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Episode 1521

Spill the Tea

If someone urges you to spill the tea, they probably don’t want you tipping over a hot beverage. Originally, the tea here was the letter T, as in “truth.” To spill the T means to “pass along truthful information.” Plus...

Episode 1618

Spinning Cookies

A book of photographs and essays by famous writers celebrates libraries — and the librarians who changed their lives. Plus cutting doughnuts, spinning cookies, and pulling brodies: There are lots of ways to talk about spinning a car in circles on...

Love Letter to Libraries

The Public Library: A Photographic Essay (Amazon) is a love letter to America’s libraries and the librarians who open up worlds for readers. It features 150 gorgeous photos by Robert Dawson and essays by famous writers. This is part of a...

Episode 1616

Folding Money

Barbara Kingsolver’s book Demon Copperhead is a retelling of Charles Dickens’ David Copperfield set in today’s Appalachia. Martha shares memories of a long-ago visit to Kingsolver’s family farm in Virginia, where they...

Love Fridges and Freedges

After our conversation about blessing boxes, those little free pantries stocked with donated food, a listener points out the use of love fridges in Chicago. These community fridges, sometimes called freedges, are springing up in lots of places. This...

Episode 1609

Hot Gossip

Gossip goes by many names: the poop, the scoop, the lowdown, the dope, the scuttlebutt, the 411, the grapes, the gore, and hot tea. Plus, John Donne’s love poems are among the greatest in the English language, even as they’re famously...