HPPR Radio Readers Book Club

Welcome to the 2020 Spring Read – Radio Waves. This is a big year for the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club. In 2020, we will celebrate the 40th year of High Plains Public Radio. Did you know? This year marks the 40th year of High Plains Public Radio broadcasts! The official birthday is in June, but reading the selections in this series will prepare you for a year of celebration.  

2020 also marks HPPR Radio Readers’ fourth year of successful book club series.  We’ve covered a wide range of topics and have heard from Radio Readers across the High Plains and the world. 

Through our theme Radio Waves, we’ll explore the medium of radio from its presence in Paulette Jiles’ Stormy Weather, set on the plains of Texas during the 1930s to the wisdom and perspective found in Bob Edward’s biography of Edward R Murrow to the antics of Border Radio: Quacks, Yodelers, Pitchmen, Psychics, and Other Amazing Broadcasters.  These books define HPPR’s tag, In touch with the world, at home on the High Plains.

If you’re interested in joining the Radio Readers Steering Committee, serving as a book leader or contributing a Radio Readers BookByte, simply contact Kathleen Holt at kholt@hppr.org for more information.  Become an HPPR Radio Reader today! Click here to join the Book Club—and stay informed by liking our Facebook page!

To download materials from previous seasons of the Book Club, either scroll back through previous listings or visit our archive.

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HPPR Radio Readers Book Club is made possible in part by a generous contribution from Radio Readers  Lon Frahm of Colby, KS and Lynne Hewes of Cimarron, KS.  Please join us in thanking them for their support!

By Note: Image is available at [1] on the Paleontological Research Institution web site. The site credits the American Petroleum Institute; however, a Texas roadside historical marker credits John Trost (June 24, 1868 - August 4, 1944) [2] [3] - Original / Wikimedia Commons

Stormy Weather, a novel by Paulette Jiles, tells the story of the Stoddard family in 1930s Texas. Jack Stoddard, the father of the family, makes his living with a team and wagon hauling oil field supplies wherever the latest oil discovery needs him.

Of his three daughters, Jeanine is his favorite, and as the book opens, she is accompanying him everywhere even though she is still a young child. As his constant companion, she becomes aware that all his activities are not consistent with good family values, but she is loyal to him, keeping his secrets as the story moves forward.

Radio Readers BookByte: Remembering Radio on Radio

Jan 24, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

I first read Paulette Jiles’ novel, STORMY WEATHER, a couple of years ago, before I had any idea that HPPR’s Radio Readers Book Club would be considering this novel as a discussion group pick for a topic called “Radio Waves.”

Radio Readers BookByte: Love Those Stoddard Women

Jan 22, 2020
Dorthea Lange, Farm Security Administration / Library of Congress

Hi, I’m Marcy McKay from Amarillo and author of the award-winning novel, Pennies from Burger Heaven.

I’ve loved stories my whole life, so I’m thrilled to be a Radio Reader for High Plains Public Radio’s Book Club. I couldn’t wait to get started on Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles.

Radio Readers BookByte: Family Troubles

Jan 20, 2020
Dorthea Lange, Farm Security Administration / Library of Congress

This is Leslie VonHolten with another HPPR Radio Readers Book Byte.

Jeanine and her sisters Mayme and Bea, and their mother Elizabeth, are forced to forge a new life in the book Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles.

Their father was, to put it mildly, a drunken lout who worked hard and played harder in the oil fields of Texas.

Kansas Memory / Kansas Historical Society

I’m Eric Meljac from West Texas A&M University for the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club.

Poet Benjamin Myers’ moving collection Black Sunday chronicles the Dust Bowl from the points-of-view of those who experienced it first-hand––those trapped in the plains with the dust burying them as it rained down from the skies.

Radio Readers BookByte: See You On The Radio

Jan 15, 2020
Kansas Memory / Ks Historical Society

This is Leslie VonHolten of Chase County, Kansas, with another HPPR Radio Readers Book Byte.

In Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles, we follow the lives of the Stoddard women—Elizabeth and her daughters Mayme, Jeanine, and Bea—as they work to hold onto their family land and make a life in Dust Bowl Texas.

Radio Readers Bookbyte: 40 Years of Public Radio Waves

Jan 13, 2020

Hello, Radio Readers and Radio Reader wannabees! I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City KS. We’re celebrating public radio on our High Plains. Did you know? This year marks the 40th year of High Plains Public Radio broadcasts!  

