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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George Saunders is considered one of the great masters of the short-story. He’s now written his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo – a novel that comes from the real-life death of Willie Lincoln, the 11 year-old son of Abe and Mary Lincoln in 1862. 

Marvin Kalb spent 30 years as an award-winning reporter for CBS News and NBC News. In 1956, Kalb was selected by the State Department to do translation work in Moscow.

He tells the story of that year in his new book: The Year I Was Peter the Great: 1956 - Khrushchev, Stalin’s Ghost, and a Young American in Russia.

Tyehimba Jess’ poetry serves as a bridge between “slam poetry” and other American verse traditions. His second collection Olio, which celebrates the unrecorded and largely unknown Black musicians and orators of the 19th and early 20th centuries, won the 2017 Pulitzer Prize.

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.

In his new book, Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire: A 500-Year History, NYT bestselling author and co-creator of the Peabody-Award winning public radio show Studio 360, Kurt Andersen, provides a new and comprehensive understanding of our post-truth world and the American instinct in make- believe.

This interview was recorded at UAlbany as part of the New York State Writers Institute symposium: Telling the Truth in a Post-Truth World.

Sebastian Barry is one of the most prominent Irish writers of his generation. In his latest novel, Days without End, he explores America through the eyes of a young Irish immigrant fighting in the great wars of the mid-19th century.

It’s about war, immigration, and the violent making of America, but also a moving love story between two gay men. 

Once known as the largest ghetto in the U.S., the Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn of today is more notable for its headlines in the real-estate section. But as systematic racism converges with gentrification, the neighborhood again finds itself as the center of a cultural quandary in Brian Platzer’s debut novel, Bed-Stuy is Burning.

Adam Gopnik’s new memoir, At the Strangers’ Gate: Arrivals in New York, is a memoir that captures the romance of New York City in the 1980’s.

The book is essentially a prequel to Adam’s bestseller, Paris to the Moon, and documents his early adventures in the 1980’s in NYC with his wife. 

Set over the course of one week in June of 1939, the new novel The World of Tomorrow by Brendan Mathews is a story about siblings, the joys of music, love (mutual and unrequited), and the meaning of home.

It is a New York novel, but also one of the world, of big dreams and big love and what it means to be willing to pay any price for your family. 

Salman Rushdie’s is best known for his novels Midnight's Children and The Satanic Verses, among others.

While those take place in India and the United Kingdom, his latest, The Golden House, is set in New York City against the backdrop of modern politics from Obama to Trump. 

WAMC/Northeast Public Radio is excited to announce a new season of guests and a re-brand of its popular syndicated program The Book Show. The change includes a new logo and new theme music.

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.

Dr. Atul Gawande helped transform the conversation about aging and death in his book, Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End.

He is a surgeon at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, a professor at Harvard Medical School, and a staff writer at The New Yorker.

Caroline Leavitt’s new novel, Cruel Beautiful World is about coming of age in 1969; about wild love, rebellion, and finding oneself in the time of Woodstock and the Manson murders.

The novel is a haunting, nuanced portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family.   

Rachel Kadish’s new novel The Weight of Ink is set in London. It is the interwoven tale of two women of remarkable intellect – one an emigrant from Amsterdam who is permitted to scribe for a blind rabbi, just before the plague hits the city; the other an ailing historian with a love of Jewish history.

Alexandria Marzano-Lesnevich’s new book, The Fact of a Body: A Murder and a Memoir, is inspired by her time at a law firm in Louisiana working on the retrial defense of death-row convicted murderer and child molester Ricky Langley. She shows how ''the law is more personal than we would like to believe and the truth more complicated, and powerful, than we could ever imagine.''

Tom Perrotta’s new novel, Mrs. Fletcher, is a provocative and very funny look at parenthood, the empty nest, and sex in the suburbs.

Perrotta is the author of eight works of fiction including Election, Joe College and Little Children. His novel The Leftovers was adapted into an HBO series that just finished up a three-season run. 

Robert Thurman is a recognized worldwide authority on Indo-Tibetan Buddhism, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama. His new book - Man of Peace - presents the inside story of the Dalai Lama delving into his amazing life and vision, in the high tension of the military occupation of Tibet and the ongoing genocide of its people.

Alexandra Fuller is best known for her memoirs about her African childhood and the family she left behind; she’s just written her debut novel, Quiet Until the Thaw.

The book brings us into the world of the Lakota Sioux in South Dakota and the fictional family she has imagined there. 

Arundhati Roy published her first novel, The God of Small Things, back in 1997 and now Roy is back with a new novel, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness.

In it, she weaves among other threads, the story of a transgender woman in Delhi and a Kashmiri freedom fighter while also shining a spotlight on modern India.

In her new novel, Touch, author Courtney Maum tells the story of a leading trend forecaster who suddenly finds herself in the position of wanting to overturn her own predictions.

Maum examines the issues of technology, family, and artificial intelligence in a sophisticated and very entertaining way. 

Colm Tóibín is the author of seven novels, his latest is House of Names. The book is his reimagining of one of the most famous Greek tragedies – the stories of Agamemnon, Clytemnestra, Iphigeneia, Electra, and Orestes.

  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. 

Author Jim Shepard is the author of seven novels and four short story collections. He now has brought his amazing talents as a fiction writer with an intimate approach to real historical subjects to ten new short stories in his latest, The World to Come.

The new book includes powerful tales of courageous responsibility and criminal indifference set in the past and present.

John Grisham has sold more than 300 million copies of his books and has had 29 consecutive No. 1 books on the New York Times fiction bestsellers list.

His latest novel, Camino Island, is about a heist of the original manuscripts of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novels and the efforts to retrieve them.

Senator Al Franken has represented the State of Minnesota in the US Senate since 2009. Before entering politics, he was one of the original writers and performers on Saturday Night Live.

He is also a best-selling author. His new book is Al Franken, Giant of the Senate where he tells the story of an award-winning comedian who decided to run for office and discovered why award-winning comedians tend not to do that. 

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.

Min Jin Lee’s historical novel, Pachinko, spans the entire 20th century through four generations, three wars and two countries with a troubled past.

The novel is a moving and powerful account of one of the world’s most persecuted immigrant communities—Koreans living in Japan. 

Jonathan Lethem is the New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, including Dissident Gardens, The Fortress of Solitude, and Motherless Brooklyn; as well as several short story and essay collections.

He has a pair of new books - More Alive and Less Lonely is his collection of writing on writing.  He is also the co-editor of Shake It Up which spotlights landmark music writing.

In thriller writer Lisa Scottoline’s latest novel, One Perfect Lie, we meet Chris Brennan, although that’s not really his name. He’s the new teacher and assistant baseball coach at Central Valley High. Among his secrets: Six days from now, there’s going to be a bombing. But what does Chris want from the baseball players and families?  

Anita Shreve is the New York Times best-selling author of The Weight of Water and The Pilot's Wife. Her latest,

The Stars are Fire, brings 1947 – the year Maine burned – to life, in a story about an extraordinary young woman tested by a catastrophic event and its aftermath.

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