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

    At twenty-three, after leaving graduate school to pursue her dreams of becoming a poet, Joanna Rakoff moved to New York City and took a job as assistant to the storied literary agent for J. D. Salinger. She was tasked with answering Salinger’s voluminous fan mail.

Her memoir of that time is called: My Salinger Year.

  Set on a small, fictional island off the coast of Maine, Alexi Zentner's second novel, The Lobster Kings, is a nod to Shakespeare’s King Lear.

It introduces a fiery and unforgettable heroine, Cordelia Kings. The Lobster Kings is the story of Cordelia’s struggle to maintain her island’s way of life.

    Owen King’s new novel, Double Feature, is about a young man coming to terms with his life in the process and aftermath of making his first film.

Owen King joins us to talk about his novel, writing in the shadow of his father, Stephen King and the knack of being moving AND funny.

    Joseph Ellis is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Founding Brothers. His portrait of Thomas Jefferson, American Sphinx, won the National Book Award.

His new book, Revolutionary Summer, tells an old story in a new way about the summer months of 1776 and how they witnessed the most consequential events in the story of our country’s founding.

    Francine Prose's new novel is about a cross-dressing French racecar driver who collaborates with the Nazis and is recounted by various alternating voices.

Prose has written more than a dozen novels dating back to 1973 to her latest opus, Lovers at the Chameleon Club, Paris 1932.

  Publishers Weekly says Kelly Braffet’s new novel, Save Yourself, is “Captivating and realistically creepy,” adding that “she uses graceful prose, astute dialog, and vivid characters to carry the plot to an unexpected and believable finale.”

The story is a layered tale of a group of characters each seeking their own warped version of peace.

    Teddy Roosevelt described the power of the presidency to shape public opinion as “The Bully Pulpit”. That's also the title of the new book from presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, in which she writes about William Howard Taft and Teddy Roosevelt and explains the unique relationship forged with reporters.

This is an Off the Shelf edition of The Book Show in partnership with Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY and recorded before a live audience.

    

  In 2011, Greg Iles suffered life-threatening injuries in an automobile accident that took his right leg and made him question his return to writing.

It ultimately became his path to recovery. He poured himself into an epic trilogy about the Civil Right abuses in the South that begins with the new Natchez Burning.

    In her bestseller Room, writer Emma Donoghue imagined what life would be like for a little boy born into captivity, to a mother who'd been kidnapped and sexually assaulted.

And in her new novel, Frog Music, she's imagined a possible solution to a very real murder, one that took place in California in 1876. That crime was never solved. But Emma Donoghue has gone through historical records to write what might have happened.

    In his 2007 memoir, A Long Way Gone, Ishmael Beah wrote of being a teenager when his town became engulfed in Sierra Leone's civil war in the mid-1990s.

He has now written a novel, Radiance of Tomorrow, in which he imagines a shattered community struggling to rebuild itself after war.

    Rachel Urquhart's debut novel, The Visionist, is based in real life: the Visionists were young Shaker girls who began to suffer mysterious fits, thought to be in communication with the spirit world.

The Visionist tells the story of 15-year old Polly Kimball who kills her abusive father in a fire. Her mother leads them to seek shelter in The City of Hope, a nearby shaker Settlement. She is anointed a visionist upon her arrival, where she is - by turns - worshipped and questioned.

    

  In 1872 the American merchant vessel Mary Celeste was discovered adrift off the coast of Spain. Her cargo was intact and there was no sign of struggle, but the crew was gone. They were never found.

This maritime mystery lies at the center of an intricate narrative branching through the highest levels of late-nineteenth-century literary society in Valerie Martin's novel, The Ghost of the Mary Celeste.

    Dinaw Mengestu’s work, including his first two novels, have earned him incredible critical acclaim as well as a MacArthur Foundation genius grant and selection by the New Yorker as one of their “20 Under 40” young writers central to their generation. And writing about his new novel, All Our Names, Kirkus Reviews calls Mengestu, “among the best novelists now at work in America.”

    

  For years, P.J. O’Rourke has trained his wit and critical eye on institutions ranging from the U.S. Government and the global economy to the automobile industry and American politics.

In his new book, The Baby Boom: How it Got That Way – And it Wasn’t My Fault…And I’ll Never Do it Again, he trains his eye on his own generation. He leads readers on an expedition into the world of the boomer psyche.

