How is technology changing the way that we read? And how is social media changing how we tell stories? These are questions that will be addressed at an upcoming symposium hosted by the Monroe County Library System.

We discuss how emerging technology and trends will impact the future of reading, and how to make this kind of technology available to all readers. Our guests:

  • Bob Scheffel, librarian at the Central Library and member of the Emerging Technology Committee at the Monroe County Library System
  • Erika Linke, associate dean of University Libraries at Carnegie Mellon University, and co-chair of the American Library Association Digital Content Working Group
  • Eric Hellman, president of the Free EBook Foundation
  • Greg Benoit, director of the Gates Public Library

The freedom to read is one of the most powerful ideas in human history: it enables us to consider new ideas and information. But that has always made some people in power uncomfortable. Banning books is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in this country, and it's a practice that still very much alive today.

This is Banned Books Week, and this hour, we look at trends in book banning. Who is doing the banning? Which groups are calling for the bans? What trends have emerged in recent years -- in other words, what kids of themes in books are more likely to be banned? Plus, we want to hear your thoughts on the process of banning books and its effects. Our guests:

  • Joe Flaherty, founding director of Writers & Books
  • Mari Tsuchiya, senior library assistant at the River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester
  • Ryan Prendergast, associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Rochester

Author Kurt Andersen asks a question about what went wrong in our country in his new book, Fantasyland: How American Went Haywire: A 500-Year History. Andersen thinks something has gone wrong, and he thinks it's embedded in the American DNA.

Andersen writes, "Why do we believe in conspiracy theories? Why do so many of us believe in magical thinking or have poor reasoning skills?" He also says, "Why are we like this? The short answer is because we’re Americans—because being American means we can believe anything we want; that our beliefs are equal or superior to anyone else’s, experts be damned. Once people commit to that approach, the world turns inside out, and no cause-and-effect connection is fixed. The credible becomes incredible and the incredible credible."

Andersen is tough on our history. He's our guest for the hour. 

Author Lisa Hillman shares her personal story of raising a child with an addiction. The Hillmans are a prominent family in Annapolis, Maryland – Lisa, an accomplished fundraising executive for a leading healthcare system, her husband, a former mayor. Yet in Secret No More, Hillman offers a look behind the curtain. Her son, Jacob, struggled with addiction beginning in high school, and his addiction progressed from alcohol to the marijuana, to OxyContin, and then, to heroin.

In her book, Hillman shares her family’s journey, with the goal of offering hope to other struggling parents. She’s our guest for the hour.

Rochester City School Board president Van White has written a new children's book. It's called "Heroes," and it's about the everyday heroes in our lives: doctors, firefighters, caregivers. He joins us to talk about why he wrote the book and the importance of diversity and inclusion in literature.

Have you ever felt like your doctor had no time for you? Or that, when you finally had time with a doc, you felt rushed and unheard? Dr. Ron Epstein's new book aims to change all of that. It's called Attending: Medicine, Mindfulness, and Humanity. But what is mindfulness in a medical setting? Dr. Epstein says that the best doctors have it, and it allows them to connect with their patients in meaningful, human contexts. That's the difference between drumming through a routine, and listening long enough to realize that a shoulder pain might be something more sinister.

Dr. Epstein joins us to work through ways doctors can train themselves to be present, and connect with their patients -- raising the quality of care for everyone.

Torture. Sweeping police powers. Unlawful detention. Scandal at the highest level. We're talking about... Paris, roughly 340 years ago.

In a remarkable new book, professor Holly Tucker tells the story of l'Affaire de les Poisons -- the Affair of the Poisons, which rocked France and put a target on King Louis XIV himself. Louis responded by appointing Paris' first police chief, who kept voluminous records. Tucker's story reads like fiction -- witches! Black Sabbaths! Poisonous powders slipped into the wine glasses of nobles! -- but it's history, and it feels all too familiar to modern debates about whether torture works, and just how much we're willing to give up in the name of security. Tucker is our guest for the hour.

Democrat & Chronicle journalist Gary Craig has just published a book about the infamous Rochester Brinks heist. Craig pulls many threads together to spin this tale of deception, robbery, and murder. So who really did it? And where is the money? We've been looking forward to this discussion for a long time.

When it comes to literacy, we're number... seven? A new world ranking has Finland leading the way, and western hemisphere nations are struggling. It's national Children's Book Week, and we're focusing on what kids are reading.

We discuss the vital nature of literacy, along with efforts to identify the great books for kids. Our guests:

We talk with Joann Lublin, the management news editor for The Wall Street Journal.

While her work at The Journal has earned numerous accolades, including a Pulitzer Prize, Lublin's ascent to the newspaper’s highest ranks did not come without challenges. As one of the paper's first female reporters, she says she experienced sexual harassment, unequal pay, and a number of other obstacles. Lublin decided to share her experiences — along with those of more than 50 other high ranking female corporate executives — in a new book, Earning It: Hard-Won Lessons from Trailblazing Women at the Top of the Business World.

She joins us to discuss leadership lessons and her thoughts on the future of women in the workplace.