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Sunday, January 13, 2019

1/14/19 9:30am pst - Dr. Bryan E. Robinson joined Janeane to share details of his latest book #CHILL Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life

Dr. Bryan E. Robinson's focus is on helping perfectionists find work/life balance, and he is a nationally recognized expert in work addiction. He asks readers and his clients to discover how to BE and not just always focus on DOing.

LISTEN to today's conversation with Dr. Bryan E. Robinson!

This winter, Robinson will release #CHILL Turn Off Your Job and Turn On Your Life (William Morrow Hardcover; on sale: 12/31/18). He has been interviewed most recently for The Washington Post, The Atlantic WebMD, and many other outlets in the past on the subject of work addiction, and Alanis Morisette speaks highly of him, saying, "Bryan Robinson is a leading-edge voice in the world of work addiction recovery. Born from his direct experience, these meditations are chock full of warm and powerful wisdom, guidance, and empathy.”


“Bryan Robinson is a leading-edge voice in the world of work addiction recovery. Born from his direct experience, these meditations are chock full of warm and powerful wisdom, guidance, and empathy.” –Alanis Morissette

ASHEVILLE, NC–How many times have you worked late into the night or even on weekends to perfect that presentation or just catch up on email rather than relaxing with a hobby or spending time with friends? Well lucky for you—and for all overachievers in the workforce—Dr. Bryan E. Robinson, a licensed psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, has given you permission to stop working and just #CHILL: Turn off Your Job and Turn on Your Life (William Morrow Hardcover; on sale: 12/31/18).

Between camps, classes, podcasts and apps, practicing meditation and mindfulness continues to rise in popularity and is on track to be *the* wellness trend of 2019. In #CHILL, Robinson explains how ending work addiction can be achieved by reframing priorities and cultivating mindfulness in daily life. Perfect for “New Year, New You” goals, work-obsessed folks and others will learn how to let go of anxiety and achieve and maintain a healthy work/life balance that so often we lament doesn’t exist.

Structured with month-to-month guides that are crafted to ground even the busiest of minds, #CHILL provides advice, inspiring quotes, and gentle guidance needed to calm anxiety, break the addiction to work, and foster a peaceful, balanced life. Robinson’s wisdom in #CHILL will assist in helping the overworked relearn and realign what truly matters so that they can still excel at their job without sacrificing their joy.

Dr. Bryan E. Robinson is a licensed psychotherapist and Professor Emeritus at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He currently has a blog on Psychology Today called “The Right Mindset.” He has been interviewed by Forbes, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, among countless other magazines. Robinson’s prior books have been published into thirteen different languages including Arabic, Korean, French, Italian, and Japanese. Visit him at www.bryanrobinsonbooks.com.


“Bryan Robinson is a leading-edge voice in the world of work addiction recovery. Born from his direct experience, these meditations are chock full of warm and powerful wisdom, guidance, and empathy. This front-line contribution helps us to recognize work addiction’s corrosive effects on health, relationships, and livelihoods and to recover daily with more work/life balance. On a personal level, I am grateful to know that these many glimpses of wisdom are available for all of us who suffer from this quiet and so-called “respectable” addiction and for how I have been helped by Bryan Robinson on my own journey of recovery.”—Alanis Morissette, singer-songwriter

“Perhaps the biggest challenge to practicing mindfulness is being mindful enough to remember to be mindful. Bryan Robinson has solved that problem by offering daily tidbits of insight, encouragement, and advice to remind us to focus on what’s important in our busy lives. Reading each day’s reflection is a step toward greater clarity, balance, contentment, and peace.”

—Mark R. Leary, Ph.D. Professor of Psychology and Neuroscience, Duke University

“The suffering of addiction runs deep and wide in this world; work addiction, in particular, is an important and underestimated one. I’m truly grateful to Bryan Robinson for bringing it to greater awareness.”—Tara Brach, Ph.D., author of Radical Acceptance

“Only when I, like Bryan Robinson, was forced by one too many episodes of burnout to uncover childhood sadnesses did I begin to see work as an irreplaceable part of my life, but not the whole of my life. And only then did I begin to focus on what I could uniquely do instead of trying to do everything—thus beginning to be far more effective as a worker.”—Gloria Steinem, activist/writer

“#CHILL Turn Off Your Job and Turn on Your Life”

In an interview, BRYAN ROBINSON can discuss:

How to approach work environments that are not conducive to living a #CHILL life

#CHILL as a way of being in the world. It's about finding that sweet spot between “tasking,” and staying in the present moment where life really happens.

