© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Book Doctors, Honoring Thy Mother and Father

The Book Doctors join us to give summer reading tips and local literary news. By The Walt Bodine Show, May 21, 2009

Kansas City , Mo. – The Book Doctors join us to give summer reading tips and local literary news.

In honor of recent celebrations of Mother's Day, and upcoming Father's Day festivities, we talk about books that feature memorable parental characters, or that explore the complexities of the parent/child relationship.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie, a freelance writer and book reviewer based in Topeka
Mark Luce, Barstow School

Send To A Friend Podcast
To download this audio file, right click and select "Save Target As..."

Book Doctors Recommendations

Jeffrey Ann Goudie:
A Fortunate Age by Joanna Smith Rakoff
The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels

Mark Luce:
Long Day's Journey into Night by Eugene O'Neil
August, Osage County by Tracy Letts
My Antonia by Willa Cather
Bernini by Rudolph Wittkower
Persepolis 2 by Marjane Satrapi
Sag Harbour by Colson Whitehead
Nobody Move by Denis Johnson
Big Sleep by Raymond Chandler
Red Harvest by Samuel Dashiell Hammett
A River Runs Through It by Norman McLean

Book Recommendations with Great Parental Figures

Jeffrey Ann Goudie:
The Center of Everything by Laura Moriarty
Run by Ann Patchett

Mark Luce?
A River Runs Through It by Norman McLean
White Teeth by Zadie Smith

From KCUR Staff:

I read John Irving's The World According to Garp over 25 years ago, yet the lead character, Garp, remains with me. He was such a devoted and protective parent. Deeply embedded is the chapter in which he raced through the neighborhood taking every imaginable shortcut in order to chastise a motorist who is driving too fast. It stuck with me all these years and, now, as a parent I have experienced similar impulses.
--Bill Anderson, Program Director

The pioneering father, Armanzo, in the Laura Ingalls Wilder books set in southern Missouri: the Little House Series. And Mister Fezziwig, father to three marriageable daughters in Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
--Dan Verbeck, General Assignment Reporter

I have always loved Marmee from Louisa May Alcott's Little Women. She is such a strong, intelligent female figure that gives a positive image for young girls to attach to, especially considering she is a single parent throughout most of the story while her husband is at war.
--Kara Caldwell, Assistant Producer for Up to Date

I would suggest Jonathan Kent, the earthly father in Superman. He pulled Superman back from the great beyond after he died. Personally, I think that's a pretty neat trick and certainly worth a mention.
--John Hawken, Production Manager

Polysyllabic Spree, by Nick Hornby. An easy reading tour through the author's bookshelf and how and what he reads. My own reading list got a lot longer by the time I was finished. It's not really about parenting, but he does talk about his kids, one of whom is autistic. He reads and reflects on several books written by parents of autism.
--Maria Carter, Morning Newscaster and Reporter

What comes to mind is Lady Macbeth in Shakespeare's Macbeth as a kind of dark mother figure. Also, I loved the mother figure in The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd (played by Queen Latifah in the movie).
--Linda Sher, Afternoon Drive Announcer

To Kill a Mocking Bird? Atticus Finch.
--Laura Ziegler, Special Correspondent

Polonius in Shakespeare's Hamlet. He is known for his unsolicited fatherly advice. Although I'm pretty sure Shakespeare is making fun of the character, a few of his more famous lines have been read (and quoted in countless yearbooks) as inspiring words of wisdom.
--Gina Kaufmann, Co-Host of The Walt Bodine Show

KCUR serves the Kansas City region with breaking news and award-winning podcasts.
Your donation helps keep nonprofit journalism free and available for everyone.