The Book Show

Tuesdays, 3pm - 3:30pm; Thursdays, 8:30pm - 9pm

Each week on The Book Show, host Joe Donahue interviews authors about their books, their lives and their craft. It is a celebration of both reading and writers. 

As the son of a librarian, Joe has been part of the book world since childhood. His first job was as a library assistant, during college he was a clerk at an independent book store and for the past 25 years he has been interviewing authors about their books on the radio.

He is also the host of The Roundtable on WAMC Northeast Public Radio, a 3-hour general interest talk show. Notable authors he has interviewed include: Kurt Vonnegut, John Irving, John Updike, Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Arthur Miller, Stephen King, Amy Tan, Anne Rice, Philip Roth, E.L Doctorow, Richard Russo, David Sedaris and Maya Angelou. 

Joe  has won several awards for his interviews, including honors from the Associated Press, the Edward R. Murrow Awards, the New York State Association of Broadcasters, The Headliners, The National Press Club and the Scripps-Howard Foundation. 

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Twitter: @The_Book_Show

Nathan Englander once again tackles the complexities of contemporary Jewish life in his new novel, "kaddish.com."

When an atheist's Orthodox father dies, he is called upon by his mother and sisters to perform the prayer for the dead - every day for 11 months. Reluctant, he hires someone from the title website to recite the Kaddish for him.

Playing out against the backdrop of Donald Trump’s infamous Access Hollywood interview and the months leading up to the 2016 election, James Lasdun’s new novel, "Afternoon of a Faun," dramatizes one man’s search for truth after his friend is suddenly accused by an old flame – known to both of them – of sexual assault from decades ago.

Book Cover for "Falter" and author photo of Bill McKibben
Author photo by Nancie Battaglia

Bill McKibben, often referred to as “America’s most important environmentalist,” thirty years ago offered one of the earliest warnings about climate change in his book, “The End of Nature.” Now he broadens the warning: the entire human game, he suggests, has begun to play itself out. The new book is “Falter.”

This is an Off the Shelf edition of The Book Show recorded in partnership with Northshire Bookstore.

Richard Powers spent a year under the redwoods of California. That reflection led to his novel, "The Overstory," about the world of trees and a band of people determined to change the way it’s perceived.

“The Overstory” won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and we will re-air our interview with Powers on this week’s Book Show.

This program features a clip of the audiobook of “The Overstory” presented by Recorded Books and RB Digital. Used with permission.

From the bestselling author of “A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius,” “The Circle,” “A Hologram for the King,” and “What Is the What” comes a taut, suspenseful story of two visitors’ role in a nation’s fragile peace. Dave Eggers’ latest is “The Parade: A Novel.”

David McCraw is the top newsroom lawyer for the New York Times during the most turbulent era for journalism in generations. In short: if you've read a controversial story in the paper since the Bush administration, it went across his desk first.

McCraw is at the center of the paper's decisions about what news is fit to print. His new book is "Truth in Our Times."

Frances Mayes has spent thirty years splitting her time between her native United States and adopted home in Tuscany and writing bestselling books, including the classic, “Under the Tuscan Sun.”

In her latest, “See You In the Piazza,” she and her husband hit the road to explore the country afresh from north to south, eating and drinking their way through. 

This an Off the Shelf edition of The Book Show recorded remotely with a live audience in an event presented by Northshire Bookstore

Mining the dual losses of both her young marriage and her beloved mother, debut author Sarah McColl confronts her identity as a woman, walking lightly in the footsteps of the woman who came before her and clinging fast to the joy she left behind. Her new book is: “Joy Enough: A Memoir.”

Roger McNamee is former mentor to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and then reluctantly became a critic of the way big tech companies like Facebook and Google are abusing their users’ trust.

His new book is: “Zucked: Waking Up to the Facebook Catastrophe.”

Susan Orlean’s latest bestseller, “The Library Book,” is an investigation into a 1986 fire at the Los Angeles Central Library that consumed 400,000 volumes and damaged another 700,000. In addition to shedding light on what happened, it is a celebration for an institution she’s cherished since she was a kid.

In our increasingly networked and image-saturated lives, the notion of disappearing has never been both more enchanting. A lifelong student and observer of the natural world, Akiko Busch, set out to explore her own uneasiness with this arrangement. Her new book, “How to Disappear: Notes on Invisibility in a Time of Transparency.”

Christopher Castellani’s new novel, "Leading Men," is a story of desire, artistic ambition, and the consequences of unspoken words. We meet playwright Tennessee Williams and his longtime partner Frank Merlo when they take a mysterious Swedish actress under their wing, setting in motion a chain of events that will alter all three of their lives.

Madeleine Kunin is the former three-term governor of Vermont, who served as the deputy secretary of education and ambassador to Switzerland under President Bill Clinton.

In her new book, “Coming of Age: My Journey to the Eighties,” the topic is aging but she looks well beyond the physical tolls and explores the emotional ones as well.

