Weekdays Noon-2:00 p.m. on WXXI-AM 1370, FM 107.5, and WRUR 88.5 FM in Rochester, WEOS 89.5 FM in Geneva

Evan Dawson talks about what matters to you on ConnectionsEvery weekday from noon-2 p.m. Be part of the program with questions or comments by phone - 1-844-295-TALK (8255), email, Facebook or Twitter

We continue an annual Connections tradition by talking to different community members about their favorite books of the year. This year, we put the focus on librarians, whose work has changed during this pandemic. We about their “books of the year,” and about reading habits among patrons from across the community. Get a pen and paper so you can write a book list for yourself!

Our guests:

  • Zoe Davis, librarian at Gates Public Library (“Passing” by Nella Larsen)
  • Cassie Guthrie, director of the Greece Public Library (“Riot Baby” by Tochi Onyebuchi)
  • Susie Flick, adult services library assistant at the Geneva Public Library (“Furiously Happy: A Funny Book about Horrible Things” by Jenny Lawson)
  • Greg Benoit, director of the Irondequoit Public Library (“The Buddhist on Death Row: How One Man Found Light in the Darkest Place” by David Sheff)
  • Abby DeVuyst, adult services programming librarian at the Fairport Public Library (“The Gown: A Novel of the Royal Wedding” by Jennifer Robson)
  • Beth Larter, school librarian in Gates Chili (“Prairie Lotus” by Linda Sue Park and “Dragon Hoops” by Gene Luen Yang)

First hour: Rochester and Western New York's favorite books of 2020, part 1

Second hour: Rochester and Western New York's favorite books of 2020, part 2

In April, "Sports Illustrated" published a piece titled, "Bursting the Bubble: Why Sports Aren't Coming Back Soon." Writer Stephanie Apstein surmised that there would be no basketball, no baseball, no football because positive COVID tests would shut everything down. It turns out that professional leagues have found a way to conduct their games, mostly without fans.

What was the impact on sports fans' collective psyche in a year when we thought there would be no live sports? We talk about the adjustments that were made, the value of letting fans back in (with limited capacity), and the future for minor league sports. Our guests:

The Rochester housing market is still booming, despite the pandemic. Experts say the last five years have been a sellers' market, with the home supply dwindling more each year. Homes on the market are snapped up within days -- sometimes, with buyers waiving inspections.

This hour, we talk with local realtors about the year in Rochester real estate. Our guests:


First hour: The year in Rochester real estate

Second hour: The year in sports

How can mindfulness techniques help improve mental and physical health, especially as we head into the pandemic winter? Writing for "Scientific American" last week, Melinda Wenner Moyer presented tips from disaster psychology that she says can help people cope during times of crisis. Among them are mindfulness and finding new ways to connect with family and friends.

This hour, our guests explore different ways to find happiness and incorporate mindfulness during the pandemic winter. They also discuss the connection between physical and mental health. Our guests:

A new stimulus is coming from the federal government. Right now, Congress continues to bicker over whether individuals should receive $600 or $2,000. We talk about where the money will go and how it will impact families, individuals, and businesses.

Our guests:

First hour: Understanding the new federal stimulus, part 1

Second hour: How mindfulness can help improve mental and physical health

Assemblyman Demond Meeks was arrested during a protest against evictions in Rochester. The assemblyman says that in the middle of a pandemic, it is inhumane to evict people from their household. He was one of more than a dozen people arrested during a protest against the eviction of a tenant in Rochester's Corn Hill neighborhood.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has said that there is a moratorium on evictions, but that is not entirely accurate. Landlords have said that they're also struggling to pay their mortgages, and don't know what to do without assistance.

So what do advocates see as the fairest path forward? Our guests:

Two companies are preparing to file what could become one of the most influential defamation lawsuits ever seen in this country. The companies are Dominion and Smartmatic, which have endured weeks of allegations that they helped Democrats rig the election for Joe Biden. There is no evidence that the companies worked to steal votes from Donald Trump, but that has not stopped Fox News, Newsmax, and OAN from continually airing claims that the companies are corrupt. Now the companies want damages, and it could change the way media companies think about airing political propaganda.

Our guest helps us understand defamation and its impact: