Reader’s Corner, a weekly radio show hosted by Boise State University President Bob Kustra, reached a major milestone in October with its 500th guest on the popular program. Reader’s Corner airs Friday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at 11 a.m. on KBSX 91.5 FM.
“For more than a decade, Reader’s Corner has presented our listeners with thoughtful and intelligent discussions on a broad range of issues,” said Tom Michael, general manager of Boise State Public Radio. “Long-form conversation is in short supply on the radio dial today. I meet listeners from across the state who share their appreciation for the show. We are grateful for Bob’s commitment to locally produced programming.”
Since 2003, Kustra has interviewed a diverse group of authors and thinkers on his program, reaching them from as far away as Russia and Italy. Among his many notable guests are bestselling authors Erik Larson, Ann Patchett, David Brooks and Candice Millard; Pulitzer Prize winners Anthony Doerr, Elizabeth Kolbert, Tracy Kidder and E.O. Wilson; National Book Award winners Timothy Egan and Nathaniel Philbrick; and Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz.
Nonfiction books featured on Reader’s Corner range from prize-winning histories, such as Isabel Wilkerson’s “The Warmth of Other Suns,” to a look at contemporary American issues in J.D. Vance’s “Hillbilly Elegy,” Robert Putnam’s “Our Kids” and Beth Macy’s “Factory Man,” and many books focused on national and global issues, technology, science and economics. Novelists who have discussed their works of fiction on the show include Jane Smiley, Chad Harbach, Jonathan Evison, Emily Ruskovich and Doerr and Patchett, among others.
Kustra interviewed CNN’s Peter Bergen about the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden just three days before bin Laden was killed in 2011, and former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Leon Panetta in 2016 about his book “Worthy Fights.” Among his most memorable conversations was one in 2005 with Holocaust survivor and presidential advisor Samuel Pisar and with Oscar-winning actor George Kennedy in 2012 about his storied Hollywood career. Both Pisar and Kennedy have since passed away.
“This show wouldn’t be possible without the listeners who share my love of the written word, and my team of researchers and technical experts. I especially want to thank producer Janelle Brown and Boise State Public Radio’s Erik Jones, who have been vital to this show’s success from the beginning,” Kustra said.
The book “To End All Wars,” written by the show’s 500th guest Adam Hochschild, is a timely look at World War I as the world prepares to mark the centenary of the end of the war in 2018. Hochschild’s book is also part of a yearlong program presented by Boise State’s Hemingway Literary Center to engage the campus and community in an exploration of this pivotal moment in world history. Details are here.
An archive of Reader’s Corner’s programs is found at boisestatepublicradio.org. Listeners also can listen to previous interviews anytime, anywhere on the program’s free app for mobile devices, available from the App Store and Google Play.