Marc Ruskin spent 27 years as an FBI agent, most of them undercover. He shares many of his stories in a new book, “The Pretender: My Life Undercover for the FBI.” We discussed what it takes to become an undercover agent, how he created and maintained multiple identities, and how the challenge of remaining undercover has evolved with technology.
Annabelle Gurwitch’s new book is “Wherever You Go, There They Are: Stories About My Family You Might Relate To.” We had a fun chat about the stories in the book (The Alabama Jewish Mafia! Bootleggers! Philanderers! THC smuggling!), assuming and or/wishing we were adopted, bringing back scrapbooking, and transcript tattoos.
Jesse Brown is the host of the #1 Canadian podcast, “Canadaland,” and author of the entertaining and enlightening new book “Canadaland’s Guide to Canada.” We discussed what “Sorry” really means, why Canada doesn’t really want you to move there, and the importance of Tim Horton’s in Canada’s sense of pride and nationalism. Also, as required by the laws of Canadian Content, we talk about beer and hockey.
One of the greatest sentences ever spoken to me in my life happened just before this interview: “Ryan, I’ve got Michael Nesmith on the line for you.” It was an absolute thrill to chat with Mike about his new book, “Infinite Tuesday: An Autobiographical Riff.”
Julian Lennon called in to talk about his new children’s book, “Touch the Earth.” We discussed the book’s positive environmental message, his faith in children to help take care of the planet, his White Feather Foundation, and how this book came from a very special and personal experience.
Tom Verducci is the senior baseball writer for Sports Illustrated and a two-time National Sportswriter of the Year. His new book is “The Cubs Way: The Zen of Building the Best Team in Baseball and Breaking the Curse.” We discussed how the team assembled by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer goes far beyond the “moneyball” statistics (including the notion that team chemistry is a real and very important thing), how it took a complete overhaul of the business model as well as the on-field product to build a winner, and why Joe Maddon gave up on trying to cure Jon Lester’s yips.
Author William McKeen called in for a fun chat about his new book “Everybody Had An Ocean: Music and Mayhem in 1960s Los Angeles.” We discussed how many casual music fans (and even some dedicated Beach Boys fans) may not know about the connection between the Beach Boys and Charles Manson, what drew so many musicians to L.A. in the ’60s, and how the hippie philosophies of peace, love and acceptance might unfortunately led to their downfall.
Andrew McCarthy called in to talk about his debut novel, “Just Fly Away,”which is out now. We discussed his choice to tell the story from the perspective of a 15-year-old girl, how he found the voice of the narrator, and how writing is similar to acting, but on a more personal level.
Mitch Albom called in to talk about the 20th anniversary edition of “Tuesdays With Morrie.” We discussed the new chapter he wrote for the book, the lessons he learned from Morrie (and continues to teach) and why the book made him a better person.
Margot Lee Shetterly is the author of “Hidden Figures,” the bestselling book that inspired the Oscar-nominated film. We discussed how she grew up in Virginia and knew the women portrayed in the film, How the movie went into production while she was still writing the book, and why she wanted to tell this story — and why so many of us had never heard it before.