Tag Archives: Sachem Public Library

Episode 76 – How Many Threads Connect Us to the Past and the Present? Authors Kevin Baker & J. M. Adams



How many threads connect us to the past and the present? On this week’s episode of The Artful Periscope, Larry is joined by his old friend and returning guest Kevin Baker, author of The New York Game: Baseball and the Rise of a New City. Larry and Kevin discuss Kevin’s childhood memories of Yankee Stadium and seeing legendary players like Mickey Mantle and Willie Mays in-person. Then the discussion then shifts to the history of baseball in New York, tracing its influence back to the early 1900’s and one of the earliest New York professional teams, The New York Mutuals. Then Kevin delves into the fierce rivalry between the New York Yankees, the New York Giants and the Brooklyn Dodgers, and the division between Manhattan and Brooklyn. After the departure of the Dodgers and the Giants from New York, the discussion turns to the remaining team, the Yankees, and their most famous player Babe Ruth.

After the break, Larry welcomes J.M.Adams, a journalist with experience reporting for CBS and NBC news affiliates and the author of the thriller novel Second Term. Larry and Adams discuss his love of language and the dedication in his book to the police officers that defended The Capitol during the January 6th insurrection. Then they discuss the protagonist, Cora Walker, and how her ability to survive a male-dominated profession is informed by the experience of his wife, working as a Wall Street executive. Returning to the events of January 6th, Adams frames his novel as a cautionary tale regarding the dangers of authoritarianism in government as the story presents a terrifying future in which politics continues to become extreme and the foundations of democracy are threatened. Finally, they explore strong characters and how they can shape narratives in unexpected way.


Episode 73 – How Many Threads Intersect and Impact the World of Sports and the History of a Country? Authors Ethan Scheiner and Jon Langmead



How many threads intersect and impact the world of sports and the history of a country? On this episode, Larry invites author Ethan Scheiner to the show to discuss hisnewest bookThe Freedom to Win: A Cold War Story of the Courageous Hockey Team That Fought the Soviets for the Soul of Its People—And Olympic Gold. Freedom to Win follows the story of the 1969 Czechoslovakian World Ice Hockey Championship team who used The Olympics to protest Soviet Russia’s oppression. Larry and Ethan discuss the brothers at the heart of this story, Jiří and Jaroslav Holík, whose father had trained them to become world class athletes to escape the increasing influence of the Communist party. They also talk about the larger political situation in Czechoslovakia at the time, including Alexander Dubcek’s relaxing of political censorship and the Soviet Union’s military response. Ethan also explains the significance of the replica hockey jersey he’s wearing, which is based on the jerseys the Czechoslovakian hockey team altered to protest the Soviet occupation.

After the break, Larry sits down with Jon Langmead, author of Ballyhoo!: The Rough housers, Con Artists, and Wild men Who Invented Professional Wrestling. Larry and John discuss the history of wrestling styles, the development of over-the-top choreography moves, the public’s changing perception of wrestling stars from athletes to entertainers and the physical impact of wrestling on the long-term health of famous wrestlers.


Episode 64 In the World of Espionage, How Many Threads are Unwoven Author I. S. Berry



In the world of espionage, how many threads are unwoven?  In this installment of the podcast, Larry chats with author of the book The Peacock and the Sparrow, I. S. Berry.  Larry talks of origin stories and asks when a child, where did the door open up to have a thought to be a writer?  Ilana shares how she came to work as a spy with her beginnings in law.  Larry poses the idea of the importance of trees in storytelling and Ilana shares how the “spy business” is the only career that is made or broken (or even life threatening) by bonds with strangers.  Ilana also delves into the nature of manipulation and when you become a master at it, you sometimes cannot see when it is you who are manipulated.


Episode 61 – How Many Threads Connect the Past to the Present – Nicci Gerard and Sean French



How many threads connect the past to the present? In this installment of the podcast, Larry sits down with wife and husband writing team Nicci Gerard & Sean French to discuss their latest book The Favor. Together they examine the ethical dilemma at the center of the novel- how far would you go to do a favor for someone who is important to you? Nicci and Sean also discuss living in rural England, famous mystery writer Agatha Christie and the creative process behind their writing.

After the break, Larry interviews Jules Howard about his book Wonderdog, which explores the science of dog psychology. Howard sheds light on historic (and sometimes unethical) attempts to study dogs, as well as modern perspectives on dog intelligence, cognition, and relationships.  At the end of the episode, Larry reminiscences about the wonderful dogs who changed his own life. 


