books

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.

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.

Writer Lois Lowry On 'The Giver'

Aug 25, 2014
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.

How Elephants Helped Win World War II

Jul 24, 2014

  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

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.

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:

Get A Clue: Looking At Crosswords

Jul 9, 2014
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:

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."

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:

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.  

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.'

Book Doctors: Summer Reading

Jun 16, 2014

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Navigating Without A Technical Crutch

May 8, 2014

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:

War: How Violence Can Lead To Stability

Apr 29, 2014

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:

Returning Home To Build A New Life

Apr 24, 2014

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:

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. 

A Day In The Life Of An Average Pakistani

Apr 2, 2014

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:

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:

Life Lessons From A KC Author

Mar 21, 2014

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:

Tracing The Atomic Age

Mar 20, 2014
GetHiroshima / Flickr-CC

If you want drama, the story of how we developed atomic energy has it. From the novelty of X-rays to the destructive power unleashed in Hiroshima, to a major energy source — all the up and downs are there. 

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk with an author who has traced the details of these events and many in-between to construct a history of the atomic age. We look at how scientists managed to get from Marie Curie’s discovery to the Manhattan Project and beyond. 

Guest:

How Bystanders Made A Murder Case Famous

Mar 11, 2014

If you heard or saw a crime happening, what would you do? The people who heard Kitty Genovese scream as she was murdered didn’t do anything, in a famous case that became known for the bystander effect. 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk about the case that helped drive the development of the 911 emergency call system and what new details about the killing have emerged over the years.

Guest:

williamtrowbridge.net

From King Kong to a certain accident-prone coyote, the things that inspire Missouri's third poet laureate are different, to say the least. 

On Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk with William Trowbridge about his unusual muses and his tenure as poet laureate.

Guest:

  • William Trowbridge, Missouri poet laureate

HEAR MORE: William Trowbridge speaks at 7 p.m. March 11 at the Mabee Theater at Rockhurst University for the Midwest Poetry Series.

The Book Doctors: Adventure Tales

Mar 10, 2014

Follow the adventures of a boy as he swaps toys for grown-up pursuits and childhood tales of Lenin for the American Dream. And if you like a little adventure, join a pizza hotline operator as he tries to figure out how to deal with a time traveler.

On Monday's Up to Date, the Book Doctors return to share these tales and more as they tell us about the books that have been keeping them warm this winter.

Guests:

How Lincoln's Confidants Remade His Image

Feb 28, 2014

The image we have of Abraham Lincoln today as the Great Emancipator, father figure and military genius might not be what it is if not for two men: John Hays and John Nicolay. “The boys,” as the president affectionately called them, were Lincoln’s right-hand men during the course of his presidency.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the men who dutifully reshaped Lincoln’s image in the years following his assassination.

Guest:

bookcritics.org

In the literary world, the book critics seem have all the power when your labor of love hits the shelves. But what would authors say if they could sit in the power seat?

On Thursday's Up to Date, we talk about critical process works and look at book reviews from both sides of the page.

Guests:

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