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April 7, 2021 @ 6:21 am

Season 4 Ep. 84 Book Festivaling All Year Long with guest Sara Woods 4-7-21

Remember in high school or college when you were required to take a certain number of humanities classes? Maybe you groaned or rolled your eyes. But maybe it was the spark that lit an interest in subjects that helped you think critically and creatively. It was in a high school humanities class that Carrie was introduced to and fell in love with E. M. Forster’s novel A Room With a View. For me, an introduction to art history in college opened a whole new world and made me want to travel and see the cultures portrayed in the artwork I learned about. The exposure to subjects like literature, history, philosophy, culture, and religion help us understand the world we live in.

In our state, the organization that promotes the humanities is Kentucky Humanities; a non-profit that is an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in Washington, DC. It offers lots of cool programs, many of which are focused on books and bringing discussions about them to the Kentucky public at large. This nonprofit serves as the state cheerleader of Kentucky writers’ literary endeavors and one way it does this is through the Kentucky Book Festival which takes place every November. However, there are Book Festival programs that happen all year long including book bundles subscriptions, The Kentucky Reads program, and the School Days initiative that brings children’s book authors into schools to dazzle young readers and put books they can keep into their hands. All of these programs highlight Kentucky authors and put a spotlight on the rich literary talent we have within our border.

This week we talk with Sara Woods, the Kentucky Book Festival director. She brought her experience working with the Western Kentucky University sponsored Southern Kentucky Book Festival to her new position and from there brainstormed some fresh ideas about how to bring books to people even when, especially during Covid, people can’t come to the books.

Sara tells us how her love for her American Girl Doll as a child sparked her excitement for reading, how she is using the talents of a tattoo artist to highlight one of the books in the book bundle subscription service, and where you can get ice cream and beer on a bike trail to vastly increase the fun factor.

Books Mentioned in this Episode:

1- American Doll book sets (Felicity)
2- Illustrated classics (Moby Dick, Great Expectations)
3- The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
4- Essays by Michel de Montaigne
5- Clay's Quilt by Silas House
6- Just a Few Miles South by Ouita Michel
7- Kill All Your Darlings by David Bell
8- Perfect Black by Crystal Wilkinson
9- All the King's Men by Robert Penn Warren
10- Hannah Coulter by Wendell Berry
11- Birds of Opulence by Crystal Wilkinson
12- Duncan the Story Dragon by Amanda Driscoll
13- Haggis and Tank Unleashed: Digging for Dinos by Jessica Young
14- Nat Turner's Rebellion by Shawn Pryor
15- The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
16- The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
17- The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix Harrow
18- Once and Future Witches by Alix Harrow
19- Bunny by Mona Awad
20- The Secret History by Donna Tartt
21- The Vine that Ate the South by J. D. Wilkes
22- A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
23- Bossy Pants by Tina Fey
24- Let Love Rule by Lenny Kravitz
25- Yes, Please by Amy Poehler

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