2004 Program Archive and Book Reviews

A listing of books discussed and interviews conducted
on Bookwaves on Cover to Cover. There are no archive links on this page. Please go to the
Alphabetical Archive page for archive recordings of some of these programs.
Cover To Cover
A Program About Books

Thursday, December 30, 2004
Double Homicide/Faye & Jonathan Kellerman
The first collaboration between these two married best-selling mystery writers consists of a pair of novellas, one set in Boston and one in Santa Fe. Neither has the psychological depth one finds in the solo work of either writer, though they are entertaining.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

Thursday, December 23, 2004
The Known World/Edward P. Jones
This first novel about a black man who owned slaves in the antebellum South is a hypnotic tapestry putting the reader in the skins of its characters. Winner of the 2004 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

Thursday, December 16, 2004
Book Review Program
The Plot Against America/Philip Roth. An alternate universe novel in which Lindbergh becomes president in 1940 works as a cautionary tale about anti-Semitism and as a glimpse into life in America in the early 1940s as seen through the eyes of a Jewish boy in New Jersey. It doesn't work as science fiction, however, and to that degree fails. RAL & RW.
Nothing Human/Nancy Kress. Excellent though downbeat ecological science fiction. RAL
A Tale of Love and Darkness/Amos Oz. The Israeli novelist and peace activist's "memoir" of growing up during the origins of the Israeli state is one of the best written and most compelling books of 2004. RW
Nine Sons/Wendy Hornsby. Excellent collection of mystery short stories. RAL
Reviewers: Richard Wolinsky/Richard A. Lupoff.

Thursday, December 9, 2004
Magical Thinking/Augusten Burroughs
Dry/Augusten Burroughs
Running with Scissors/Augusten Burroughs
"Magical Thinking" is a collection of essays from the author of two memoirs. Burroughs is a very funny writer, similar to David Sedaris, but with a much stronger edge.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

Thursday, December 2, 2004

Thursday, November 25, 2004
Blood on the Leaves/Jeff Stetson
The noted Los Angeles based playwright with his first novel, which concerns a plot of revenge against Southern racists.
interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

Thursday, November 18, 2004
Body Double/Tess Gerritsen
The latest novel from this up and coming forensic thriller writer is a knockout.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

Thursday, November 11, 2004
Queen of the South/Arturo Perez-Reverte
The noted Spanish author with his new novel about a woman who becomes a leading drug lord. Interview is translated from the Spanish by Daniel Sherr.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

Thursday, November 4, 2004
Cover to Cover Post-Election Discussion
The KPFA Cover to Cover group --- Denny Smithson, Jennifer Stone, Jack Foley, Richard Wolinsky, and Richard A. Lupoff  discuss the aftermath of the Bush victory.

Monday, November 1, 2004
Cover to Cover Pre-Election Discussion
The KPFA Cover to Cover group --- Denny Smithson, Jennifer Stone, Jack Foley, Richard Wolinsky, Richard A. Lupoff and Susan Stone discuss the November 2nd election and its implications.

October 28, 2004
Vermeer in Bosnia/Lawrence Weschler
An assortment of essays dealing with the relationship of art and politics, the personal and the political, and more.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

October 21, 2004
Backstory/Ken Auletta.
Rebroadcast of material heard on this program and on KPFA's Morning Show earlier this year.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

October 14, 2004
Bushworld/Maureen Dowd. Part Two.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

October 7, 2004
Bushworld/Maureen Dowd
First of a two-part interview with the New York Times columnist in which she talks about the Bush Administration, Iraq, the Kerry campaign, and more.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

September 30, 2004
Samaritan/Richard Price
Another Price meditation on race and class in one of the neighborhoods surrounding New York. Brilliant and hard-edged.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky. 

September 23, 2004
Sex and Mayhem/Donald Currie
The author/performer of a new play based on his own life (and based on CDs available at on-lline discusses his life in San Francisco as a gay kid before Stonewall and as a hippie member of the Gestalt Fool theater commune..
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky. 

September 16, 2004
I, Fatty/Jerry Stahl
The author of Permanent Midnight, a memoir about his time as a junkie in Hollywood, returns with a fascinating novel based on the life of silent screen star Fatty Arbuckle.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky. .

