Jul 10, 2012 — Where do ideas come from and how can we have more of them? Science writer Jonah Lehrer recommends five books that explore the mysteries of the creative mind, and document the strange and beautiful world that our ideas have helped create.
Jun 11, 2012 — Summer is a trying time for introverts, what with the barbecues and the graduations and the picnics by the pool. If you'd always choose a good book over a good party, critic Maureen Corrigan has a list for you.
May 18, 2012 — Clarence Birdseye's life as a taxidermist, fur trader, hunter, and fish lobbyist all led to his creation of the modern frozen food industry. His inventions made frozen food tastier and more widely available to consumers.
May 6, 2012 — Before locavores and the "slow food" movement, one man's invention radically transformed how (and what) we eat. In his new book, Mark Kurlansky shows us the curious, roving mind that made TV dinners possible.
Nov 20, 2010 — Almost all modern computers descend from a machine built before World War II by physics professor John Atanasoff. But today, almost no one has heard of him. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jane Smiley set out to remedy that.
Oct 3, 2008 — In 1967, Robert Kearns received patents for inventing intermittent car windshield wipers. He offered his idea to automakers but was turned away. When Ford and Chrysler started manufacturing cars with wipers without crediting Kearns, he took the case all the way to the Supreme Court. A new film called Flash of Genius tells his story.
Oct 20, 2006 — Erik Larson's books weave together multiple plots based on actual events. Thunderstruck is the tale of a mild-mannered doctor who murdered his wife, a trans-Atlantic chase, and the inventor who created the wireless telegraph.
Oct 2, 2006 — Personal-computer pioneer Steve Wozniak has written an autobiography, iWoz: From Computer Geek to Cult Icon. Wozniak was a co-founder of Apple Computer. Today, he still follows his own innovative path.
Nov 5, 2004 — Historian Harold Evans talks about great inventions by Americans. Evans' book, They Made America, profiles well-known inventors, and some obscure geniuses — the inventors of the gas mask, the credit rating and the retail franchise. Hear Evans and NPR's Steve Inskeep.