Books | KCUR

Books

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Cerner co-founder steps away after forty years with the healthcare records company.

One of Kansas City's most succesfull businessmen, Cliff Illig helped lead a company whose total local workforce today numbers nearly 13,000 Kansas Citians and more than 26,000 employees companywide. Illig explained his decision to retire and how outside interests like ownership of Sporting KC will keep him occupied.

Elle Moxley / KCUR 89.3

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Crestview Elementary third grader Hana Ismail is reading two books she picked out from her classroom library that feature Pakistani protagonists.

“Four Feet, Two Sandals,” by Karen Lynn Williams and illustrated by Khadra Mohammed, tells the story of two girls who meet in a refugee camp. “Malala’s Magic Pencil,” by Malala Yousafzai, is about the young Nobel laureate, with illustrations by Kerascoët.

“I get to pick out all my favorite books,” Hana said. “They’re really fun to read for me, and they give me more information about everything.”

Marco Verch / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: Some CBD advocates claim medicinal benefits, but research is still nominal. 

The market for CBD is growing, and a large number of shops have sprouted up around Kansas City. Users claim it helps with anxiety, Alzheimer's, and plenty other pains, but medical testing and research is still catching up to newly loosened law concerning the hemp-derived product. We discussed safety concerns and expectations for the future of this new emerging industry.

Focus Features

Segment 1: River of Refuge is a nonprofit organization that helps transition homeless families into permanent housing.

Seg. 1: The Shutdown Show. Seg 2: General Hospital #2.

Jan 9, 2019

Segment 1: Kansas City stories about the federal government shutdown.

From an entrepreneur whose plans to open his own business have been thwarted, to the federal employee who made the daunting decision to borrow against her pension. Hear stories from Kansas Citians whose lives are in limbo on day 18 of a federal government shutdown. 

Mike Mosher

Before his book "Nineteen Eighty-Four" — published in 1949 — predicted the society of surveillance and doublespeak we live in now, George Orwell tried to save the world, a University of Kansas professor has discovered.

Mick Cottin

No one knows what happened in Limetown, Tennessee, where all 327 citizens vanished in February 2004. The town and its people are a work of fiction, but it's still maddening not to know the cause of the disappearance, especially when initial reports don't mention much more than a massive bonfire in the town square. Well, initial "reports."

That mystery is one reason the "Limetown" podcast is so popular. Created by Zack Akers and Skip Bronkie, "Limetown" shot to  No. 1 on iTunes shortly after it first aired in 2015.

Bill Pryor

Turns out Truman Capote didn’t like Christmas much. The "In Cold Blood" and "Breakfast at Tiffany's" author wasn’t alone.

"We have these lives we want to have," said Prospero's bookstore owner Will Leathem, "and quite often Christmas puts an exclamation point on the reminder that maybe there's a little disjunct between what we want ourselves to be and where we are."

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.

Flickr user LeAnn Weishaar

Midwest readers provide a good barometer for what's popular in books around the country, according to some library officials. So what topped the non-fiction and fiction lists at Kansas City-area libraries in 2018?

Prolific writers such as James Patterson and John Grisham continued to be popular in fiction along with some first-time authors. A.J. Finn's debut "The Woman in the Window," a psychological thriller, cracked the top five for all but one area library.

401kcalculator.org / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: In states with no restrictions, prisoners can spend weeks, months or decades separated from the general population.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Over the last year, homicides in Kansas City's Historic Northeast neighborhoods have gone from 11 to zero.

Police, county authorities, neighborhood associations and other community groups have stepped up to a complex crime problem in Kansas City's Historic Northeast with a multi-layered solution. Today, we heard about their efforts, credited with bringing the rates of homicide, aggravated assault and robbery down.

Segment 1: Comedy is comedy for kids and adults.

Mo Willems has written for Sesame Street and has authored many children's books with iconic characters such as Pigeon and Knuffle Bunny. We talk with him about the many emotions and lessons depicted in his books. His most recent exhibit, The Pigeon Comes to Topeka!, is on display until January 4th.

Public domain

Everything about Walt Disney is legendary, especially in his hometown of Kansas City where a mythology has grown up around the young ad man who created the world’s most-beloved character.

But, what does anyone really know about that mouse?

"How can the most popular fictional character in the world be someone that no one knows anything about?" author Jeff Ryan asked Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann.

Segment 1: The forgotten Kansas Citian behind Mickey Mouse.

