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DMPL Podcast

The official podcast of the Des Moines Public Library. Featuring interviews with authors, special guests to the library, your favorite library staff, and more!
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Now displaying: Page 1
Mar 24, 2021

AViD author Tayari Jones takes part in the DMPL Podcast ahead of her virtual visit this coming Saturday. She talks about her favorite story growing up, the scene she considered toughest in her award-winning novel An American Marriage, and when she thinks she writes best. 

Tayari Jones will be taking part in AViD on Saturday, March 27, at 3:00 PM as part of the DSM Book Festival. You can register for the event on our AViD page.

Show Notes

Tayari Jones' Books
Tayari Jones on the Web
Tayari's Recommendations
Mar 19, 2021

On the latest episode of the DMPL Podcast, Jenny from the Book Chat team joins us to talk about books with crazy plots and premises. As Jenny describes them, these books feature "a thriller sympathetic towards the murderer, a heist that focuses on student debt, and a remake of an old favorite children's book as an adult horror story."

Show Notes

Jenny's Picks Discussed on the Podcast
Other "MAD" Books, with Notes from Jenny
  • Playing Nice, by J.P. Delaney: A couple finds out the son they’ve been raising for two years was switched at birth and have some terrible choices to make. But the couple raising their biological child is not what they seem. Part family drama, part courtroom adventure, part thriller.
  • My Best Friend’s Exorcism, by Grady Hendrix: Abby has been best friends with Gretchen since she was the only girl who didn’t stand her up at her roller-rink birthday party. In absolute 80s style, best friend drama gets complicated when one of the girls may be possessed by a demon. The exorcist is a bodybuilder. This book is wonderfully weird.
  • A Madness so Discreet, by Mindy McGinnis: A teenage girl is in an 1890s mental institution for being pregnant, fakes a lobotomy to escape with a Sherlock-Holmes-esque doctor to track down a serial killer. Suffragettes, corrupt politicians, positive portrayals of people with mental health problems, and just so much adventure. I straight up forgot about Zoom Game Night because I was too engrossed reading this!
Other Links
Mar 5, 2021

Author and Iowa native Greer Macallister is the guest on the latest episode of The DMPL Podcast. Her newest novel, The Arctic Fury, follows an all-female expedition to the north as they try to uncover what happened to the lost Franklin expedition.

Greer discusses why she wanted to set a book in this ice cold setting and how she assembled the Ocean's 13-esque crew of characters. She also lets us know what she's working on next - it's a big change!

Spoilers are discussed from about 13:20-29:50.

Show Notes

Feb 22, 2021

AViD author Robert Kolker joins us on the DMPL Podcast! We talk about how he came to know the Galvin family, the subject of his newest, critically acclaimed book Hidden Valley Road. Kolker also discusses the challenges of structuring of narrative nonfiction books and reveals which classic novel he just completed and loved.

Show Notes

Kolker's Books
Books Mentioned by Kolker
Kolker's Favorite Self-Authored Pieces
Feb 12, 2021
Feb 5, 2021

Theresa and Lynn join us today on the DMPL Podcast! The two Library Assistants love the DMPL Reading Challenge, and they've picked three books each to discuss - one in each of three different categories.

Show Notes

Theresa's Books
Lynn's Books
Other Related Links
Dec 2, 2020

It's the first episode in our latest AViD Podcast Series! Kate Quinn in answering seven questions about her books, what she reads, how she writes, and more. After you're done listening to the podcast, be sure to register for her AViD event next Wednesday, December 9, at 7:00 PM! You can do so at the AViD Page below.

Show Notes

Nov 25, 2020

Eisner-nominated artist Scott Chantler joins us on the DMPL Podcast today to discuss his newest graphic novel Bix. It's a biography of Leon Bismark "Bix" Beiderbecke, a Davenport native and a revered member of the Golden Age of Jazz in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Chantler and host Aaron Gernes talk about Chatler's creative process in writing graphic novels and about the trials and tribulations of Bix's life that lead to his tragic death at an early age.