He has written 16-books, including the bestsellers, Parliament of Whores and Give War a Chance

    

  New Yorker staff writer and best-selling author Elizabeth Kolbert offers a startling look at the mass extinction currently unfolding before us in her new book – The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History.

Over the last half billion years, there have been five major mass extinctions – we’ll learn more about the sixth with Elizabeth Kolbert.

  Armistead Maupin first introduced readers to the cast of 28 Barbary Lane, including the beloved transgender landlady, Anna Madrigal, in the 1970’s with a groundbreaking newspaper serial. Now, 35-years years after Tales of the City was published, Maupin takes us back to San Francisco for the ninth and final book in the series.

    Amy Tan has a new novel for the first time in seven years. Her newest is The Valley of Amazement.

Like many of works by the author of The Joy Luck Club, it deals with China's history and also tense mother-daughter relationships.

    Playwright, author and activist Eve Ensler traces many paths of reconnection in her memoir, In the Body of the World.

It is the path of reconnection with her body, after she is diagnosed with cancer; with the people of the world, in the face of injustice and abuse; and with the earth.

    Pulitzer Prize-winning author Paul Harding returns with a follow-up to 2009's Tinkers. This time, Harding builds his story around the grandson of Tinkers protagonist, George Crosby.

In Enon: A Novel, Harding follows a year in the life of Charlie Crosby as he tries to come to terms with a shattering personal tragedy.

    Jamie Ford's first novel, Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, was a surprise New York Times bestseller. His second book, Songs of Willow Frost is the story of a Chinese-American orphan in Seattle during The Great Depression.

  Scott Turow knows how to write legal thrillers. The lawyer-novelist has penned bestsellers like Presumed Innocent and Burden of Proof.

He latest novel is Identical - and while there are lawyers and an unsolved murder, it is a story about the almost mystical connection that binds together identical twins.

    Neil Gaiman, one of the world's most beloved fantasy authors, is known for his eclectic work including: The Sandman, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline and The Graveyard Book.

Now he's written his first novel for adults in eight years, The Ocean at the End of the Lane - a bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, and memory and magic which makes the impossible all too real.


Pete Hamill is a veteran New York journalist and novelist. He's the author of numerous books, including Downtown: My Manhattan and his memoir, A Drinking Life. His nine novels include Snow in August, Forever and Tabloid City. His new book is The Christmas Kid: And Other Brooklyn Stories, a collection of Brooklyn-based stories spanning thirty years.

    Readers prize Ann Patchett for her inspired fiction, with novels such as State of Wonder, and Bel Canto – but since the beginning of her career, she has written non-fiction pieces which are collected in the book, This is the Story of a Happy Marriage. For the book she has selected some of her finest pieces, curating a collection that reads almost like memoir. 

    Mitch Albom has written seven books, including the bestselling memoir, Tuesdays with Morrie.

In his new novel, The First Phone Call From Heaven, Mitch Albom follows the residents of the small town of Coldwater, MI, several of whom begin to receive phone calls that seem to be from the dead.

    Having recalled his life through the story of his physical self in Winter Journal, novelist Paul Auster now remembers the experience of his development from within through the encounters of his interior self with the outer world in Report from the Interior.

    Andre Dubus III is the author of the critically acclaimed novel, House of Sand and Fog, and the memoir, Townie. In his new collection of novellas, Dirty Love, he tells stories of love tainted and gone wrong.

    Anne Perry’s novels are thought-provoking, atmospheric thrillers which include plotlines that ask soul-searching questions about the moral and ethical values of society both yesterday and today.

In her latest, Blind Justice, she exposes the vulnerabilities of organized religion, the precarious boundaries of justice and the flaws within the legal system.

    The New York Times has called T. C. Boyle “one of the most inventive and verbally exuberant writers of his generation.”

Boyle is the bestselling author of fourteen novels and nine short story collections. His newest book is T. C. Boyle Stories II, a 944-page sequel to T. C. Boyle Stories I -published in 1998.

    On this week’s Book Show we welcome two writers – a mother and her son – both who are no strangers to bestseller lists.

Anne Rice is one of America's most read and celebrated authors. Her books are rich tapestries of history, belief, philosophy, religion, and compelling characters. Her latest is The Wolves of Midwinter.

Christopher Rice is the author of four bestsellers, his latest being the supernatural thriller, The Heaven’s Rise.

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