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The Quarantine Tapes--Good Listening for Black History Month and Pandemic Woes

“The Quarantine Tapes: A week-day program from Onassis LA and dublab. Hosted by Paul Holdengräber, the series chronicles shifting paradigms in the age of social distancing. Each day, Paul calls a guest for a brief discussion about how they are experiencing the global pandemic.”

In January, I stumbled on a podcast series called The Quarantine Tapes, hosted by Paul Holdengraber, while looking up books written by Walter Mosley. Somewhere in the search results, Mosley’s interview of Paul Coates on The Quarantine Tapes popped up, so I had to listen. It’s a wonderful unscripted discussion that wanders from the pandemic to defining hope and compassion with a side trip to Coates history with the Black Panthers. Coates declared that one must have at least a little hope to go forward. In these days of concern about the virus and vaccines, about the future of our country and the political divide, I wholeheartedly agree. Without hope, we fall. 

The available podcasts are those with guest hosts that had previously been the subject of Holdengraber interviews. Walter Mosley has written over sixty books (so far), including the Easy Rawlins mystery series. In 2019, Elements of Fiction was published by Grove Press. His newest Easy Rawlins novel is a February 2021 release titled Blood Grove. He’s an entertaining interviewer as well. You can keep up-to-date on this author’s activities and books on Facebook

Author Paul Coates spent a few years working with the Black Panthers and later became the founding member and chair of the National Association of Black Book Publishers. He also founded Black Classic Press which has a long list of books of interest for those studying Black history.

I wanted to sample another podcast and selected the Eddie Glaude interview of Natasha Trethewey who served two terms as Poet Laureate of the United States 2012-2014. She is the author of the highly acclaimed 2020 release, Memorial Drive: A Daughter’s Memoir. Trethewey’s mother was murdered in Atlanta when Trethewey was nineteen years old.

Eddie Glaude is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished Professor African-American Studies at Princeton University. His most recent book is Begin Again: James Baldwin’s America and Its Urgent Lessons for Our Own.

Both podcasts pointed out books to grow my reading list once again. I highly recommend these two interviews. Access to more of the podcasts is available via Apple and subscription. This series of episodes is also available free via Audible.

Pat (Patricia) Stoltey is the author of four novels published by Five Star/Cengage: two amateur sleuth, one thriller that was a finalist for a Colorado Book Award in 2015, and the historical mystery Wishing Caswell Dead (December 20, 2017), a finalist for the 2018 Colorado Book Awards. This novel is now available in a large print edition, ebook and trade paperback. Her short story, “Good Work for a Girl,” appeared in the Five Star Anthology, The Spoilt Quilt and Other Frontier Stories: Pioneering Women of the West, released in November 2019.

Pat lives in Northern Colorado with her husband Bill, Scottish Terrier Sassy, and brown tabby Katie Cat).

You can learn more about Pat at her website/blog, on Facebook, and Twitter. She was interviewed for the Colorado Sun’s SunLit feature that you can find at the Colorado Sun website.


  1. Thanks for the introduction to those podcasts and the books. I've read a lot of the Walter Mosley books and I want to read this memoir for sure. I've been binging on reading memoirs for some time & this one looks great.

    1. I have it on my TBR list as well, Maryann. I also just picked up Mosley's Elements of Style from the library. So much to read!

  2. Great podcast suggestions, Pat. I've never read Mosely, but maybe he's next on my series' list. Eddie Glaude is a frequent guest on news shows, and I always stop and listen to him. Such an erudite man.

  3. I just picked up Glaude's book at the library and started reading this morning. I remember reading a lot of James Baldwin in college, so this different point of view will be interesting.

  4. Podcasts. What a wonderful way to connect with people in general, as well as readers. Thank you for sharing; I want to explore those podcasts.

    1. I'm going back for more, Linda. I found the ones I listened to very interesting.


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