The Book Case

The Book Case

Are you stuck in a reading rut? The Book Case makes the case for books outside of your usual genre. Wander the aisles of your local bookstore with Kate and Charlie Gibson and meet fascinating characters who will open your appetite to new categories while deepening your hunger for books. This weekly series will journey cover to cover through the literary world, featuring interviews with best-selling authors, tastemakers, and independent bookstore owners. New episodes post every Thursday.

Episodes

February 15, 2024 25 mins
It doesn’t happen often, but sometimes we just want to talk to each other. And that’s what happened this week. We spent some time reflecting on lessons we have learned from our authors and we go through our favorite love stories of all time (Valentine’s Day and all). It’s nice to pause every once in a while. We hope you will take a pause with us. Books mentioned in this week's episode: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë This Is Happ...
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Have you ever heard of William and Ellen Craft? They were an escaped enslaved husband and wife whose stories read like a blockbuster action movies. Symbols in their time, Ellen (who was the daughter of an enslaved woman and her master) passed as a white man and had her husband William pass as her property. A harrowing journey gave way to their leadership in the fugitive slave movement, even though it cost them dearly. Ilyon Woo sha...
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February 1, 2024 33 mins
Kate revisits her favorite genre: horror (but she prefers the moniker of dark fiction), and this one is taped in front of a live audience! Plus: you get three great guests for the price of one, which should be irresistible. In New Hampshire to celebrate the new novel by Chris Golden (do not miss The House of Last Resort!), Kate was given the opportunity sit down with Paul Tremblay, Victor LaValle and Jennifer McMahon. It was really...
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January 25, 2024 38 mins
Kaveh Akbar weighs every word that he writes. An accomplished and published poet, any reader can tell that he understands the undeniable power of language with his first novel, called Martyr! Engaging, funny, fascinating and downright beautiful, Martyr! grabs your attention by the lapels and won’t let go. Read the book and listen to our podcast to hear how Kaveh creates his unforgettable work. Books mentioned in this week's episod...
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January 18, 2024 37 mins
Inci Atrek is a debut novelist to watch. We recommend going out and picking up a copy of her debut, Holiday Country, a novel it would be easy to overlook and underestimate. It’s much deeper than it appears at the surface. An intimate portrait of multi-generational mother-daughter relationships, it’s also a story about growing up. Growing up is never easy, but adding two countries of origin and two female role models not born in the...
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Happy New Year! The first episode of the year is a truly terrific mystery. Entertaining in the extreme, this is a whodunnit that breaks the mold. Ashley Elston, its author, has written plenty of quality YA titles, but First Lie Wins is her first adult mystery. In this game of cat and mouse, the reader is constantly asking which character is telling the truth….and we never figured it out. A great start to the new year, this book inv...
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Viktoria Lloyd-Barlow's All the Little Bird-Hearts is a novel that will stay with you long after you close the book. It takes place in the 1980’s, and the narrator and heroine is the autistic mother of a teenage daughter. She worries she is on the verge of losing the only person she has ever really loved, and of being seduced by the magnetic social butterflies that are her new neighbors. Viktoria Barlow has autism as well, and her ...
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December 21, 2023 36 mins
Mitch Albom became a household name with his bestseller Tuesdays with Morrie. His new novel, The Little Liar, is an original and fascinating look at the complexities of truth and what motivates us to lie. It takes place during the Holocaust, at the height of which a little boy tells a lie that affects the rest of his life… coloring all that he is and everything he does. We thought this was a fascinating book and we wanted to talk t...
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If you haven’t heard of Patricia Cornwell you’ve never been to a bookstore, or an airport, or a library…heck. She is everywhere and there is a reason for that. Prolific AND talented, she has written 27 mystery novels centered around her medical examiner heroine, Kay Scarpetta, and she shows no sign of stopping. We talk about what it’s like to create and shepherd a character like Scarpetta, and what keeps her going. We then have a b...
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December 7, 2023 31 mins
