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

Local librarian and historian Nancy Leek wrote "John and Annie Bidwell: The Long and Short of It" for children (and adults) about Chico founders John, who was tall, and Annie Bidwell, who was short. The book is illustrated by Steve Ferchaud who joins Nancy in the studio. Ms. Leek's daughter Jean Ping is also a librarian and offers recommendations for reading Russian and African literature.

Chico author Dave Morgan collected family recipes for his book, Morgan Favorites: Tested by Five Generations. He includes a variety of recipes from pancakes to sauces to ant repellants. 

Scottish-born novelist Catriona McPherson is author of the award-winning Dandy Gilver detective series. Her newest book is Quiet Neighbors. She was invited to the annual meeting of the Chico Friends of the Library.

Photo by Randy Tunnell

Vanessa Diffenbaugh's debut novel, The Language of Flowers, tells the story of a young woman who lived in at least 32 foster homes by the time she turned 18. She has a gift for flowers which helps her overcome her troubled past.  We see similar themes in Vanessa's second novel, We Never Asked for Wings.  A woman who became a mother as a teenager and never really grew up handed responsibility for her children over to her mother. The book raises questions about child protective services, poverty, and immigration.

 Children's book author Jan Condon teaches children (and adults) about the importance of enzymes in the role of probiotics in digestive health in her book, Stella's Adventures in the Incredible Bio-Terrain. 

In her book Strangers Together: How My Son's Autism Changed My Life, Joan Goodreau recounts stories that help both parents and professionals better understand the reality of living with autism.

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.