the Ladies Bookclub

When the weather is nice, the Ladies Bookclub often meets outdoors. [Courtesy photo]

Bibliophiles, rejoice! Moab’s own KZMU Community Radio has a show just for you.

On the first Monday of every month, from 5 to 6 p.m., staff members at the local bookstore Back of Beyond Books and the Grand County Library co-host “KZMU Radio Book Club,” discussing hot items across best-seller lists, what the hosts have been reading recently and upcoming book-related events.

“And, if we’re lucky, we do an interview with an author,” said Shari Zollinger, Back of Beyond Books event manager, book-buyer and the show’s co-host. “The first one we did, we did a live interview with Amy Irvine for her book ‘Desert Cabal.’”

If you miss the broadcast, look for the show archived on the KZMU website as a part of “This Week In Moab.”

Zollinger said the show began about a year and a half ago. At first it was produced by the bookstore, which included herself and the store’s book-buyer and social media manager, Julia Buckwalter, and owner Andy Nettell.

At the suggestion of KZMU staff, the Grand County Public Library became involved in October, a move that Zollinger said has added a positive “new element” to the show.

Grand County Public Library assistant Jessie Magleby and Meg Flynn, the head of adult services, are the new co-hosts.

“My favorite thing is the opportunity to talk about books I have just read and books that I love,” Magleby said. “I’m probably a little over-passionate; sometimes I have to remind myself to give the others a turn.”

She said the next episode, broadcasting on Feb. 4, will discuss her recent reads: short stories by Flannery O’Connor and Haruki Murakami’s latest novel “Killing Commendatore.”

Zollinger said the book “Educated” by Tara Westover will be featured on the next episode, ahead of a Back of Beyond event focused on the same.

“Educated” is a memoir. According to the author’s website (tarawestover.com), she was born to survivalist parents in the mountains of Idaho and didn’t set foot in a classroom until she was 17.

Westover’s website says, “Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.”

Flynn said other upcoming events to be highlighted on the radio show include a series of upcoming outdoor adventure talks that will take place mostly at the library. While the full program is still in development, the series includes a lecture on Feb. 15 at Star Hall by Kevin Fedarko. Fedarko’s book, “The Emerald Mile,” centers on his through-hike of the Grand Canyon.

Previous episodes of the KZMU Radio Show have highlighted works such as “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed and “Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood.

For women who love to read, Buckwalter and Zollinger launched the “Ladies Bookclub” two years ago.

The club meets regularly, about once per month, for food, wine or tea, and book-talk, according to the group description on the Ladies Bookclub Facebook page, which is the primary way the group communicates its meeting topics, times and locations. It’s a closed group, but people who are interested may apply to join the page. Or for people who do not use Facebook, Buckwalter said the information is also pinned to the board outside of the Back of Beyond Books store at 83 N. Main St.

Buckwalter said the impetus for her in starting the group was missing deep conversations about writing after a childhood immersed in books (her mother was also a bookseller) and an “unforgettable women writers class in college.”  

Generally, she said, about eight women attend the meetings, though sometimes the turnout doubles.

Buckwalter said the group often chooses female authors, as well as memoirs and works of fiction.

“We’ve read books by local authors, and couple Terry Tempest and Brooke Williams, and we just finished “Dune” by Frank Herbert,” Buckwalter said.

She said some of the most popularly attended and well-loved reads have been “Tracks” by Robyn Davidson, “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah and “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi.

The next club meeting is on Feb. 15 at a club member’s house. Buckwalter said that this time, rather than a set selection to read, it is a “feminist choose-your-own read.”

Participants pick the next book and the time of the next meeting at each session. Women are welcome to join in any month, and bringing snacks and drinks to share is encouraged.

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