The story of how Mickey Mouse got his start is part of Kansas City mythology. But Walt Disney isn't the only Kansas Citian responsible for the famous mouse. We'll hear the story of another man whose role in making Mickey is just as crucial.

Kyle Cassidy / Wikimedia Commons

Public radio star Peter Sagal has not always been the dedicated long-distance runner he is today. After competing on his high school cross-country team, 25 years would pass before he took exercising seriously again. What started out as a goal to get healthy, led to 14 marathon finishes. Today, Sagal talked about the lessons he's learned, and how his running helped him get a handle on life during hard times.

John Chase

Robert Mnookin grew up in the 1950s as a member of B’nai Jehudah, one of the biggest and oldest Jewish temples in Kansas City. But asked to describe himself, the Harvard law professor doesn’t immediately say, “I’m Jewish.”

“We all have many strands to our identity: I’m a father, a grandfather, a husband, a law professor, I’m a Harvard graduate, and I’m from Kansas City. And, I’m Jewish,” Mnookin told Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann.

J.E. Milles Studio, LaBudde Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library / UMKC

Segment 1: Control of venerable jazz institution to be decided in court.  

Kansas City is home to three National Historic Landmarks, and an unassuming building near 18th and Vine is one of them. The Mutual Musicians Foundation has been a meeting place for jazz greats like Charlie Parker for more than a century and is known for its late-night jam sessions. We learned about its long musical history and what is behind the latest power struggle for the foundation.

Succotash / Facebook

Kansas City chef Beth Barden just finished a job she never anticipated having: food-stylist for the new coffee table book "Queer Eye: Love Yourself, Love Your Life."

Like the "Queer Eye" television show, which recently wrapped filming its third season in Kansas City, the book is full of lifestyle advice, with pearls of widsom ranging from how to select the right cut of denim to what your go-to meal says about you.  

Frank Morris / KCUR

Segment 1: Road conditions led to schools being closed for three days after Sunday's storm.  

November is ending but the winter season is just beginning as Kansas Citians continue recovering from the effects of last weekend's blizzard. The city is responsible for clearing 6,400 miles of pavement and listeners called in to let city council members know just what they thought of how well the city did, or didn't, do in plowing and treating their streets.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: How newly-elected lawmakers get up to speed before taking office.

There's new staff to meet, colleagues to greet, committee assignments, and dorms to move into — well, that last one might not apply, but becoming a new state lawmaker can be a lot like going off to college. We spoke with two freshman lawmakers from the Kansas City area about making the transition to the statehouse.

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3 file photo

Segment 1: After a failed gas tax proposal, how does the Missouri Department of Transportation continue to keep roads and bridges safe?

USFWS Mountain Prairie / Flickr--Creative Commons

Segment 1: How rising temperatures and a changing climate will affect the tallgrass prairies. 

The consequences of climate change are usually pictured as melting ice caps and islands being swallowed by rising sea levels. In the Midwest, where unpredictable weather is a staple of life, biologists say climate change is also altering the landscape of the tallgrass prairie, "one of the most endangered ecosystems in the world."

Segment 1: Kansas City poet wins International Latino Book Award

A local poet has won two major awards this year, for her work in both English and Spanish. On this episode, we speak with Xánath Caraza about poetry as a way to break silence, the best way to produce a lot of art, and the women that have had significant influence on her life. 

Kelly Downs Photography

If there were something like a Chinatown for Cherokee people, says author Traci Sorell, it would be easier for non-Native American people to know more about these indigenous people.

“They are your neighbors, they’re the children in your classroom, they’re the people walking into your library, they’re your colleagues at work,” says Sorell, a registered member of the Cherokee Nation.

Segment 1: Stan Lee's local impact on entertainment culture.

Stan Lee, the creator of the Marvel Comics Universe, passed away earlier this week. On this episode, we speak with local artists and collectors who were influenced by Lee's legacy.

Segment 2, beginning at 35:00: The Baker Street Irregulars.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: New Kansas Gov.-elect Laura Kelly is making the transition with the help of Gov. Jeff Colyer and others.

Seg. 1: Election Words. Seg. 2: National Novel Writing Month.

Nov 6, 2018

Segment 1: Where does the word vote come from?

Voting and elections have their own vocabulary, with words like poll, tally, ballot, and candidate. We discuss with scholars to learn the origins of voting words and how they came to be associated with the election season. We also check in with a KCUR reporter out at the polls on this election day.

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