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Book cover for "Matched" over map from deluxe edition
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Ten years ago this month, Ally Condie’s "Matched" was published, launching the dystopian YA trilogy that includes "Crossed" and "Reached."

Matched quickly garnered myriad fans among booksellers and YA readers: in its first week on sale, the novel debuted in the #2 children’s slot on the ABA’s indie bestseller list and subsequently was published in 34 countries, appeared on more than 20 state award lists, and reached a worldwide in-print tally of more than five million copies.

And that was just the beginning. "Matched" has just been released in a Deluxe Anniversary edition.

Book cover for "Daylight" by David Baldacci
Grand Central Publishing / Grand Central Publishing

David Baldacci is a global #1 bestselling author, and one of the world's favorite storytellers. His books are published in over forty-five languages and in more than eighty countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. His works have been adapted for both feature film and television. David Baldacci is also the cofounder, along with his wife, of the Wish You Well Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting literacy efforts across America. 

In his new thriller, "Daylight," FBI Agent Atlee Pine's search for her sister Mercy clashes with military investigator John Puller's high-stakes case, leading them both deep into a global conspiracy -- from which neither of them will escape unscathed.

The Spencertown Academy Arts Center’s 15th annual Festival of Books turns Virtual this year. Labor Day weekend and beyond, there will be online conversations with distinguished authors, special book sales, children’s drawing workshops, and even familiar flavors from the Cookbook Café. Get ready to settle into a comfortable chair with your laptop or tablet, and enjoy this beloved cultural event of all things literary, 2020 style. All programs will be on Zoom. Registration is required and free, but limited. 

David Highfill is the co-chair of the festival and he joins us now to tell us more.

John Waters is an iconic filmmaker, actor, and author whose credits include "Pink Flamingos," "Hairspray," "Crybaby," "A Dirty Shame" and best selling books including "Role Models, and "Carsick."

His new book is just out in paperback. It's called "Mr. Know-It-All." It's a collection of essays where Waters reflects on everything from overcoming unexpected respectability to becoming a rebel in the autumn of your years.

In more than 50 years after her death, the legacy of author Shirley Jackson lives on with a recent film adaptation based on her book "We Have Always Lived in the Castle," Netflix series loosely inspired by "The Haunting of Hill House" and the new film. "Shirley," starring Elisabeth Moss.

New readers continue to discover this prolific author who is probably best known for her story, "The Lottery." Many of Jackson's novels, memoirs, and short stories were written in North Bennington, Vermont, where she lived with her husband, Stanley Edgar Hyman, and their four children. This morning, we meet Barry Hyman, Jackson's youngest son to talk about his mother, his childhood, and the legacy of Shirley Jackson.

A legend of the New York City tabloid newspaper world who went on to a long career as an author has died. Pete Hamill, a longtime columnist for the New York Daily News and New York Post, was 85. He had suffered a variety of health problems in recent years.

A native of Brooklyn, Hamill was a tabloid figure even after his newspaper days were behind him: dating people like Jackie Onassis and Shirley MacLaine. He wound up on Nixon’s enemies list, and was one of the people who wrestled the gun away from Robert Kennedy’s assassin at the Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles.

Hamill was a frequent guest on WAMC, discussing his novels and non-fiction. Joe Donahue spoke with Pete Hamill several times, including for this episode of The Book Show in 2013. We share a portion of that interview today in memoriam. 

Elizabeth George is one of the most acclaimed mystery writers of the last two decades. The books in her Inspector Lindley series are mainstays on bestseller lists across the country, with each installment garnering rave reviews, an incredible feat for an American writer tackling British crime fiction.

Her ability to create characters who grow and evolve over two dozen novels develop scenes that take readers into a picture ask English setting and construct intricate plot twists that make her novels the definition of a page turner that has cemented her as one of the great crime novelists writing today at events Elizabeth George is often asked: "How do you do it?"

So, in her new book, "Mastering the Process: From Idea to Novel," she shares her method to creating one of the most beloved mystery series ever written.

Joe Donahue: In the new thriller “The End of October” from the Pulitzer Prize winner and bestselling author Lawrence Wright, Dr. Henry Parsons an unlikely but appealing hero, races to find the origins and cure of a mysterious new killer virus as it brings the world to its knees. The novel has a virus that starts in Asia, sweeps across continents, cripples the healthcare system wrecks the economy and kills scores of people worldwide. Yes, eerily prescient. And Lawrence Wright is a Pulitzer Prize winning author, screenwriter, staff writer for The New Yorker magazine and fellow at the Center for Law and Security at the New York University School of Law. 

Acclaimed author Jeffery Deaver - the mastermind behind the Lincoln Rhyme series (now adapted as a hit NBC TV show) - returns with a new thriller "The Goodbye Man" - a follow-up to last year’s "The Never Game."

