Books

Emily Ruskovich’s novel, Idaho, begins with a family in northern Idaho who experiences an unthinkable, mysterious tragedy. Left behind is a mother of two in prison, and another woman — who barely knows her — trying to make sense of it all. It seems impossible that the two little girls who once played together in the open fields of beautiful Mt. Iris are gone.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

Before the Hells Canyon National Recreation Area became a backcountry paradise for outdoor adventures, families up and down the Snake River called it home.

Plucky families, including Lem and Doris Wilson, made a go of sheep ranching in a very primitive environment that had no electricity, no refrigerators and no modern conveniences. In 1951 the family of four moved onto a 4,000 acre ranch in the canyon, several miles away from Grangeville, with 1,200 sheep for company.

Zondervan/Harper Collins

What happens when you turn off the internet for a year? That’s what author Esther Emery wanted to find out a few years ago when she cut the cord to all electronic devices.

Emery and her husband lived in Idaho, met in the Panhandle, and later moved to southern California. She had a successful career. But marital infidelity, giving up her job to become a stay at home mom and a sudden move to the east coast rocked her life.

She found her video screens became an addiction.

Many of us remember reading The Great Gatsby in our high school English class – and not exactly loving it. What was it about this slim novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald that was supposedly so great, we wondered. And more to the point, why had it remained popular while other worthy books had slowly faded away?

Every new technology has its critics. Whether it’s a fancy new digital gadget with a seemingly endless number of functions, or an addictive new app for your Smart Phone, the latest and greatest inventions can sometimes give us reason to pause.

Years ago, Clive Thompson was pessimistic about the impact of new technologies like the Internet on modern life, too. But over time, his opinion changed as he observed how new digital tools enabled people to be more creative and effective.

courtesy Kristen Tracy

Author Kristen Tracy is coming to Idaho to promote her newest book, Project Unpopular. She’ll be doing a presentation at Boise’s Rediscovered Books June 16 at 7:00 pm. Talking about the book in the state is appropriate since, like many of the California-based writer's works, it is set in Idaho.  

Lacey Daley / Boise State Public Radio

With this year’s fifth Treefort Music Fest came the third installment of Storyfort, a mini fort whose main focus is the literary arts scene in Boise.

Founder Christian Winn, a local writer and adjunct professor at Boise State, says the main idea behind Storyfort is to bring great narrative in a variety of compelling genres to the crowds already gathered and coming out for Treefort.

This interview was originally broadcast in February of 2015

The epic battle between man and machine has long been part of our culture, folklore and philosophy. But bestselling author Nicholas Carr makes the case that increasing automation is raising the stakes in this battle– and he is not at all sure we will remain masters of our creations.

In his book, "The Glass Cage: Automation and Us," Carr explores how a growing reliance on computers and computer software is rapidly changing the way Americans live, play, work and learn.

A Coeur d'Alene committee is taking on the American classics.

A district curriculum review committee has recommended that John Steinbeck's "Of Mice and Men" be removed from classroom instruction.

The Spokesman-Review reports that the school board will vote on the recommendation next month.

Review board member Mary Jo Finney cites the use of profanity and a negative story line as the reasons she objects to the 1937 book about two migrant ranch hands.

Darin Oswald / Idaho Statesman

Anthony Doerr says winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction will simultaneously add and relieve pressure on his creative process.

The Idaho resident won the Pulitzer this week for his novel “All The Light We Cannot See.”

By his own admission, author Jon Krakauer is an obsessive guy, and his obsessions often turn into books. His best-sellers include Into the Wild and Into Thin Air, both about man's battle with nature. But his latest book is about a far more intimate struggle. The title lays it out plainly: Missoula: Rape and the Justice System in a College Town.

Isabelle Selby

Boise writer Anthony Doerr has won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, the most prestigious award given exclusively to American authors.

This interview was originally broadcast in November of 2014.

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.

Samantha Wright / Boise State Public Radio

A warehouse across from the Boise Public Library is bustling with activity, as dozens and dozens of boxes of books are brought in and unloaded.

“Boxes everywhere, we drown in boxes!” says volunteer Diana Cross. She’s helping set up for the 33rd annual Spring Book Sale, organized by the Friends of the Boise Public Library.

Courtesy: The Cabin

Boise's annual Treefort Music Fest isn't just about up-and-coming bands, there are "forts" for techies, beer enthusiasts, and yogis. Plus there's a fort for people who love words and stories.

Treefort kicks off this week and this will be the second year of Storyfort.

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