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Reading: That's What She Wrote

"
That's What She Wrote," a conversation about women writers, airs once a month on KZUM's The Wimmin's Show, hosted by Deb Andersen on 89.3FM.

Check the schedule below and tune in to hear Cinnamon & a guest talk about a variety of books.

To listen to podcasts of the conversations, click all podcasts of That's What She Wrote. The most current conversation is at the top of the list. The others are in reverse chronological order. Program notes will appear on the schedule, shortly after the date of the live show.

Schedule 2017

January 8th: Lisa Knopp, author of Bread: A Memoir of Hunger.
   Lisa and I had a great conversation about her book. This compelling memoir, at once a food and illness narrative, explores the forces that cause eating disorders and disordered eating, including the link between those conditions in women, middle-aged and older, and the fear of aging and ageism.

February 19th: Racy Ladies: Women Writing About Sex with LeeAnn Pancharoen
  
LeeAnn has been an educator with Planned Parenthood for over 10 years. She and I had a great conversation about sexuality as a normal, healthy part of life. There are great books out there for kids to learn about their changing bodies and health.
   We briefly talked about the following books. It's Perfectly Normal: Changing Bodies, Growing Up, Sex & Sexual Health by Robie Harris & Michael Emberley - this book includes LGBT individuals and people with disabilities. The illustrations are drawn and show mixed race couples. The book also has sections for how to handle yourself online and in the event of sexual abuse. American Girl's The Care & Keeping of You: The Body Book for Girls doesn't go into sexual health as much but handles issues like bullying, puberty and periods. My Body, Myself for Boys by Lynda Madaras & Area Madaras handles puberty, masturbation, ejaculation & more. All are good books for parents to give to their kids - or to help get those important conversations started.
   We moved on to talk about feminism, sex in our culture, how some modern families look. Books discussed were Roxanne Gay's Bad Feminist, 50 Shades of Grey, and Maggie Nelson's The Argonauts.

March 19th: Paper or Plastic: Books into Movies with Cindy Elder
  
Cindy majored in Film Studies at UNL. We talked about the intimacy of reading and the communal aspects of seeing a film in the theater. We discussed film adaptations such as Harry Potter, Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, Hidden Figures, The Help, Persepolis and The Handmaid's Tale.

April 23rd: National Poetry Month with Barbara Schmitz
  
Barbara has several books of Poetry: How to Get Out of the Body, The Upside Down Heart, How Much Our Dancing Has Improved, What Bob Said, and Always the Details. She is also the author of the memoir, Path of Lightning: A Seeker's Jagged Journey, and her work has been included in many anthologies.
    On the radio, we talked about her Catholic girlhood, her study with Allen Ginsburg, meeting Bob and writing poems for $1 each. Barbara told great stories and read some of her poems, including "Pretty Sure" and "Just Outside."

May 21st: Young Adult Literature with Susan Steider
   
Susan, librarian at Eiseley Branch, does all the Lincoln City Libraries' ordering for books geared toward 5th - 12th grade. We talked about the library's Summer Reading Program (kids, teens & adults), which runs through 7/31. Patrons can sign up anytime. She had many recommendations. Jason Reynolds, whose writing describes an urban experience, is one of her favorite authors. Look for When I Was the Greatest, The Boy in the Dark Suit, As Brave as You & others. Along those lines, also find The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas. For those who like a scary thrill: Frozen Charlotte by Alex Bell or books by Mary Downing Hahn. The library has a Teen Science Fiction book club reading these titles: The Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin, Incarceron by Catherine Fisher, Snow Like Ashes by Sarah Raasch and Virals by Kathy Reichs. Other noteworthy authors include Nancy Farmer, Tamora Pierce, Diana Wynn Jones, Holly Black & Maggie Stiefvater. Fans of Lord of the Flies will enjoy the twist on that story provided in Libba Bray's Beauty Queens, when a plane full of pageant contestants is stranded on a remote island. There is also a Teen Graphic Novel Book Club this summer. GN fans will enjoy: El Deafo by CC Bell, March by Congressman John Lewis, This One Summer  by Mariko Tamaki, Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova, Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson & Shannon Watters - and Nimona by Noelle Stevenson.

