Books

In 1935 the city of Detroit, Michigan was in the grip of the Great Depression. Unemployment was high and many of the city's residents were barely getting by. There were some things that happened that year in Detroit that gave the residents something to cheer about. 1935 was a great year for sports in the Motor City.

1935 was the year that the Detroit Tigers won a baseball championship, the Detroit Lions were football champions, the Detroit Red Wings were the hockey champions and a boxer from Detroit named Joe Louis was on his way to becoming the heavyweight boxing champion.

 

Over the years that I have been interviewing authors on the radio I have had the pleasure to converse with some of the more interesting people on the planet. One of my favorite guests has been Gene Logsdon. Gene made half a dozen appearances on the program.

Amit Majmudar was recently named the Poet Laureate of Ohio. Many states have poets who occupy these honorary positions in their states. Ohio had never had one before. Amit Majmudar is our very first one. His term began in January and he'll hold the post for two years.

In this interview Amit reveals how all this came about and he reads a number poems from his enchanting new collection "Dothead." Amit Majmudar is a nuclear radiologist in Columbus. He writes some splendid poetry. Enjoy.

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline is our community-wide BIG READ selection this year and it was an excellent choice. The author came to Dayton for the kick-off of this year's BIG READ and when you listen to this interview you'll discover how she first found out about the orphan trains (they really existed) and why she decided to write the novel when she did. As it turned out her window of opportunity for conducting interviews with actual orphan train riders was closing fast. There are very few of them still living today.

Beth Macy returned to the program for the paperback release of her phenomenal investigative study of the collapse of the US furniture industry which once thrived in states like Virginia. Macy was working on a newspaper story about displaced workers when she heard about a man who had managed to keep his furniture factory running after he fought back against the flood of cheap imported furniture that had put so many American factories out of business.

Mardi Jo Link returned to the program to talk about her latest memoir. Here's my review that ran in the Cox Ohio newspapers:

Mardi Jo Link had always wanted to make some deep, long lasting friendships. In October of 1993 she began her journey to creating those relationships when she was invited to spend the weekend on an island in northern Michigan with three of her co-workers. She describes this transformative event in her memoir “The Drummond Girls: A Story of Fierce Friendship Beyond Time and Chance.”

Merritt Tierce has published one novel, "Love Me Back," which was recently issued in paperback. On the strength of this one book she has become one of my favorite writers. 

This is the story of a waitress named Marie. Marie works hard and she's also very good at her job. Unfortunately her life is also a complete mess. I won't get into the details. Listen to the interview then treat yourself to an incredible read. This book was one of my favorite novels of 2014. You will be amazed.

Here's another example of a double dip interview. If I'm really excited about a book I do have a hypothetical opportunity to interview the author for the original hardcover release and then once again for the paperback. Of course I do have to convince various people, publicists, my producer Peter Hayes, and then the author to go along with my diabolical schemes. Fortunately, I got lucky again and was able to manage a second interview with the author of "Young God."

If you look up the word "prolific" in the dictionary it should be illustrated by a photo of Joe Lansdale. I'm kidding of course and merely trying to point out the fact that Lansdale writes a lot of really fabulous books and he ranges from horror to westerns to who knows what might be coming out next. Hollywood loves his stuff, too. He is a very busy writer.

In 2003 Luisa Lang Owen appeared on the program to discuss her memoir "Casualty of War: A Childhood Remembered." After World War Two ended and the Germans were defeated many members of the German ethnic minority in Yugoslavia were placed in concentration camps by Marshall Tito's victorious partisans. Luisa Lang Owen was one of those internees. She was only a child and the painful memories of the experience are at the heart of her memoir.

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