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!

Mysteries Within Us All

Sep 25, 2019
M. C. Escher, 1959 / Wikimedia Commons

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

HPPR listeners will remember last spring when I said that I normally find the mysteries of real life intriguing enough for my reading tastes. Although Sherlock Holmes won me over—and yes, I am a true mystery convert now—I must confess that it’s still the mysteries of the real human experience that buzz in my head.

It Takes Education to Recognize Abuse

Sep 24, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

I’m Mike Strong - in Hays with reflections on Tara Westover’s “Educated”

The seeming arc of Tara Westover’s book is the struggle to go from a childhood without formal school to a prestigious academic position with a PhD. But “Educated” is really about finding herself.

Radio Reader Book Leader Nicole English

Sep 24, 2019

Born in Texas, raised bilingual in two cultures, Nicole is a second generation academic and folkloric dancer.  She’s also an assistant professor of sociology at FHSU holding degrees from the University of Missouri in Kansas City. Nicole’s interests range from  the sociology of dance, arts, and community to LatinX studies, and technology.  Her research interests include the social impact of the arts and performance, (esp.

Resilience

Sep 20, 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.

RadioReaders BookByte: A Word from the Author Part II

Sep 19, 2019

My name is Brandon Hobson and I’m the author of Where the Dead Sit Talking, one of the novels selected for the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club’s 2019 Fall Read.

Where the Dead Sit Talking is about a 15 year old Cherokee boy named Sequoyahh who is placed in foster care. Literally and figuratively scarred by his mother’s years of substance abuse, he keeps mostly to himself, living with his emotions pressed deep beneath the surface or at least until he meets 17-year-old Rosemary, a troubled artist, also living with the family. 

Radio Readers BookByte: A Word from the Author Part I

Sep 18, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

My name is Brandon Hobson and I’m the author of Where the Dead Sit Talking, one of the novels that is part of the HPPR Radio Readers Book Club’s 2019 Fall Read.

Where the Dead Sit Talking is about a 15-year-old Cherokee boy named Sequoyah who is placed in foster care. He is literally and figuratively scarred by his mother’s years of substance abuse. 

Where the Dead Sit Talking - Shadows

Sep 17, 2019
Boston Public Library

I suppose you could call Where the Dead Sit Talking a coming-to-terms book. Our protagonist and narrator, Sequoyah, is in his mid-40s, looking back to his mid-teens. Sequoyah is remembering a death of a 17-year old girl he knew in 1989, when he was 15.

Sequoyah's View of Death

Sep 16, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, welcome to High Plains Public Radio. I'm 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.

Displaced, Dislocated & Disassociated

Sep 13, 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.

As we previously discussed in our last introduction, “Where The Dead Sit Talking”,  focuses on a young Native American boy named Sequoyah, as we join him through the perils of a broken foster care system, meandering through different homes, vying for any sense of identity and belonging.

How Does It All Turn Out?

Sep 12, 2019
Flickr Creative Commons

Hi, I’m Valerie Mendoza with Humanities Kansas with a book byte about Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson, a Radio Reader selection for this fall’s theme: Navigating Uncharted waters.

This book is a coming-of-age story about Sequoyah, a Cherokee boy growing up in rural Oklahoma in the late 1980s. Most of the book takes place when Sequoyah is 15 and has been in foster care for a few years because his mother is in prison for possession of drug paraphernalia and driving while intoxicated.

Culture-Crossing Teenagers

Sep 11, 2019
Flickr Creative Commons 2.0

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

Most of the books in this season’s Radio Readers list are about children crossing cultures, and the rough waters they must navigate to do so.

What Haunts Me

Sep 10, 2019
Georgios Jakovidis

Hello. I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kan., here to talk about Brandon Hobson’s Where the Dead Sit Talking.

My problem is: I don’t really know what to say. It’s not the fault of the novel, not by any means. It’s well-crafted, beautifully written. But for me, it’s one of those books that as I turned the final page I thought: 'huh: the end. What to make of this? ' Yet, it’s also one of those books that haunts me, long after I thought I had finished with it. Given its title, Where the Dead Sit Talking, to feel haunted perhaps makes a kind of sense.

Displacement, Identity & Resilience

Sep 9, 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.

Radio Reader Book Leader Freddy Gipp

Sep 9, 2019

Freddy Gipp was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. He is an enrolled member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma and his Indian name is T'sa(N) T'hoop A'h(N), meaning Lead Horse in Kiowa. 

Gipp graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Strategic Communications from the William Allen White School of Journalism. 

Library of Congrses

Hello, Radio Readers! Jane Holwerda here to chat with you about one of the novels in our Fall 2019 book series—Paulette Jiles’  News of the World. This True-Grit type of Western features the wizened veteran of many wars—Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd-- charged with returning a young girl recently ransomed by the Kiowa to her blood kin near San Antonio.