2020 also marks HPPR Radio Readers’ fourth year of successful book club series.  So. Welcome to HPPR Radio Readers 2020 Spring Read: Radio Waves!

Leslie VonHolten lives in Strong City, Kansas, in the heart of the beautiful Flint Hills tallgrass prairie. Her writing interests are in the area of environmental art and culture. “Our land, the weather, the seasons, and even the night sky dictate the terms of our lives,” she said. “No one knows that better than people who live and work in the High Plains. That’s why I love discussing books for HPPR. Our conversations  always expand my perceptions.”

Featuring Kansas author Thomas Fox Averill

Thomas Fox Averill, an O. Henry Award Winner, is Writer-in-residence and Professor of English at Washburn University of Topeka, Kansas;  where he teaches courses in Creative Writing and in Kansas Literature, Folklore and Film.  He has published four novels, one of which includes A Carol Dickens Christmas (2014).  

The holidays are near, which often means time for rest, relaxation, & READING! Here are a few holiday book ideas that’ll keep you on track with the upcoming 2020 Spring Read for HPPR’s Radio Readers Book Club,  RADIO WAVES:

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Tune in for an HPPR Radio Readers Book Club holiday tradition: the two-hour broadcast of a High Plains author's delightful Christmas story: A Carol Dickens Christmas, featuring a fresh reading by the book's author, Thomas Fox Averill.

BROADCAST SCHEDULE:

Monday, December 23, 2019

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. CT

Thursday, December 26, 2019

2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. CT

Radio Readers BookByte: Some Set of Reads

Nov 4, 2019

Hello, Radio Readers! Can you believe it’s November already? And we’re almost at the end of our Fall 2019 Book Club series! Was this not some set of reads?

I’m Jane Holwerda, from Dodge City KS, and, at Radio Readers Book Club Headquarters, we’re gearing up for our live and on-air book discussion.  

Radio Readers BookByte: Cognitive Revolution

Nov 1, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

When I started with Yuval Noah Harari’s Homo Deus, I expected to jog along with a fun and clever assessment of human history and its near future as a cyborg-like merger of human and computer.

But I had trouble early on.

Louvre / Wikimedia Commons

This is Nicole English coming to you from Fort Hays State University for HPPR's Book-Bytes.

This is a discussion of the book, Homo Deus by Yuval Noah Harari. As with his earlier book, Sapiens, Harari attempts to give a perspective to human history, then give that history an ethical critique. 

Radio Readers BookByte: Who Gets Left Out Of The Story?

Oct 30, 2019
Big Bang Data Exhibit, CCCB / Wikimedia Commons

Hi, I’m Valerie Mendoza of Topeka with a Radio Reader book byte about Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow.

I just finished the chapter the “Storytellers” and if nothing else, this book makes me think and question my perceptions and views on all sorts of issues.

Wikimedia Commons

This is Leslie VonHolten of Chase County, Kansas, with another HPPR Radio Readers Book Byte.

Well of course the joy of reading is found in books that transcend your expectations, that open your world or captivate you with a good story of whatever.

But every once in a while, I come across a book that I so actively hate, and instead of tossing it aside because life is short, I choose instead to let myself embrace it.

Radio Readers BookByte: Dataism - Good, Bad & Ugly

Oct 28, 2019
Artificial Intelligence Elon Musk, Hawking / Wikimedia Commons

Data Yoda says, “the greatest sin would be to block the data flow.” And with missionary zeal, we are told the “great web of life” requires that everyone and everything must be connected, want it or not.

Data Yoda tells us we will live only so long as data flows freely. No flow, we die. The greatest good, therefore, is freedom of information. This, Harari says, is Dataism.

Radio Readers BookByte: My Friend Al (Go Rhythm)

Oct 25, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

In “Homo Deus,” Yuval Noah Harari’s last chapter posits humans as algorithms.

First, we need to clarify the word “algorithm,” whose meaning has morphed to mean almost any computer program. An algorithm is a description of a computer program in plain language and enough detail that working programs in real computer languages can be written using the algorithm as a guide. Here is a very simple example from a program fragment using an if/else decision:

Radio Readers BookByte: Think About It

Oct 24, 2019
Austrian Future Cup / Wikimedia Commons

Hello, Radio Readers. I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kansas, to chat up with you the fourth book in our Fall 2019 Book Club series.

The fourth book, yet another best-seller, is Yuval Harari’s Homo Deus: A Brief History of the Future.

The paradox of the title anticipates the mind-bending ideas posted by Harari, an historian and professor at a prominent university.

