In 1993, long before Oprah’s picks and celebrity book clubs, Eight, Arizona PBS introduced Books & Co. The series was based on a simple premise. We would invite writers to join our host 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, their moods, even their intellectual quirks.
Join host Alberto Álvaro Ríos, ASU Regents’ Professor of English, distinguished author and poet (also the very first Books & Co. guest in 1993) as he welcomes a new guest each week to our Eight studios for a half-hour of wide-ranging conversations, including fresh faces on the literary scene, as well as established and prominent writers.
Our website is designed to be a resource for book clubs and bibliophiles of all stripes, where you will find:
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.
It is a resource book clubs can use to choose titles and authors or to develop discussion topics. You can also just catch up on some of the great episodes you may have missed.
A Look Back at Books & Co. Hosts from 1993 to Now
1993-1998: Ron Carlson and Jana Bommersbach
The first hosts of Books & Co. were former ASU Professor Ron Carlson, a writer himself, and journalist/author Jana Bommersbach. They alternated hosting the show throughout each season, from the show’s inception through 1998.
2004-2009: Ron Carlson Books & Co. took a hiatus until 2004, when prolific author Ron Carlson resumed hosting through early 2009 – with the exception of one single episode in 2008, in which Jana Bommersbach returned to interview Ron about his latest book Five Skies, which was just being published at that time.
2009 – present: Alberto Álvaro Ríos
Mid-way through the 2009 season, our current host, multi-award-winning author and Arizona's Poet Laureate Alberto Álvaro Ríos, took over the host’s chair. Alberto is also Regents Professor of English at Arizona State University and Katharine C. Turner Endowed Chair in English. He added his “Host’s Impressions” to Eight’s online resources for each author featured on the show, and as an established author himself, Alberto continued the Books & Co. tradition of conversations with fellow authors that probe deeply into the writer’s craft.