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Jump Steady

To transmit information during wartime, various industries used to encode their messages letter by letter with an elaborate system–a primitive version of today’s digital encryption. Grant breaks down some of those secret codes, and...

Wolf Whistle

Gifts for book lovers: Martha recommends one for lovers of libraries and another for students of Spanish. Grant suggests some enchanting novels for young readers. When it comes to books, though, you can’t always judge them by their original...

Working Titles of Famous Books

One of the greatest novels in all of American literature was originally titled Catch-18. Then Joseph Heller found out that a novel about World War II called Mila 18 already existed. So he changed his book to Catch-22. And guess which American...

Literary Spontaneity

Plenty of literature is available, and discoverable, online. But there’s nothing like the spontaneity, or stochasticity, of browsing through a library and discovering great books at random. This is part of a complete episode.

One-Star Reviews Quiz

Quiz Guy John Chaneski scoured Amazon for 1-star reviews of classic literature and turned them into a puzzle about some readers’ questionable taste. For example, what novel isn’t even about fishing, since a whale is a mammal? This is...

There Once Was a Gal

Ever try to write a well-known passage in limerick form? It’s harder than you think. How about this one: “There once was a lady who’s sure / All that glitters is golden and pure/ There’s a stairway that heads up to heaven...