When we first began the podcast, our main goal was to inspire more folks to read. But we also talked about how we might offer content to help parents inspire their kids become life long readers. It isn’t easy, and there is no magic bullet, but we have some of the best of the best to tell us how to do it and why it’s so important. Emma Lee is the Associate Director of the Fred Rogers Institute at St Vincent College, Kate DiCamillo i...
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The General and Julia is a wonderful novel, delving deeply into the final days of Ulysses S. Grant. Not many know this, but at the end of his life, Grant was financially destitute and in a race to write his memoirs before his death. He knew that if he wrote his memoirs and did it well, it would leave his family financially stable. His love for his wife and children knew no bounds, and his race was born of love. Like Grant Jon Clinc...
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November 23, 2023 37 mins
Lawrence Wright’s newest novel, Mr. Texas, revolves around Texas politics and how they relate to our national political conversation, and he knows from where he speaks. Not only is he a native Texan, but he has also written one of the definitive NON fiction books about Texas, (God Save Texas). Both books are insightful, prescient, and, this might surprise you, very funny. Mr. Texas is about modern politics, the price of selling you...
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You might know the historical fiction of Jennifer Vanderbes, but just wait until you read Wonder Drug: The Secret History of Thalidomide in America and Its Hidden Victims. Think thalidomide didn’t affect mothers and children in this country? Think again. Wonder Drug is the hidden American story of thalidomide: yes, it did get to pregnant women and yes there were children born effected by phocomelia in this country. Although the sys...
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eing the president of anything takes vision, ambition, and leadership. Being the president of a leading academic institution takes courage (and a whole lot of smarts). Leading Wellesley College for almost 20 years while it ushered in the new millennium took Dr. Diana Chapman Walsh. In her new memoir, The Claims of Life, she gives you a front row seat to the front office of Wellesley and walks you how she got there. Diana is also on...
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Alice McDermott has written one of THE great novels of 2023. Absolution is so many things…a portrait of diplomatic wives carving out lives for themselves in Saigon before the start of the war, a moralistic novel about the dangers of colonialism and good intentions, the story of the complex relationships women have with motherhood, and with each other. Why did she write it? And what has convinced so many that it's going to be a Puli...
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So we have come to the last of our horror genre shows…although we have decided we like the moniker 'dark literature’ better. We have a game-changing author to end it with (in time for Halloween): Paul Tremblay. If you read ‘dark literature’ and you haven’t devoured A Head Full of Ghosts on a dark and stormy night, RUN, do not walk, to your nearest independent bookstore. But Kate has read seven of his books (so far) and has not been...
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Tan Twan Eng, in some ways, has the perfect bibliography. He has written three books, all novels. All three have been on the short or long list for the Man Booker Prize. That should tell you how talented he is….and this is the first book he has published in more than a decade. The House of Doors is a lyrical and lovely read about the travels of William Somerset Maugham in Malaysia. Don’t know Maugham’s work? Doesn’t matter. Don’t k...
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Surely You Can’t be Serious - heard that before? Surely you have, if you have seen the movie Airplane! Made in 1980. The incredibly successful and popular movie was the brainchild of three guys from Milwaukee - then in their twenties - David Zucker, Jim Abrahams, and Jerry Zucker. They called themselves ZAZ. And, improbably, they got their movie made against all odds. They admit they didn’t have the slightest idea how to make a mov...
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October 5, 2023 42 mins
Amanda Gorman is an American treasure. Her inaugural poem, The Hill We Climb, stunned audiences around the world in 2021, and her tome of poetry, Call Us What We Carry, spoke to the pain and powerlessness that the world felt while locked down by COVID-19. What you might not know (and now we hope you do) is that she is also an accomplished children’s author. Her latest, Something, Someday teaches kids to make the world a better plac...
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September 28, 2023 31 mins
Kate DiCamillo has probably been honored as much or more than any living American children’s author. If her awards were all displayed on a mantle, she’d probably need dozens of fireplaces. And she’s a delightful conversationalist. Her new book is The Puppets of Spelhorst. Her most widely read book, The Tale of Despereaux, is out with a special 20th anniversary edition. Dicamillo's love with telling stories is in everything she has ...
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