688 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

    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
    Lynne Tillman - MOTHERCARE: On Obligation, Love, Death, and Ambivalence

    Lynne Tillman - MOTHERCARE: On Obligation, Love, Death, and Ambivalence

    From the brilliantly original novelist and cultural critic Lynne Tillman comes MOTHERCARE, an honest and beautifully written account of a sudden, drastically changed relationship to one’s mother, and of the time and labor spent navigating the American healthcare system.When a mother’s unusual health condition, normal pressure hydrocephalus, renders her entirely dependent on you, your sisters, caregivers, and companions, the unthinkable becomes daily life. In MOTHERCARE, Tillman describes doing what seems impossible: handling her mother as if she were a child and coping with a longtime ambivalence toward her.MOTHERCARE is both a cautionary tale and sympathetic guidance for anyone who suddenly becomes a caregiver. This story may be helpful, informative, consoling, or upsetting, but it never fails to underscore how impossible it is to get the job done completely right.Be moved, buy the book:  ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9781593767174

    • 56 min
    Jerry Stahl - Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

    Jerry Stahl - Nein, Nein, Nein!: One Man's Tale of Depression, Psychic Torment, and a Bus Tour of the Holocaust

    A guided group tour to concentration camps in Poland and Germany allows Stahl to confront personal and historical demons with both deep despair and savage humorIn September 2016, Jerry Stahl was feeling nervous on the eve of a two-week trip across Poland and Germany. But it was not just the stops at Auschwitz, Buchenwald, and Dachau that gave him anxiety. It was the fact that he would be traveling with two dozen strangers, by bus. In a tour group. And he was not a tour-group kind of guy.The decision to visit Holocaust-world did not come easy. Stahl's lifelong depression at an all-time high, his career and personal life at an all-time low, he had the idea to go on a trip where the despair he was feeling--out-of- control sadness, regret, and fear, not just for himself, but for the entire United States--would be appropriate. And where was despair more appropriate than the land of the Six Million?Seamlessly weaving global and personal history, through the lens of Stahl's own bent perspective, Nein, Nein, Nein stands out as a triumph of strange-o reporting, a tale that takes us from gang polkas to tour-rash to the truly disturbing snack bar at Auschwitz. Strap in for a raw, surreal, and redemptively hilarious trip. Get on the bus.Buy the book from Wellington Square Bookshop - ​https://wellingtonsquarebooks.indiecommerce.com/book/9781636140254

    • 1 hr 17 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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