Show Notes

Nov 5, 2020

On today's podcast, host Aaron Gernes talks with Iowa author Debra Landwehr Engle, whose novel Twenty came out this past spring. It follows an Iowa woman who makes an important decision about her life after grieving the losses of her daughter, mother, and marriage.

Show Notes

Sep 30, 2020

On today's podcast, host Aaron Gernes is joined by Iowa author S.C. Sherman. Earlier this year Sherman released Beer Money: A Tale of the Iowa City Beer Mafia, a historical fiction novel about the events that led up to the real-life Iowa City Beer Riots.

Show Notes

Sep 23, 2020

On the latest episode of the DMPL Podcast, we celebrate Latinx Heritage Month with some great books by Latinx authors. Janeé is up first to talk about kid's books, and then we're joined by Elizabeth, who gives us some adult book selections:

Show Notes

Book Links
Elizabeth's Other Book Picks:

#ownvoices Fiction

#ownvoices Nonfiction

Upcoming Programs

 
Sep 16, 2020

Today on the podcast, Carrie recommends some books that are in non-traditional formats. This is one of the twelve categories in this year's ongoing DMPL Reading Challenge. Don't forget - it's not too late to sign up and take part in the Reading Challenge!

Carrie's Picks

Events and Programs Mentioned:

Sep 2, 2020

Iowa author Kali White joins us on the newest edition of the DMPL Podcast. White's newest novel, The Monsters We Make, was released last month. It is set in Des Moines in the mid 1980s and is partially based on the real-life Des Moines Register paperboy disappearances of that time. You may know her from her previous works The Space Between and The Good Divide, which she wrote under the name Kali VanBaale.

White and host Aaron Gernes talk about the intense research White did for the novel to ensure its accuracy, as well as why she decided to write under a new pen name. 

NOTE: Spoilers for The Monsters We Make are discussed from 9:45-25:30.

Show Notes

Kali's Books
Kali Online
Upcoming Events
Aug 5, 2020

Dr. Richard Deming joins the DMPL Podcast today to discuss his new book, Above and Beyond Cancer. 

Dr. Deming is the director at the MercyOne Cancer Center in Des Moines and the founder of Above + Beyond Cancer, an organization dedicated to elevating the lives of those impacted by cancer. 

During the podcast, Dr. Deming and host Aaron Gernes chat about the journey cancer patients and their loved ones take, what it's like being an oncologist during a pandemic, and the fun writing process that Dr. Deming embarked on for this book, with assistance and support from Drake Community Press.

Links

Mar 2, 2020

Today on the podcast, we welcome Iowa author Cheryl Mullenbach. Cheryl has penned several books, including her newest, Stagecoach Women, which comes out next month. The book encompasses the expansive history of women in the old west, including drivers, bandits, gunslingers, and more. During the podcast, Cheryl talks about how old newspapers inspired her love of history. She also brings up similarities between the world today and the world of the old west in terms of the challenges women face, and she reads a bit from her new book.

Cheryl will be hosting a program about Stagecoach Women at the South Side Library on Wednesday, March 25, at 6:00 PM.

Show Notes:

Feb 12, 2020

Iowa author Nicole Baart joins us on the DMPL Podcast today. She is the author of nine books, including her latest, You Were Always Mine. You Were Always Mine is a domestic suspense novel centered on a widow, her late husband's suspicious death, and the family she must hold together through her grief.

"A good book has to have a little bit of romance and a dead body or two," says Baart. During the podcast, she discusses how she balances being a mother of five children with being an author. She also talks about adoption (which plays a key role in You Were Always Mine) and being an adoptive parent, and she provides some insight on how anyone can write a novel in a year.

Show Notes and Links

Feb 5, 2020

The DMPL Podcast welcomes Natalie Benson to the show today. She will be hosting a five-week program at the Franklin Avenue Library titled A History of Modern Art. During the podcast, Benson discusses what exactly the nebulous that is modern art encompasses. She talks about well-known modern artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh and Pablo Picasso, as well as famous paintings from the time, including A Burial at Ornans, one of the first pieces that depicted the life of ordinary people and, in a sense, began the era of Modern Art.

