Celebrity Bios ~ show May 30 and 31


“A Fine Romance” by Candice Bergen
“Part Swan, Part Goose” by Swoosie Kurtz
“Watch Me” by Anjelica Huston
“There Was A Little Girl” by Brooke Shields
“When the Balls Drop” by Brad Garrett
“So That Happened” by Jon Cryer
“Uganda Be Kidding Me” by Chelsea Handler

Swoosie Kurtz, Author

A look at the new crop of celebrity bios, written by the men and women frequently in the Hollywood headlines. To add to your enjoyment, each of these titles is performed by the author. Elaine speaks with Swoosie Kurtz about her memoir, “Part Swan, Part Goose.”

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows


Political Books Making Headlines ~ Show May 16th and 17th


“Reagan: The Life” by H.W. Brands
“Twelve Days” by Alex Berenson
“Capital Dames: The Civil War and the Women of Washington, 1848 to 1868” by Cokie Roberts
“The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783 to 1789” by Joseph J. Ellis
“Hissing Cousins: The Untold Story of Eleanor Roosevelt and Alice Roosevelt Longworth” by Marc Peyser and Timothy Dwyer
“Madam President” by Nicolle Wallace
“The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House” by Kate Andersen Brower

Allan Topol, Author


An “inside the Beltway” look at political books making headlines. Elaine presents a mix of new histories from Pulitzer Prize winners, page-turning political fiction and White House memoirs.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Mother’s Day Salute ~ Show May 9 and 10


“Bettyville” by George Hodgman
“At the Water’s Edge” by Sara Gruen
“The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing” by Marie Kondo
“The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy” by Rachel Joyce
“In My Shoes” by Tamara Mellon with William Patrick
“First Frost” by Sarah Addison Allen
“The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief and Manipulation” by Melissa Rivers

Gary Monroe, Art Historian and Author


In this special Mother’s Day salute, Elaine features a great mix of titles from favorite authors, memoirs by fashion icons and tales of some fabulous non-traditional moms. Art-lovers will enjoy Elaine’s conversation with Gary Monroe about “The Highwaymen,” Florida’s African American Landscape Painters.


Fans of the artist formerly known as Declan Patrick MacManus will be able to read his life story in his own words: Elvis Costello will release his first book, a memoir, this October.

Blue Rider Press will publish “Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink” on Oct. 13. A news release describes the memoir as “his story, written himself, rich with anecdotes about family and fellow musicians, introspective about the creation of his famous songs.”

It won’t be the first time the rocker has written extensively about his work, however. As Rolling Stone notes, Costello “previously penned a 60,000-word reflection on his music and career in 2001 when Rhino reissued his 1977-1996 catalog.” Those reissues are hard to find, though, and the magazine notes that the essay has never been published outside those albums.

Costello will delve into his past “instances of bad behavior,” which might be referring to a 1979 incident in Columbus, Ohio, in which he used a racial slur when referring to musicians Ray Charles and James Brown. The rock legend was also famously banned from “Saturday Night Live” in 1977 after playing, without the show’s permission, his anti-corporate rock ode “Radio Radio.” (The ban was later lifted, and Costello played the song with the Beastie Boys 22 years later on the show.) Costello’s latest album, released in 2013, was “Wise Up Ghost,” a collaboration with the Roots.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows



Anthony Doerr’s novel All the Light We Cannot See and Elizabeth Kolbert’s nonfiction work The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History were among the books awarded 2015 Pulitzer Prizes, April 20 at Columbia University.

Inspired by the “horrors of World War II,” Doerr’s novel was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. The Pulitzer jury described All The Light We Cannot See as a novel written in “short elegant chapters that explore human nature and the contradictory power of technology.” In addition to a being critical success, All the Light was one of 2014’s top-selling books and continues to sell well with a total of 1.6 million print and digital copies now in circulation.

Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for general nonfiction. The jury described the book as “an exploration of nature that forces readers to consider the threat posed by human behavior to a world of astonishing diversity.”

David I. Kertzer’s The Pope and Mussolini: The Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for biography for its “engrossing” look at the lives of “two men who exercised nearly absolute power over their realms.”

Gregory Pardlo’s Digest was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, for a collection of “clear-voiced poems,” that are “rich with thought, ideas and histories public and private.”

Elizabeth A. Fenn’s Encounters at the Heart of the World: A History of the Mandan People was awarded the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for history.