Radio Readers BookByte: Heavy Topics

Oct 23, 2019

Hello, everyone.  I am Richard Brookman the Consultant for Southwest Kansas Library System and the owner and co-host of the podcast ComicPop Library.

In today’s Radio Reader BookByte, I am going to be discussing Yuval Noah Harari’s book entitled Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow, published by Harper in 2017.  An interesting point for this book is that it’s first edition was published, in Israel, in 2015.

Radio Readers BookByte: Knowledge is Exponential

Oct 22, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, my name Eric Mercer. I am an industrial and organizational psychology practitioner in the southwest Kansas area. The book, Homo Deus, purports not to present predictions, but merely possibilities and potentials of future human endeavors; as well as, perhaps, some timely warnings and reminders of what makes us human. 

Wikimedia Commons

In “Homo Deus” (Latin for “man, the god”), Professor Yuval Noah Harari tells us a new religion is coming out of California’s Silicon Valley. It is called “Dataism.”

Mike Strong Radio Reader Book Leader

Oct 18, 2019
Mike Strong

Mike Strong is a photographer, videographer, software programmer, tech writer, and Web programmer. He is a former astronomic and geodetic surveyor/computer (Air Force 1968-1972), former massage therapist at the Kansas City Club, former baker and of course former bartender and waiter (proudly so!), as well as a newspaper and radio reporter (Nebraska and upstate New York before and after the Air Force - KTTT, WMBO/WRLX, WGVA, Geneva Times) later finishing his BS in Journalism from the University of Kansas.

Educated - Self Identity From Scratch

Oct 7, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

This is Nicole English coming to you from Fort Hays State University for HPPR's Book-Bytes. This is a discussion of the book, Educated: A Memoir.

The book describes Tara Westover's memories growing up in a very conservative, strict, religious family in rural Idaho.  Her memoir is an emotionally wrenching, yet inspiring story of her journey from an isolated, rural life to her attaining her PhD, and studying at Oxford. 

Crushing Burden of Student Debt

Oct 4, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

I’m Joseph Lichterman from Baltimore, Maryland.

Educated is as good — if not better — than everyone says. Author Tara Westover writes about her childhood, growing up in a fundamentalist Mormon family in Idaho.

The Possibility of Becoming Educated

Oct 3, 2019
Holocaust Museum, Washington DC / Wikimedia Commons

“On the highway below, the school bus rolls past without stopping. I am only seven, but I understand that it is this fact more than any other that makes my family different. We don't go to school.”

So says Tara Westover in her memoir, Educated.

Acceptable for Women

Oct 2, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

This is Nicole English coming to you from Fort Hays State University for HPPR's BookBytes. This is a discussion of the book, Educated: A Memoir.

The book describes Tara Westover's memories growing up in a very conservative, survivalist family in rural Idaho. 

Her memoir is a wrenching, yet inspiring story of her journey from rugged, rural life to her attaining her PhD, and studying at Oxford. 

Outside Societal Norms

Oct 1, 2019
Peter Paul Rubens / Wikimedia Commons

Hi, I’m Valerie Mendoza talking to you from my public library in Topeka. I’m in the middle of reading Educated by Tara Westover and the book has me hooked.

Educated - Difficult, Painful, Validating & Inspiring

Sep 30, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

This is Nicole English coming to you from Fort Hays State University for HPPR's BookBytes. This is a discussion of the book, Educated: A Memoir.

Tara Westover was raised in a very conservative, survivalist family in rural Idaho.  Her memoir is an inspiring story of her rather heroic journey from a backwoods life to her attaining her PhD and studying at Oxford. 

For this segment, I would like to focus on the issues of gender.

The Cost of Forgiving

Sep 27, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, welcome to High Plains Public Radio, this is Freddy Gipp, I’m an enrolled member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma and my Indian name is “T’sa(N) T’hoop Ah(N)”, meaning Lead Horse in the Kiowa language.

I was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, where I graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Strategic Communications from the William Allen White School of Journalism. I currently run my own small consulting firm called Lead Horse LLC, which focuses on utilizing Native American Powwow celebrations as an effective economic driver for urban and rural communities.

Educated is a book with many challenging viewpoints, sometimes teetering on believability that it is Tara Westover’s lived experiences. There is not one great way to approach any chapter since each one begs the examination of her life at a different angle. She has lived through abuse, being ostracized from the majority of her family, and a journey toward a self-determined education.

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