September 9, 2004
The Donor/Frank M. Robinson
A fast-moving thriller about an unwilling organ donor's search for the man responsible for his situation by the noted Bay Area author.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

September 2, 2004
An Alchemy of Mind/Diane Ackerman
The poet-science writer continues her quest to understand the human condition with a look at mind and the brain.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

August 26, 2004
Little Scarlett/Walter Mosley
The Man in My Basement/Walter Mosley
Six Easy Pieces/Walter Mosley
The author of the Easy Rawlins mysteries comes out of his recent slump with an excellent collection of interrelated stories and a new novel featuring the detective, and a non-series novel about a guilty capitalist who tries to atone for his sins by renting a basement prison.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky 

August 19, 2004
Plainsong/Kent Haruf
Eventide/Kent Haruf
Two excellent novels about life in a small town in Colorado by one of America's best writers.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

Sunday, August 15
Special Music Program with Richard Wolinsky
Act One: Broadway, Then and Now
A look at Broadway musicals in history and today, hosted by Richard Wolinsky and former San Francisco Chronicle Theatre critic Gerald Nachman.

August 12, 2004
Books on the Frontier/Richard W. Clement
A look at books and publishing on the frontier of America from the 18th through 19th centuries.
Interviewers: Richard Wolinsky/Richard A. Lupoff

August 5, 2004
Resistance/Barry Lopez
Part Two (includes excerpt heard on KPFA's Morning Program and extended unaired portions from the July 1st show)
Interviewed by Richard Wolinsky.

July 29, 2004
Rebroadcast of Mary Roach program. See July 15.

Monday, July 26, 2004
For Richard Lupoff Fans:
Denny Smithson interviews Richard and Pat Lupoff about their collection, The Best of Xero.

July 22, 2004
Book Review Program
Have Trenchcoat-Will Travel/E.E. Doc Smith (Advent Publishers, Chicago). Detective stories written by the author of "Skylark of Space" and other early space operas. These were written in the '60s and are of interest mostly to fans. RAL
Primal Spillane, Early Stories 1941-1942/Mickey Spillane (Gryphon Press). The creator of Mike Hammer's early works, again mostly for fans. RAL
Six Easy Pieces/Walter Mosley
Little Scarlett/Walter Mosley
The two most recent Easy Rawlins books, the first a collection, the second a novel that continues the backstory reveals Mosley returning to the form that made him one of America's top writers. RW
The Sleuth of Baghdad/Charles B. Child. RAL
Queen of the South/Arturo Perez Reverte. Superior novel about drug running in Spain and Mexico by one of Europe's most revered writers. RW
The Barbarian Triumph/Don Herron (Wildside Press) RAL.
Hosted by Richard Wolinsky and Richard A. Lupoff.
For more information on these books,

July 15, 2004
Stiff/Mary Roach.
A fascinating and often funny jaunt through the world of cadavers and corpses, from cannibalism to organ harvesting to unusual ways of burial.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky 

July 8, 2004
Links/Neruddin Farah.
The Somali novelist presents his own view on life in Somalia today as seen through the eyes of a returning academic caught in the struggle that has ripped the country apart.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky

July 1, 2004
Resistance/Barry Lopez
Lopez' works examine human and environmental issues in a variety of ways. This collection details a group of fictional individuals, forced to go underground, revealing their lives resisting the corporate and government juggernaut.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

June 24, 2004
Brothers and Sisters/Joanna Trollope
The latest work by the British chronicler of middle class life details adoption and a family's travails as two members discover their real parents. An enjoyable and thoughtful read.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky 

June 17, 2004
Ragtime/E.L. Doctorow
City of God/E.L. Doctorow
Sweet Land Stories/E.L. Doctorow
City of God is a collage novel, Sweet Land Stories a straightforward group of short stories. Neither compares to his earlier classic Ragtime, though each has its own cachet, particularly the collection.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

June 10, 2004
The Coil/Gayle Lynds
A non-stop action thriller in the Robert Ludlum vein dealing with globalization and secret political/economic organizations.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

June 4, 2004
Mister Monday/Garth Nix
Grim Tuesday/Garth Nix
Sabriel/Garth Nix
This best-selling author of young adult and children's fantasy novels is virtually unknown outside of his genre, but is a superstar within it. Mister Monday and Grim Tuesday are children's books; Sabriel was published in America as a young adult novel and in England as an adult book.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

May 27, 2004
Pre-empted for fund raising.

May 20, 2004
Dark Star Safari/Paul Theroux
Part Two of a two-part interview with the novelist and travel author.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

May 13, 2004
The Confessions of Max Tivoli/Andrew Sean Greer.
A young man ages backwards in this tale set in San Francisco from 1870 to 1940, and a fine tale it is. Highly recommended.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

May 6, 2004
The Birth of Venus/Sarah Dunant
An excellent historical novel set in Florence at the end of the 15th century, as the d'Medicis are replaced by the religious fanatic Savanarola, from the perspective of a young woman forced into an unusual marriage.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

April 29
Dark Star Safari/Paul Theroux
The Stranger at the Palazzo d'Oro/Paul Theroux
Theroux's two latest books: The first is one of his best travel books, a journey through Africa undertaken in 2001; the second a collection of short fiction highlighted by a steamy tale written during the trip.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky. .