How to achieve balance between doing (your job) and be- ing (your personal life)

How workaholism affects people on a cellular level

How to do “Great Work” and what that means

Ways to incorporate healthy meditation and self-care to pursue living a #CHILL life

An Interview with

In your book you talk about the difference in being “driven” and being “drawn.” What’s the difference?

When you’re “driven,” you’re the slave of external circumstances and demands (hurrying, rushing, doing). When you’re “drawn,” you’re coming from Chill, your center (your being)—you’re the True Self.

What’s the difference in a chilled worker and a workaholic?

A chilled worker is in the office dreaming about being on the ski slopes. A workaholic is on the ski slopes dreaming about being back in the office. If you’re a workaholic, you have difficulty turning off your “task mode.” If you’re chill, you are able to balance work and the other areas of your life: relationships, play, work, and self-care.

What goes on at the cellular level when we’re busy versus chill?

Our nervous system is composed of 2 branches: the sympathetic (fight or flight) and the parasympathetic (rest and digest). We need both to function in the world. The sympathetic branch is the gas. It speeds us up, gets us motivated, and carries us where we need to go. The parasympathetic branch is the brakes. It slows and calms us down so we don’t burn out our motor.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where the gas is more valued and people who cave to that life approach end up giving short shrift to loved ones and themselves. And they suffer the consequences of stress, burnout, and relationship collapse. A chilled person is able to use their gas and brakes in an integrated way so they accomplish tasks in a clear, confident, and competent way. They don’t burn out. They have more energy. And they enjoy the outcome of doing as well as the process of being.

What role does meditation play in #CHILL?

Meditation has gotten a bum rap over the years. Many people still associate it with the drug culture of the 1970s: sitting on a cushion, burning incense, playing “weird” music, mumbling a strange mantra, and sitting there for hours on end. The 21st version of meditation has been backed by hundreds of scientific studies. There are 1440 minutes in a day. I suggest taking just 5 of those minutes to meditate. It will change your life and help you experience it in a different way. Meditation is nothing more than focusing. You can do it anywhere: in your office chair, car (as long as you’re not driving), at home—and you don’t need any of the old 1970s accoutrements. Just you, your mind, and your desire. In #CHILL, I describe a cafeteria of different ways to meditate that you can choose from.

In your book you talk about “Great Work.” What do you mean by that?

Great Work is more than winning accolades, earning fat paychecks, getting that promotion, or staying ahead of deadlines. Great Work is toiling with greatness—compassion, empathy, self-care and care for others, honesty, integrity, lovingkindness, admitting mistakes and fixing them, self-correction.

In other words, it’s not simply the product of your efforts or completion of tasks; it’s the process you go through to get to the task. That’s what #CHILL is all about.

What does a reader learn in your book about how to chill?

You learn that Chilling isn’t just something you do; it’s a perspective—a way of being in the world. It’s not just finding a hobby, exercising, meditating, or relaxing, although that’s part of it. It goes deeper. When you’re in Chill, you are leading your life from 8 states of being all of which start with the letter “C”: Calm, Clarity, Confidence, Curiosity, Compassion, Creativity, Connectedness, and Courage. When you are in one or more of these states of being, you’re in what I call CHILL. You can use these 8 C words to become intentional about “being” instead of “doing.”

What role does survival coping mechanisms have to do with the ability to chill?

We are hardwired for survival. Mother Nature wants us to survive and perpetuate the species. She doesn’t give a hoot about us being happy. That’s where we have to do Great Work. She has hardwired us to overestimate threats and underestimate our ability to handle them. So we react automatically to people and situations that are not actually threatening. #CHILL shows you how to not see everything as threats and surmount them by underestimating threats and overestimating your ability to handle them.

