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Mark Arax - The Dreamt Land

In person, as on the page, Mark Arax is a captivating storyteller with a rich tone to his voice. If you think you don’t care about water, listen anyway. Our live audience was mesmerized by what he had to say and how he said it. To the East of Silicon Valley is another low-lying region that is just as innovative, although the product feeds our bodies rather than our minds. For more than 100 years, the Central Valley has reflected the world’s changing tastes in fruits, vegetables and nuts....


Jonathan Kauffman – Hippie Food

Jonathan Kauffman’s “Hippie Food” introduces us to the people who changed what we eat. Prior to the 1960s, our meals were in a Cold War rut. The counterculture turned us onto food that freed us from that lifestyle. The result was the popular consumption of tofu, brown rice, yogurt and something called granola. CapRadio’s Donna Apidone spoke with Kauffman about the political and spiritual reasons these foods became mainstream. Interview Highlights: What inspired you to write this history...


John Lescroart - The Rule Of Law

Attorney Dismas Hardy’s secretary Phyllis McGowan is suddenly caught up in a murder case. She’s arrested in connection with the shooting death of a coyote who was smuggling people across the southern border of the U.S. Hardy must work fast to keep McGowan from being convicted. Author John Lescroart’s “The Rule of Law” makes up for the fact that he left readers hanging in another recent novel “Fatal.” In “The Rule of Law,” there’s a new plot and an answer to the unsolved mystery from the...


Vanessa Hua – A River of Stars

Vanessa Hua’s “A River of Stars” is about the privileges of citizenship and the perseverance of motherhood. It’s also about knowing how to take every advantage of a situation. The story takes place primarily in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Perfume Bay is a maternity hotel in California, a residential facility where women come from other countries to give birth. Babies born in the U.S. are automatically citizens, and that privilege is a benefit for mother as well as child. Maternity hotels are...


Michael David Lukas - The Last Watchman of Old Cairo

“The Last Watchman of Old Cairo” centers on a synagogue guarded by men of Muslim faith. The "watchmen" protect magical, ancient texts like the Ezra Scroll, which has such strong energy, it emits a shimmering vibration, causing everything around it to glow. Michael David Lukas’ novel bounces between three eras. Some of the characters are in Egypt now. Others knew Moses. A third group, from the 1800s, could have come right out of an Agatha Christie mystery. Lukas brilliantly weaves together...


Lauren Markham - The Far Away Brothers

Journalist Lauren Markham’s book, “The Far Away Brothers,” is the story of twin teens who came to the U.S. illegally from El Salvador. They wind up in Oakland, California, trying to start a new life. Markham’s storytelling reveals the intricacies of the U.S. immigration system and the true experience of two unaccompanied minors fleeing gang violence in their home country. She discussed their story with CapRadio’s Donna Apidone. Interview Highlights You talk right up front about the...


Robin Sloan - Sourdough

Robin Sloan pokes fun at Silicon Valley’s robots and flavorless protein drinks in his second book, "Sourdough." It’s the perfect title for a book about various cultures in and around the Bay Area. And there are plenty of them: food culture, Saturday morning market culture, technology culture, and, of course, sourdough bread culture. The book is about a young programmer named Lois who moves to California to work for a robotics company. She winds up becoming a part of the underground food...


Shanthi Sekaran - Lucky Boy

Tens of thousands of undocumented women have made the journey across the southern border of the United States. The trip is expensive. Some migrants are raped by guides or fellow travelers. That was Soli’s story in the novel "Lucky Boy," by author Shanthi Sekaran. Soli arrives in the U.S. pregnant and tries to juggle motherhood and work as a nanny in Berkeley, California. When immigration agents find out about her, she’s faced with deportation and possibly being forced to relinquish her...


John Lescroart - Fatal

Author John Lescroart’s 28th book, "Fatal," is centered around a massive, deadly terrorist attack in San Francisco. There’s no sign of the usual main characters from many of his other thrillers: lawyer Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky. Instead, he writes from the perspective of a new character: Sergeant Beth Tully, a homicide inspector for the San Francisco Police Department dealing with the aftermath of the attack. "Fatal" explores the complex ways that humans cope with trauma in the wake of...


Elizabeth Rynecki - Chasing Portraits

The Nazis were famous for raiding and ruining art collections throughout Europe during World War II. Author Elizabeth Rynecki’s great-grandfather Moshe Rynecki was a Jewish artist in Poland who created hundreds of paintings depicting everyday life. Moshe distributed them so they wouldn’t be destroyed. He later died in a concentration camp, but his son George (Elizabeth’s grandfather) survived and wrote a memoir. "Chasing Portraits" is Elizabeth Rynecki’s story of trying to track down her...


Trailer: Introducing The CapRadio Reads Podcast With Donna Apidone

Gain insight into your favorite writer or discover your next great read on the new CapRadio Reads podcast. CapRadio’s Morning Edition Host Donna Apidone sits down with prominent authors and fresh writers. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts.