690 episodes

The Avid Reader is a podcast for book lovers. Tune in for interviews, recommendations, and insider news from Sam Hankin, host and owner of independent bookstore Wellington Square Bookshop - www.wellingtonsquarebooks.com

The Avid Reader Show Samuel Hankin

    • Arts
    • 3.7 • 39 Ratings

The Avid Reader is a podcast for book lovers. Tune in for interviews, recommendations, and insider news from Sam Hankin, host and owner of independent bookstore Wellington Square Bookshop - www.wellingtonsquarebooks.com

    Alec NevalaLee - nventor of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster Fuller

    Alec NevalaLee - nventor of the Future: The Visionary Life of Buckminster Fuller

    During his lifetime, Buckminster Fuller was hailed as one of the greatest geniuses of the twentieth century. As the architectural designer and futurist best known for the geodesic dome, he enthralled a vast popular audience, inspired devotion from both the counterculture and the establishment, and was praised as a modern Leonardo da Vinci. To his admirers, he exemplified what one man could accomplish by approaching urgent design problems using a radically unconventional set of strategies, which he based on a mystical conception of the universe’s geometry. His views on sustainability, as embodied in the image of Spaceship Earth, convinced him that it was possible to provide for all humanity through the efficient use of planetary resources. From Epcot Center to the molecule named in his honor as the buckyball, Fuller’s legacy endures to this day, and his belief in the transformative potential of technology profoundly influenced the founders of Silicon Valley.Inventor of the Future is the first authoritative biography to cover all aspects of Fuller’s career. Drawing on meticulous research, dozens of interviews, and thousands of unpublished documents, Nevala-Lee has produced a riveting portrait that transcends the myth of Fuller as an otherworldly generalist. It reconstructs the true origins of his most famous inventions, including the Dymaxion Car, the Wichita House, and the dome itself; his fraught relationships with his students and collaborators; his interactions with Frank Lloyd Wright, Isamu Noguchi, Clare Boothe Luce, John Cage, Steve Jobs, and many others; and his tumultuous private life, in which his determination to succeed on his own terms came at an immense personal cost. In an era of accelerating change, Fuller’s example remains enormously relevant, and his lessons for designers, activists, and innovators are as powerful and essential as ever. Buy the book from Wellington Square Bookshop - ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9780062947222

    • 56 min
    Andrew Nagorski - Saving Freud: The Rescuers Who Brought Him to Freedom

    Andrew Nagorski - Saving Freud: The Rescuers Who Brought Him to Freedom

    A dramatic true story about Sigmund Freud’s last-minute escape to London following the German annexation of Austria and the group of friends who made it possible.In March 1938, German soldiers crossed the border into Austria and Hitler absorbed the country into the Third Reich. Anticipating these events, many Jews had fled Austria, but the most famous Austrian Jew remained in Vienna, where he had lived since early childhood. Sigmund Freud was eighty-one years old, ill with cancer, and still unconvinced that his life was in danger.But several prominent people close to Freud thought otherwise, and they began a coordinated effort to persuade Freud to leave his beloved Vienna and emigrate to England. The group included a Welsh physician, Napoleon’s great-grandniece, an American ambassador, Freud’s devoted youngest daughter Anna, and his personal doctor.Saving Freud is the story of how this remarkable collection of people finally succeeded in coaxing Freud, a man who seemingly knew the human mind better than anyone else, to emerge from his deep state of denial about the looming catastrophe, allowing them to extricate him and his family from Austria so that they could settle in London. There Freud would live out the remaining sixteen months of his life in freedom.This book is both an incisive new biography of Freud and a group biography of the extraordinary friends who saved Freud’s life.Buy the book from Wellington Square Bookshop - ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9781982172831

    • 49 min
    Alice Feiring - To Fall in Love, Drink This: A Wine Writer's Memoir

    Alice Feiring - To Fall in Love, Drink This: A Wine Writer's Memoir

    From veteran wine writer and James Beard Award winner Alice Feiring, an insightful and entertaining memoir of wine, love, heartbreak, and the never-ending process of coming-of-age.Called everything from the Patti Smith to the Ruth Bader Ginsburg of natural wines, Alice Feiring is a special sort of wine writer—the kind who dares to disagree with wine “experts,” and who believes wholeheartedly that the best wine writing is about life.To Fall in Love, Drink This is both a love letter to wine and a lifelong coming-of-age story. In a series of candid, wise, and humorous personal essays, Feiring serves up a memoir in vignettes. She tells the story of her parents’ divorce, her first big wine assignment, the end of an eleven-year relationship, the death of her father, a near-fatal brush with a serial killer, pandemic lockdown, and more—and suffuses each with love, romance, pain, joy, and wine. Each essay is “accompanied” by a no-nonsense wine take-away designed to answer the questions everyday wine lovers have about wine—age, price, grapes, vineyards, and vintners.This frank, charismatic work is a refreshingly grounded addition to the popular—and notoriously stuffy—genre of wine-writing. Feiring has crafted a timeless, positively unpretentious memoir that will appeal to everyone who has ever enjoyed a glass of wine.Buy the book from Wellington Square Bookshop - ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9781982176761