April 22
Funny in Farsi/Firoozeh Dumas
This amusing memoir of growing up Iranian in Southern California was a surprise best seller. The paperback contains new material.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

April 15
Book Review Program, with Richard Wolinsky and Richard A Lupoff. Special guest interviewer: Paul Yamazaki of City Lights Books.
The Daydreaming Boy/Micheline Aharmian Marcom. The single most exciting novel in the past year. PY
The Man in My Basement/Walter Mosley. A short and intriguing novel, but not up to Mosley's best efforts. RAL.
The White Hands/Mark Samuels, Tartarus Press. Short story collection by a promising horror writer who could be the next Clive Barker. RAL.
The Birth of Venus/Sarah Dunant. Superb historical novel with contemporary overtones, set in Renaissance Florence at the end of the Medici period. RW
Words of Wonder/The Life and Times of Otto Binder/Bill Schelly, Harvester Press. Excellent illustrated biography of the pulp science fiction writer. RAL.
Charlie Chan is Dead/Edited by Jessica Hagedorn. Superb collection of stories by Asian-American writers. PY.
The Confessions of Max Tivoli/Andrew Sean Greer. Evocative novel set in San Francisco about a man who ages backwards. RW

April 8, 2004
Graceland/Chris Abani
This evocative novel is set in Nigeria and features a young man struggling to stay alive and prosper. The author grew up in Nigeria, was arrested after writing two thrillers, and now lives in the United States.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

April 1, 2004
Land of Echoes/Daniel Hecht
City of Masks/Daniel Hecht
The author of these excellent literary thrillers about a parapsychologist detective spent twenty years as a guitarist for Windham Hill. Land of Echoes deals with Navajo rituals and possession.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

March 25, 2004
A Man of No Importance/Terrence McNally
Playwright Terrence McNally discusses his recent musical, "A Man of No Importance," which played in San Francisco through April 11th, and discusses other aspects of his career.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky. .

March 18, 2004
The Crazed/Ha Jin
Waiting/Ha Jin
Noted Chinese author Ha Jin's latest novel, "The Crazed" concerns university life in China and is set against the background of the events of the Tienanmen Square uprising. Both books are fascinating looks at life in contemporary China.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky

March 11, 2004
Down and Dirty Pictures/Peter Biskind
An entertaining look at the independent film business today, with emphasis on Miramax and Harvey Weinstein, and Sundance and Robert Redford.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

March 4, 2004
Backstory/Ken Auletta
A collection of essays on aspects of the media, from material originally published in The New Yorker and elsewhere.  Auletta is an astute critic whose essays are always pointed and informative. Special attention should be paid to the pieces on Fox News and pundit speaker fees, the latter titled "Fee Speech."
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

February 26, 2004
Sacred Time/Ursula Hegi
The author of "Stones from the River" sets her new novel in New York City over  the past fifty years to tell the story of how one single tragic event can change the lives of everyone involved. A thoughtful novel that grows and resonates in one's mind long after it's read.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky

February 19, 2004
pre-empted for fundraising.

February 12, 2004
Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them/Al Franken
A funny look at the right-wing and its media whores, with forays into short stories that read like Saturday Night Live skits --- not surprising, since Franken wrote and performed for SNL for many years. Not profound, but often hilarious.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

February 5, 2004
The Great Unraveling/Paul Krugman
Columns that first appeared in the New York Times Op-Ed pages showing the transformation of Krugman from liberal Keynsian economist to one of the leading critics of the George W. Bush presidency. The introduction, which attempts to find consistency in the Bush years, has conclusions which might keep you awake nights..
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

January 29, 2004
Train/Pete Dexter
A stunning spare novel about a talented black golfer in the racist Los Angeles of the 1950s. Grittily realistic and well drawn.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

January 22, 2004
Seizure/Robin Cook
Stem cell research forms the backbone of this trashy thriller set amidst ambitious research scientists, Mafioso types, and scam artist Bahaman clinics. Cook's heart is in the right place, and his knowledge of stem cell research impeccable.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.

January 15, 2004
Old School/Tobias Wolff
In Pharaoh's Army/Tobias Wolff
The Night in Question/Tobias Wolff
The first is an excellent novel about questions of morality in an exclusive boys school; the second a brilliant memoir of an ordinary man in Vietnam; and the third superior short stories. Wolff is an extraordinary writer.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky. 

January 8, 2004
One Last Look/Susanna Moore
The fictional diary of an Englishwoman in India during the time of the Raj, based on real diaries and documents. Low-key but often compelling, with a lot to say about the nature of imperialism.
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky. 

January 1, 2004
The Master Butchers Singing Club/Louise Erdrich
(rebroadcast from 2003)
Interviewer: Richard Wolinsky.