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A Novel Idea

Arts & Culture

Non-fiction to pulp fiction host Rosemary Manchester and producer Suzanne M. Lang explore the world of books, featuring conversations with writers, readers, and academics.

Non-fiction to pulp fiction host Rosemary Manchester and producer Suzanne M. Lang explore the world of books, featuring conversations with writers, readers, and academics.


Rohnert Park, CA


Non-fiction to pulp fiction host Rosemary Manchester and producer Suzanne M. Lang explore the world of books, featuring conversations with writers, readers, and academics.




5850 LaBath Avenue Rohnert Park California USA 94928 707-584-2000


Thais Nye Derich, Cathy Langlois – July 30, 2017

Suzanne M. Lang talks with Thais Nye Derich about her path of self-examination and learning to discover that she, like many other women, was a victim of the medical establishment that denied her the human right of birthing her own child. Second Chance, A Mother’s Quest for a Natural Birth after Cesarean is not just a book about childbirth, but about control over our own lives and simply, about being human. Also featured is a conversation with Cathy Langlois, director of the Spirit Horse...


Daniel Pyne, Stephan Mack Jones – July 2, 2017

Neo-noir and crime fiction with Suzanne Lang in conversation with Daniel Pyne, screenwriter, show runner of Amazon’s hit drama Bosch, and author of Catalina Eddy, a Novel in Three Decades. Suzanne also talks with poet and playwright Stephen Mack Jones, who has published his first novel, a crime thriller set in Detroit, August Snow.


Shanti Sekaran, Shelby Londyn-Heath – June 4, 2017

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...


Linda Hervieux, Jeane Slone – June 5, 2016

Black lives matter. Suzanne Lang explores the injustices of Jim Crow American and the valor of an all-Black battalion whose D-Day contributions have been largely ignored until now with author Linda Hervieux, who presents the compelling story of the 320th Barrage Balloon Battalion in her book Forgotten, The Untold Story of D-Day’s Black Heroes, at Home and at War. Also featured is Jeane Slone with her WW II historical fiction, She Was an American Spy during World War II.


Gary Soto, Gerald Haslam – May 7, 2017

Encore presentation of a 2013 broadcast features Suzanne Lang in conversation with author and poet Gary Soto and Rosemary Manchester talking with Gerald Haslam on the publication of his work In Thought and Action: The Enigmatic Life of S. I. Hayakawa. These are two writers with deep roots in California’s Central Valley.


Jonah Raskin, Thomas E Cochrane – April 30, 2017

Prolific author and curious man, Jonah Raskin joins Suzanne M. Lang in conversation on his book A Terrible Beauty: the Wilderness of American Literature, which examines American literature through the lens of our contemporary environmental crisis. Suzanne also talks with with geologist Thomas E Cochrane, whose book Shaping the Sonoma-Mendocino Coast: Exploring the Coastal Geography of Northern California is a travel guide as much as a primer in plate tectonics. Something to consider when...


Jessica Teich, Cathy Wild – March 5, 2017

A Novel Idea with Suzanne M. Lang features Jessica Teich with her memoir The Future Tense of Joy. A Rhodes Scholar, Teich happens upon an obituary of a fellow Rhodes Scholar who took her own life by jumping out a hotel window, which leads Jessica on a transformative journey. Also featured is Cathy Wild, whose book Wild Ideas: Creativity from the Inside Out uses personal stories and analysis of her own life to identify difficult to articulate concepts of identity, suffering, gratitude, and...


Jonah Raskin, Alison Owings, Elena Ferrante – January 29, 2017

This encore presentation features Rosemary Manchester in conversation with Jonah Raskin on his book James McGrath: The Life and Times of an Extraordinary American Teacher, Mentor, Cultural Ambassador, and Pedagogical Pilgrim: in a Class by Himself. Manchester also talks with Alison Owings on her oral-history Indian Voices: Listening to Native Americans. Plus, Barbara Quick reviews Italian author Elena Ferrante’s My Brilliant Friend.


Elaine Khosrova, Barbara Doud Wright – January 1, 2017

This edition A Novel Idea with Suzanne Lang features two authors who go deep into our cultural histories and help us understand where we’ve come from and where we are through some darn good story telling. Elaine Khosrova has written a book about Butter, and not just on how to make a good hollandaise sauce. Butter is one of our oldest foods and she describes for us the wonder to the palette of yak butter made in the old ways, along with the role butter has played spiritually,...


