DMPL Podcast

An Arts, Books and Education podcast
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Marlú joins us to discuss some great books and Kanopy movies! Kanopy is the library's free video streaming service. To use Kanopy*, go to and create an account using your library card number and PIN. *You must live in Des Moines, Windsor Heights, or rural Polk County to use Kanopy for free with your Des Moines Public Library card.   Show Notes Marlú's Picks: Book 1: Natalie Tan's Book of Luck and Fortune, by Roselle Lim Kanopy Flick: The Farewell (PG) Book 2: The Low, Low Woods, by Carmen Maria Machado Kanopy Flick: The Witch (R) Book 3: Black Enough, Edited by Ibi Zoboi Kanopy Flick: Moonlight (R) Book 4: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! (English & Spanish available!) Kanopy Flick: Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus!   Register for AViD Ibi Zoboi | Tuesday, May 11 | 7:00 PM | Zoom
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 An American Marriage (2018) Silver Sparrow (2011) The Untelling (2005) Leaving Atlanta (2002) Tayari Jones on the Web Tayari Jones | Website Tayari Jones | Facebook Tayari Jones | Instagram Tayari Jones | Twitter Tayari's Recommendations "Trees" by Joyce Kilmer Mercy, by Lucille Clifton The Tradition, by Jericho Brown The Street, by Ann Petry All the Devils are Here, by Louise Penny The Kindest Lie, by Nancy Johnson A Promised Land, by Barack Obama
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 My Sister, the Serial Killer, by Oyikan Braithwaite The Assistants, by Camille Perri Meddling Kids, by Edgar Cantero 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 AViD Homepage Register for AViD: Tayari Jones Register for AViD: Hanif Abdurraqib Book Chat
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 The Arctic Fury at DMPL Other Greer Macallister books at DMPL Greer Macallister | website Greer Macallister | Facebook Greer Macallister | Twitter Greer Macallister | Instagram
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 Hidden Valley Road: Inside the Mind of an American Family (2020) Lost Girls: An Unsolved American Mystery (2013) Books Mentioned by Kolker Random Family: Love, Drugs, Trouble, and Coming of Age in the Bronx, by Adrian Nicole LeBlanc These Truths, by Jill Lepore War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky Mike Nichols: A Life, by Mark Harris Kolker's Favorite Self-Authored Pieces "The World’s Smallest Ukulele," Bloomberg Businessweek, May 12, 2016 "Nine Blocks from Home," New York Magazine, July 7, 2006
Iowa author Darcy Maulsby is the guest on the latest DMPL Podcast! Her newest book, Classic Restaurants of Des Moines and Their Recipes, is a culinary history of Des Moines restaurants During the podcast, Maulsby and host Aaron Gernes discuss restaurants of days' past, including Babe's, Johnny & Kay's, King Ying Low, and more. It's a must-read for anyone who want's to feel nostalgia as well as those who are interested in Des Moines history. The Italian influences of Des Moines Famous Des Moines figures such as Babe Bisignano and Edna Griffin The fall and rise of downtown through the restaurants What Des Moines' culinary future holds and much more! Show Notes Classic Restaurants of Des Moines and Their Recipes on our shelves Other Darcy Maulsby books on our shelves Darcy Maulsby | website Darcy Maulsby | Facebook Darcy Maulsby | Instagram Darcy Maulsby | Twitter
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 Educated, by Tara Westover - A book based on its cover My Antonia, by Willa Cather - A book she enjoyed in school One Summer: America, 1927, by Bill Bryson - A book about a significant historical event Lynn's Books Vesper Flights, by Helen Macdonald - A book of essays or short stories The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey - A book recommended by a Book Chat librarian Perestroika in Paris, by Jane Smiley - A book with a non-human main character(s) Other Related Links DMPL Reading Challenge DMPL Express Book Chat
