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For several years, panelists have gathered on Wednesday evenings on KZUM 89.3 FM to discuss contemporary and classic literature. As described on the radio station's internet page, "BookTalk on KZUM 89.3 is a variety show about books and stories on KZUM, Lincoln’s community radio station. Booktalkers are the people who love to read and love to talk about what we read. We interview authors, review best sellers and classics, read excerpts, and talk about the Web sites that book lovers are haunting." Several library staff members have served as guests or hosts of these literary discussions at various times. New episodes air every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. local time.

The following is a partial listing of books discussed on episodes of Booktalk during 2006, based on the information currently available. We will attempt to fill in the gaps in this listing as additional information is made available to us.

December 27

book cover  Title Discussed: The Stand
by Stephen King

Originally published in 1978, this is an epic novel of global catastrophe and survival. Just one small glitch brings the death of 99% of the world population, the survivors must decide how they will cope and which side they will choose. To quote the book jacket, "The Stand is a story of dark wonders and irresistible terror, an epic of final confrontation between Good and Evil."

Participants: Sally Snyder, Judd Smith

December 20

book cover  Title Discussed: The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business is Selling Less of More
by Chris Anderson [658.8 And]

In one of the most important business book since The Tipping Point, Chris Anderson shows how the future of commerce and culture isn't in hits, the high-volume head of a traditional demand curve, but in what used to be regarded as misses - the endlessly long tail of that same curve.

Participants: Layne Pierce, Scott Clark

December 13

book cover  Title Discussed: Take This Job and Ship It
by Byron Dorgan

BookTalker John Keller recently interviewed Senator Byran Dorgan, North Dakota, about his new book "Take this job and Ship It." Sen. Dorgan addresses his concerns about the outsourcing of America's jobs and the drastic effect on America's workforce.

Participants: John Keller, Byron Dorgan [recorded interview]

December 6 -- pre-empted


November 29

book cover  Title Discussed: I Believe in Unicorns
by Michael Morpurgo

In this new Children's book, Tomas, a boy who loves to roam the mountains near his town is urged by his mother to visit the library. There he discovers the magic of stories. When war comes to his town, all who can flee to the hills while airplanes drop bombs. He worries about his father and others while he waits for the planes to leave. This book is based on a true event the author learned of while visiting Russia.

Participants: Nancy Smith, Diane Henninger, Sally Snyde

November 22

book cover  Title Discussed: Book Lust: Recommended Reading for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason, Sasquatch Books (2003) and More Book Lust: 1,000 New Reading Recommendations for Every Mood, Moment, and Reason
by Nancy Pearl

Taped interview with Nancy Pearl, the former director of the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library, who reviews books regularly on NPR's Morning Edition. The discussion touches on dozens of reading recommendations and shows the Pearl's wide range of reading, as is to be expected from the winner of the Public Library Associations 2001 Allie Beth Martin Award, which recognizes a public librarian demonstrating a range and depth of knowledge about books and other library materials and the distinguished ability to share that knowledge." As the model for the Librarian Action Figure, she says, "The role of a librarian is to make sense of the world of information. If that's not a qualification for the superhero-dom, what is?"

November 15

BookGuide logo  Topic Discussed: Althought no specific books were discussed, Lisa and Scott, from the Lincoln City Libraries, talked about new services and features of the libraries' BookGuide web site that will help readers find good books and recorded books.

Participants: Lisa Voss, Scott Clark, Mary Jo Ryan

November 8

book cover  Title Discussed: For One More Day
by Mitch Albom

A lost soul decides to take his life. But somewhere between this world and the next, he encounters his deceased mother and gets to spend one last day with her. Booktalkers will explore this story and the questions he asks of her--questions that many of us yearn to ask those we've lost (and never thought to ask while they are alive).

Participants: Fran Reinehr, Mary Jo Ryan, John and Kit Keller
[Also available in audiotape, book-on-cd [abridged or unabridged], and Large Print formats.]

