Hello, Radio Readers! It’s here – it’s finally here: our Fall 2019 Book Club series! Time for us to get our books on! I’m Jane Holwerda, from Dodge City KS, and, oh man! Is this ever some set of books! Are you ready?
We’re starting off with novels set within our High Plains region! The first, News of the World, is a True-Grit type of Western by San-Antonio based author Paulette Jiles. The story unspools in that tenuous transitional time between open frontier and settlement in Texas back in the late 1800s. A veteran takes on the challenge of returning a ransomed girl to what he presumes will be her caring family. Will the girl remember her home language, her kin? Will her kin tolerate her tribal ways? Then it’s Brandon Hobson’s Where the Dead Sit Talking. Set in Oklahoma in the late 1900s, native teens, unable to find within their troubled families any seeds of hope and inspiration for their futures, turn to each other and towards the ghosts that haunt them. Hobson, himself, is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee nation of Oklahoma. Described by Publisher’s Weekly as “a smart, dark novel of adolescence, death, and rural secrets,” Where the Dead Sit Talking was a 2018 National Book Award finalist.
Next up in our Fall Read—blockbuster and critically acclaimed memoir, Educated. Author Tara Westover describes growing up survivalist. Westover’s parents were deeply suspicious of bureaucracies, government and medical science. They stockpiled goods and guns, treated extreme childhood injuries like third-degree burns and concussions with herbs and home-made concoctions. They also didn’t register their children’s births, carry any kind of insurance, or allow home-schooling or public school attendance. In recounting consequences that for her siblings proved debilitating, Westover locates sources of the inner strength and determination that eventually enabled her to move past the limitations imposed by an abusive family code. This top-selling memoir has had the lit reviewers abuzz and fueling debates about faith-based ideologies and preening patriarchies. Whoo-hoo! The fun stuff!.
The last in our Fall 2019 Read is our non-fiction selection. As full of historical context and castings into the future as any reader might dare to expect from a thought-leader and history professor at a world-renown university, Yuval Harari’s Homo Deus argues that advances in science and technology will continue to devalue human significance and displace us humans (sound crazy? Ha! Think of those little robotic vacuums that your cat likes to ride around atop of…where are you in that picture, huh?). And another startling Harari theory? that as data drives more decisions, concepts like free-will and liberty become far less credible. Right? Well, that’s what I think he’s arguing…I can’t wait to hear what you think.
It’s all starting now, my friends: HPPR’s Radio Readers’ Fall 2019 Book Club series: So..get your books on – News of the World, Where the Dead Sit Talking, Educated, and Homo Deus! HPPR will be airing weekly book-bytes from Radio Readers from now through October. Then… the best part of all: the Radio Readers live and on-air book discussion. That all happens on Sunday, November 10.
Are you ready? From Dodge City KS, I’m Jane Holwerda for HPPR Radio Readers. Let’s talk more soon!