2005 Program Archives and Book Reviews

A listing of books discussed and interviews conducted
on Bookwaves on Cover to Cover. Many of these programs can be heard by going to the page titled
Alphabetical Archives. If you want to hear an interview and it is not archived, please let us know.
Cover To Cover
A Program About Books

December 29, 2005
The Divide/Nicholas Evans
The Horse Whisperer/Nicholas Evans
Nicholas Evans' latest novel, The Divide, tells the story of a crumbling marriage and how it affects other members of the family.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

December 22, 2005
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell/Susanna Clarke
This year's Hugo Winner for Best Science Fiction Novel is set in an alternative England during the Regency Period of the early 1800s. Long and leisurely, the book is both an engaging fantasy and a funny satire on manners and mores.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

Monday, December 19, 2005
Tijuana Straits/Kem Nunn
Hard-boiled surf noir. Tough, sparse well written thriller with ecological overtones.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

December 15, 2005
The Lost Painting/Jonathan Harr
The search for a missing Caravaggio reads like a mystery in a fascinating work by the author of A Civil Action.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

December 8, 2005
Shalimar The Clown/Salman Rushdie
This novel about the making of a terrorist examines the roots of terror and resistance, from occupied France to the current situation with Islamists. Slow at first, it grows on you.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

December 1, 2005
The King in the Window/Adam Gopnik
Paris to the Moon/Adam Gopnik
New Yorker writer Gopnik's two books set in Paris, the first a children's novel, the second a memoir of his five years in Parils. Gopnik is a marvelous and brilliant writer, particularly in the memoir.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

November 24, 2005
I Have Chosen to Stay and Fight/Margaret Cho
The comedian presents a combination of rants and blogs that reflect material in her various acts.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky. .

Friday November 18, 2005
Open Book: Richard Wolinsky talks about Bay Area theatre with John Fisher of Theatre Rhinoceros and Ed Decker of New Conservatory Theatre.

November 17, 2005
Book Review Program
Stark and the Star Kings/Edmund Hamilton & Leigh Brackett. (Haffner Press) A collection from the late husband and wife science fiction writers, featuring their only previously unpublished collaboration. Rollicking space opera for teenagers. RAL
City of Falling Angels/John Berendt. First-rate follow up to Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil/RW
Shalimar the Clown/Salman Rushdie. A superb novel about terrorism and its relationship to America, set in Kashmir, in World War II France and elsewhere. A stunning achievement. RW &RAL.
The Cult of Alien Gods/Jason Colavito (Prometheus Books). A terrible attempt to link Lovecraft with other writers. RAL.
The King in the Window/Adam Gopnik. A kids fantasy with greater depth when read in tandem with Gopnik's earlier Paris to the Moon.
Reviewers: Richard Wolinsky/Richard A. Lupoff.

November 8, 2005
Saving Fish From Drowning/Amy Tan
The Opposite of Fate/Amy Tan
Amy Tan's latest book is a picaresque comic novel featuring twelve travelers and their adventures in Myanmar. While enjoyable in its own right, it doesn't have the depth of her earlier novels nor of her recent superb essay collection, "The Opposite of Fate."
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

November 1, 2005
City of Falling Angels/John Berendt
Midnight in the Garden of Good and  Evil/John Berendt
Berendt's recent book is a brilliant evocation of Venice today, as seen through the eyes of its residents.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

October 27, 2005
Pre-empted for fund drive.

October 20, 2005
Don't Get Too Comfortable/David Rakoff
A witty and readable collection of essays by the NPR commentator and author.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

October 13, 2005
The Republican War on Science/Chris Mooney
An essential examination on how Republicans have misused science and skepticism to further a right-wing fundamentalist/corporate agenda.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

October 6, 2005
Lunar Park/Bret Easton Ellis
Satire collides with horror and autobiography in this latest from the author of Less Than Zero and the controversial American Psycho. It doesn't quite work, but the first 80 pages are screamingly funny and almost worth the price of admission.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

September 29, 2005
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan/Lisa See
A novel set in China in the first half of the 19th century, Snow Flower explores the relationship between women in an obscure part of the country.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