Show Notes Adam Higginbotham | Website Adam Higginbotham | Twitter Midnight in Chernobyl Books and stories discussed: M.R. James: Collected Ghost Stories and Ghost Stories of an Antiquary "Life at the Top," by Adam Higginbotham (The New Yorker, February 4, 2013) Naples '44, by Norman Lewis (GoodReads link) The Power Broker: Robert Moses and the Fall of New York, by Robert Caro How the Word is Passed: A Reckoning with the History of Slavery Across America, by Clint Smith
Janeé and Rebecca, with the Book Chat team, join host Aaron to chat about their favorite books this year. What made them laugh? What made them cry? What made 2020 a great year for reading? Listen to the podcast to find out, and be sure to check out the show notes to see other books they loved that they didn't discuss. Show Notes Book Chat Janeé's Books Picture Books I Am Every Good Thing, by Derrick Barnes, illustrated by Gordon C. James Anti-Racist Baby, by Ibram X. Kandi We Will Rock Our Classmates, by Ryan T. Higgins Middle Grade Class Act, by Jerry Craft Twins, by Varian Johnson The Talk: Conversations About Race, Love, and Truth, by Wade Hudson and Cheryl Willis Hudson Teen Fiction Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas Clap When You Land, by Elizabeth Acevedo Long Way Down: The Graphic Novel, by Jason Reynolds The Magic Fish, by Trung Le Nguyen Rebecca's Books This is How You Lose the Time War, by Amal El-Mohtar The Magic Fish, by Trung Le Nguyen The House in the Cerulean Sea, by T.J. Klune The Only Good Indians, by Stephen Graham Jones Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia Are You Listening?, by Tillie Walden One to Watch, by Kate Stayman-London Frogcatchers, by Jeff Lemire Cemetery Boys, by Aiden Thomas All My Mother’s Lovers, by Ilana Masad
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 AViD Page Kate's Info Kate Quinn | Website Kate Quinn | Facebook Kate Quinn | Instagram Kate Quinn | Twitter Kate's Books The Huntress (2019) Ribbons of Scarlet (2019) The Alice Network (2017) The Empress of Rome Saga Lady of the Eternal City (#4) (2015) Empress of the Seven Hills (#3) (2012) Mistress of Rome (#2) (2011) Daughters of Rome (#1) (2010) The Borgia Chronicles The Lion and the Rose (#2) (2014) The Serpent and the Pearl (#1) (2014) Kate's Recommendations Empire of Gold, by S.A. Chakraborty In This House of Brede, by Rumer Godden Conclave, by Robert Harris Munich, by Robert Harris Island Queen, by Vanessa Riley (to be released July 2021) Half Sick of Shadows, by Laura Sebastian 
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 Bix on library shelves Other Scott Chantler books at DMPL Scott Chantler | Website Scott Chantler | Instagram Scott Chantler | Facebook Scott Chantler | YouTube
Gen and Katie from the Book Chat team join the podcast today to talk about books that give them "all the feels." They both picked one "swoony" book, one "scary" book, and one "funny" book to share. Book Picks The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman The Only Good Indians, by Stephen Graham Jones The New One, by Mike Birbiglia A Duke in Shining Armor, by Loretta Chase Sequel: Ten Things I Hate About the Duke The Murders of Molly Southbourne, by Tade Thompson Sequel: The Survival of Molly Southbourne S***, Actually: The Definitive, 100% Objective Guide to Modern Cinema, by Lindy West
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 Twenty in the catalog Other books by Debra Landwehr Engle Debra Landwehr Engle | Website | Facebook | Twitter
On today's DMPL Podcast, Janeé with the Book Chat team is here to discuss her favorite genre, horror. She's picked out six books - two children's, two YA/Teen, and two adult titles - to chat with us about today. Show Notes Book Chat DMPL Express Janeé's Picks Clown in a Cornfield, by Adam Ceasar Harrow Lake, by Kat Ellis Hide and Seeker, by Daka Hermon The Puppet's Payback and Other Chilling Tales, by Mary Downing Hahn The Southern Book Club's Guide to Slaying Vampires, by Grady Hendrix Killadelphia Vol. 1: Sins of the Father, written by Rodney Barnes
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 Borrow Beer Money from the library S.C. Sherman's Website S.C. Sherman | Facebook S.C. Sherman | Twitter
