The Book Show

Tuesdays, 3:00 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.; Thursdays, 8:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.

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

Alice Hoffman’s latest book is a bittersweet parable about the costs of survival and the behaviors that define humanity. “The World That We Knew” is set in Berlin in 1941. It follows the lives of three women who become intertwined in order to survive the dangers of the Nazi regime.

This is an Off The Shelf edition of The Book Show, recorded in Saratoga Springs in an event presented by Northshire Bookstore.

Janis Joplin has passed into legend as a brash, impassioned soul doomed by the pain that produced one of the most extraordinary voices in rock history. But in her new biography, “Janis: Her Life and Music,” Holly George-Warren provides a deep portrait of a woman who wasn’t all about suffering.

“Imaginary Friend” is the new novel, a horror story, by Stephen Chbosky. It comes 20 years after he wrote the bestselling coming-of-age novel "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." The new book raises questions about faith, parenting, friendship and what it means to protect those you love most in an increasingly complex and dangerous world.

For seven years, journalist and New Yorker writer Eliza Griswold reported and wrote the story of how fracking in southwestern Pennsylvania’s Marcellus Shale forever altered the lives of Stacey Haney, her daughter, Paige and her son, Harley. Griswold’s book, “Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America,” just received the Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction.

Author photo of Jacqueline Woodson and book cover for "Red at the Bone"
Author photo by Tiffany A. Bloomfield

Jacqueline Woodson is the New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award-winning author of "Another Brooklyn" and "Brown Girl Dreaming."

Her latest novel, "Red at the Bone," tells how an unexpected teenage pregnancy pulls together two families from different social classes, and exposes the private hopes, disappointments, and longings that can bind or divide us from each other.

Terry Tempest Williams is renowned for her singular body of literature on the environment and our experiences of home.  Her new book “Erosion: Essays of Undoing,” explores this connection, particularly to her home state of Utah, as an evolutionary process and how our undoing of the self, self-centeredness, extractive capitalism, fear, tribalism can also be our becoming, creating room for change and progress.

Edwidge Danticat author photo and book cover for "Everything Inside"
Lynn Savarese

Edwidge Danticat’s new book “Everything Inside” is a collection of stories about community, family, and love.

Set in locales from Miami and Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed country in the Caribbean, “Everything Inside” is at once wide in scope and intimate as it explores the forces that pull us together and drive us apart.

Malcolm Gladwell and the book cover for "Talking to Strangers"
Author photo by Celeste Sloman

Malcolm Gladwell’s books bestselling books include “The Tipping Point,” “Blink” and “Outliers.”

In his first book in six years, “Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know,” Gladwell offers an examination of our interactions with strangers and why they often go so terribly wrong.

Book cover for "Quichotte" and author photo of Salman Rushdie
salmanrushdie.com

Salman Rushdie is one of the world’s most renowned authors. “Midnight’s Children” is considered one of the greatest novels of the 20th century. It was “The Satanic Verses” that brought him notoriety. His latest, “Quichotte,” is a modern, very American retelling of “Don Quixote.”

This episode was recorded at The Fisher Center for the Performing Arts at Bard College in Annondale-On-Hudson, New York in an event co-prestented by Oblong Books and Music

The majority of celestial space is inactive and will remain forever unruffled. But when cosmic violence does unfold, it changes the very fabric of the universe, with mega-explosions and ripple effects that reach the near limits of human comprehension. In his new book “Earth-Shattering,” astronomy writer Bob Berman investigates these instances of violence both mammoth and microscopic.

Book Cover for How to be an Antiracist and photo of Ibram X. Kendi
Author photo by Jeff Watts

Ibram X. Kendi is the founding director of the Antiracist Research and Policy Center at American University. He is also a columnist at The Atlantic and author of “Stamped from the Beginning: The Definitive History of Racist Ideas in America,” which won the National Book Award for Nonfiction. His latest book is “How to Be An Antiracist.” 

In Richard Russo’s latest, “Chances Are…,” a reunion on Martha's Vineyard reopens old mysteries and wounds for three Vietnam-era college friends. Russo is the author of eight novels, most recently “Everybody’s Fool” and “That Old Cape Magic;” two collections of stories; and the memoir “Elsewhere.” In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for “Empire Falls.”

This “Off the Shelf” edition of “The Book Show” was recorded at the Zankel Music Center on the campus of Skidmore College in partnership with Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, New York.

Book cover for River of Fire and author photo of Sister Helen Prejean
Author photo by Michael Lionstar

Sister Helen Prejean is considered one of the nation’s foremost leaders in efforts to abolish the death penalty.

In her new book, "River of Fire: My Spiritual Journey," she shares the story of her growth as a spiritual leader, speaks out about the challenges of the Catholic Church, and shows that joy and religion are not mutually exclusive.

Louis Bayard’s new novel, “Courting Mr. Lincoln,” is an intimately drawn evocation of the love between the brilliant, melancholic future president and the two people who knew him best: his charming confidante Joshua Speed and his spirited future wife, Mary Todd.

Book Cover for "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" and author photo of Ocean Vuong
Author photo by Tom Hines

Brilliant, heartbreaking, tender, and highly original - poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel, “On Earth, We’re Briefly Gorgeous,” is a sweeping and shattering portrait of a family, and a testament to the redemptive power of storytelling written as a letter from a son to a mother who cannot read. 

Book cover for "Orange World" and author photo of Karen Russell
Author photo - Dan Hawk

Karen Russell is the author of the New York Times best sellers Vampires in the Lemon Grove and Swamplandia!, which was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

She now presents a new collection of short fiction that showcases her gifts of language and imagination entitled “Orange World and Other Stories.”

Book Cover for "Outside Looking In" and author photo of T.C. Boyle
Author Photo - Jamieson Fry

T.C. Boyle's novel, "Outside Looking In," takes readers back to the 1960s and to the early days of LSD.

The book tells the story of Harvard Ph.D. students whose lives veer out of control after they are drawn into the orbit of renowned psychologist and LSD enthusiast Timothy Leary.

Acclaimed author Courtney Maum’s latest, "Costalegre," is the striking, heartbreaking and strange story of a privileged teenager who has everything a girl could wish for except for a mother who loves her back - heavily inspired by the real-life relationship between the heiress Peggy Guggenheim and her daughter.

Casey Cep’s “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud and the Last Trial of Harper Lee,” looks at the dual mysteries of a notorious crime and a famous novelist’s attempt to write about it.

Cep brings the story to life, from the shocking murders to the courtroom drama to the racial politics of the Deep South. At the same time, she offers a portrait of Harper Lee and her struggle with fame.

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

Ruth Reichl is an award-winning journalist, honored with six James Beard Awards for her journalism, magazine feature writing, and criticism. Her latest book, “Save Me the Plums,” chronicles her groundbreaking tenure as editor in chief of Gourmet Magazine. The book is also a commentary on the revolutionary world of food from 1999 to 2009.

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.”

Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner, New York Times Bestselling author, and master historian David McCullough rediscovers an important and dramatic chapter in the American story with his latest, “The Pioneers.” In it he tells the story of the settling of the Northwest Territory by dauntless pioneers.

Anna Quindlen became a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of family, motherhood, and modern life, in her nationally syndicated column.

In her new book, "Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting," she offers observations about her new role, no longer mother and decision-maker, but secondary character and support to the parents of her grandchildren.

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.

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."

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.”

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