Booklovers' Cafe

Bryn Nelson, Flush

(Airdate: April 25, 2023) Cris talks science and finds out what poo can do for you from author and microbiologist Bryn Nelson, PhD The book is titled Flush: The Remarkable Science of an Unlikely Treasure. There are many aha moments as Bryn addresses human health concerns as well as the benefits of recycling and reusing human waste as we face together a need to rapidly change the way we live to preserve our planet. If you enjoy the work of Mary Roach then this book is for you. Cris thanks Port Townsend advocate Carol McCreary of PHLUSH: Public Hygiene Lets Us Stay Human for introducing her to Bryn Nelson.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Lesley Hazleton, The First Muslim

(Airdate: April 11, 2023) Cris welcomes Lesley Hazelton to Booklovers’ Cafe to talk about her book, The First Muslim: the Story of Muhammed. Lesley is a former psychologist and political journalist with deep roots in both Judaism and Catholicism. She once described herself as a Jew who seriously considered becoming a rabbi, a former convent schoolgirl who daydreamed about being a nun, an agnostic with a deep sense of religious mystery though no affinity for organized religion Her work has been widely praised for its blend of insight, in depth research and fine writing.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Anna Quinn, Angeline

(Airdate: March 28, 2023) Anna Quinn returns to Booklovers’ Cafe to introduce her new novel  Angeline. Erica Bauermeister says “Angeline is a call to open arms, a clear-eyed view of our often flawed humanity and how the power of compassion can change everything.” Cris and Anna talk about the setting in a liberal convent on an island in the Pacific Northwest and all about the humans inhabiting this place without revealing Angeline’s story. Anna unravels the mystery of her past in dream-like layers. The prose is poetic with messages for all readers. Anna is the founder of Writer’s Workshoppe in Port Townsend and the author of the bestseller, Night Child.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Monique Smith, Braiding Sweet Grass (YA)

(Airdate: March 14, 2023) Cris talks with the 2023 Community Read author Monique Gray Smith about her adaptation for Young Adults of Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge, and the Teaching of Plants by Robin Wall Kimmerer. This edition is a delight to hold and view with added illustrations by Nicole Neidhardt. All three of these women represent tribes from different locations in North America. Monique is an author and teacher in her own right and we also talk about her own path and books. Most recently Tilly and Crazy Eights was published and listed for Canada Reads 2021.

Max Wareham, Rudy Lyle

(Airdate: February 28, 2023) Booklovers’ Cafe heads to the East Coast to catch author, musicologist, and bluegrass banjo player Max Wareham who has just returned from a summer of festivals touring with the Peter Rowan Bluegrass Band.  The book is titled Rudy Lyle: The Unsung Hero of the Five String Banjo. Max began to study and work out the tablature for the banjo solos played by Rudy Lyle, banjo player with the Bill Monroe Bluegrass Boys of the 1950s. Find out what happened to Rudy and his banjo after he returned from fighting in the Korean War. The show integrates recordings of Rudy from the early days and stories from Max.

Dylan Quarles, Here There Be Monsters

(Airdate: January 31, 2023) Dylan Quarles, author of the adventure science fiction book, Here There Be Monsters, visits with Cris Wilson on Booklovers’ Cafe. It is indeed a time-travelling, explosive, gut-wrenching ride set in 1520 and 1985. Quarles is known for his previous sci-fi trilogy The Ruins of Mars. In this work, he turns to his personal interest in World Mythologies. The descriptions are vivid and ominous, yet the horror is lightened with humorous dialogue and likable characters. Quarles has also written several volumes of A Secret History of Port Townsend!

Booklovers’ Cafe – Gene Helfman, Beyond the Human Realm

(Airdate: January 3, 2023) Author Gene Helfman joins Cris Wilson to talk about his new novel Beyond the Human Realm, winner of the 2022 NIEA and Readers Favorite Award for Animal Fiction. Gene is himself a retired animal behaviorist and has written a novel from the Orcas’ point of view set partially here in the Salish Sea with our own beloved J pod. A fascinating story taken from recent news and research. The story follows a captive male orca, Makai, as a human-caused tragedy upends his world. Seeking revenge, he is accepted into Orca society and his success hinges on these fellow orcas, whale researchers, and a runaway teenager with Orca Clan roots.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Diane Urbani, All My Love

(Airdate: December 6, 2022) Cris invites Diane Urbani de la Paz into the studio to talk about her personal history All My Love, a story of Love and War, set during World War II. This book was inspired by 430 letters written by Don Lusk to his bride Anne.  Letters are read on this program by Phil Lusk, Don’s son. History jumps out of a textbook and the love story parallels Diane’s own story of love and the search for places of meaning for the Lusk family. Diane also gives tips on how to successfully write and publish a book on your own.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Willy Vlautin, The Night Always Comes

(Airdate: November 8, 2022) Cris talks to Portland author Willy Vautin about his novels and his music! WIlly writes about real life both gritty and hopeful. His latest novel noir, The Night Always Comes, is set in Portland and is so of the moment in our country it hurts. It’s a heart-wrenching portrait of a woman hungry for security and home in a rapidly changing city. Willy has had two of his books made into films, Lean on Pete and The Motel Life. Don’t Skip out on Me is an ALA Notable book and a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner award. His band The Delines sets the background sound track for his writing and your reading.

Jasmin Faulks Dickerson, The Last Sandstorm

(Airdate: October 11, 2022) Cris Wilson interviews author Jasmin Faulk Dickerson about her memoir The Last Sandstorm. Jasmin is a writer, speaker, and cultural identity advocate. She draws motivation from her personal story to educate and promote social justice and understanding. Born in the Middle East to an Italian mother and Arabian father, she immigrated to the United States in 1999 and pursued her education in Wyoming and Washington State in writing, equity, diversity, and leadership. In her memoir, The Last Sandstorm, Jasmin highlights the colorful and challenging experiences of her upbringing in Saudi Arabia, which led to her harrowing escape in her 20s. It is a family story, a romance and a thriller – a modern teenager in the repressive culture of Saudi Arabia.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Michael Daley, Telemachus

(Airdate: August 2, 2022) Cris Wilson interviews author, poet and founding editor of Empty Bowl Press Michael Daley. They talk about his novel Telemachus, a father/ son relationship search and coming of age book set partially in Port Townsend. The son is an artist and the father a famous poet and vicious critic. Cris and Michael also explore the recently published book, The Madrona Project Vol: 2: Human Communities in Wild Places. This is a beautiful book, delightful to hold filled with poems and essays by Northwest authors interspersed with art and photographs.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Jonathan Evison, Small World

(Airdate: July 5, 2022) Jonathan Evison has been assessing America through novels about working-class folks — home health aides, lawn workers. His 2011 novel West of Here seems most in companionship with his latest, Small World. Both are sprawling sagas with dual timelines that follow late-19th-century Westerners and their contemporary descendants. Small World opens with a train accident in 2019. The engineer, Walter Bergen, has had a perfect record until this, the final run of his career. The train, heading to Seattle, is “hurtling toward the unavoidable” — both the inevitable crash and, for Walter, an increasing awareness of that final movement in our lives. As ever an enjoyable conversation about engaging characters.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Seb Eggert, The Last Canyon Voyage

(Airdate: June 7, 2022) Cris Wilson interviews community member Seb Eggert about his father Charle Eggert’s memoir The Last Canyon Voyage: A Filmmaker’s Journey Down the Green and Colorado River detailing his 1955 expedition to duplicate the 1870s journey of John Wesley Powell before dams planned at Flaming Gorge and Glen Canyon flooded the wild river.

Booklovers’ Cafe
Alec Wightman, Music in My Life

(Airdate: April 12, 2022) Our own Jerry Osborne takes over the microphone and has a conversation with Alec Wightman  about his memoir Music in My Life: Notes from a long time fan.  Rock and roll first spoke to Alec as a ten-year-old listening to Dion on his transistor radio. Over the next sixty years, Wightman would listen to countless records, chase live shows from coast to coast , promote sing-songwriter acts through his own concert production company and serve as chair of the board of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Booklovers’ Cafe – T.J. Klune, The House in the Cerulean Sea

(Airdate: March 1, 2022) Host Cris Wilson has a conversation with T.J. Klune about his NY Times Bestseller and the 2022 Port Townsend Community Read The House in the Cerulean Sea, a fantasy story for all ages. Linus Baker, a caseworker in the Department of Magical Youth is on assignment for Exceedingly Upper Management. On the island he discovers a series of mysterious creatures and the Master of the orphanage, Arthur Parnassus. Linus finds love, an unlikely family, and discovers his own power to protect them. A land of color and magic is just the medicine we need.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Thor Hanson, Hurricane Lizards

(Airdate: January 4, 2022) If you are looking for solid engaging science and a hopeful book on Climate change try Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid. Cris talks with Thor Hanson about the way that animals and plants don’t just suffer climate change but respond to it by adjusting, evolving and, yes, sometimes “winking out”.  It’s happening now and has been measured for over a hundred years. A wonderful and engaging storyteller: We are proud to interview Thor once again.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Rosemary McGuire, Rough Crossing

(Airdate: December 7, 2021) Rough Crossing introduces you to the intrepid Rosemary McGuire as she signs on to the crew of the Arctic Storm in Homer, Alaska looking for money and experience. Well, she got one of those! She writes with “a keen eye for essential detail with lean-forward moving sentences.”   Join host Cris Wilson as she talks to the author and old time musician from her cabin near Murphy Dome in Fairbanks where she lives when not doing research in the Arctic or floating alone on a designated Wild and Scenic River.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Rooted

(Airdate: October 31, 2021) Cris Wilson is delighted to talk to Lyanda Lynn Haupt about her latest book, Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit. This book is a philosophical and personal exploration into the ecology of the Pacific Northwest. It is truly a celebration and guide for us all to find wonder and belonging.

