2007 Program Archives and Book Reviews

A listing of books discussed and interviews conducted
on Bookwaves on Cover to Cover. All programs can be heard below or at  www.kpfa.org.  Because archived material is timed to begin exactly on the hour/half hour, recorded shows may start seconds or minutes after the link begins playing.
Bookwaves on
Cover to Cover

December 27, 2007
House of Meetings/Martin Amis
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.
Extended Web Edit

December 20, 2007
On Beauty/Zadie Smith
White Teeth/Zadie Smith
Rebroadcast from 2006.
Interviewer:  Richard Wolinsky..
Extended Web Edit

December 13, 2007
The Golden Compass/Philip Pullman
The Amber Spyglass/Philip Pullman
The Subtle Knife/Philip Pullman
A terrific fantasy series. The film The Golden Compass does not do justice to the quality of these books.
Interviewed in 2000 by Richard Wolinsky.
Hear the program

December 6, 2007
Brother I'm Dying/Edwidge Danticat
Superb memior of growing up in Haiti, and of the lives of Danticat's father and uncle.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.
Extended 40-minute web edit

November 29, 2007
Other Colors/Orhan Pamuk
The winner of the 2006 Nobel Prize in Literature with a collection of essays and short fiction. Pamuk is a marvelous writer, and this book offers an excellent introduction to his work..
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.
Extended 39-minute web edit

November 22, 2007
Run/Ann Patchett
Patchett's first novel in six years deals with race and class in Boston, and with the nature of family.
Interviewer/ Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended web edit
Spoiler Questions

November 15, 2007
Paul Krugman, Part Two

November 8, 2007
Zeroville/Steve Erickson
Amusing novel about a film editor in Hollywood during the '60s through the '80s by the film critic for Los Angeles magazine and a noted experimental author.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the 34-minute web edit

November 1, 2007
Conscience of a Liberal/Paul Krugman
The NY Times columnist's latest book details the relationshiip of economics and politics from the Gilded Age to the present day, with emphasis on how politics affects wealth disparities in America. Absolutely worthwhile and necessary reading.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the 49 minute web edit

October 25, 2007
Slam/Nick Hornby
A Long Way Down/Nick Hornby
Hornby's latest novel, Slam, focuses on teen pregnancy and its effects on members of the family, and particularly on a young skateboarder and his own passage to adulthood. Hornby's an easy read who has a firm grasp on emotional truth and detail., which is why his books are so popular. Slam is a standout.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the 33 minute web edit

October 18, 2007
The Nine/Jeffrey Toobin
CNN legal correspondent Toobin's book on the Supreme Court is a good summary of the past few years on the Court. Toobin's problem is something that afflicts the mainstream media at large: fear of taking any stand which could get criticized by the Right-wing Noise Machine.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended 31 minute web edit

October 11, 2007
Away/Amy Bloom
Normal/Amy Bloom
Bloom's latest novel, Away, tells the story of a Russian Jewish immigrant in the United States in the mid 1920s, and her journey west from New York. One of the best novels of the year, evocative of Doctorow's Ragtime.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended 32:23 edit

October 4, 2007
Engleby/Sebastian Faulks
Marvelous tour de force in which the lead character's voice is so fascinating that a reader wants to keep going and going, no matter where the plot leads.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended 37-minute edit

September 27, 2007
Loving Frank/Nancy Horan
Evocative novel looking at the early life of architect Frank Lloyd Wright from the perspective of his mistress Mamah Cheney, with a stunning climax.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended 33-minute edit
Hear the 6:40 spoiler questions

September 20, 2007
Reading Comics/Douglas Wolk
An examination of the history and current state of graphic novels, with focus on particular artists and writers. An often fascinating look at this burgeoning field.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the program

September 13, 2007
The New Moon's Arms/Nalo Hopkinson
A fantasy set on a fictional Caribbean island with current political undertones by an up and coming writer.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended 31-minute edit

September 6, 2007
Book Review Program
The Castle in the Forest/Norman Mailer. Dull and unnecessary fictionalized biography of the early life of Adolf Hitler. RW & RAL
Ministry of Special Cases/Nathan Englander. Superb novel about Argentina during the "dirty war." RW & RAL
The Yiddish Policemen's Union/Michael Chabon. Disappointing novel set in a fascinating alternate universe. RW & RAL.
My Dreams Out in the Street/Little Beauties/Kim Addonizio. Excellent gritty and uplifting short novels. RW
Sea of Trolls/Land of the Silver Apples/Nancy Farmer. Brilliant fantasy fiction. RAL
Dracula's Children/Richard Lortz. One of those "so bad it's fun" novels, but extremely hard to find. RAL
Reviewers: Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff

August 30, 2007
Spook Country/William Gibson
A novel set in the recent past as Cyberpunk master Gibson looks at our modern day world and the effects of technology on our consciousness. Accessible and fun.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

August 23, 2007
My Dreams Out in the Street/Kim Addonizio
Little Beauties/Kim Addonizio
My Dreams tells the story of a young woman living on the streets in San Francisco.  Little Beauties combines the tales of an obsessive compulsive woman and an unwed mother. Two well-crafted novels by the noted poet and performer.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the program

August 16, 2007
The Savior/Eugene Drucker
The noted violinist with the Emerson String Quartet combines his own musical background and his father's life story  in Nazi Germany in this compelling first novel.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

August 9, 2007
The Shadow Catcher/Marianne Wiggins
Cather combines the story of photographer Edward Curtis with fictionalized portions of Wiggins' own life. A stunning tour de force performance.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

August 2, 2007
Fund Drive Program: Part Two of interviews with Joyce Carol Oates and Michael Ondaatje.

July 26, 2007
October 1964/David Halberstam
The Best and the Brightest/David Halberstam
One of America's best journalists, Halberstam was killed in a car crash on April 23, 2007. His final piece was written for Vanity Fair and concerns the Bush Administration.
1994 Interview conducted by Richard Wolinsky & Richard Lupoff.
Hear the program

July 19, 2007
Divisadero/Michael Ondaatje
A complex and difficult novel that stretches through time and space to tell two stories that resonate with one another.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.
Hear the extended edit

July 12, 2007
Requiem for an Assassin/Barry Eisler
Eisler's John Rain series, about a free-lance assassin with growing moral qualms, is one of the best new series of thrillers currently being published. This book si the most recent.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

July 5, 2007
The Gravedigger's Daughter/Joyce Carol Oates
Oates digs into her own past for this novel based on the life of her grandmother. Intense and long, but rewarding in the end.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.
Hear the extended edit

June 28, 2007
Dream When You're Feeling Blue/Elizabeth Berg
A very entertaining novel about the home front during World War II from the perspective of two sisters in Chicago.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

June 21, 2007
Michael Tolliver Lives!/Armistead Maupin
A slight but very entertaining return to the world and people of "Tales of The City" as we follow Michael Mouse, now in his mid-50s and his old Barbary Lane pals in present day San Francisco.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

June 14, 2007
The Ministry of Special Cases/ Nathan Englander
Englander's first novel tells the story of the Disappeared in Argentina from the perspective of a Jewish family. Well-written and fascinating.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

June 7, 2007
When She Was White/Judlity Stone
The fascinating story of a young woman born to white parents in South Africa who became a victim of the apartheid system, limited by an awkward retelling.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

May 31, 2007
Leni: The Life and Work of Leni Riefenstahl/Steven Bach
A first-rate biography and examination of Nazi film maker Riefenstahl, whose work as propagandist has been emulated in recent years by the Bush Administration.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

May 24, 2007
The Mistress's Daughter/A.M. Homes
Novelist Homes first talked with her birth mother at the age of 32. What happened afterward, and Homes' feelings about adopting and other issues is the subject of this riveting memoir.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.
Hear the 35-minute extended edit

May 17, 2007
pre-empted for fund drive

May 10, 2007
Imperial Life in the Emerald City/Rajiv Chandrasekaran
This book by the former Baghdad correspondent for the Washington Post lays out the story of life in the Green Zone during the period of the American Provisional Government, 2003-2004 and may be the single most important book written about the failures of the Bush Administration. An absolute must-read.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the full program

May 3, 2007
Returning to Earth/Jim Harrison
The leading chronicler of life in Michigan's Upper Peninsula returns with a novel examining American attitudes toward death. Harrison is an American original, a writer's writer.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.
Hear the program

Friday April 27, 2007 (Open Book)
Past Perfect (play)/Nicky Silver
This playwright of several dark dramas often filled with screamingly funny dialogue is one of America's most interesting theatrical talents, and his plays, uneven or not, aren't to be missed. Past Perfect plays at Theatre Rhino in San Francisco until May 20th.
He is interviewed along with director John Dixon.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the program.

