Books

Jason Rosenbaum / St. Louis Public Radio

This story was updated following St. Louis on the Air.

Former U.S. Rep. Todd Akin is back, and he’s not sorry.

Two years after losing a contest for U.S. Senate and igniting a “war on women” debate with a comment about rape, Akin has written a book that offers behind-the-scenes details about how he, his campaign and his family coped.

In an August 2012 interview with Charles Jaco on KTVI (Channel 2), Akin was asked about abortion and rape. Akin, who is staunchly anti-abortion, said that a pregnancy from rape “is really rare.”

Romondo Davis

Summer in the city. There’s nothing like it, and no shortage of things to see, do and experience in St. Louis. From parks to concerts and festivals, frozen custard to marionettes, farmers markets to museums, there’s an event (or 20) for everyone.

Author Amanda Doyle has written a second St. Louis guidebook. She said being an outsider affects her view of St. Louis.

“You can’t be born in a place and appreciate everything about it,” she said.

Da Capo Press

Author Martin Goldsmith is no stranger to St. Louis: Not only was he born here, but his mother was a longtime violinist with the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra. But it was a different St. Louis and a different family connection that recently caught his attention.

In “Alex’s Wake: A Voyage of Betrayal and Journey of Remembrance,” Goldsmith traces the journey of his grandfather, Alex Goldschmidt, and uncle, Helmut Goldschmidt, Jewish refugees who tried to escape Nazi Germany aboard the MS St. Louis. 

Sarah Crowder / courtesy photo

St. Louis author Ridley Pearson is no stranger to the New York Times Bestseller List. But in writing his books (of which there are many) he aspires to more than popularity.

“I try to always put a social issue under my novels without getting on a soap box so that when you end my novel there’s also something you want to go Google or go learn about,” said Pearson. By introducing his readers to social issues such as poaching or the illegal art trade, he hopes he inspires his readers to get involved, talk to their senators or donate money to a good cause.

Disney Publishing Worldwide

Washington, D.C. author Ron Suskind and his wife Cornelia Kennedy were devastated when 2-year-old Owen stopped talking and began walking with a drunken gait.

When, how did their son’s regression begin? “It’s like reviewing clues to a kidnapping,” Suskind writes in “Life, Animated: A Story of Sidekicks, Heroes, and Autism.”

Wm Morrow

When I saw that Tim Townsend had written a book centered on the Lutheran chaplain at the Nuremberg trials, I knew I would read it.

The Rev. Henry Gerecke ended his career in Chester, Ill. There he was assistant pastor of St. John Lutheran Church and the chaplain at the state prison and mental hospital. I graduated from the church’s grade school and relatives work at that prison.

But I have no personal memory of Gerecke. He died the year before we moved from the farm into town. And when we lived on the farm, we went another direction to church.

Courtesy Susan Grigsby

Local children’s authors, who explore topics ranging from Thomas Jefferson to tattletales, will be on hand to discuss and sign their books at two sessions this month at the St. Louis Central Library.

Mark S. Abeln

St. Louis folklorist John Oldani has published a new book on the region's folklore and traditions, this time about the Christmas holiday.

The book, Christmas in St. Louis, includes more than 200 iconic St. Louis Christmas photographs by Mark S. Abeln, as well as historic photos from the archives of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Among the book's highlights are:

(Courtesy Amy Tan)

Recorded Saturday, November 16 at the St. Louis County Library.

Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club and other novels centered on the mother-daughter relationship, visited St. Louis as part of a tour for her new book, The Valley of Amazement.

In front of an audience of several hundred fans, she spoke with St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh about the novel, her writing, her life, and her belief in ghosts.

David Laskin
Tom Cobb

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon. - In 2010, David Laskin and his daughter Emily traveled to Israel to start a worldwide journey of discovery and remembrance. He had not met his Israeli cousins before; and as soon as he sat down with them, he had concerns that his mission – tracing three branches of his family through decades of history – was never going to work.

He worried, as he writes in the epilogue to his book “The Family,” “that the Israelis would find me intrusive, insensitive, presumptuous.”

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: As insight into the self-absorbed mindset and atmosphere that led to this week’s partial shutdown of the federal government, author Mark Leibovich points to what is called the "Washington read.”

Leibovich, chief national correspondent for the New York Times Magazine, described how in the nation’s capital — subject of his new book, "This Town” — you can see people go into a bookstore, flip to the back of a particular volume, then either buy the book or walk out.

Eric Lundgren
Provided by Mr. Lundgren

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Eric Lundgren could tell you a bit about delayed gratification these days. The book he worked on during and after getting his master’s in fine arts at Washington University earned him an agent, but never a deal. A few years passed, Lundgren kept writing and working as a library technician in St. Louis, and then, last year, thanks to some recommendations from a fellow writer, the people at The Overlook Press came knocking (OK, they came e-mailing.)

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: You can travel the world and across time through Julie Garwood’s books. The Kansas City woman has books set in medieval Scotland, in Regency England, the U.S. frontier and the present. Her novel “For the Roses” was produced as a Hallmark Hall of Fame piece on CBS, and her next romance, “Hotshot,” comes out Aug 6.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: More than three generations have fallen in love with the tales of the inquisitive little monkey “Curious George” and his journey from Africa to the big city, but most have no idea of the journey taken by his creators, Margret and H.A. Rey, as they fled Paris on the eve of Nazi invasion.

Michael Kahn
Provided by Mr. Kahn | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: During the past 10 years, St. Louis author and trial attorney Michael Kahn has written a novel under a pen name, worked at his practice and seen the last of his five children leave home. He’s also thought, from time to time, about the character that started his writing career, Rachel Gold.

“I guess over those 10 years, I would think about her at different points,” says Kahn, whose 8th book in the Rachel Gold series, “The Flinch Factor,” came out earlier this month.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: Laura Bates first went to prison in Chicago. She wasn't there to stay, of course, but went to volunteer, beginning work that’s lasted several decades.

“My first thought was to work with first-time offenders,” she says. “Ironically, 25 years later I’m all the way in super max.”

At a recent academic conference, Michigan State University professor Natalie Phillips stole a glance around the room. A speaker was talking but the audience was fidgety. Some people were conferring among themselves, or reading notes. One person had dozed off.

The extended interview above includes parts one and two of the Morning Edition interview, plus additional material.


J.K. Rowling has a new novel. She's moved away from Harry Potter, the boy wizard whose stories prompted millions of kids to obsess over books big enough to serve as doorstops. Having concluded that series, she's written a novel for grown-ups called The Casual Vacancy, a story of troubled teenagers and their even more troubled parents.

Banning books in schools is nothing new, but a project launched today by the Columbia Missourian examines which Missouri schools challenged which books, and why, since 2008. Check out the project via the link, which includes a map, interactive graphic and more. Some schools from the St. Louis region also make appearances in the data.

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending June 24:

Adult:

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending May 20:

Adult:

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending May 13:

Adult:

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending April 22:

 

Adult:

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending April 15:

Adult:

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending April 8:

Adult:

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending March 25:

Adults:

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending March 18:

Adult:

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Retired St. Louis Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is ready to look back on his amazing career.

William Morrow announced Monday that "One Last Strike: Fifty Years in Baseball, Ten and a Half Games Back, and One Final Championship Season," is tentatively scheduled to come out this fall. The book will be co-written by Rick Hummel, a longtime reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

La Russa retired last fall after managing the Cardinals to a dramatic World Series title.

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending February 26:

Adult:

Below is the top-ten list of the St. Louis region's best-selling adult and children's books, according to the St. Louis Independent Bookstore Alliance.

For the week ending February 19:

Adult:

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