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Celebrate Books with WGCU

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August 9 is National Book Lovers Day, and to celebrate, I’m calling out three of my favorite interviews from the Gulf Coast Life Book Club, which I host the first Wednesday of every month at 1 PM and 9 PM on WGCU-FM. If you’re a reader, you will want to tune in to the Book Club. It’s also available as a podcast, wherever you get your podcasts.

My first guest when the Book Club debuted in September 2020 was the fictional character Duchess Goldblatt. Her Grace, as her devoted followers call her, created a character on Twitter who is funny and warm, like a dear friend. (Read about her in the New York Times, here.) The author, who, to my amazement, has stayed anonymous through it all, began writing the character to help herself through a rough time. She ended up gathering a loyal community around her on Twitter—including Lyle Lovett and J. Smith-Cameron—that has only grown and become more devoted. She wrote a wonderful memoir, Becoming Duchess Goldblatt, about the whole thing. She was as delightful on the air as she is on the page.

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Next, I’d like to draw your attention to my conversation with Clint Smith. A staff writer at The Atlantic, Smith took on a weighty project in his book How the Word is Passed: He visited monuments and landmarks in the U.S. that tell the story of slavery in this country and the role it played in its founding. Openhearted and fiercely intelligent, Smith makes a tremendous guide through the history you may not have learned about in school.

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And last in my very capricious list of favorite interviews is Lauren Redniss. Redniss, a MacArthur “Genius” Award winner, is the author of Oak Flat: A Fight For Sacred Land in the American West. This gorgeous work of visual nonfiction is reported and illustrated fully by Redniss. The vibrant colors and simple, beautiful drawings help tell the story of three generations of an Apache family trying to hold on to sacred land that’s being destroyed by a multinational mining corporation. Read about her in The New Yorker. And listen to my rich conversation with her.

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Happy Reading!

WGCU is your trusted source for news and information in Southwest Florida. We are a nonprofit public service, and your support is more critical than ever. Keep public media strong and donate now. Thank you.

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