Pulitzer Prize winners will receive $10,000 and a Pulitzer Prize certificate.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Presidents and Politics ~ Show Feb 21 and 22


“The Return of George Washington, 1783 – 1789” by Edward Larson
“Founders’ Son” by Richard Brookhiser
“Rebel Yell: The Violence, Passion and Redemption of Stonewall Jackson” by S C Gwynne
“The Burglary” by Betty Medsger
“Worthy Fights: A Memoir of Leadership in War and Peace” by Leon Panetta
“13 Hours” by Mitchell Zuckoff
“Believer: My Forty Years in Politics” by David Axelrod

Nathan Dorn, curator of the Law Library at the Library of Congress

New titles with fresh perspectives on the founding fathers, memoirs from politicians on the scene as history was being written, and discoveries of dirty dealing politicos. Elaine speaks with Nathan Dorn, curator of the Law Library at the Library of Congress.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Alec Baldwin To Write Memoir

The award-winning actor has a deal with Harper for “Nevertheless,” scheduled for the fall of 2016. Harper stated the book will cover everything from Baldwin’s childhood in Long Island to his acclaimed work on “30 Rock” to the various run-ins and fallings-out he has experienced along the way. It will be a story of “hits and flops, marriage, divorce,” and some “opinions on the media and politics.” Harper also announced that Baldwin, 56, will write the memoir himself.

“Alec Baldwin is a larger-than-life talent with an astonishing range. And his life up to now has been far from dull,” HarperCollins publisher Jonathan Burnham said. “In this memoir he writes about his family, lovers, friends and enemies, confronts his former demons, relives the highs and lows of his career, and opens up in an unflinchingly honest way about his life and times. This memoir will be funny, occasionally combative, often moving and an unbelievably good read.”

Financial terms for his new book were not disclosed.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows


The year’s top non-fiction titles, selected by the editors of The New York Times Book Review
AMERICAN MIRROR: The Life and Art of Norman Rockwell. By Deborah Solomon. The author pays respect to Rockwell for his dedication through periods of self-doubt, depression and marital tumult.
BEING MORTAL: Medicine and What Matters in the End. By Atul Gawande. A meditation on living better with age-related frailty, serious illness and approaching death.
BUILDING A BETTER TEACHER: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach It to Everyone). By Elizabeth Green. The gaping chasm between what the best teachers do and how they are evaluated.
CAN’T WE TALK ABOUT SOMETHING MORE PLEASANT? Written and illustrated by Roz Chast. This scorchingly honest, achingly wistful graphic memoir looks at the last years of Chast’s nonagenarian parents.
CHINA’S SECOND CONTINENT: How a Million Migrants Are Building a New Empire in ¬Africa. By Howard W. French. The author delves into the actual lives of the Chinese who have uprooted themselves to live and work in Africa.
CUBED: A Secret History of the Workplace. By Nikil Saval. This account of office design and technology since the Civil War offers insights into the changing nature of work.
DEEP DOWN DARK: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free. By Héctor Tobar. A graphic recounting of the quandaries faced by the victims of Chile’s 2010 mine disaster.
DEMON CAMP: A Soldier’s Exorcism. By Jennifer Percy. Percy’s first book follows an anguished Army veteran who searches for salvation in a Christian exorcism camp.
DUTY: Memoirs of a Secretary at War. By Robert M. Gates. One of the few Obama administration members who come off well in this frank account — probably one of the best Washington memoirs ever — is Hillary Clinton.
DYING EVERY DAY: Seneca at the Court of Nero. By James Romm. A classicist tries to unravel the enigma of the Stoic philosopher who was the Roman emperor Nero’s adviser.
EICHMANN BEFORE JERUSALEM: The Unexamined Life of a Mass Murderer. By Bettina Stangneth. Eichmann in this study is a more motivated Nazi than in Arendt’s version.
ELEPHANT COMPANY: The Inspiring Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II. By Vicki Constantine Croke. A rich portrait of a fascinating Englishman in extraordinary times.
EMBATTLED REBEL: Jefferson Davis as Commander in Chief. By James M. McPherson. The Confederate president as “a product of his time and circumstances.”
THE EMPATHY EXAMS: Essays. By Leslie Jamison. Considerations of pain, physical and emotional, and how it affects our relationships with one another and with ourselves.
FACTORY MAN: How One Furniture Maker Battled Offshoring, Stayed Local — and Helped Save an American Town. By Beth Macy. Macy’s folksy concentration on her local hero makes complex global issues -understandable.
FIRE SHUT UP IN MY BONES: A Memoir. By Charles M. Blow. The Times Op-Ed columnist describes overcoming his rage at being abused as a child.
FORCING THE SPRING: Inside the Fight for Marriage Equality. By Jo Becker. A fly-on-the-wall account of the 2013 Supreme Court case that led to the overturn of California’s ban on same-sex marriage.
GANDHI BEFORE INDIA. By Ramachandra Guha. It was as a young lawyer in South Africa that Gandhi forged the philosophy and strategies later put to such effect in India.
GEEK SUBLIME: The Beauty of Code, the Code of Beauty. By Vikram Chandra. Chandra, who is both a novelist and a programmer, traces the connections between art and technology.
HOTEL FLORIDA: Truth, Love, and Death in the Spanish Civil War. By Amanda Vaill. A collective portrait of Hemingway and Martha Gellhorn, and two other couples.
THE HUMAN AGE: The World Shaped by Us. By Diane Ackerman. An optimistic survey of the technology and innovations that define our human-dominated epoch.
THE INVISIBLE BRIDGE: The Fall of Nixon and the Rise of Reagan. By Rick Perlstein. Engrossing and at times mordantly funny, Perlstein’s book treats the years 1973-76 as a Rosetta stone for American politics today.
THE INVISIBLE FRONT: Love and Loss in an Era of Endless War. By Yochi Dreazen. Dreazen uses one military family’s tragedy to examine the troubling rise of postwar suicides.
THE INVISIBLE HISTORY OF THE HUMAN RACE: How DNA and History Shape Our Identities and Our Futures. By Christine Kenneally. ¬ A smart and highly entertaining look at the revelations DNA can provide.
JUST MERCY: A Story of Justice and Redemption. By Bryan Stevenson. An activist lawyer’s account of a man wrongfully convicted of murder reads like a call to action.
LIMONOV. By Emmanuel Carrère. Translated by John Lambert. Carrère applies his affinity for the big questions to his biography of an uncategorizable Russian writer.
LITTLE FAILURE: A Memoir. By Gary Shteyngart. A hilarious and touching account of his family’s move from Leningrad to Queens, and his emergence as a writer.
THE MADWOMAN IN THE VOLVO: My Year of Raging Hormones. By Sandra Tsing. Loh’s memoir wittily describes her roller-coaster ride through “the change.”
NAPOLEON: A Life. By Andrew Roberts. (Viking, $45.) Roberts brilliantly conveys the sheer energy of this military and organizational whirlwind.
NO GOOD MEN AMONG THE LIVING: America, the Taliban, and the War Through Afghan Eyes. By Anand Gopal. A devastating look at how we got ¬Afghanistan wrong.
NOT I: Memoirs of a German Childhood. By Joachim Fest. The author’s father’s opposition to Hitler brought his family into danger.
ON IMMUNITY: An Inoculation. By Eula Biss. (Graywolf, $24.) Drawing on science, myth and literature, Biss spellbindingly examines the psychological fog of fear that surrounds immunization today.
ON THE RUN: Fugitive Life in an American City. By Alice Goffman. A young sociologist’s remarkably reported ethnography of a poor black Philadelphia ¬neighborhood.
100 ESSAYS I DON’T HAVE TIME TO WRITE: On Umbrellas and Sword Fights, Parades and Dogs, Fire Alarms, Children, and Theater. By Sarah Ruhl. How to be creative when life and children intervene.
THE PARTHENON ENIGMA. By Joan Breton Connelly. With first-rate scholarship, an archaeologist reinterprets the Parthenon frieze in this exciting and revelatory history.
PAY ANY PRICE: Greed, Power, and Endless War. By James Risen. The Pulitzer Prize-winning Times reporter chronicles the excesses of the war on terror in this powerful book.
PENELOPE FITZGERALD: A Life. By Hermione Lee. Lee takes on the challenge of an elusive late-bloomer — the great novelist and biographer who published her first book at 58 and became famous at 80.
PRO: Reclaiming Abortion Rights. By Katha Pollitt. In this manifesto, Pollitt argues that women should stop apologizing and reclaim abortion as a “positive social good.”
THE SHORT AND TRAGIC LIFE OF ROBERT PEACE: A Brilliant Young Man Who Left Newark for the Ivy League. By Jeff Hobbs. A heartbreaking journey from a New Jersey ghetto to Yale to a drug-¬related murder.
THE SIXTH EXTINCTION: An Unnatural History. By Elizabeth Kolbert. A powerful examination of the role of man-made climate change in causing the current spasm of plant and animal loss that threatens the planet.
A SPY AMONG FRIENDS: Kim Philby and the Great Betrayal. By Ben Mac¬intyre. This account of the British spymaster who turned out to be a Russian mole reads like John le Carré but is a solidly researched true story.
STUFF MATTERS: Exploring the Marvelous Materials That Shape Our Man-Made World. By Mark Miodownik. Materials we think banal and boring — paper, concrete, glass, plastic — hold hidden wonders.
THE TEACHER WARS: A History of America’s Most Embattled Profession. By Dana Goldstein. Goldstein offers a lively, personality-driven survey of the public education system, and offers ideas for its reform.
THIRTEEN DAYS IN SEPTEMBER: Carter, Begin, and Sadat at Camp David. By Lawrence Wright. How marathon sessions of bare-knuckle diplomacy forged a framework for peace between Israel and Egypt in 1978.
THIS CHANGES EVERYTHING: Capitalism vs. the Climate. By Naomi Klein. In her consequential analysis, Klein argues there is still time to avoid catastrophe, but not within the current rules of capitalism.
THROWN. By Kerry Howley. With its sly humor and trenchant vision, this genre-bending work finds sublime poetry in the world of mixed martial arts.
THE TRIP TO ECHO SPRING: On Writers and Drinking. By Olivia Laing. A charming and look at the alcoholic insanity of six famous authors: John Cheever, Tennessee Williams, John Berryman, Ernest Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Raymond Carver.
THE TRUE AMERICAN: Murder and Mercy in Texas. By Anand Giridharadas. Competing visions of the American dream collide in this account of a post-9/11 hate crime and its unlikely ¬reverberations.
WORLD ORDER. By Henry Kissinger. Kissinger’s elegant, wide-ranging cri de coeur is a realpolitik warning for future generations from a skeptic steeped in the past.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

