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Seg. 1: Performances of Tru at Prospero's. Seg. 2: Bibliofiles: 2018's Best Non-Fiction.

Segment 1: A bookstore stage for a literary legend.

Tru is a one-man production about writer Truman Capote's lonely Christmas in 1975.  We speak with the actor about preparing for the role and what he has learned about Capote's character. The play is on at Prospero's Books until December 30th.

Segment 2, beginning at 14:40: The best of non-fiction in 2018.

We talk with the Bibliofiles about their favorite non-fiction books in 2018. Common themes include self-help books "with attitude," political tomes, and meditations on female friendships.

Mark Luce, The Barstow School

  • "Let's Go (So We Can Get Back): A Memoir of Recording and Discording with Wilco, Etc." by Jeff Tweedy
  • "Basketball: A Love Story" by Jackie MacMullan, Rafe Bartholomew, and Dan Klores
  • "All the Pieces Matter: The Inside Story of The Wire" by Jonathan Abrams
  • "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" by Stephen Hawking

Jeffrey Ann Goudie, freelance journalist and book critic

  • "The Library Book" by Susan Orlean
  • "Sharp: The Women Who Made an Art of Having an Opinion" by Michelle Dean
  • "Heartland: A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth" by Sarah Smarsh
  • "See What Can Be Done: Essays, Criticism, and Commentary" by Lorrie Moore

Kaite Stover, director of Readers' Services, Kansas City Public Library

  • "Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book" by Dan Harris
  • "Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters" by Anne Boyed Rioux
  • "It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson
  • "No Place Like Home: Lessons in Activism from LGBT Kansas" by C.J. Janovy

KCUR staff recommendations:

Dan Margolies

  • "Tailspin: The People and Forces Behind America's Fifty-Year Fall and Those Fighting to Reverse It" by Steven Brill
  • "The Jewish American Paradox: Embracing Choice in a Changing World" by Robert Mnookin
  • "On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century" by Timothy Snyder
  • "Letters to My Palestinian Neighbor" by Yossi Klein Halevi
  • "Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill" by Candice Millard
  • "Natural Causes: An Epidemic of Wellness, the Certainty of Dying, and Killing Ourselves to Live Longer" by Barbara Ehrenreich
  • "The Book of Separation: A Memoir" by Tova Mirvis

Melody Rowell

  • "Bachelor Nation: Inside the World of America's Favorite Guilty Pleasure" by Amy Kaufman

Erica Hunzinger

  • "The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World" by Charles C. Mann

Caroline Campbell

  • "Text Me When You Get Home: The Evolution and Triumph of Modern Female Frienship" by Kayleen Schaefer

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.