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

Alan Cumming is an award-winning actor, writer, activist, and photographer.

In his new book, You Gotta Get Bigger Dreams, he shares real life stories of late-night parties; backstage anecdotes; cross-country road-trips with his dog, Honey; and poignant memories of his life, loves, family, fellow actors, and friends. 

  B. A. Shapiro brilliantly captured the world of art-theft and forgery in her critically acclaimed best-selling novel, The Art Forger.

Shapiro’s latest is The Muralist, a story about the birth of abstract-impressionism set against the backdrop of The Great Depression and the eve of World War II.

With his break-out debut novel, Rules of Civility, Amor Towles established himself as a master of absorbing, sophisticated fiction.

His latest, A Gentleman in Moscow, tells the story of a Russian aristocrat who was sentenced by the Bolsheviks during the revolution to a lifetime of house arrest in Moscow's ​Metropol hotel. 

The co-founder of The Omega Institute Elizabeth Lesser’s new book Marrow tells her story of sisters who in the face of a bone-marrow transplant – one the donor, one the recipient – begin a quest for acceptance, authenticity, and – most of all – love.

Joyce Carol Oates has won the highest honors in American fiction, ranging from the National Book Award to being awarded the National Humanities Medal from President Obama in 2010. She is also a 5-time finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She has a pair of new books out – one a memoir, one a meditation on writing. 

We spoke to Joyce Carol Oates her as part of The Creative Life: A Conversation Series at The University at Albany. Our conversation was taped in September before a live audience in the University’s Performing Arts Center. 

  Jeffrey Toobin is a New Yorker Staff writer and is the senior legal analyst for CNN.

His new book is American Heiress: The Wild Saga of the Kidnapping, Crimes and Trial of Patty Hearst which revisits the famous kidnapping and the ongoing question of Hearst's motivations and loyalty in the 19 months that followed her abduction.

  As a columnist for the Miami Herald and a prolific novelist of books such as Strip Tease, Lucky You and Star Island, Carl Hiaasen always has his eye on his home state of Florida.

His latest, Razor Girl, keeps the tradition alive with a funny and offbeat mystery set in Key West. A crash scam is only the beginning of events that spiral crazily out of control.

  The technological marvel of its age, The Erie Canal, grew out of a sudden fit of inspiration. Proponents didn’t just dream – they built a 360 mile waterway entirely by hand and largely through wilderness.

Jack Kelly tells the story in his book, Heaven’s Ditch

  Caleb Carr, bestselling author of The Alienist and The Angel of Darkness, has created a contemporary psychological thriller haunted by the shadowy hands of established power.

Surrender, New York features an outcast pair - secretly called in to consult on a case where adolescent boys and girls are found murdered, their corpses left hanging in gruesome, ritualistic fashion.

  A naturalist and advocate for freedom of speech, Terry Tempest Williams explores how environmental issues are social issues and ultimately matters of justice.

Her new book, The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, comes with the centennial of the National Park Service. It is a celebration of our National Parks and an exploration of what they mean to us and what we mean to them.

  Writer Jay McInerney became famous in the 1980s for Bright Lights, Big City, a semi-autobiographical novel about a young man coming of age in Manhattan, but his latest is more domestic in nature – focusing on the idea of a “perfect marriage.”

Bright, Precious Days is the third book in a trilogy about married couple Russell and Corrine Calloway. 

Daniel Silva is widely acclaimed as one of America's greatest spy novelists. He's know for his creation of the hero art-restorer assassin and spy, Gabriel Allon. His latest, The Black Widow, is the 16th novel in which Allon has appeared. 

  Novelist Liz Moore’s latest is The Unseen World , which tells the moving story of a daughter’s quest to discover the truth about her beloved father’s hidden past.

The story begins in a computer science lab in 1980s-era Boston and follows the girl’s quest to figure out her father’s secrets in a virtual universe. 

  What if an empire of Jewish warriors that really existed in the Middle Ages had never fallen—and was the only thing standing between Hitler and his conquest of Russia? 

Emily Barton’s new novel, The Book of Esther, is a saga of war, technology, mysticism, power, and faith. 

