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Ed Yong’s new book, “An Immense World,” urges readers to break outside of their “sensory bubble” and reflect on the unique ways dogs, dolphins, mice and other animals experience their environment.
“I’ve often said that my beat is everything that has ever lived or has lived, encompassing billions of species, basically the entire history of the planet,” Yong says in this week’s podcast. “One thing I like about this particular subject – the sensory worlds of other animals – is that the self, while a singular, coherent subject, is also the gateway to thousands of little wonders. Falling into this one corner of biology alone there’s so much to learn.”
Terry Alford visits the podcast to talk about his new book, “In the Houses of Their Dead,” an examination of how Abraham Lincoln, John Wilkes Booth and their families were influenced by spiritualism.
Alford says of Lincoln: “There is a struggle, as far as I can see, in him between the rational side and the side that wants to be comforted and connect with someone you loved and who is no longer there. He really wanted that, and he said he wanted that to some people too. But at the end of the day, he just felt that contact with the dead as a séance was really delusional.”
Also in this week’s episode, Lauren Christensen and Joumana Khatib talk about what they’ve read. John Williams is the landlord.
Here are the books discussed in this week’s “What We Read”:
We’d love to hear what you think about this episode, and about the Book Review podcast in general. You can send them to books.†