Books

This interview was originally broadcast in May, 2014.

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.

Doerr's latest novel, "All the Light We Cannot See,"  was recently a finalist for the National Book Award for Fiction.

This Reader's Corner interview was originally broadcast in May, 2014

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.

In a brutal labor camp in a remote part of western China, a man imprisoned for 20 years plots his escape.  In Beijing, an ambitious foreign correspondent stumbles into a web of secrets that are more valuable than he ever dreams. And in London, British intelligence agents who bear little resemblance to James Bond scramble to pursue a surprising and intriguing lead.

Nick Symmonds has won his share of races, but he often gets as much attention for what he does off the track.

Symmonds is a two-time Olympian, a World Championship medalist and a multi-title winner in college, but he rubs some people the wrong way because he rails against the organizations that govern track and field and he speaks out on issues such as gun control.

The National Book Award is one of the highest honors an American writer can receive; second only perhaps to the Pulitzer Prize. This week, Boise-based author Anthony Doerr will find out if he can add National Book Award winner to his resume. Doerr’s novel “All The Light We Cannot See” is one of five finalists in fiction.

A Northwest writer is this year’s winner of a prestigious PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize. Spokane’s Shawn Vestal won the prize for debut fiction Monday night in New York.

The West Ada School District in southwest Idaho has put a National Book Award winning novel back in the curriculum after removing it six months ago amid parent complaints.

Trustees on Tuesday voted unanimously to put "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie on the supplemental reading list that teachers can select from.

The novel is narrated by a 14-year-old whose transfer makes him the only Native American in an all-white school. Objections are based on discussions of sex, abuse, alcoholism, or on racist or profane statements from characters.

Courtesy Idaho State Historical Society

A new collection of vintage photographs is highlighting Idaho's historic old penitentiary which was home to bank robbers, assassins, horse thieves and moonshiners for more than 100 years. The fortress-like Old Pen has long been a staple in east Boise, and it's now a place for tourists instead of criminals.

Businesses seeking to increase productivity, athletes striving to improve their performance, and couples intent on strengthening their relationship share this in common: To get what they’re after, they’ll need more than motivation. They’ll need commitment.

Heidi Reeder is an expert on how commitment enables organizations and individuals to reach their goals. Her new book, "Commit to Win," unpacks 40 years of research by psychologists and economists to bust the many myths about commitment and explain why it’s important.

Many Americans can still remember where they were on November 22, 1963, the day that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas. Gerald “Jerry” Blaine remembers exactly where he was; in Austin, when a fellow Secret Service Agent pounded on his door saying the President had been hit.

Blaine was a Special Agent of the Secret Service, it was his job to protect the President from harm.

He’ll be in Meridian Monday to give two talks about  the day that's forever inked in history books.

Isabelle Selby

When we spoke to Idaho author Anthony Doerr in 2010 about his award winning book "Memory Wall," we asked him what his next novel would be about. 

“It’s about radio of all things,” Doerr answered. “It’s about the power of radio. I’m just trying to bring a reader back to that time when it was still kind of a miracle to hear the voice of a stranger in your home.”

Maryland Gov Pics / Flickr Creative Commons

Students in Meridian will have a chance to get a free copy of Sherman Alexie's book "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" after the school board voted to remove the novel from its curriculum.

Two women in Washington have raised enough money to send 350 copies of a controversial book by Sherman Alexie to students in Meridian, Idaho.

Trustees at the Meridian School District in southwest Idaho have voted to remove an award winning novel from the school's curriculum after some parents complained.

The Idaho Statesman reports in a story on Wednesday that trustees voted 2-1 to keep in place a hold on "The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian" by Sherman Alexie.

The National Book Award winning novel is narrated by a 14-year-old whose transfer makes him the only Native American in an all-white school.

During World War II, a small group of British and American scientists worked tirelessly to defeat the German U-boats that were wreaking havoc on allied commerce. Armed with a dogged determination and a fair amount of mathematics, physics and probability theory, they forged the new field of operational research and forever changed how wars were fought and won.

Steve Stuebner

The Owyhee Canyonlands cover more than 5 million acres of rugged landscape in southern Idaho and eastern Oregon.

Few hikers and campers venture into this desert wilderness because there aren't many trail signs or information.

Steve Stuebner teamed up with photographer Mark Lisk to create a guidebook for the Canyonlands. Their new book, The Owyhee Canyonlands: An Outdoor Adventure Guide, details 55 hiking and biking trails.

Patti Murphy
Courtesy Patti Murphy

This Sunday we celebrate our mothers - the ones who raised us, guided us and imparted words of wisdom. Boise author Patti Murphy knows quite a bit about those words of wisdom.  Her new book Mother Knows Better – Sense and Nonsense from American Moms is a collection of what she calls “momisms.”

“They’re the things that moms use to kind of either teach a lesson or encourage some behavior change,” Murphy explains. “Most people have heard the momism ‘Always wear clear underwear in case you get into a wreck.’ They are just things that people remembered their moms saying.”

Randi Anglin / Courtesy of Algonquin Books

The author Robert Morgan’s latest book tells the story of ten American legends who were deeply involved in westward expansion. The Ithaca, New York based writer is in Boise tonight to read from his book Lions of the West: Heroes and Villains of the Westward Expansion.

Morgan divides Lions of the West into nine chapters, each one devoted to one figure of America’s Manifest Destiny. He begins with Thomas Jefferson and ends with Nicholas Trist who fell in love with Jefferson’s daughter.