Books & Co.

Books & Co. Home   Authors   Hosts   Book Clubs   Libraries

On Thursday, April 16 at 11:30pm, popular author of L.A. Confidential and The Black Dahlia, James Ellroy helps us kick off our new season. Throughout April, May, and June, viewers can enjoy new episodes of Books & Co. Featured authors this season include Dave Barry, Michael Sears and Rebecca Sherm, among many others in this new 13-episode season.

Books & Co. is an Eight original production made possible by the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing at Arizona State University.


Watch Fridays at 6 pm on Eight World (8.3):

3/19 | Penny Porter
"The Keymaker: Born to Steal."

3/26 | Elizabeth Evans
"The Blue Hour"


"Open a book...Open a mind" ~Alberto Álvaro Ríos

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 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 created a singular archive of which we are justifiably proud. 

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.


Books & Co. Themed Crossword Puzzles

Created by the host Alberto Álvaro Ríos.

Books & Co. crossword puzzlePuzzle 1
   -Print-friendly version (PDF)
   -Click here for solutions (PDF)

Puzzle 2
   -Print-friendly version (PDF)

Featured Authors

More than 150 authors - Gain insight into their work and the craft of writing

Ron Querry
The Death of Bernadette Lefthand
Listen to the Interview & More >
Mark Richard
Charity & Fishboy
Listen to the Interview & More >
Patricia Austin Kelly
The Dragon's Tale
Listen to the Interview & More >
Francine Prose
Anne Frank: The Book, The Life, The Afterlife
Listen to the Interview & More >
JoAnn Mapson
Blue Rodeo
Listen to the Interview & More >

Learn more about the hosts: Alberto Rios | Ron Carlson | Jana Bommersbach


Connect with the literary community.

Public library directory
Complete contact information and library Web sites.

Find out how to start your own book club
Step-by-step instructions with suggested readings and related links.

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