"The Goodbye Man" once again features Colter Shaw, a survivalist who makes his living as a tracker. Far more than just a bounty hunter, Shaw is a brilliant scholar of human behavior—he knows how people think, and even more importantly, he knows how they act.

And because of that, Shaw often notices the incredibly small nuances that many professional detectives overlook. Shaw is going to need all of those skills—and more—to survive his latest adventure.

Joe Donahue: Emily St. John Mandel is the award winning author of “Station 11”. Her new novel, “The Glass Hotel” is set at the glittering intersection of two seemingly disparate events, a massive Ponzi scheme collapse and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea. In the story of crisis and survival, Mandel takes readers through often hidden landscapes, campgrounds for the near homeless, underground electronica clubs, the business of international shipping service and luxury hotels, and life in a federal prison. “The Glass Hotel” is a portrait of greed and guilt, love and delusion, ghosts and unintended consequences and the infinite ways we search for meaning in our lives.

Welcome to the Book Show, a celebration of reading and writers, I'm Joe Donahue. Anne Tyler is one of America's very best living novelists, and one of the world's most loved. She has written 23 novels, sold more than 11 million copies. Her 20th book “A Spool of Blue Thread” was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize. Her 11th, “Breathing Lessons” won the Pulitzer Prize. Her other bestsellers include “The Accidental Tourist”, “Say Maybe”, “Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant” and most recently, “Vinegar Girl” and “Clock Dance”.

The themes she continues to return to involve marriage, family dynamics, sibling relationships, growing old, and dying. She sets her stories where she lives in Baltimore, Maryland. Her latest titled “Redhead by the Side of the Road” is no exception. The novel focuses on routine-obsessed 44 year-old Micah Mortimer, whose life is about to be thrown out of whack. The novel is about misperception second chances and the sometimes elusive power of human connections. Again, the new novel is “Redhead by the Side of the Road” and it is a great thrill to welcome Anne Tyler to The Book Show.

Amitava Kumar's "Every Day I Write the Book" features interviews with an array of writers whose distinct work offers inspiring examples for students and academics alike, the book's pages are full of practical advice about everything from how to write criticism to making use of a kitchen timer.

Amitava Kumar is Helen D. Lockwood Professor of English at Vassar College and the author of numerous books, including "Lunch with a Bigot;" "A Matter of Rats;" "Nobody Does the Right Thing," and "Immigrant, Montana: A Novel."

“Everyone lies about their lives. What would happen if you shared the truth instead?” These are the opening lines in the little green notebook Monica finds in the café she owns, lines that will change her life forever, in Clare Pooley’s debut novel, “The Authenticity Project.”

This green notebook, with the words “The Authenticity Project” scrawled across the front, will travel from the little neighborhood of Fulham in London, around the world to Thailand and back. As it does, it is passed into the hands of six strangers, who use the notebook to reveal their true selves. In the process, they are able to connect with people in real life.

Clare Pooley knows exactly what it’s like to hide behind a life that looks perfect from the outside. For twenty years she worked in advertising and also maintained the outward appearance of the perfectly happy wife and mother, all while obscuring the realities of motherhood and her drinking problem.

Pooley admits that sharing her truth with the public was terrifying, but it changed her life for the better, and soon she began to wonder: what would happen if everyone did the same? Thus, the idea for “The Authenticity Project” was born.

Being able to hold one’s head high and call oneself a writer is the goal of many a passionate storyteller. But how does one get published? And what happens after that? Critical or sales success (or being published again) is far from a foregone conclusion.

Courtney Maum is the author of the novels “Costalegre,” “Touch,” and “I’m Having So Much Fun Here Without You.” She brings her personal experience and input and insight from many other accomplished writers to her new book, “Before and After The Book Deal;” an all-inclusive guide for writers about how to navigate and, importantly, survive the publishing world.

With chapters like “Getting and Right” and “Getting it Out There” and down-to-Earth sub-headings like “Can I stay in my corporate job without losing my creative edge?” and “My book sales are sluggish - should I crawl under a rock and die?,” Maum peels back the gauzy romantic curtain of a working author’s life - and replaces it with clarity and detailed advice.

“Before and After The Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book” was published by Catapult earlier this month, and Maum will be at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, New York on Thursday, January 23 at 6 p.m.

Hank Green is the CEO of Complexly, a production company that creates educational content, including Crash Course and SciShow. Green co-founded a number of other small businesses, including DFTBA.com, which helps online creators make money by selling cool stuff to their communities; and VidCon, the world's largest conference for the online video community.

In 2017, VidCon drew more than forty thousand attendees across three events in Anaheim, Amsterdam, and Australia. Hank and his brother, John, also started the Project for Awesome.

He joined us to talk about his debut novel "An Absolutely Remarkable Thing."