You have a quote, “Ask not what your life can do for you; ask what you can do for your life.” What does that mean?

It means that life is not personal. It will throw us curveballs every day. So we are not victims of life’s circumstances. We have a choice every minute of every day to overcome the hurdles or obstacles or roadblocks. When you #CHILL, you empower yourself and find a solution to scale the wall of roadblocks. That builds those “C” words: Calm, Clarity, Confidence, Curiosity, Compassion, Creativity, Connectedness, and Courage.

Parting thoughts?

Everything has bookends. If you want to #chill, you must be willing to accept its opposite. You can’t have an up without a down, a front without a back, a bottom without a top. We must be willing to accept the opposite of our desires. If I want to succeed, I must be willing to accept defeat. Here’s the paradox. When I can accept both triumph and failure and happiness with disappointment and pain with pleasantness—when I can embrace everything life sends my way—then I’m in what I call the state of #Chill.

1/14/19 - 9am pst - Laura B. Whitmore and Nita Strauss joined Janeane to talk about the up-coming She Rocks Awards!

LISTEN to today's show featuring Laura B. Whitmore and Nita Strauss!

Laura B Whitmore is a lifelong songwriter and music industry veteran. Whether she’s operating her music marketing and PR business, blogging for Guitar World, organizing a mass group-guitar-jam attended by hundreds at Union Square, or working with the WiMN, an organization she founded which advocates for women in the music industry – there’s always been one constant in Whitmore’s life; songwriting.

Growing up in Massachusetts, Whitmore wrote her first song with her sister at age 7. “It was the theme of our fake weather show. We called it ‘Lollipops Hang From the Trees,’” Whitmore remembers. At age 13, after being exposed to Carly Simon and Carole King, Whitmore was inspired to pick up the guitar. “I was always making up songs and singing,” she laughs.

Taking on a career in the music business, Whitmore has worked in almost every facet of the industry. Now living in the Boston Area with her husband and two children, Whitmore frequents local open mics and hosts house concerts on a regular basis.

In 2013 she launched her single “Have A Little Faith,” produced by Collective Soul guitarist Joel Kosche and mixed by veteran engineer Shawn Grove. Whitmore shares her inspiration. “It was one of those songs that just wrote itself,” she shares. “I think it sums up my philosophy on life. Even when things are terrible, you have to believe that it’s going to be okay. Otherwise, what’s the point?!” The acoustic guitar track is from the original demo and was performed by Whitmore’s live performance partner, Charles Besocke.

Since then she’s continued to write and co-write a wide variety of songs, performing them at events like NAMM, the ASCAP expo and others. She is currently finishing a project with Los Angeles singer/songwriter Jenna Paone aimed for release in 2017/2018. The duo continue to write together under the Smart Girl Productions moniker.

Whitmore plays frequently in the Boston metro area, and occasionally hosts open mics at the Dedham Square Coffee House. She hosts a house concert series in her home that she calls Acoustic Kitchen.

When she wears her business hat, Whitmore is the owner of Mad Sun Marketing, a boutique marketing and PR agency that focuses on the music and audio. She is the producer of the She Rocks Awards and the WiMN She Rocks Showcase series, and the founder of the Women’s International Music Network. She often hosts panels, workshops and events focusing on advocacy for women in music, marketing, PR, social media and so much more.

Whitmore’s gear list includes a Breedlove Concerto Myrtle/Myrtle acoustic, Taylor 314ce acoustic, Cordoba ukulele, Fender ’72 Pawnshop electric, and 65amps London Pro amplifier. Her go to mic for recording is an Audio Technica AT4050, but she also digs the Sterling Audio ST69 Tube Microphone. She regularly records with ProTools out of her home, so you might here a dog collar jingle or the pitter patter of large teenager feet in the background if you listen closely!

About Nita Strauss

Los Angeles born guitarist Nita Strauss has become a force to be reckoned with in the music world, dazzling audiences across the US, UK, Europe, South America, Asia, Australia and Africa. Most fans will recognize Nita as Alice Cooper's touring guitarist of the past 4 years, but she has also played with R&B star Jermaine Jackson, early MTV darlings Femme Fatale, video game supergroup Critical Hit and popular tribute band The Iron Maidens. Her skill, exuberant stage presence and love for all things about her instrument have earned her a stellar reputation in the music industry and endorsements including Ibanez Guitars, Marshall Amplification, DiMarzio pickups, Monster Energy and more.

