Books | KCUR

Books

Gretchen Rubin

Apr 12, 2019

In "Outer Order, Inner Calm," happiness explorer Gretchen Rubin explains how getting control of your stuff makes you feel more in control of your life.

Organizing your belongings isn't a one-size-fits-all concept. Kansas City native Gretchen Rubin explained the "don't use, don't need, don't love" rule for sorting through your possessions and why something as simple as making your bed can bring a sense of calmness to your life. 

Segment 1: As cold storage fills up, food banks are seeing a bump in donations of meat and dairy. 

A scarcity of space in cold storage sites for beef, pork, chicken, milk, and cheese has prompt market players to find ways to balance production and demand. Hear what led to the dilemma, who could benefit from it, and whether or not food producers will be able to respond quick enough.   

MH Cameron Barrett

Children's book author Jenn Bailey wonders whether her middle son would have had an easier childhood if his classmates had a better understanding of autism spectrum disorder.

"He was frequently labeled by his peers as, well, 'He's the weird kid,' 'He's the shy kid,'" she remembers.

Seg. 1: 3.2 Beer | Seg. 2: A Friend For Henry

Apr 3, 2019

Segment 1: 3.2 Beer.

As of April 1, grocery and convenience stores in Kansas are permitted to sell full-alcohol beer. In this conversation, we find out why the 3.2 alcohol limit was instituted in the first place and share memories of the infamous brew.

Segment 1: Architects need to change the way they design buildings to adapt to the complex changes in our environment.

The benefits outweigh the costs when designing architecture that can withstand the effects of climate change, says one leading voice on the matter. Natural disasters like Superstorm Sandy and recent flooding throughout the Midwest show why cities need resilient design that also makes them quicker to recover.

Segment 1: What draws people to hate movements and how to escape 

Mindy Corporon, whose father and son were murdered by a neo-Nazi outside the Jewish Community Center in 2014, hopes to promote understanding and encourage kindness with her SevenDays Foundation. Hear the story behind her relationship with former white supremacist Christian Picciolini

Segment 1: How to make compost.

Composting is one of those things that sounds easy — but is it? A local farming instructor explains what compost is, how to make it and why worms are so important.

  • Loretta Craig, compost class instructor

The KC Farm School at Gibbs Road will teach a class about making compost on Friday, April 5 from noon to 2 p.m. For more information, visit their Facebook page.

Segment 1: Response and recovery to flooding in the Midwest.

We hear regional reactions to the devastating flood waters now making their way through Missouri, and learn about the recovery effort and how the Army Corps of Engineers is planning for the possibilty of more flooding this spring.

Segment 1: The Tomb of the Unkown Soldier is located at Arlington National Cemetery.

Established in 1921, the Tomb is the final resting place for unknown service members who made the ultimate sacrifice in both World Wars and the Korean War. Hear the history of the monument and what it takes to become a sentinel at this national landmark.

Segment 1: Kansas governor and lawmakers don't see eye to eye.

Political reporters described a hostile environment  between Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly and the Republican-led legislature. They explained what each side is looking for on the issues of Medicaid expansion, school funding, protecting vulenerable children and the food tax.

Jason Dailey

Danny Caine is in an awkward position. On the one hand, as owner of The Raven Bookstore, he really loves all the independent shops that define downtown Lawrence. On the other hand, those big box stores and chains that threaten local businesses like his feel an awful lot like home.

So, he wrote some poems to try to sort it all out. That became "Continental Breakfast," his first collection.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

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.

Andrea Tudhope / KCUR 89.3

Wes Parham never imagined he could be an author.

“The idea that I would write a book is not something I ever thought as a kid or a teenager, because I wasn’t exposed to authors,” says Parham, who grew up around 76th and Troost in Kansas City, Missouri, and went to Lincoln Preparatory Academy.

Last year, Parham published his first book. And last weekend, at the Black Authors Network Book Fair & Art Show at the W.E.B. DuBois Learning Center, he shared it with the community.

Creative Commons

Seg. 1: A recent poll shows Jolie Justus and Steve Miller leading the race for Kansas City mayor, but nearly 30 percent of voters are undecided.

Special Collections and Archives, Georgia State University

Segment 1: Municipal lawmakers from both sides of the state line discuss the hurdles facing their cities.

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.

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