On this installment of ST, we are discussing great reads for the gift-givng season --- for yourself and/or the avid reader(s) on your holiday shopping list. We check in with Nancy Pearl, a former librarian and bookseller here in Tulsa who's now based in Seattle, and who's well-known for her book-promoting appearances on NPR's Morning Edition as well as her popular series of "Book Lust" volumes (which recommend all sorts of books for a range of different readers).
On this edition of our program, we speak with Wendell Berry, who's worked as a prolific and highly principled writer of fiction, essays, and poetry for the past 50 years. Mr. Berry has been named the Tulsa Library Trust's 2012 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author, and he'll be in town to accept this honor later this week. Indeed, he'll give a free-to-the-public presentation at 10:30am on Saturday the 8th at the TCCL's Central Library, at Fourth Street and Denver Avenue in Downtown Tulsa.
On this edition of our show, we speak with the Bay Area-based writer Robin Sloan, whose smart, tech-savvy, entertaining, and decidedly adventure-driven debut novel, "Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore," has been drawing some rave reviews. As critic Janet Maslin has noted in The New York Times, this book is a "slyly arch novel about technology and its discontents.... The culture clash at work here --- Google aces wielding the full, computer-assisted strength of their collective brainpower, one scholar fiddling with a quaint astrolabe --- has a topicality that works to this novel's advantage.
Today we speak by phone with Kurt Anderson, the widely acclaimed writer whose novels include "Heyday" and "Turn of the Century," among other books. Andersen writes for television, film, and the stage, contributes to Vanity Fair, and hosts the PRI program Studio 360 (which is heard every Thursday at 8pm on Public Radio 89.5-1 KWGS).
On this edition of StudioTulsa, Nancy Pearl, our longtime book expert and the author of four "Book Lust" volumes of recommended reading --- and now, also, the curator of Amazon.com's new series of reprints of classic, out-of-print books --- offers her summer reading list. (Summer arrives, officially, on Wednesday the 20th!) Here is Nancy's list:
"A Partial History of Lost Causes" by Jennifer Dubois
On today's show, we speak with the gifted Alaskan writer Eowyn Ivey, whose first novel, "The Snow Child" (Reagan Arthur Books), appeared earlier this year to international acclaim. (And yes, in case you're wondering, Eowyn's mother did name her after a character in Tolkien's "Lord of the Rings.") As the following rave review from a critic at Amazon.com has noted: "In her haunting, evocative debut, Eowyn Ivey stakes her claim on a Russian fairy tale, daring the reader --- and the characters --- to be lulled into thinking they know the ending.
[Aired on Friday, March 2nd.] Book reviewer Nancy Pearl joins us to talk about the best new books of 2012 and a few overlooked gems from the past couple of years. Pearl is the author of six highly regarded "books about books" in her Book Lust series, and she's embarking as the series editor for "Book Lust Discoveries," which will revive twelve classic, long-out-of-print titles that are worth a fresh read. The series gets underway in April with Merle Miller's "A Gay and Melancholy Sound."