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Book cover for "A Burning" by Megha Majumdar
Knopf / Knopf

Megha Majumdar’s debut novel, "A Burning," is about three characters whose lives become entwined after a terrorist attack in India. Her taut, electrifying, and dazzling novel is rooted in history and place, "A Burning" is a page-turner about accusation and betrayal, innocence and guilt, longing and love.

Sculpture by Tom Fruin on Matrimony Hill
Tom Fruin / beekman1802.com

In celebration of Pride Month at Upstate New York's Beekman 1802, they're inviting scores of couples to their farm to say "I do" atop Matrimony Hill inside of a rainbow colored glass house sculpture by artist Tom Fruin.

The Let Love Bloom Wedding Marathon will take place on the Beekman Farm in Sharon Springs, New York on June 26 and 27.

June 26 is the day the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June 2015. Brent Ridge and Josh Kilmer-Purcell join us.

Book cover for "The Prophets" By Robert Jones Jr.
Putnam

Robert Jones, Jr., creator of the Son of Baldwin online community, has written a debut novel, "The Prophets," about the forbidden union between two enslaved young men on a Deep South plantation, the refuge they find in each other, and a betrayal that threatens their existence. 

Joe Donahue: Glennon Doyle is the author of the number one New York Times bestseller “Love Warrior” an Oprah's Book Club selection as well as the New York Times bestseller “Carry On, Warrior.” An activist, speaker, and thought leader, she is also the founder and president of Together Rising, an all women-lead nonprofit organization that has revolutionized grassroots philanthropy, raising over $20 million for women, families and children in crisis.

Her latest, “Untamed” is both a memoir and a wakeup call. It offers an examination of the restrictive expectations women are issued from birth, shows how hustling to meet those expectations leaves women feeling dissatisfied and lost, overwhelmed and underwhelmed, and reveals that when we quit abandoning ourselves and instead abandon the world's expectations of us, they become women who can finally look at themselves in the mirror and recognize there she is. 

Book cover for "Love, Kurt"
Random House / Random House

Kurt Vonnegut’s eldest daughter, Edith, was cleaning out her mother’s attic when she stumbled upon a dusty, aged box. Inside, she discovered an unexpected treasure: more than two hundred love letters written by Kurt to Jane, spanning the early years of their relationship.

The letters begin in 1941, after the former schoolmates reunited at age nineteen, sparked a passionate summer romance, and promised to keep in touch when they headed off to their respective colleges. And they did, through Jane’s conscientious studying and Kurt’s struggle to pass chemistry. The letters continue after Kurt dropped out and enlisted in the army in 1943, while Jane in turn graduated and worked for the Office of Strategic Services in Washington, D.C. They also detail Kurt’s deployment to Europe in 1944, where he was taken prisoner of war and declared missing in action, and his eventual safe return home and the couple’s marriage in 1945.

Full of the humor and wit that we have come to associate with Kurt Vonnegut, the letters also reveal little-known private corners of his mind.

We are joined by Edith Vonnegut.

Much of the world met Bishop Michael Curry when he delivered his sermon on the redemptive power of love at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at Windsor Castle.

He joins us to discuss his new book, "Love is the Way," which shows how America came this far and, more important, how to go a whole lot further.

The new book, "A Wonderful Life," is a series of essays that explore the notion of what brings significance to our existences, clarifying why we have this longing beyond the present moment and an insatiable dissatisfaction with where we are, scholar Frank Martela tackles the subject of finding meaning in life.

An Ocean Without a Shore" from the best-selling, critically acclaimed author Scott Spencer, known for "Endless Love" and "Man in the Woods", is an exploration of that timeless of human dilemmas the one in which your love is left unreturned. Since their college days, Kip Woods has been infatuated with Thaddeus Kaufman, who, years later, is a married father of two children and desperately trying to revive a failing career. Kip’s devotion to Thaddeus has been life-defining and destiny-altering, but it has been one that Thaddeus has either failed to notice or refused to acknowledge. Scott Spencer is the author of 12 novels, including "Endless Love", "Waking the Dead", "A Ship Made of Paper" and "Willing". 

Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue will be in conversation with Joe Donahue tonight at 7 in a virtual event presented by Northshire Bookstore.   

Today marks their 40th wedding anniversary of actress Marlo Thomas and daytime talk trailblazer Phil Donahue - the couple joined us from their home to talk about their new book what makes a marriage last.

It features reflections from celebrity couples including Ron and Cheryl Howard, Kira Sedgwick and Kevin Bacon, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter, and Jane Wagner and Lily Tomlin just to name a few.

What makes a marriage last? Well, to unlock that mystery Marlo and Phil crisscrossed the country and conducted intimate conversations with 40 celebrated couples whose long marriages they've admired - from award winning actors, athletes, and newsmakers to writers, comedians, musicians, a former US President and First Lady - through these conversations Marlo and Phil also reveal the rich journey of their own marriage.

