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Up To Date

The Book Doctors: Best Reads Of 2013


With winter weather stinging the metro area, now is the perfect time to curl up on the couch and read a good book.

Tuesday on Up to Date, the Book Doctors return with their picks for the best books of 2013. We dive into tales about extreme weather - and we don’t mean what is outside your house right now.

Jeffrey Ann Goudie:

  • Book of Ages by Jill Lepore
  • The Valley of Amazement by Amy Tan
  • Mary Coin by Marisa Silver

Kaite Stover:

  • S. by J.J. Abrams
  • Visitation Street by Ivy Pochoda
  • The Dinner by Herman Koch
  • Five Days at Memorial by Sheri Fink 

Steve Paul:

  • The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America by George Packer
  • The Maid's Version by Daniel Woodrell
  • Tenth of December by George Sanders
  • Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
  • Richard Diebenkorn: Abstractions on Paper, edited by Bart Schneider
  • Lullaby (with Exit Sign) by Hadara Bar-Nadav


  • Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking: A Memoir of Food and Longing by Anya Von Bremzen
  • Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth by Reza Aslan 
  • The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin 
  • The World Until Yesterday: What Can We Learn from Traditional Societies? by Jared Diamond 
  • Voices in Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials by James J. Heiman
  • Vicious by V. E. Schwab 
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel by Neil Gaiman 
  • Vanished: The Sixty-Year Search for the Missing Men of World War II by Wil S. Hylton
  • The Aviators: Eddie Rickenbacker, Jimmy Doolittle, Charles Lindbergh, and the Epic Age of Flight by Winston Groom
  • Son by Lois Lowry
  • The Holy or the Broken: Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley, and the Unlikely Ascent of "Hallelujah" by Alan Light 
  • Life After Life: A Novel by Kate Atkinson
  • The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt
  • The Presidents Club: Inside the World's Most Exclusive Fraternity by Nancy Gibbs and Michael Duffy
  • Hitler's Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields by Wendy Lower


  • Jeffrey Ann Goudie is a freelance writer and book reviewer whose reviews have appeared in the Kansas City Star, the New York Times Book Review and the Women’s Review of Books. A former newspaper columnist, she also publishes commentary in the Huffington Post and writes profiles for Topeka Magazine.
  • Kaite Stover is the Director of Reader Services for Kansas City Public Library. She is the co-editor of The Readers Advisors' Handbook and leads the KCPL/Kansas City Star FYI Book Club.
  • Steve Paul has been a writer and editor at The Kansas City Star since 1975, including a long stint as book review editor. Currently serves on the Star's editorial board.


When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Stephen Steigman is director of Classical KC and chief of broadcast operations for KCUR 89.3 and 91.9 Classical KC. You can email him at stephen@kcur.org.