Books

Interviews with authors, commentaries / reviews on books

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A new novel based in 1950’s Wooster, Ohio tells the tale of a nosy switchboard operator and the lives and loves of the locals. Author Gretchen Berg joins our Barbara Gray via Zoom to talk about her new release, The Operator.

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What’s it like inside the Cincinnati Zoo when it’s bedtime for the animals? Apparently, Fiona the Hippo can’t sleep until she’s said goodnight to her animal friends. Children will enjoy this third installment of Fiona books from award-winning illustrator Richard Cowdrey. He joins our Barbara Gray by Zoom to talk more about Fiona, It’s Bedtime.

What If Hillary Never Said Yes To Bill?

May 21, 2020
curtis sittenfeld author
Josephine Sittenfeld / Random House via AP

What is left to say about a woman who has faced endless scrutiny on the written page and the world's stage?

NPR

During this political season, it seemed like a good time to revisit host Lee Hay’s 2013 conversation with acclaimed presidential historian and author, Doris Kearns Goodwin.

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Bestselling author David Baldacci is out with the latest installment in his Memory Man series, this one called Walking the Wire. He talks about this latest adventure plus how COVID-19 has changed his life and travel schedule in this chat with Barbara Gray.

richard cordray
Progress Ohio / Flickr

Richard Cordray was the nation's first director of the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau (CFPB) when it was created a decade ago during the administration of President Barack Obama. 

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Last month, we shared a poem from local poet and physician, Brian Volck, for National Poetry Month. Now we revisit a conversation Dr. Volck had with our Kelly Blewett in 2016 about his fascinating book, Attending Others: A Doctor's Education in Bodies and Words.

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More than just a designer, Betsey Johnson is a fashion icon who has injected her exuberant personality into her clothing. She’s out with her first memoir, simply titled Betsey, and she spends a few minutes with our Jim Stump to talk about it.

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Stephanie Duesing is a former music teacher who understands, especially in these unusual times, how important music can be, especially for children. Besides calming or entertaining them, music helps with brain development and cognitive growth. She’s with our Elaine Diehl to talk about the importance of music (and programs like WGUC’s Classics for Kids) and her new memoir, Eyeless Mind.

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Book Review: Elaine Diehl reviews musician Jorma Kaukonen's (from Jefferson Airplane and Hot Tuna) autobiography, Been So Long: My Life and Music. He now lives in southeast Ohio and runs the Fur Peach Ranch music venue.

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Our literary contributor Kelly Blewett shares her thoughts about several children’s books, old and new for springtime enjoyment, including In a Jar (Deborah Macer), Mr. Rabbit and the Lovely Present (Charlotte Zolotow), and On Wings of Words: The Extraordinary Life of Emily Dickinson (Jennifer Berne).

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Around Cincinnati kicks off National Poetry Month with local writer and poet Quanita Roberson. She’s in the studio with Barbara Gray to talk about the genesis of her two volumes, Soul Growing and Soul Growing II, written for 13-year-old boys and girls.

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It’s the 150th anniversary of the publication of Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women, so Kate Bolick and three of her author friends have published a new book celebrating their attachment to the book and the four sisters. Our Kelly Blewett speaks with her on the phone about the unique format of March Sisters: On Life, Death, and Little Women: A Library of America Special Publication.

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The importance of honeybees to the world’s farming and agricultural worlds can’t be overstated, yet their numbers are shrinking because of pesticides, pollution, infections, and more. To focus attention on the plight of the honeybees, award-winning authors (and husband and wife) Candace Fleming and Eric Rohmann have released Honeybee: The Busy Life of Apis Mellifera and join host Lee Hay by phone.

WVXU/Ronny Salerno

A locally produced book shares 28 stories of parents who lost a child. The editor, Mary Langford, and one of the mothers in the book, Heidi Bright, join our Barbara Gray in the studio to talk about Loss, Survive, Thrive.

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Dani McClain's first book, We Live for the We: The Political Power of Black Motherhood, was recently published and she was named the next Writer-in-Residence at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. The author joins our Barbara Gray to talk about her book and her goals for her year as writer-in-residence.

george remus book
Courtesy of Amazon

Prohibition took away legal alcohol in America, but brought with it opportunity for clever criminals, including George Remus, who built his bourbon empire with feet on both sides of the Ohio River. He lived in a grand mansion in Price Hill, and later died in the care of a nurse in Covington.

without sanctin don bentley
Courtesy of Amazon

Cincinnati Edition speaks with author Don Bentley about his new book, Without Sanctionand how his real life experiences flying Apache helicopters in Afghanistan, being awarded a Bronze Star, and working for FBI intelligence helped inspire the fictional story.

the supreme court in washington dc
J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Cincinnati Edition speaks with New York Times bestselling author Adam Cohen about his new book, Supreme Inequality: The Supreme Court's Fifty-Year Battle for a More Unjust America, which explores how the court's rulings contributed to inequality in the U.S.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Seth Wenig / AP

Yes, current polls suggest that this year's presidential election could come down to two septuagenarians in Republican President Donald J. Trump and independent Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, who currently leads the race for the Democratic nomination.

After Suffrage, Many Women Failed To Vote. Kentuckians Were An Exception

Feb 20, 2020
women's suffrage
AP

Over the last few decades, Kentucky's voter turnout has hovered in the 30% range. In A Century of Votes for Women, authors Christina Wolbrecht and J. Kevin Corder provide a wide range of data that shows that wasn't always the case for the Bluegrass State.

xavier motherhood discussion
Courtesy of Xavier University

Could maternity and childlessness share a common bond? Two local authors explore how these roles in our society may be changing in tandem. How can the past inform our present knowledge of living with, and without, children?

american story book
Courtesy of Amazon

Some of the greatest biographies of America's most important people have been written by the likes of David McCullough, Jon Meacham, Ron Chernow, and Doris Kearns Goodwin, among others. 

Sure, there are lots of biographies about America's first president. But author Alexis Coe - an historian who has appeared on CNN and the History Channel, and who has contributed to The New York TimesThe New Yorker, and other publications - wanted to take a deeper dive.

and yet they persisted book
Courtesy of Amazon

The year 2020 will make 100 years since American women won the right to vote in U.S. presidential elections. While many thoughts of the suffragist movement gin up images of civil protests, there was much more going on in the fight for progress before 1920.

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Defining the value of "stuff" is at the core of the entertaining new novel from author Luke Geddes, Heart of Junk. The author talks with our host, Lee Hay, about this ribald tale of the attempt to save Wichita's Heart of America Antique Mall from bankruptcy.

100 things to do in cincinnati book
Courtesy of the author

Rick Pender's second edition of 100 Things to Do in Cincinnati Before You Die is a guide to exploring almost everything in the city. 

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Longtime Hamilton Journal-News writer Ted Pollard is now retired and writing fiction. His book, Grant's Wish, is the tale of a historic inn that's fallen on hard times and one man's effort to save it, despite many obstacles. The author (whose pen name is T.S. Pollard) discusses his past and current writing with our Media Beat reporter, John Kiesewetter.

Amazon.com

Former Cincinnati Enquirer reporter Mark Curnutte shares a powerful memory of attending Church of the Resurrection in Bond Hill after his recovery from cancer. In the church, he is embraced as he weeps, overcome with emotion. He uses this moment to reflect on his decades of reporting in a new book Across the Color Line: Reporting 25 Years in Black Cincinnati.

50 faces of happy book
Courtesy of the author

Northern Kentucky University professor Banwari Mittal talked with more than 500 people across 30 states and 50 cities to find people's ideas and feelings about what it means to be happy. He posed the same five questions to each, and found a broad range of interpretations.

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