What We're Reading

M. Brian Hartz

Though it has been 4 years since the death of their mother, 17 year-old twins Savannah and Thomas McClair, and their grandmother Maggie, still mourn her loss. In search of answers and family ties, Savannah and Thomas attempt to search for their biological father, documenting the process through a podcast -- hoping it will help get answers to a seemingly fruitless search. The podcast goes viral, but they are shocked to see how their search ignites a national debate over privacy.

In 2018 writer Hank Green debuted his book An Absolutely Remarkable Thing, where we met April May, a 23 year old New Yorker, who one night stumbles across  a giant sculpture—"like a ten-foot-tall Transformer wearing a suit of samurai armor"—April and her best friend Andy name the sculpture Carl, they post a video on social media-- it goes viral, and they learn that other identical Carls have appeared all over the world. April finds herself at the center of an intense international media spotlight as she works to figure out not just what the Carls are, but what they want from us.

rainy day photo by Heidi Holtan

Tracy Kampa is the children’s librarian at the Grand Rapids Area Library, she joins Heidi on the Tuesday Morning Show.  Tracy tells us about the permanent Storywalk, consisting of 18 stations that run along the river walk.  Readers start the story next to the fishing pier and end at the walking bridge.  The first book is “One Dark Night” by Lisa Wheeler. 

Tracy and Heidi give us tips on how to choose books to read and they share what they have been reading to get them through the pandemic.

Riley Sager is the pseudonym of a former journalist, editor and graphic designer who is now a full-time writer. Riley is the author of international bestseller Final Girls and New York Times bestsellers The Last Time I Lied and Lock Every Door. His newest book, HOME BEFORE DARK is a “mystery wrapped in a ghost story." It revolves around Maggie Holt who has grown up being asked: what was it like? Twenty-five years ago her father wrote about their family’s harrowing experience living in a notorious house, Baneberry Hall.

Sun Yung Shin is an award winning Minnesota writer and poet, she’s also an educator and activist.

Investigative reporter Jack Sharpe is down to his last chance. Fired from his high-profile gig with a national news channel, his only lead is a phone full of messages from a grad student named Tori Justice, who swears she's observed an impossible result in a local election. Sharpe is sure she's mistaken...but what if she isn't?  Sharpe learns that the person behind the hack is determined to turn American politics upside down.

Anne Enright is the Irish writer of over 12 books. Her latest novel is called Actress. The book is a mixture of novel and memoir and the story switches back and forth between the life and career of Katherine O’Dell --a fictitious Irish theater legend and her daughter Norah who retraces her mother’s celebrated career and bohemian life, and delves into long-kept secrets, both her mother’s and her own. Actress is a character study about the freedom we find in our work and in the love we make and keep.




Tea Hacic-Vlahovic is the "Life of the Party"

Jul 6, 2020

Life of the Party is a darkly humorous narrative set in Milan. The story takes you into the underbelly of Milanese fashion and nightlife, through the eyes of Mia, a young expatriate. who came Milan to escape her problems but only found new and more glamorous ones. Mia indulges in the highs and lows that drugs and men can offer, only to be left with herself in the end. Can you lose your innocence if you never had it in the first place? Tragic, fun, artful-- Hacic-Vlahovic draws on her experience in the fashion world to craft a Beat novel for the Instagram generation.

Declan Keenan

Kristan Higgins is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty novels. In her latest book she “tackles fractured family relationships through the story of a quietly unhappy nuclear family trapped in a narrative of their own making.”

We celebrated Father’s Day recently, and that got community member Ryan Zemek from Bemidji thinking about what it means to be a father. He shares his thoughts about fatherhood through a book that caught him at just the right time: Cormac McCarthy’s novel The Road.