June 11th: Science Fiction Undercover: Female Writers who used Male Pseudonyms with Scott Clark
   
Scott, a venerable part of the Lincoln City Libraries team, and I talked a lot about the library's programs for readers like the Just Desserts Mystery Book Club. For a look at those groups, visit Library Book Groups. We also talked about the Science Fiction group Star Base Andromeda, which is a private group but open to all. To find out more and get book recommendations, visit SBA Book Discussions. There are many female authors who wrote under male pseudonyms or ambiguous names. Ursula K. LeGuin, PL Travers, Andre Norton and JK Rowling are just a few of them. We focused much of our talk on Alice B. Sheldon, who wrote under the pen name, James Tiptree Jr. Her life included time in Africa, a doctorate in Psychology and a stint as a CIA agent.

July 23rd: Music Mavens with Kerry Gallagher Semrad
   
Kerry, KZUM's General Manager and vocalist in the local band, The Bottle Tops, and I had a great conversation. We talked about the following books: Billie Holiday's Lady Sings the Blues, Loretta Lynn's Coal Miner's Daughter, Patti Smith's Just Kids and M Train, Chrissie Hynde's Reckless: My Life as a Pretender, and Carrie Brownstein's Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl. We touched on topics like songwriting, inspiration - and whether or not female musicians have a responsibility to advocate for other women. Is there a difference between entertainer and artist? We hope this sparks other good conversations for listeners.

August 13th: Broad Knowledge: Women in the World of Books with Pat Leach
   
Pat, Director of Lincoln City Libraires, and I had a great conversation about some of the inspiring women in the world of books. We talked about Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, Joyce Mesikis, who fought a legendary court battle about customer privacy as owner of The Tattered Cover in Boulder, and Sylvia Beach, who famously opened the famous bookstore Shakespeare & Company, right after World War I.
    Books we discussed include Shakespeare & Company by Sylvia Beach, Romantic Outlaws: The Extraordinary Lives of Mary Wollestonecraft and Mary Shelley, Charlotte Gordon. and Louisa: The Extraordinary Life of Mrs. Adams by Louisa Thomas.

September 17th: Sweet Sweet Jane: Celebrating Jane Austen with Carolyn Nolte
   
Carolyn has been an English Instructor at SCC and Adjunct Faculty at Wesleyan. We talked about Jane Austen's time and some of our favorite Austen novels, which include: Pride & Prejudice, Sense & Sensibility, Emma, and Northanger Abbey. We also talked about some adaptations of her novels - both in film and book form. We both like the BBC Pride & Prejudice mini-series and the version of Sense & Sensibility for which Emma Thompson won screenwriting honors. Bridget Jones' Diary and Clueless were both lots of fun - and Pride & Prejudice & Zombies was pure cinematic gold. (Haha!)

October 22nd: Karen Stork, author of Screw the Eggshells: Finding My Self After Verbal and Emotional Abuse
   
Karen and I had a great conversation about "hidden abuse" and how abuse can slowly and almost invisibly progress. She read several sections of her book and offered advice and resources for others who are in abusive relationships.

November12th: Favorite Cookbooks & Holiday Cooking with Maggie Pleskac

December 10th: For Laughs - Humor Writing with Marni Vos

 

Schedule & Program Notes 2016

Sunday, March 13th: Irish Writers with Jodi Flynn Rethmeier
  Our inaugural episode was lots of fun. We discussed authors Maeve Binchy, Anne Enright & Tana French. Our conversation wandered from how each writer got started in her career, the Irish stereotypes the authors confirm & confound and the effect of the death of the Celtic Tiger (a period of prosperity in Ireland that collapsed in 2008) on plotlines and characters.

Sunday, April 24th: National Poetry Month with Marjorie Saiser
 
Marge was a delightful guest. She read a few poems of her own and one from Sharon Olds. We talked about her experience with writing workshops and the two kinds of writing groups: critique groups and generative groups. Books mentioned included: Lost in Seward County by Marjorie Saiser, Bones of a Very Fine Hand by Marjorie Saiser, The Gold Cell by Sharon Olds, The Language of Life (anthology) by Bill Moyers, Cries of the Spirit (anth) and Claiming the Spirit Within (anth). Writing books mentioned included Writing Down the Bones by Natalie Goldberg and Writing in Community by Lucy Adkins & Becky Breed. Poets mentioned in our conversation included: Ann Bradstreet, Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Alexander, Mary Oliver & Dorianne Laux.