A History of Modern Art begins on Monday, February 10, at 6:30 PM at the Franklin Avenue Library. It will continue on successive Mondays - February 17 & 24 and March 2 & 9 - at the same time. Each session will delve into a different topic or movement of modern art, such as surrealism, cubisim, and impressionism. Each session will also be self-contained, so guests should feel to attend as they are able without feeling like they missed out if they miss a week.

Jan 8, 2020

Today on the podcast, we welcome John Peragine to the podcast. Peragine is a writer that lives in Davenport. He's the author of 14 books, including A History of Iowa Wines: Vines on the Prairie, which was published last year.

During the podcast, Peragine tells us how German immigrants and a New York lawyer were intregral in ramping up the Iowa wine scene in the 19th century. He describes how Iowa, which was sixth in the nation in grape production in 1919, found itself bottoming out in the middle of the 20th century due to politics, agriculture, and weather, before blossoming again as a state known for hearty, sweet grapes.

Finally, Peragine discusses what it's like to be a ghostwriter. Peragine has been the pen behind more than 100 books in addition to his own published materials. He talks about the challenges he faces trying to find someone else's voice.

Dec 18, 2019

Librarians Carrie Anderson and Sarah Lane join the podcast today to discuss their favorite books of 2019.

Carrie's Books

Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee, by Casey Cep
Carrie's review: Harper Lee fans will love how it delves into her psyche and the history of her writing life. There's a lot of interesting history here too, such as politics of the time in Alabama, and the history of life insurance. Cep tells all of this in a very engaging way.

The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, by H.G. Parry
Carrie's review: This novel takes place in a world a lot like ours, except for one thing - certain people can bring characters out from books out into the real world. The result is a wonderful book that I recommend for bibliophiles of all types. It's full of wit and swashbuckling adventure, and it has real heart.

Twenty-One Truths about Love, by Matthew Dicks
Carrie's review: This book follows Daniel and Jill Mayrock. Daniel has just quit his job to open up a bookshop when they find out his wife Jill is pregnant. The book has a unique format - it's written from Dan's perspective through his lists. I loved this book. Books written in unusual formats can be gimmicky, but this one is not. It works really well for the story and it holds its own.

Sarah's Books

Bromance Book Club, by Lyssa Kay Adams
Sarah's review: This was my favorite romance book of the year. It turns the romance genre on its head without talking away any of the heartfelt sentiment you want in a romance book. This book hits you in all the feels while still being realistic and down to earth. I loved hearing men talk about wooing one's wife through communication and emotional depth.

Circe, by Madeline Miller
Sarah's review: Technically this book was published in 2018, but Madeline Miller came to Des Moines as part of AViD in 2019, so I'm counting it. I listened to the audiobook; it is riveting and beautifully narrated.

Finding Dorothy, by Elizabeth Letts
Sarah's review: This book tells of the story of Maude Gage Baum, the real-life wife of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz author L. Frank Baum. Though the book is fiction, Letts weaves nonfiction elements into her writing, creating a truly unique narrative. Finding Dorothy is an engrossing narrative about a little-known woman in history.

Dec 11, 2019

Illustrator Claire Sedovic, of Des Moines, joins us on the podcast to talk about her journey to becoming a published illustrator. Odd Animal ABCs, was published earlier this year (the book was written by June Smalls, of Virginia). During the podcast, Sedovic talks about:

On becoming a published illustrator: "It may sound kind of archaic, but one way illustrators get themselves known is that we send out postcards."

The "odd animals" she had to research and draw: "The one that immediately comes to mind, because 'X' is obviously such a hard letter to think of things for, is xenops. It's a bird from South America, and it kind of looks like a sparrow... My favorite had to be the tree kangaroo though. It sounds like it's made up, but it looks like a teddy bear."

On her decision to quit her full-time job to focus on her illustrating: "This was something I had been passionate about for awhile, and it came to the point where there just was never going to be the 'right time' to leave that job and leap into this career. I just had to make the decision to do it, and I've never regretted that.

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