2018 has been a banner year for Nita. In January she was officially announced as the first ever female Ibanez signature artist with her own model, the Ibanez JIVA. She also released her signature pickups, the DiMarzio Pandemonium. April saw Nita playing WWE Superstar Shinsuke Nakamura's entrance music at Wrestlemania in New Orleans in front of an audience of 78,000 fans and millions streaming worldwide, and in the same month she launched a wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for her debut solo record Controlled Chaos. The campaign reached its goal in two hours, doubled it by the end of the day, tripled the following day and ended up over 800% funded. Nita produced the record herself and did the majority of the engineering, as well as playing all the guitars and bass on the record. After the record was competed, Nita signed with Sumerian Records to release and distribute the album worldwide. After finishing out the Alice Cooper tour cycle, Nita will immediately hit the road supporting Controlled Chaos alongside modern guitar virtuoso Angel Vivaldi.

Nita has been featured on the covers of many worldwide print magazines and on dozens of albums, trailers, and soundtracks, including Heroes Of The Storm (Blizzard) and Grammy-nominated Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance (Konami/ Platinum Games); and is the author of the Guitar World column "Like A Hurricane". Nita was also the official in-house guitarist for the LA KISS, the arena football team owned by Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons of KISS. She is one of the most sought after clinicians in the industry and has done extensive clinic tours across multiple continents. Her consistent touring schedule has shown her to play in front of over a million audience members per year consistently for the past several years. Nita is also extremely passionate about health and fitness, and uses her wide social media reach to inspire and educate people about maintaining a healthy lifestyle while traveling on tour.
Nita's debut solo album Controlled Chaos will be available worldwide November 16 through Sumerian Records.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

1/7/19 @9:45am pst - Author John B. Lane discusses his book "The Beatin' Path"

LISTEN to today's show!

Where does a person find solace in a world rushing headless into the Golden Age of Nonsense? If a Netflix binge, a bong, or a box of chocolates aren't your cup of tea, you'll find an oasis of sanity on The Beatin' Path.

'The Beatin’ Path is a bold and timely new worldview, and a fresh leap forward for the art of literature!'

About the author

John B Lane is an award-winning author and instructional designer, and a pioneer in online learning. He began his professional career as a journalist, and has written for numerous publications, from the Washington Post to the Huffington Post.

About the Book

Which part of the human mind will finalize our fate? The part that wrote the Gettysburg Address – or the part that murdered Abraham Lincoln? The Beatin’ Path - a lyrical guide to lucid evolution levels a look at both the enemies of human progress and the better angels of our nature.

The cast of this collection includes the bird who wouldn’t fly, Flim and Flam (the richest men in the world), Satchel Paige, Galileo, Moondoggie, the monster and the fool, Abraham and Onan, George Orwell, Charles Darwin, young Hector, and the alchemist’s apprentice. Presented in short bursts of truth, The Beatin’ Path is an illustrated, inspirational kaleidoscope of poetry and prose, of heroes and villains, of humor and of hope.

JOHN B LANE can discuss:
The format of The Beatin’ Path; more like a record album or mosaic than a typical book

The only taboo left in America

The inconvenient structure of the human brain

How belief systems undermine our ability to evolve, and therefore, to survive

The tools humans have developed to overcome biases and fixed beliefs

Why independent thought is so important, and how it can be cultivated

The challenges of challenging the status quo

John B Lane is an award-winning author and instructional designer, as well as a pioneer in online learning. He began his professional career as a journalist, and has written for numerous publications, including The Washington Post and Huffington Post.

Saturday, January 5, 2019

1/7/19 9:30am pst - Janeane features America Deconstructed Book by Chaithanya Sohan and Shaima Adin

LISTEN to today's show!

