Podcasts

Club Book is proud to bring bestselling and award-winning authors to the Twin Cities, and we are dedicated to making these events accessible to all audiences. That is why we make podcasts of all our events available for free. Whether you missed the program, wish to hear it again, or want to share it with your friends, Club Book makes it easy to listen to podcasts. Enjoy!

Club Book Episode 55 Pam Jenoff

Pam Jenoff is the author behind The Kommandant’s Girl (2007), one of this past decade’s best received works of historical romance. After the Nazis occupy Poland in 1939, young Jewish bride Emma Bau is forced to flee her home and husband and assume a new identity. In hopes of gaining intel for the Polish resistance movement, she becomes the secretary and love interest of a high-ranking German official – a brave decision with unexpected consequences. Jenoff has since penned half a dozen more novels against the backdrop of war-torn Europe, including The Diplomat’s Wife (2008), The Things We Cherished (2011), The Ambassador’s Daughter (2013), The Other Girl (2014), The Winter Guest (2014), and The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach (2015). Her newest, The Orphan’s Tale, debuts in February. It follows Noa, a young woman who becomes pregnant by a German soldier, is ostracized from her community, and joins up with a traveling circus.

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Club Book Episode 132 Jane Smiley

Pulitzer Prize winner Jane Smiley is “one of America’s most accomplished and wide-ranging writers” (Dallas Morning News). Her thirty books to date include two short story collections, two biographies, and eight books geared towards young readers. Her influential and admired novels include the Pulitzer Prize winning A Thousand Acres (1991), a modern retelling of King Lear. Smiley returned to the heartland in her The Last Hundred Years trilogy, which follows the fortunes and travails of an Iowa farm family over several generations. Smiley’s latest, Perestroika in Paris, offers fans something of a departure. In this instant bestseller, a spirited racehorse named Perestroika escapes her enclosure outside Paris and tries to make a new life for herself. In so doing, she befriends a street-smart dog named Frida, a pair of talkative ducks, and a curious boy named Etienne. The Los Angeles Times writes: “In an era beset by polarization, it feels like a gift to find a novel where characters of different species and different instincts come together to build a community.”

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Club Book Episode 131 Kawai Strong Washburn

Chart-topping novelist Kawai Strong Washburn lives in Minnesota but hails proudly from the Big Island of Hawai’i. His upbringing on the magical Hāmākua Coast inspires and infuses his first fiction foray, Sharks in the Time of Saviors. It centers on the family of Nainoa “Noa” Flores, a native son blessed by the Islands’ ancient gods with unique abilities. As mysterious as they are impressive, Noa’s nascent powers cause friction within his family even as this gift allows them to consider a future beyond their current, hardscrabble lives. Publisher’s Weekly lauds: “Washburn’s standout debut provides a vivid portrait of Hawaiian identity, mythology, and diaspora… It’s a unique and spirited depiction of the 50th state and its children.” Sources as varied as The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, and President Barack Obama have singled out Sharks in the Time of Saviors as one of the best reads of 2020. Washburn’s gripping family saga also won the prestigious PEN/Hemingway Award and a 2021 Minnesota Book Award.

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Club Book Episode 130 Tamara Winfrey Harris

Tamara Winfrey-Harris is a nationally renowned columnist and speaker. Her work focuses on the fraught intersection of race and sex. In 2015, Winfrey-Harris published The Sisters Are Alright: Changing the Broken Narrative of Black Women in America. This popular essay anthology “exposes anti- Black-woman propaganda all around us, and shows the truth of what it’s like to be a Black woman in America” (Blavity). A revised and expanded second edition of The Sisters Alright hits shelves on October 12, 2021. Earlier this year, Winfrey-Harris also released Dear Black Girl: Letters From Your Sisters on Stepping Into Your Power. An outgrowth of her grassroots “Letters to Black Girls Project,” first launched in 2017, the book is a collection of empowering messages from Black women to the next generation. Covering a host of topics – from body positivity, to politics, to family relations – Dear Black Girls is intended to help Black girls navigate and thrive in a world that can so often be ugly and unforgiving.

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Club Book Episode 129 Dan Piepenbring

Prince was one of the most original, accomplished and beloved musicians of our time. He was also, undeniably, one of the most enigmatic. In early 2016, “The Purple One” approached Dan Piepenbring, the 29-year-old editor of literary magazine The Paris Review, about collaborating on the superstar’s memoir. Prince envisioned the project as a way to reveal more of himself to his legions of fans. His untimely death that April left Piepenbring with a dilemma: abandon the book project, or complete the manuscript in a way that realized Prince’s intentions for the memoir. Piepenbring reconceptualized, completed and published The Beautiful Ones in 2019. In one of a host of glowing reviews, Variety said of this #1 New York Times bestseller: “The Beautiful Ones brings so much new information to light that it’s hard to imagine anyone being disappointed.” Dan Piepenbring is also co-author, with Tom O’Neill, of Chaos: Charles Manson, the CIA, and the Secret History of the Sixties (2019).

