Arizona PBS Celebrates Literature with Season 19 of ‘Books & Co.’

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PHOENIX – (March 23, 2016)

Arizona PBS’ original production “Books & Co.” returns for its 19th season, offering bookworms an intimate book club experience with an insightful look into the minds of renowned authors.

The new season of “Books & Co.” premieres on Arizona PBS April 6 at 11:30 p.m. Season 19 features 13 episodes, highlighting renownednovelists, professors and non-fiction authors, who share their passion for the craft and current projects with host Alberto Ríos, Arizona’s inaugural poet laureate.

Ríos is an award-winning author and poet, an ASU Regents’ Professor of English, and was the first “Books & Co.” guest in 1993. Since 2009, Ríos carries forward the series’ legacy by speaking with prominent authors to gain insight into their creative processes and to discuss the literary craft.

“I love interviewing the magicians who produce books – I’m invariably dazzled, and perpetually left wondering how they did that,” said Ríos. “A rabbit, a hat, and a pencil – it’s a profound and enduring combination.”

Highlights from Season 19 of “Books & Co.” include:

Diane Rehm, “On My Own”

Rehm hosts the critically acclaimed NPR radio program, “The Diane Rehm Show.” She was named one the “100 Most Powerful Women” and has authored three best-selling autobiographical books. Her latest work, “On My Own,” tells the story of her struggles since losing her husband of 54 years. Rehm shares her experiences on the Season 19 premiere of “Books & Co.”

Yann Martel, “The High Mountains of Portugal”

Martel won the Man Booker Prize for Fiction for “Life of Pi,” his second novel, which became an Academy Award-nominated film for “Best Picture” in 2013. Martel discusses his latest work, “The High Mountains of Portugal,” when he sits down with host Alberto Ríos.

Tami Hoag, “The Bitter Season”

Hoag is a New York Times best-selling author and has published more than thirty books in more than thirty languages worldwide. She is considered the number one international best-selling author. Hoag shares insight on her latest work, “The Bitter Season.”

John Donvan and Caren Zucker, “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism”

John Donvan and Caren Zucker discuss their New York Times best-selling book, “In a Different Key: The Story of Autism,” which takes a critical look at the history and politics surrounding autism.

Owen Laukkanen, “The Watcher in the Wall”

Owen Laukkanen’s debut novel “The Professionals” was named one of the top 100 novels of the year by Kirkus Reviews. Laukkanen sits down with host Alberto Ríos to discuss his latest work, a crime thriller, “The Watcher in the Wall.”

“‘Books & Co.’ is a unique program that allows audiences to learn how different writers turn their thoughts and ideas into literary masterworks,” said producer Suzanne Guery. “This season features a wonderful lineup of authors who share a passion for writing and an appreciation for the power of written words. We’re looking forward to delivering another season celebrating literature and exploring the many ways it’s crafted.”

Arizona PBS’ back-catalog of authors from all literary genres includes well-known names like Stuart Woods, Laurie Notaro, Bill Bryson, James Ellroy, Clive Cussler, E.L. Doctorow, Sandra Day O’Connor, Barbara Kingsolver, Colin Powell, Jack Gantos, John Lescroart, Joyce Carol Oates, Jodi Picoult and Anne Rice. This diverse array of writers and subject matter has been collected into an online archive at

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:

. Video or audio podcasts for all episodes

. Extended interviews and host’s impressions from more recent episodes
. Interview transcripts for many episodes
. Book summaries with brief author biographies, for every episode.

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