Naseer was nine years old when he escaped Taliban and fled Afghanistan with his mom and siblings. His story, “There are some people who are coming to take me away”, chronicles the resilience of a nine year old boy as he traveled from Afghanistan to America in his quest for the American dream. “I saw a ripe mango I’d like to pluck” showcases the love story of Chidiebere and Ifeyinwa, which begins in rustic Nigeria and culminates into a life in America. Their journey chronicles their struggles with language, culture and being African in America. In the story “ Kosovo, really...cool”, Lisian takes us through his journey to America and often being asked his identity in spite of being white. In the story “I am exotic, mocha, P-diddy”, Parag describes his journey from a young sixth grader who hid his attraction to boys in conservative India to embracing his sexuality in America. America Deconstructed follows the journeys of sixteen immigrants who have left their home countries in search of the American dream. The stories combine humor and emotions as the protagonists maneuver cultural differences, accents and uncomfortable situations while feeling a sense of belonging in America.

An Interview with CHAITHANYA SOHAN

1. The people featured in the book come from all walks of life and countries all over
the world. Were you ever surprised by the stories your contributors had to share?

What do you say when you hear someone who is your age talk about selling potatoes and egg at the school yard. I had seen these stories in old Bollywood movies, but never knew someone my age could be living that life while my biggest hurdle was getting a certain grade, or not getting my chocolate for the week. I have been surprised, had my jaw drop in complete disbelief and humbled that I was fortunate to live the life I did in India.

2. In your experience, what is something that makes the cultural transition to America
easier? Harder?

I think the American experience is a very personal journey and differs from one to the other. For me personally, everyday intricacies were challenging. Dating, going to get coffee, ordering food at the restaurant, etc were challenging. It took me about two years to sort of learn the ropes of American life. The easiest in terms of my transition was fashion, language and food.

3. What inspired you to pull together these stories? Were the contributors friends
before starting the book?

As a teenager in America, I always thought my journey was unique. Nobody talked about  he everyday challenges one faced. I thought I was unique in not knowing what a frappuccino or cappuccino was at Starbucks. It was when I met Shaima in college that I realized Starbucks might have been my sore spot but it was not unique. I always wanted to write a book, and I researched to see if there was a book like this. I then approached
Shaima with the idea, and America Deconstructed was born. Well between the both of us, we knew most of the contributors. Some were friends, friends of family, and coworkers. We wanted diversity in the book, and we approached few people online, expats, bloggers etc to get the diversity we wanted in this book. It was extremely hard to find Caucasians immigrants.

4. A major theme in the book is acclimating to American culture and creating a new
identity in a foreign environment. What can you tell us about this idea of identity
and belonging?

I have always struggled with the sense of belonging in America. As someone who is born
and raised in India, my identity is pretty strong. I don’t see myself as an Indian-American as even my mom does a lot of times. I still identify myself as Indian. Belonging has been a challenge. As someone who still has strong emotional ties to India, and a certified mush ball, I have struggled with the notion of belonging and feeling at home in America. In 2009, I went back to India for the first time since I immigrated to America. As soon as I reached India, I felt the sense of belonging that had always evaded me in America. I feel like I am home when I go back to India and I crave that feeling when I am here. I always thought it was unique to me, but then I interviewed someone from Ghana who had come here when he was younger than I was, and yet the conflicts of belonging was as strong in him as it was in me. I knew then I wasn’t an unicorn.

5. What advice would you give to new immigrants who are chasing the American Dream?

The American Dream is a slow grind. It takes time and patience. Something as simple as
dressing in an American acceptable way can be a slow process. As a tomboy, I used to dress in baggy jeans and big shirts back in India. It took me two years to dress in a mainstream acceptable way. It took two years for my jeans to get tighter and for my big baggy shirt to morph into fashionable tops. It was a slow and gradual process. American
Dream can be different for different people. For a young person in college, it could be
being accepted.

6. You refer to your surroundings as “cultural mix-masala.” How do you mix your own culture, your husband’s culture, and California culture?
I think this question is for my husband because he lives in a predominately Indian household with my Indian parents. On a serious note, we have been very open, accepting and respectful of each other’s cultures which has made the journey fun. We have formed our own subculture I think which is why I call it a cultural mix-masala. We indianize everything - chilli powder and spices are a staple in every cuisine we make at home. 

