Literacy and Reading

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome back to the show Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer. A former Tulsa resident, Nancy is a retired librarian, best-selling author, literary critic, and tireless reading advocate -- as well as a frequent book reviewer for NPR's All Things Considered. She joins us to offer some can't-miss reading suggestions for the summer months. Here are the books she tells us about:

Peter Blauner, "Proving Ground"

Jamie Harrison, "The Widow Nash"

Stephen Mack Jones, "August Snow"

Joseph Kanon, "Defectors"

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we are pleased to welcome Laurie Halse Anderson to our show. She's written many books of fiction and nonfiction over the years, and she's the winner of the 2017 Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature. She will been given this award at a special ceremony happening on Friday the 5th at the TCCL's Hardesty Regional Library, on East 93rd Street.

On this installment of ST, the bestselling writer Jonathan Lethem is our guest. He's well-known for such celebrated novels as "Dissident Gardens," "The Fortress of Solitude," and "Motherless Brooklyn." He joins us to discuss his latest book, just out now, which is a gathering of nonfiction pieces. It's called "More Alive and Less Lonely: On Books and Writers." It's an impressive collection of 50+ essays, some of them previously published and some newly written.

On this edition of ST, we're talking about the nonprofit collective known as ImpactTulsa, which began in 2014, and which (per its website) aims to "improve education for every child. Our partnership includes [several dozens of] leaders from education, business, philanthropic, nonprofit, civic, and faith communities who all believe education is the key to the prosperity of our community." Our guest is Kathy Seibold, the executive director of ImpactTulsa, who tells us about her organzation's recently released Community Impact Report for 2016.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Kim Johnson, who became chief executive officer of the Tulsa City-County Library on January 1st. After more than 15 years as an employee of the TCCL, Johnson seems like a perfect fit for this leadership post. She's very committed, of course, to books and learning and literacy -- and to the vital purpose of libraries within society today -- and she's the first African American to lead the 24-branch system that is the TCCL.

(Note: This show originally aired back in July.) On this installment of ST, we welcome the bestselling author Mark Kurlansky back to our show. Kurlansky's latest book, which he discusses with us today, is "Paper: Paging Through History." It's a detailed and deeply researched volume that both explains and explores one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past 2,000 years or so, the ability to produce paper in ever more efficient ways has supported -- if not driven -- the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art.

On this installment of ST, we speak with Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer. She's a Seattle-based bestselling author and retired librarian, and she used to work as a bookseller (decades ago) here in Tulsa. A tireless book advocate and literary critic -- and perhaps the only librarian ever to be fashioned and sold as an action figure -- Nancy can also be heard occasionally recommending books on NPR's Morning Edition. She talked with us about the following titles, all of which she thinks would make great gifts this holiday season:

On this edition of ST, we welcome Billy Collins back to our show. He is the winner of the Tulsa Library Trust's 2016 Peggy V. Helmerich Distinguished Author Award, and he'll be reading from his work at an event here in Tulsa on Saturday the 3rd at the downtown Central Library. (This event begins at 10:30am and is free to the public.) Known and loved by readers everywhere for his accessible, conversational, clearly rendered, and often witty poems, Collins has been called "the most popular poet in America" by The New York Times.

Is technology taking over and/or fundamentally changing and/or worsening our lives? It's a debatable question...or series of questions...but, for whatever it's worth, there do seem to be more and more books and novels and TV shows these days in which technological devices are taking over, fundamentally changing, or even, yes, worsening our lives as human beings.

On this edition of ST, we welcome back Tulsa City-County Library CEO Gary Shaffer. He joins us to describe in detail the TCCL's newly renovated Central Library, which will re-open to the public tomorrow morning (October 1st) with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. For the past two years or so, the Central Library branch -- which originally opened in 1965 near Fifth and Denver in downtown Tulsa -- has been getting a complete overhaul, both its exterior and interior.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we're talking about the Bob Dylan Archive, that widely-reported-on treasure trove of 6,000+ items documenting the entirety of the legendary singer-songwriter's still-active career. This archive was purchased earlier this year by the George Kaiser Family Foundation and The University of Tulsa; it will be housed at TU's Helmerich Center for American Research (which is located within the Gilcrease Museum).

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we listen back to a 2008 discussion with author and journalist Steve Lopez about his bestselling nonfiction account, "The Soloist: A Lost Dream, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Redemptive Power of Music." At that time, this book -- which explores themes of mental illness, homelessness, artistic inspiration, and creativity -- had just come out; it was later the basis for major motion picture of the same title.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Alton Carter, an Oklahoma Book Award-winning author whose memoir, "The Boy Who Carried Bricks," was originally published in 2015. It's a painful-to-read yet ultimately uplifting autobiography that details Carter's growing up in smalltown Oklahoma. Carter will be participating in the upcoming "Chapters" event at the TCCL's Hardesty Regional Library, on September 8th at 6:30pm; this event is a fundraiser in support of adult literacy programs, and the deadline to register for it is September 1st.

On this broadcast of StudioTulsa, we speak with the author, editor, and retired librarian Nancy Pearl, formerly of Tulsa and now based in Seattle, who is also our longtime book reviewer. We called Nancy recently and asked her to offer a few can't-miss summer reading recommendations. Here are the titles that she spoke with us about:

Chris Bachelder, "The Throwback Special"

Margeret Lazarus Dean, "Leaving Orbit: Notes from the Last Days of American Space Flight"

Helen DeWitt, "Last Samurai"

Lissa Evans, "Crooked Heart"

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we welcome the bestselling author Mark Kurlansky back to our show. Kurlansky's latest book, which he discusses with us today, is "Paper: Paging Through History." It's a detailed and deeply researched volume that both explains and explores one of the simplest and most essential pieces of human technology. For the past 2,000 years or so, the ability to produce paper in ever more efficient ways has supported -- if not driven -- the proliferation of literacy, media, religion, education, commerce, and art.

