author V.E. Schwab, a young woman bargains with her soul to live forever. The catch? She’s cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. The novel is Nerdette’s November book club pick. Today, we host a spoiler-free chat with the author about the book, the many years it took her to write it and what comes next. Later this month, we’ll break it down with our group of panelists … and you! Send us a voice memo with your thoughts on the book. Just record yourself on your phone and send the audio file to nerdettepodcast@gmail.com

    • 20분
    Don't Distress, De-Stress

    Don't Distress, De-Stress

    Let Nerdette podcast get you ready for the weekend with a quick gut check after a long election week. Plus an interview with a great author and a new strategy for organizing your thoughts. First, we talk election distractions with Negin Farsad, comedian and host of the Fake The Nation podcast, and Clay Masters, lead political reporter for Iowa Public Radio. Then we talk with author Nick Hornby, author of many wonderful books like High Fidelity, About A Boy, and his newest novel, Just Like You. And finally, we talk with freelance reporter Sophie Hardach about the psychological benefits of reading out loud. Join us!

    • 30분

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