If you knew the date of your death, how would you live your life? It is the question at the center of Chloe Benjamin’s new novel, “The Immortalists.”

Four siblings find out and keep the dates secret from one another, but their prophecies inform their next five decades.

When marriages, friendships, and families come undone -- to what lengths do we go to keep it all together?

That question lies at the heart of Brendan Mathews' debut story collection, "This is Not a Love Song." These stories are packed with vivid detail, emotional precision, and deft, redemptive humor.

Jon Ward and Book cover for "Camelot's End"
Author photo by Lawrence Jackson

Told in full for the first time, “Camelot’s End: Kennedy vs. Carter and the Fight that Broke the Democratic Party” is a carefully threaded narrative of Ted Kennedy and Jimmy Carter leading up to a brutal primary in 1980 that forever altered American politics.

Jon Ward, a 20+ year D.C. political journalist, will join us on this week’s Book Show.

Helen Klein Ross and book cover for "The Latecomers"
Author photo by John Gruen

Helen Klein Ross is a poet and novelist whose new novel, “The Latecomers,” tells the story of an Irish immigrant, an ancestral home in New England and the dark secrets hidden in its walls for generations. Interweaving timelines span an American century, from 1899 to present day.

Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah’s first short story collection, “Friday Black,” is a satirical look at what it’s like to be young and black in America, offering surreal tales and dystopian satire about American consumerism and race.

What does hope look like? How do we find and hold onto it in the midst of personal turmoil, communal suffering, global chaos and the everyday challenges of being alive in this world?

Best-selling author Anne Lamott looks to answer these questions and more in her new book, "Almost Everything: Notes on Hope."

Tara Westover’s memoir, “Educated,” has made its way to the number one spot on the New York Times bestsellers list.

She tells her story of being a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.

Tommy Orange and book cover for "There There"
Author Photo - Elena Seibert

Tommy Orange’s powerful and urgent Native American voice has exploded onto the landscape of contemporary fiction. His debut novel, “There There,” interweaves the experiences of twelve people who gather in Oakland for a pow wow. It is a multigenerational story about violence, recovery, hope, and loss.

Andre Dubus III’s first novel in a decade, “Gone So Long,” is a story filled with thrilling tension and heartrending empathy.

It tells about a father, estranged for the worst of reasons, driven to seek out the daughter he has not seen in decades - exploring how the wounds of the past afflict the people we become.

David Baldacci is one of the greatest thriller writers of the last two decades. He creates heroes with severe flaws, powerful people of influence who are easily corruptible, or in the case of his most recent novel, "Long Road to Mercy," an FBI agent with special skills assigned to the remote wilds of the southwestern United States.

Political, social and natural landscapes are all in peril. Fascism is on the rise, truth is dead, the planet is heating up. Is it really worth learning to love when the end of the world is nigh? And how do you make art, let alone a life, when one rogue tweet could end it all? These are questions all addressed in Olivia Laing’s new novel, “Crudo.”

National Book Award finalist Elliot Ackerman’s new novel, “Waiting for Eden,” tells the devastating story of a husband and wife who cannot communicate with one another, two friends who face the sheer unknowability of the divide between life and death, and is a portrayal of a mind that no longer has mastery over the body it serves.

Sigrid Nunez’s novel, “The Friend,” is a moving story of love, friendship, grief, healing, and the magical bond between a woman and her dog. The book won this year's National Book Award for fiction.

Nunez’s previous novels include “Salvation City,” “The Last of Her Kind” and “A Feather on the Breath of God.”

A new, single volume of history sets out to explore the experiment in government that is the United States. Award-winning Harvard historian Jill Lepore, author of “These Truths: A History of the United States,” looks to explore how we now understand the role of women and people of color in our political heritage, and how to put today’s politics of division in proportion.

Author photo by Marc J. Franklin

Broadway actor, musician and writer Andy Mientus has just written his debut novel, “The Backstagers and the Ghost Light,” the first book in a middle-grade series based on the award winning graphic novels. Featuring and inclusive cast of characters, the series follows a band of theater misfits as they go on a paranormal, action-packed adventure.

It was 1987 when the “Doonesbury” comic strip first imagined a Donald Trump presidential run. Since then, Trump has been a recurring character in cartoonist Garry Trudeau’s Pulitzer Prize-winning comic. His new book, “#SAD! Doonesbury in the Time of Trump,” tracks the victory, the transition and POTUS’s first 500 days.

This episode was recorded as part of Oblong Books and Music's White Hart Speakers Series.

Walter Mosley’s latest novel is the result of nearly 20-years of incubation, it is a dazzling and convention-defying novel of ideas about the sexual and intellectual coming-of-age of an unusual man who goes by the name Woman. The new book is “John Woman.”

This is an Off the Shelf edition of The Book Show, recorded in partnership with and on location at the Northshire Bookstore in Manchester Center, Vermont.

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