Books & Looks

Books & Looks

Book reviews, author interviews, and entertainment I am looking at. Join me and uncover a whole new world of books and discover some new shows along the way!

Episodes

April 16, 2024 41 mins

Chikodi Anunobi is a talented Nigerian-born author who fearlessly tackles the complex issues of corruption, tribal conflicts, and political scandals in his gripping novel, "The Thief and the Patriot." With a unique perspective shaped by his upbringing in Nigeria and his experiences in the United States, Chikodi brings a fresh voice to the world of African literature. In this thought-provoking book, he skillfully weaves together a t...

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Katherine Bolger Hyde is a talented author who has found her niche in the world of cozy mysteries. With a background in Russian literature and a love for British culture, she brings a unique perspective to her writing. In her "Crime with the Classics" series, she skillfully weaves together her passion for classic literature with intriguing mysteries that keep readers guessing until the very end.

Discussed in this Episode:

  • The ...
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Journey with us into the little-known world of WWI baseball, where big-league stars like Christy Mathewson and Ty Cobb traded their uniforms for gas masks. In this episode, we sit down with historian and author Jim Leeke (author of ‘The Gas and Flame Men’) to uncover the incredible stories of major leaguers who bravely served in the Chemical Warfare Service, risking their lives on the front lines. You'll be amazed by the tales of s...

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Today we have a conversation with Audrey Birnbaum, doctor turned author, as she shares her father's remarkable tale of survival and resilience. In 'American Wolf,' we uncover the astonishing story of a man who escaped Nazi Germany, only to return as an American spy. Audrey's engaging storytelling and fascinating family history will leave you on the edge of your seat. Don't miss this unforgettable episode that celebrates the indomit...

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Today we unravel the lingering questions surrounding one of the deadliest fires in New York history with Marlie Wasserman, author of "Inferno on Fifth." What started the blaze that destroyed an entire city block and left 100+ dead on St. Patrick's Day 1899? Why was the true cause never determined? Marlie offers her take on these mysteries, shares her transition from scholarly publishing to historical crime fiction, and teases her n...

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Join us for a ride through America's untamed wilderness with Ruby McConnell, author of the book "Wilderness and the American Spirit." In this episode, we uncover the hidden histories and unsung heroes that shaped our nation's vast landscapes, from the intrepid Applegate brothers to the controversial conservationist Gifford Pinchot. Brimming with tales of beaver-fueled exploration, Hollywood hijinks, and dramatic standoffs deep in t...

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Today we're joined by true crime author Dean Jobb, who brings historical misdeeds to life with a focus on narrative over sensationalism. We discuss his notable works, including "The Empire of Deception" and his insights into crafting engaging nonfiction. Dean also shares his journey from journalism to authorship and his philosophy on teaching storytelling. Through his lens, we gain a fresh perspective on infamous crimes and the art...

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Today we explore compelling historical fiction and the power of the written word with young author Addison Armstrong. We discuss her captivating novel "The War Librarian," a tale spanning two eras and highlighting themes of WWI, censorship, perseverance, and breaking boundaries. Armstrong shares her writing journey – from college dreams to published author –  and the meticulous research behind her stories. Discover the inspiration ...

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Today we sit down with author Otho Eskin, a former Foreign Service officer turned novelist. After decades spent negotiating global treaties, Eskin now spins tales of danger and intrigue. His Marko Zorn detective series exposes threats to America, from rogue militias to corrupt corporations. Eskin's latest, "Firetrap," tackles a dangerously addictive drug and the lengths some will go for profit. We explore his creative process and t...

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Today we explore the captivating world of antiques and mysteries with debut author C.L. Miller, discussing her novel "The Antique Hunter's Guide to Murder." Join us as we navigate the intriguing intersections of literature, antiques, and the craft of storytelling, guided by Miller's own experiences and the rich background she brings from a life surrounded by historical treasures. We shed light on the creative process behind her wri...

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In this episode, we welcome Laura Morelli, the esteemed author of "The Last Masterpiece," for a captivating conversation on art's resilience during World War II. Laura shares her journey from Georgia to Yale, where her passion for art history and creative writing intertwined, leading to a career that brings the past's colors to the present. Together, we explore the evacuation of art in Florence, the valiant efforts of the Monuments...

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Today we talk with P.L. Hampton, the author of 'Shadowland', exploring his creative process and the rich tapestry of themes in his latest book. We discuss how Hampton's personal experiences and cultural heritage shape the narrative, blending African and African American traditions with suspenseful, paranormal elements. Hampton shares insights into his protagonist's journey, underscored by challenges of mental health and family dyna...

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Today we talk with bestselling author Madeline Martin, exploring her latest work, "The Keeper of Hidden Books." Set against the backdrop of WWII Warsaw, the story highlights the courageous efforts to protect literature from Nazi suppression. We discuss Martin's unique journey from a business background to becoming a prolific historical fiction writer. Her insights into the transition from historical romance to broader historical na...

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Today we dive into the life of Jacqueline Alnes, an author and educator with a unique story to tell. We discuss her upcoming book, "The Fruit Cure," her diverse upbringing moving across the United States and Indonesia, and her transition from swimming to long-distance running. Jacqueline's journey includes her academic pursuits in creative writing, a challenging medical condition beginning in college, and her experiences as a Divis...

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Today we venture into the historical intricacies of 1492 Spain with Eric Weintraub, author of "South of Sepharad.” Weintraub's journey from a captivating trip to Granada to penning a novel illuminates the lesser-known sagas of Jewish and Muslim expulsions. His book delves into the life of Vidal, a Jewish physician, and his family's turbulent experiences amidst the Alhambra Decree and the Spanish Inquisition. This insightful intervi...

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Dive into the enigmatic world of Abraham Lincoln's assassination with John Fazio. This episode peels back layers of history, revealing a complex conspiracy extending beyond John Wilkes Booth. Fazio, armed with insights from his book "The Assassination of Abraham Lincoln: Four Smoking Guns," challenges traditional narratives, suggesting Confederate leaders' deeper involvement. It's a journey through shadowed historical corridors, un...

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Join us for a riveting exploration into the heart of early 20th-century aviation as we welcome author S. C. Gwynne to discuss his latest book, "His Majesty's Airship." Gwynne, transitioning from his journalistic roots at Time Magazine to the solitude of authorship, illuminates the ambitious yet disastrous story of the British Empire's R101 airship. Delving deep into the era's technological dreams and the political and military unde...

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Today we delve into Diane Kelly's transition from accountant to acclaimed cozy mystery writer, author of "Snow Place for Murder." Discover the evolution of the genre and Diane's unique storytelling, featuring non-human narrators and local color from her North Carolina retreat. We explore the intricacies of crafting engaging mysteries and her collaboration with publishers, offering a glimpse into the world of a prolific and passiona...

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Looking for the perfect holiday gift? Dive into our exclusive "Baker's Dozen Christmas Gift List" in this episode, where we reveal a selection of books that are anything but ordinary. Moving beyond typical bestseller charts, our journey through literature uncovers a rich array of choices. From a thrilling espionage novel in Romania to an insightful exploration of Charlie Chaplin's complex life in America, each book is an adventure ...

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Today, we're joined by Mike Hutton, the author of "The Children of the 1940s." Hutton, an 85-year-old Englishman, shares his unique experiences of growing up during World War II in London. He paints a vivid picture of British life during the war, highlighting the extensive rationing, the Morrison table, and the class distinctions that shaped living conditions. His journey from the textile industry to becoming a social historian and...

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