Harold McGee is best-known for his books about food science. In his new book, 'Nose Dive,' he writes about why things smell the way they do — and the ways different chemicals combine to create surprising (and sometimes distasteful) odors. We talk about stinky cheese, cat pee, mask breath and why cooking releases smells.
Also, John Powers reviews season 4 of 'The Crown,' in which Princess Diana is introduced.
Writer Katherine Standefer tells us about long QT syndrome — and the implanted cardiac defibrillator that helps regulate her heart. In her new memoir, 'Lightning Flowers,' she writes about how the device changed her life, and about trying to get medical care with little income 11 years ago — just as Congress was trying to establish the Affordable Care Act. "One of the greatest gifts is to feel alive while you are alive," Standefer says.
Jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews the new album from Susan Alcorn, a pedal steel guitarist who played in country and western bar bands. And book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews 'We Keep the Dead Close' by Becky Cooper, a true crime story about the murder of a Harvard student in 1969 that went unsolved until two years ago.
The USWNT soccer star and activist spoke with Terry Gross about her World Cup wins, the ongoing fight for pay equality in women's sports, and taking a knee in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. Her new memoir about her life on and off the field is 'One Life.'
Also, we remember longtime 'Jeopardy!' host Alex Trebek. He died Nov. 8.
Author Jerald Walker talks about growing up on Chicago's South Side, raising his two sons in a predominantly white suburb and preventing his essays from turning into clichés about the Black experience. His new collection of essays is 'How to Make a Slave.' The title is a reference to Frederick Douglass' line, "You've seen how a man was made a slave; you shall see how a slave was made a man."
Also, jazz critic Kevin Whitehead reviews a new album by cornet player Ron Miles.
Nicholas Christakis is a doctor and a sociologist who has studied the science of infectious diseases and how plagues of the past have altered societies. "Everywhere you see the spread of germs, for the last few thousand years, you see right behind it the spread of lies," he says. "Denial and lies ... [are] almost an intrinsic part of an epidemic." Christakis' book is 'Apollo's Arrow: The Profound and Enduring Impact of Coronavirus on the Way We Live.'
Jack Goldsmith, former legal counsel to George W. Bush's White House, says no matter when Trump leaves office, his successor will face tough questions about how to reconstruct the battered presidency. In his book, 'After Trump,' Goldsmith and his co-author Bob Bauer write that Trump has exposed the presidency's vulnerability to excesses of authority and weaknesses in accountability. The book details the norms Trump has violated, and recommends reforms that would hold future presidents more accountable. (Note: This interview was recorded the morning of Nov. 5)
'Atlantic' writer Barton Gellman returns to discuss what this election has revealed about our system's strengths and weaknesses, and what he's learned about the legal strategies the Trump and Biden campaigns are considering if the election is contested. Trump claimed victory on Election Night, and said he'd petition the Supreme Court to halt the vote counting. Gellman's latest articles are titled "The Election That Could Break America," and "How Trump Could Attempt a Coup." (Note: This interview was recorded on the morning of Nov. 4)