Josh Raulerson

Morning Edition Host

Josh Raulerson is the local host for Morning Edition weekdays from 5-9 a.m. on 90.5 WESA.

Josh comes to Pittsburgh by way of Aspen, Colorado, where he was News Director and morning news anchor at Aspen Public Radio (KAJX-FM). An Iowa native, he previously hosted All Things Considered and Weekend Edition on Iowa Public Radio (WSUI-AM), and worked as a weekend host and fill-in host for Morning Edition on WOI-AM in Ames, Iowa. 

He holds a B.A. in Journalism and English from Iowa State University, and a Ph.D. in English from the University of Iowa. Josh lives in Greenfield with his wife, Amy, and daughters Greta and Annalyse. His book, Singularities: Technoculture, Transhumanism, and Science Fiction in the 21st Century, was published in 2013 by Liverpool University Press.

Ways to Connect

courtesy Kathy Newman

Carnegie Mellon University professor Kathy Newman offers a look at six novels that changed America with their ability to cross genres and transcend their original forms.

Harriett Beecher Stowe, Uncle Tom’s Cabin

jamelah / Flickr

Pennsylvania's controversial voter ID law is back in Commonwealth Court this week, but it's unlikely to be decided conclusively any time soon.

Voting rights advocates are seeking a permanent injunction against the 2012 law, which requires Pennsylvania voters to present state-issued photo identification in order to cast a ballot. Implementation was postponed ahead of last year's general election and again in 2013 in advance of the May primary.

What does a good novel have in common with an orchestral score? More than you might think, says Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra assistant conductor Fawzi Haimor.

Josh Raulerson / 90.5 WESA

Young people these days. Too busy to read books. Too worldly to seek meaning in fiction. Too addled by social media to read anything critically. Right?


J.R.R. Tolkein, The Hobbit

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Steve Tuell studies Hebrew and the Old Testament at the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. As a theologian and a scholar of ancient languages, he has a special appreciation for the fantasy fiction of C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

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President of the World Affairs Council in Pittsburgh Steve Sokol describes his picks in both nonfiction and fiction.

Peter Bergen, Manhunt: The Ten-Year Search for Bin Laden From 9/11 to Abbottabad

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If you consume any amount of media at all, there’s a good chance you’re already familiar with the idea that kids tend to lose ground academically during the summer months.

But what is the so-called “summer brain drain?” Is it real, or a media invention? And just how concerned should you be?

Pittsburgh writer and librarian Tom Sweterlitsch has wide-ranging reading interests in fiction. 

Stewart O'Nan, Songs for the Missing

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Gary Terner of Mt. Lebanon was blown away by the new short story collection from George Saunders.

George Saunders, Tenth of December

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Lori Jakiela is a poet, a memoirist and a devotee of sparse, unsentimental prose.  

A few of the books you might encounter in her writing class at Chatham or Pitt-Greensburg:

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Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd started out as a historian, and while he's no longer in academia, his reading still reflects that background. These days Dowd reads historical nonfiction mixed with fiction "with a serious historical bent." 

Edwin Coddington, The Gettysburg Campaign: A Study in Command

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Pittsburgh Arts and Lectures executive director Jayne Adair's reading list is as rich and varied as her schedule of speakers.

Nathaniel Philbrick, Bunker Hill

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Writer and Mt. Lebanon resident Mary Frailey Calland does intensive research for her Civil War era novels. In between deep dives in the archives, she reads contemporary fiction.

James McPherson, Battle Cry of Freedom

Carnegie Mellon University

Thousands of high school students from across the country will compete in a first-of-its-kind computer security competition starting today. It’s being run out of Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Morning Edition host Josh Raulerson speaks with CMU professor David Brumley, who helped to organize the event.

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Dr. Mario Fischetti is a clinical psychologist with the Pittsburgh Psychoanalytic Center, and the moderator of its ongoing "Reading Fiction with Freud" discussion series. 

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When Pittsburgh Controller Michael Lamb isn't busy minding the city's books, he's reading history and genre fiction. 

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As a civil engineer, and as a reader of fiction, Katie Bates is interested in "why people act the way they do."

Anne Applebaum, The Iron Curtain: The Crushing of Eastern Europe, 1944-1956

Labor and healthcare advocacy groups are using this April Fool's Day to make a point: that Gov. Tom Corbett's decision to forego a federally funded expansion of Medicaid in Pennsylvania is, well, foolish.

Members of three groups — Working America, the Pennsylvania Health Access Network and the Consumer Health Coalition — plan to deliver 9,000 petitions to Corbett's office urging the administration to lower eligibility requirements for the federal program.

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North Sider Betsy O'Neill admits: "In a previous life, I probably lived in the 19th century." In her present incarnation, she spent the summer of 2012 immersed in Melvilliana.

Bob Kosturko

As the popular British drama "Call the Midwife" returns for a second season on PBS, Morgantown-based author and certified nurse-midwife Patricia Harman offers recommendations for readers with an interest in the practice.

Jennifer Worth, The Midwife: A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times

Pittsburgh Children's Museum

Your friendly neighbors at the Pittsburgh Children's Museum will waive admission fees on Wednesday, March 20 — just tell 'em Mister Rogers sent you.


As President of the Forbes Funds, Kate Dewey is interested in how nonprofits can adapt along with changing technology. 

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It may not be Hogwarts, but CCAC president and Potter fan Alex Johnson is passionate about his school. 

He recommends:

Parker Palmer, The Courage to Teach

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Don Block runs the Greater Pittsburgh Literary Council, and practices what he preaches...

Andy Warhol Museum

Warhol Museum director Eric Shiner's reading interests are eclectic in a way that Andy would surely appreciate.

Colleen McKenna

As a former teacher, parent, and author of children's and young adult novels, Colleen McKenna values fiction for young readers that doesn't insult their intelligence.

Editor and critic John Allison works on the Sunday Books section at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Though much of his week is spent sifting through boxes of galleys for forthcoming books, it hasn't dimmed his enthusiasm for the printed word.

David Lodge, Nice Work 

Peter Kope and Michele de la Reza are the co-founders and artistic directors of Attack Theatre. Their upcoming show draws heavily on opera, a genre that not so long ago was considered popular entertainment.

Ron David, Opera For Beginners 

Shady Side Academy math teacher Michele Ament puts her commuting hours to good use listening to audiobooks.

Edmund Morris, Theodore Rex

A seasoned journalist and senior lecturer for the University of Pittsburgh’s writing program, Cindy Skrzycki has an eye for a story. Her recent fiction and nonfiction book selections reflect what she teaches her students: Foundationally, good writing is informed writing. 

Joan Clark, Latitudes of Melt