Eight launches 20th Anniversary season of Books & Co.

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PHOENIX — (April 5, 2013)  Despite massive changes in the publishing industry, the state of books remains strong. The publishing industry makes headlines with speculation about whether e-readers will make physical books obsolete, or whether to go with Kindle, Nook or tablet, book stores may be closing, but book sales, traditional and electronic, are holding their own. Book clubs are a growing phenomenon, “what’s on your coffee table?” is still a dependable conversation starter, and the Eight, Arizona PBS production Books & Co. is celebrating 20 years of bringing viewers conversations with top contemporary authors, and exciting new finds.

In 1993, long before Oprah’s picks and celebrity book clubs, Eight, Arizona PBS introduced Books & Co. The series, developed and produced locally in Arizona, was based on a simple premise. Eight invited writers to join its hosts – who are distinguished writers themselves – to discuss their work and the craft of writing. Over the years Books & Co. has captured some remarkably candid moments as more than 150 guests have shared their thoughts, moods, and even intellectual quirks.

April 2013 marks the 20th anniversary of Books & Co., and Eight, Arizona PBS is celebrating with all-new episodes – its biggest season in 15 years – and an expanded broadcast schedule.  Host Alberto Rios, ASU Regents’ Professor of English, award-winning author and poet – and also the very first Books & Co. guest in 1993 – welcomes a new guest each week to Eight’s studios for a half-hour of wide-ranging conversations, including fresh faces on the literary scene, as well as established and prominent writers.

Eight’s back-catalog of authors from all literary genres includes familiar names like Sherman Alexie, David Baldacci, Ann Brashares, Clive Cussler, E.L. Doctorow, Diana Gabaldon, Barbara Kingsolver, Yann Martel, Walter Mosley, Joyce Carol Oates, Jodi Picoult and Anne Rice. The diversity of writers and subject matter has been collected into an online archive, at www.azpbs.org/books.

The website is designed to be a resource for book clubs and for others to choose titles and authors or to develop discussion topics, and includes:

Season of Light: Christmas with the Tabernacle Choir
airs Dec. 12

Season of Light: Christimas with the Tabernacle Choi

Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen
aired Dec. 3

Agatha Christie: Lucy Worsley on the Mystery Queen

Pavlo: Live in Santorini
aired Dec. 3

Don’t miss ‘Pavlo: Live in Santorini’

aired Nov. 28

Stewart Udall: The Politics of Beauty

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