Books

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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:

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

  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:

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:

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:

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:

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

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.

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'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:

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. 

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:

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:

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.

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.

Pages