September 22
The Tricky Part/Martin Moran
Broadway performer Moran's memoir of being abused as a child and growing up gay reads like a novel, but it's all true. Riveting.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

September 15
Into a Paris Quartier/Diane Johnson
The author of Le Divorce and other novels takes readers on a tour of her Paris neighborhood, St.-Germain-des-Pres, with historical and personal asides..
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

September 8
Them/Francine du Plessix Gray
A fascinating memoir of parents, set against the backdrop of the mid-part of the 20th Century, from World War II through life with the New York intelligentsia in the '50s through '70s.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

September 1
The Mysterious Flame of Queen Loana/Umberto Eco
This new novel by the noted semiologist and author of The Name of the Rose works well when it focuses on Italian history; otherwise, sadly, it's a slog.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

August 25
Swing/Rupert Holmes.
Concluding segment of a two part interview.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

August 18
Swing/Rupert Holmes
Part one of a two part interview. A mystery set in San Francisco, Oakland and Treasure Island in the days before the Second World War. Holmes, who can do pretty much anything well, can also write. Of course, he should also take heed that good composer/lyricists are a lot rarer on Broadway than good mystery writers are in publishing.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

August 11
The Genius Factory/David Plotz
A fascinating though occasionally glib look at the Nobel Prize Sperm Bank, its history and results.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

August 4
Book Review Program
San Francisco Noir/Nathaniel Rich. A detailed look at movies set and/or filmed in the City by the Bay. Interesting but flawed. RW & RL
The Mayor of MacDougal Street/Dave Van Ronk with Elijah Wald. A superb posthumously created memoir by a major folksinger of the '60s. RL
Don't Think of an Elephant/George Lakoff. A brief must-read for anyone interested in politics today. RW
Who Was Guilty? Two Dime Novels by Phiilip S. Warne-Howard W. Macy. Edited by Martena E. Bremseth (Crippan & Landreu Publishers).
Historically important works by one of America's earliest Black novelists. RL
Specimen Days/Michael Cunningham. The author of "The Hours" tackles genre fiction to excellent effect. RW.

July 28
The Golden Spruce/John Vaillant
Using the story of an eco-terrorist event, the downing of a great tree in British Columbia, Vaillant details the story of logging, its history and results to stunning effect.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

July 21
Specimen Days/Michael Cunningham
The Hours/Michael Cunningham
A Home at the End of the World/Michael Cunningham
The Pulitzer Prize winning author of The Hours returns with a splendid collection of three interrelated novellas, one a ghost story, one a detective thriller and one a science fiction tale.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

July 14
The News from Paraguay/Lily Tuck
The surprise winner of the National Book Award deals with life in Paraguay during that country's early years.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

July 7
What's The Matter with Kansas?/Thomas Frank
One of the most important books of 2004, revised in trade paper, deals with how a majority of Americans vote against their own self-interest and what we can do about it.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

June 30
Goodbye to All That/John Falk
Falk tells the dual story of his bout with depression and his work as a journalist in Sarajevo at the height of the siege, and he tells it quite well. A very funny and often profound work.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky. .

June 23
Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close/Jonathan Safran Foer
Everything Is Illuminated/Jonathan Safran Foer
Two novels by an acclaimed young author out of New York. Everything Is Illuminated is a sometimes stunning first novel, and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close an ambitious misfire, but this is an author to be reckoned with.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

June 16
Strange Angel/George Pendle
A biography of John Parsons, rocket scientist and occultist. Fascinating guy, fascinating book.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

June 9
Beautiful Inez/Bart Schneider
This haunting prequel to Schneider's novel Secret Love concerns a violinist and her husband in 1962 San Francisco, and the woman with whom she gets involved.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

June 2
A Thread of Grace/Mary Doria Russell
A tapestry of characters and events, this novel tells the story of the Jews of Northern Italy and the work of residents and resistance in saving their lives.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

May 26
Pre-empted for May fund drive.

