Books

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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:

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:

How JFK's Death Changed The Secret Service

Dec 9, 2013

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:

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.

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.

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:

Giving Thanks With StoryCorps

Nov 26, 2013
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 

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

Politics And Prose: Bob Woodward

Nov 19, 2013

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.

Pat Conroy: Remembering An Abusive Father

Nov 13, 2013

Families are complicated for everyone, and author Pat Conroy knows this well. His first memoir, The Great Santini, explored the abusive relationship Conroy had with his father.

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, Conroy joins Steve Kraske to talk about the follow-up to that book, The Death of Santini, which explores the interactions between Conroy and his father after The Great Santini was published.

Guest:

Duke Ellington: Behind The Jazz

Nov 8, 2013

Duke Ellington's jazzy orchestrations are the stuff of music legends. However, his star power hid a very private life.

In the second part of Friday's Up to Date, Wall Street Journal drama critic and biographer Terry Teachout takes us into the world of Ellington.

Guest:

John F. Kennedy was no King Arthur, but his life has often been compared to Camelot.

On Monday's Up to Date, we revisit Steve’s Bookshelf, a collection of books on Steve Kraske's radar right now. We talk with Thurston Clarke and Robert Dallek the authors of two different books that examine the former president’s policies. Also, author Domingo Martinez takes us into the life of a family trying to become “real” Americans on the Texas border.

Guests:

The Challenges Of Caregiving

Oct 29, 2013

No one says that caring for a sick relative is easy, especially when Alzheimer’s disease is involved. However, the day to day struggles of caregivers are often lost in the shuffle. 

Children's Book Puts Reader In The Story

Oct 23, 2013

A boy gets a book he thinks is cheesy-- a tale about a bunny and his birthday. His next move is to take a pen to the pages of the book and make the story a bit more interesting.

In the second part of Thursday's Up to Date, we take a look at a lighter side of life with children’s book authors Jon Scieszka and Mac Barnett as we talk about their new book, Battle Bunny

Guests:

WWI: Making History Come Alive

Oct 22, 2013

Making history come alive is tricky, but some historians manage to paint people like the czars of Russia or Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany not just as dusty textbook figures.

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with historian Robert Massie about his vivid descriptions of the powerful people pulling the strings behind World War I.

Guest:

From War To Peace: Soldiers And PTSD

Oct 21, 2013

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. 

1913: Before The Great War

Oct 20, 2013

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:

The Book Doctors: Chills & Thrills

Oct 7, 2013
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:

From Poetry To A Prairie Home

Oct 1, 2013

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.

Former Royals Outfielder Looks Back

Sep 29, 2013

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.

Haddix On Charlie Parker

Sep 25, 2013

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:

Talking Text With Michael Chabon

Sep 18, 2013
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:

Looking At The Friendfluence Factor

Aug 18, 2013

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.

The Shifting Face Of Parenthood

Aug 15, 2013

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:

Finding The Philadelphia Chromosome

Jul 29, 2013

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

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