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Baum on Books

With an eye on reviewing fiction and nonfiction that has regional resonance for Connecticut or Long Island, Joan Baum considers the timeliness and significance of recently published work: what these books have to say to a broad group of readers today and how they say it in a distinctive or unique manner, taking into account style and structure as well as subject matter.

Latest Episodes
  • A Long Island detective gets caught up in the greedy intrigue of the pharmaceutical industry as he searches for a missing biochemist. That’s the latest plot in a mystery novel by author Chris Knopf. Book critic Joan Baum has this review.
  • There are a wealth of biographies on the life of writer F. Scott Fitzgerald. A new book challenges how those profiles interpret the man, his life, and his work. Book critic Joan Baum has this review.
  • First, it was a biography. This summer it was a must-see movie. Our Book critic Joan Baum read the book and saw the film. Here’s her review of American Prometheus.
  • Star Crossed is a new book that tells the true story of two young people in Paris, who fell in love during the Nazi occupation. Our Culture Critic Joan Baum has this review.
  • Life in Harlem during the volatile 1970’s. That’s the setting for author Colson Whitehead’s latest novel. Book critic Joan Baum has this review.
  • The Box Art Auction is one of the highlights of summer on the East End of Long Island. And it's all for a good cause. WSHU's Culture Critic Joan Baum speaks with Arlene Bujese, the benefit chair of the auction.
  • A missing child, a family torn apart, and a genealogy test that uncovers long-held secrets. That’s just the beginning of a new novel by WSHU’s Classical Music Producer Lauren Rico. Book critic Joan Baum has this review.
  • What would you do with an 11-acre parcel of moorland on Montauk, Long Island? That's the question author Céline Keating explores in her latest novel, The Stark Beauty of Last Things.
  • In her new book, journalist Kate Storey chronicles the history of the Kennedy clan and their summers by the sea in Hyannis Port. Book critic Joan Baum has this review.
  • In his latest work, Francis Levy offers an illustrated collection of short stories that are inspired by the work of Franz Kafka. Book critic Joan Baum has this review.