Andrea Morningstar tells the story of a ten-year-old girl from small town Michigan named Sarah York, and how she became pen pals with a man who was considered an enemy of the United States, a dictator, a drug trafficker, and a murderer: Manuel Noriega.
When Janice Powell's husband went to prison, he wrote her a letter every day for eight years. When he was at home, he'd drink and get violent, but Janice said that the years in prison were the best of their relationship.
Jeffrey Brown wrote a comic novel called Clumsy, a beautiful and intimate account of his relationship with his ex-girlfriend. He talks with Ira about the relationship and why he chose to draw cartoons about it after it ended.
A guy who writes under the pen name Greg Tate wrote a book called 11 Years, 9 Months and 5 Days, which is nothing more than a year-by-year account—one vignette after another—of things that happened to him in his minimum-wage job as a janitor in a fast food burger place that he calls "The Burger Store." Justin Kaufman reads surprisingly riveting excerpts. The book was self-published at xlibris.com.
Host Ira Glass talks to Neil Chesanow, co-author of Please Read This for Me, a self-help book that doesn't just give you general advice. It gives you actual scripts to use in various difficult situations: Pre-written speeches to deliver if you've fallen out of love with your boyfriend, say, or if you've decided you want to have a baby.
Michael Bernard Loggins, a developmentally disabled man in his 50s, tried to battle his fears by listing them, and came up with a list 138 items long. With the help of an arts program, Creativity Explored, he published his list in two zines called Fears of Your Life and Fears of Your Life: A Whole New One.