Book To Be Published About First US Ebola Victim


The fiancee and family of Ebola patient Thomas Eric Duncan hope a settlement and a book deal will provide closure after his death and opportunities to bolster his legacy.

Duncan’s fiancee Louise Troh is writing a memoir for release in April. The book “will tell the story of her and her family’s ordeal,” according to her publicist. Troh told The AP it will be a “love story” about meeting Duncan two decades ago in a refugee camp in Ivory Coast while a civil war raged in their home country, Liberia.

Troh, a nursing home assistant said she will use part of her advance for a down payment on a new home.

She’s been living in her daughter’s two-bedroom apartment with nine other people because she’s not been able to find a place to rent since finishing 21 days of quarantine. Troh’s church and Dallas County are also raising money to help her replace household items lost when cleaning crews stripped the apartment where Duncan stayed, incinerating most of the contents.

Many have been critical of the care Duncan received, believing his death was partly due to his race, nationality and lack of insurance.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows

New Book Coming From Jonathan Franzen


Jonathan Franzen’s fans will have plenty to read next year. There’s a forthcoming biography of the author by Philip Weinstein, an English professor at Swarthmore College. And in September, Franzen’s fifth novel, “Purity” will hit the shelves.

“Purity” is a multigenerational American epic spanning decades and continents. The story centers on a young woman named Purity Tyler, or Pip, who doesn’t know who her father is and sets out to uncover his identity. The narrative stretches from contemporary America to South America to East Germany before the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and hinges on the mystery of Pip’s family history.

The novel also marks a stylistic departure for Franzen. His publisher commented, “There’s a kind of fabulist quality to it. “It’s not strict realism. There’s a kind of mythic undertone to the story.”

Weinstein’s biography, titled “Jonathan Franzen: The Comedy of Rage,” will explore “Franzen’s metamorphoses as a person and as a writer” and includes an analysis of “Purity.” It was written with Franzen’s consent and cooperation Weinstein said.

Listen to The Book Report at your convenience. Go to https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-book-report/id540205917?mt=2, or at bookreportradio.com, click on Archived Shows