books

Not all war wounds are as obvious as a missing limb, as we’ve learned from scores of veterans who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. 

By 1919, much of continental Europe lay in ruins in the aftermath of World War I. Prior to that conflict, with three European empires ruled by the “Kingly cousins,” most people thought a war was nearly impossible.

Way back in 1981 when Ronald Reagan was president, politics simply worked, or at least that’s what Chris Matthews says.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with Matthews about his new book, Tip and the Gipper: When Politics Worked, which chronicles the bipartisan efforts of President Reagan and then Speaker of the House Tip O’Neil to raise the debt ceiling and pass other important legislation back in 1981, and why Congress just can’t seem to do the same now.

Guest:

Mark Seton/Flickr-CC

With a chill creeping into the air, it’s that time of year. You want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and a book.

On Tuesday's Up to Date, the Book Doctors return to add some goosebumps to match the chill as you get ready for Halloween with their favorite mysteries and maybe a touch of horror. 

The books recommended on the show:

He’s a Minnesota guy on public radio with a loyal following. No, we're not talking about our own Steve Kraske.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, Garrison Keillor joins Steve to talk about his new book of poetry, O, What a Luxury: Verses Lyrical, Vulgar, Pathetic and Profound. We take a look at how he stays on top of his game when writing and producing and find out what he does to get around writer’s block.

From the highs of professional baseball and even the World Series to the lows of drug addiction and bankruptcy, former Royals player Willie Wilson has had quite the journey.

The sweet saxophone of Charlie Parker became legendary in jazz music, but the Kansas City hometown talent had a rocky life, with musical highlights and the lows of heroin addiction.

In the first part of Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with KCUR’s Chuck Haddix about Bird: The Life and Music of Charlie Parker, the new biography he’s written on Parker. We’ll examine the stories it brings to light about the troubled but talented musician, his meteoric rise and his steep fall. 

Guest:

Portrait: Ulf Andersen/Getty

Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Chabon’s novels have taken readers to a world of comics in World War II-era New York and posed an alternative history where Jews fleeing the Holocaust settle in Alaska.

In the first part of Thursday's Up to Date, we discuss his latest story, Telegraph Avenue,and find out how he gets his inspiration and what keeps him writing at all hours of the night.

Guest:

Would you have guessed that the funeral of “Meet the Press” host Tim Russert would be a crucial networking event? On Monday's Up to Date, we talk with Mark Leibovich, The New York Times Magazine’s chief national correspondent and author of This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-in America's Gilded Capital,  about how the elbow rubbing game works inside the beltway and why getting your name in print makes the difference between success and obscurity in the capital city. 

Bleeding Kansas wasn’t just a figurative term, and if you need proof, just look at Quantrill’s Raid on Lawrence.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we examine the circumstances that led to the famous massacre, from the 1861 sacking of Osceola in slave-state Missouri to other rising violence of the Civil War with guests Jonathan Earle and Diane Mutti Burke, who edited Bleeding Kansas, Bleeding Missouri: The Long Civil War on the Border.

Guests:

Do you remember that friend your mom said was no good? Or that buddy your dad said was a bad influence on you? As it turns out, they might have been right.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk with Carlin Flora, author of Friendfluence: The Surprising Ways Friends Make Us Who We Are, about how friends shape our personalities and help create the mold for our attitudes and future actions.

Only a few decades ago, it was almost unheard of for men and women to swap traditional gender roles at home. The idea of a stay-at-home dad isn’t so foreign anymore, and these “Mr. Moms” are making their impact on society’s larger ideas of breadwinners and nuclear families. 

Pull off a bank job in the Wild West with Jesse James, join Ulysses S. Grant as he leads Union troops into the entrenched Confederate stronghold of Vicksburg and solve the puzzle of a woman's month of madness.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with the authors of the latest titles on Steve’s Bookshelf:

Developing a medicine that attacks the genes of a disease may seem like science fiction, but it’s already been done.

Ever dreamed of cruising across the United States with a retro Airstream trailer named Ethel? What about making that journey in your 70s?
Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Comedian Jim Gaffigan knows that a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor is pretty much the same thing, and he can teach you a thing or two about co-opting your kid’s Halloween candy.

A Heist At The Museum

Jul 23, 2013
Rainy Day Books

Forgery and a slick art theft frame a the story of a new novel set in the museum world.

City Lights Vs. The Night Sky

Jul 22, 2013

Ever look up in the sky and wondered why you can’t always see the stars?

Sneak behind the lines of Mexico’s brutal drug wars and climb to the top of Mount Everest during the Cold War without leaving your home.

It’s been 150 years since the muskets fired and men in both blue and gray fell to the ground at battleground in Pennsylvania. Gettysburg’s dubious distinction was to have the most casualties of any battle of the Civil War. 

On Monday's Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with Allen Guelzo, author of Gettysburg: The Last Invasion, about the politics and power plays that surrounded the famous battle.

Hot Summer Reads From Steve's Bookshelf

Jun 12, 2013

The hot weather is out in full force this week, and Up To Date host Steve Kraske has a few good reads to crack open in the shade.

The History Press

When the Confederate Army was pushed from Missouri, a slave state that hadn't ceded from the Union, in late 1861 ordinary people transformed themselves into guerilla fighters for the confederate cause.  A mayor's son and town teacher were among those who found themselves part of one of the most violent band of guerilla fighters lead by "Bloody" Bill Anderson.  After the war they became notable bank and train robbers.  But, there were also ordinary citizens who dedicated their lives to hunting these guerillas down, sometimes with equal violence.  Author James "Jim" W.

An Unconventional First Lady

Jun 4, 2013
firstladies.org

Thomas Jefferson's eldest and favorite daughter, Martha Jefferson Randolph, would often assume the role of First Lady after her mother died.

Hot Summer Reads For Kids

May 28, 2013
woodleywonderworks/Flickr-CC

When you read a children’s book, you can peek in on aliens, take a nature hike or learn about friendship from a couple of hippos. 

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

Comedian Jim Gaffigan knows that a four-year-old eating a taco and throwing a taco on the floor is pretty much the same thing, and he can teach you a thing or two about co-opting your kid’s Halloween candy.

rainydaybooks.com

Omaha, Juno, Utah, Gold and Sword. The names of the Normandy beaches echo in the annals of World War II history, but the iconic invasion wasn’t the last step of the European campaign.

Writing can be a solitary pursuit, and that can mean the tricks of the trade remain quiet

Ever wonder where the word hornswoggle comes from? How about doubloon?

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

It’s a special blend of characters, engaging stories and occasionally, a bit of magic that goes into a great children’s book.

On Thursday's Up to Date,  Steve Kraske hosts a roundtable of children's book authors, including Brian Selznick, Richard Peck, Sarah Weeks and Avi to discuss their methods for putting together award-winning tomes with that extra spark of fun.

rainydaybooks.com

People with Tourette's syndrome are often portrayed as spouting curse words uncontrollably, but there's more to the condition than that.

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