Donna Brooks

The buzz downtown is being generated by Food Truck Fridays, a weekly happening that is importing great food from through Siouxland. Join Donna Brooks and Mark Munger as they navigate the crowds and dig into the food. 

Have you ever encountered a book at the moment you needed its message most? I’ve experienced this phenomenon with a few titles over the years, including A History of Love by Nicole Krauss, Timequake by Kurt Vonnegut, and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. These remain memorable to me, because when a book fills a void and provides affirmation or answers to something I’ve been struggling with, it tends to classify as a favorite.  

Donna Brooks
Ally Karsyn

You went down on August 26—my 29th birthday. That’s what the doctors and nurses kept calling it, anyway. It didn’t take long for me to understand that this is one of many ambiguous terms medical practitioners use to speak without saying anything.

I love New Year’s Eve. To me, it’s a glamorous holiday that offers the sparkle of new beginnings and a moment’s pause for present blessings. Time, which usually flies by unnoticed, slows and is savored during this celebration of retrospective gratitude and forward-facing goals.

This memoir was recommended to me almost ten years ago in a creative writing class at Iowa State University. From the title, I assumed the plot would involve a saturated love affair committed in lapsed judgment between two people. I quickly discovered that the passion in this love story is for the bottle.

As an avid public radio listener, there are few story-sharing platforms I admire more than This American Life. Host and producer, Ira Glass, has an unparalleled gift for drawing outstanding stories out of everyday people—diamonds in the rough.

Ira Glass also happened to discover one of my favorite authors, David Sedaris, while Sedaris was reading his childhood diary at a comedy club in the early 90's. Glass invited Sedaris to read his radio essay, “SantaLand Diaries” on Morning Edition, which opened the door to Sedaris’s wild success.

Fun Home

Sep 22, 2015

Support for Check It Out comes from Avery Brothers.    

Joan Didion’s essays and novels are famous for their study of American morals and cultural chaos. She’s written for Vogue, Esquire, the Saturday Evening Post, the New York Times, and many more world-class publications. But the two works I’m talking about today are very different from Didion’s societal commentary.

Mark Twain penned the philosophy “Truth is stranger than fiction,” in his travelogue Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World.

This notion is illustrated in shades of humor and heartbreak in Jeanette Wall’s memoir, The Glass Castle.

Walls steers the reader through her nomadic childhood with the kind of turbulence and immediacy that left me feeling the need to buckle in from page one.

What I’m recommending today is an assemblage of curious and quick-witted writing from one of my favorite authors.

Malcom Gladwell is known for being a “brilliant investigator of hidden extraordinary.” He’s written five books, including The Tipping Point, Blink, and Outliers, which is one of my favorite books of all time.