Saturday, October 07, 2006

name your talk radio guest

I’m gearing up for our 9th live on-air season, starting in just a few days, and will be spending the next week or so on program development. I thought you might be able to help!

I’m looking for really great nonfiction books, films, or people that have changed your way of thinking; even changed your life. Changes don’t have be monumental—but what have you read that’s created a significant Ah-Ha moment, or made you see life differently, or given you a radically different perspective? Which nonfiction books do you recommend to others? Which nonfiction films engaged you in conversation long after you’d left the theater? What stories or topics have been buried in mainstream media? What should more of us understand or be aware of? Or who can enlighten through the power of laughter?

My favorite guests, and the ones our listeners typically connect with the most, are those who’ve got a really compelling story to share. They’re often ordinary people who’ve stretched themselves above and beyond the ordinary; who’ve pushed the envelope and accomplished or survived what everyone said they couldn’t.

Like the partners, in love and business, who shot a documentary about the vanishing art treasures of Iraq. While she flew back to New York to begin editing their film, he stayed in Iraq to shoot more footage. Videos flashed around the world’s news stations showing him handcuffed and hooded with a rifle to his head—and that’s when his partner learned he’d been kidnapped by insurgents who threatened to shoot him if their demands were ignored.

Or the 50-year-old former nurse I profiled in a feature series after she’d walked solo to the magnetic north pole, coming face to face with polar bears. She’s now a respected National Geographic explorer, has lived with wolves, followed the caribou trail, walked the Mongolian Desert, and has been on the show twice. Or Dr. Jane Goodall, a very humble, regular person with extraordinary tenacity, whose work has reached far beyond saving chimpanzees from extinction to touch the lives of young children and their understanding of our world.

I’m not an expert on much of anything. But through my work, my goal is to help inspire, inform, and stimulate, one person at a time. Who do you think would make a great guest?

Links to previous interviews mentioned above.
The Jane Goodall Institute
Micah and Marie Helen Garen - American Hostage and Micha's Iraq
Helen Thayer - Explorer


John Ivey said...

The three most compelling documentaries that I've seen recently have been The Corporation, Why We Fight, and Howard Zinn: You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train.

The first explores corporate greed and globalization, an example of which is the Third World garment worker who receives 17¢ for making a designer jacket that sells for $150 in America. (

Why We Fight openings with President Eisenhower's farewell address in which he warns of the military-industrial complex that World War II ushered in to America, and goes on to explain how weapons manufacturers together with the Pentagon and Congress sustain a $300 billion plus industry in the United States. (

The third is a documentary on Howard Zinn the title of which comes from one of his 20 books that includes his bestseller, A People's History of the United States. A noted historian, Zinn speaks of how as with the Vietnam War, which he protested actively, people can come together in civil disobedience and change government policy. (

I would recommend to one who wishes to be more enlightened of a dark and dangerous side of the United States that he or she make this trio a must see.

WithinWithout said...

Michael Moore, for starters.

To me he's the most interesting person in the U.S. and perhaps the most courageous.

Harriet Lerner, author of The Dance of Connection.

Dave Barry. What's happening to America and the world, and does it ever get difficult for him to write humourous columns when potentially he sees the world caving in around him?

Eckhart Tolle, author of the Power of Now -- a Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment and many other books.

A former girlfriend introduced him to me. I think his philosophy is incredibly flawed, but many others don't. If you look at NOW, we're a mess. How can your life be about NOW when maybe the only thing that makes you smile is the memories you had from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s or 90s?

John M. Gottman, author of The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. The divorce rate is at or above 50 per cent in North America. What the hey? Are his principles still workable? Are people still ignoring them, too caught up in their $500,000 mortgages and surviving to know how to make a marriage work?

Bibi said...

John, interesting choices. I've seen the Corporation. Good film, and book...they hit a lot of very significant problems that have a far-reaching negative impact. Thanks.

Within-Without, interesting again. Agree with you about Michael Moore and The Power of NOW. I took a look at that book a while ago and didn't gel with it, but as you said, many people do! Thanks!

Ant said...

Not sure if it's the kind of thing your after but:

1) The Naudet brothers account of 9/11. It was a straight-forward film with basic human tenets at the heart of it - the rookie fire-fighter, the interviews with the firemen just before they went up the stairs never to be seen again. Contrasts strongly with the political finger-pointing that Michael Moore tends to engage in (I think he's a very good film director but find his views horrendously partisan, with poor substantiation behind his many of his accusations).

2) From across the pond, Simon Schama's History of Britain. Not sure if this got screened in the US (though Schama is a don at Columbia University) but it was a fantastic documentary series that boiled down the history of the islands, the empire and eventually it's context in the 21st century, to the personalities of certain key figures. Again, it brought the human element to what can often be a very dry subject and most importantly, told the story as just that - a story (with no "experts" being interviewed and the like...) But I don't know if that has enough local interest for your show... :o)

Kelly Wolfe said...

I loved Norah Ephron's new book I Feel Bad About My Neck. Ot's funny, but it really has a lot of wisdom in it too. Arianna Huffingtno's book On Becoming Fearless was very inspirational for women, as is her personal story.


Bibi said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bibi said...

Lisa, I just bought Ephron's book but haven't read it yet. Love her humor! I also got Huffington's Fearless on CD last month. She's done quite a lot w. her life; was surprised.

Thanks Ant, appreciate your input. I think I've seen the firefighter's film...have to check. And yes, although I love Michael Moore's films, he definitely produces work with a specific audience in mind. In all fairness to him, he makes it known that he has an agenda: he's a nonfiction vs. documentary filmmaker. Thanks again!

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