(Note: This show first aired back in February.) On this edition of ST, we're discussing an interesting literary biography called "The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered In the Modern World." Our guest is the author, William Egginton, who is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and a Professor of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at the Johns Hopkins University. As was noted of this compelling study in the pages of Publishers Weekly: "Egginton weaves together Cervantes's life story with his development as a writer.

On this edition of ST, we present a fascinating discussion with Dr. Robert Spoo, the Chapman Distinguished Chair at The University of Tulsa College of Law, who has recently been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship for 2016 by the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we're discussing an interesting new literary biography called "The Man Who Invented Fiction: How Cervantes Ushered In the Modern World." Our guest is the author, William Egginton, who is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities and a Professor of German and Romance Languages and Literatures at the Johns Hopkins University. As was noted of this compelling study in the pages of Publishers Weekly: "Egginton weaves together Cervantes's life story with his development as a writer.

On this installment of ST, a conversation about language and culture -- and their points of overlapping -- with Eduardo Faingold, who is Professor of Spanish and Linguistics here at the University of Tulsa. Faingold has served in the TU Department of Languages since 1995 and published eight books and 50 papers thus far in his career. Last month, he joined a well-regarded group of scholars responsible for analyzing language policy and advising the UN on both language minority rights and endangered languages.

(Note: This show originally aired earlier this year.) On this edition of ST, an engaging chat with Shaun Usher, a writer, researcher, and blogger based in the UK. Usher tells us about his latest book, which he edited and compiled: "Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience." Hailed in the British press as "beautiful and immensely satisfying" (The Observer) and as "1. Splendid. 2. Addictive. 3.

Today's ST is a replay of a show from two weeks ago, which was preempted by a presidential press conference. For this edition of our program, we check in with our longtime book reviewer, Nancy Pearl, for a few page-turning gift suggestions. (With the holidays fast upon us, it's entirely worth pointing out that one can never really go wrong with a good book....) A well-known librarian, now retired, who began appearing on our show back when she lived in Tulsa -- in the early 1990s -- Nancy is also a bestselling author, literary critic, and book editor.

On this edition of ST, with the holiday season just around the corner, we check in with our longtime book reviewer, Nancy Pearl, for some page-turning, gift-giving tips. A well-known librarian -- now retired -- who began appearing on our show back when she lived in Tulsa in the early 1990s, Nancy is also a bestselling author, literary critic, and book editor.

On this edition of ST, we welcome the writer and writing instructor Teresa Miller back to our program. She founded the Oklahoma Center for Poets and Writers in the early 1990s, and around that same time she started hosting and producing a popular public-television interview show, Writing Out Loud. Her books include the novels "Remnants of Glory" and "Family Correspondence," as well as "Means of Transit," which is an autobiography.

On this installment of ST, we speak with the poet and performance/conceptual artist, Kenneth Goldsmith, who has appeared on The Colbert Report, held a poetry reading in the White House, and published more than ten books. He's also the first-ever poet laureate to be selected by The Museum of Modern Art -- and he'll offer a free-to-the-public poetry reading tonight, Tuesday the 22nd, at 9pm in Tyrell Hall on the TU campus.

On this edition of ST on Health, an interesting discussion with Dr. Dana Suskind, a Professor of Surgery at the University of Chicago who's also the Director of that school's Pediatric Cochlear Implant Program. She's probably best known as the founder and director of the Thirty Million Words Initiative.

On this edition of our show, a conversation with the prolific and bestselling author Sharon Draper, who's the winner of this year's Anne V. Zarrow Award for Young Readers' Literature. This prize is awarded each year by the Tulsa Library Trust, and Ms. Draper will formally accept the honor at a presentation and address on Friday the 28th at 7pm. This event happens at the Hardesty Regional Library here in Tulsa, and Ms. Draper will also speak about her life and works, answer questions from the audience, and sign copies of her books.

On this edition of our show, we speak by phone with Fran Stallings, a longtime storyteller who has performed at numerous national and international storytelling festivals, in schools and libraries, and on the radio. Stallings has two new books out, which she tells us about: "How to Fool a Cat: Japanese Folktales for Children" and "The Price of Three Stories: Rare Folktales from Japan." In each of these collections, Stallings has edited and adapted the stories of her friend and collaborator, Hiroko Fujita.

On this edition of ST, an engaging chat with Shaun Usher, a writer, researcher, and blogger based in the U.K. Usher tells us about his new book, just out, which he edited and compiled: "Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience." Hailed in the British press as "beautiful and immensely satisfying" (The Observer) and as "1. Splendid. 2. Addictive. 3.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in April.) "Don't just do something," goes an old saying that's sometimes attributed to the Buddha, "sit there." On this installment of ST, we speak with the acclaimed travel writer and essayist Pico Iyer, whose newest book is called "The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere." It may seem odd to find one of contemporary literature's best travel writers composing a book-lenth essay about not traveling, but Iyer begs to differ.

On this edition of ST, we learn about the "summer slide." This phrase is what educational researchers use to refer to the approximately two months of grade-level learning that school kids lose without summertime academic enrichment. Our guests are Kathy Taylor, the CEO of ImpactTulsa and a former Mayor of Tulsa, and Anthony Grant, a recent Teach for America alum who is based in Tulsa (and who will soon be the Vice-Principal at Anderson Elementary School); both are working to combat "summer slide" amid Tulsa-area schoolchildren.

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