Books | St. Louis Public Radio

Books

William Knoedelseder is the author of the new book, "Fins: Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit."
EVIE HEMPHILL | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, William Knoedelseder told host Don Marsh that when he decided to write a book about the rise of the American automotive industry, he, “tried to specifically make it not a book about cars.”

Rather, the University of Missouri-St. Louis alumnus and celebrated author wanted his newest biography, “Fins: Harley Earl, the Rise of General Motors, and the Glory Days of Detroit,” to paint a broader portrait of a moment in American history.

Neal Bascomb is the author of "The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War"
Caitlin Lally | St. Louis Public Radio

When considering the pivotal moments of World War I, the Great Escape of 1918 is likely not the first incident that comes to mind. Indeed, the history of this truly remarkable episode has largely gone unnoticed in the 100 years since it transpired.

Neal Bascomb’s latest book “The Escape Artists: A Band of Daredevil Pilots and the Greatest Prison Break of the Great War” attempts to shed light on this central event in world history. Bascomb joined host Don Marsh for a conversation about the new book on this Wednesday’s St. Louis on the Air.

Tricia Frank lays out books in community room of Woodhollow Apartments in Maryland Heights Friday, June 22, 2018. The Parkway North High School teacher delivers books because the nearby St. Louis County Library branch is closed for renovation. 6/22/18
Ryan Delaney | St. Louis Public Radio

Tricia Frank’s car breaking down this spring was a good thing: Now she has more storage space in her new, larger vehicle.

Frank is using that new car to deliver books to four apartment complexes in the northern part of the Parkway School District in lieu of the St. Louis County Library branch, which is closed this summer for renovation.

Five-year-old Honore Locker colors alongside Maxi Glamour after Drag Queen Story Hour at St. Louis Public Library's Central Branch.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

A group of drag queens in bejeweled ball gowns and stiletto heels brought unexpected glamour to storytime on Mother's Day weekend.

A rambunctious crowd packed into the auditorium of the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Branch on Saturday afternoon for Drag Queen Story Hour. The event, which aims to celebrate diversity and inclusion, drew more than 100 young children and their families.

Winnie Caldwell and Sidney Keys III
Mary Edwards | St. Louis Public Radio

Sidney Keys III, 11, has had quite a month. On December 13, he and his mother, Winnie Caldwell, flew to California where he appeared on “The Steve Harvey Show.” Two days later he was featured on CNN’s “Young Wonders” program in a segment that had been recorded weeks earlier. On December 17, he appeared on a live CNN special in New York City honoring CNN’s Top 10 Heroes of 2017.

Sidney Keys III, the founder of Books N Bros.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Earlier this year, we spoke with 11-year-old Sidney Keys III and his mother Winnie Caldwell about Books N Bros, a book club Keys founded to encourage boys to read.

William Gass teaches a class at Washington University in 1984
Herb Weitman | Washington University

Updated Dec.12 — On Tuesday's St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh discussed the life and legacy of noted author and Washington University professor William Gass.

Joining him for the discussion were Lorin Cuoco, co-founder and former associate director of the International Writers Center at Washington University, Stephen Schenkenberg, creator and curator of the website Reading William Gass and author and publisher of "The Ears Mouth Must Move: Essential Interviews of William H. Gass" and William Danforth, chancellor emeritus and member of the Board of Trustees at Washington University.

Gass died on Dec. 6 at his home in St. Louis. He was 93. The former Washington University professor was known for his contributions to fiction, criticism and philosophy. 

Amanda Doyle, author of "100 Things To Do In St. Louis Before You Die."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis is the kind of city you can live in all your life and still uncover hidden gems in neighborhoods you’ve never before visited.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, local author Amanda Doyle helped us uncover some of those gems as she discussed her book “100 Things to Do in St. Louis Before You Die.”

Author Nick Pistor and St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh discuss "Shooting Lincoln" at Left Bank Books on Sept. 27.
File Photo | Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

The men who took the most memorable photographs during the Civil War are the subject of local author Nick Pistor’s newest book, “Shooting Lincoln: Mathew Brady, Alexander Gardner, and the Race to Photograph the Story of the Century.”

At a special St. Louis on the Air event last week at Left Bank Books in the Central West End, host Don Marsh talked with Pistor, who is a former reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

On Monday’s St. Louis on the Air, world-renowned author Dan Brown, most famous for “The Da Vinci Code,” joined host Don Marsh to discuss his most recent novel, “Origin.”

