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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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Up to Date
10:27 am
Thu March 20, 2014

Tracing The Atomic Age

The Atomic Age prompted many themed products-- some more dangerous than others.
Credit 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:

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Up to Date
10:39 am
Tue March 11, 2014

How Bystanders Made A Murder Case Famous

A new book examines the strange murder case of Kitty Genovese.

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:

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Up to Date
10:34 am
Tue March 11, 2014

Missouri's Poet Laureate Draws On King Kong For Inspiration

William Trowbridge is Missouri's poet laureate.
Credit 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.

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Up to Date
12:26 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

The Book Doctors: Adventure Tales

The Book Doctors share their favorite reads with Steve Kraske on Up to Date.

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:

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Up to Date
11:58 am
Fri February 28, 2014

How Lincoln's Confidants Remade His Image

Joshua Zeitz is the author of 'Lincoln's Boys.'

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:

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Up to Date
11:35 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Critiquing Books, From Both Sides Of The Page

Book critic John Freeman joins Steve Kraske on Thursday's Up to Date.
Credit 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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Up to Date
10:39 am
Wed February 5, 2014

Encore Broadcast: The Children's Blizzard

David Laskin is the author of The Children's Blizzard.

January 12, 1888, began as an exceptionally warm winter day. Farmers were tending to their fields as boys and girls raced to school with no coats or gloves. 

Mid-morning in the Dakotas and around afternoon dismissal in Nebraska, hurricane-force winds and torrential snow engulfed the plains. By midnight, wind-chills had plummeted to 40 below zero.

The next morning, up to 500 people lay dead on the prairie, many of them school children, who died while trying to find their way home.

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Up to Date
2:27 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

From Slavery To Higher Ed

James Johnston is the author of From Slave Ship to Harvard.

He had his portrait painted by artist Charles Willson Peale, and he was a literate man—in short, Yarrow Mamout was unusual for an 18th-century slave in America.

On Friday's Up to Date, we look at his legacy over six generations and how his family moved from a life of slavery to producing a Harvard graduate in 1927.

Guest: 

  • James Johnston, author of From Slave Ship to Harvard: Yarrow Mamout and the History of an African American Family
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Up to Date
10:09 am
Thu January 30, 2014

On The Road With William Least Heat-Moon

William Least Heat-Moon joins Steve Kraske to discuss his latest book and his career.

After losing his job and his first wife, William Least Heat-Moon needed to do some soul searching. Thirteen thousand miles and dozens of no-name towns later, he had plenty of stories to tell.

In the first part of Thursday's Up to Date, we sit down with the New York Times best-selling author to talk about that fateful trip and his career since.

Guest:

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Up to Date
9:49 am
Wed January 29, 2014

WWI: Who Lit The Fire?

Sean McMeekin is the author of July 1914: Countdown to War.

When you think of World War I, you may picture soldiers fighting in the trenches, but the whole conflict started with the assassination of an Austrian archduke.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with historian Sean McMeekin, who says it was a group of corrupt statesmen who held the match that lit the European powder keg.

Guest:

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Up to Date
10:27 am
Wed January 22, 2014

Making A Pie, Telling A Story

Joyce Maynard speaks with Steve Kraske on Up to Date.
Credit Beth Lipoff/KCUR

The smell of pie might inspire most of us to get a fork and plate, but for one author, it means a story. 

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with the woman behind the new Kate Winslet-Josh Brolin film Labor Day about writing, pie and more.

Guest:

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Up to Date
8:37 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Exploring The Literary World of George Saunders

George Saunders is the author of 'Tenth of December.'

A MacArthur genius, a Guggenheim fellow and now a finalist place for the National Book Award — author George Saunders is riding high on a wave of success.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we speak with him about his latest collection of somber, yet hopeful, short stories.

Guest:

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Up to Date
12:32 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Repairing The Economy With City Policies

Bruce Katz is the co-author of 'The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy.'

The economy has been in trouble for a while — that's no secret. But a new idea about the "metropolitan revolutions" proposes investments in things like infrastructure and manufacturing on a city level.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk about the implications of this philosophy and where it could lead.

Guest:

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Up to Date
11:04 am
Wed January 8, 2014

Finding The Funny Side Of Marriage

Cindy Chupak is the author of 'The Longest Date: Life as a Wife.'

When it comes to marriage, there are always some unforeseen curves in the road.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with Sex and the City screenwriter Cindy Chupack about how she turned her own bumpy road into a series of comedic episodes in her new book, The Longest Date: Life as a Wife.

Guest:

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Up to Date
11:38 am
Thu December 19, 2013

Exploring Some Doggone Fun Poetry

Francesco Marciuliano is the author of 'I Could Chew on This.'

Ever wonder what your dog thinks of that raincoat you made him wear? What about his thoughts on bath time?

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, we look at the thoughts of dogs in poetry form, courtesy of writer and humorist Francesco Marciuliano.

Get a taste of his poetry:

Guest:

  • Francesco Marciuliano, author of I Could Chew on This and the Sally Forth comic strip
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Up to Date
11:20 am
Wed December 18, 2013

Best Books Of 2013 For Children And Teens

Kate McNair, Dennis Ross and Debbie McLeod join Steve Kraske to share their favorite children's, young adult and teen books from this year.

