Guest host Jane Curtin offers up tales of courtship and its consequences. In "Prince Amilec," by Tanith Lee, a handsome prince pursues a beautiful princess, but it's not the same old, same old fairy tale. Gildart Jackson performs. A couple explores their relationship in a humorous piece by A.M. Homes. "Be Mine is performed by Sanjit De Silva and Adina Verson. And in "The Idea of Marcel," by Marie-Helene Bertino, a breakup leads ex lovers to reboot each other. It's performed by Jenna Ushkowitz.
Guest host Michael Cerveris presents two stories about untrue love. A devoted wife worships her sailor husband in Daphne du Maurier's "La Sainte-Vierge," read by Kathryn Erbe. And Paul Giamatti reads a sci-fi classic by Robert Sheckley, "Pilgrimage to Earth," in which a traveller from a distant planet comes to Earth to find love. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Guest host John Darnielle presents favorite works that reflect on life and death and what comes after. He reads Robert Browning's chilling poem "My Last Duchess," and also offers up a new song, "Skeleton's Tooth." Molly Ringwald performs "No More Loves," by Javier Marias, in which a ghost learns to read by proxy. Kirsten Vangsness reads Neil Gaiman's "When We Went to See the End of the World by Dawnie Morningside, Age 11 ¼; the child narrator doesn't like what she finds in this magical place. The heroine of Robert Aickman's "Le Miroir," does like what she sees in an antique looking glass—but there's a price to pay. The reader is Kathryn Erbe. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Guest host Maulik Pancholy presents works that reflect on the diversity and excellence of Riverhead Books, celebrating a quarter century. The program features "Flower Hunters," by Lauren Groff, performed by Maria Dizzia, and "Buck Boy," by James McBride, performed by Teagle Bougere, as well as special commissions from Aja Gabel ("Alarm") and R.O. Kwon ("Tempo") both performed by Hettienne Park. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Guest host Michael Cerveris presents four stories inspired by other books and authors. Immigrants collide at Wal-Mart in Juan Martinez's "Best Worst American," read by Cristin Milioti. An old friendship is strained in Namwali Serpell 's "Double Men," read by Nikki M. James. Seth Fried re-imagines Kafka's "Metamorphosis"; the reader is Jennifer Mudge. And Dino Buzzati visits "Kafka's Houses" on trip to Prague. The reader is Tony Roberts. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Guest host Hope Davis presents two stories about rituals. A young author takes a glamorous older woman to lunch and all does not go well in "The Luncheon" by Jeffrey Archer, performed by Jefferson Mays. And host Davis performs Amy Bloom's touching story "Love is Not a Pie," in which family secrets, and family bonds, are shared after a funeral. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Guest host David Strathairn presents two stories about longing. In Peter Carey's "American Dreams," a small Australian community is transformed into a tourist destination by a bizarre bequest. Strathairn is the reader. And writer and actor Lisa Fugard performs her own beautiful "Night Calls," about a lonely widower, his young daughter, and an endangered bird. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Guest host Jane Kaczmarek presents two stories about people who beat the odds. In Lauren Groff's "At the Round Earth's Imagined Corners," read by Amy Ryan, a sensitive boy grows up in a house full of snakes. Then, writer Kiese Laymon recalls coming of age in racist Jackson, Mississippi in his memoir "How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America," read by Brandon J. Dirden.