When Alexa was seven, she started going through her grandfather's books. Her grandfather was a playwright and teacher, and through the books—and especially through his notes in the margins—she entered the world of 1930's American theater. And she found a book that changed her life: writer Moss Hart's autobiography Act One. (5 minutes)
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. This story is published in Sedaris' book Naked. (9 minutes)
Writer Meghan Daum goes to DeSmet, South Dakota, where Laura Ingalls Wilder lived and where many of the books she wrote in the Little House on the Prairie series are set. It turns out to be remarkably similar to what Meghan had pictured before she went: The people seem like they are genuinely trying to hold on to the values Laura Ingalls Wilder writes about in her books. (15 minutes) Two of the Little House books set in DeSmet are By the Shores of Silver Lake, and Little Town on the Prairie.