books | KUOW News and Information

books

How to keep young readers from ditching Dickens and chucking Chaucer

Mar 18, 2017
books
KUOW Photo/Soraya Marashi

Breaking up with Shakespeare? Done with Dickens?  Between misrepresentations, boring language, and distracting covers, reading classical literature can seem like a chore. Join RadioActivians Soraya Marashi and Zuheera Ali as they explore youth’s broken relationship with classical literature and how we can help mend the ties.


toilet
Flickr Photo/dirtyboxface (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/epNYWW

Bill Radke talks with professor Philip Fernbach, co-author of the new book "The Knowledge Illusion," about how people don't know nearly as much as they claim, whether it's about politics, science or even how a toilet works. Fernbach has found that we as a species share knowledge, which both helps society as well as gives us a self-inflated sense of how much we actually know. This is one reason, he says, that we may want to be a little more humble next time we think about starting an argument

Parents: Be gardeners, not carpenters

Mar 7, 2017
Developmental psychologist Alison Gopnik
Wikimedia Photo/Kathleen King (CC BY-SA 3.0) http://bit.ly/2miDSmR

Bill Radke sits down with child psychologist Alison Gopnik, author of the new book "The Gardener and the Carpenter." Gopnik explains her problems with modern parenting and how to better face the unexpected that comes with raising a child. 

George Saunders at KUOW 2/28/17
Ross Reynolds

What happens when we die? Writer George Saunders speculates on what happens to Abraham Lincoln’s young son Willie when he dies in his first novel "Lincoln in the Bardo." Most of the book takes place in a cemetery and is described as having the ambience of Hieronymous Bosch and Tim Burton.

Courtesy of Angela Carlye

In 1963, John Lewis was 23 years old when he addressed a crowd of over 200,000 people at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.

Lewis was already a veteran of the civil rights movement. He had been a devoted anti-segregation and voting rights activist in college and was one of the original 13 Freedom Riders who dared to ride integrated buses into the segregated South. He had become the chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and a colleague of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Roxane Gay speaks at TEDWomen2015 - Momentum, May 27-29, 2015, Monterey Conference Center, Monterey, California, USA.
Marla Aufmuth/TED via Flickr (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/ybtHLA

“What did you have for breakfast this morning?”

It was a question to set microphone levels, the first question put to Roxane Gay, feminist-writer rock start, at her Seattle hotel room last week. 

“I didn’t have breakfast this morning,” Gay said.

“Did you have coffee or anything to drink?”

“No,” she said. “I had water.”

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Despite the allure of technology, librarian Nancy Pearl says picture books still draw in readers of all ages.

She tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman about two books in particular: "Roberto the Insect Architect," by Nina Laden and "Finding Winnie: The True Story of the World's Most Famous Bear," by Lindsay Mattick with illustrations by Sophie Blackall.

National Geographic contributing photographer Joel Sartore is 11 years into a 25-year endeavor to document every captive animal species in the world using studio lighting and black-and-white backgrounds. So far, he's photographed 6,500 different species, which leaves approximately 6,000 to go.

In the 1950s and '60s, if there were any children's books in a house, at least one of them was likely to be a Little Golden Book. With their golden spines and brightly colored pictures, they begged to be grabbed off a shelf by a curious child — which is exactly what their creators intended. Those beloved books celebrate their 75th birthday this year.

First introduced shortly after the start of World War II, many of them — such as The Tawny Scrawny Lion, The Saggy Baggy Elephant and The Poky Little Puppy — have become classics.

Two decades ago only about 9 percent of children's books published in the U.S. were about people of color. Things have changed since then, but not by much.

On Wednesday, the Cooperative Children's Book Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison's Education School revealed that in 2016, it counted 427 books written or illustrated by people of color, and 736 books about people of color out of about 3,400 books it analyzed. That adds up to 22 percent of children's books.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

In Great Britain, the term "crime fiction" refers to everything from a cozy mystery to a police procedural. Here in the U.S., we divide our crime fiction into separate genres, according to librarian Nancy Pearl.

A mystery starts with the world out of kilter, and ends with everything put to rights again. A police procedural focuses on the nuts and bolts of solving crimes.

And a thriller? Well, as Nancy Pearl told KUOW's Marcie Sillman, a thriller is a page turner, as addictive as potato chips. "You can't stop with just one," says Pearl.

Pearl recommends two thrillers: "The Drifter" by Nick Petrie and "August Snow" by Stephen Mack Jones.

Author Helen Macdonald at Benaroya Hall
Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

In her acclaimed memoir "H Is for Hawk," author Helen Macdonald reflects on the shock and depression she experienced at the unexpected death of her father. The two had a close bond, marked by their mutual fascination with nature.

Thrown by her loss and struggling with depression Macdonald, an experienced falconer, chose to train a notoriously difficult-to-handle raptor, a Northern Goshawk. She called her Mabel.

What happens when a person decides their gender at birth is not that one they were meant to be? If that person is a child, the question has ramifications for everyone in the family. Marcie Sillman speaks with Laurie Frankel about her new book, "This Is How It Always Is." The novel tells the story of a young transgender girlFrankel talks about the parallels between her own life and the family in the novel.

How can we see a better Seattle?

Feb 9, 2017
Courtesy of Chuck Wolfe

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle writer and land use attorney Chuck Wolfe about how people view the cities they live in. Wolfe says people are caught up in either loving or hating the rapid growth that is happening in Seattle. But what should we do about that? His idea: keep an urban diary. Wolfe explains exactly what he means by that in his new book, "Seeing the Better City: How to Explore, Observe, and Improve Urban Space."

Marchers walk through Seattle's Central Area on the 2015 anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

When Reverend David Billings started giving anti-racism trainings in the 1980s, he said many people "just didn't see it." But he said that's not the case today.

While structural and cultural racism remains entrenched in the U.S., Billings see a growing awareness by whites of their privilege and their role in combating the problem.  

Below are four of his main talking points. 


Pages