Nancy's Bookshelf

Wednesday at 10 a.m.

Each week host Nancy Wiegman talks to local, regional and national writers about their latest projects. Co-produced by Nolan Ford, Nancy's Bookshelf airs Wednesdays from 10 to 11 a.m.

Ways to Connect

Gundrun Mouw was born in Europe during World War II. Some of her fascinating life is fictionalized in her novel, From Ashes Into Light. Her background is in poetry, and she is also a yoga teacher.

Novelist and poet Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is in Chico for Butte College's fifth annual WordSpring creative writing conference, which is open to the public as well as high school and college students. Her award-winning collection of short stories, Arranged Marriage, explores the immigrant experience in the United States.

Palo Cedro resident Steve Callan had a 30-year career as a wildlife protection officer for the California Department of Fish and Game. He conducted some of the most successful wildlife investigations in California history and collected his true stories in a suspenseful and often humorous book, Badges, Bears, and Eagles. Steve has now written a second collection of stories, The Game Warden's Son, which includes stories about growing up as the son of a game warden.

The first guest is retired Chico State English professor Brooks Thorlaksson who teaches a class on the Book in Common for Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. She discusses this year's selection, Just Mercy, by best selling author Bryan Stevenson. Attorney Stevenson founded the nonprofit Equal Justice Initiative committed to fighting poverty and challenging racial discrimination in the criminal justice system and is Nancy's second guest. The third guest is also an attorney and author. Carissa Phelps wrote Runaway Girl and is a survivor of human trafficking. She offers a free training seminar on human trafficking April 12 on the Chico State campus.    

Grossology by Silvia Branzei-Velasquez — Microbiologist Sylvia Branzei has written five books on the science of gross things. Her books on Grossology are the inspiration for an exhibit at Gateway Science Museum.

The United States and Terrorism: An Ironic Perspective by Ron Hirschbein — Retired professor Hirschbein says the United States rationalizes its own terrorist actions and dodges the terrorism label.  

Strategic Terror: The Politics and Ethics of Aerial Bombardment by Beau Grosscup — Retired professor Grosscup recounts the history of aerial bombardment of civilian populations throughout the 20th century and up to the present day, and how terrorism is a politically loaded concept.

"Three Acts, Two Dancers, One Radio Host" with Ira Glass: Ira Glass' show in Laxson Auditorium combines real narratives by the radio host of "This American Life" with dance.

Woman on the Verge of Paradise by Robyn Alana Engels: Chico social worker and community activist Robyn Engels recounts humorous tales of her failed love life.

Chico author Ken Holden's memoir details the shaping of the future president by serving as his communication coach when Reagan was campaigning for governor of California in 1966. 

Pamela Johnson's story is set in the Haight-Ashbury and Berkeley where she was an anthropology student in the mid 1960s. The story is fiction, but based on the author's own experiences.

Helga Ruge, who passed away on January 25, 2016, was a long-time supporter of the arts in Chico and especially the North State Symphony. This is a rebroadcast of her interviews on Nancy's Bookshelf. At the end of the hour, Chico Enterprise-Record book reviewer Dan Barnett says a few words about e-newsletters. 

Mattie Celi by M. Elizabeth Schaefer 

This novel about a child in foster care is loosely based on Mary Schaefer's life as a foster child in Southern California. Mary's careers have included beautician, singer/keyboard player, and radio personality. Now retired from the Department of Defense Naval Engineering Station and living in Stirling City, she took writing courses and wrote her first novel. She reads selections from her book like the scene with a creepy foster mother who had a mysterious green door inside her house that was kept locked.

Margaritifer Basin by Greg Gates

Red Bluff author Greg Gates has an MA in National Security Affairs from the Naval Postgraduate School. He spent 15 years in the United States Navy as a surface warfare officer and is a Vietnam veteran. He now spends his time writing, and has published the first of three Margaritifer Basin novels. Margaritifer Basin is a science fiction novel that chronicles the settlement of the planet Mars.

The Spirituality of Age: A Seeker's Guide to Growing Older by Robert Weber 

Dr. Weber is a former Jesuit who is now a professor of psychology at Harvard Medical School. He is coauthor of The Spirituality of Age, a compassionate guide to transforming aging into spiritual growth.

Creative Schools: A Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education by Sir Ken Robinson

Sir Ken Robinson lived and worked in England before moving to the United States in 2001. He urges schools and colleges everywhere to rethink their basic assumptions about intelligence and achievement. He asks: Why is it essential to promote creativity? Can creativity be developed? If so, how? He says education wastes more talent than it saves, and makes suggestions as to what schools and colleges should do.

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