Scott Carrier tells the story of trying to bring a part of the outside world inside the house when he was a boy. His brother wanted to capture a rattlesnake and bring it home and keep in the basement, as a secret.
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True stories of what happens when children are allowed to bring nature's own creatures into the house as pets. When it comes to rodents, fish and amphibians, it often works out badly...for the pets.
The story of a book that changed a family's life, but only temporarily and not for the better. David Sedaris describes what happens when he finds a dirty book in the woods and shares it with his sisters.
In this act we hear two stories of people who stumbled upon a place where they instantly and instinctively felt more at home than in their real homes. Stephen Dubner, author of the memoir Turbulent Souls: A Catholic Son's Return to His Jewish Family, talks about an encounter with a Jewish man named Irving that changed his life.
What if you asked people for advice and actually took all the advice that everyone gave you? As an experiment, writer Sarah Vowell tried exactly that, when she recently solicited advice from many different people about insomnia.
The tendency toward self-reinvention is so deep in American culture that we have an entire industry, a self-help industry, telling us how to transform ourselves into someone new. And usually, we see this as a positive thing.
Over the course of his life, Keith Aldrich was a child of the Depression; an aspiring Hollywood actor; a self-styled Beat writer, a member of the New York literati, and then a hippie. Then in the 80's, he became a born-again Christian.