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Bibliofiles: Suburbia

The 'dark side' of suburbia has been a running theme in American literature for at least a couple of decades. The theme has many forms: existential boringness, the soul-sucking blandness of conformity or as an evil secret lurking behind a too-pleasant veneer. On this episode, the Bibliofiles dive into a discussion about how suburban life is represented in literature and recommend new and noteworthy releases. 

Kaite Stover, Director of readers' Services, Kansas City Public Library

  • Our House by Louise Candlish
  • Truly Madly Guilty by Liane Moriarty
  • The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard
  • Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris
  • Iggie’s House by Judy Blume
  • What She Knew by Gilly Macmillan
  • The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas
  • We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch

Jeffrey Ann Goudie, freelance journalist and book critic

  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
  • Our Little Racket by Angelica Baker
  • The Ladies of Levittown by Gene Horowitz
  • Heartland by Sarah Smarsh
  • Unsheltered by Barbara Kingsolver
  • The Library Book by Susan Orlean

Dan Margolies, health and education editor at KCUR and all-around book enthusiast

  • Mrs. Bridge by Evan Connell 
  • Mr. Bridge by Evan Connell
  • The Swimmer by John Cheever
  • Goodbye, Columbus by Philip Roth
  • American Pastoral by Philip Roth
  • A plethora of works by John Updike
  • The Year of Lear: Shakespeare in 1606 by James Shapiro
  • Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor by Yossi Klein Halevi
  • Tailspin by Stephen Brill
  • Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard
People don't make cameos in news stories; the human story is the story, with characters affected by news events, not defined by them. As a columnist and podcaster, I want to acknowledge what it feels like to live through this time in Kansas City, one vantage point at a time. Together, these weekly vignettes form a collage of daily life in Kansas City as it changes in some ways, and stubbornly resists change in others. You can follow me on Twitter @GinaKCUR or email me at gina@kcur.org.