books

Marcie Sillman talks to local author Garth Stein about his latest novel "A Sudden Light." Set in a historic estate in Seattle, the novel follows the Riddell family's past and present.   

This story originally aired October 1, 2014.

Scandal hit the AFC title game when it was discovered that the New England Patriots used underinflated footballs.
Flickr Photo/frankieleon (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Jeannie Yandel talks to David Callahan, author of "The Cheating Culture: Why More Americans Are Doing Wrong To Get Ahead,"  about why we cheat and why there is so much cheating in professional sports.

Flickr Photo/Greg McMullin (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds interviews journalist and author Steven Brill about his new book, "America’s Bitter Pill: Money, Politics, Backroom Deals, and the Fight to Fix Our Broken Health Care System."

While finishing the book Brill had his chest sawed open for emergency heart surgery. A dream he had the night before the operation revealed a truth about the health care system. 

Atlantic coast ocean jersey shore
Flickr Photo/Nathan Siemers (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman speaks with beloved librarian Nancy Pearl about the book pick of the week by Canadian writer Emma Hooper, a first-time novelist. Called "Etta and Otto and Russell and James," it is about a middle-aged woman who decides to walk from her home on Canada's Great Plains all the way to the Atlantic coast.

Author Domingo Martinez
Courtesy of Nicole Rule

Ross Reynolds speaks with author Domingo Martinez about his new memoir, “My Heart is a Drunken Compass," which recounts two terrifying late night phone calls about loved ones in the emergency room.

Martinez lives in Seattle and his work sketches life in the city, but often hearkens back to Brownsville, Texas, where he grew up in the 1980s and '90s. His first book, “The Boy Kings of Texas,” was a New York Times best seller. 

Poet Tod Marshall.
Courtesy of Amy Sinisterra

In "Three Dreams from the Eastside of the Mountains," a sprawling, rollickingly Whitmanesque love poem, Tod Marshall summons the wildly various landscapes and identities of Washington state. 

"Ask the swirling dirt rising in spirals/from dusty furrows just outside of Ephrata"

A new year is a good time to try something new. Librarian Nancy Pearl talks to KUOW's Marcie Sillman about a first-time novelist from Spokane named S.M. Hulse. Her book, set in Montana, is called "Black River."

Ross Reynolds talks with author Joel Kotkin about his new book, "The New Class Conflict."

Musician and author James McBride.
Flickr Photo/American Library Association (CC-BY-NC-ND)

As you listen to this episode of Speakers Forum, keep in mind that author James McBride gave this talk without any notes. In it he riffs on his family, career, books and life in America with thoughtful, humorous and inspiring improvisation.

Flickr Photo/Joe Thorn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to librarian Nancy Pearl about her recommendation for the week: "Spooner," a novel by Pete Dexter that Pearl first read in 2009 and still loves.

Charles R. Johnson with Ralph Ellison
Wikipedia Photo/Robin Platzer

As a teenager, University of Washington professor emeritus Charles Johnson discovered a book on yoga and meditation on his mom’s bookshelf that sparked his interest in practicing Buddhism.

Johnson spoke with Marcie Sillman on KUOW’s The Record to discuss the intersection of race, religion and his writing. His newest book is called “Taming the Ox: Buddhist Stories and Reflections on Politics, Race, Culture, and Spiritual Practice.”

The sign at Pike Place Market.
Flickr Photo/Jonathan Cohen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with former Seattle PI arts writer R.M. Campbell about the civic group Allied Arts and the role it played in shaping the city. Campbell's new book is called "Stirring Up Seattle: Allied Arts in the Civic Landscape."

Walter Benjamin in 1928.
Wikimedia Commons

Walter Benjamin was a radical German philosopher and critic. In the 1920s and 30s his fascination with new technology lead him to create a series of radio broadcasts. No recordings of those broadcasts remain. We don’t even know what Benjamin sounded like, though it has been said he was a talented performer. Benjamin, who was Jewish, committed suicide in 1940 when he became trapped in his attempt to escape the Nazis.

Flickr Photo/Gexydaf (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with bookhugger Nancy Pearl about a new book that can help you improve your knowledge base for the beginning of the new year. Pearl recommends "Knowledge is Beautiful," by David McCandless.

Thornton Wilder, the novelist. Storyteller Gary Heyde wrote him letters before his death.
Wikimedia Commons

In 1975, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Someone handed me a copy of Thornton Wilder’s “The Eighth Day.” When I finished that novel, someone else handed me “Theopolis North.”

I decided I had to get in touch with Thornton Wilder. I remembered from the play “Our Town,” by Wilder, that little Rebecca tells the story of Jane Crofut getting the most amazing letter.

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