This week, we learn why we love the music we love. Lilah speaks with Susan Rogers, who was a recording engineer for Prince on albums such as ‘Purple Rain’. Now she's a neuroscientist who has studied what music does to the brain. Her book, 'This Is What It Sounds Like', helps us make sense of our own musical preferences. Susan joins us to listen to some music and explain how it affects us. Why is Despacito one of the most listened to songs of all time? Why does one person love techno, and another just not care? Then, ahead of the FT's Books of the Year special, our literary editors Fred Studemann and Laura Battle come on to share their personal favourite fiction books from 2022.

Tell us your cultural prediction for 2022! You can record a voice message here:

If you prefer, you can email us at We’re on Twitter @ftweekendpod, and Lilah is on Instagram and Twitter @lilahrap.

Links and mentions from the episode:

– Susan’s book is called This Is What It Sounds Like: What The Music You Love Says About You:

– Here’s the Spotify playlist, which you should listen to while reading the book:

– Fred is on Twitter @frederick65. Laura is on Twitter @battlelaura

– The FT Books of the Year will be published across the FT on 26th November

Books mentioned by Fred and Laura:

Trust by Hernan Diaz. FT review:

Iron Curtain by Vesna Goldsworthy. FT review:

The Book of Goose by Yiyun Li. FT review:

Punishment by Ferdinand von Schirach

Grand: Becoming My Mother’s Daughter by Noelle McCarthy

A Sort of Life by Graham Greene, in Slightly Foxed Magazine

Magnificent Rebels: The First Romantics and the Invention of the Self by Andrea Wulf

An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us by Ed Yong

Special offers for FT Weekend listeners, from 50% off a digital subscription to a $1/£1/€1 trial can be found here:

Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco

Clips courtesy of Universal Music, DFA/Virgin / Parlophone, and Warner

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