Sunday, May 15th: Nebraska Press's 75th Birthday with Alicia Christensen
 
Alicia, who is an Acquisitions Editor, & I talked about what a treasure we have in UNP - the largest, most diverse university press between Chicago and California. We discussed press pioneer Virginia Faulkner - and the variety of books by women published by UNP.

Sunday, June 12th: Young Adult Literature with Isabel Sheesley
 
Isabel is my daughter - 13 at the time of this conversation. We talked about books we loved when she was little, by authors like Denise Fleming, Eric Carle, JK Rowling, and Laura Ingalls Wilder; and books that she & I have enjoyed more recently: Hunger Games, Eleanor & Park, Salt to the Sea, Divergent, The Lunar Chronicles & more. Current tropes in YA lit that we discussed included new twists on old fairy tales, unfortunate love triangles/ridiculous romance - contrasted with tropes that more successfully portray depth and nuance, and empowered female characters.

Sunday, July 17th: Rabble Rousers with Amanda Gailey
 
Amanda is an Associate Professor of English at UNL. She teaches a course she designed called Literature of Reform. Her syllabus is inspiring. We talked about books by Harriett Beecher Stowe, Marilyn French & Lorraine Hansberry. We also discussed the language of protest and how it is a vehicle for social improvement. Amanda is also a founding member of Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, and she offered some insight as to how activism looks from the inside.

Sunday, August 21st: Nature Writing & a Sense of Place with Lora Carpenter-Janike
  Lora is an Environmental Aide for the Lower Platte South Natural Resource District. She is a field trip advisor who helps students make science connections at locations like Wagon Train Lake. We started with Nature books for young kids: Susan Jeffers, Lois Ehlert, Magic Schoolbus & moved on to some books for kids 9-12: My Side of the Mountain, The Evolution of Calpernia Tate. We also talked about novels by Barbara Kingsolver, Ann Patchett and Elizabeth Gilbert - and non-fiction work by Barbara Kingsolver, Annie Dillard, Krista Tippett, Elizabeth Kolbert, and Diane Ackerman. Also, we got in some poetry by Mary Oliver.

Sunday, September 18th: Karen Shoemaker, author of the One Book One Nebraska novel, The Meaning of Names 
 
Karen teaches in the UNO Master of Fine Arts Writing Program. Her book is set in Nebraska, against the backdrop of WWI and the Flu Pandemic. One of my favorite quotes, "If you take the template of family stories and lay it across the history of the world, you'll be startled by the light of hope that shines through."

Sunday, October 2nd: Mysterious Women with Lisa Kelly
 
 Lisa is the Information Services Director with Nebraska Library Commission. We talked about Mystery writers like Sue Grafton, Janet Evanovich, JK Rowling writing as Robert Galbraith, Kerry Greenwood, Tana French, Arianna Franklin, Nevada Barr, Louise Penny & Gillian Flynn. We also talked about the literary merit of genre fiction and how her personal book club works.

Sunday, November 20th: Drama Queens - Women in Theater with Laurie Martinez 
 
Laurie currently teaches ESL at Belmont Elementary - but she studied Musical Theater and spent roughly 25 years with Lincoln Community Playhouse. We talked about female lyricists she admires, along with roles she has played. We also talked about the highly political play, The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler.     

Sunday, December 4th: Spirituality and the Environment with Kim Morrow
 
Kim currently serves as Senior Associate with the Verdis Group, a Sustainability Consulting Company. She is also a former Minister of Sustainability at First Plymouth Church. Books we talked about include: The Good Society by Robert Bellah, Becoming Wise by Krista Tippett, Gathering Moss by Dr. Robin Wall Kimmerer, The End of Nature by Bill McKibben. Other authors we discussed include: Kristin Ohlson, Johanna Macy & Katherine Hayhoe.

"Literature is not separate from life; it is an enchantment that nourishes us, a teacher that prepares us to meet and explore the world, and a guide to all we may wish to discover, whether far away or inside ourselves."
~Alice Walker

If you have ideas/books you'd like to hear discussed on the show, please email Cinnamon!

 

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" ~ Cicero

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