books

Up To Date
12:06 pm
Mon November 24, 2014

Winning Marriage Equality

Gay marriage advocates have been gaining key victories all over the country. These successes are part of a larger strategy that's been in the works for years.

On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with the author of a new book about why winning at the state level is a key part of the plan to change laws nationwide. We also check out what's next in the campaign for marriage equality.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:58 am
Wed November 19, 2014

Examining The Power And Scandal Of Nelson Rockefeller

Richard Norton Smith is the author of 'On his Own Terms.'

Gerald Ford bumped Nelson Rockefeller off the 1976 presidential ticket. Two years later, the colorful four-term governor of New York managed to create scandalous headlines with the circumstances of his death.

On this broadcast of Up to Date, Steve Kraske and historian Richard Norton Smithe delve into the life and times of the former vice-president. They discuss his rise to political prominence and his rocky, but unapologetic, personal life.

Guest:

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Up To Date
1:08 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Astronaut Chris Hadfield On His New Book And Tweeting In Space

Astronaut Chris Hadfield was a guest on KCUR's Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

For five months, from December 2012 to May 2013, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield served as the commander of the International Space Station.

Hadfield conducted a record-setting number of scientific experiments. He also gained a reputation as the "most social media savvy astronaut" by sharing his daily life, posting photos on Tumblr and Twitter and videos on YouTube. 

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Central Standard
1:02 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Literature About Food: Its Storied Past, Its Current Popularity

Shelves full of food, tables covered in books? You're not alone.
Credit Kate Hiscock / Flickr, Creative Commons

With eaters taking an interest in food extending beyond recipes, food writing is gaining a voracious audience. Food can be a character, or a source of potent metaphor. It can also tell us something important about ourselves and our society. Kansas City experts offer insights and recommendations.

Guests and their recommendations:

Cat Neville, founder, Feast Magazine

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Up to Date
2:53 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Flipping Through The Pages At Prospero's

Steve Kraske interviewed the owners of Prospero's Books in Kansas City, Mo.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

The book business is alive and well at Prospero's Books in Kansas City, Mo. The store gained notoriety a few years ago when co-owners Tom Wayne and Will Leathem burned a funeral pyre of books out of frustration at the state of the business.

On Friday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske stopped by the store to discuss its history, good reads and more.

Guests: 

  • Tom Wayne, co-owner of Prospero's Books
  • Will Leathem, co-owner of Prospero's Books
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Up To Date
9:00 am
Thu September 11, 2014

Women Spied For Both Sides During Civil War

Karen Abbott is the author of 'Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War.'

Behind the front lines of the Civil War, a world of spies lurked, full of cloak, dagger and... petticoats?

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk about the true stories of four women who became spies-- some for the North and some for the South.

Guest:

  • Karen Abbott, author of Liar, Temptress, Soldier, Spy: Four Women Undercover in the Civil War
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Going To KC
9:54 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Going To Kansas City: A Place You Have To Find Yourself In

Shane Evans standing in front of his Dream Studio on 31st Street. Evans painted stars on the side of his building, which has become a popular destination for people to have their pictures taken. People catalog the photographs with the hashtag #thatkcstarwall.
Credit Shane Evans

 “Going to Kansas City” is a series that shares the personal stories of how people came to Kansas City — and why they stayed.

Artist Shane Evans first came to Kansas City from New York City in 1993, when he got a job working for Hallmark Cards as an illustrator. He worked at Hallmark for seven years before deciding to leave the company to become an independent artist. Evans travels and works all around the world, but continues to keep Kansas City as his home base.

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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Poet Gearóid Mac Lochlainn Returns To KC For Irish Fest

Gearóid Mac Lochlainn, a native of Belfast, Ireland, has been described as a 'performance poet.'
Credit Michael McDonald/MKD Photography Ltd

Belfast bard Gearóid Mac Lochlainn is back in Kansas City, Mo., this weekend to perform at the Irish Fest. Known for his bilingual work with poetry and music, his most recent book and CD is called Criss-Cross Mo Chara

In 2008, after then President of Ireland, Mary McAleese, honored him for his contribution to Irish arts, he talked with New Letters on the Air host, Angela Elam, about his first book and CD called Stream of Tongues.

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Literature
9:28 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Writer Lois Lowry On 'The Giver'

Author Lois Lowry. Her 1993 children's novel, The Giver, has been turned into a film.
Credit courtesy: NEH

Acclaimed Newbery Award-winning children's author Lois Lowry's book for young people, The Giver, is now a film. 

"The Giver was the first book that I wrote that veered out of the realistic, and tiptoed a bit into fantasy. Some people call it science fiction. I don't like to think of it that way," Lowry tells our New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

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Up to Date
2:00 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

How Elephants Helped Win World War II

Vicki Constantine Croke is the author of Elephant Company.

  Tanks and ammo certainly played a big part in winning World War II, but the Pacific theater had another large asset—elephants.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk about the man who led these animals against the Axis powers and the bond he developed with these surprisingly gentle giants.

