Chattering Class


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A Life Lived with Common and Uncommon Scents

Mandy Aftel is a perfumer and explorer of smells across the world. Her new book is called “Fragrant: The Secret Life of Scent” about the journey of following her nose.


Clark Terry in "Keep On Keeping On"

Quincy Jones on His Musical Mentor, Clark Terry

Jazz great Clark Terry is the subject of a new documentary about his life, and the relationship between a music teacher and thier protege. We discuss his legacy with the film's director, Alan Hicks, and one of his famed former students, Quincy Jones.


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How Tennessee Williams Brought Poetry to Broadway

From early struggles to revolutionary success, to a hazy decline due to bad timing and self-destructive choices, Tennessee Williams' life reads a bit like those of his characters. Critic and author John Lahr captures that story in an authoritative new biography of one of the 20th century's most significant playwright… including his first significant flop.


Photo: Laura Levine

The Complicated Comedy Career of Bill Cosby

Journalist Mark Whitaker formed an emotional connection to the comedy of Bill Cosby from a young age. Decades later, the result is “Cosby: His Life and Times," Whitaker's new biography of the influential comedian.


Photo: Audrey Rae Kluger

Jeffrey Kluger Thinks This Interview Is All About Him

Reality show stars are actually less narcissistic than convicted psychopathic murders, and other facts about the disorder from Jeffrey Kluger, author of "The Narcissist Next Door: Understanding the Monster in Your Family, Your Office, and Your Bed."


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Along for the Trek with George Takei

"To Be Takei" tells the personal story of actor, activist, and pop-culture figure George Takei, from a childhood in a World War Two internment camp to the stars - or "Star Trek," anyway - and beyond, overcoming discrimination along the way.


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Priceonomics Exposes Scams and False Assumptions

In their new book, bloggers from Priceonomics set out to use the tools of hard data analysis to puncture some of the arbitrary assumptions and outright scams built into everyday life.