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Beach Author Series

Book Squad Podcast 010: The Intestinal Issue? Also, Zora Neale Hurston!

Book Squad Podcast 010: The Intestinal Issue? Also, Zora Neale Hurston!

Once a month, the librarians are in, with their favorite recommendations in Two Book Minimum, a toe-to-toe discussion on a book or topic in She Said/She Said, as well as news from the book world, updates from Lawrence Public Library, and beyond. Listen to the latest episode:

Bookish News:

HUGO Awards — women kicked butt!
N.K. Jemisin is the second woman to win two years in a row in a quarter century!

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe and The Hate U Give are being made into movies. Find out more info here.


Two Book Minimum:

Autumn by Karl Ove Knausgaard (2017)
Aristotle And Dante Discover The Secrets Of The Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (2012)
Strange Practice by Vivian Shaw (2017)
Uptown Thief by Aya De Leon (2016) from the Justice Hustlers series

bonus: Everything Begins and Ends at the Kentucky Club by Benjamin Alire Sáenz (2012)

She Said/She Said: Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston (1937)

In honor of the upcoming KU Black Love Symposium, which celebrates the 80th anniversary of Their Eyes Were Watching God, we wanted to join in on the excitement and discuss this beautiful classic!

Their Eyes Were Watching God is a 1937 novel and the best known work by African-American writer Zora Neale Hurston. The novel narrates main character Janie Crawford’s “ripening from a vibrant, but voiceless, teenage girl into a woman with her finger on the trigger of her own destiny.”[NEA] As a young woman, who is fair-skinned with long hair, she expects more out of life, but comes to realize she has to find out about life ‘fuh theyselves’ (for herself), just as people can only go-to-God for themselves. Set in central and southern Florida in the early 20th century, the novel was initially poorly received for its rejection of racial uplift literary prescriptions. Today, it has come to be regarded as a seminal work in both African-American literature and women’s literature. TIME included the novel in its 2005 list of the 100 best English-language novels published since 1923. [More info]

Upcoming Events:


This episode was produced by Jim Barnes in the Sound & Vision studio.

You can find the Book Squad Podcast on iTunesStitcher, or SoundCloud. Please subscribe and leave us comments – we’d love to know what you think, and your comments make it easier for other people to find our podcast. Happy reading and listening! xo, Polli & Kate

Geraldine Brooks is our 2016 Beach Author!

Pulitzer prize-winning author Geraldine Brooks will be at Liberty Hall on Friday, October 7th at 7:30 pm.

Most will know her from her intricately researched works of fiction. However, Brooks is also a seasoned war reporter who covered conflicts for the Wall Street Journal in the Middle East, the Balkans, and Africa for the better part of two decades.

“We are delighted that Geraldine Brooks is coming to Lawrence,” said Brad Allen, library executive director. “She has so much to share with us about her career as a writer. Brooks has worked as a reporter in the Middle East, written three works of non-fiction, and five novels. Her books are huge favorites of local book clubs.”

Brooks was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2006 for her novel March, which tells the story of the absent patriarch of the March family in Louisa May Alcott’s beloved Little Women. Her latest book, The Secret Chord, was released in the spring of 2015 to glowing reviews. It is a vivid and original story that reinterprets the life of King David, inspired by brief biblical references to the lost book of Nathan. It has been called her most ambitious novel yet.

Born and raised in Australia, she lives on Martha’s Vineyard with her husband, author Tony Horwitz, their two sons, two dogs, three alpacas, and a mare named Valentine.

Brooks will be interviewed by Lawrence author and KU Assistant Professor of English Laura Moriarty. The program is free and open to the public. No tickets are required. Doors will open at 6:30 pm. A book signing follows the program and Raven Bookstore will sell copies of Brooks’ books.

 A gift to our community from the Ross and Marianna Beach Foundation, this special series brings a prominent author to Lawrence each year. The series debuted in 2014 with National Book Award winner James McBride. MacArthur Genius Grant recipient Karen Russell was the 2015 Beach Author.

An Evening with Karen Russell

We are thrilled to announce that Karen Russell will open the next chapter in our Ross and Marianna Beach Author series October 15th, at 7:30pm, at Abe & Jakes’s Landing. Russell is the author of St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, Swamplandia, and Vampires in the Lemon Grove. Her work is a surrealist mashup that is both funny and haunting. Join us for an evening of humor and stories as Karen talks about what inspires her and how she gives life and voice to her magical worlds. The Raven Bookstore will have copies of her work for sale, and there will be a book signing following Russell’s talk.

Free tickets will be available at the Welcome Desk starting October 1st.