Literacy and Reading

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...

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...

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 our show, we speak about such with Alexander Weinstein, the director of the Martha’s Vineyard Institute of...

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. As Shaffer recently announced when...

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). Nearly all of the materials in this archive have never...

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. Now, the Mental Health Association Oklahoma's 2016...

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...

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"
...

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,...

(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...

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. This foundation annually awards prestigious fellowships to individuals in both the arts and sciences who have demonstrated exceptional scholarship and/or creativity throughout their careers; this year, the foundation awarded 175...

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...

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...

(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. Sumptuously produced with interesting photos and facsimiles" (The...

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...

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. She is also a former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book in the Seattle Public Library, and she can sometimes be...

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. Miller recently announced that she would be leaving both the...

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. (More info on that event, which is presented by the TU Department of...

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 . Firmly grounded in "talking is teaching" research that shows how critically important it is to expose developing children to language, this initiative has helped countless parents, teachers,...

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...

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,...

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. Sumptuously produced with interesting photos and facsimiles" (The Independent), this book curates 125 charming, off-the...

(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. Indeed, as he...

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...

"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 widely 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. Indeed, as he notes on our show today, traveling might well...

Nancy Pearl, author of the "Book Lust" series of recommended books and our longtime book reviewer here on StudioTulsa, joins us to discuss her favorite reads of 2014. Here's a complete list of the books she discussed with us on today's program: "2 a.m. at the Cat's Pajamas" (Crown) by Marie-Helene Bertino -- This novel depicts 24 hours in the lives of nine-year-old aspiring jazz singer Madeleine Altimiri and her circle of acquaintances. "Spooner" (Grand Central) by Pete Dexter -- A reprint of...

On this edition of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about Reach Out and Read, a long-running nationwide program that, per the "mission" page of its website , "prepares America's youngest children to succeed in school by partnering with doctors to prescribe books and encourage families to read together.... The program serves more than 4 million children and their families across the nation, with a special emphasis on serving those in low-income communities. In June 2014, the American Academy of...

Every fall, thousands of people sign up for National Novel Writing Month (or, if you like, "NaNoWriMo"), which happens each November, and which was founded by our guest today, a freelance writer and writing coach in the Bay Area named Chris Baty. Baty's program has helped countless people -- over the last 15 years or so -- finally write that elusive novel and/or get down a workable first draft of said novel to the tune of 50,000 words.... Now, Baty offers a book to share the secrets behind...

Illustration Credit: NPR

On this installment of ST, we welcome back Nancy Pearl, our longtime book reviewer. Nancy is a former librarian --- and former Tulsan --- who's also a bestselling author, editor, critic, and book advocate. She's also the former Executive Director of the Washington Center for the Book at the Seattle Public Library. She can be heard on NPR's Morning Edition, where she regularly offers good-reading tips, and her wide-ranging, well-researched recommendations have also been collected into the...

Our guest is Michael Smith, a professor of teaching and learning at the Temple University College of Education. With Jeffrey Wilhelm of Boise State University, Smith is the co-author of a new book from Scholastic Teaching Resources titled "Reading Unbound: Why Kids Need to Read What They Want --- and Why We Should Let Them." We probably all know that strong reading skills help kids get good grades, and later on, good jobs --- but as Smith affirms on our show today, when we as parents and...