WXXI AM News

books

Author Peter Lovenheim joins us in studio to discuss his new book, “The Attachment Effect.” It's a look at how early childhood relationships impact our adult relationships.

We discuss the different types of attachments (secure, anxious, and avoidant), how they form and can change, and how understanding your own attachment style can better your relationships.

If you've ever wanted to publish a book, an upcoming conference hopes to help you move from concept to print. Writers & Books' upcoming Ladder Literary Conference will focus on four rungs of the publishing ladder: writing, editing, connecting, and publishing.

Our guests help us preview the conference and answer your questions. Our guests:

  • Kyle Semmel, executive director of Writers & Books
  • Tokeya Graham, writer, and professor of English and philosophy at Monroe Community College
  • Mark Costello, attorney in entertainment law with Boylan Code LLP
  • Amy Bishop, literary agent with Dystel, Goderich & Bourret

We continue an annual Connections tradition by talking to members of the Rochester community about their favorite books of the year. We hear about a range of genres, while getting some insight into how our guests think, what they read, and why. In studio:

It's a pair of whodunits! We discuss the true stories behind a couple iconic things around the holidays, and they are not what they appear.

We hear the creation stories of the poem, "The Night Before Christmas," and the board game, Monopoly. Our guests:

Michael Chabon is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, and a strong proponent of genre fiction. His new book, Moonglow, blends elements of memoir and fiction. It’s main character, Mike Chabon, retells the stories he heard from his grandfather, who shared them on his deathbed under the influence of powerful painkillers. Chabon the character learns about his family’s forgotten history, the adventures his grandfather had, and how the Chabon family was connected to important historical figures. As Chabon the author writes, “In preparing this memoir, I have stuck to facts except when facts refused to conform with memory, narrative purpose, or the truth as I prefer to understand it.”

He'll be in Rochester on November 5 as a guest of the JCC’s Jewish Book Festival, but first, he joins us on Connections to discuss his work, his process, and the art of blending truth and fiction. Our guests:

  • Michael Chabon, author of Moonglow
  • Judy Blaustein, co-chair of the JCC Jewish Book Festival

How is technology changing the way that we read? And how is social media changing how we tell stories? These are questions that will be addressed at an upcoming symposium hosted by the Monroe County Library System.

We discuss how emerging technology and trends will impact the future of reading, and how to make this kind of technology available to all readers. Our guests:

  • Bob Scheffel, librarian at the Central Library and member of the Emerging Technology Committee at the Monroe County Library System
  • Erika Linke, associate dean of University Libraries at Carnegie Mellon University, and co-chair of the American Library Association Digital Content Working Group
  • Eric Hellman, president of the Free EBook Foundation
  • Greg Benoit, director of the Gates Public Library

The freedom to read is one of the most powerful ideas in human history: it enables us to consider new ideas and information. But that has always made some people in power uncomfortable. Banning books is a tradition that goes back hundreds of years in this country, and it's a practice that still very much alive today.

This is Banned Books Week, and this hour, we look at trends in book banning. Who is doing the banning? Which groups are calling for the bans? What trends have emerged in recent years -- in other words, what kids of themes in books are more likely to be banned? Plus, we want to hear your thoughts on the process of banning books and its effects. Our guests:

  • Joe Flaherty, founding director of Writers & Books
  • Mari Tsuchiya, senior library assistant at the River Campus Libraries at the University of Rochester
  • Ryan Prendergast, associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Modern Languages and Cultures at the University of Rochester

Author Kurt Andersen asks a question about what went wrong in our country in his new book, Fantasyland: How American Went Haywire: A 500-Year History. Andersen thinks something has gone wrong, and he thinks it's embedded in the American DNA.

Andersen writes, "Why do we believe in conspiracy theories? Why do so many of us believe in magical thinking or have poor reasoning skills?" He also says, "Why are we like this? The short answer is because we’re Americans—because being American means we can believe anything we want; that our beliefs are equal or superior to anyone else’s, experts be damned. Once people commit to that approach, the world turns inside out, and no cause-and-effect connection is fixed. The credible becomes incredible and the incredible credible."

Andersen is tough on our history. He's our guest for the hour. 

Author Lisa Hillman shares her personal story of raising a child with an addiction. The Hillmans are a prominent family in Annapolis, Maryland – Lisa, an accomplished fundraising executive for a leading healthcare system, her husband, a former mayor. Yet in Secret No More, Hillman offers a look behind the curtain. Her son, Jacob, struggled with addiction beginning in high school, and his addiction progressed from alcohol to the marijuana, to OxyContin, and then, to heroin.

In her book, Hillman shares her family’s journey, with the goal of offering hope to other struggling parents. She’s our guest for the hour.

Rochester City School Board president Van White has written a new children's book. It's called "Heroes," and it's about the everyday heroes in our lives: doctors, firefighters, caregivers. He joins us to talk about why he wrote the book and the importance of diversity and inclusion in literature.

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