  The cold weather is starting to set in, and your kids will need something to keep them occupied—or you may risk a case of cabin fever.

 In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, three librarians join us to offer their recommendations for the best children's, young adult and teen reads. 

The "Best of 2013"

 From Kate McNair, young adult librarian, Johnson County Library:

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Up to Date
10:51 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Surviving And Thriving After Bacterial Meningitis

Andy Marso, author of 'Worth the Pain: How Meningitis Nearly Killed Me - Then Changed My Life for the Better,' lost all of his fingers except his right thumb to bacterial meningitis.
Credit Andy Marso/Facebook

Bacterial meningitis has been in the news recently, with outbreaks at Princeton University and the University of California, Santa Barbara. But nine years ago, it made local headlines when a University of Kansas student became seriously ill with the disease overnight.

In the second part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with that student, now a reporter in Topeka, about the disabling effects of the disease and how it's changed his life.

Guest:

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Up To Date
11:04 am
Tue December 10, 2013

The Book Doctors: Best Reads Of 2013

A second story plays out in the margins of film and TV writer J.J. Abrams' new book, "S."

With winter weather stinging the metro area, now is the perfect time to curl up on the couch and read a good book.

Tuesday on Up to Date, the Book Doctors return with their picks for the best books of 2013. We dive into tales about extreme weather - and we don’t mean what is outside your house right now.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie:

  • Book of Ages by Jill Lepore
  • The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
  • Mary Coin by Marisa Silver

Kaite Stover:

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Up to Date
10:16 am
Mon December 9, 2013

How JFK's Death Changed The Secret Service

Clint Hill protected Jackie Kennedy when he was in the Secret Service.

The shock of the Kennedy assassination stunned the nation, but it also sparked a massive review of how the Secret Service operated.

In the first part of Monday's Up to Date, we talk with Clint Hill, the Secret Service agent who protected Jackie Kennedy in Dallas and beyond, about his role that day and how it changed him and the agency watching out for the president.

Guest:

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KC Currents
10:18 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Kansas City Illustrator Shares His New Collaboration, 'Chocolate Me!'

Shane Evans (left), and Taye Diggs sign copies of Chocolate Me for fans.
Credit Courtesy / Shane Evans

Kansas City author and illustrator, Shane Evans, will be at two events this weekend showcasing his new children's book and film, Chocolate Me!.

Chocolate Me! is a collaboration with actor and model, Taye Diggs, known for his roles in the original Broadway production of Rent and the movie How Stella Got Her Groove Back. Although Diggs often plays the hunk on the silver screen, as a kid he was teased for his looks.

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Up to Date
2:56 pm
Wed December 4, 2013

Historian Doris Kearns Goodwin Weighs In On Teddy Roosevelt

'The Bully Pulpit' is historian Doris Kearns Goodwin's latest work of presidential history.

He’s the namesake of your kid’s cuddly toy, but Teddy Roosevelt wasn’t a big softie. His fierce battle for the 1912 presidential nomination had both Roosevelt and Taft baring their teeth.

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Up to Date
9:51 am
Tue November 26, 2013

How The U.S. Meat Industry Beefed Up Its Production

Factory farming has become common in the American meat industry.
Credit David W. Oliver / Flickr-CC

Got a beef with the meat industry? You’re not the only one, but it’s taken many decades for the industry to assume the shape it has today.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk about the history of meat production and distribution in the United States. We examine the shift from family to factory livestock farming, how government intervention has affected the industry and how the popularity of organics is changing the conversation.

Guests:

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Up to Date
9:49 am
Tue November 26, 2013

Giving Thanks With StoryCorps

StoryCorps collects audio recordings of personal stories from people all over the country.
Credit Chris Riebschlager / Flickr-CC

The day after Thanksgiving isn't just the nation's craziest shopping day. It's also the day StoryCorps asks for stories that honor those for whom we feel grateful in life.

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we look at ten years of StoryCorps' 'National Day of Listening.'

Guest:

Dave Isay, founder and president of StoryCorps and author of Ties That Bind: Stories of Love and Gratitude from the First Ten Years of StoryCorps 

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Up to Date
10:30 am
Mon November 25, 2013

Exceptional Children And The Search For Identity

Andrew Solomon is the author of 'Far From the Tree.'

Medical problems, gender identity or varied abilities that put children out of the mainstream can bring overwhelming challenges for the individual and their family. In the first part of Monday's Up to Datewe take a look at how this struggle forms identities for the children and the parents.

Guest:

  • Andrew Solomon, author of Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity
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Up to Date
11:03 am
Tue November 19, 2013

Politics And Prose: Bob Woodward

Journalist Bob Woodward joins Steve Kraske to talk politics on Up to Date.

He's famous for his work in the Washington Post exposing the Watergate scandal, and journalist Bob Woodward is still addressing contentious issues. 

In the second part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we get his views on the Affordable Care Act and how Washington works today. 

Guest:

Bob Woodward, journalist. His latest book is The Price of Politics.

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