Summer’s Over ~ Show September 19 and 20

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“The Marriage of Opposites” by Alice Hoffman
“Tiny Little Thing” by Beatriz Williams
“The Book of Speculation” by Erika Swyler
“Saint Maizie” by Jami Attenberg
“Among the Ten Thousand Things” by Julia Pierpont
“In the Country” by Mia Alvar
“Who Do You Love?” by Jennifer Weiner

INTERVIEW
Beatriz Williams, Author

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With autumn just days away, Elaine previews new titles that offer an escape from fall’s frantic pace. These stories offer up a literary romp back to the beach and the lazy days of summer. Beatriz Williams introduces us to her new book, “Tiny Little Thing.”

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

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Cops and Private Eyes ~ Show September 12 and 13

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Black” by Russell Blake
“Pretty Girls” by Karin Slaughter
“Brush Back” by Sara Paretsky
“Cross and Burn” by Val McDermid
“X” by Sue Grafton
“Dexter is Dead” by Jeff Lindsay
“Bum Rap” by Paul Levine

INTERVIEW
Sara Paretsky, Author

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An arresting mix of new titles with amateur sleuths, private eyes and cops in the line up. Sara Paretsky drops by to speak about her newest title in the VI Warshawski series, “Brush Back.”

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

Hispanic Authors ~ Show September 5 and 6

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Ripper” by Isabel Allende
“The Water Museum” by Luis Alberto Urrea
“Rag and Bone” by Michael Nava
“It’s Not Love, It’s Just Paris” by Patricia Engel
“At Night We Walk in Circles” by Daniel Alarcon
“Yaqui Delgado Wants to Kick Your Ass” by Meg Medina
“The Clairvoyant of Calle Ocho” by Anjanette Delgado

INTERVIEW
Michael Nava, Author

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New works by Hispanic authors, tales told with atmospheric prose, carefully crafted characters and old fashioned storytelling. Michael Nava stops by to speak about his new title, “The City of Palaces.”

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

Perfect For Summer Reading ~ Show August 8 and 9

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“The Little Paris Bookshop” by Nina George
“The Position” by Meg Wolitzer
“Down the Rabbit Hole” by Holly Madison
“I Take You” by Eliza Kennedy
“My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry” by Frederik Backman
“Crazy Rich Asians” by Kevin Kwan
“Circling the Sun” by Paula McLain

INTERVIEW
Mandy Smith, Author

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A light, lively and easy to pack selection of titles perfect for your summer reading repertoire. Elaine speaks with Mandy Smith about “Cabin Fever,” her memoir chronicling her years as a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant.

Of Mice And Men To Be Banned In Idaho?

Hailed by the Nobel prize judges in 1962 for his realism and sympathetic humour, John Steinbeck is under attack. Parents in Idaho have branded “Of Mice and Men” “neither a quality story nor a page-turner” and asked for it to be removed from classrooms. A curriculum review committee in the city of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho has recommended the 1937 novella should no longer be taught in classrooms, according to the Spokesman-Review, and that ninth-graders should study it “on a voluntary, small-group basis” only. For parent Mary Jo Finney, the use of words such as “bastard” and “God damn” makes it unsuitable for 14- or 15-year-old students. After counting more than 100 “profanities,” she expressed her shock to the Spokesman-Review that “teachers actually had the audacity to have students read these profanities out loud in class”.

Steinbeck’s story of the difficulties faced by migrant fieldworkers in the Great Depression is a fixture on high-school syllabuses in the US, the UK and beyond, but since 1953 has also become one of America’s most frequently-challenged books.

In the same week, one of the novels on the American Library Association’s most recent list of banned books, “The Kite Runner” by Afghan-born Khaled Hosseini, has come under attack in North Carolina. According to the Citizen-Times, a parent in Asheville complained about the global bestseller’s language and “adult themes”. “The description of the book the teacher included mentioned that there was a rape,” said Lisa Baldwin, “but not that it was the rape of a child and it was the homosexual rape of a child, which I felt was something parents needed to know.” Baldwin also objected that Erich Maria Remarque’s 1929 novel, “All Quiet on the Western Front” had been “removed from the curriculum without parents knowing about it”.

Hosseini’s 2003 book has been removed from classrooms until a committee at Ashville’s Reynolds High School has considered Baldwin’s complaint. It’s not yet clear if parents concerned by Hosseini’s depiction of war and chaos in Afghanistan will be reassured by Remarque’s evocation of the shock and horror of mechanised warfare in France.

Classic Titles Narrated By Top Actors ~ Show July 18 and 19

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Go Set A Watchman” by Harper Lee: performed by Reese Witherspoon
“To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee: performed by Sissy Spacek
“The Member of the Wedding” by Carson McCullers: performed by Susan Sarandon
“Being There” by Jerzy Kosinski: performed by Dustin Hoffman
“The Heart of Darkness” by Joseph Conrad: performed by Kenneth Branagh
“The Sheltering Sky” by Paul Bowles: performed by Jennifer Connelly
“The End of the Affair” by Graham Greene: performed by Colin Firth

INTERVIEW
Marja Mills, Author

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Elaine spotlights new performances of classic titles narrated by Hollywood’s top actors. Marja Mills shares her experiences as Harper Lee’s neighbor – timed to coincide with the Lee’s release of “Go Set a Watchman.”