Alison Lurie, who won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel, "Foreign Affairs," has published ten books of fiction, four works of non-fiction, and three collections of tales for children.

"Words and Worlds: From Autobiography to Zippers" gathers together her reflections on the writing life; fond recollections of inspiring friends; and perceptive, playful commentary on preoccupations ranging from children’s literature to fashion and feminism. Citing her husband’s comment to her that “Nobody asked you to write a novel,” Lurie goes on to eloquently explain why there was never another choice for her.

Harold Bloom in 1990
Jim Wilson / The New York Times

Harold Bloom, the eminent critic and Yale professor whose seminal “The Anxiety of Influence” and melancholy regard for literature’s old masters made him a popular author and standard-bearer of Western civilization amid modern trends, died Monday at age 89. Bloom’s wife, Jeanne, said that he had been in failing health, although he continued to write books and was teaching as recently as last week.

Bloom wrote more than 20 books and prided himself on making scholarly topics accessible to the general reader. But, he saw his career as a very simple and honorable one.

Professor Bloom was a frequent guest on this program. He would write me short complimentary notes asking if we could talk about his latest project or just about life in general. In truth, in a 45-minute conversation, I may only get 2-3 questions in. But, listening to him hold forth was always a pleasure.

Although he frequently bemoaned the decline of literary standards, he was as well placed as a contemporary critic could hope to be. He appeared on best-seller lists with such works as “The Western Canon” and “The Book of J,” and was a National Book Award finalist and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

Harold Bloom spoke with us in 2015.

The 2nd Annual Albany Book Festival at the University at Albany will take place Saturday, September 14 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Events are free and open to the public and there will be books for sale.

The festival will include more than 100 authors and poets, including several nationally-known and best-selling writers, exhibits, writing workshops, and children's activities.

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.

Richard Russo’s new novel, "Chances Are...," is out today. In it, three sixty-six-year old men convene on Martha's Vineyard one beautiful September day, friends ever since meeting in college circa the sixties. They couldn't have been more different then, or even today.

Lincoln's a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rockin' age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend on the Vineyard in 1971.

Richard 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."

Russo will join Joe Donahue to discuss the new novel, "Chances Are..," on Wednesday, August 21 at 7 p.m. at the Arthur Zankel Music Center at Skidmore College in an Off The Shelf taping of The Book Show presented by Northshire Bookstore.

Jesse joins us to talk about the self-publishing world today. Authors are taking publishing into their own hands using the self-publishing tools we now have. And (surprise, surprise!) this is what authors have been doing for a long, long time but the technology is changing.

Jesse Feiler is a developer, consultant, and author specializing in Apple technologies. He is the creator of Minutes Machine for iPad, the meeting management app, Saranac River Trail app a guide to the Trail that includes location-based updates as well as social media tools. As a consultant; he has worked with small businesses and nonprofits on projects such as fine arts, production control, and publishing.

Joshua Furst is the author of "Short People" and "The Sabotage Café," as well as several plays that have been produced in New York, where for a number of years he taught in the public schools. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he’s the recipient of a Michener Fellowship, the Chicago Tribune‘s Nelson Algren Award, and fellowships from the MacDowell Colony and Ledig House. He lives in New York City and teaches at Columbia University.

His new book "Revolutionaries" leads readers on a long, strange trip through the heart of the sixties and beyond, as seen through the eyes of the revolution’s poster child.

Shawn Stone joins us to talk about what he's seen lately and what cultural events are coming up this week in our region.

Seen: "Wonder Park"

Upcoming:

  • "Urinetown" (Park Playhouse Production) - Cohoes Music Hall, Cohoes, opens Thursday 3/21 at 7 PM; runs through Sunday, March 31
  • Jon Collin (with special guests Parashi, Horse Apples) - The Low Beat, Albany, Thursday 3/21, 8 PM
  • Imagination Journey - Stanley Center for the Arts, Utica, Friday 3/22, 7 PM
  • Sanctuary: Carlos Casas, Chris Watson and Tony Myatt - EMPAC Concert Hall, RPI, Troy, Friday 3/22, 7:30 PM
  • Close Encounters With Music: Inna Faliks & Yehuda Hanani, “Troika a la Russe” - music of Rachmaninoff, Prokofiev, Scriabin - Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Great Barrington, Mass., Saturday 3/23, 6 PM
  • Spanglish Fly - MASS MoCA, Club B-10, North Adams, Mass., Saturday 3/23, 8 PM
  • Sister, Show Me Eternity featuring Sylvia Stoner, Anne Jennifer Nash, Sharon O’Campbell - deBlasiis Chamber Music Series, Hyde Collection, Glens Falls, Sunday 3/24, 3 PM
  • David Payne: An Evening With C.S. Lewis - Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, Sunday 3/24, 3 PM
  • Golfstrom - Caffe Lena, Saratoga Springs, Sunday 3/24, 7 PM
  • Sarah Kessler: The Future of Work - NYS Writers Institute, Tech Valley Center of Gravity, 30 3rd St, Troy, Wednesday 3/27, 7:30 PM

New movies: "Us," "Gloria Bell," "Transit," "Cruel Intentions" (1999)

During his regular days in London, Kenneth Grahame sat behind a mahogany desk as Secretary of the Bank of England; on weekends he retired to the house in the country that he shared with his fanciful wife, Elspeth, and their fragile son, Alistair, and took lengthy walks along the Thames in Berkshire.