The book, featuring the famous character Robert Langdon again, will be released on Oct. 3 and centers heavily on new technology. 

LIndsey Noblott and Lisa Greening joined St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh to discuss a new St. Louis-wide literacy initiative launching this week.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Tomorrow, the first-ever St. Louis city and county-wide literacy initiative launches. The program is a collaboration between Ready Readers and the St. Louis Regional Early Childhood Council and it is called “Turn the Page STL.”

Sherman Alexie, a Spokane-Coeur d'Alene-American novelist, short story writer, poet, and keynote speaker of BookFest St. Louis joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Sherman Alexie, acclaimed novelist, memoirist, poet and filmmaker, joined St. Louis on the Air on Friday. The author is keynoting the inaugural BookFest St. Louis, which will take place in the Central West End this weekend.

Alexie is also in the midst of promoting his recent memoir, “You Don't Have to Say You Love Me,” which was published earlier this year.

Author Margaret Atwood will recieve this year's St. Louis Literary Award on Tuesday, September 19.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, iconic author Margaret Atwood joined the program to discuss her career and legacy with contributing host Steve Potter.

Justin Daniels, Tiana Berry-Jones and Ria Van Ryn are three of four St. Louis-based podcasters behind "Mayday: The Handmaid's Tale Podcast."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

There’s been a documented rise in popularity of dystopian novels this past year and “The Handmaid’s Tale” is no exception. As Margaret Atwood makes a visit to St. Louis to accept the St. Louis Literary Award, we speak with three local podcasters who were so inspired by the work that they made a podcast about it and the television show inspired by it this year (which won an Emmy on Sunday).

Jonathan Losos, author, "Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance, and the Future of Evolution."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Native St. Louisan Jonathan Losos is a Harvard University biology professor and director of Losos Laboratory at the university. He recently wrote the book “Improbable Destinies: Fate, Chance and the Future of Evolution.

The book follows researchers across the world who are using experimental evolutionary science to learn more about our role in the natural world.

Leonard Adreon, 90, is Korean War veteran and St. Louisan who kept his story of service as a Marine Corpsman during the war under wraps for 60 years. He's now shared his personal reflections on "America's forgotten war," in a memoir titled "Hilltop Doc."
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

Last week marked the 64th anniversary of the end of the Korean War. St. Louisan and Korean War veteran Leonard Adreon recently published a memoir reflecting on his participation in America’s “forgotten war" as a Marine Corpsman, providing medical aid in battle. 

"I didn't get used to it, but we were there and we had no choice and we had to do our job," said Adreon of treating his fellow soldiers on a chaotic battlefield.

Detail of Katherine Dunham in Choros, undated
Missouri History Museum | Provided

If you took but one class with dance legend Katherine Dunham, it became immediately apparent that her approach was one that cultivated the dancer as a whole and made the Dunham Technique more of a “way of life.” Dunham, considered the “queen mother of black dance,” lived from 1909 to 2006, making her home and the center of her dance work in East St. Louis for much of her adult life. 

Hannah Hoffmeister published her first book at age 13. Lew Trigg published his first after retirement. What can we learn from their two publishing tales?
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

We hear from a lot of authors on St. Louis on the Air and many of them have unique stories of how they first got published. On Thursday, we heard from two more local authors, each of whom comes from a different publishing perspective than the norm. One was published as early as age 13. The other started writing after retirement.

What are the best children's and young adult books to read this summer? St. Louis on the Air's panel of booksellers and librarians discussed on Thursday.
Micro Kool | Flickr

Earlier this summer, we gave you a list of 20+ best summer reads for adults. We know it is about that time: this week, we convened a panel to discuss the best summer reads for children and young adults too.

Kevin Killeen discussed his most recent humorous novel "Most Improved Sophomore" on St. Louis on the Air.
Kelly Moffitt | St. Louis Public Radio

KMOX radio reporter Kevin Killeen knows a thing or two about growing up Catholic in St. Louis in the 1970s. It’s apparently a subject a lot of you know about is well, as we heard from a plethora of listeners about their experiences in and out of school during that time period.

These reflections were spurred by a conversation with Killeen about his latest humorous novel, “Most Improved Sophomore.”

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