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Looking for a Good Book?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013 - 04:00 AM

Check out our new browsable bookshelf -- it's an ever-growing compilation of all the books related to each and every Radiolab podcast, so you can always find a handy list of recommendations.

We'll update the shelf each time we release a new podcast, so keep your eyes peeled for new additions. In the meantime, take a spin:

The books are grouped together by podcast on the main page (all the books related to Blood sit next to each other, for example), and you can always find out which podcast a book relates to by clicking into its detail page. Or just explore by subject tag and see what tickles your fancy.

Happy reading, and we hope you enjoy the visual layout. We've added links to buy each book in the archive if you're so inclined -- if you do buy something through one of the links, it'll help support the show (a portion of the proceeds will go to Radiolab, and help us with production costs). So thanks in advance! And a big thanks to Andrew LeClair & Rob Giampietro who built Otlet's Shelf, the snazzy Tumblr theme that powers the bookshelf. 

P.S. If you've got suggestions for books we should add (or notice any we might have missed), let us know!


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Comments [14]

Alex from New York, NY

Recommending Richard Doyle's latest book, "Darwin's Pharmacy: Sex, Plants, and the Evolution of the Noösphere (In Vivo: The Cultural Mediations of Biomedical Science)".

Synopsis from Amazon:

"Are humans unwitting partners in evolution with psychedelic plants? Darwin's Pharmacy weaves the evolutionary theory of sexual selection and the study of rhetoric together with the science and literature of psychedelic drugs. Long suppressed as components of the human tool kit, psychedelic plants can be usefully modeled as "eloquence adjuncts" that intensify a crucial component of sexual selection in humans: discourse. In doing so, they engage our awareness of the noösphere, defined by V.I. Vernadsky as the thinking stratum of the earth, the realm of consciousness feeding back onto the biosphere. Sharing intelligence, connecting with the noösphere and integrating individuality into its ecosystemic context offers powerful and promising ways to respond to ecosystems in crisis, and formed the backdrop of what Doyle dubs the "ecodelic" thought of the environmental movement."

Oct. 14 2013 11:08 AM
Ross from Birmingham

YES! I came to your site to tell you how excited I am that my local station (WBHM, Birmingham) just picked up Radiolab and saw this! I DO need a book to read and there have been times that I've tried to remember one from an episode. THIS IS AWESOME!

Oct. 01 2013 01:22 AM

Hey guys,

This bookshelf is a great idea. I'm buying Oliver Sack's Musicophilia.

That made me think of a great idea for y'all... You should put up albums (of bands you've featured on the show) together in a CD shelf or music collection of sorts.


p.s. Dawn of Midi is AWESOME.

Sep. 30 2013 11:06 PM
Sara from Alpena, MI

There's a book, scheduled for release in January 2014, that fits perfectly into the theme of the BLAME episode! The book is titled YOU DISAPPEAR: A Novel and is by Christian Jungersen!

Sep. 27 2013 08:40 PM

I may have overlooked it, but I don't see "Jubilee City: A Memoir at Full Speed" by Joe Andoe. His story has always stood out to me, and I've often wondered about Kay's family.

Sep. 20 2013 03:52 PM
Mark from The Hague

I do want to support you guys via buying books on amazon clicking the affiliate links, but I'm living in The Netherlands to which Aamazon US doesn't deliver. So I have to open a new window, go to the UK or DE store (there's no NL store yet) order it there and you won't receive any commission from it. Any way of putting up a UK affiliate link?

Sep. 18 2013 07:01 PM
Julie from Birmingham

so much happy! Now I don't have to try to find a piece of paper while I'm driving so I can get down the name of the book you just mentioned that I KNOW i have to read!

Sep. 18 2013 04:37 PM

sepiae, glad to hear you liked Rabid. And Kirsten, thanks for the suggestions!

Sep. 18 2013 01:57 PM

Hey Josh,

Good question / suggestion -- we got a couple similar ones on Facebook, here are some more details on how the book links work in case other folks have questions too:

We participate in the Amazon Affiliate program, so if you click on one of the Amazon links from our bookshelf, and then buy something (whether it's the book we linked to, a different Kindle or paperback version, or even something else you decide to purchase instead), we get a small commission. That said, the main purpose of the bookshelf is to share books we like and make it easy for you to find ones we mention on the podcast - we're just as happy if you borrow these books from a library or a friend! And as always, if you're interested in supporting Radiolab, the best way to do that is to make a donation - listener support is our most significant source of funding, and it takes just a few minutes to make a contribution:

Thanks, and happy reading!

Sep. 18 2013 01:54 PM
Kirsten from Portland, OR

What a fantastic list! I think you guys might enjoy some of the books by Jonathan Haidt, particularly The Happiness Hypothesis and The Righteous Mind.

Sep. 18 2013 12:30 PM

I've already finished reading 'Rabid...', following and thus thanks to your podcast 'Rodney vs Death'.
Deeply recommend this read, sucked up and devoured it within the shortest of time. Very exciting, very well structured and renewing my admiration for Louis Pasteur.

Sep. 18 2013 06:38 AM
Kevin Blouin

Was just catching up on episodes and found the "goat, cow, Ella Chase" episode, but focusing on goat on a cow in 1994: I witnessed the same thing that year outside of Austin, TX. Was this possibly the "year of the goat on a cow"? I doubt that counts as a "Chinese year of..."

Sep. 18 2013 01:42 AM
norma from San Antonio

I thought you might like to use a photo to go with the story about the goat standing on a cow. That's not what the story was about, of course, but I can't remember the name of the episode. I see, though, that you couldn't wait for the photo and have come up with a graphic of your own.
Go to if you're interested because I don't know how to add it to this email.

Sep. 17 2013 06:42 PM

Please include a link to Kindle versions of the books. The amazon referral appears to only be attached to the hardcopy of each book. I want y'all to get the spoils of my Kindle purchases of these books!!!

Sep. 17 2013 02:26 PM

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