Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Books that Inspired Your Life

Recently Gail Otteson and Michael Goldberg hosted Between You and Me - KAXE/KBXE's Saturday morning get-together.  Their topic was BOOKS THAT INPIRED YOU.  

People love to talk about the books that made a mark on them.  Here's a list of what people called in about. 

  1. Grimm Tales - The Woodpecker
  2. Where the Wild Things Are
  3. Ramona & Beezus
  4. Half Magic books
  5. Abiyoyo
  6. Owl, Moon
  7. Little House on the Prairie
  8. Betsy-Tacy
  9. Nancy Drew
  10. Anne of Green Gables
  11. Hank Winton, Smoke Jumper
  12. Edward Eager books
  13. Watsons Go to Birmingham, Bad Not Buddy
  14. Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle
  15. Where The Red Fern Grows
  16. Tom Sawyer
  17. Curious George
  18. Charlotte's Web
  19. Cherry Ames - Student Nurse
  20. Gary Paulsen books
  21. Charlotte Sometimes
  22. Judy Blume books
  23. Count of Monte Cristo (condensed for kids)
  24. Enyclopedia Brown
  25. Twilight Series
  26. My Side of the Mountain
  27. Stow Away Sea-Faring Stories
  28. Mike Mulligan & His Steam Shovel
  29. Winnie the Pooh
  30. The Happy Hollisters
  31. The 100 Dresses
  32. Joseph Conrad books
  33. Little Women
  34. Four Little Puppies
You can continue the book conversation by emailing  or posting on our facebook page.

Monday, April 1, 2013

MN author William Kent Krueger is back on KAXE/KBXE!

You've heard William Kent Krueger many times on KAXE/KBXE talking mysteries and the writing process with Heidi Holtan. Now he's put out a new novel that isn't part of his bestselling Cork O'Connor mystery series.  It's called "Ordinary Grace" and tells the story of a young man in 1961 small town Minnesota who has to come to grips with the darker side of life. 

William Kent Krueger is a Minnesota author who has a gift for capturing place and time.  In his Cork O'Connor mysteries he captures northern Minnesota and Ojibwe and white cultures.  In his latest, he's created a stand alone story set in Minnesota in 1961.  Frank Drum is thirteen and for the first time in his life, has to face tragedy and death. 

“Once in a blue moon a book drops down on your desk that demands to be read. You pick it up and read the first page, and then the second, and you are hooked. Such a book is Ordinary Grace…This is a book that makes the reader feel better just by having been exposed to the delights of the story. It will stay with you for quite some time and you will always remember it with a smile.” (Huffington Post )

You can read an excerpt here. 

Heidi Holtan will talk with William Kent Krueger about "Ordinary Grace" coming up Wednesday April 10th at 6pm.  You can listen online at www.kaxe.org or check the archive of Heidi's Realgoodwords interviews at http://www.kaxe.org/programs/realgoodwords.aspx.

Heidi's last conversation with William Kent Krueger was about "Trickster's Point".  You can hear the Realgoodwords archived interview here! 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Mary Casanova is back on Realgoodwords

Minnesota children's book and young adult author Mary Casanova is back on KAXE's Realgoodwords this week.  Her new American Girl series of books about McKenna are the 2012 Girl of the Year series.  Here's how it is described:

Ten-year-old McKenna Brooks has always excelled in school and in gymnastics. So when her grades suddenly fall, McKenna begins to doubt herself. With the help of a new friend, McKenna learns to focus on her strengths to overcome her challenges, one step at a time. But just as she begins to shine in school, McKenna is sidelined with a gymnastics injury. Will McKenna be able to springboard to success again? Author: Mary Casanova. Paperback. 128 pages. Ages 8+ 

Mary Casanova is a writer from Ranier, Minnesota who has written many different kinds of children's books - from picture books to books for young adults, Mary has also written many in the American Girl series of books.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"A Thousand Lives" by Julia Scheeres

This week on Realgoodwords I talk with author Julia Scheeres. She has a chilling new book called "A Thousand Lives: The Untold Story of Hope, Deception, and Survival at Jonestown". It's a chilling book that doesn't look at Jim Jones exactly; it's about the people who were there. Scheeres has written the book in a unique style - showcasing some of the people, without the reader knowing their outcomes. Reviewers have said "Scheeres captures the humanity within this terrible story, vividly depicting indiviguals trapped in a vortex of hope and fear, faith and loss of faith." Scheeres researched Jonestown and looked through over 50,000 pagest of files from the FBI including some movies that feature the people of the church. It's chilling to watch now. Tune in for my conversation this Wednesday night at 6pm and Sundays at 9am. Or check the archived interviews of Realgoodwords.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

James Lee Burke on KAXE

This week I have the GREAT FORTUNE to talk with James Lee Burke again. His 30th novel is is out, called "Feast Day of Fools".   Tune in tonight to Realgoodwords or Sunday mornings.  If you miss the show you can listen to archived editions of the interviews here! 

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

It was a two book weekend

I had the best time getting lost in two novels last weekend. Both had to do with the secrets of families.  Both were the kind of reading that reminded me of being a kid and taking a book with me everywhere, even in the boat on the lake.  Why I wanted to be transported from a beautiful lake in Minnesota is beyond me, but stories had way too big of a pull to keep me planted in that boat with nightcrawlers and picnic baskets of fried chicken.  Right now I'd give anything to be back on that boat.  But then?  Give me a book and I was happy!

Ellen Baker is a Minnesota writer who has just published her second novel "I Gave My Heart To Know This".  What I like about it is how in-depth Ellen goes into WWII and the roles that women had (in Superior, Wisconsin) as welders and workers while the men were off to war.  She shows these women with all their strengths and weaknesses.  And believe me, they have both of these, in spades.

"I really loved reading this powerful and poignant book, which, though it acknowledges pain, regret and remorse, ultimately is a celebration of life.” —Elizabeth Berg, author of Once Upon a Time There Was You and Open House

The other book I read "Maine" by J. Courtney Sullivan, also told the story of a complicated family.  A family shrouded in secrets.  The Kelleher's are a big clan of Irish Catholics who have never quite gotten over the death of their patriarch, Daniel.  Where once they gathered together and celebrated (with their fighting and bickering of course) now the family barely interacts with each other, even splitting the summer months up at their cabin in Maine instead of all going there together.

“Sullivan beautifully channels Alice through her memories…The dialogue sizzles as the tension between the women’s love and anger toward one another tightens…You don’t want the novel to end.” –The New York Times Book Review
 Ellen Baker is my guest this week on Realgoodwords, and J. Courtney Sullivan will be later in August. Tell me about your summer reads!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Secret bookstores

I found this video on author Spencer Seidel's site.  Reminds me of a great used bookstore in Dinkytown I spent so much time in while I was at the University of Minnesota.  Sigh.  Bookstores. 
There's No Place Like Here: Brazenhead Books from Etsy on Vimeo.