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Eight, Arizona PBS production delves into the mind of the author

host Alberto Rios chats with NYT best-selling author Dave Barry
April 14, 2015

Eight, Arizona PBS’ original production “Books & Co.” season 18, premiering at 11 p.m., April 16, will offer enthusiastic readers and writers a one-of-a-kind book club experience with an intimate view into the minds of authors.

The season will feature 13 renowned novelists, professors, poets and more sharing their craft and current projects through meaningful discussions with host Alberto Ríos, Arizona’s poet laureate.

Season 18 joins Ríos, ASU Regents’ Professor of English – and also the very first “Books & Co.” guest in 1993 – as he sits down with top contemporary authors and prominent writers for personal and intimate conversations, providing viewers a unique look at their thoughts and writing processes.

“I’m always impressed that books will not die – regardless of the technology in our world – and their writers never disappoint me. I read because I love to read. It’s that simple, and to be able to talk about it is like that celebration on New Year’s: You don’t know what’s coming, but you know that the story will not disappoint,” said Ríos. “‘Books & Co.’ gives the writer, the viewers and me a chance to be the book club we all want to be a part of.”

Season 18 highlights include:

• Crime novelist James Ellroy, whose earlier book “L.A. Confidential” became an Academy Award-winning film --  discussing his newest work "Perfidia"

• New York Times Notable Book of the Year winners Charles and Caroline Todd, a mother and son writing team – “A Fine Summer’s Day”

• University of Michigan professor Rebecca Scherm – “Unbecoming”

• Shamus and Silver Falchion Award-winning author Michael Sears – “Long Way Down,” the third book in the Mortal Bonds series

• New York Times best-selling author Dave Barry – “Live Right and Find Happiness”

• Reed Environmental Writing Award finalist David Joy – “Where All Light Tends to Go”

• Iowa Author Award-winner Elizabeth Evans – “As Good As Dead”

• i2008 NEA Creative Writing Fellowship winner and associate professor of fiction at Arizona State University Tara Ison – “Reeling Through Life: How I Learned to Live, Love and Die at the Movies”

• President of The Planetary Society and professor of astronomy at Arizona State University Jim Bell – “The Interstellar Age: Inside the Forty-Year Voyager Mission”

“We have an amazing roster of authors featured on the show this year,” said series producer Suzanne Guery. “While each brings an individual voice and story, all share a passion for the craft of writing and an appreciation for having a place where intelligent conversation about their work is celebrated.”

Eight’s back-catalogue of authors from all literary genres includes familiar names like Stuart Woods, Laurie Notaro, Bill Bryson, Clive Cussler, E.L. Doctorow, Sandra Day O’Connor, Barbara Kingsolver, Colin Powell, Jack Gantos, Joyce Carol Oates, Jodi Picoult and Anne Rice. The diversity 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

"Books & Co." is an Eight original production made possible by viewer support.