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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Albany, NY – Although Githa Hariharan's novel "In Times of Siege" was published in 2003, it is still well worth examining, given its continued relevance. Gretchen talks to the author about the book's story of a mild mannered Indian university professor who finds himself forced to defend his teachings from religious extremists while simultaneously dealing with an alluring young student who has moved in with him.

Albany, NY – Host Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina interviews author Elizabeth Buchan, whose latest novel, "Wives Behaving Badly," is a sequel to her best-seller "Revenge of the Middle-Aged Woman." Buchan talks about how she tried to make the sequel stand on its own terms, and about the themes of aging and gender roles that are prevalent in her work.

Albany, NY – Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina welcomes back author T.C. Boyle to talk about his new book "Talk Talk," a novel about a deaf woman who goes on a journey to find the man who has stolen her identity. Her search for justice and revenge end up taking on a life of their own in the thrilling new tale.

Albany, NY – This week, Gretchen talks to author James Shapiro about his latest book, "A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare: 1599," a unique biography of the Bard. Shapiro traces the events of what was perhaps Shakespeare's most creative year and dissects the personal and financial factors that made it so. Gretchen and James also discuss the differences between American and British perspectives on history and why James feels a limited focus is a good choice when writing a biography.

Albany, NY – Award-winning novelist Monica Ali is the guest on this week's show, talking about her latest novel "Alentejo Blue." The book tells a number of intertwining stories about the residents of a small Portuguese village, some natives, some expatriates. Ali discusses the book's non-linear structure and her individual take on the importance of research to a writer.

Albany, NY – Anthony Giardina's latest novel "White Guys" uses a true-crime story, that of a Boston man who shot and killed his pregnant wife and blamed it on a black man, as its inspiration. Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina talks to Giardina about his novel, a tale of a group of Irish and Italian-American friends who navigate the cultural changes wrought by the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

Albany, NY – Best-selling British author Hilary Mantel talks to host Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina about her latest novel "Beyond Black." It tells the story of a psychic struggling to deal with the rarely-explored consequences of her talent. She is aided by an uncouth spirit guide and a woman who is her polar opposite in her quest to come to terms with her life.

Albany, NY – Ryan Knighton developed a rare disorder in his teens that slowly robbed him of his sight. Ironically, the experience caused him to get a new perspective on the world around him, allowing him the opportunity to write about it in his new book, "Cockeyed: A Memoir." Host Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina talks to Knighton about the unexpectedly humorous and irreverent book.

Albany, NY – Host Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina talks to author Patricia Klindienst about her latest book "The Earth Knows My Name: Food, Culture and Sustainability in the Gardens of Ethnic Americans." The book chronicles Klindienst's travels around the country, studying the gardens of various cultures and what they reveal about the peoples who tend them.

Albany, NY – Author Sara Gruen talks to host Gretchen Holbrook Gerzina about Gruen's new novel, "Water for Elephants." The book tells the story of an elderly man in a nursing home who finds someone who truly cares for him there, while he reminisces about his years in a circus during the Great Depression. Gruen discusses the origins of the novel and the reasons elephants are so important to it.