the book show | WAMC

the book show

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 "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.”

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.”

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.

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