Nerdette show


Summary: Nerdette is a safe space for nerding out about all the things you're watching, reading, and encountering IRL. Interviews with your favorite (or soon-to-be favorite) authors, artists, astronauts, and more.

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  • Artist: Tricia Bobeda and Greta Johnsen
  • Copyright: Copyright 2015 Chicago Public Media


 Book Club: ‘The City We Became’ | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:58:39

What if cities were embodied in human beings? If The Bronx were a human, what would she be like? And why is xenophobia so toxic?  Listen along as Nerdette host Greta Johnsen discusses 'The City We Became,' the new novel from Hugo-award-winning author N.K. Jemisin, along with WBEZ host Jenn White and Michi Trota, editor for the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. And then get ready for next month’s Book Club pick: The Vanishing Half, a new novel by Brit Bennett.

 Video Games For Noobs | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:18:53

There are so many video game options that it can be hard to know where to begin. Which is why Nerdette host Greta Johnsen enlisted the assistance of Samantha Nelson, who writes about video games for The A.V. Club and Polygon. From simple task-oriented games to elaborate explorations, she’s got you covered. Plus, of course, we get plenty of recommendations from YOU.

 What To Do With All That Anxiety | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:21:28

Greta talks with grief counselor Claire Bidwell Smith about how anxiety is part of grieving and how grieving is now part of everyday life. Plus what you can do with all those anxious thoughts.

 Exercise: Come On! Let’s Do It! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:20:34

Have you been exercising lately? No shame if you haven't! But ... personal trainer Sarah Gonsiorowski of The Lunge Ladies has some ideas to get your body moving. We also hear about some great apps and workout routines from YOU, our lovely listeners.

 Book Club: A Not-Too-Spoilery Convo With Sci-Fi Author N.K. Jemisin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:36:10

How does one deal with existential horror from beyond? That’s one question at the heart of The City We Became, a new novel from Hugo Award-winning author N.K. Jemisin, in which New York City literally comes alive in order to fight off “creepy tentacle monster creatures." Nerdette's Greta Johnsen talked to Jemisin earlier this week about the novel, how all cities have personalities, and why she doesn’t describe racism with subtlety.  AND in a couple weeks, we'll bring you a panel discussion on The City We Became for our May Nerdette Book Club.

 TV You Gotta Watch | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:21:57

TV! We need it, you probably need it, and New York Times TV critic Margaret Lyons has it!  Lyons tells us about four great new TV shows — each of which fits into that “Just-feed-it-to-me-like grapes” model of show that we all so desperately crave right now. And of course, we field TV recommendations from listeners, too!

 Should You Cut Your Own Hair? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:16:21

When Nerdette listeners told us last week what they would have done with a warning before stay-at-home orders, haircuts were top of mind. But is an at-home haircut ever a good idea? Nerdette host Greta Johnsen asked her friend (and hair stylist) Julia Pishko for some tips.

 What Was On Your Pre-Pandemic Wish List? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:15:00

If you had a one-week pre-stay-at-home warning, what would you have done? This episode is filled with your pre-pandemic wish lists, from spending time with loved ones to buying nail polish to dancing your face off. 

 The Online Dating Scene | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:15:35

In the middle of a pandemic, dating might be the last thing on your mind. But some singles are feeling more isolated now than ever, and some of them want to do something about it. We talk with two dating experts — Bela Gandhi of Smart Dating Academy in Chicago and San Francisco-based dating coach Logan Ury — about the kinds of advice they’re giving their clients right now. 

 Book Club: ‘You Never Forget Your First’ | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:37:25

Are you ready for a fresh look at George Washington and his many foul diseases? You've come to the right place!  Nerdette host Greta Johnsen joins Lulu Miller, co-creator of NPR's Invisibilia podcast and author of Why Fish Don't Exist, to break down Alexis Coe’s new biography of George Washington, You Never Forget Your First. We also eat hoecakes and consider bloodletting. Plus, get ready for next month’s book club pick: The City We Became, a new fantasy novel by Hugo Award-winning author N.K. Jemisin.

 Music You Can Use-ic | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:21:42

There’s never a bad time to expand your musical horizons, and mid-pandemic is no exception. So we got ahold of Jill Hopkins, host of The Morning AMP at Vocalo, Chicago’s urban alternative radio station, to provide us with some positive listening. Nerdette listeners supplied the rest. Enjoy! (Need a list of the songs in this week's episode? Check it out right here.)

 Book Club: Author Alexis Coe On George Washington | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:19:22

We’ve all heard the mythology around George Washington: He never told a lie! He had wooden teeth! There was a cherry tree that one time! But in her new biography, You Never Forget Your First, historian Alexis Coe revisits the origins of those myths and explores aspects of George Washington that may have been brushed over or misconstrued. Coe talked with Nerdette host Greta Johnsen about what surprised her most about our first president, the unfair portrayals of Washington’s mother, and why it’s important for women to write presidential histories.

 Podcasts To Help Cool Your Jets | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:22:44

We check in with podcast nerd Nick Quah to hear about some of the podcasts that can help you use your imagination, cook a meal and maybe even better yourself. And of course, we’ll get some pod recommendations from listeners, too! Here are the podcasts Nick mentions in this week’s episode: Home Cooking Personal Best Phoebe Reads a Mystery The Anthropocene Reviewed The Sound of Casual Violence Walking

 Book Club: Emily St. John Mandel On ‘The Glass Hotel’ | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:22:49

Imagine you’ve written a new book, your first in six years. And your last book? It was a novel about the aftermath of a deadly pandemic. That’s Emily St. John Mandel, author of the award-winning 2014 novel Station Eleven. Her new book — released on March 24 and titled The Glass Hotel — is decidedly different; she called it “a ghost story with a Ponzi scheme and container shipping.” We talk with Mandel about what it’s like to release a highly-anticipated novel during massive stay-at-home orders, what research for Station Eleven taught her to expect during a pandemic and why you shouldn’t read books you don’t like. And be sure not to miss this episode of the Nerdette Book Club all about breaking down The Glass Hotel!

 Introvert’s Guide To The Good Life: Movie Edition! | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:14:04

Let's all go to the lobby! But first, we check in with NPR film critic Bob Mondello about the best movies to watch right now. (Hint: he's not interested in pandemic movies like Contagion.) And of course, we’ll get some movie recommendations from listeners, too!


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