Read aloud together, share stories to advocate for literacy as a human right


    Did you know 750 million adults around the world – two-thirds of them women – lack basic reading and writing skills? And reading aloud to children every day puts them almost a year ahead of children who do not receive daily read alouds?

    Every year, on World Read Aloud Day (February 1), people all around the globe read aloud together and share stories to advocate for literacy as a human right that belongs to all people.

    Take a look at some of our favorite authors and books and share for World Read Aloud Day! There’s something for everyone – young and old – in our Maryville Talks Books series!

    Made possible in partnership with Maryville University, Left Bank Books, and KWMU.


    The Kite Runner made him famous and changed his life.  A Thousand Splendid Suns and his most recent book And the Mountains Echoed solidified his place among some of the most well-respected authors.  In this one on one conversation, Khaled Hosseini tells us why he avoids Hollywood endings in his novels, how he often “takes things” from people for his writing and what advice he would offer aspiring novelists.  Plus, learn about his childhood and writing inspirations.  This is an in-depth, captivating interview that will have you laughing at the author’s poignant stories.  Plus, hear how he answers some of his biggest fans’ questions.

    Nick Offerman is a bit of a conundrum. Physically he’s a man’s man; rough, gruff and ready to eat some meat. He regularly wears the scowl made famous by his Parks and Recreation character Ron Swanson. But, Offerman will also tell you he’s a “massive sissy” and loves the arts. And yet, this Midwest “ballerina” originally from Minooka, Illinois clearly knows his way around a woodshop, as is demonstrated in his most recent book, Good Clean Fun: Misadventures in Sawdust at Offerman Woodshop. We discuss it all in this interview with Nick Offerman.

    Former St. Louis Cardinals baseball great Rick Ankiel has one of the most unusual stories in the franchise’s history, and now he’s written a book about it. Rick shares what it felt like to go through the “yips,” what got left out of The Phenomenon and the lessons he wants to share with his two sons.

    There is a Badass Nation out there and bestselling author Jen Sincero is its founder. Sincero’s first book, You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life, has become the bright yellow bible of a self-help movement. Now she’s back with another bestseller and the payoff is huge. In the gloriously green You are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth, Sincero breaks down the fears and hang-ups that keep many of us from achieving the financial success that all Badasses deserve.

    Author Daniel James Brown gives us the back-story of his compelling New York Times’ Best Seller “The Boys in the Boat” – a tale of the countless challenges facing the U.S. eight-oar rowing team during the 1936 Berlin Olympics. Throughout this story, Brown drops what he calls informational “treasures” that transport the reader to Depression-era USA and Nazi Germany. Join us as he describes the six-year journey he took to find all those “treasures” and write the story that reveals the heart and dedication of not just the nine boys in the boat, but the people of that entire generation.

    Not often do New York Times bestselling authors admit they once hated reading. It’s even more unusual for Newberry Medal winners to make that kind of admission. But, Kwame Alexander is not your typical author. For example, he’ll tell you he writes for non-readers…seems like an unusual business plan, doesn’t it? But, Alexander sees it more as a challenge. In this Maryville Talks Books interview, Alexander talks about his love/hate past relationship with reading/writing, how he keeps poetry cool for middle schoolers and how his writing has taken him around the world.

    One of our favorite childhood authors is back and she’s writing for us once again; Judy Blume’s latest book In the Unlikely Event is her first adult book in more than fifteen years. In this fiction that premiered at #4 on the New York Times bestseller list, Blume revisits her adolescence…using a series of tragic events that took place in the 1950s in her hometown as the backdrop for a tale of three generations of family and friends. Author Ridley Pearson talks with Blume about the five year journey she took to finish this novel, her writing inspirations and favorite past times.

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