December 1, 2015

Diane’s Bookshelf: December 2015

By Rebecca Kaufman

Need a new read? Each month we give you a preview of the books and authors we’re bringing on the show.

Here’s what’s on tap for December:

Simon Mawer: “Tightrope”

This historical thriller takes place in post World War II London. It’s the story of Marian Sutro, a former Special Operations agent who returns from her mission in France to a country that has been entirely changed. Calling Sutro a female James Bond, The Guardian says: “It is difficult to create a character with genuine charisma, but Mawer seems to have managed it with Marian.”

Erin Murphy: “Inside The Cell”

We tend to think of DNA forensics as a tool that catches the bad guys and exonerates the innocent. But Erin Murphy, a NYU law professor and expert in DNA forensics, says the criminal justice system has had a long history of mismanagement and fraud when it comes to forensic science.

And later in the month, we leave for the holiday! Here are some favorite book shows from the past year and beyond. We”ll rebroadcast them for the break:

Anthony Doerr: “All The Light We Cannot See”

This 2014 novel won Doerr a Pulitzer for fiction this year. Set in World War II, the novel interweaves the story of a German orphan who has a talent for making radios and blind French girl whose father is the locksmith at the Museum of Natural History in Paris.

Mark Ribowsky: “Dreams To Remember: Otis Redding, Stax Records, and the Transformation of Southern Soul”

Otis Redding died in a plane crash at age 26 but produced huge hits in his short career. In fact, he recorded “Sitting On The Dock Of The Bay” two days before he died. Author Mark Ribowsky traces Redding’s life and career back to his childhood in the Jim Crow South.

Stephen King: “The Bazaar Of Bad Dreams”

The master of horror has some surprises in this book of short stories — like insight into his writing process, and even some poetry. In his November interview with Diane, King said the story “Mile 81” is first in the collection “because it’s a real old school horror story. It doesn’t really have anything else on its mind other than to scare you silly.”

Piper Kerman: “Orange Is The New Black” 

If you are a fan of the Netflix hit show but missed the book, this is a great opportunity to revisit the story that started it all. Piper Kerman’s memoir “Orange Is The New Black” documents how she went from being a Smith College grad to a prisoner in Connecticut. These days, Kerman spends much of her time advocating for prison reform.

Rev. Barry Lynn: “God And Government”

A topic that is on many of our minds over the holidays: religion. Lynn has spent his career advocating for the separation of church and state — many of the issues he revisits in his new book. When he spoke to Diane this fall, he told her he chose to become ordained because “the most important thing that was being done was being done by the church — raising moral objections to segregated schools, raising opposition to the Vietnam War.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates: “Between The World And Me” 

Coates won The National Book Award for “Between The World And Me”. It’s written as a letter to his son following the announcement that no charges would be brought against Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson in the killing of  Michael Brown. Slate says it’s “a book destined to remain on store shelves, bedside tables, and high school and college syllabi long after its author or any of us have left this Earth.”

Neil Gaiman: “Trigger Warning”

This is a book of short stories from the #1 New York Times bestselling author, who also happens to have 2.34 million followers on Twitter. Through ghost stories, fairy tales, science fiction and poetry he explores the masks we all wear and the vulnerable people we are beneath them.

Deborah Voigt: “Call Me Debbie: True Confessions Of A Down-to-Earth Diva”

The internationally renowned opera singer reveals how her personal struggles with weight and alcoholism nearly destroyed her career and threatened her life. She also provides amusing tidbits on backstage life.


What are you reading this month?

Check out all our upcoming shows.

Diane’s Bookshelf: August 2015

Diane’s Bookshelf: September 2015

Diane’s Bookshelf: October 2015

Diane’s Bookshelf: November 2015


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