Books | KCUR

Books

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.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: In a tight race for Kansas governor, candidate Kelly touts her bipartisan bona fides.

gofishdigital.com / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: "It is much more difficult to predict turnout and who's going to vote in midterm elections than in a presidential election," veteran pollster says.

Segment 1: How do you prepare to vote?

There are a lot more issues on the ballot than you may realize. How do you make sure you have sufficient knowledge of candidates, judges, and amendments before getting to the ballot box? We talk with a local voter who did extensive research and shared her findings on social media, as well as KCUR staff members who put together some resources.

Segment 1: How should we respond to violent acts of hatred?

On Saturday, a gunman killed 11 people at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We talk with leaders in Kansas City's Jewish community about this act of violence, including ways to heal and prevent this from happening again in the future.

A white woman in a dark blazer with shoulder-length strawberry blonde hair smiling broadly.
Rhododendrites / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Renowned historian discusses the influences that made four presidents great leaders.

When it comes down to it, 50 years of presidential scholarship has convinced Doris Kearns Goodwin that great leaders are made, not born. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author of books on former presidents Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, FDR, and Lyndon Johnson talked about the individual trajectories that brought each of them to the national crises they faced as president.

Joni Kabana

Cheryl Strayed knows the power of a story and that repetition ups the voltage.

Strayed is best known for her 2012 memoir “Wild” — made into a movie of the same name — about her solo hike up the West Coast of the United States, and her more recent advice column and podcast “Dear Sugar.”

O'Dea / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Three separate ballot measures aim to allow medical marijuana in the Show-Me State.

A smiling person with shoulder-length red hair. Wearing a white shirt and positioned in front of a light neutral background.
Andrew Eccles

She's well known for her stints as assistant Erin on the television show "The Office," the naive friend in the movie "Bridesmaids" and the lead role on Netflix comedy "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt." Now Missouri-native Ellie Kemper is branching out from the screen to the page with a newly-released collection of personal essays. We talked about why her the book devotes a chapter to squirrels and what it was like to make the jump from from the Midwest to Hollywood.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: The state of KanCare.

Since it's creation in 2013, KanCare has received heavy criticism. The privatized Medicaid dispursement program started by former Gov. Sam Brownback has struggled with long processing wait times, bad data collection and lawsuits. Today, administrators of the program discuss the myriad issues they've dealt with already and the ones that remain to be solved.

Macmillan Children's Publishing Group

"A Blade So Black," a new young adult novel, is a modern twist on the children's classic, "Alice in Wonderland." This Alice faces the challenges of growing up a black teen in urban Atlanta while also fighting the nightmares in Wonderland. Author L. L. McKinney spoke with us about the novel and how she wrote the female protagonist so her niece could read books with characters that look like her. 

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Will redevelopment on a single block of Troost be the bellweather for how the city revitalizes other neighborhoods?

Grey keyboard with "Healthcare" printed on green return key.
BigStock

Segment 1: Kansas refusal to expand Medicaid has delayed access to medical care and left many poor residents uninsured.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Will Kansas City's new months-long arts festival draw a crowd and make a buck?

Man in dirty jeans, a t-shirt and ball cap walking along a concrete median holding a cardboard sign out to cars along the road.
Hanlly Sam / The Accent / Flickr - CC

Segment 1: A proposed ordinance would limit the amount of time pedestrians could spend in crosswalks and traffic islands.

Catina Taylor wearing headphones and seated at a microphone in the KCUR studio.
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: KC Fed releases results of study looking at black women starting businesses.

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Local reactions to Pennsylvania grand jury report on seven decades of sexual abuse of children by clergy.

Courtney Bierman / KCUR 89.3

Vampires and transgender people are similar in a number of ways, says anthology editor Bogi Takács. Members of each group are often outcasts on the fringe of society, have atypical bodies, and attract the fascination of the mainstream.

Rachel Guthrie / Merryman4Jackson.com

Segment 1: Matthew Merryman wants to be the next Jackson County executive.

A former public defender and political newcomer from Kansas City is challenging incumbent Frank White for Jackson County executive. Today, he shared his reasons for running, and discussed his plans to address a crumbling county jail, keep guns out of schools and forge good relationships with county legislators.

Paul Andrews / paulandrewsphotography.com

It's okay not to be okay. That's the essential message of a new book for young adult readers by Kansas City author Adib Khorram.

Darius The Great is Not Okay follows a boy with an Iranian mom and teutonic, white-guy dad through the cruelty and tenderness of adolescence. Darius lives in Portland. He struggles with depression. He's bullied at school, and he's unsure of his place at home. He doesn't speak Farsi, like his mom and sister, and he's convinced he's a disappointment to his dad. His only comforts come from hot tea and Star Trek

Bibliofiles: Suburbia

Jul 17, 2018

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

Mike Peyton

It's a stormy summer afternoon in Columbia, Missouri, when the writer Ibtisam Barakat arrives at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute for a book group discussion. She's wearing boots, a colorful skirt, and large hoop ear rings, carrying a large tray of manakish, a Palestinian traditional flatbread.

Pages