Books | Texas Public Radio


Coming Soon: Book Public

Jul 15, 2020
Roberto Martinez

Texas Public Radio is launching a new podcast hosted by Yvette Benavides that introduces listeners to authors of influential books, from bestsellers to emerging authors. 

Subscribe to new episodes on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen to podcasts. 

Photo by Gage Skidmore CC-BY-SA 2.0 :

The current era of hyper-partisan politics was started by Newt Gingrich over 30 years ago. Tactics from his playbook can be seen in rise of the Tea Party, the Trump presidential campaign and the Freedom Caucus.

America’s origin story is often depicted as an optimistic struggle toward equality with citizens who will one day be united by culture and identity. In reality, the tale of America is nuanced; a history full of internal conflict and forgotten narratives.

Mankiewicz family collection, courtesy Sydney Stern

Two brothers, two stories. Both men were initially reluctant Hollywood players whose first love was the legit theater, but each found lasting fame as a writer and producer, working on of some of the most iconic films of all time, including “Citizen Kane,” “All About Eve,” “The Wizard of Oz,” and several of the early Marx Brothers films.

Host Tonya Mosley gets a few reading suggestions for kids books from Juanita Giles, founder and executive director of the Virginia Children’s Book Festival.

Juanita Giles’ Book Recommendations:

  • “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • “The Don't Worry Book” by Todd Parr
  • “The Witches” by Roald Dahl
  • “Rascal” by Sterling North
  • “Brown Girl Dreaming” by Jacqueline Woodson

There's a black-and-white photo taped on my office door at school — the office I haven't been inside in almost a month. It shows an American soldier stretched out, reading A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, Betty Smith's 1943 novel based on her childhood in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

From Texas Standard:

The Go-Go's' debut album, Beauty and the Beat, climbed to the No. 1 spot on the Billboard chart in 1981. A year later, their second album, Vacation, reached No. 8. A harbinger for the new wave movement, the Go-Go's were also making history as the first multiplatinum-selling, all-female band that played their own instruments, wrote their own songs and had a No. 1 album.

Now, bassist Kathy Valentine, an Austin native, has published a memoir, All I Ever Wanted, detailing her experience with the band.

For democracy to function properly, voters must trust the process. Tech-related blunders, administrative incompetence, voter suppression tactics, divisive rhetoric, misinformation campaigns and other foreign interference make voters increasingly question the fairness and accuracy of U.S. elections. 

How can one mourn a parent whose harsh judgments frame childhood? This question haunts Philip Kennicott's Counterpoint: A Memoir of Bach and Mourning.

From Texas Standard:

Jeanine Cummins' novel American Dirt has caught the attention of many, but not for the right reasons. Her story about a Mexican bookseller fleeing to the United States with her son has caused a lot of controversy. Critics say the book uses stereotypes, and it has been rejected by Mexican and Mexican-American readers – the audience for whom the story was intended.