November 1

book cover  Title Discussed: Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour: Armistice Day, 1918, World War I and Its Violent Climax
by Joseph Persico
November 11, 1918. The final hours pulsate with tension as every man in the trenches hopes to escape the melancholy distinction of being the last to die in World War I. The Allied generals knew the fighting would end precisely at 11:00 A.M, yet in the final hours they flung men against an already beaten Germany. The result? Eleven thousand casualties suffered–more than during the D-Day invasion of Normandy. Why? Allied commanders wanted to punish the enemy to the very last moment and career officers saw a fast-fading chance for glory and promotion. Joseph E. Persico puts the reader in the trenches with the forgotten and the famous–among the latter, Corporal Adolf Hitler, Captain Harry Truman, and Colonels Douglas MacArthur and George Patton. Mainly, he follows ordinary soldiers’ lives, illuminating their fate as the end approaches. Persico sets the last day of the war in historic context with a gripping reprise of all that led up to it, from the 1914 assassination of the Austrian archduke, Franz Ferdinand, which ignited the war, to the raw racism black doughboys endured except when ordered to advance and die in the war’s last hour. Persico recounts the war’s bloody climax in a cinematic style that evokes All Quiet on the Western Front, Grand Illusion, and Paths of Glory. The pointless fighting on the last day of the war is the perfect metaphor for the four years that preceded it, years of senseless slaughter for hollow purposes. This book is sure to become the definitive history of the end of a conflict Winston Churchill called “the hardest, cruelest, and least-rewarded of all the wars that have been fought.”

Participants: Layne Pierce, Carlene Putens, Bill Vandermel
[Also available in unabridged audiotape format.]

October 25

book cover  Title Discussed: Static: Government Liars, Media Cheerleaders, and the People Who Fight Back
by Amy and David Goodman

Recorded Interview: Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman and her author brother, David, follow up their bestseller The Exception to the Rulers by again synthesizing radio interviews and commentary with secondary sources on issues that the corporate media too often overlook. This interview was taped during the Goodmans' visit to Lincoln September 30.

October 18

book cover  Title Discussed: The Keep
by Jennifer Egan

Two cousins, devastated by a childhood prank, reunite twenty years later to renovate a castle in Eastern Europe. The fortress has a bloody history that stretches back hundreds of years. Amid extreme paranoia and eerie silence, the men reenact the signal event of their youth, with even more catastrophic results. And as the full horror of their predicament unfolds, a third party - a prisoner, jailed for an unnamed crime - recounts an unforgettable story that brings the crimes of the past and present into stunning alignment.

Participants: Carol Swanson, Bill VanderMel, Deanne Johnson

October 11

book cover  Title Discussed: The Plot Against America
by Philip Roth

Booktalkers discuss how in this book the author imagines what might have happened if Charles Lindbergh defeated Franklin Roosevelt for the U.S . Presidency. Although a work of fiction, Roth's protagonist is named Philip Roth, and the book is the story of the Roth family in Brooklyn in the 1940s.

Participants: John and Kit Keller, Mary Jo Ryan, Fran Reinehr
[Also available in unabridged audiotape, book-on-cd, and Large Print formats.]

October 4

book cover  Title Discussed: The Devil in the White City
by Erik Larson

Bringing Chicago circa 1893 to vivid life, Erik Larson's spellbinding bestseller intertwines the true tale of two men--the brilliant architect behind the legendary 1893 World's Fair, striving to secure America’s place in the world; and the cunning serial killer who used the fair to lure his victims to their death. Combining meticulous research with nail-biting storytelling, Erik Larson has crafted a narrative with all the wonder of newly discovered history and the thrills of the best fiction.

Participants: Layne Pierce, Carol Swanson, Bill Vandermel, Kit and John Keller
[Also available in unabridged audiotape, book-on-cd formats.]

September 27

book cover  Title Discussed: Show Way
by Jacqueline Woodson

Participants: Mary Reiman, Lincoln Public School Director of Library Media Services, and Karla Wendelin

Mary Reiman and Karla Wendelin will talk about the books of Award-winning author Jacqueline Woodson, who will be speaking at North Star High School (5801 N. 33rd St.) on Wednesday, October 4, at 7:30 p.m. Woodson is the recipient of the 2006 Margaret A. Edwards Award for lifetime achievement in writing for teens. She is the author of Show Way, a 2006 Newbery Honor Book, illustrated by Hudson Talbott, and Coming On Home Soon, a 2005 Caldecott Honor Book, illustrated by E.B. Lewis. Among her other honors are two finalists for the National Book Award: Locomotion, a 2006-7 Nebraska Golden Sower Award nominee in grades 4-6, and Hush, a previous Golden Sower Young Adult nominee; and a Coretta Scott King Award for Miracle’s Boys. This event is free to the public.