Guest:

Vicki Constantine Croke, author of Elephant Company

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

From Jefferson To Obama, Pop Culture Infuses The White House

From Jefferson to Obama, pop culture has influenced presidents, according to author Tevi Troy.

When you think about presidents and pop culture, you might picture Obama’s Twitter account, but you might not realize that other ventures with mass-appeal have been affecting the White House for a few centuries.

On Thursday's Up to Date, we’ll talk about the influence everything from theater to books to the internet have had on the presidency since Thomas Jefferson was in charge.

HEAR MORE: Tevi Troy speaks at 6:30 p.m. July 24 at the Plaza branch of the Kansas City Public Library.

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Up To Date
6:00 pm
Wed July 9, 2014

Delirium Tremens Changed Views On 19th Century Alcoholism

Imagine watching a group of men mutilate the body of your mother.  This is what poet Edgar Allan Poe experienced as a hallucination brought on by alcohol-induced delirium tremens, DT’s.  On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with historian Matthew Osborn to discover how this condition, first described in 1813, was the catalyst for changing how the medical profession diagnosed and treated the problems of alcohol abuse.

Guest:

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Up to Date
11:28 am
Wed July 9, 2014

Get A Clue: Looking At Crosswords

The crossword puzzle has evolved significantly over the last century.
Credit Jessica Whittle / Flickr-CC

Look down, not up, and maybe have a glance sideways. Working on a crossword means examining words and letters in a way you usually wouldn't when you're just reading.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we look at the history of the crossword puzzle over the last hundred years.

Guests:

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Up To Date
9:00 am
Thu July 3, 2014

The Untold Journey Of Civil Rights Photographers

Matt Herron

Thursday's Up to Date brings the never before told story of powerful events witnessed by five young photographers during the momentous summer of 1964 in the segregated South. Guest host Brian Ellison talks with Matt Herron, one of the photographers and author of Mississippi Eyes: The Story and Photography of the Southern Documentary Project, "the only book to provide a firsthand account of what it was actually like to photograph the civil rights struggle in the Deep South."

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Up To Date
10:22 am
Wed July 2, 2014

Journalist Examines 'What Wars Leave Behind'

While armed conflicts are ongoing, media coverage brings images and sounds from the center of war zones to the world. But what happens when the guns go silent and the combatants and media go home?

J. Malcolm Garcia looks at the people left to survive in the aftermath in his book, What Wars Leave Behind: The Faceless and the Forgotten. On Wednesday's Up to Date, the author talks with Steve Kraske about "the endless messiness of war and the failings of good intentions."

Guest:

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Central Standard
1:05 pm
Mon June 30, 2014

Experts Say Dark Humor Has Always Been Part Of Kid Lit

Padron Me! by Daniel Miyares was published by Simon & Schuster.
Credit Simon & Schuster, Daniel Miyares

Local children's author and illustrator Daniel Miyares visited the Central Standard studio to discuss his recent picture book, Pardon Me!

The book, aimed at 4-7 year-olds, tells the story of a bird on a perch who is visited by several of his supposed swamp friends until the frustrated critter is so crowded he can't take it any more. In the end, the bird is (spoiler alert!) finally left alone, only to be eaten by a crocodile who finishes his meal with a burp. "Pardon me," says the crocodile.  

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Books
10:08 am
Tue June 24, 2014

FULL AUDIO: Hillary Clinton Speaks In Kansas City

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks with Rainy Day Books co-owner Vivien Jennings at the Midland Theater on June 21, 2014.
Credit Elle Moxley / KCUR

Former First Lady, U.S. Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton visited Kansas City on Sunday June 21 where she spoke with Rainy Day Books co-owner Vivien Jennings in front of a crowd of thousands at the Midland Theatre. 

The former Secretary of State was in town to promote her memoir, 'Hard Choices.'

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Up to Date
10:38 am
Mon June 16, 2014

Book Doctors: Summer Reading

'Case Histories,' 'Where'd You Go Bernadette' and 'Of All The Gin Joints' are just some of the titles on our Book Doctors' lists this week.

A 16-year-old American bride of the Austrian emperor brings her lively passion to the oppressively formal royal court, and a true life deadly texting-while-driving story explores the influence of technology on the human mind.

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Central Standard
11:27 am
Tue June 3, 2014

Kansas City Artists Reflect On The Legacy Of Maya Angelou

Poet and author Maya Angelou passed away last week, but her influence on artists and writers around the world remains.
Credit York College ISLGP / Wikimedia Commons

“I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." For Maya Angelou, these words were a way of life. Her poetry and prose, even her off-the-cuff remarks during interviews, made people feel things deeply.

On Tuesday's Central Standard, local artist Peregrine Honig and writer Natasha Ria El-Scari join host Gina Kaufmann to share how Maya Angelou impacted their lives.

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Arts & Culture
8:13 am
Thu May 29, 2014

Maya Angelou, On Trying To 'Do Better And To Be Better'

Author Maya Angelou died Wednesday in Winston-Salem, N.C. She was 86.
Credit Dwight Carter, 2001

Poet, memoirist and political activist Maya Angelou died Wednesday at the age of 86, reportedly after a long illness. 

“Hello, good morning ..." is how Angelou opened the conversation when we talked by phone last week. At home in Winston-Salem, N.C., she joked about the weather in the Midwest.

"Because I think you people change weather in the way that other people change clothes," she said with a laugh.

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Central Standard
4:15 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Kansas City Crime Writer Shares Four Chilling Murder Locations

An old rundown barn is among the settings crime author Joel Goldman uses to stage murder scenes.
Credit Keva999 / Flickr--CC

Fourth-generation Kansas Citian Joel Goldman has set all of his crime novels in the Kansas City area, in places like the Country Club Plaza, the Quindaro neighborhood, and the historic Northeast neighborhood.

These places aren’t just settings. Goldman considers them characters in his novels. Strawberry Hill, the Kansas City, Kan. neighborhood where many Serbians and Croatians settled, is one of the backdrops in his book Shakedown.

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Central Standard
4:00 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Crime Writer Joel Goldman Turns Kansas City Into A Character

Credit Courtesy of Joel Goldman

Joel Goldman was a trial lawyer in Kansas City when he came down with a medical condition that meant he couldn’t practice law. So he took all that knowledge of the law, plus some intriguing true crime stories, and turned them into fiction.

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Books
11:37 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Museum Plays Pivotal Role In New Novel From Nelson-Atkins Docent

Guanyin of the Southern Sea, Liao (907-1125) or Jin Dynasty (1115-1234) Chinese. In the novel, the protaganist, Lily Firestone, attends an event at the musuem. "I reach up and touch fingertips with the bodhisattva," she says.
Courtesy: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kansas City, Mo.

Barbara Stuber has shown generations of schoolchildren and adults through the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. She’s worked as a docent there for 25 years. Stuber’s new novel, Girl In Reverse, highlights the museum’s collection - including its Asian art.

The book’s set in the early 1950s, the Korean War is underway, and teenager, Lily Firestone, who’s adopted and Chinese, faces discrimination. But, at the museum, she finds a link to her culture and her past.

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Thu May 8, 2014

Navigating Without A Technical Crutch

John Huth is the author of 'The Lost Art of Finding Our Way.'

When you get in your car, do you turn on your GPS? What would you do if it didn’t work?

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we take a look at the lost art of navigating, based on experience and innate directional sense, and not blindly following Siri’s instructions as you turn each corner.

Guest:

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Tue April 29, 2014

War: How Violence Can Lead To Stability

Ian Morris is the author of 'War! What Is It Good For? Conflict and the Progress of Civilization from Primates to Robots .'

War is bloody, tragic and violent, but it also has benefits for society—even if it doesn’t feel that way when the bullets are flying.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with a historian about his idea that war ultimately leads to stability and prosperity, despite the high body counts it takes to get there.

Guest:

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Thu April 24, 2014

Returning Home To Build A New Life

Julene Bair is the author of 'The Ogallala Road.'

It can be a lonely, difficult life when you’re a farmer on the high plains of western Kansas.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we discuss a new memoir about a woman who returned to the family farm. We talk with her about the hardships she faced-- ghosts from her past, adjusting back to farm life after years away and dealing with the looming threat of drought as the nearby river levels kept dropping.

Guest:

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Books
11:57 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Ray Bradbury Remembered By Loving Biographer

Writer Ray Bradbury was an American icon. His work straddled genres, uniting the seemingly-disparate worlds of science fiction and high literature, haunting readers' imaginations with side shows, skeletons, bright stars, the dark skies of space, solitary front porches and late night train whistles. 

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Up to Date
11:00 am
Wed April 2, 2014

A Day In The Life Of An Average Pakistani

Haroon Ullah is the author of The Bargain From the Bazaar: A Family's Day of Reckoning in Lahore.

Haroon Ullah knows the pace and color of daily life in Pakistan and the delicate balance between secular and religious culture.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with him about the struggles of an ordinary middle-class family just trying to live life in a region that's seen constant upheaval.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:36 am
Tue April 1, 2014

One Journalist's Bleak Forecast Of America's Landscape

George Packer is the author of The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America.

If you look at America through journalist George Packer’s eyes, you’ll see a landscape where familiar staples of society, such as Social Security and privacy, are disappearing in a country-wide decline in civilization.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with the National Book Award winner about his latest book, why he sees such a bleak picture for the country and how we might make it to the light at the end of the tunnel.

Guest:

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Up to Date
12:04 pm
Fri March 21, 2014

Life Lessons From A KC Author

Becky Blades found herself bubbling over with advice for her daughter, but she knew bombarding her daughter with life lessons wasn't the best way to go about sharing it.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk with Blades about how, in writing down this advice with a good dose of humor, she created the book Do Your Laundry or You'll Die Alone.

Guest:

  • Becky Blades, author of Do Your Laundry or You'll Die Alone

​Listener advice:

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