HPPR Radio Readers Book Club

The HPPR Radio Readers Book Club is an on-air, on-line community of readers exploring themes of interest to those who live and work on the High Plains.

It’s time for our 2021 Spring Read – Cultures in a Common Land. We’ll be exploring the ways in which individuals and families learn to live together when their world views vary widely on many fronts. There is a lot to think about regarding the ways in which environment, culture and experience influence the ways in which we interact as well as in which we view our common worlds.

Scroll down to find a full book list, to meet some of the contributors and to read or listen (Just click on the title for the audio file.) Radio Readers BookBytes.

If you’re interested in joining the Radio Readers Steering Committee, serving as a future book leader or contributing a Radio Readers BookByte, simply contact Kathleen Holt at kholt@hppr.org

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 contributions from Radio Readers  Lon Frahm of Colby, Lynne Hewes of Cimarron, and Lynn Boitano, formerly of Garden City, Kansas.  Please join us in thanking them for their support!

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.

What is Education?

Sep 26, 2019
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Library of Congress / Wikimedia Commons

Hello, Radio Readers. I’m Jane Holwerda from Dodge City, Kansas.  Tara Westover’s Educated offers up some pretty deep waters to navigate as she recounts growing up survivalist in Utah, bereft of formal education until she was 17, then continuing onward to earn her doctorate from Cambridge.  It’s an amazing story. A miraculous story. It’s a story that sort of demands us to ask, after all, what does it mean to be educated?

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.

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