Podcasts

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Viewing: Georgia Center for the Book Festival of Writers

Carmen Deedy and Thomas Gonzalez

Carmen Deedy joins us to showcase her exciting, colorful new book, 14 Cows for America. Wonderfully illustrated by Thomas Gonzalez—who like Deedy is a native Cuban now living near Atlanta—it is an inspiring, delightful story produced in collaboration with Wilson Kimeli Naiyomah.  It begins in 2002 in a far-flung village in western Kenya where hundreds of the Masai people have gathered to make a most unusual, heartfelt gift to the American people in the tragic wake of the September 11 attacks.


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Jan Karon

One of America’s most popular authors, Jan Karon, joined us to talk about her latest, eagerly anticipated novel, In the Company of Others: A Father Tim Novel. Karon’s novels, marvels of gentle, arresting storytelling, have sold tens of millions of copies, and there are over 30 million in print, making her one of the country’s top bestselling authors. In the latest novel, Father Timothy Kavanagh and Cynthia arrive on the west coast of Ireland to research his ancestry and encounter some very unexpected, surprising activities. Karon’s Mitford novels, set in a small North Carolina town in the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, include A Light in the WindowAt Home in Mitford, and Out to Canaan. This was one of only seven stops in the author’s fall tour around the country. A new edition of her  Mitford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader is being released at the same time.


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Hoda Kotb

The popular anchor for NBC’s Today Show, Hoda Kotb, shares her life story in a revealing, fascinating, behind-the-scenes new book, Hoda: How I Survived War Zones, Bad Hair, Cancer, and Kathie Lee.With humor and grace, she shows how we all have the capacity to turn a crisis into a blessing, and the lessons she has learned, from growing up with immigrant Egyptian parents to reporting from dangerous war zones all over the world, from surviving breast cancer to getting along with her Today Show colleagues. Hoda Kotb has been co-anchor of the fourth hour of Today since 2007. She has been a Dateline NBC correspondent since 1998 and hosts the weekly series Your Total Health. She is a winner of the prestigious Peabody Award and a four-time Emmy nominee and also received the 2002 Edward R. Murrow Award for her reporting.


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Sal Cilella Jr.

Sal Cilella Jr., the President and Chief Operating Officer of the Atlanta Historical Society, discusses his new book. Upton’s Regulars is a history of an important Civil War regiment, the 121st New York Infantry, which took part in some of the war’s bloodiest battles, including Antietam.  Mr. Cilella visited the library on September 17, 2009.


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Amanda C. Gable

Atlanta author Amanda Gable has written a richly imagined and heartwarming new novel, The Confederate General Rides North. It’s a whimsical, totally original story about an endearing young heroine, 11-year-old Katherine McDonnell, a precocious Civil War buff, and her touching relationship with her mother. It’s set in Georgia in the 1960s, and we’re predicting it will emerge as one of the finest debut novels of the year! Ms. Gable came to read at the library on August 11, 2009.


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James Braziel

James Braziel, author of the acclaimed novels Birmingham and 35 Miles, visits us with a powerful, mesmerizing new book, Snakeskin Road. It’s a cautionary tale about a woman’s harrowing journey of survival through the southeastern United States after it has been devastated by catastrophic climatic changes. It’s a frightening depiction of a familiar landscape which has become lawless, corrupt and extremely dangerous.


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Stephen L. Carter

Stephen L. Carter, whose brilliant debut novel, The Emperor of Ocean Park, was a New York Times bestselling novel, returns with something different: a new book, Jericho’s Fall, centered on the shadowy world of spies, government secrecy and financial fraud. It”s a riveting thriller for Carter, professor of Law at Yale University since 1982. His other books include Palace Council and New England White.


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Rhythm Ranch (formerly Cowboy Envy)

Rhythm Ranch is a new group anchored by two members of the beloved all female western band, Cowboy Envy. Berné Poliakoff (aka Frenchy) and Kathleen Hatfield (aka Buffalo K) were the lead singers of this hugely popular band. Their work has garnered much praise and multiple awards, including the “Best Harmony” award from the Western Music Association (twice). Their vocals have been described as “heavenly…with harmonies to die for” (Atlanta Journal Constitution).  Together, Frenchy and Buffalo K have performed at festivals and concerts from Alaska to South Carolina. Their history has been highlighted by appearances at Spoleto Festival, Detroit Arts Festival, Music Midtown and two concerts at the Kennedy Center. They have toured with The Indigo Girls and performed with numerous acts including Riders in the Sky, Shelby Lynn, Confederate Railroad and Sweethearts Of The Rodeo.