Fred Euphrat, Donna Richardson Robbins – October 30, 2016

California forests and the rich natural history of Sonoma County are brought to light with Fred Euphrat, forester and author of Sonoma Mandala, a collection of essays originally broadcast on KRCB radio’s “Native Sonoma.” Next, Donna Richardson Robbins, who has just published her father’s memoir Tractors, Trains, & Shipwrecks, Yesteryear recollections of Sonoma County, the handwritten anecdotes of Donald R Richardson joins host Suzanne Lang.


Meg Waite Clayton – October 2, 2016

New York Time’s bestselling author Meg Waite Clayton joins Suzanne M. Lang in conversation about The Race for Paris, Clayton’s compelling novel of women journalists on the front leading up to the liberation of Paris during World War II. The historical grit and realism of the war is the backdrop for an enduring love story.


William Luvaas – September 4, 2016

William Luvaas, NEA grant recipient who has been recognized for his short stories and novels alike, joins Suzanne Lang in conversation on his third novel Beneath the Coyote Hills. Luvaas is attracted to the outsider, and his observations on the effects of wealth and culture on the human condition are at the core of much of his work.


Wendy E. Simmons – July 4, 2016

Wendy E. Simmons is a world traveler. Not a novice. Not a pushover. Her trip to North Korea challenged every bit of her perceptions of herself and other people. Captured in her recent memoir, My Holiday in North Korea, the Funniest/Worst Place on Earth, Wendy tells the strange, sad, and funny tale of her 10 days as a solo traveler there (if that’s what you call having two minders, a driver, and never being alone except in her hotel room). The book is a publication of Rosetta Books and...


Elizabeth Marshall Thomas – May 1, 2016

Suzanne Lang speaks with Elizabeth Marshall Thomas, who has spent a lifetime observing other creatures and other cultures, from her own backyard to the African savannah. Her books have transported millions of readers into the hidden lives of animals―from dogs and cats to deer and lions. Thomas has chronicled the daily lives of African tribes, and even imagined the lives of prehistoric humans. She opens the doors to her own life with Dreaming of Lions, My Life in Wild Places.


Abby Geni, Lewis deSoto – April 3, 2016

Big Nature, Big California The Farallon Islands, remote and mysterious, is the setting of Abby Geni’s novel of nature and mystery, The Lightkeepers. Abby talks with Suzanne about the book and her own life as a writer. Also, the Inland Empire of Southern California is the focus of visual artist Lewis deSoto’s book of photographs and essays. deSoto is known for his visual art, and his essays intimately expose his connections with his Cahuilla roots and the enigmatic qualities of this...


Black History Month – February 7, 2016

To honor Black History Month and International Women’s Day (March 8th) we present Rosemary Manchester with an encore presentation of a show featuring three generations of strong women of color: matriarch and author of When We Were Colored, Eva Rutland with her daughter Ginger and grand-daughter and namesake, Eva. Feisty, lively, and telling it like it is, the older Rutland, now in her 90’s, was making a living off her writing while raising a big family and tells that story in her memoir,...


Joan Frank, Mary Ames Mitchell, Bring Up The Bodies – November 29, 2015

In this archive episode, Joan Frank joins with Rosemary Manchester for a conversation on Joan’s novel, Make It Stay . Next, a strong and colorful dad becomes homeless and estranged in Mary Ames Mitchell’s The Purple Cow House and Other Tales of Eccentricities. Mary talks about her experience with Suzanne Lang. Finally, Barbara Quick reviews the second installment of a trilogy that began with Wolf Hall, centering on the life of Thomas Cromwell, Bring Up the Bodies, by Hillary Mantel....


Arlene Miller – November 1, 2015

Have Twitter, texting, and emoticons diminished the relevance of grammar? Not so, says Arlene Miller, a.k.a. the Grammar Diva. Arlene Miller, author of the best selling The Best Little Grammar Book Ever, and Correct Me If I’m Wrong joins Suzanne Lang in conversation this month.


Bruce Holbert – August 30, 2015

Bruce Holbert’s life is as interesting as his characters. His grandfather was murdered by his own father-in-law, and Holbert himself was involved in the accidental shooting of a friend. He lives in a dramatic part of the west and it all comes out in is finely honed prose. Suzanne Lang speaks with Holbert on his latest novel, the lovely and riveting The Hour of Lead.


Chuck Sher, Raphael Block – August 2, 2015

Jazz musician and jazz music publisher, Chuck Sher has just released the audio book Poetry and Jazz: A Magical Marriage featuring the poetry of Rilke, Rumi, and Rexroth among others, read by world class interpreters to great jazz compositions by the likes of Clare Fischer, Maria Schneider, and Stan Getz. Some of you may know Chuck as a radio personality; he has been one of the regular hosts of KRCB’s Jazz Connections for many years. Poetry and Jazz: A Magical Marriage is “an intertwining...