May 19
Plan B/Anne Lamott
A collection of pieces dealing with child-rearing, spirituality and politics by the popular Marin County essayist and novelist. Very readable and thought provoking.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

May 12, 2005
The Great MoviesIRoger Ebert
Second of two parts. See below for the complete interview.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

May 5, 2005
The Great Movies/Roger Ebert
First of a two part interview with the newspaper and television film critic concerning his new book, a collection of 100 different film essays, and the film industry in general. Part One.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

April 28, 2005
The Manhattan Beach Project/Peter Lefcourt
A very funny novel skewering reality programming, television executives, and media hype, by the author of The Deal and The Dreyfus Affair.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

April 21, 2005
Natasha/David Bezmozgis
Excellent short story collection about growing up a Jewish refugee in Toronto by an extremely talented newcomer.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

April 14, 2005
Review Program
Aces/Mychael Urban. Fun for A's fans. RW
Juiced/Jose Canseco (Steve Kettman). An important book, though very flawed, with an unreliable author. RW/RAL
Strange Angel/George Pendle. Readable biography of rocket scientist Jack Parsons. RW/RAL
Writing & Other Blood Sports/Charles Williford (Dennis McMillan Publishers). Brilliant collection of essays by one of America's great underrated writers. RAL
Reviews: Richard Wolinsky/Richard A. Lupoff

April 11, 2005
Aces/Mychael Urban
For Oakland A's fans, a look at the 2004 season, with emphasis on the "three aces" of the team. Interview also discusses steroids and the current makeup of the club.
Interviewers: Denny Smithson/Richard Wolinsky

April 7, 2005
Breaking The Tongue/Vyvyane Loh
Novel about Singapore at the start of World War II by a young author with great promise. Now out in trade paper.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

March 31, 2005
December 6/Martin Cruz Smith
Wolves Eat Dogs/Martin Cruz Smith
The author of Gorky Park returns with his detective hero, Arkady Renko, now wandering through the radioactive waste of Chernobyl in yet another excellent entry in the series. December 6 is a fascinating stand-alone novel taking place in Tokyo in the days preceding Pearl Hearbor.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

March 24, 2005
Men of Tomorrow/Gerard Jones
A well-written history of the superhero comic book, with emphasis on the exploits of the creators of Superman.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

March 17, 2005
Gilead/Marilynne Robinson
This second novel has been garnering raves for its quiet and complex story of a minister in the Midwest writing a letter to his young son, and recently won the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

March 10, 2005
Rising Up and Rising Down/William T. Vollman
A comprehensive multi-volume look at the nature of violence, also boiled down to a one-volume summary, brilliantly written and conceived, though often tough sledding. In this interview, Vollman also discusses his new short story collection, Europe Central.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

March 3, 2005
Shade/Neil Jordan
An atmospheric ghost story set in Ireland by the director more noted for films such as The Crying Game and Interview with The Vampire.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

February 24, 2004
The Whole Equation/David Thomson
The New Biographical Dictionary of Film/David Thomson. Part Two.

February 17, 2005
The Whole Equation/David Thomson
The New Biographical Dictionary of Film/David Thomson
A book-length essay about the history of Hollywood follows on the heels of an enormous and satisfying compendium of biographical pieces and short essays on everyone, in Thomson's estimation, worth writing about in the movie industry, past and present. The Dictionary is a must for every film buff to own.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

February 10, 2005
A Tale of Love and Darkness/Amos Oz
Part Two.

February 3, 2005
A Tale of Love and Darkness/Amos Oz
The noted Israeli novelist presents what his publishers call a memoir about his family's emigration to Israel and his own life growing up against the backdrop of Israeli independence.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

January 27, 2005
The Darling/Russell Banks
The  author of "The Sweet Hereafter" and "Affliction" returns with a superb novel about an '60s radical who winds up the wife of a bureaucrat in war-torn Liberia.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

January 20, 2005

January 13, 2005
Had A Good Time/Robert Olen Butler
Short stories based on a series of postcards collected by Pulitzer Prize winner Butler over the course of several years, all from the early years of the 20th Century.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

January 6, 2005
Will In The World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare/Stephen Greenblatt
Relating Shakespeare's life and times with his plays expands our knowledge of the playwright in a way that makes him more contemporary. A fascinating exploration.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.