Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"He's not show quality but he's so sweet and all he needs is a little love"

What would you do if you heard that? For author Julie Klam, she immediately pictured the Charlie Brown Christmas tree and thought "I have to have him". She got in her car, drove to Pennsylvania to meet Otto and immediately fell in love with him. She told me, "He was the man of my dreams".

Julie Klam's book is called "You Had Me At Woof: How Dogs Taught Me The Secrets of Happiness". Check out her book trailer, and tune in to Realgoodwords this week for my conversation with her.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Sexy sex on the Radio

So it's become something of a running joke around here. Me and this book, "The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex" by Daily Show writers Kristin Schaal and Rich Blomquist. I did the interview quite some time ago. Okay fine, the blackberries were ripe, that's how long ago. I was nervous to talk about this book, which is hilariously funny but quite honestly, pretty dirty. I mean, it's public radio. There are laws about such things.

I taped the interview and Kristen and Rich were great. Me? Kind of a dope. Nervous. Giggly. Making jokes. Seriously, what is my problem?

So, finally, after stewing and wondering where and when to run this interview, I decided that I needed to get some courage. Showcase a book that I wouldn't normally feature on the KAXE airwaves. Even on the rebroadcast of Realgoodwords at 9am on Sunday.

Along with the "The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex" the show turned into a really interesting one - featuring the independent book publisher Chronicle Books. I talk with Brian McCullen from McSweeney's about "Art of McSweeney's" as well as Lesley M. M. Blume about "Let's Bring Back". Oh, and that sex book. Did I mention that?


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Women and their connection to the land

This is a photo from Gayla Marty's blog where she is writing about memory. It's a great photo that is obviously overexposed but ends up really saying a lot about how we remember our lives. It's not always entirely clear, is it?

Minnesota author Gayla Marty is coming to Grand Rapids on Tuesday November 16th. She'll be speaking about her book "Memory of Trees - A Daughter's Story of a Family Farm" from 6:30-8:30. The event is sponsored by the MN Women's Woodland Network . The organization was formed to help women learn about trees, nature and caring for the land. It's a new program that is informal learning that is conversational by nature. This event is free but a RSVP is required. See here for more information.

I'll be talking to Gayla Marty again this week on Realgoodwords. We spoke last summer about "Memory of Trees" but I was so intrigued I wanted to talk about more of the issues she writes about in her book. It's been described as a story of a farm in Central Minnesota... Marty explores "the relationship of forests, farms, and migration in Western civilization is uncovered through the example of this farm in the “golden triangle” between the Mississippi and St. Croix rivers. On the journey to understanding, trees provide touchstones, connections to sacred and classical history—companions leading the way forward."

Also this week on Realgoodwords - a satire of office life with Richard Hine's "Russell Wiley is Out to Lunch" a book as clever as its website. Check it out here and tune in for our conversation!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Have you ever wondered what your long lost relative was really like?

Author and professor Suzanne Berne did. In her new book "Missing Lucile: Memories of the Grandmother I Never Knew" she does research about the life of her grandmother and the times in which she lived. In our conversation Suzanne said:
"To have a grandmother who didn't have the right to vote - is a really interesting thing for a woman to think about in 2010 - that was just one of the things that I was led to as I was thinking and writing about her."
My conversation with Suzanne really got me thinking about my relatives - the people that I never met but have impact on my life now. I especially thought about my great great aunt Tilly - a woman who I've always felt close to and wondered about. As I was growing up I would always ask my grandma if we could read through Tilly's postcard collection. Later in life my grandma passed these postcards on to me - and I've always read them and tried to somehow piece together Tilly's life. I feel honored to have them in my possession, especially because Tilly didn't have children to pass them on to.

Suzanne's book interested me not just in her family, but in looking more into my own.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

does anyone really understand health care???

I recently "met" someone who actually does understand health care. (I say "met" in the loose, telephone conversation kind of way).

T.R. Reid is a veteran Washington Post reporter who has just put out the paperback version of his bestselling book "The Healing of American - A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care". This new version also contains an explanation of President Obama's health care legislation.

The premise of the book is that T.R. Reid, as a foreign correspondent, had the opportunity to look at how other countries deal with health care. The so-called "socialized medicine" that is out there. What he found was that so many places are doing it SO much better than we are. And in a lot of different manners that really don't add up to the scary moniker of "socialized medicine".

Check out T.R. Reid's column in the Washington Post called "5 Myths About Health Care" . You can also read an article and watch T.R. Reid's documentary on Frontline here called "Sick Around the World". And tune in for my conversation with T.R. Reid this week on Realgoodwords.