September 20

book cover  Title Discussed: The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden History of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe V. Wade
by Ann Fessler

Participants: Carol Swanson, Carlene Putens

September 13

book cover  Title Discussed: The Floor of the Sky
by Pamela Carter Joern
Mary Jo Ryan and Fran Reinehr will join Kit and John Keller for a discussion of a new book from the University of Nebraska Press Flyover Fiction Series. In The Floor of the Sky, by Pamela Carter Joern, the Nebraska Sandhills serve as the setting for a great survival story with a vivid cast of characters.

Participants: Mary Jo Ryan, Fran Reinehr, Kit and John Keller

September 6

book cover  Title Discussed: Triangle
by Katherine Weber
Esther Gottesfeld is the last living survivor of the notorious 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire and has told her story countless times in the span of her lifetime. Even so, her death at the age of 106 leaves unanswered many questions about what happened that fateful day. How did she manage to survive the fire when at least 146 workers, most of them women, her sister and fiancé among them, burned or jumped to their deaths from the sweatshop inferno? Are the discrepancies in her various accounts over the years just ordinary human fallacy, or is there a hidden story in Esther's recollections of that terrible day? Esther's granddaughter Rebecca Gottesfeld, with her partner George Botkin, an ingenious composer, seek to unravel the facts of the matter while Ruth Zion, a zealous feminist historian of the fire, bores in on them with her own mole-like agenda. A brilliant, haunting novel about one of the most terrible tragedies in early-twentieth-century America, Triangle forces us to consider how we tell our stories, how we hear them, and how history is forged from unverifiable truths.

Participants: Carol Swanson, Layne Pierce, Carlene Putens

August 30

book cover  Title Discussed: The Lothar's Blade trilogy: The Forging of the Blade, The Secrets of Grim Wood and The True Blade of Power
by R.L. Lafevers
Things are getting worse in the land of Lowthar, but Kenric doesn't really know how bad until he leaves his village to try to find his father. Soon Kenric is embroiled in the battle against evil in this fantasy trilogy for elementary school age youth.

Participants: Sally Snyder and Sam Pinnell

August 23

book cover  Title Discussed: The Whole World Over
by Julia Glass

Participants: Mary Jo Ryan, Fran Reinehr, Kit and John Keller
[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd format.]

August 16

book cover  Title Discussed: The Poe Shadow
by Matthew Pearl
This mystery, set in 1849 Baltimore, revolves around a search for answers to the puzzling circumstances around Edgar Allan Poe's death. Since Poe's own stories may hold the key, this should prove to be a great discussion for fans of Poe's fictional detective character, C. Auguste Dupin, and mystery lovers in general.

Participants: Layne Pierce, Carlene Putens and Carol Swanson
[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd format.]

August 9

book cover  Title Discussed: Digging to America
by Anne Tyler

Participants: Mary Jo Ryan, Fran Reinehr, Kit and John Keller
[Also available in audiotape, book-on-cd [abridged or unabridged], and Large Print formats.]

August 2

book cover  Title Discussed: A Crack in the Edge of the World
by Simon Winchester [979.46 Win]

Participants: Carol Swanson
[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd format.]

July 26

book cover  Title Discussed: The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane
by Kate DiCamillo
A new childrens book: A vain and cold china rabbit, Edward is loved by the girl Abilene Tulane, but he cares only for himself. A series of mishaps and intentional acts sends him out into the world to learn about love and caring. Beautifully written.

Participants: Sally Snyder, with guests 9-year-old Paige and her mother Jen

July 19

book cover  Title Discussed: The Glass Castle: A Memoir
by Jeanette Walls [B W1547]
In addition to discussing this One Book One Lincoln nominee, the participants will also be discussing the entire OBOL process and the other four nominees.

Participants: Carol Swanson, Carlene Putens, Kit and John Keller
[The Glass Castle is also available in audiotape, book-on-cd [abridged or unabridged], and Large Print formats.]

June 28

book cover  Title Discussed: La Malinche: A Novel
by Laura Esquivel -- This fictional story is based on the life of the controversial Mexican woman, sold into slavery as a child and serving as Cortes' translator and concubine during the brutal Spanish conquest of Mexico. Join us for a discussion of this latest offering from this lyrical writer.

Participants: Sally Snyder, Nancy Smith and Mary Jo Ryan

June 21

book cover  A lively discussion of the writing of Clive Cussler. Cussler is internationally acknowledged as the master of the American action/adventure novel, with nearly 100 million copies of his best-selling Dirk Pitt® novels in print. Join us for a discussion of the writing of this highly successful author, whose real life sounds like the back-story for his famous action hero.

Participants: Carol Swanson, Carlene Putens, Layne Pierce and Kit and John Keller

June 14

book cover  Title Discussed: Falling in Love With Natassia
by Anna Monarda

Participants: Mary Jo Ryan, John Keller, Kit Keller and Anna Monarda

June 7

book cover  Title Discussed: Freakonomics
by Stephen D. Levitt

Participants: Carol Swanson, Layne Pierce and Carlene Putens
[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd format.]

May 31

book cover  Topic Discussed: Mary Jackson and Sally Snyder will join Mary Jo Ryan on Booktalk to talk about books that have been selected for Coretta Scott King book awards. These Booktalkers will take a look at award-winning books and honor books. This award is given to an African American author and an African American illustrator for an outstandingly inspirational and educational contribution. The books promote understanding and appreciation of the culture of all peoples and their contribution to the realization of the American dream. The Award also commemorates the life and works of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and honors Mrs. Coretta Scott King for her work for peace and world brotherhood. Join us for a discussion of these outstanding books.

Participants: Mary Jackson, Sally Snyder, Mary Jo Ryan

May 24

[ Pre-empted on this date ]

May 17

TITLE - Cover  Title Discussed: Zorro
by Isabel Allende

Participants: Layne Pierce, Carol Swanson and Carlene Putens

May 10

TITLE - Cover  Title Discussed: Our guest is Tim Kettler (a participant in the NLHA spelling bee and a lecturer at UNL). We'll talk about Ishmael and other work of author Daniel Quinn.

Participants: Tim Kettler

May 3

TITLE - Cover  Title Discussed: The City: A Global History
by Joel Kotkin [307.76 Kot]

In 160 pages, Kotkin covers the historical development of cities from ancient Ur to the present, and even talks of the future of cities. The book is inciteful, and an easy read.

Participants: Layne Pierce, Carlene Putens

April 26

no cover image  Title Discussed: The Zombie Survival Guide
by Max Brooks

Participants: Sally Snyder, Judd Smith

April 19

no cover image  Topic Discussed: Mystery Fiction!

Participants: Carol Swanson

April 12

no cover image  Topic Discussed: On Wednesday, April 12, we celebrated April as National Poetry Month by reading and talking about poetry, with selections from both local and poets as well as poets from around the world. With the Poet Laureate of the United States living in Nebraska, this is a special year for National Poetry Month!

April 5

Nebraska Summer Writers Conference - Logo  Jonis Agee, Director of the Nebraska Summer Writers' Conference. Discussion included information about the conference events, as well as discussion of the works of some of the participating authors. Information about the conference is available here: Nebraska Summer Writers' Conference.

Participants: Jonis Agee

March 29

TITLE - Cover  Richard Miller and Sally Snyder joined John and Kit Keller to talk about An America Plague: The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793, by Jim Murphy. With the world currently facing a world-wide pandemic of bird flu, these Booktalkers will take an interesting look back at how our ancestors dealt with mass epidemics. Join us for a discussion of this award-winning book that describes how Philadelphia, then our nation's capital, tried to cope with horrifying disease when medical knowledge was considerably less advanced.