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Jessica Nordell - The End of Bias: A Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias

    Jessica Nordell - The End of Bias: A Beginning: The Science and Practice of Overcoming Unconscious Bias

    The End of Bias is a transformative, groundbreaking exploration into how we can eradicate unintentional bias and discrimination, the great challenge of our age.Unconscious bias: persistent, unintentional prejudiced behavior that clashes with our consciously held beliefs. We know that it exists, to corrosive and even lethal effect. We see it in medicine, the workplace, education, policing, and beyond. But when it comes to uprooting our prejudices, we still have far to go.With nuance, compassion, and ten years' immersion in the topic, Jessica Nordell weaves gripping stories with scientific research to reveal how minds, hearts, and behaviors change. She scrutinizes diversity training, deployed across the land as a corrective but with inconsistent results. She explores what works and why: the diagnostic checklist used by doctors at Johns Hopkins Hospital that eliminated disparate treatment of men and women; the preschool in Sweden where teachers found ingenious ways to uproot gender stereotyping; the police unit in Oregon where the practice of mindfulness and specialized training has coincided with a startling drop in the use of force.Captivating, direct, and transformative, The End of Bias: A Beginning brings good news. Biased behavior can change; the approaches outlined here show how we can begin to remake ourselves and our world. Buy the book from Wellington Square Bookshop - ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9781250186188

    • 53 min
    Victor Manibo - The Sleepless

    Victor Manibo - The Sleepless

    Journalist Jamie Vega is Sleepless: he can’t sleep, nor does he need to. When his boss dies on the eve of a controversial corporate takeover, Jamie doesn’t buy the too-convenient explanation of suicide, and launches an investigation of his own.But everything goes awry when Jamie discovers that he was the last person who saw Simon alive. Not only do the police suspect him, Jamie himself has no memory of that night. Alarmingly, his memory loss may have to do with how he became Sleepless: not naturally, like other Sleepless people, but through a risky and illegal biohacking process.As Jamie delves deeper into Simon’s final days, he tangles with extremist organizations and powerful corporate interests, all while confronting past traumas and unforeseen consequences of his medical experimentation. But Jamie soon faces the most dangerous decision of all as he uncovers a terrifying truth about Sleeplessness that imperils him—and all of humanity.Support Independent Booksellers: https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9781645660460

    • 54 min
    Lars Chittka - The Mind Of A Bee

    Lars Chittka - The Mind Of A Bee

    A rich and surprising exploration of the intelligence of bees Most of us are aware of the hive mind--the power of bees as an amazing collective. But do we know how uniquely intelligent bees are as individuals? In The Mind of a Bee, Lars Chittka draws from decades of research, including his own pioneering work, to argue that bees have remarkable cognitive abilities. He shows that they are profoundly smart, have distinct personalities, can recognize flowers and human faces, exhibit basic emotions, count, use simple tools, solve problems, and learn by observing others. They may even possess consciousness. Taking readers deep into the sensory world of bees, Chittka illustrates how bee brains are unparalleled in the animal kingdom in terms of how much sophisticated material is packed into their tiny nervous systems. He looks at their innate behaviors and the ways their evolution as foragers may have contributed to their keen spatial memory. Chittka also examines the psychological differences between bees and the ethical dilemmas that arise in conservation and laboratory settings because bees feel and think. Throughout, he touches on the fascinating history behind the study of bee behavior. Exploring an insect whose sensory experiences rival those of humans, The Mind of a Bee reveals the singular abilities of some of the world's most incredible creatures.Support an independent bookstore:  https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9780691180472

    • 55 min

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

malfoxley ,

Great show!

The host of the Avid Reader Show podcast, highlights all aspects of good books and more in this can’t miss podcast! The host and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

better_user ,

Tone deaf & repugnant.

Hankins 2/14/19 interview should be pulled. Not only does he make mention, twice, with 2:25 left that he didn’t like the book, his smug interview style drips with white privilege. The questions he asks and his tone are condescending and not empathic. Nor does it seem like he really got the gist of what Stephanie experienced. It would serve him well to pull down this episode. I’ll certainly never listen to him again.

MiMi1117 ,

The Avid Reader

I love 💙 the podcast and book selections. In order to continue listening, please ask the Interviewer to speak directly into his phone or microphone. He fades in and out, making it very difficult to hear. In this podcast I can hear the author clearly but the interviewer is garbled. My husband and I recently took a trip and could not listen in the car because the sound is so inconsistent.

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