We have strived to take the good in all the cultures and make our own. It has been a normal
all my life. As the granddaughter of an Anglo-Indian woman (British ancestry), I grew up
in a multicultural household that probably wasn’t the typical Indian family. We have always had our own culture which made assimilating and making our culture in America
easy and less daunting.

7. Your career has been focused on electrical engineering -- how did you get into

Electrical Engineering is my bread and butter, writing is chicken soup to my soul if that explains it. As a child, my dad and I would write letters to each other when we had our arguments. He would then critique the letter for grammatical errors. This is how I learned how to write. Years later, writing found me when I did not know how to move on after a
tragedy. I began writing poems which one my teachers found in my book, and word spread around my school. I started hosting shows in school, writing for the school magazine, etc. I started freelancing when I came to America and eventually decided to write a book when I started thinking about becoming more professional in the space.

8. Why do you think it is important for people to hear these firsthand accounts?

These journeys need to be told especially in the political climate today. We always think about immigrants in terms of legal and illegal. We are not condoning illegal immigration in any way. We are trying to show the journeys of the people who call America home.

We always think one can reach America and life is all good. It is not always the case.
There is a assimilation period, learning a new language,etc that can be very funny yet
challenging. Something as simple as a coffee run can be a daunting task.

9. What are you hoping readers take away from these stories?

I am hoping readers can take the book for what it is - a montage of the journeys of people
who immigrated to America. I hope they can read the book outside of judgement, laugh,
cry and just enjoy the stories for what they are. On a serious note, I am hoping people can
become more tolerant the next time they see someone struggle with conversational
English or taking time ordering at a restaurant.

Chaithanya Sohan immigrated to the U.S. from India in 2001. She received a bachelor’s in
electrical engineering from San Jose State University and a master’s from Santa Clara

University, and now works in Silicon Valley. She began writing for various websites in 2002 and decided to pen “America Deconstructed” in 2013. She has also authored pieces on political issues for One Earth One Mission and www.rethinkreality.com. She enjoys traveling and runs www.nomadicsue.wordpress.com and www.wordspeare.wordpress.com. She and her husband, Denell Hopkins, live in Newark, California, with their daughter, Maya, puppy Zed and her parents.

Shaima Adin came to the United States as a refugee in May 2000 at 16 with her mother and
sisters. She is originally from Afghanistan but lived in Pakistan as a refugee for several years. Currently, she works in an engineering management at a testing laboratory in Union City, California. Shaima and her husband Naseer are first generation immigrants and refugees who made the American dream a reality by creating a comfortable life for themselves in the U.S.

1/7/19 at 9:15am pst - Kathleen Day joined Janeane to talk about her latest book, "Broken Bargain: Bankers, Bailouts, and the Struggle to Tame Wall Street

LISTEN to today' show!

From an author whose last book was named by “BusinessWeek” as one of the Top 10 Business Books of the Year, as well as recommended for reading by the “New York Times Sunday Book Review” comes to us “Broken Bargain: Bankers, Bailouts, and the Struggle to Tame Wall Street” (Yale University Press, 1/8/2019). This is SUCH an important topic and one I hope we will all pay close attention to in the new year... getting our economic systems fixed and our banks in line is something every American can understand better, and hopefully care about!

Kathleen Day's "Broken Bargain" explores in plain English the history of Wall Street scandals, why the government keeps bailing out bankers, and why taxpayers of all political stripes should be mad about it beyond the obvious.

"A fluent if dispiriting study of an economic system that forgives those at the top so long as those at the bottom remain willing to foot the bill."-Kirkus Reviews

In an interview, Kathleen Day can discuss:
  • Why our country keeps having financial crises
  • How we can break the cycle of bailouts for Wall Street and create a sustainable national financial schema
  • Why taxpayers have a right to be angry with policy makers and financial institutions for creating a crisis-prone financial landscape
  • How and why Wall Street is intensifying its efforts to weaken legislative reform 
  • The history of American banking and various highlights of note, such as the wildcat era before the Civil War, when the country lacked a unified currency and instead had to deal with a mish-mash of paper currency totaling an estimated 7,000 different denominations. 
  • From the Great Depression to Enron’s collapse, from junk bonds to the thrift crisis, from the subprime mortgage meltdown to Wells Fargo’s opening unapproved accounts for customers, “Broken Bargain” introduces Wall Street’s players and their often damaging dealings.

