Books

Pages

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.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Up to Date
12:24 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Inside The Creative Mind of William Joyce

William Joyce has captivated young audiences and their parents with his whimsical and imaginative characters in film, TV, and in books.  The creator of Rolie Polie Olie and The Guardians of Childhood has a new book and film, The Numberlys.  Joyce talks with Steve Kraske about what inspires the characters he creates.

Read more
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.

Read more
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.

Read more
Up To Date
1:47 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Summer Reading Recommendations For Kids & Teens

'The Ghosts of Tupelo Landing' is one of Debbie McLeod's picks for kids who need a good book this summer.
Credit Penguin Books

From haunted hotels, to the real life story of Nazi hunters in Argentina, these summer reading picks are sure to get your young ones' imaginations churning.

On Wednesday's Up to Date, Johnson County librarians Kate McNair and Dennis Ross, and retired librarian Debbie McLeod bring their recommendations to keep kids and teens occupied during the dog days of summer. 

Recommendations:

Read more
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.

Read more
Up to Date
3:00 pm
Tue May 20, 2014

The Most Checked-Out Children's Books At Johnson County Libraries

These teen books have the highest historical check-out rate at the Johnson County Libraries.

In recent years, Harry Potter, The Hunger Games  and Twilight series have been favorites among young readers. However, a survey of the most frequently checked out books at the Johnson County libraries also includes classics from decades past.

Read more
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:

Read more
Central Standard
12:14 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Banned And Challenged Children's Books

Credit Creative Commons

Dav Pilkey's Captain Underpants series recently received the dubious distinction of topping the American Library Association's list of most-challenged books of 2013. With the author on his way to Kansas City, Central Standard took a look at what makes some of the most-challenged books so controversial.

Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more
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. 

Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more
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.

Read more
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
Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more
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:

Read more

Pages