Episode 60 – How Many Threads Connect the Relationships Between Mankind and the Horse? Author Fred M. Kray and Rory’s Island



How many threads connect the relationships between mankind and the horse? In this episode of The Artful Periscope, Larry sits down with author Fred M. Kray to discuss his latest book Broken: The Suspicious Death of Alydar and the End of Horse Racing’s Golden Age. Together they untangle the unsolved murder of Alydar, a famous racehorse who mysteriously broke his leg one night when locked up in his paddock. To help us understand this case, Fred discusses the culture of horse-racing, the money and politics that drive the industry and the questionable treatment of racehorses by their people who claim to love them the most. After the break, Rory Vescy hosts another episode of Rory’s Island during which she shares a piece written about Ctreeny, an organization in Sagaponack, NY which uses horses to support adults and children that have special needs. 


Episode 58 – How Many Threads Connect Us to What is Below the Surface Authors Peter Spiegelman and T. J. English



How many threads connect us to what is below the surface?  In this installment, Larry has a discussion with Peter Speigelman about his latest book A Secret About a Secret.  Larry and Peter explore the story out side of the cover of the book, how the title draws the reader, and whether this book is a cautionary tale.  Larry draws a comparison of Peter’s work with the television show Dark Shadows, and The Man in the High Castle.  Larry posits how important it is for the author to trust the read to understand the implications and be drawn into the plot and narrative.

After a short break Larry welcomes T. J. English about his latest work Dangerous Rhythms.  Larry asks about growing up in upper Manhattan, whether Jazz is a completely American art form, and how it reordered the music universe.  There is a great discussion of how BillieHoliday’s song Strange Fruit is a seminal work of art along with talking about Louis Armstrong, Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra and the connection of music to the mafia.  Larry brings up Meyer Lansky and how there was a “Jazz drain” to Europe.


Episode 56 – How Many Threads Take us Through the Ages? – Authors Bill Morris and Stacie Murphy



How many threads take us through the ages? On this installment of The Artful Periscope, Larry sits down with author Bill Morris to discuss his latest work, The Age of Astonishment. The book chronicles the long life of his grandfather, John Morris, and the historical events he lived through. Larry and Bill discuss the horrors of slavery in the pre-civil war south, his grandfather’s lifespan ranging from The Civil War to the Cold War and his discovery of his grandfather’s long lost German English dictionary manuscript.

After the break, Larry interviews Stacie Murphy, a debut author, about her first novel The Unquiet Dead. Stacie delves into the challenges of writing a novel, the joy of adding historical details into her fictional story and the potential for a series. 


Episode 47 – How Many Threads are Woven to Create and Execute a Play: “Eleanor and Alice”



How many threads are woven to created and execute a Play.  After attending the play Eleanor and Alice, Larry is joined by the playwright Ellen Abrams, Director Frances Hill, Actress Trezana Beverly (who plays Eleanor Roosevelt), and Mary Bacon (who plays Alice Roosevelt).  The play is in 8 acts and follows these two iconic wives through the 20th century.

Larry discusses what it is like to see a person’s written word come to life on the stage, the thought process of the actors, whether there is a rhythm to both writing and acting and why  this play is rather unique (which is based in fact but is written in the spirit of history).

If you are interested in attending this amazing play by visiting https://urbanstages.org/eleanorandalice/.


Episode 45 – How does the writer weave the threads to tell their story? Authors Peter Blauner and Vona Groarke



How does the writer weave the threads to tell their story? In this installment of the podcast, Larry sits down with author and friend of the podcast, Peter Blauner.  Peter and Larry discusses his latest book Picture in the Sand. Blauner discusses his research into the political situation of 1950s Egypt (and the surprising connection to the filming of The Ten Commandments), his interview with the remaining relatives of legendary director Cecil B. DeMille and his decision to frame the narrative as a grandfather telling his recollections of his immigration to America to dissuade his grandson from joining an anti-American group. 

After the break, Larry conducts a virtual interview with Irish author Vona Groarke about her book Hereafter: The Telling Life of Ellen O’Hara  , a fictionalized biography of her great grandmother. Groarke goes into detail about the disappointing lack of information about her grandmother and the process of reconstructing her story based on the breadcrumbs of data she did find as well as her research into lives of Irish immigrants in 1880s New York. 


Episode 42: How Many Threads Connect us to Iconic Figures? Author Timothy Christian & Thomas Maier



How many threads connect us to iconic figures? On this installment of the podcast, Larry ponders Hemingway with author Timothy Christian to discuss his new book Hemingway’s Widow. Hemingway’s Widow sheds light on the fascinating life of Hemingway’s fourth wife Mary Walsh, who had often been maligned by historians. Timothy and Larry discuss Mary’s influence on Hemingway’s writing process, her work as a wartime journalist and her tense conversation with John F. Kennedy.

Timothy Christian on Twitter

After the break, Larry interviews returning guest and Newsday writer Thomas Maier, author of Mafia Spies about the iconic film The Godfather and surprising multiple Long Island connections. Thomas talks about modern opinions on The Godfather, Francis Ford Coppola’s fight to cast Al Pacino and the impact of The Godfather on Italian American culture.  Thomas Maier on Twitter