With Rhythm Ranch, the girls have joined up with an amazing fiddler (Al Pieper) and an extraordinary bassist (L.A. Tuten). Together they deliver dynamic performances, filled with wonderful music and great humor, delighting audiences of all ages.  They performed at the Decatur Library on May 13, 2010.


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Anne Lamott

The renowned author of many bestselling books including Traveling Mercies and Grace: Thoughts on Faith, visits us with a tough and touching new novel, Imperfect Birds. “Heartbreaking and delightful, moving and hopeful, the novel reminds us how our children are connected to and independent of us, and that no matter how difficult our struggle is with them, love underlies it all and saves us. This novel captures the deepest, purest, most terrifying experience of parents fearing for their children. With great insight and humor, Anne Lamott shows us what it means these dangerous days to be a parent, what it means to be a child, and what it means to be a family.”  She visited us at the First Baptist Church Decatur on April 9, 2010.


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Thomas Cahill

New York Times’ bestselling author of How the Irish Saved Civilization and Mysteries of the Middle Ages, discusses his powerful new book, A Saint on Death Row: The Story of Dominique Green. It’s a deeply moving and true narrative about a man transformed as he faced an unjust execution. Archbishop Desmond Tutu says of the book, “Dominique Green was a wonderful man whose life demonstrated the power of God to heal and transfigure even the most unlikely people and places. Who could have expected that Texas Death Row would be made into an avenue of divine grace?—which is exactly what happened through Dominique’s instrumentation. Though this is a book that ends in death, it does not end in despair. Read it and discover how even the obscenity of capital punishment can be transformed into an occasion of light and peace.”


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Richard Doster

Richard Doster, the fine, award-winning Atlanta author, returns with an exciting, thought-provoking new novel: Crossing the Lines. The story focuses on events of the mid-1950s when Jack Hall, a reporter for the AJC, encounters stories of white violence against black Americans. He sets out to counter those stories with those of the South he knows well and loves, only to find there are important, hidden connections between the best and worst in the region. Doster is editor of byFaith magazine, the official publication of the Presbyterian Church in America and a native of Mississippi.


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Coleman Barks

Coleman Barks, the distinguished, prize-winning poet and translator, visits us with an important new book, Winter Sky: New and Selected Poems, 1968-2008. Critics are calling it “masterful,” rich in vitality and originality, “funny, brave and honest.” Barks has taught creative writing and American poetry in the English department at the University of Georgia for 30 years, and has written and translated dozens of books. He is the foremost translator of the 13th century mystic poet Jalal Al-Din, and his bestsellers include The Essential RumiThe Soul of Rumi and Rumi: Bridge to the Soul.


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Patti Callahan Henry

The wonderful Atlanta author, whose best-selling books include Where the River Runs and Between the Tides, joined us for a celebration of her newest novel, Driftwood Summer on June 1, 2009.


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Robyn O’Brien

Robyn O’Brien, a national expert on children’s health and food allergies, will discuss her important new book, The Unhealthy Truth: How Our Food is Making Us Sick — and What We Can Do About It. The book describes her transformation into a one-woman crusader seeking to identify food allergies that affect children and her discovery of shocking truths about toxicity in American food systems. Parents won’t want to miss this program. O’Brien is the founder of AllergyKids, an organization devoted to raising awareness about food toxins. She has been featured in The New York Times and on CNN.


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Lee Smith

One of America’s most popular authors, makes a special encore visit to the Georgia Center for the Book with a fabulous new collection of short stories—her first collection in 13 years—Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger.  Lee Smith is one of the American masters of short fiction, and this new book will delight and dazzle her many fans. Her characters range from an 8-year-old boy obsessed with vocabulary words to a young bride who has married “way up” to the title character, an older woman making her way through widowhood her own way. Lee Smith is the author of 15 books including On Agate HillFair and Tender LadiesBlack Mountain Breakdown and The Last Girls.


