Reader's Corner

KBSX News: Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. | KBSW News/Classical: Friday at 6 p.m.

Welcome to Reader’s Corner, a weekly radio show hosted by Boise State University President Bob Kustra that features lively conversations with some of the nation’s leading authors about issues and ideas that matter today. Join us each week at Reader’s Corner for thoughtful interviews centered around books and articles that help shape our world.

Coming up on Reader's Corner:

  • November 21 & 23 "Night Heron" by Adam Brookes
  • November 28 & 30 "The Parties Versus the People" by Mickey Edwards
  • December 5 & 7  "The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream" by Thomas Dyja
  • December 12 & 14  "Blood Telegram" by Gary Bass

Listen to Reader's Corner podcast on your iPhone or iPad with the free app.

Subscribe to the Reader's Corner email podcast.

For questions about Reader's Corner, or to access 2003-2010 interviews, please contact Janelle Brown, producer.

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Reader's Corner
5:38 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

Part 2: Idaho Author Anthony Doerr On Promoting 'All The Light We Cannot See'

In May, Anthony Doerr visited Reader's Corner to talk about his new novel, "All the Light We Cannot See." Ten years in the writing, the book tells the stories of a blind French girl and a German boy during World War II and how their lives eventually intertwine.

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Reader's Corner
3:00 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Football And Concussions: An Interview With 'League Of Denial' Author Steve Fainaru

"This program is an encore and was originally broadcast in November of 2013"

“Iron Mike” Webster was one of the most revered and beloved Pittsburgh Steelers of all time. The Hall of Fame center was a tough, hardworking and disciplined player who gave everything he had to football.

But after retiring from the NFL in 1990, he suffered a severe decline in both physical and mental health. When he died 12 years later at age 50, his body made one of its most significant contributions to the sport, and to the fellow players he loved.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Author Justin Vaughn On The Heroic Expectations Of The American President

The office of the President of the United States is among the most highly visible institutions anywhere in the world. The person who occupies the office is subject to intense scrutiny – and while some of that is negative, the president oftentimes also serves as a symbol of the hopes, dreams and aspirations of a diverse American citizenry.

But what happens when there is a disconnect between the high expectations Americans have for what their president can accomplish, and the reality of how the office functions in today’s Washington?

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Reader's Corner
11:23 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Author Robert K. Fitts On American Baseball's 1934 Tour Of Japan

The power of sports to mend rifts between nations and establish bonds of friendship and understanding was put to the test in 1934, when a group of Major League baseball players, including Babe Ruth, traveled to Japan to play a series of 18 exhibition games in 12 cities.

The Americans squared off against their Japanese rivals in contests that drew thousands of enthusiastic spectators. The crowd’s biggest cheers often went to Ruth, who was revered in Japan as the jovial demigod of baseball.

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Reader's Corner
4:31 pm
Fri May 30, 2014

Remembering D-Day With Author And Historian John C. McManus

June 6, 2014 marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion on the beaches of Normandy that turned the tide of fighting in World War II Europe and led to an Allied victory. 

John C. McManus, offers an insider’s look at just one of the five beaches taken by Allied troops in his new book,  "The Dead and Those About to Die — D-Day: The Big Red One at Omaha Beach."

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Author Gary Bass Examines Cold War Foreign Policy In Asia

It’s no secret that the zero-sum game of Cold War politics often led U.S. policymakers into global alliances that had more to do with anti-communist expediency than lofty democratic ideals. One relatively unknown Cold War episode involves the 1971 atrocities against the Hindus of Bangladesh that led to war between India and a U.S.-supported military dictatorship in Pakistan.

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Reader's Corner
4:29 pm
Fri May 16, 2014

'The Vatican Diaries' Author John Thavis Offers An Insider's Look At The Catholic Church

For John Thavis, the timing couldn’t have been better. His book, “The Vatican Diaries: A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Power, Personalities and Politics at the Heart of the Catholic Church,” was released in February 2013, just as Pope Benedict XVI announced he would be the first pope in 600 years to resign.

It was a stroke of luck that put his book – the culmination of nearly 30 years as a journalist covering the Vatican – in exactly the right place at the right time.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri May 9, 2014

Former Congressman Mickey Edwards On The Downside Of Partisan Politics

Fans of novels depicting dystopian societies need look no further than our nation’s Congress for real-life examples of governance run amok. That’s the message from our guest, former U.S. Representative Mickey Edwards, author of "The Parties Versus the People: How to Turn Republicans and Democrats into Americans."

Edwards argues that blind allegiance to party affiliation has turned lawmakers into followers rather than leaders, with many voting their party line more than 90 percent of the time.

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Reader's Corner
4:40 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

Idaho Author Anthony Doerr On His Much Anticipated Newest Novel

The author of two short story collections, a memoir, and now two novels, Anthony Doerr’s fiction has won a raft of awards. He is the recipient of four O. Henry Prizes, three Pushcart Prizes, the Rome Prize, a Guggenheim fellowship, the National Magazine award and the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award, the largest prize in the world for a single short story.

