Two California writers who both had long non-literary careers before publishing these heralded first works join Suzanne M. Lang in conversation. 

Barbara Ridley’s When It’s Over is a sweeping historical fiction set during WWII that exposes elements of that war and on European refugees that resonates today …and is a pretty good love story too. 

Laurie Ann Doyle’s collection of short stories, World Gone Missing, is a loving homage to Northern California and twelve searing tales of loss, love, and what goes missing.  Sunday at 4pm PT – it’s A Novel Idea

History, culture, and strong women are at the core of the two novels, The History Makers by Val Bodurtha and The Ballet Lover by Barbara Baer; these are two authors you’ll want to remember. 

Val Bodurtha’s first novel is The History Makers is chilling, funny, and a smart coming of age story which imagines a contemporary Aztec civilization, as if the Aztecs had prevailed over the Spanish. 

Two authors at the top of their form —Joan Frank, with her novel All the News I Need, and Richard Alther and his book Roxie & Fred, join Suzanne Lang in conversation of art, craft, and character on KRCB’s A Novel Idea. 

Joan Frank is acknowledged by many as a “writer’s writer” but more than that, she is a reader’s writer with keen observations, richly drawn characters, and unflinching honesty. Her latest book is All the News I Need. 

Top intellectual property and entertainment lawyer Peter Afrasiabi joins Suzanne Lang in conversation on his recent book Burning Bridges, America’s 20-year Crusade to Deport Labor Leader Harry Bridges. Bridges was an immigrant, a longshoreman, and a labor leader which was not a good combination in the 1930s. The imbalance of executive power in the federal government of that time resonates with our contemporary situation.

 Join us Sunday, October 1st at 4 pm.

Huckleberry Finn

Who should decide what books are allowed in libraries? Since 1982, a coalition of groups takes a week each year – this week – to call attention to books that are removed from shelves in school and public libraries in the United States because someone decides they are inappropriate. Suzanne Lang, host of KRCB’s A Novel Idea joined News Director Steve Mencher  to talk about Banned Books week.

Historical fiction radiates into the present with two novels featured on A Novel Idea. Join Suzanne M. Lang in conversations with Susan Sherman on her novel about mystics and Marie Curie, If You Are There and David Boling, whose novel is The Lost History of Stars, set during brutal Boar Wars in South Africa and told through the experiences of a fourteen year-old girl.  

Hear A Novel Idea, Sunday September 3rd at 4:00 pm on KRCB-FM Radio 91!  


For June, A Novel Idea features two novelists, whose books couldn’t be more different. Both write about the challenges of difference, of motherhood, and of finding stability in a sometimes-hostile world.  

Shanti Sekaran brings us Lucky Boy, the saga of two women, strangers and cultures apart, whose lives are connected through the life of an infant boy.  

Shelby Londyn-Heath has written The Twilight Tsunami, a raw, funny, and hard-hitting account of the lives of people involved in the child welfare system.  

Banned Books Week Observes its 34th Year

Sep 26, 2016

  Whether the motivation is political or religious, or just protective parenting, efforts to see certain books suppressed seem as persistent as the seasons. So Banned Books week is here again to remind us of that. 

The American Library Association has released the video below which lists the top ten banned books of the past year. 

Community Organizing

Dec 17, 2014

Begun just 80-odd years ago, Community Organizing has changed with the times, as Sebastopol sociology professor emeritus David Walls documents in his new book on the subject.    

   With its broad perspective, Walls’ Community Organizing is able to speak to a diverse audience.  But as the author explains, that wasn’t exactly the original plan for either him or the publisher.

Examining 'Techno-creep'

Oct 30, 2014

  New digital technologies are already listening in on your daily life and intruding into your wallet. What’s coming next may be even creepier.

   Some of what Thomas Keenan writes about in Technocreep may seem like science fiction. Yet his carefully annotated book abounds with concrete examples, such as the way one major retailer is already processing the customer purchase data it routinely collects to target those customers with special offers.

Project Censored Releases 2015 Volume

Oct 3, 2014

  Project Censored is out with its latest collection of under-covered news, which includes stories about climate change, corporate corruption, mainstream media errors and omissions, and a nationwide analysis of police-involved shootings.

See KRCB's independent reporting on ocean acidificiation, a two-part story from 2011 that can be found here and here.

Bibliophoria is on a Roll!

Jun 27, 2014

  Bibliophoria has been in full swing at the Sebastopol Center for the Arts for a couple of weeks already, but the art and books event is heading for a high point tomorrow with what they call a “Street Printing Festival.” But that name doesn’t really do justice to what will actually be happening.

A Call to Share Historic Photos from Marin

Jun 10, 2014

Anyone with pictures from the past in Marin County is being invited to share them—just long enough to be scanned—for inclusion in a forthcoming photo-history book.

Bruce Robinson, talking with Jean Zerrudo from the Marin History Museum. Those photo scanning sessions are coming up later this month (see schedule below),  and you can find the submission guidelines and other details here.

New Library Chief on the Way

May 8, 2014
Martin County, Florida

The new Director of Sonoma County’s Libraries wants to improve  channels of communication with staff and patrons, while expanding the system’s digital services.

Librarians are virtually always avid readers themselves, and Lear is no exception. So we asked what he was currently reading.

Lear, 46, is also married to a librarian, and the couple has a young son.

Book Festival Bows Out

Jan 29, 2014

  Since 2000, the Sonoma County Book Festival has been a favorite event for many local readers every September. But it turns out that the Festival last September was, in fact, the last Festival. Why? We get some answers on today’s Exchange.

Joan Frank on Writing

Jul 21, 2013

In a departure from her usual fiction, Santa Rosa writer Joan Frank confronts the process and experience of being a writer, in a collection of essays that is both instructive and confessional.


Frank likens the writer’s experience to a form of lucid dreaming, from which characters and scenes can be captured and repurposed. But she admits, a bit reluctantly, that it’s not something the writer can always predict or control.


Resources for Readers

Jun 10, 2013

These are hard times for book lovers. Both the Sonoma County Book Festival and the county’s Public Libraries need additional funding, and are calling for public support to meet those needs.

Greenberg’s mission is to make funding the libraries a higher priority for the county, and he questions whether some other spending choices have been carefully weighed. Such as the local war on drugs, for instance.