Participants: John, Kit, Richard Miller and Sally Snyder

March 22

TITLE - Cover  Layne Pierce, Scott Clark, and Rebecca Lee joined John to talk about the April 8 Turning the Pages of Romance conference, and the books and authors that will be featured. This Lincoln conference, sponsored by Lincoln City Libraries and Omaha Public Library, features award-winning and USA Today Bestselling author Rachel Gibson, the author of eight contemporary romance novels and novellas, including the just-released Sex, Lies and Online Dating.

Participants: John, Kit, Layne, Scott Clark and Rebecca Lee

March 15

no cover image  Title Discussed: The Madonnas of Leningrad
by Debra Dean

Carol Swanson and Barbara Rixstine joined John and Kit Keller to talk about The Madonnas of Leningrad: A Novel, by Debra Dean. This book explores the life of Russian émigré, 82-year-old Marina Buriakov. The Booktalkers are really enthusiastic about this compelling story, which spans the time before World War II, when Marina served as a docent at the State Hermitage Museum, through her current challenges as she prepares for her granddaughter's wedding near Seattle.

Participants: Carol, Barb, Kit and John

March 8

no cover image  Booktalk featured a taped reading by Lincoln Poet Michael Dumanis. This very entertaining reading was taped on March 1 at the Nebraska Literary Heritage Association's Lunch at the Library presentation in Lincoln City Libraries. Michael Dumanis was born in 1976 in Moscow, in the former Soviet Union, and grew up in Buffalo and Rochester, New York. His poems have appeared in American Letters & Commentary, Black Warrior Review, Denver Quarterly, New England Review, Verse, and many other journals. He is an Assistant Professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University.

March 1

book cover  Title Discussed: Teacher Man
by Frank McCourt

Fran Reinehr joined John and Kit Keller and Mary Jo Ryan on Booktalk to discuss Teacher Man, by Frank McCourt.For thirty years Frank McCourt taught high school English in New York City. In this volume of his biography, he entertainingly relates the stories of his teaching experiences and his ongoing struggle to understand the true nature of education. He discovered that by revealing himself to his students, he could free them to discover learning experiences that had nothing to do with memorizing or passing tests.

Participants: Kit, Mary Jo, John and Fran
[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd and Downloadable audio formats.]

February 22

book cover  Title Discussed: Our Endangered Values: America's Moral Crisis
by Jimmy Carter

Participants: Kit, Mary Jo, and Fran
[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd and Downloadable audio formats.]

February 15

book cover  Titles Discussed: Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference and Blink [the Power of Thinking Without Thinking]
by Malcolm Gladwell

Participants: Carol, Layne and Carlene
[Blink is also available in unabridged audiotape, book-on-cd formats. The Tipping Point is also available in unabridged book-on-cd format]

February 8

TITLE - Cover  Title Discussed: Rain Dogs
by Sean Doolittle

Participants: Mary Jo, Kit and Sean Doolittle

related lists See more information in our Sean Doolittle booklist


February 1

book cover  Title Discussed: French Women Don't Get Fat
by Mireille Guilano

Participants: Sally and Mary Jackson
[Also available in abridged audiotape format.]

related lists This was a past selection on our Read...Discuss...Repeat! page


January 25

book cover  Title Discussed: Forever Odd
by Dean Koontz

Participants: Sally and Nancy Smith
[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd and Large Print formats.]

January 18

book cover  Title Discussed: Widow of the South
by Robert Hicks

Participants: Carol, Layne and Carlene
[Also available in unabridged book-on-cd format.]

January 11

book cover  Titles Discussed: The Breakdown Lane
by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Julie & Julia by Julie Powell, Against the Gods by Peter L. Bernstein

Participants: Kit
[The Breakdown Lane is also available in unabridged book-on-cd [abridged or unabridged], and Large Print formats. Julie & Julia is also available in abridged book-on-cd format.]

January 4

book cover  Title Discussed: Memoirs of a Geisha
by Arthur Golden

Participants: Mary Jo, Fran and Kit
[Also available in unabridged audiotape, book-on-cd and abridged book-on-cd formats.]

Other past KZUM Booktalk pages:

Past Years: Master Index | 2009 | 2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005

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