Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships Book Review

Our friends are more than our chosen family. They are our support system and the ones we turn to in our hour of need.

For more than fifty years, respected NPR correspondent Nina Totenberg palled around with the late Supreme Court judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Their half-a-century friendship is detailed in Totenberg’s new memoir, Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships.

The book tells a dual narrative. It reveals the real women behind the powerhouse figures while reminding the reader of the barriers they broke along the way. Through professional highs and personal sorrows, Totenberg and Ginsburg were as thick as thieves.

The book is ok. Though there is no denying that both women made history and continue to inspire us today. The problem is that the story is slow. Though I did finish it, I was left with an eh feeling.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

Dinners with Ruth: A Memoir on the Power of Friendships is available wherever books are sold.

Supreme Court Flowers GIF by INTO ACTION - Find & Share on GIPHY
Advertisement

Flashback Friday: Radiolab (2002-Present)

It has been said that curiosity killed the cat. But it also leads us to ask questions and perhaps create a better world from those questions.

The NPR and WNYC podcast, Radiolab, has been on the air since 2002. Hosted by Jad Abumrad, Lulu Miller, and Latif Nasser, this show uses curiosity as a launching pad for an in-depth examination of various subjects such as science, news, and history. Known for adding both sounds and music, each takes the viewer in a direction that could be both surprising and educational.

Though I don’t regularly listen to this podcast, they sometimes have interesting episodes. What I do appreciate is the unorthodox approach that is taken in both the topic and their approach to the topic.

Do I recommend it? Maybe.

New episodes of Radiolab are released every Sunday.

The Ex Talk Book Review

The hate-to-love narrative within the romance genre is a delicious one for both the writer(s) and the audience. It has the potential to set the story on fire and bring the audience along for a roller coaster of a ride.

Rachel Lynn Solomon‘s novel, The Ex Talk, was published in early 2021. Shay Goldstein has spent the last ten years climbing up the career ladder at her local NPR station in Portland, Oregon. Dominic Yun is fresh out of grad school and throwing his degree around as if it were a frisbee. Their initial relationship is as compatible as oil and water.

When the station manager announces layoffs due to a downturn in revenue, Shay comes up with an idea to save the station and everyone’s jobs. Her boss quickly gives the go-ahead. The new program is called The Ex Talk. Two people who are no longer together will give advice about life and love. Instead of choosing two real-life exes, Shay and Dominic pretend that they were once a couple. In spite of their mutual dislike, they agree to the deception.

The podcast soon becomes a hit. As Shay and Dominic go along with the story, they start to understand and fall for one another. But there is a growing suspicion that it is nothing more than an act. When the other shoe falls, where will Shay and Dominic land?

I loved this book. It is cute, charming, and gets the heart fluttering. Solomon’s writing is easy to read and quickly engrosses the reader. I found myself swept away on a tidal wave of a story that was is absolutely one of the best romance novels I’ve read in a long time.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

The Ex Talk is available wherever books are sold.

Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR Book Review

The founder of anything, specifically when you are a member of a group who has been disenfranchised is more than the creation itself. It is breaking boundaries and making it easier for future generations to follow in your footsteps.

Cokie Roberts, Susan Stamberg, Nina Totenberg, and Linda Wertheimer were all born into an era in which the expectations of women were limited. They could have followed the prescribed path of marriage and motherhood. Instead, they took what was then the less traveled path and became journalists. Their combined story is told in the new book, Susan, Linda, Nina, and Cokie: The Extraordinary Story of the Founding Mothers of NPR. Written by Lisa Napoli, it was published earlier this year.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s, the career doors were starting to bust open for women. At the same time, the concept of radio was also changing. In April of 1971, NPR aired its first broadcast. As with many new businesses, they had open jobs to fill and were not as picky about who they hired as more established enterprises. As the years passed, these women became formidable and respected, changing the game and giving new voice to those who in the past had been silenced.

Though it is a little slow to start, when it takes off, it really takes off. It is a fascinating read, What I found interesting, is that this book is not just the individual stories of these women. It is the story of how women in general have come a long way in only half a century.

As a fan of NPR and avid listener of my local station, WNYC, it is a good read that is well worth your time.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

Flashback Friday: Fresh Air (1985-Present)

Knowing how to interview people is a skill that is always is need.

The NPR and WNYC podcast Fresh Air, has been on the air since 1985. Hosted by Terry Gross, the subjects and guests come from the varying worlds of politics, popular culture, and entertainment.

I look forward to listening to this podcast. Listening to Gross (who has the perfect radio voice) and Fresh Air is akin to sitting in on a lecture from your favorite college professor. The stories that come out of each episode are interesting, entertaining, and sometimes, a learning experience.

Do I recommend it? Yes.

%d bloggers like this: