Tablets and readers might soon supplant the printed word, but there's nothing quite like snuggling up with a great book on a cold winter day. In the interest of keeping you cooped up in just that condition, the Book Doctors share their favorite page-flippers from the past year on Wednesday's Up to Date. Whether you're looking for literature for yourself or your loved ones, our panel of readers is sure to find something that fits just right.
"It is history, travel, anthropology, geography, journalism, confession, memoir, natural history and autobiography. It is the life and times of Chase County, and incidentally everything you need to know about Kansas." So wrote Paul Theroux in his New York Times review of PrairyErth (A Deep Map) when it was published in 1991.
Poet and mentor Phil Miller believed that anyone can write a good poem who's willing to do the work. Join poets Randy Ratliff and Eve Ott as we remember Phil's determinedly democratic approach to poetry, and his contributions to the Riverfront Reading series.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – During the last 20 years, there's been a kind of quiet war going on. It's over who sells books and how they do it. In the early 90s, most book selling happened in small, locally-owned stores. But the rise of giant retailers and then Amazon.com threatened many of the small stores with extinction.
The book robot, the automatic retrieval system for much of the collection of the Miller Nichols Library on the campus of UMKC, has inspired a flurry of artistic activity, from robot dances to art installations.
Kansas City, MO – The image we have of 19th century slavery often comes from the Deep South, places like Georgia and Mississippi, where rich whites owned huge plantations, kept in business by a large, unpaid labor force of enslaved African Americans. But slavery in Missouri, and some of the other border states, looked very different from that.
Kansas City, Mo. – It's hard to ignore the place sex has in American culture. From magazines and movies to news reports on politicians and celebrities' latest sex scandals, sex is everywhere. Lara Blackwood Pickrel's new book puts the discussion about sex in another place: church.
Kansas City, Mo. – As baseball remembered the contributions of Jackie Robinson last week, The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum brought in Robinson's daughter, Sharon Robinson, and Professor Michael Long, for a forum on Robinson's life.
Professor Long edited FIRST CLASS CITIZENSHIP; the Civil Rights Letters of Jackie Robinson.
Kansas City, MO – Historian Thomas Frank first came to national attention in 2004, when his book What's The Matter With Kansas?, which explores the culture wars in our region, spent 18 weeks on the New York Times Bestseller list. Since that time, the political climate of Kansas has shifted a bit: Democrat Kathleen Sebelius was elected governor (and since left for Washington) and Democrats like Raj Goyle of Wichita have made gains in the statehouse.
Kansas City, MO – Los Angeles Times reporter Sonia Nazario won a Pulitzer Prize in 2003 for her series about a boy who migrated from Central America to the United States. Like many other children, as Nazario uncovered, he traveled through Mexico riding on top of freight trains. Nazario based her series on one Honduran teenager's experience, and she spent years researching his life and journey.
Traveler, educator and short story writer Xanath Caraza says she first started writing poetry when she was about six years old.
Kansas City, MO – Caraza writes in Spanish, her first language, and then translates her own work into English. Here, she reads a poem she wrote in Mexico to celebrate International Women's Day; it's called "Mujer."
This poem is published in the anthology called Primera Pagina: Poetry from the Latino Heartland.