Books - Non-Fiction

Herbert Woodward Martin returned to the program to discuss the work of Paul Laurence Dunbar. At the time we originally presented this radio program Herb had just published a collection of Dunbar's work, "In His Own Voice: Dramatic & Other Uncollected Works," which he co-edited along with the scholar Ronald Primeau. Two years later his collaborator on this project would publish his own study of the work of Herb Martin.

For the past 30 years or so I have been a faithful reader of the New York Times. They have excellent coverage of books. During the 1980's and 1990's I was a fan of the food writer Molly O'Neill. Her culinary column in the New York Times was something I always anticipated with a sense of joy. In 1996 when Molly published a cookbook and she was coming through the area on book tour I eagerly contacted her publicist and arranged an interview.

When I was a child I didn't keep track of the days of the week before I began going to school. When I was about four years-old I began to recognize when it was a Friday. That was the day that my dad would come home from work with a six pack of beer. His brand was Budweiser. Years later I tried some of his beer, just a sip, and I spit it out. It was awful stuff; I could not understand the attraction.

Coleman Barks is known as one of our foremost interpreters of the poetry of Rumi, the 13th century Persian mystic. Barks is sometimes described as a translator but he actually is more of an interpreter, he takes existing translations that have been made over the centuries and rewrites them in the spirit of what he feels in each poem. Barks doesn't actually speak the original language in which the poetry was written.

"The Sibley Guide to Birds" David Allen Sibley
(original recording made in 2000)

David Allen Sibley is one of our leading ornithologists. He spent years working on his masterful guide to American birds. He created thousands of paintings to illustrate it and he drew almost every single bird from real life. This book became an instant best-seller and has sold hundreds of thousands of copies.

Loving's Love: A Black American's Experiences in Aviation" Neal Loving
(original recording made in 1996)

The first time Chris Hedges appeared on the program I interviewed him for his book "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning." Hedges was formerly a war correspondent. He has covered conflicts all over the globe. He knows about war and he doesn't like it. During this interview he described how war can become addictive for the combatants and for the journalists who are reporting about it.

Hedges has made numerous appearances on the program since this interview. "War is a Force That Gives Us Meaning" is the most powerful anti-war statement I have ever read.

"Bridget Jones: the Edge Of Reason" by Helen Fielding (original recording made in 1999)

In 1996 Helen Fielding published "Bridget Jones's Diary." That book came seemingly out of nowhere. Twenty years ago Helen Fielding passed through Dayton to publicize her second book "Bridget Jones: the Edge Of Reason" and she came out to Yellow Springs to do an interview.

In 1945 as World War Two was ending German concentration camps were being liberated. Meanwhile in Yugoslavia the German speaking population was being incarcerated in new concentration camps. Luisa Lang Owen was a young girl who along with her family was imprisoned in these new camps for several years. This little known chapter in history has been mostly forgotten. Luisa Lang Owen could not allow those memories to be lost. In her memoir "Casualty of War-a Childhood Remembered" Owen recalls how her peaceful village was torn apart after the Germans invaded.

A few weeks ago I was reading our local weekly newspaper The Yellow Springs News when I noted the obituary of Ralph Ramey. He was 90 years old when he died. A number of years ago Ralph made a couple of appearances on the program and when I saw that he was no longer with us I headed right over to my stacks of recordings of the show and pulled out this interview that I did with Ralph back in 2002 when he published his book "Fifty More Hikes in Ohio."

Pete Rose was one of the greatest baseball players to ever play the sport. Now that Pete is entering his twilight years he wants to leave us with some final thoughts about how he became such a great player and the things that have been important to him. If you read "Play Hungry - the Making of a Baseball Player" you'll learn what matters to Pete Rose.