Russell Banks’ works include the novels Continental Drift, Cloudsplitter, The Sweet Hereafter, and Affliction.

His latest, Voyager: Travel Writings, is a collection of travel essays spanning the globe from the Caribbean to Scotland to the Himalayas.

  Joshua Cohen’s new novel, Book of Numbers, is narrated by a fictional Joshua Cohen – also a writer, whose misfortune is to have written a book with the publication date of September 11, 2001. 

  Best-selling historian Nathaniel Philbrick once again takes readers deep into the American Revolution, leading them into battles and illuminating the players on the field and behind the scenes.

His latest - Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution - is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. 

  Colm Tóibín is one of Ireland’s foremost living novelists and journalists. His most recent novel is Nora Webster, which the Los Angeles Times said “may actually be a perfect work of fiction.”

He also wrote the novel, Brooklyn, which was made into a successful film nominated this year for an Oscar for Best Picture. 

  Annie Proulx is the author of ten books, including the novel, The Shipping News and the short story, Brokeback Mountain.

Her new novel, Barkskins, imagines the forging of a new world through humanity’s insatiable appetite for timber and through two families intertwined in the early onslaught of modern global deforestation.

  On November 29, 2007 Joseph Luzzi's life forever changed. His wife, Catherine, eight-and-a-half months pregnant, was killed in a car crash.

Before she died, doctors delivered their daughter, Isabel. His new memoir is In A Dark Wood. It tells the story how he dealt with his grief in part through the writings of Dante.

  Jim Shepard’s new book, The Book of Aron, tells the story of a Jewish boy growing up in poverty and desperation. It begins before the Germans invaded Poland and, through Aron’s eyes, takes us from the Polish countryside into the depths of the Warsaw Ghetto and then into a famous orphanage for destitute children.

  Best known of award-winning New York Times and Newsweek columns, Anna Quindlen returns with her eighth novel, Miller's Valley. 

The setting is a farming valley in Pennsylvania during the height of the Viet Nam War. Outside influences like the war and a government plan to flood the valley affect the lives of one family - and the community.

  Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee is the Pulitzer Prize-winning, bestselling author of The Emperor of All Maladies. He has now written the history of the gene and a response to the defining question of the future: What becomes of being human when we learn to “read” and “write” our own genetic information?

His new book is The Gene: An Intimate History

  Pulitzer-Prize winning novelist Richard Russo is one of America’s most celebrated fiction writers, as well as an acclaimed screenwriter and memoirist.

His new novel, Everybody’s Fool, is a sequel to his novel Nobody’s Fool, which revisits the upstate New York setting and characters of that highly-praised novel. 

  Steve Berry is the author of fifteen historical novels. His latest, The 14th Colony, deals with presidential succession, potential disaster at the inauguration, and a real plan, never carried out, to invade Canada and make it The 14th Colony.

Berry’s protagonist, Cotton Malone, must stop disaster before it happens, which is only a few hours away. 

  Louis Begley, best known for his masterful observations of life in New York City’s upper crust, made his thriller debut with Killer Come Hither.

That book told the story of former Marine Corps officer turned novelist and Yale Alum, Jack Dana. Now Begley continues Jack’s story in the sequel, Kill and Be Killed.

  Augusten Burroughs is the author of such best-selling autobiographical works as Running with Scissors, Dry, and Magical Thinking.

His latest is called Lust & Wonder in which he chronicles the development and demise of the different relationships he's had while living in New York, he examines what it means to be in love, what it means to be in lust, and what it means to be figuring it out.

  Gone with the Mind is Mark Leyner’s latest novel – in which a character named Mark Leyner is to give a reading from his autobiography, also entitled Gone with the Mind, in a mall food court. 

  Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Charles Duhigg’s first book The Power of Habit has spent over 150 weeks on the NYT bestseller lists.

In his new book, Smarter Faster Better: The Secrets of Being Productive in Life and Business, he looks to explain why some people and companies are able to get so much more done than others. 

  Writer Tracy Chevalier spins fiction from history. Her new novel, At the Edge of the Orchard, takes us back to the Gold Rush era to tell the tale of a pioneer family on the American frontier.