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Club Book Episode 128 Kate Quinn

Kate Quinn is one of the best known – and bestselling – authors writing today in the realm of historical fiction. Standouts include her four-book Empress of Rome series, two novels set during the Renaissance, and a co-authored standalone that focuses on the lives of women during the French Revolution. Recently, Quinn has brought her “compelling blend of historical fiction, mystery, and women’s fiction” (Library Journal) to the two World Wars. Based on a true story, 2017’s The Alice Network focuses on a French and female-driven espionage ring in the Great War. Reese Witherspoon selected it as one of the inaugural picks for her popular Reese’s Book Club. Quinn’s follow up, The Huntress, spotlights Nazi hunters and the Soviet Union’s storied Night Witch fighter pilots in the waning days of World War II. Her latest, The Rose Code, follows a trio of British codebreakers as these women form an unlikely alliance to break Germany’s most notorious military cipher.

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Club Book Episode 127 Mary Kubica

Over the last decade, thriller novelist Mary Kubica has established herself as a mainstay of the genre. The Good Girl, her 2014 breakout about an amnesiac kidnapping victim, became an Indie Next List pick and put Kubica in contention for the Goodreads Choice Award. It is currently being adapted for television – and won’t be the only of Kubica’s seven books to make it to the screen. Netflix recently purchased the rights to The Other Mrs. (2020), a modern whodunnit set in a tight-knit island community off the coast of Maine. Fellow mystery writer Karin Slaughter called this New York Times bestseller “altogether unpredictable” – a descriptor that holds true for most of Kubica’s work. Her latest, released in March, is Local Woman Missing. In this “daringly plotted, emotionally eviscerating psychological thriller” (Publishers Weekly), several women vanish without a trace from a seemingly safe and ordinary community. When one of those victims returns to town ten years later, the shocking truth upends even more lives.

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Club Book Episode 126 Rita Woods

Rita Woods is the author behind Remembrance, one of the most celebrated historical fiction debuts in years. Woods’ opus straddles literary genres and historical epochs. In this book, “Remembrance” is a hallowed refuge for escaped slaves which exists outside the normal bounds of time and space. The most unusual stop on the Underground Railroad, Remembrance owes its existence to generations of women with secret supernatural abilities. Their personal stories span from the Haitian Revolution of 1791, to the last gasps of the New Orleans slave trade in the 1850s, up to the present day. NPR lauds: “Remembrance is well-researched, truly epic historical fantasy…  Woods creates memorable characters in all her settings, each with a distinct purpose that helps make the impossible relatable.” It has drawn Woods glowing comparisons to the fiction of literary heavyweights like Toni Morrison and Octavia Butler. In addition to her burgeoning writing career, Woods is a physician and medical director of a wellness center in the Chicago area.

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Club Book Episode 125 Qian Julie Wang

Qian Julie Wang is an Ivy League trained litigator and managing partner of New York City’s prestigious Gottlieb & Wang LLP – a law firm specializing in advocacy for immigrants and people of color. As an undocumented child of struggling Chinese émigrés, Wang had ample reasons to believe her future would not be so bright. During her formative years, the family’s “illegal” status took a toll on everything: their housing stability, her parents’ marriage and health, as well as Wang’s own self- worth and identity. These childhood trials and traumas form the basis of Wang’s anticipated debut Beautiful Country – a heartrending memoir drafted almost entirely on her iPhone while she commuted to and from her Brooklyn law office. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly raves: “While the author’s story of pursuing the American dream is undoubtedly timeless, it’s her family’s triumph in the face of xenophobia and intolerance that makes it feel especially relevant today.” Beautiful Country hits shelves in September.

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Club Book Episode 123 Rachel Howzell Hall

Mystery phenom Rachell Howzell Hall is the pen behind the four-volume Elouise “Lou” Norton series. Readers and critics laud Hall’s intrepid and memorable lead as “a strong and likeable African American detective… with few equals” (Library Journal). Hall’s hometown of Los Angeles serves as the backdrop for the series – as well as most of her standalone works. These include book club favorite And Now She’s Gone (2020), which put Hall in contention for three of the genre’s coveted accolades: the Anthony, Barry, and Shamus awards. Hall is also known for co-authoring the page-turning novella The Good Sister, published in 2017 as part of James Patterson’s bestselling anthology The Family Lawyer. Hall’s latest thriller, These Toxic Things, hits shelves on September 1, 2021. In this “refreshing take on the serial killer theme” (Publishers Weekly), a young freelance artist unexpectedly comes into possession of a former client’s curios collection – and soon discovers that these trinkets are not as innocuous as they first seemed.

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Club Book Episode 122 Ian Manuel

Ian Manuel is a name well known to legal and criminal justice reform advocates. Sentenced to life without the possibility of parole for a crime committed at the age of 13, Manuel languished in prison for 26 years. Thanks to a coalition of supporters, including renowned activist Bryan Stevenson and the woman shot by Manuel in 1990, Manuel received a fair resentencing from the Florida Court of Appeal in 2010. His story is told in Stevenson’s #1 New York Times bestseller Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption (2014), as well as in two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof’s Tightrope: Americans Reach for Hope (2020). Manuel finally tells the story in his own words in My Time Will Come: A Memoir of Crime, Punishment, Hope, and Redemption, one of the most anticipated memoirs of 2021. In it, the author candidly chronicles his turbulent childhood in Tampa, harrowing experiences in prison (including 18 years in solitary confinement), and his continual search for self-improvement, atonement, and – above all – justice.

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