Novel Neighbor | St. Louis Public Radio

Novel Neighbor

Holland Saltsman (at left) is the owner of the Novel Neighbor, and Kelly Von Plonski owns Subterranean Books.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Saturday is Independent Bookstore Day, and many of the bookstores in the St. Louis region and beyond are going all out for the celebration of an industry that is much more than business.

On Thursday’s St. Louis on the Air, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jonathan Ahl discussed this year’s highlights with several store owners and managers who also provided reading recommendations to listeners.

Joining the conversation were Holland Saltsman, owner of the Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves; Kelly Von Plonski, owner of Subterranean Books in University City; and Renee Woodley, manager of Rolla Books and Toys.

Ashton Applewhite is the author of "This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Twenty-first-century humans who make it to age 65 are tending to live longer than previous generations did – a pattern that Ashton Applewhite describes as a global demographic phenomenon and one that should be celebrated.

“There are real challenges associated with scaling up the support that an older population will require, but there are also amazing opportunities,” the author of “This Chair Rocks: A Manifesto Against Ageism told St. Louis on the Air executive producer Alex Heuer in a conversation that aired Monday. “This is new – the social capital of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of more healthy, well-educated adults than ever before in human history. We need to tap into that.”

Keith O'Brien is the author of "Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History."
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Ninety years ago, daring air races across the U.S. routinely attracted crowds that would dwarf attendance at spectacles such as the Super Bowl today.

“I’m talking about a half million people – paying customers – during the Great Depression coming out to watch races over the course of a weekend,” Keith O’Brien said during Friday’s St. Louis on the Air. “An additional half million would watch for free from the hoods of their automobiles parked on nearby highways … in this little window of time, air racing was one of the most popular sports in America.”

The pilots vying for the prize were usually men, and the few women pilots were often ridiculed – until they combined forces to break down barriers and make aviation history.

LWYang | Flickr |

Summer is in full swing and whether you’re looking for a book to read poolside, at the park, or just staying indoors to get away from the heat, we’ve got you covered.

On Tuesday’s St. Louis on the Air, host Don Marsh talked with three local book experts about what they’re recommending as the top summer reads. We also heard from listeners who shared their favorite summer reads so far. 

Five suggestions from Kris Kleindienst, co-owner, Left Bank Books:

Host Don Marsh talked to (from L to R) Kris Kleindienst, Emily Hall and Holland Saltsman.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Mark your calendars, bookworms, because Independent Bookstore Day is Saturday, May 2 and various independently owned bookstores in the St. Louis area will host a day of fun, crafts, and yes—books!

Independent Bookstore Day was founded in 2014 in California and is modeled after the music world’s “Record Store Day.” Some of the participating bookstores in the St. Louis area are Left Bank Books in St. Louis, Main Street Books in St. Charles, and The Novel Neighbor in Webster Groves.