The result of these pastoral wanderings was his masterful creation of "The Wind in the Willows," the enduring classic of children's literature; a cautionary tale for adult readers; a warning of the fragility of the English countryside; and an expression of fear at threatened social changes that, in the aftermath of the World War I, became a reality.

"The Man in the Willows: The Life of Kenneth Grahame" is by Matthew Dennison; the author of several critically acclaimed works of non-fiction, including "Over the Hills and Far Away: The Life of Beatrix Potter."

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.

Created and produced by the New York State Writers Institute, University Art Museum, and UAlbany Performing Arts Center in collaboration with WAMC Northeast Public Radio, the Creative Life series features leading figures from a variety of artistic disciplines in conversation with Joe Donahue about their creative inspiration, craft, and careers.

On Friday, March 1 at 8 p.m., Joe will be joined by Susan Orlean, author of the current New York Times bestseller, "The Library Book." A staff writer at The New Yorker for a quarter century, Orlean is the author of seven books, including "The Orchid Thief," an international bestseller that became the hit film "Adaptation."

On Saturday, March 2 at 7:30 p.m., Orlean and co-host Sarah Thyre will present a live taping of their Earwolf podcast, "Crybabies" in the Sosnoff Theater at the Bard Fisher Center with guests Michael Ian Black, Karen Chee, and Gary Shteyngart.

Esmeralda Santiago, a founding mother of Nuyorican literature, was part of the University at Albany’s: The Creative Life: Conversation Series in the Fall of last year.

The eldest in a family of 11 children, Santiago came to the States from Puerto Rico at the age of 13. After eight years of part-time study in community colleges, she transferred to Harvard where she graduated magna cum laude. Santiago’s bestselling 1993 memoir, "When I Was Puerto Rican," was named one of the “Best Memoirs of a Generation” by Oprah’s Book Club. Her second memoir, "Almost a Woman" was adapted for Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Her epic 2011 novel, "Conquistadora," set in 19th century Puerto Rico, was hailed as a “triumph” in The Washington Post.

The Creative Life series is a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with WAMC produced with major support from the University at Albany Foundation.

This conversation was recorded on November 8th, 2018 at the University at Albany Campus Center Ballroom.

George Saunders is the author of eight books, including the story collections “Pastoralia” and “Tenth of December,” which was a finalist for the National Book Award. His first novel, “Lincoln in the Bardo,” was released last year and won the Man Book Prize.

The book visits the cemetery where President Abraham and First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln’s son, Willie, has just been entombed. The other characters are the less-recently dead who encourage the boy to cross over. “Lincoln in the Bardo” is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. 

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of sixteen novels. Her new release "Under My Skin" was named one of the most anticipated and top thrillers of fall 2018 by BookBub, Bookish, Library Journal, Booklist, PopSugar and CrimeReads.

It’s been a year since Poppy’s husband, Jack, was brutally murdered during his morning run through Manhattan’s Riverside Park. In the immediate aftermath, Poppy spiraled into an oblivion of grief, disappearing for several days only to turn up ragged and confused wearing a tight red dress she didn’t recognize. What happened to Poppy during those lost days? And more importantly, what happened to Jack?

Esmeralda Santiago is a renowned writer of the Puerto Rican experience and a founding mother of Nuyorican literature.

Santiago’s bestselling 1993 memoir, "When I was Puerto Rican" was named one of the “Best Memoirs of a Generation” by Oprah’s Book Club. In 2018, it was one of five finalists for the “One Book, One New York” community-wide reading project. Her second memoir, "Almost a Woman" received the American Library Association’s Alex Award, and was adapted for Masterpiece Theatre on PBS. Her epic 2011 novel, "Conquistadora" received many praises in The Washington Post.

She will be in Albany, New York at 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 8 at the University at Albany Campus Center Ballroom as part of The Creative Life Conversation Series.

The Creative Life series, a major arts initiative of the New York State Writers Institute, UAlbany Performing Arts Center and University Art Museum in conjunction with regional public radio station WAMC, brings leading figures from writing, music, dance, choreography, visual arts, architecture, theatre, and filmmaking to the University for conversation with Donahue about their creative inspiration, craft, and careers.

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