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CapRadio's Favorite Author Interviews From 2018

Every year dozens of great authors share their stories with CapRadio. Here are some our favorite conversations about the books featured on CapRadio Reads and Insight with Beth Ruyak in 2018.

Courtenay Hameister Attempts To Wipe Out Her Fears in 'Okay Fine Whatever'

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For years, Courtenay Hameister had a job that just about anyone would envy. As the host and head writer of “Livewire!,” a syndicated public radio program recorded before a live audience in Portland, Oregon, her words were heard by listeners across the country through essays, skits and interviews with hundreds of fascinating, and often famous, people.

But she did it all with stage fright and oftentimes crippling anxiety. After a two-day anxiety attack, Hameister decided to re-evaluate her life and quit the job that had come to define her. In her first book, “Okay Fine Whatever: The Year I Went From Being Afraid of Everything to Only Being Afraid of Most Things,” Hameister decides to face her fears head on by actually doing the things that scared her most.

Listen to the Insight interview:


Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Share Children's Book About Rescue, Their Service Dog

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Jessica Kensky and Patrick Downes survived the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, with lower extremity injuries that took both of Jessica's legs and one of Patrick's legs. Their service dog Rescue — a black Labrador retriever — was named the 2017 ASPCA Dog of the Year.

They've written a children's book called "Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship" about their life together. The book is illustrated by Scott Magoon, another survivor of the bombing.

Listen to the Insight interview:


Sands Hall Details Her 'Decade Lost In Scientology'

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In “Flunk. Start. Reclaiming My Decade Lost In Scientology,” author and musician Sands Hall chronicles her slow yet willing absorption into the Church of Scientology. Her time in the church, the 1980s, includes the secretive illness and death of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and the ascension of David Miscavige. Hall compellingly reveals what drew her into the religion ― what she found intriguing and useful ― and how she came to confront its darker sides.

Listen to the Insight interview:


Young Adult Author Kim Culbertson Shares 'The Wonder Of Us'

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Author and high school teacher Kim Culbertson’s young adult novel “The Wonder of Us” is about the time in the teenage experience when you’re trying to decide if growing up means growing apart. It’s about the challenges of friendship — and the difference between a social media friendship and an in-person one.

Culbertson says friendship is essential, and it’s what she sees her students struggling with most: how do I have a sense of self and be a good friend?

Listen to the Insight interview:


Author Kelly Corrigan Explores The Power Of Language In 'Tell Me More'

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The right words used at the right time can be a powerful thing. That’s the theme author Kelly Corrigan explores in her latest book “Tell Me More.” From “I was wrong” to “I don’t know,” the phrases we use to talk with our loved ones can have great impact on our relationships over time.

Listen to the Insight interview:


Robin Sloan's 'Sourdough' Fuses Food And Technology

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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 world in San Francisco. When she starts using a robotic arm to help her make bread, it does make one wonder how far is too far when it comes to technology.

Listen to the CapRadio Reads interview:


Vanessa Hua's 'A River Of Stars' Follows A Woman's Pursuit Of The American Dream

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Vanessa Hua’s debut novel “A River of Stars” wowed critics and readers this summer. The book follows a pregnant Chinese woman who makes her way to California and stakes a claim to the American dream.

Listen to the CapRadio Reads interview:


Lauren Markham’s 'The Far Away Brothers' Tells A True Tale Of Escaping Violence

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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.

Listen to the CapRadio Reads interview:

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