Marginalia

Marginalia is an on-air commentary and podcast hosted by KMUW's Beth Golay. Each episode features author interviews, editorial commentary and other marginalia to enhance the reading experience.

The Marginalia podcast is also available through iTunes and through Google Play.

Adrian Harvey

I’ve been waiting for this moment forever. Well, since October… that’s almost forever. Right?

Last October, a bookseller friend recommended that I read Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller. He was pretty insistent, and he tends to have impeccable reading taste, so I contacted the publisher to request an advance reading copy. The release date was February 7.

Emma Trim

We’ve all heard the warning, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” We should probably add “don’t judge a book by it’s title” to the list of literary pitfalls to avoid. That’s especially the case with it comes to Brit Bennett’s The Mothers.

Marginalia: Keir Graff

Jan 20, 2017

Keir Graff is the executive editor for Booklist publications, the author of four books for adults, and also books for young readers. His second book for young readers, The Matchstick Castle, was just published on January 10.

I recently spoke with Keir about his job, the new book, and the differences between writing books for adults and young readers, and how The Matchstick Castle has found favor with a sometimes tougher audience… boys.

Here's our conversation:

And if you listened to the commentary on-air, this is what you heard:

Marginalia: Tim Harford

Jan 6, 2017
Fran Monks

Why does the word “messy” have such a negative connotation? Messy desks. Messy rooms. Messy lives. It shouldn’t, according to Tim Harford. In his new book, Messy: The Power of Disorder to Transform Our Lives, he uses research in neuroscience, psychology, and social science to explain why should embrace messiness instead of resist it. And how the creativity, responsiveness, and resilience we crave rely on the disorder, confusion, and disarray require to produce them.

 

 

One year ago, December 2015, we had an idea here at KMUW. 'Wouldn't it be great,' we thought, 'if we could talk with the authors of the books we were reading for Literary Feast? Wouldn't it be great if we could gain some insight before our book club discussion?'

And in that moment, Marginalia was born.

It was our first foray into podcasting, and we discovered that we love the platform. And we also discovered that we wanted to expand Marginalia to include other authors beyond Literary Feast.

 

Marginalia: Carol Birch

Dec 9, 2016
Emily Atherton

This episode features an conversation I had recently with Carol Birch. Birch is skilled at crafting fiction around historical fact, especially when there’s not enough factual information available. That was the case with her latest book, Orphans of the Carnival.

The novel looks at the life of Julia Pastrana. Born in Mexico in the 1930s, she could sing and dance, was fluent in three languages, and was billed as the Ugliest Woman in the World. It’s fiction based on fact, and against a backdrop of carnivals and freak shows, the story is stranger than fiction.

This episode was a bit of a departure to me. It features an interview I had recently with Kate DiCamillo about her book, Raymie Nightingale.

This episode features an interview I had recently with Candice Millard. Millard is not a typical historian. Her books tend to focus on the lesser-known moments in history. Teddy Roosevelt in the Amazon after his presidency, what really killed James Garfield, and her latest book, Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill. I asked Millard where she comes up with the ideas for her books. 

Here’s our conversation:

If you listened to the Marginalia commentary on-air, this is what you heard:

This episode features an interview I had this week with Marie Benedict. Her book, The Other Einstein, is a historical novel about Mileva Einstein, who was not only Albert’s first wife, but was also his scientific partner. 

Marginalia: Nathan Hill

Oct 14, 2016

This episode features a conversation I had recently with Nathan Hill about his book, The Nix

In Norwegian folklore, the Nix is a water spirit--the stories of which were used to pass along lessons from generation to generation. In his modern-day novel, The Nix delivers a somewhat modern-day moral. 

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