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TTBOOK is a nationally-syndicated radio show that cracks open the world and the ideas that fuel its engine. We usually produce two hours a week, each revolving around a theme. Some themes are big, like: Are Humans Innately Good? Others go micro, like Revenge of the Nerds. Once we pick the theme, we dig in with interviews that explore the culture, the debate, the stories, the science and the actual sound of it all. And hopefully, when we’re done, we’ve animated the questions along with the answers.
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- EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE are at the heart of TTBOOK. Novelists and poets, scientists and software designers, theologians and physicists, composers and filmmakers, historians, naturalists, journalists.... they’re people who are shaping our culture, changing our ideas, re-thinking our world.
- CREATIVE CONVERSATION is one of the most compelling forces we know. Sometimes we think of TTBOOK as a radio dinner party, where the guests are witty, engaging people full of original ideas. We’re hosting the party, so our job is to help everyone shine. Connections get made, ideas hatched, imagination sparked. And you? You’re the guest of honor. In fact, the whole party is for you.
- THEMES give each hour a focus and our guests a reason to be there. A good theme is a conversation starter: is the Internet making us stupid? Are humans innately good? What’s the best road trip you ever took?
- THE MIX of interviews in each hour is something we think about a lot. It’s a bit like designing a menu for that dinner party. Each producer goes about it a little differently. Regular listeners to TTBOOK can often identify the producer of an hour through its sound and content. If an hour is about post-modern art or pop culture, Doug Gordon probably produced it. Science and religion? That’s Steve Paulson’s trademark. Contemporary fiction? Anne and Veronica trade the latest novels back and forth. Incidentally, we don’t know any other radio show that gives each producer a full hour, but it’s one reason TTBOOK hours are like mini-docs in interview form. There’s an underlying design, a subtle narrative woven into each hour – which is also why they stand up to repeat listening.
- BIG IDEAS. There are some things TTBOOK is not. It is emphatically not part of the 24/7 news cycle that dominates so much of the media. There are plenty of wonderful news shows out there and we are personally addicted to many of them. But that’s not what we do. We look for guests who can give us a deeper perspective on the world we’re living in. We like being hauled back from the day’s headlines to think about the long sweep of history that led to this moment in time. We like grappling with perennial questions. Is it too much to ask that a radio show provide the occasional kernel of wisdom or nugget of inspiration as a complement, or even antidote, to the week’s news?
- OPEN IT UP. You know that feeling when a conversation suddenly comes alive? Something opens up – an idea, a personal connection – and suddenly, your world feels a little bigger, more full of possibility. We try hard to get to that place in interviews. If we believe anything, it’s that cultivating a spirit of open-mindedness and curiosity really can change the world.
- OPEN MINDS, OPEN ARCHIVES. Over the years, we’ve accumulated a treasure trove of interviews with extraordinary people. Now, we’ve opened our archives up to you. Please plunder and explore, listen and share. Assemble your own playlist, re-mix and re-mash. We’ve broken our shows up so you can listen to individual interviews, email and share them with friends and family. Use them to open up new conversations of your own.