Booklovers’ Cafe – JoAnne Tompkins, What Comes After

(First airdate: September 28, 2021) JoAnne Tompkins introduces her debut novel “What Comes After” on Booklovers’ Cafe. The book has received great reviews from the New York Times as a recommended Book Group selection. It is set in Port Townsend and is a psychological mystery with strong characters. Sometimes tough and sometimes tender, the book is true to life today AND it features a great dog named Rufus.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Joe Gillard, Little Book of Lost Words

(First airdate: August 31, 2021) Joe Gillard, a history buff and founder of History Hustle, a digital publication, has fun with Cris talking about their favorite selections from his book The Little Book of Lost Words. Who doesn’t need to know about a word like Snollygoster, a dishonest politician or Snuggery, a cozy room perfect for reading and dreaming?

Booklovers’ Cafe – Corky Parker, La Finca

(First airdate: August 3, 2021) Host Cris Wilson welcomes Corky Parker to Booklovers’ Cafe. Corky introduces her memoir La FInca: Love, Loss, and Laundry on a Tiny Puerto Rican Island. At age 40, Parker surrendered to her Swept Away-meets-Swiss Family Robinson fantasy of running an inn far from her home in the Pacific Northwest. She bought a group of cabins built by women in the hills of a small island in the Caribbean, and for the next 20+ years she and her family split their time between Seattle, and what became La Finca Caribe, their eco-lodge in Vieques, Puerto Rico.

Booklovers’ Cafe – David Williams

(First airdate: June 27, 2021) Cris Wilson welcomes David B. Williams to Booklovers’ Cafe to talk about his latest book Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound. Witty, graceful, and deeply informed, Homewaters weaves history and science into a fascinating and hopeful narrative, one that will introduce newcomers to the astonishing life that inhabits the Sound and offers us new insight into and appreciation of the waters we call home.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Katrina Carrasco

(First airdate: May 25, 2021) “Carrasco’s first novel explores every nook and cranny of what it is to be two-natured. Male and female, cop and criminal, marginalized and sovereign, best and bad: no matter the duality, disgraced Pinkerton detective-turned-unabashed gangster Alma Rosales (aka Jack Camp, pronouns she/her) rides the pendulum from one extreme to another. She’s not alone: all of the colorful characters populating the seedy docks in 1880s Port Townsend, WA, have at least two sides to their stories and multiple angles from which to view them … Carrasco is an author to watch.” says Library Journal!

Booklovers’ Cafe – Jacqueline Winspear, part 2

(First airdate: April 27, 2021) This month host Cris Wilson is pleased to speak with Jacqueline Winspear, author of the New York Times best-selling series, Maisie Dobbs. Originally from England, Jacqueline has been visiting our area. Part Two of these programs is all about the new Maisie Dobbs novel, The Consequences of Fear. As Europe buckles under Nazi occupation in October of 1941 we meet young Freddie Hackett, a message runner in the bombed streets of London, who witnesses an argument and then a murder. The theme of human fear echoes through the decades to today.

Booklovers’ Cafe – Jacqueline Winspear, part 1

(First airdate: March 30, 2021) This month host Cris Wilson is pleased to speak with Jacqueline Winspear, author of the New York Times best-selling series, Maisie Dobbs. Originally from England, Jacqueline has been visiting our area. In Part One of the interview, Cris and Jackie talk about the memoir published in November of 2020, This Time Next Year We’ll Be Laughing. Fans of Maisie Dobbs will appreciate the warmth, humor and unflinching honesty of this account that embraces three generations of Winspear’s family history. The reader will certainly understand the importance of real place, time, and characters that Winspear brings to life in her novels.

Bill Harley

(First airdate: January 19, 2021) Bill Harley, Storyteller, author and performer for all ages joins Cris to talk about his storytelling career, friendship with Pete Seeger. He also tells us a story for all ages about Finding Happiness. Personally Bill has brought Cris’s family much joy and laughter over the years.  His books and CDs can be found at