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. 

E-mail The Book Show.

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The Book Show
1:47 am
Wed November 15, 2006

The Book Show #957

Albany, NY – Theoretical physicist and novelist are not professions usually thought of together, but Janna Levin combines them with a hip, rock-and-roll aplomb. In this interview with host Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina, Levin talks about her latest book "A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines." The book follows the lives of two real-life mathematicians, Kurt Godel and Alan Turing, brilliant scientists who found themselves confounded by normal life.

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The Book Show
4:00 am
Wed November 8, 2006

The Book Show #956

Albany, NY – Historian Martha Hodes talks to host Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina about her new book "The Sea Captain's Wife," the true story of a white, working-class New England widow who remarries a black mariner from the West Indies, ironically raising her social status by doing so. Hodes talks about how the story illustrates racial attitudes of the 19th century, both in America and the West Indies.

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The Book Show
3:22 am
Wed November 1, 2006

The Book Show #955

Albany, NY – Bill Bryson, whose humorous book on science "A Short History of Nearly Everything" was an award-winning success, talks to Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina about his newest book, a memoir about his childhood in 1950's Iowa. "The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid" covers Bryson's early years in Des Moines and uses them to provide profound insights on the ways in which times have changed in the United States.

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The Book Show
1:16 am
Wed October 25, 2006

The Book Show #954

Albany, NY – Novelist Kate Atkinson doesn't think of her newest novel "One Good Turn" as a crime thriller, but admits that it does have an awful lot of dead bodies littering its pages in this interview with Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina. Atkinson talks about the book's Edinburgh setting and the advantages of writing about your hometown. She also explores the characters that populate this darkly humorous novel.

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The Book Show
12:11 am
Wed October 18, 2006

The Book Show #953

Albany, NY – Michael Cox's novel "The Meaning of Night" mixes historical fiction with murder mystery to tell the story of a Victorian-era man who discovers that he may be the heir to an English title and the secrets behind his heritage. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina talks with the author about the themes of identity and self that weave throughout the book's complex plot, and about the narrative quirks the writer uses in presenting it.

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The Book Show
3:10 am
Wed October 11, 2006

The Book Show #952

Albany, NY – Alexander McCall Smith sets his latest novel "The Right Attitude to Rain" in his home town of Edinburgh, Scotland. Smith, the author of "The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" novels, talks about why he focuses on female protagonists and the power of certain primal emotions in storytelling. He also discusses his part in a recent collection of retold myths from around the world.

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The Book Show
12:33 am
Wed October 4, 2006

The Book Show #951

Albany, NY – Mary Gordon is known for her novels, but now a collection of her short stories, "The Stories of Mary Gordon," has appeared. She talks with Gretchen about the way that a story, like a poem, can capture the intensity of a moment. She also shares her thoughts on the way short stories are unjustly viewed in the literary world as a lesser form.

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The Book Show
9:52 am
Wed September 27, 2006

The Book Show #950

Albany, NY – Museum exhibit designer Jeff Hoke has written a one-of-a-kind book that combines elements of graphic novels, science and alchemy texts, and crafts projects in an attempt to provide readers with the experience of moving through Hoke's own personal museum. Gretchen talks to the author about the various sections of his museum.

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The Book Show
11:28 am
Wed September 20, 2006

The Book Show #949

Albany, NY – With five decades' worth of experience in the academic world, William Chace's new book "100 Semesters: my adventures as student, professor and university president, and what I learned along the way" holds many insights into the evolution of higher education in America and the obstacles it now faces. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina talks to the author about campus politics, finances and much more.

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The Book Show
4:32 am
Wed September 13, 2006

The Book Show #948

Albany, NY – Exiled Kenyan writer Ngugi Wa Thiong'o talks to Gretchen about his new novel "Wizard of the Crow," which was 10 years in the making. It tells the story of two revolutionaries in a fictional African country who rail against their dictatorial govenrment. Gretchen and Ngugi discuss the power of words to topple governments and Thiong'o's experience returning to his country two years ago.

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