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: Greta Johnsen
  • Copyright: Copyright 2015 Chicago Public Media


 Therapeutic Advice From An Infectious Disease Expert | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:27:34

The coronavirus pandemic is not over, but stay-at-home orders are starting to loosen up across the country. In Illinois, people can now visit hair salons, museums, restaurants and even bars. Meanwhile, other states are seeing more cases of COVID-19 than ever before.  Which means all of this is really confusing. Dr. Emily Landon, an epidemiologist and infectious disease specialist at the University of Chicago, has spent a lot of time thinking about global pandemics, and COVID-19 in particular. She talks with Greta about navigating the world, making personal risk assessments and whether or not you should hug your friends. 

 Book Club: ‘The Vanishing Half’ | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 01:13:23

It's Nerdette Book Club! Each month, we read a book and chat about it with a rotating group of panelists.This month’s pick is Brit Bennett’s sophomore novel, The Vanishing Half. The story starts in rural Louisiana in the late 1950s, when two light-skinned Black girls run away from home to New Orleans. When one decides to pass as white, she leaves her past behind. The book unfolds to tell the stories of both sisters and their daughters as they live with the repercussions of the choices they’ve made. Listen along as Nerdette host Greta Johnsen discusses the book with Abby West, an editor for Audible, and Kiley Reid, author of Such a Fun Age. And then get ready for next month’s pick: Last Tang Standing, Lauren Ho’s debut novel. The publisher calls it a cross between Bridget Jones’ Diary and Crazy Rich Asians.

 Why You Should Build Literally Anything | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:25:40

We talk with Emily Pilloton, author of Girls Garage: How to Use Any Tool, Tackle Any Project, and Build the World You Want to See, about representation, being your own repair person and it's important to put power tools in the hands of young girls.

 It's Tidy Time | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:17:03

For the last few weeks, our “Introvert’s Guide to the Good Life” series has been all about helping you find ways to enrich your perhaps-more-than-usual indoors-based life.  Today, we talk to Pooja Naik, founder of Chicago-based organizational consulting company Organizing With You. She tells us why you should make your bed and how decluttering your physical space can help with your head space.

 Got Plants? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:15:51

For the last few weeks, our “Introvert’s Guide to the Good Life” series has been all about helping you find ways to enrich your perhaps-more-than-usual indoors-based life. Today, we talk to plant expert Tara Heibel, who owns a garden center called Sprout Home here in Chicago and also in Brooklyn, about why you might want to consider putting some of your anxious energy towards helping something simple grow.

 Brit Bennett On Transgressing Racial Identity In ‘The Vanishing Half’ | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:28:21

Greta talks with Brit Bennett, the author of this month’s Nerdette Book Club selection, The Vanishing Half, which just climbed to the top of The New York Times bestselling fiction list amid nationwide conversations around racial inequality. The Vanishing Half tells the story of two light-skinned black sisters whose lives take very different directions: Desiree moves back home after escaping an abusive relationship with her dark-skinned husband while Stella chooses to pass as a white woman. Hear from Brit and then come back later this month for our Nerdette Book Club panel discussion. And remember, we want to hear from you too! Send us a voice memo about your thoughts on the book before Wednesday, June 24

 What Can I Do? | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:26:31

It’s a question a lot of people are asking right now. So we  talk with author and activist Kate Schatz about how white people can have constructive conversations with each other about racism in America. Ever since Schatz’s friend, comedian W. Kamau Bell, made Schatz responsible for “Conan O’Brien’s whiteness,” she’s been answering white people’s questions on Instagram live.

 Books To Read Right Now | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:25:52

Widespread protests against police brutality have led many white people to ask how they can better understand the systems behind the disparities in our society. There are dozens of great resources out there. Nerdette host Greta Johnsen and NPR books editor Barrie Hardymon offer a few recommendations of the books they’ve found helpful. Plus a handful of summer reads, too.

 Take A Minute | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 00:17:58

We think you could use some joy and calm right now. So we’re taking a moment to take some deep breaths. Then, we’ll listen back to part of our delightful 2017 interview with Tom Hanks.

 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!


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