Talk of Iowa Book Club

Join host Charity Nebbe for the monthly on-air book club on Talk of Iowa

We love to read! We know many of you do too. That’s why we’ve started a book club. We’re hoping you’ll want to talk about the themes, characters and big picture questions raised by the titles included on our reading list for 2020. Get a copy of the books on the list below, make a cup of tea, find a comfy chair, and read or re-read with us.

You can listen to Talk of Iowa weekdays at 10 a.m. on all IPR News and News/Studio One signals or online at RSVP on Facebook to let us know you'll "be there!"

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2020 Reading List & On-Air Meeting Dates:

  • February 12: The Twelve Tribes of Hattie- Ayana Mathis (fiction)
  • April 8: A Sand County Almanac - Aldo Leopold (non-fiction)
  • May 6: Eligible - Curtis Sittenfeld (fiction)
  • June 10: Delights and Shadows - Ted Kooser (poetry)
  • July 8: Little House on the Prairie - Laura Ingalls Wilder/ Birch Bark House - Louise Erdrich (fiction)
  • August 12: Storm Lake – Art Cullen (non-fiction)
  • September 9: The Mothers- Brit Bennett (The 2020 All Iowa Reads selection for adult readers)
  • October 14: A House on Mango Street - Sandra Cisneros (fiction)
  • November 11: Crossing to Safety - Wallace Stegner (fiction)
  • December 9: Little Heathens: Hard Times and High Spirits on an Iowa Farm During the Great Depression – Mildred Armstrong Kalish (non-fiction)
Tom Hermans / Unsplash

With kids out of school for the summer, there is no better time for them to kick back with a good book. Especially at a time when there are no longer in-person birthday parties or days spent lounging at the pool, these summer reads are a perfect way to let a young person escape into another world.

Ed Robertson / Unsplash

The coronavirus pandemic has made this a difficult time to sell books, an unfortunate time to publish a book and a wonderful time for many to read.

In this edition of Talk of Iowa, it’s the annual summer books show. If you’re looking for powerful fiction, a read that might challenge your ideas and broaden your mind, poetry that explores the depths of joy, or a light-hearted escape, we have books for you.  

Iowa Public Radio

Former U.S. Poet Laureate Ted Kooser’s poetry is clear, accessible and powerful. His collection Delights & Shadows won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry, and the painterly language and relatable depictions of Midwestern life featured in the book have solidified Kooser’s place in American poetry history.

Charity Nebbe/IPR

In her book Eligible, author Curtis Sittenfeld retells the Jane Austen classic Pride and Prejudice with a modern, Midwestern twist. The Bennet family lives in Cincinnati, Liz Bennet is a journalist in her late 30’s and the bachelors Bingley and Darcy are wealthy doctors with coastal ties.


"A Sand County Almanac" was first published in 1949, but Aldo Leopold’s contemplative musings on conservation and land stewardship remain poignantly relevant.

Lindsey Moon / IPR

Did you make a New Year's resolution to read more? We're here to inspire you! Talk of Iowa is launching a book club.

We hosted the first meeting at 10:00 a.m. during the live broadcast of Talk of Iowa on Wednesday, Feb. 12. Author Ayana Mathis talked about her novel "The Twelve Tribes of Hattie," and a few Iowans who read the book along with us also joined the conversation.