WNIJ adds new books to ‘Read With Me’ book series

WNIJ 89.5 FM will feature four regional works of fiction as part of its continuing “Read With Me” book series. The series, hosted by Dan Klefstad, features interviews with authors who read selections of their work and share their inspirations. “Read With Me” will air every morning at 6:50 and 8:50 a.m., Feb. 20 through Feb. 23, during Morning Edition.

The “Read With Me” book series engages its listening audience with outstanding work by writers across the region.

“We encourage our listeners to read along with us before the interviews air in February,” said Staci Hoste, director and general manager of the station. “It is our pleasure to serve a community comprising talented writers and passionate readers, and we work hard to make WNIJ a gathering place for regional literature.”

The first installment of the new series features a novel by Kathleen Tresemer, who co-founded the In Print Professional Writers Association. Tresemer’s novel “Time in a Bottle,” tells the story of Beth Frye, who wants what we all want: to be accepted, maybe even cool. But high school can be tough for a music geek. Things start looking up when she discovers vodka, which gives her new friends, a gorgeous guy and the chance to perform in New York City. But as her addiction gets worse, things get complicated.

The series continues Feb. 21, with “Small Town Roads” by L.B. Johnson. This book introduces Rachel Raines, who entered the Chicago Police Department with a criminal justice degree and big hopes for the future. But the streets can be tough for rookie cops. A breakup and an aunt’s bequest offer Rachel a fresh start in a small suburban community. No baristas or nightlife here, but a new friendship with her late aunt’s neighbor opens Rachel’s mind and heart to friendship and faith. Johnson was awarded the Readers Favorite International Silver Book Award for Excellence in Writing.

The broadcast on Feb. 22, will present poems of Susan Azar Porterfield. Her book “Dirt, Root, Silk” features poems that stare bravely at Chicago violence, that remember the feel and smell of an infant whose family returned to Syria before the civil war, and that encourage a young relative who’s questioning her sexuality. Her manuscript won the 2015 Cider Press Review’s Editor’s Prize.

The series will conclude with award-winning author Christine Sneed, whose work has been previously featured. Her new book, “The Virginity of Famous Men,” “…never settles many of the questions that arise…however, this uncertainty only serves to highlight the engaging power of her writing,” according to The New York Times. Sneed received the Chicago Public Library Foundation’s 21st Century Award, Ploughshares’ Zacharis Prize for a First Book, the Society of Midland Authors Fiction Prize and the 2009 Associate of Writers & Writing Programs Grace Paley Prize for short fiction.

For more information about the “Read With Me” book series and other WNIJ programs, visit wnij.org. WNIJ invites listeners to read along with us and share your thoughts using the hashtag #WNIJReadWithMe.

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