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Michael Malone

Michael Malone, a “master of storytelling” and winner of an Edgar Award, the O. Henry Prize and an Emmy for television writing, makes his first visit to us with a terrific new novel, The Four Corners of the Sky. Malone, who has written 10 bestselling novels, including Dingley Falls ,Handling SinTime’s Witness and Foolscap, is better than ever with his latest book, “a novel of love, secrets and the mysterious bonds that help hold families together.”


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Arthur Phillips

Arthur Phillips, best-selling author of Prague and The Egyptologist, and hailed by The Washington Post as “one of the best writers in America,” will talk about his acclaimed new novel, The Song is You. It’s a powerful, original and lyrical gem, a “tale of an unusual love in the digital age.”


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Jim Lehrer

Jim Lehrer, the respected host of PBS NewsHour, makes a special visit with his 19th novel, the new and delightful Oh, Johnny, a story “brimming with memorable characters” that cleverly and humorously blends baseball, World War II and romance. You won’t want to miss this talk by Lehrer, whose many popular novels include Mack to the RescueFlying CrowsKick the Can and The Phony Marine.


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Lauretta Hannon

Lauretta Hannon, who grew up in Warner Robins and now lives in Atlanta, has written a wonderful first book that is getting lots of attention: The Cracker Queen. It’s an unflinching, poignant, warmly humorous memoir that takes readers on a wild ride from central Georgia to Savannah with a cast of dysfunctional families and a lively crew of hell-raisers and renegades. Hannon is best known for her engaging commentaries on NPR.


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Dara Torres

Dara Torres, the Olympic gold medal swimmer, will be our special guest for a very special evening talking about her new book, Age is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage of Your Life. It’s a motivational, inspirational memoir by the amazing 41-year-old mother who won America’s hearts when she made a successful Olympic comeback in the 2008 Beijing Games.  Dara Torres visited the Decatur Library on April 29, 2009.


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Georgia Debut Author Night 2 of 2

We welcome two more talented Georgia authors with their wonderful new first novels. Marc Fitten is the very gifted editor of Chattahoochee Review whose novel Valeria’s Last Stand is a comic feast set in 1990s Hungary. Laleh Khadivi is the author of The Age of Orphans, a novel acclaimed already as a “stunning” work of great originality framed in graphic, poetic language.  This program was originally recorded on April 28th, 2009 at the Decatur Library.


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Georgia Debut Author Night 1 of 2

We welcome two wonderfully talented Georgia authors who are celebrating their first novels. Sandra Novack‘s new novel Precious is a novel you won’t soon forget, a lyrical, finely crafted story about family love, its costs and its consequences.  Susan Rebecca White is the Atlanta-born author of Bound South, a delicious, compelling story of the clash of women caught between old-fashioned Atlanta traditions and 21st century reality.


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Byron Pitts

Byron Pitts, correspondent for the highly-rated CBS television news program “60 Minutes,” has written a memoir that is at once a story of success and defying the odds. Step Out On Nothing: How Faith and Family Helped Me Overcome Life’s Obstacles, is a powerful memoir that chronicles his rise from a stuttering black kid in an inner city neighborhood to a premier television journalist. Pitts’ story will resonate with those who have struggled with their own challenges.  Byron Pitts was interviewed by WSB-TV’s Monica Pearson at the Decatur Library on October 13, 2009.


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Donald Ray Pollock

Donald Ray Pollock reads from his compelling, gritty novel, Knockemstiff, which author Chuck Palahniuk calls one of his favorites.  It’s a “poignant and raunchy account of his Ohio hometown’s sad and stagnant residents,” and the story “spans 50 years of violence, lust, failure and depravity.”  Fans of Palahniuk won’t want to miss this podcast episode!


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Sandra Mackey

Sandra Mackey, prize-winning veteran journalist and author of the national bestseller, The Reckoning: Iraq and the Legacy of Saddam Hussein, discusses her latest book ,Mirror of the Arab World: Lebanon in Conflict. Critics call her book a “timely, incisive guide to the complexity of the brewing conflict in Lebanon and what it will mean for the Middle East.” Mackey’s book serves as a clarifying lens for viewing the broad picture of today’s challenging Arab world.  This recording was made at the Decatur Library on April 2, 2009.


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