April 26, 2007
The New American Story/Bill Bradley
The former U.S. Senator (and basketball star) presents a series of solutions to today's problems, and castigates the Bush Administration along with faint-hearted Democrats in a book that ranges from fascinating to stultifying. The opening pages should be quickly skimmed to get to the good stuff.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Extended 44-minute web edit

April 19, 2007
Christine Falls/John Banville (as Benjamin Black)
The Sea/John Banville
The noted prose stylist tries his hand at a noir novel and succeeds brilliantly with Christine Falls, which takes place in Dublin and Boston in the 1950s. The Sea, which won the Man Booker Prize, is a gorgeous short novel.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Extended 45-minute web edit

April 12, 2007
Innocent Traitor/Alison Weir
The noted historian of Tudor and pre-Tudor England gets into the heads of various historical persons in this novelistic look at the life of Lady Jane Grey, England's 9-day teenaged queen. Despite that this is Weir's first attempt at novel writing, the book holds up very well as fiction and as history lesson.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Extended 40 minute web edit

April 5, 2007
Zoli/Colum McCann
Irish author McCann explores the life of a Roma poet in central Europe during the middle of the 20th Century in this fascinating novel.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Extended web edit

March 29, 2007
It Can Happen Here/Joe Conason
The columnist for salon.com and Air America regular's latest book lays out the authoritarian nature of the Bush Administration. Much of the material has been previously available, but as a whole, it's pretty damn frightening.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Extended web edit

March 22, 2007
Prime Green: Remembering The Sixties/Robert Stone
Novelist Stone's memoir about his life in the sixties as a beginning writer and as an early member of the Counterculture    is a fascinating and funny read.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
extended web edit

March 15, 2007
House of Meetings/Martin Amis
Koba the Dread/Martin Amis
Yellow Dog/Martin Amis
House of Meetings and Koba the Dread each deal with Stalin and the Gulags, the former as fiction, the latter as non-fiction. Koba should be read first, but both together form a scathing indictment of the Soviet experiment by one of Britain's most iconoclastic writers.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the program

March 8, 2007
Bushwhacked/Molly Ivins & Lou Dubose
In honor of International Women's Day, rebroadcast of a 2003 interview with the late Molly Ivins, conducted during her tour for the book Bushwhacked. Her comments remain relevant today..
Extended Web Edit

March 1, 2007
Cold Mountain/Charles Frazier
thirteen moons/Charles Frazier
Two novels about life in the Appalachian region in the nineteenth century, both atmospheric and dense. Thirteen Moons is less successful than the surprise best-seller Cold Mountain though it has its moments.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.
Extended Web Edit

February 22, 2007
Memorial/Bruce Wagner
A chronicler of Los Angeles culture and sensibility, Wagner's fascinating new novel deals with a family coping with drugs, ambition, old age and other issues.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.
Hear the program

February 15, 2007
In America/Susan Sontag
Susan Sontag (1933-2004), essayist, novelist, playwright, filmmaker and activist, came to the Bay Area on tour for what would be her final novel, In America. In this interview with Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff, Sontag talks about her new book, her feelings about America, and aspects of her creative environment. Recorded in San Francisco Mar 17, 2000.
Hear the program

February 8, 2007
Field Notes from a Catastrophe/Elizabeth Kolbert
Taken from articles originally written for The New Yorker, Field Notes is a concise and easy to read delineation of man-made global warming.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky (phone interview)
Extended Web Edit

February 1, 2007
Broadcast of 35-minute edit of Gore Vidal interview that first aired December 2006.
Hear the program

January 25, 2007
Reading Like a Writer/Francine Prose
A Changed Man/Francine Prose
A Changed Man is a marvelous novel about a neo-Nazi who decides to change sides and work with a human rights group. Reading Like A Writer analyzes several novels and stories to find the keys to good writing. Yes, it works, but it's also deadly dull at times.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Extended  34 minute web edit

January 18, 2007
A Simple Plan/Scott Smith
The Ruins/Scott Smith
The Ruins is a great horror novel in the tradition of Stephen King and Peter Straub, set against the backdrop of the Mexican jungle. No political import here (at least consciously), just a thrill ride.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the program

January 11, 2007
Moral DisorderMargaret Atwood
The Penelopiad/Margaret Atwood
The Tent/Margaret Atwood
Writing With Intent/Margaret Atwood
Moral Disorder is a novel masquerading as a short story collection based on events in Atwood's life. The Penelopiad is a marvelous retelling of The Odyssey from Penelope's perspective. Writing With Intent and The Tent are new collections: the former of recent essays and the latter of short undefinable pieces of prose.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended edit

January 4, 2007
Imperium/Robert Harris
Pompeii/Robert Harris
Fatherland/Robert Harris
Imperium is a fascinating novel about Cicero, the first professional politician, first of a trilogy. Pompeii is a thriller about water politics in ancient Rome, set against the backdrop of the impending eruption. Fatherland is a mystery set in an alternative universe where Nazi Germany won World War II. Harris is a superb novelist, and all his books are recommended.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky
Hear the extended 40-minute edit