People Who Changed Our World ~ Show July 11 and 12

FEATURED BOOKS PREVIEWED

“Elon Musk” by Ashlee Vance
“The Virgin Way” by Richard Branson
“Becoming Steve Jobs” by Brent Schlender and Rick Tetzeli
“Madison’s Gift” by David Stewart
“Strategy: A History” by Lawrence Freedman
“Napoleon: A Life” by Andrew Roberts
“Alibaba’s World” by Porter Erisman

INTERVIEW
Senator Gary Hart

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A spotlight on entrepreneurs, politicians and statesmen who changed our world. Elaine speaks with Senator Gary Hart about his new title, “The Republic of Conscience.”

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

James Patterson Donates $100,000 To Bookstores In Australia And New Zealand

JAMES PATTERSON DONATES $100,000 TO BOOKSTORES IN AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

In his first visit to Australia in 11 years, Patterson announced a $100,000 donation from which Australian and New Zealand book sellers with dedicated children’s sections could apply for cash grants of up to $5000. The donation was timed for Patterson’s arrival in Sydney for a series of Writers’ Festival events and promotion of Rafe’s Aussie Adventure, his Middle School pre-teens collaboration with writer-illustrator Martin Chatterton.

The greatest challenge facing society, warned Patterson, was getting bright children to read more broadly and at-risk kids reading competently. One in three Australian high school students could be considered functionally illiterate. Patterson’s hope was that Australia might follow Germany’s lead and set up a ministerial foundation to support and acknowledge the importance of independent booksellers as missionaries of children’s literacy. Were Amazon to locate its operations in Australia, Patterson predicts half the local bookstores would close.

Patterson has been one of the loudest voices in the book world warning about the pressure of online discounting and e-book retailing on the local bookstore. Retailers, who applauded Patterson’s assistance, have been lobbying for the imposition of GST for all online purchases and a review of international parcel delivery agreements.

Patterson holds the Guinness Book of Record for Number One New York Times bestsellers. Total worldwide sales exceed 300 million, of which he has sold 4.5 million copies in Australia.

A former copywriter, Patterson’s prodigious output includes one or two standalone thrillers each year in his name and seven or eight books which he commissions by way of detailed 50 to 80 page synopsis, edits and, if necessary, rewrites. To criticism of his methods, “my answer is Simon and Garfunkel, Lennon and McCartney, Stephen King and Peter Straub and the Coen brothers”.

As a commissioning editor and co-author, Patterson has branched into the genre of young-adult and children’s fiction, collaborating in six children’s book series. Chatterton describes his partnership as a “pain-free” experience, and Patterson as a precise and conscientious editor. “I strive for the highest common denominator,” Patterson says.

Patterson’s passion for child literacy began with his son’s reluctance to read. One summer he cancelled Jack’s chores and told him his only obligation was to read for one hour a day. “Give them stories that they’ll gobble up like chocolate pudding and ask for more,” says Patterson of the secret to enthusing reluctant readers. The only bad book was one that put a child off reading for life.

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

A Lost Dylan Thomas Notebook To Go On Display

A lost Dylan Thomas notebook, rediscovered after lying forgotten in a drawer for decades, is to go on limited public display later this month. The notebook, which came to light recently, is one of five used by Dylan Thomas — the other four are in the State University of New York in Buffalo.

The notebook was bought by Swansea University, after being put up for auction at Sotheby’s. It is to be kept in the Richard Burton Archives. Around 200 members of the public will get the chance to see the notebook to mark the inaugural International Dylan Thomas Day. The free viewing will take place in the council chamber, Singleton Abbey.

It will be complemented by an exhibition including original Dylan Thomas photographs, Dylan’s first ever published poem, and rare proof copies of several of his works, generously on loan from Dylan’s Bookstore. The notebook will be on display in a protective glass case throughout International Dylan Thomas Day with plasma screens showing the whole of its contents.

Jeff Towns, owner of Dylan’s Bookstore and Dylan Thomas Society chairman, who successfully bid at the auction on behalf of the university, said: “The falling of the gavel at Sotheby’s last December was the beginning of a journey which culminates on International Dylan Thomas Day with this incredible, previously unseen poetry notebook on view for the first time here in the town where it was written, to be marvelled at, studied and enjoyed.”

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 Real Mr Darcy Uncovered?

Jane Austen fans have long speculated about who could have inspired the character Mr. Darcy in “Pride and Prejudice,” but rumors have never led to a truth universally acknowledged. British historian and author Susan C. Law is hoping to change that with a new book about sex scandals in 19th century England. In her book, “Through the Keyhole,” Law claims Darcy was based on John Parker, 1st Earl of Morley, a British aristocrat who served in the House of Lords, and who was “involved in a sordid sex scandal that led to divorce” in 1809.

Morley’s second wife was a friend of Jane Austen, and her brother Henry knew the earl in college. Law notes that Morley looked the way that Austen described Mr. Darcy — handsome and “very intense.” Law says she can’t conclusively prove that Morley was the inspiration for the beloved character, played on screen by actors including Colin Firth, Laurence Olivier and Peter Cushing, but she’s still fairly sure she has the right man.

“It can be very frustrating and it is like trying to piece together a jigsaw,” Law said. “It has been fascinating and I have been longing to find that cast iron bit of evidence. But after spending so long on it, I am pretty convinced.”

“Pride and Prejudice” might not have been the only Jane Austen novel inspired in part by Morley, who had illegitimate children with a mistress, causing a scandal that gripped the press at the time. “There was a media frenzy over this,” Law said. “The original adultery is generally believed to have been behind the adultery plot in ‘Mansfield Park.”

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