Anthony Doerr's much anticipated new novel, "All the Light We Cannot See,"  was recently released.

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Reader's Corner
5:00 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Journalist Amanda Ripley On The Current State Of Education

Preparing students to excel in a fast-changing world is a concern for many nations. Some countries, including our own, have implemented a variety of education reforms over recent decades, only to see piddling results. Others, including  Finland, South Korea and Poland, have realized major gains.

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Reader's Corner
8:09 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Event With "Smartest Kids" Author Amanda Ripley Is April 30

KBSX 91.5 recently broadcast on an episode of Reader's Corner with Author Amanda Ripley. The program mentioned her upcoming presentation at Boise State University. The event will take place Wednesday, April 30 at 7 p.m. at Taco Bell Arena at Boise State University. 

Click here for more information.

Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

History And Relevance Of Earth Day With Author Adam Rome

Earth Day 2014 is Tuesday, and celebrations are planned across our nation and around the world, including here at Boise State. Forty-four years after it was first launched, this annual event continues to evolve, attract new participants and raise awareness about environmental issues. What many may not realize is that Earth Day also played a major role in the birth of the modern environmental movement.  

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Reader's Corner
2:27 pm
Fri April 11, 2014

An Interview With "Frozen In Time" Author Mitchell Zuckoff

In November of 1942, a U.S. cargo plane on a routine flight crashed into the Greenland ice cap, setting in motion an extraordinary chain of events. Four days after the crash, a B-17 searching for the missing cargo plane also went down in a blinding storm. All nine crewmembers survived the crash, and an amphibious Grumman Duck was sent on a daring rescue mission to bring them home. After picking up one member of the B-17 crew, the rescuers of this third flight flew into a severe storm and vanished.

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Reader's Corner
12:51 pm
Fri March 28, 2014

Two Journalists Civil War Odyssey With Author Peter Carlson

History books are full of stories about the dangers and deprivations endured by soldiers who fought in the Civil War. What may be less well known are the challenges faced by journalists of the day who risked everything to get to the front lines of battle.

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Reader's Corner
7:43 am
Fri March 14, 2014

The Real History Of Bunker Hill With Nathanial Philbrick

On June 17th, 1775, a ragtag army of colonial patriots faced off against the most powerful army of the 18th century. Their goal was to prevent the British regulars from occupying the hills surrounding Boston in order to put an end to a months-long siege of the city. What ensued proved to be the bloodiest battle of the Revolution, and marked a tipping point for the colonists.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

Author Ian Buruma On 1945 And The World After WWII

Stories about the heroics of World War II are deeply embedded in our popular culture. But the Hollywood storyline seldom reflects on the struggles of those left to survive amid the ruins of what was likely the most destructive war in human history.

In his new book “Year Zero: A History of 1945,” Ian Buruma examines the desperation and upheaval left in the wake of the war’s near complete rending of society’s fabric across large swaths of Europe and Asia.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

An Historic And Lonely Crusade For Wildlife With Stefan Bechtel

In 1886, William Temple Hornaday set out for the untamed West to collect American bison specimens for the U.S. National Museum. Just a few years earlier the bison herds of North America had been estimated in the millions.

But Hornaday had a hunch that had changed. He was right. The taxidermist was barely able to find enough specimens to preserve for the museum, and the rapid slaughter of America’s bison herds would drive him try to fight for their survival and that of other wildlife for the rest of his life.

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Literacy Educator Jeffrey Wilhelm Says Let Kids Read What They Want

Research shows that kids who read well do better in school and have a distinct advantage in developing communication and logical thinking skills. Avid readers also tend to be more engaged in the world around them.

But how do you get young people to want to read? Today’s guest, Jeffrey Wilhelm, believes that kids and adolescents should be allowed to choose at least some of the books they read for school, so that their reading adds meaning to their lives.

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Reader's Corner
12:26 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

Remembering Bethine Church And Her Passion For People And Politics

Bethine Church was widow of Senator Frank Church and would have turned 91 on Feb. 19 2014, she died on Dec. 21, 2013 at her home in Boise. Bethine was one of Idaho’s sweethearts and a political powerhouse in her own right. Her contributions to Idaho and its institutions are numerous and include being the founder and chair of The Frank Church Institute at Boise State University.

Shortly after the launch of this weekly radio show in 2003, Bethine Church was a guest and we spoke about her new memoir, “A Lifelong Affair: My Passion for People and Politics.” 

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Reader's Corner
6:00 pm
Fri February 7, 2014

Why American Kids Aren't The Smartest In The World With Author Amanda Ripley

Preparing students to excel in a fast-changing world is a concern for many nations.  Some countries, including our own, have implemented a variety of education reforms over recent decades, only to see piddling results. Others, including  Finland, South Korea and Poland, have realized major gains.

Read more

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