NEWS
JOURNALISM
RADIO
NONFICTION BOOKS
NOVELS
BIO
CONTACT
 
 

FAVORITES

- SWITCHED AT BIRTH on This American Life:  On a summer day in 1951, two baby girls were born in a hospital in small-town Wisconsin. The infants were accidentally switched, and went home with the wrong families. One of the mothers realized the mistake but chose to keep quiet -- until the day, more than 40 years later, when she decided to talk. Click here to listen -- and then select 'Full Episode.'  (Running time 1 hour.)

- THE COLLECTOR on This American Life:  Jake tells the story of a rare documents expert, John Reznikoff, who came into possession of some materials which—if authentic—would change history. Then things got complicated.  Click here to listen for free on the show's website.  Scroll down, it's the second act (32 minutes).

- A BOY'S HEART on All Things Considered (ATC): Listen to the story of a young, aspiring Navy Seal who died and the man who got his heart.  This story took me six months to report.  Click here to listen and to see pictures on the NPR website.

 

STORIES ABOUT DANGEROUS & REMOTE PLACES

- LIFE ON AN ERUPTING VOLCANO on ATC: It's just a little lava. Have a listen.
 
- THE UNDERWATER TOWN on ATC: What happens when your town becomes a modern-day Atlantis? Have a listen.
 
- TOWER OF THE ARCTIC on ATC: An abandoned military base becomes a refuge for eccentric loners. Have a listen.
 
- THE LAST OF THE MALIBU HILLBILLIES on ATC: Millie Decker never runs from a raging inferno. Have a listen.
 
- ISLAND OF THE STORM RIDERS on ATC: Why run from a hurricane? Have a listen.
 
 
STORIES ABOUT ME & MY FAMILY

CHRISTMAS DAY MOVIES PRESENTS… on ATC: Unsure of how to fit in with my in laws, I cast them as zombies in a movie.  Click here.

THE HOTDOG VENDOR & THE U.S. CONSTITUTION on ATC: My dad, the hotdog vendor and Constitutional law professor, takes on the NFL.  Click here.

MY GRANDFATHER'S TRIP TO THE MOON on ATC: He never made it, but maybe I will.  Click here.

- GRANDPA'S BIRTH on ATC:  The story of my grandfather's life, as told in his 107-year-old birth certificate. Listen here.

- BED BUGS on ATC: Listen to my latest commentary on bed bugs, paranoia, and a very high-priced dog named Bugsy.  Listen here.

A CRIMINAL COINCIDENCE on ATC: When you are reading a who-done-it novel, it is odd to discover that a character with your name, in your hometown, from your very own street is a suspect.  Click here.

URBAN LEGENDS on ATC: I didn't believe it until it happened to me.  Click here.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

- NIGHT SOLDIERS (ATC): Check out my review of Alan Furst's novel, Night SoldiersClick here.

- ZOMBIE SURVIVAL (ATC): Listen to my latest commentary on zombies, obsession, and survival.  Click here to listen.

- SURVIVAL BOOKS (ATC): Listen to my latest commentary on three books which -- literally -- might just save your life.  Click here to listen.

SHIPWRECKED (ATC): Three books for the shipwreck-obsessed.  Click here.

THE WINDS OF WAR (ATC):  A book that spans generations.  Click here.

 

POP CULTURE: TV, MUSIC, & VIDEO GAMES

MAD MEN (ATC): How the TV show Mad Men helped me understand a paranoid chapter from my family's past.  Click here.

- A NEW GAME THAT'S GOOD -- TOO GOOD (ATC): What happens when simulations in video games become too life like?   Click here.

OLD BOOTLEGS (ATC): There is only one way to listen to the Grateful Dead.  Click here.

SIDEKICKS (ATC): A tribute to Ed McMahon, Sancho Panza, and sidekicks everywhere.  Click here.

 

STORIES ON FAME & CELEBRITY

ROLLING OUT THE RED CARPET on ATC: A story about the meaning of the Hollywood red carpets and an encounter with the guy who cuts, binds, and ships them.  Click here.

BIKINI WAXER on ATC: Meet Hollywood's hottest agent -- only she isn't an agent -- she's a bikini waxer.  Click here.

MY FICTIONAL FRIENDS on ATC: What happens when your friendships exist only in your own head?.  Click here.

HOLLYWOOD MYTHOLOGY on ATC: What does Hollywood gossip and Greek mythology have in common?  Click here.

ACQUIRED SITUATIONAL NARCISSISM on ATC: What happens when your friendships exist only in your own head?.  Click here.

THE DARK SIDE OF FAME: Read the text of Jake's latest commentary on Susan Boyle and the dark side of fame.  Click here.

- RULED BY ROD on ATC: Marcy Braunstein claims that she is addicted to Rod Stewart.   Click here.

- ALMOST FAMOUS on ATC: Meet the Association of Celebrity Personal Assistants.   Click here.

- OSCAR DREAMS NEVER FADE AWAY on ATC: Hal Riddle is 90, but he still dreams of Oscars.  Click here.

AGENT FOR THE DEAD on ATC: Meet a Hollywood agent who exclusively represents dead celebrities.  Click here.

FAME SCHOOL on ATC: Major League Baseball is sending its rookies back to school to learn about the dangers of fame.  Click here.