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 Vamos! Let's Go Eat, by Raul the Third; illustrations by Elaine Bay We Are Not From Here, by Jenny Torres Sanchez Merci Suárez Changes Gears, by Meg Medina Mexican Gothic, by Silvia Moreno-Garcia The Undocumented Americans, by Karla Cornejo Villavicencio Elizabeth's Other Book Picks: The Last Great Road Bum: A Novel by Héctor Tobar #ownvoices Fiction The Taste of Sugar by Marisel Vera Afterlife by Julia Alvarez A Long Petal of the Sea by Isabel Allende Untamed Shore by Silvia Moreno-Garcia #ownvoices Nonfiction Once I Was You: A Memoir of Love and Hate in a Torn America by Maria Hinojosa More Than Ready: Be Strong and Be You... and Other Lessons for Women of Color on the Rise by Cecilia Muñoz Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs, and Revolution in the Americas by Roberto Lovato Children of the Land by Marcelo Hernandez Castillo  Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land by Noe Alvarez Upcoming Programs Calle Sur: Music and Bilingual Virtual Storytime/Calle Sur: Música, y Cuentos y Canciones Bilingües | September 24 | 4:00 PM Voting Rights in Iowa: Don't Be Intimidated, Vote | September 24 | 7:00 PM Flu Shot Clinic with Polk County Health | September 28 | 5:00 PM Teen Chefs: Homemade Tortillas with Marianela Blanco | September 30 | 5:30 PM Fall Book Bites | October 1 | 6:30 PM  
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 Loving Vs. Virginia, by Patricia Hruby Powell They Called Us Enemy, by George Takei Dear Committee Members, by Julie Schumacker The Boy Next Door, by Meg Cabot Belonging, by Nora Krug The Poet X, by Elizabeth Acevedo Events and Programs Mentioned: 2020 DMPL Reading Challenge Library Learning Bag Upcoming Program: Don't Be Intimidated, Vote
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 The Monsters We Make (2020) - Borrow from the library The Good Divide (2016) - Borrow from the library The Space Between (2006) - Borrow from the library Kali Online Website Facebook Instagram Twitter Upcoming Events Upcoming Book Discussions Reid Forgrave Virtual Q & A
On the latest episode of the DMPL Podcast, Book Chat's Alissa joins us to discuss Magical Realism books. As Alissa says in the podcast, magical realism is "a realist fiction that blends magic into the everyday world," with deep roots Latin American literary traditions. Books Discussed on the Podcast The Astonishing Color of After, by Emily X.R. Pan When the Moon Was Ours, by Anna-Marie McLemore American Street, by Ibi Aanu Zoboi Alissa's Other Recommendations  The Water Dancer, by Ta-Nehisi Coates The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern Don't Date Rosa Santos, by Nina Moreno With the Fire on High, by Elizabeth Acevedo The Night Tiger, by Yangsze Choo Bone Gap, by Laura Ruby Midnight's Children, by Salman Rushdie Summer of Salt, by Katrina Leno The Weight of Feathers, by Anna-Marie McLemore The Murmur of Bees, by Sofia Segovia
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 Drake Community Press Order Above and Beyond Cancer Above and Beyond Cancer links Website Facebook Twitter Instagram
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: Cheryl Mullenbach's website Cheryl Mullenbach's books at the library
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 You Were Always Mine Other Nicole Baart Books Nicole Baart | website Nicole Baart | Facebook Nicole Baart | Instagram Nicole Baart | Twitter
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.
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. Borrow A History of Iowa Wines John Peragine's Website
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 CepCarrie'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. ParryCarrie'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 DicksCarrie'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 AdamsSarah'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 MillerSarah'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 LettsSarah'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.
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Podcast Details

Created by
Podcast Status
Feb 26th, 2016
Latest Episode
Apr 15th, 2021
Release Period
2 per month
Avg. Episode Length
29 minutes

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