Book cover for "A Burning" by Megha Majumdar
Knopf / Knopf

Joe Donaue: Megha Majumdar's debut novel "A Burning" is about three characters whose lives become entwined after a terrorist attack in India. It is taut, electrifying, and dazzling. Jivan is a Muslim girl from the slums determined to move up in life who is accused of executing a terrorist attack on a train because of a careless comment on Facebook. PT Sir is an opportunistic gym teacher who hitches his aspirations to a right wing political party, and finds that his own ascent becomes linked to Jivan's fall. Lovely is an irresistible outcast who has the alibi that can set Jivan free, but it will cost her everything that she holds dear. Megha Majumdar grew up in Kolkata, India and studied social anthropology at Harvard and Johns Hopkins. She is currently an editor at Catapult. This is her first novel. 

Joe Donahue: Welcome to The Book Show, a celebration of reading and writers. I'm Joe Donohue. In Sue Monk Kidd's, new novel, "The Book of Longing", she imagines a young woman named Ana, who becomes the wife of Jesus. The novel explores many of the signature themes in Kidd's fiction: feminism, the search for self, the quest for one's voice and purpose, and the power of female community. In particular, this novel explores the longings and virtuosities in women, as well as their silencing and marginalization within Western religion. The story evokes a seminal question: how would the world be different if Jesus had had a wife? Sue Monk Kidd's debut, "The Secret Life of Bees" spent more than 100 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, it has sold more than 6 million copies. Her other novels include "The Mermaid Chair" and "The Invention of Wings". Again, the latest is "The Book of Longings". 

Drawing on forty years of published work, Jay Rogoff’s "Loving in Truth: New and Selected Poems" marks a milestone in the career. The volume presents over one hundred poems from earlier collections alongside forty¬-seven poems previously unavailable in book form.

Throughout his body of work, Rogoff interweaves craft and feeling as he contemplates immigrant ancestors, foreign adventures, baseball, ballet, and the uncanny entwinings of art and life.

Jay Rogoff is the author of six previous collections of poetry, including "The Art of Gravity" and "Venera." His poems and criticism have appeared in numerous journals, and he serves as dance critic for the Hopkins Review.

"Afterlife" is the first adult novel in almost 15- years by Julia Alvarez - the bestselling author of In the "Time of the Butterflies" and "How the García Girls Lost Their Accents." "Afterlife" is a compact yet deeply felt novel that speaks to grief, our broken society, and the questions of what we owe to each other, ourselves, and our larger community.

The Tour of The Tony-Award winning revival of the musical “Once on this Island” will be at Proctors in Schenectady, New York on Friday, January 17 and Saturday, January 18.

The Lynn Ahrens/Stephen Flaherty musical, directed by Michael Arden and choreographed by Camille A. Brown, tells the story of the orphaned Ti Moune and four competitive Gods who make a wager over her life and her love. “Once on this Island” is a celebration tinged with sadness that emphasizes the importance of telling everyone’s stories.

Tyler Hardwick joined us. He plays Daniel and he joins the tour after playing a storyteller and understudying roles during the show’s Broadway run.

Ruta Sepetys is an internationally acclaimed, New York Times bestselling author of historical fiction published in over sixty countries and forty languages. Sepetys is considered a "crossover" novelist, as her books are read by both teens and adults worldwide.

In her latest work, "The Fountains of Silence," Sepetys shines light into one of history’s darkest corners in a novel about identity, unforgettable love, repercussions of war, and the hidden violence of silence–inspired by the true postwar struggles of Spain.

Inti Chavez Perez is a writer and sex educator from Gothenburg, Sweden. He left a career as a journalist to focus full-time on issues concerning equality, sex, and sexuality. He regularly teaches sex education to teenagers in schools, as well as lecturing on education to midwives, teachers and government officials. Chavez Perez has been appointed by the Swedish Government as an expert on matters regarding the sexual violence of boys, lgbtq+ issues, honor violence, and other issues, in addition to serving as a member of their advisory council for The Swedish Agency for Youth and Civil Society.

His new book is "Respect: Everything a Guy Needs to Know About Sex, Love, and Consent."

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.

In "Work, Love, and Learning in Utopia: Equality Reimagined," psychological anthropologist Martin Schoenhals argues that the negative emotions of sadness, anger, and fear evolved in tandem with hierarchy, while happiness evolved separately and in connection to prosociality and compassion.

The book covers a range of human concerns, from economics and education, to media and communication, to gender and sexuality. Schoenhals argues that equality of love is as important and possible as is economic equality.

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.”

Book cover - Inheritance

In the spring of 2016, through a genealogy website to which she had whimsically submitted her DNA for analysis, Dani Shapiro received the stunning news that her father was not her biological father. She woke up one morning and her entire history crumbled beneath her.

Inheritance is a book about secrets: secrets within families, kept out of shame or self-protectiveness; secrets we keep from one another in the name of love. It is the story of a woman's urgent quest to unlock the story of her own identity, a story that has been scrupulously hidden from her for more than fifty years, years she had spent writing brilliantly, and compulsively, on themes of identity and family history.

Dani Shapiro is the author of the memoirs "Hourglass," "Still Writing," "Devotion," and "Slow Motion" and five novels including "Black & White" and "Family History." She will be part of Oblong Books and Music White Hart Speaker Series on March 19 at 6 p.m.

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.

Lucy Kaplansky and album cover for "Everyday Street"
Photo of Lucy Kaplansky by Beowulf Sheehan

Last September folk singer-songwriter Lucy Kaplansky released “Everyday Street” - an album of new original songs, re-worked versions of her songs, and covers. Her first solo album in six years, “Everyday Street” is an intimate collection of tunes which share a picture of life, loss, and assorted types of love - romantic, friendship, and even pet-centric.

Lucy will play Caffe Lena in Saratoga Springs on March 15.

Harriet Brown is the author of "Body of Truth" and "Brave Girl Eating." She has edited two anthologies and has written for the New York Times Magazine, O Magazine, Psychology Today, Prevention, and many other publications. She is a professor of magazine journalism at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University.

In "Shadow Daughter," she tackles a subject we rarely discuss as a culture: family estrangements. Despite the fact that the issue touches most people one way or another, estrangement is still shrouded in secrecy, stigma, and shame. We simply don't talk about it, and that silence can make an already difficult situation even harder.

Brown tells her story with clear-eyed honesty and hard-won wisdom; she also shared interviews with others who are estranged, as well as the most recent research on this taboo topic."

Born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, Kiese Laymon, Ottilie Schillig Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of Mississippi, is the author of the novel "Long Division" and a collection of essays, "How to Slowly Kill Yourself and Others in America."

In his new book, "Heavy: An American Memoir," he writes eloquently and honestly about growing up a hard-headed black son to a complicated and brilliant black mother in Jackson, Mississippi. From his early experiences of sexual violence, to his suspension from college, to his trek to New York as a young college professor, Laymon charts his complex relationship with his mother, grandmother, anorexia, obesity, sex, writing, and ultimately gambling.

By attempting to name secrets and lies he and his mother spent a lifetime avoiding, Laymon asks himself, his mother, his nation, and us to confront the terrifying possibility that few in this nation actually know how to responsibly love, and even fewer want to live under the weight of actually becoming free.

Jez Butterworth’s, “The Ferryman” is currently running on Broadway at The Jacobs Theatre. The New York Times review of the production called the show “... an endlessly vibrant work, directed with sweeping passion and meticulous care by Sam Mendes.” The review went on to say: “This is theater as charged and expansive as life itself.” The West End production won three Obie Awards - including Best New Play and Best Director.

Set in rural Northern Ireland in 1981, The Carney farmhouse is a hive of activity with preparations for the annual harvest. Three generations of Carney’s live in the house - a family tree with a jumble of branches connecting on this special annual event to cousins, strays, and - unwanted by most in the house - a cause with dire consequences.

Mark Lambert plays Uncle Patrick Carney - or “Uncle Pat” - a jovial storyteller and keeper of household tradition. Lambert, who has an illustrious career on the stage primarily in London and Dublin, makes his Broadway debut in "The Ferryman."

Ram Dass and Mirabai Bush began their friendship more than four decades ago at the foot of their guru. He transmitted to them a simple philosophy: love everyone, tell the truth, and give up attachment to material things.

After impacting millions of people through the years with these teachings, they have reunited once more with the new book: "Walking Each Other Home" to enlighten and engage readers on the spiritual opportunities within the dying process.

Mirabai Bush teaches practices and develops programs through the application of contemplative principles and values to organizational life. She is a co-founder of the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society.

Nancy Pearl has worked as a librarian and a bookseller for more than three decades, she is regularly featured on NPR’s Morning Edition talking about her favorite books.

The author of several works on non-fiction, she has now written her first novel, George & Lizzie, an emotional novel about an unlikely marriage as a crossroads.

Roslyn Ruff (Berenice) - THE MEMBER OF THE WEDDING  By Carson McCullers  Directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch  Williamstown Theatre Festival  August 5 - 19
Carolyn Brown / Williamstown Theatre Festival

Carson McCullers’ “The Member of the Wedding,” directed by Gaye Taylor Upchurch, is running on the Main Stage at The Williamstown Theatre Festival through August 19.

Set in the South on the eve of a family wedding in 1945, housekeeper Berenice Sadie Brown tries to calm the nerves of her 12-year-old charge, Frankie, a tomboy - lonely and uncertain - struggling to feel a part of something.

McCullers novel was published in 1946 and the author adapted the story for the stage where it opened on Broadway in 1950.

Roslyn Ruff plays Berenice Sadie Brown. Ruff’s an accomplished television, film, and stage actress with Broadway credits that include “Romeo and Juliet” with Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad, and “All the Way” with Bryan Cranston.

James J. Sexton is a trial lawyer with two decades of experience negotiating and litigating high-conflict divorces.

In his new book, "If You're in My Office, It's Already Too Late: A Divorce Lawyer's Guide to Staying Together," he uses his years of experience and observation to reverse engineer relationships and to identify and fix what does not work.

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