150 years ago the Civil War was raging and the United States was far from united. 1862 had been a rough year for President Abraham Lincoln. The Union Army was in retreat, losing battles and making strategic blunders. Lincoln had a lot on his plate.
Over the years that the Book Nook program has been airing on WYSO we have had some rather unusual guests. There was the wine expert who insisted on pouring glasses of wine while live in the studio. The sound of gurgling vintages added a whole new dimension to that broadcast. Some guests have arrived in a rather jolly state after imbibing their lunches in the village nearby.
Peter James returns to the program with the latest installment in his crime series that features Detective Superintendent Roy Grace. These thrillers are set in the English seaside city of Brighton. In this one, "Not Dead Yet," Brighton is providing the setting for a Hollywood film and Roy Grace is in charge of the security detail assigned to safeguard a major recording star named Gaia Lafayette. She is starring in the movie.
If you have ever read the New Yorker magazine you have probably seen the distinctive cartoons of Victoria Roberts. Hundreds of her whimsical cartoons have appeared there over the last 25 years. Roberts recently put out a new book, "After the Fall." As you might expect it is also profusely illustrated.
Roberts spent many years deciding how to tell this story. Then it finally came to her. "After the Fall" is the story of an affluent family in New York City that has suddenly fallen upon hard times. The family becomes homeless and begins living outdoors in Central Park.
Long before there was a WalMart and many of the other discount store chains that we know today there was the A&P chain of grocery stores. Marc Levinson initially approached this writing project with the intention of writing a biography about the two brothers, George and John Hartford, who guided the A&P through many decades and changes. When Levinson began his research he quickly changed course after he realized that George, the older brother, had led such a secretive life that he wasn't a substantial enough subject for a biography.