Radio Readers BookByte: Poet as Storyteller

Sep 2, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

This is Leslie VonHolten of Strong City, Kansas, with another HPPR Radio Readers Book Byte.

There is joy in reading the story of Captain Kidd and young Johanna, the main characters in Paulette Jiles’s News of the World.

The plot, the characters, the setting are beautifully rendered in this story about the Captain’s task of returning the young girl to the family she was taken from four years earlier.

Wikimedia Commons

Hello, my name is Eric Mercer. I am an industrial and organizational psychology practitioner in the southwest Kansas area.

In News of the World, by Paulette Jiles, Johanna is a 10-year-old girl who has spent the last four years of her life with the Kiowa tribe and who fully identifies with them and shares the general values and beliefs of the tribe.

University Press of Kansas

I’m Dennis Garcia and I’m a Boomer, born in 1951 in Garden City, Kansas. Ten years earlier on December 7, Japan attacked Pearl Harbor.  Days later, the U.S. entered World War II and required males, age 18-65, to register for military service.

My father, Dionicio, and his five brothers registered as ordered. Like most families on the High Plains, the brothers believed military service was a duty owed to the country.

U.S. Post Office / Wikimedia Commons

I had almost forgotten how good it feels to slip into a narrative which folds around you and won’t let go until the very end.

In “News of the World” Paulette Jiles’ protagonist, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd is a former printer who lost his press in the civil war and is now a traveling lecturer, who reads news of the world out of newspapers from cities around the country. He lives off the money his audiences pay to hear him.

Silvestre Vargas Museum / Wikimedia Commons

Hello, I’m Dennis Garcia and I’m from Garden City, Kansas.  For most Americans in the last century their first encounter with a person of different heritage occurred in the schools. 

That was the case in my family.  My grandfather, Jose, was working for the Santa Fe Railroad in 1920 when the Santa Fe shipped him and his family from El Paso, Texas to Southwest Kansas. 

In 1928, Jose bought a small house in Garden City’s Mexican Barrio along the Santa Fe’s tracks.   There he and my grandmother raised six sons. 

Wikimedia Commons

This is Leslie VonHolten of Strong City, Kansas, with another HPPR Radio Readers Book Byte.

In Paulette Jiles’s book News of the World, 10-year-old Johanna Leonbarger, the child of German immigrant parents who had been murdered, has been reclaimed from the Kiowa family, who have been raising her since she was six years old.

Radio Readers BookByte: Where was Mexico?

Aug 23, 2019
www.nationalatlas.gov

Hi, I’m Valerie Mendoza, a relatively new radio reader, here to talk to you about News of the World by Paulette Jiles.

The things that struck me the most about the book were seemingly inconsequential details laced throughout the book about the main character’s back story. For me, these details added to the rich dimensions of the time period and thick flavor of the book.

Stovall Studio, Dodge City KS / Kansas Historical Society, Kansas Memory

Hello, I’m Dennis Garcia.  I was born in 1951 in Garden City, Kansas.  Today, I’d like to share with you a family story about two great historical events that took place in the 1930s, the Great Depression and The Dust Bowl. 

Radio Readers BookByte: Loss of the News of My World

Aug 21, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Captain Kidd laid out the Boston Morning Journal on the lectern and began to read from the article on the Fifteenth Amendment. 

He had been born in 1798 and the third war of his lifetime had ended . . . He had been at one time a printer but the war had taken his press and everything else. 

University Press of Kansas

Dennis Raphael Garcia, AWA, is a retired attorney and teacher. Garcia earned his law degree at the University of Kansas and his Bachelor’s degree in Business at the University of New Mexico.

He practiced civil and criminal law, and served as a Judge Pro Tem in Magistrate Court. He taught government and law at a public high school in Tucson, Arizona.

F. M. Steele / Finney County Historical Society

Hello, I’m Dennis Garcia.  I was born in 1951 in Garden City, Kansas. 

Even in a small town like Garden City, we get so busy we don’t see things that impact our daily lives. For me, it was the railroad. 

The Pleasure of Reading a Nice Story

Aug 19, 2019

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

I loved reading News of the World by Paulette Jiles for a few reasons, but the main reason is so simple that I rarely credit books for this: It’s a charming story with a tender, happy ending.

My Obsession with Paulette Jiles

Aug 16, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Years ago, in high school and college, it was frequent that I would fall in love with an author.  When I discovered EAST OF EDEN, for example, I rushed to read everything Steinbeck.  I did the same with Kurt Vonnegut, James Lee Burke,  and Toni Morrison,, to name a few. 

The World of "News of the World"

Aug 14, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, my name is Freddy Gipp from Lawrence, KS. Welcome to High Plains Public Radio. 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.

News of the World Discussion Leader Leslie VonHolten

Aug 12, 2019

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.”

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