On Matt Simon’s website, there is a photo of him sitting next to someone dressed as a horse. The caption says, “I’m the one on the left. As great as it might seem to be a horse, I am in fact a human, one who is a science writer and scriptwriter at Wired Magazine”. Thank goodness Mr. Simon has a deliciously crafty sense of humor. In his new book, Plight Of the Living Dead – What Real-Life Zombies Reveal About Our World & Ourselves, it’s his witticisms that make this decidedly scary book an enjoyable read. Simon specializes in writing about zoology, particularly of the bizarre variety, documenting his journey through the science of real-life mind control. Along the way, he visits a lab littered with the corpses of zombie ants, joins the search for kamikaze crickets in the hills of New Mexico, and travels to Israel to meet the wasp that stings cockroaches in the brain before leading them to their doom. Matt Simon is a fascinating guest, but we warn you to be sure not to eat anything just prior to listening to our interview.
Vienna, 1911. Greta Goldbaum has always dreamed of being free to choose her own life’s path, but the Goldbaum family, one of the wealthiest in the world, has different expectations. United across Europe, Goldbaum men are bankers, while Goldbaum women marry Goldbaum men to produce Goldbaum children. Jewish and perpetual outsiders, they know that though power lies in wealth, strength lies in family. So Greta moves to England to wed Albert, a distant cousin. Defiant and lonely, she longs for connection and a place to call her own. When Albert’s mother gives Greta a garden, things begin to change. Perhaps she and Albert will find a way to each other. But just as she begins to taste an unexpected happiness, war is looming and even the influential Goldbaums can’t alter its course. For the first time in two hundred years, the family will find themselves on opposing sides and Greta will have to choose: the family she’s created or the one she was forced to leave behind. Best-selling author, Natasha Solomons joins Life Elsewhere to talk about her sumptuous new novel, House Of Gold.
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