Saturday, December 29, 2012

Podcast - Jeanette Keith "Fever Season"

Sara Hoover interviews Jeanette Keith about her book, Fever Season: The Story of a Terrifying Epidemic and the People who Saved a City. Heroes and cowards are revealed during the yellow fever outbreak which claimed 17,000 lives.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Podcast - Da Chen "My Last Empress"

Sara Hoover interviews Da Chen about his novel, My Last Empress, a tale of ill-fated love. Set in the 19th century, madness and obsession propel Samuel Pickens to leave Yale behind for imperial China, where he becomes embroiled in a dangerous love affair within the Forbidden City.

Podcast - John Perry "The Art of Procrastination"

 Stephen Usery interviews Stanford philosophy professor John Perry about his book, The Art of Procrastination: Guide to Effective Dawdling, Lollygagging and Postponing.

Podcast - Molly Caldwell Crosby "The Great Pearl Heist"

Molly Caldwell Crosby worked for National Geographic Magazine before scoring a critical and commercial hit with he first book, The American Plague about the scourge of yellow fever. Her next book was Asleep: The Forgotten Epidemic That Remains one of Medicine's Greatest Mysteries. Molly's newest book is The Great Pearl Heist: London's Greatest Thief and Scotland Yard's Hunt for the World's Most Valuable Necklace.    

Podcast - Sal Lizard "Being Santa Claus"

Stephen Usery gets in the holiday spririt as he interviews Sal Lizard about his memoir Being Santa Claus: What I Learned About the True Meaning of Christmas.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Podcast - Peggy Webb

 Stephen Usery interviews Peggy Webb about the latest installment of her Southern Cousins Mystery series, Elvis and the Blue Christmas Corpse. Set in Mooreville, MS just outside of Tupelo, beauty shop owner Callie Valentine and he basset hound named Elvis are trying to not get all shook up while looking for the killer of several residents of the local shopping mall's Santa's village.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Podcast - Julianna Baggott "Pure"

Sara Hoover interviews Julianna Baggott about her novel Pure, the first in a trilogy. Sixteen-year-old Pressia Bells navigates a post-apocalyptic world after the denotations, which fused survivors to their surroundings. While avoiding the militia hunting her, Pressia finds hope in the unlikeliest of places.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Podcast - Tatjana Soli "The Forgetting Tree"

Sara Hoover interviews Tatjana Soli about her second novel, The Forgetting Tree. Claire Baumsarg has fallen in love with her husband’s citrus ranch in Southern California. But soon tragedy strikes and fractures the family. An illness befalls Claire, opening the way for the mysterious, Caribbean-born Minna as Claire’s caregiver, who may be the greatest threat of all.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Podcast - Inman Majors "Love's Winning Plays"

Stephen Usery interviews Inman Majors about his new novel, Love's Winning Plays. Set in the intense yet hilarious world of off-season college football, young Raymond Love is trying to win a full-time position as a coach for an unnamed SEC school. His big test is to keep tabs on the eccentric Coach Woody, whose dedication to the sport gets off-track when touring the state to help raise money from boosters.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Podcast - James Meek "The Heart Broke In"

Stephen interviews Royal Society of Literature Ondaatje Prize-winner James Meek. Meek is the former Moscow bureau chief for The Guardian newspaper. His latest novel, The Heart Broke In, looks at a reality television producer and three scientists who get caught up in romantic entanglements, betrayals, and ethical quagmires, all while a British tabloid editor is taking too keen of an interest in their personal lives. 

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Podcast - Lawrence Norfolk "John Saturnall's Feast"

Stephen Usery interviews award-winning British novelist Lawrence Norfolk. His first book in twelve years, John Saturnall's Feast is the story of an orphan who becomes the greatest chef of his time in the era leading up to and through the British Civil war in the 17th century. This was a time when English cuisine was intricate and cosmopolitan before economic woes and the Puritan devotion to simplicity reduced it to a shell of its former self.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Podcast - Michael Morris "Man in the Blue Moon"

Sara Hoover interviews Michael Morris about his novel, Man in the Blue Moon. It’s the story of Ella Wallace and her three sons fighting to save their home and the mystical land it’s set upon in the Florida panhandle. While World War I rages across the ocean, a mysterious man’s arrival impacts the entire community. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

Broadcast - September 22, 2012 - Kevin Powers "The Yellow Birds"

Tune into Book Talk this week as Stephen Usery interviews Kevin Powers about his bestselling debut novel, The Yellow Birds. It's the story of young soldiers serving in Iraq in 2004 and 2005. Something terrible has happened, and we see the psychological effects afterwards and the circumstances leading up to the event. Both poetic and unflinching, The Yellow Birds is one of the best reviewed debuts of the year. Kevin Powers on this week's Book Talk, Saturday evening at 6:00 p.m. and Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m. on FM89.3 WYPL Memphis.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Podcast - Peter Heller "The Dog Stars"