See more details about the book in the press kit here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1mm0YXr7JFXvVMShr6YFHcKGnDm6TY9vYOdVVTeBXY9U/edit

Kathleen Day spent 30 years as a business journalist with the Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today before joining the Johns Hopkins Carey School of Business as a professor of finance in 2013. She contributes to the Washington Post, USA Today and Ozy.com and has appeared on The Diane Rehm Show, CNBC, and Fox News. She lives in Washington, DC.

1/7/19 @ 9am pst = Author Matt Geiger joins Janeane to talk about his book, Astonishing Tales! Stories and Essays

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"[Geiger] will be on the Mount Rushmore of witty writers, next to David Sedaris, Mike Birbiglia, Dave Barry and Nick Hornsby." - Mel C. Miskimen, author of "Sit Stay Heal"


Stories and Essays

*Your astonishment may vary

By Matt Geiger

“Matt Geiger is definitely interested in strange things—bearded Norwegian axes and transubstantiation and elderly models, for example—but also in making ordinary things seem strange, in the best possible way. It's just chickens or a car seat, but you're laughing out loud and then, suddenly, your eyes are filling with tears because he's sideswiped you with his profound tenderness. I wish he were my friend IRL (as the kids say), but in the meantime, I'll reread these funny, shimmering musings on everything that matters and more.”

-Catherine Newman, author of “Catastrophic Happiness”

Author and humorist Matt Geiger believes Jorge Luis Borges when he says the thing philosophers really seek, more than truth, more even than knowledge, is the opportunity to be amazed. With this as his starting point in his new collection of stories and essays, Geiger sets out in search of comic profundity and awe.

Geiger turns what poet Kimberly Blaeser called his “philosopher’s vision” to his own Neanderthal DNA, parenting, competitive axe throwing, death, the holidays, dandelions, doppelgangers and much, much more. With a nod to the limits of human knowledge and understanding, particularly his own, he blends whimsy and gravitas while unveiling beauty, joy, and happiness in a seemingly broken world. From the 83-year-old model whose image adorns the cover of the book, to the two-headed calf he discovers in a rural gas station, he finds reason after reason to smile, nod, and be astonished by everyday life.

In his new collection of stories, acclaimed author and humorist Matt Geiger seeks to “de-familiarize” us from the world, from the smallest detail to the most cosmic mythology, in order to see it all as if for the first time. Turning his “philosopher’s vision” to his own abundant Neanderthal DNA, parenting, competitive axe throwing, old age, and much more, he sets out in search of comic profundity. With a nod to the limits of human knowledge and understanding, particularly his own, he draws from the wisdom of an 83-year-old pin-up legend, Anton Chekhov, Santa Claus, modern boxers, Medieval monks, and of course small children. Blending whimsy and gravitas, he unveils beauty, joy, and happiness in a seemingly broken world.

About the author: Matt Geiger is a Midwest Book Award Winner, a national American Book Fest Finalist, and an international Next Generation Indie Book Award Finalist. He is also the winner of numerous journalism awards and is regularly heard on public radio and New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Chiaverini called Geiger "a writer of deft humor and exceptional insight. By turns poignant and hilarious, his witty, empathetic observations of fatherhood, family, and community evoke laughter and touch the heart in equal measure." Geiger’s stories have been praised by the Pioneer Press, the Capital Times, the Midwest Book Review, the St. Augustine Record, Writers on Writing, Curled Up With A Good Book, and many others. His writing has also been lauded by authors including Kirsten Lobe, Alex Bledsoe, and bestselling novelist Kathleen Ernst, who said his stories have “universal appeal”: “Matt Geiger delves into the heart of common experience with wit, humility, and vivid detail.”

Hardcover: 200 pages

Publisher: HenschelHAUS Publishing, Inc. (December 1, 2018)

Language: English