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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    In Tara Conklin's debut novel, The House Girl: A Novel, two remarkable women, separated by more than a century, live lives that unexpectedly intertwine.

2004: Lina Sparrow is an ambitious young lawyer working on a historic class-action lawsuit seeking reparations for the descendants of American slaves.

1852: Josephine is a seventeen-year-old house slave who tends to the mistress of a Virginia tobacco farm—an aspiring artist named Lu Anne Bell.

    Jodi Picoult is the author of a string of best-selling novels with heavy themes ripped from the headlines.

Her latest book is The Storyteller, which is about a young woman who finds herself wrestling with a moral dilemma after she befriends an elderly man at a grief group who turns out to have been a Nazi war criminal.

  Award-winning novelist and poet, Stephen Dobyns, returns to the thriller genre after a fifteen-year hiatus with The Burn Palace.

The novel is a blend of suspense, supernatural underpinnings and sexual shenanigans set in a provincial New England town. Dobyns creates an insular community sideswiped by madness when a series of odd, violent crimes occur in rapid succession.

    In his early 70s, author Daniel Klein came to terms with aging. Klein returned to the Greek village and philosophers he has visited for decades to discover authentic ways of aging.

In Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life , he concludes that old age is a privilege to be savored, rather than a disease to be cured or a condition to be denied.

    George Saunders is renowned for his six collections of short stories, novellas, and his non-fiction essays.

His most recent work, Tenth of December: Stories, was reviewed for The New York Time Magazine with the headline: "George Saunders has written the best book you’ll read this year."

The collected stories are dark yet funny, desperate yet hopeful.

  Robert Crais is the author of the best-selling Elvis Cole novels and was the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award.

His latest novel, Suspect, tells the story of Scott and Maggie - an LAPD K9 team nobody trusts--damaged goods who are wounded, scared, and suspect. Who work together to solve a murder and regain trust.

    In 1973 in the offices of The Atlantic Monthly in Boston, a young freelance writer named Tracy Kidder came looking for an assignment. Richard Todd was the editor that encouraged him.

After much success they have written the new book, Good Prose: The Art of Nonfiction, which explores three major non-fiction forms: narratives, essays, and memoirs.

    Insane City is Pulitzer Prize winning humorist Dave Barry's first novel in more than 10 years, though he has been writing non-fiction best-sellers during that time. In the book, Seth Weinstein is on his way to his destination wedding in Florida.

Little does he know what's in store: Russian gangsters, angry strippers, a desperate Haitian refugee and her two children on the run from some very bad men, and an 11-foot albino Burmese python named Blossom.

  Caleb Carr is the critically acclaimed author of The Alienist, The Angel of Darkness, The Lessons of Terror, and The Italian Secretary. He has taught military history at Bard College, and worked extensively in film, television, and the theater.

Telegraph Avenue is the eighth novel by Michael Chabon who won the Pulitzer in 2001 for  The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay.

Martin Amis' latest novel is his 15th work of fiction. Lionel Asbo: State of England centers around a thuggish, yet occasionally endearing antihero, Lionel Asbo, whose last name results from being handed down at age 3 an Anti Social Behavior Order, a civil order issued in Britain against conduct that includes things like begging, graffiti and excessive noise.

Archer Mayor is the author of the highly acclaimed, Vermont-based series featuring detective Joe Gunther, which the Chicago Tribune describes as "the best police procedurals being written in America." In the new book, Paradise City, Joe Gunther investigates Vermont burglaries and a murder leads him to Northampton, Massachusetts.

Louise Erdrich has been a published and highly regarded author for nearly 30 years but had never won a National Book Award until being cited in November 2012 for her novel, The Round House. It is the second book of a planned trilogy about an Ojibwe boy and his quest to avenge his mother's rape.

Jeffrey Toobin in CNN’s Senior Legal Analyst and a staff writer for The New Yorker. In his new book, The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, he describes how the court’s 2010 Citizens United decision and the Affordable Care Act ruling from this year show how the constitution is being reinterpreted.

Da Chen’s debut novel, Brothers - set during the Chinese cultural revolution - received tremendous praise for its insight into the period. His new book, My Last Empress: A Novel, is a mystical and poetic story of romance and palace intrigue set in 19th Century China.

For over three decades in American history, Willie Sutton was America’s most successful bank robber. Sutton became so good at breaking into banks, and such a master at breaking out of prisons, police called him one of the most dangerous men in New York.

Winter of the World is the second book in Ken Follett's Century Trilogy, which tracks the intertwined fates of five families from the early 1930s and the rise of Nazism through the late 1940s and the dawn of the nuclear arms race. In it, we follow the characters from Book One — Fall of Giants.

Pulitzer Prize-winner Junot Díaz’s first book, Drown, established him as a major new writer. His first novel, The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, won the Pulitzer Prize.

When an unexpected medical crisis sends Naomi Wolf, author of the modern classic, The Beauty Mythn, on a deeply personal journey to tease out the intersections between sexuality and creativity, she discovers, much to her own astonishment, an increasing body of scientific evidence that suggests that the vagina is not merely flesh, but an intrinsic component of the female brain.

The New York Times Magazine's original "Ethicist" Randy Cohen helps readers locate their own internal ethical compasses as he delivers answers to life's most challenging dilemmas.

For nearly a decade, Salman Rushdie lived under the threat of death after the Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwā because of his novel, The Satanic Verses: A Novel.

In the new book Several Short Sentences About Writing , author and New York Times editorial board member Verlyn Klinkenborg does away with much of the traditional wisdom on writing and dissects the sentence — its structure, its intention, its semantic craftsmanship — to deliver a new, useful, and direct guide to the art of storytelling.

This story is based on monstrous and mysterious events of the 19th century including death of Ippolito Nievo, the forgery of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the Dreyfus affair and more. In the world Eco creates, conspiracies abound and one man finds himself in the middle of it all.

Umberto Eco's Website
Music - Depeche Mode

This is a repeat of The Book Show #1219.

Peter Steiner is a writer, artist and former New Yorker cartoonist. While he may be best known for his 1993 New Yorker cartoon, “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog,” Peter Steiner has recently been making a name for himself as a writer of powerful thrillers. His most recent novel is The Resistance: A Thriller (Louis Morgon Thriller).

Jonathan Tropper’sThis is Where I Leave You, was a breakout book that was praised by critics and landed Tropper on the New York Times  Bestsellers List. Three years after publication, Tropper is back with his new novel: One Last Thing Before I Go.

Award-winning journalist and author Peter Golden’s first novel is Comeback Love: A Novel .

Tana French is the author of four highly acclaimed novels of suspense. French grew up in Ireland, the US and Malawi and trained as an actress at Trinity College Dublin; she has worked in theatre, film and voiceover. And then came fiction. Her books include In the Woods, The Likeness, and Faithful Place and have won Edgar, Anthony, Macavity, and Barry awards.

Imagine that Abraham Lincoln survived that infamous night in Ford's Theatre, only to eventually meet the same fate that awaited Andrew Johnson: impeachment for alleged high crimes and misdemeanors.

Photo courtesy of Thomas Hart Shelby

Kurt Andersen is the author of the bestselling novels Heyday and Turn of the Century. He has also written for film, television, and the stage. He is host of the Peabody Award–winning public radio show Studio 360. His latest novel is the coming-of-age story and thrilling political mystery, True Believers: A Novel.

Deborah Harkness exploded onto the literary scene with her debut novel, A Discovery of Witches: A Novel , Book One of the magical All Souls Trilogy. The novel introduced Diana Bishop, Oxford scholar and reluctant witch, and the handsome geneticist and vampire Matthew Clairmont.