Stephen Usery interviews Peter Heller about his book, The Dog Stars. A New York Times bestseller, the novel focuses on Hig, a survivor of the superflu which eliminated most of humankind. He flies his 1956 Cessna with his dog Jasper in Colorado. The pair forge an uneasy alliance with the killer Bangley and try to navigate their way through this new world.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Podcast - Courtney Miller Santo "The Roots of the Olive Tree"

 Courtney Miller Santo about her upcoming debut novel, The Roots of the Olive Tree. Already being translated into seven languages, The Roots of the Olive Tree follows five generations of women. The matriarch Anna is hoping to become the oldest living person in the world, and secret after secret has built up and affected the women and their relationships.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Podcast - Gregory Fletcher "Intrepid Aviators"

Stephen Usery interviews Gregory Fletcher about his book Intrepid Aviators:The True Story of U.S.S. Intrepid's Torpedo Squadron 18 and Its Epic Clash With the Superbattleship Musashi. It's a story that traces the history of naval aviation up through the Battle of Sibuyan Sea when his father and fellow pilots sank the Japanese battleship Musashi.

Download here.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Podcast - Jeff Crook "The Sleeping and the Dead"

Stephen Usery talks to Jeff Crook about the first installment of his mystery series starring Memphis crime scene photographer Jackie Lyons. The series begins with The Sleeping and the Dead where Jackie fights her addictions while helping the police department track down a brutal serial killer who has a flair for theatrics.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Podcast - Natalie Bakopoulos - The Green Shore

Stephen Usery interviews Natalie Bakopoulos about her debut novel, The Green Shore. In late summer of 1967, the government of Greece was overthrown by a right-wing military coup, and an Athens family, who leans left, must learn to live carefully in terms of politics while still dealing with everyday life.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Podcast- Benjamin Busch "Dust to Dust"

Stephen Usery interviews Benjamin Busch about his memoir Dust to Dust. An Iraq war veteran, artist, actor from HBO's The Wire, and son of prominent novelist Frederick Busch, Benjamin Busch relays how his life was shaped by how he tried to shape the world in building structures as a child, serving in the Marine Corps, and creating art.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Podcast - Russ Kick "The Graphic Canon Volume One"

Stephen Usery interviews editor Russ Kick about his new project The Graphic Canon Volume One: From the Epic of Gilgamesh to Shakespeare to Dangerous Liaisons. It's the first of three volumes to published this year which feature graphic novel interpretations of the world's great works of literature.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Podcast - Joseph Kanon "Istanbul Passage"

Stephen Usery interviews Joseph Kanon about his latest Cold War thriller Istanbul Passage. Set in Turkey a couple of months after the end of World War II, businessman Leon Bauer is asked to help smuggle a defector from eastern Europe, and Bauer has to examine his morals in light of atrocities and dubious politics in this new uncertain world.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Podcast - Daniel Friedman "Don't Ever Get Old"

 Stephen Usery interviews Memphis native Daniel Friedman about his debut mystery novel, Don't Ever Get Old. It stars the 87 year-old retired police detective Baruch "Buck" Schatz, who along with his grandson, tries to hunt down the Nazi prison camp officer who tortured him during World War II.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Podcast - Wiley Cash "A Land More Kind Than Home"

photo by Kevin Millard
Stephen Usery interviews Wiley Cash about his debut novel A Land More Kind than Home. Compared to the works of Tom Franklin and John Hart, A Land More Kind Than Home is set in the hills of western North Carolina in the mid-1980s, where a small snake-handling church and the secrets it holds threaten the Hall family, as well as others in the community.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Podcast - Sophie Littlefield "A Bad Day for Mercy"

Stephen Usery welcomes Sophie Littlefield back to the program to talk about her upcoming mystery, A Bad Day for Mercy. It's the fourth installment of her Stella Hardesty series, where a 50 year-old sewing machine shop owner from Missouri, who normally takes justice into her own hands with abusive spouses, now finds herself in Wisconsin helping her step-nephew who has a corpse on his kitchen table when she arrives.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Podcast - Kristen Iversen "Full Body Burden"

Stephen Usery interviews Kristen Iversen about her new book "Full Body Burden: Growing up in the Nuclear Shadow of Rocky Flats." Rocky Flats was the factory in suburban Denver, Colorado which made 70,000 plutonium triggers for America's nuclear weapons from the 1950s until 1990. The federal government and its private contractors tried to minimize public concern about radioactive pollution downwind from the plant, including in the suburb where Kristen Iversen grew up.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Podcast - Thomas McNamee "The Man Who Changed the Way We Eat"

Stephen Usery interviews Thomas McNamee about his new book, THE MAN WHO CHANGED THE WAY WE EAT: CRAIG CLAIBORNE AND THE AMERICAN FOOD RENAISSANCE. Starting with Claiborne's upbringing in the Mississippi Delta and through his war-time naval service, this book looks at Claiborne's reign as the food editor of the New York Times and his creation of modern food writing.