Seattle travel writer Harriet Baskas stumbled onto her quest for hidden treasures. More than 20 years ago, Baskas was visiting small museums in the Pacific Northwest. She was interested in the collections they had on display, but the curators she met were just as interested in what they had in the back rooms: treasures they couldn't, or wouldn't, show the public.
During The Cold War American military leaders and average citizens were sometimes kept awake at night worrying about a possible nuclear strike by the Soviet Union. US foreign policy continues to focus on nuclear programs in other countries like North Korea and Iran but Eric Schlosser says the nuclear threat is also here at home. David Hyde talks with the author of "Fast Food Nation" about his new book, "Command and Control."
The plot of many a dystopian novel or movie is predictable: first technology advances, then humans become dependent on that technology and, finally, that technology turns on us. But what if the brain that makes the smart computer is being made smarter by the computer? Ross Reynolds sits down with Clive Thompson about the new book, "Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better."
What’s there left to say about Bruce Springsteen? He burst into national consciousness in 1978 on the success of his hit album "Born to Run" and his face was featured on the cover of Time and Newsweek magazines. Since then he’s been exhaustively interviewed and analyzed. However, Peter Ames Carlin’s biography "Bruce," covers new ground to even the most avid fans. The author speaks with Ross Reynolds.
Lethem’s nonfiction work includes a long interview with Bob Dylan and a marvelous profile of James Brown, both for Rolling Stone magazine. Lethem’s latest novel "Dissident Gardens" is about American Communists and leftists.
The human impulse to throw yourself into history with an attitude that it could matter, that you can change things and that you'll sacrifice for this, is very universal. It's an impulse that becomes misused or betrayed or conflicted in so many different ways, and this book becomes a catalog of all those different kinds of disappointment. — Lethem
Ross Reynolds talks to Lethem about his latest novel, writing, politics and music.
Since gaining popularity in the 1970s, the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons has been a part of American culture. Journalist David Ewalt investigates why this particular game has remained popular and culturally influential.
He began playing the game when he was 10 years old. Now he’s an award winning journalist who writes about games for Forbes magazine. His new book is “Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It.”
When Katy Butler’s father had a major stroke the family had a lot of medical options, except the one they most wanted: a humane and timely death. David Hyde speaks with Katy Butler about her new book, "Knocking On Heaven’s Door: The Path To A Better Way Of Death."
Seattle writer Michael Gruber published the first novel under his own name 10 years ago when he turned 63. Since the he’s published four more thrillers and one children’s book.
Stephen King said Grubers’ last book, "The Good Son," was the best book he read in 2012. Publishers Weekly chose Gruber’s new novel, "The Return," as one of its top 10 mystery/thrillers of 2013. In the first scene, protagonist New York book editor Richard Marder is diagnosed with a terminal illness. He shuts down his old life to do something that’s been on his bucket list: return to Mexico and punish some people.
Twenty years ago, Danny Bland was a Seattle musician, porn shop clerk and heroin addict. These days, Bland is clean and sober. He road manages rock bands and writes in his free time. Bland's first novel, "In Case We Die" follows protagonist Charlie Hyatt, a character modeled on Bland's own life. Hyatt works the graveyard shift at a downtown porn emporium and spends his money on his next drug fix. Marcie Sillman talks with Danny Bland on what it was like to revisit his past through fiction.
Author Nicole Hardy was a virgin until she was 36 years old. Hardy wanted to be a good Mormon, but eventually left the church. That journey is chronicled in her new book, "Confessions of a Latter-day Virgin: A Memoir". Ross Reynolds talks with Hardy about growing up in the church and leaving it behind.
Author Alex Soojung-Kim Pang has spent years studying people, technology and how devices have invaded our lives. In his book, "The Distraction Addiction," he explains how overusing technology is "destroying our souls." Ross Reynolds talks with Pang about how people can be more mindful with their technology.
Jamie Ford’s debut novel was a sensation: "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet” was the story of a Chinese-American boy who falls for a Japanese-American girl. Unfortunately, their love affair was stymied by World War II and the girl’s internment in Minidoka, Idaho.
Ford follows his bestselling novel with another book that comes out of Asian-American history. “Songs of Willow Frost” is the story of a Chinese-American girl forced to give up her young son to an orphanage when the Depression hits. Ford says the book was inspired by his own family history. He spoke with Marcie Sillman today.
Amy Tan’s mother wanted her to become a doctor and a concert pianist. Instead, Tan chose to write fiction, a career that was out of line with her Chinese immigrant parents’ expectations.
Tan’s novels include “The Joy Luck Club,” “The Bonesetter’s Daughter” and “Saving Fish From Drowning,” all of which are New York Times bestsellers.
In this talk, recorded at the University of Washington’s Meany Hall on January 12, 2012, Tan talks about the genesis of creativity, different forms of creative expression and how her own creative process has evolved.
Writer Jonathan Raban came to Seattle from his native England in 1991. Microsoft and Starbucks were in their toddler years and Seattle’s music scene had just become an international sensation. What was once a workingman’s town was evolving, and Raban was here to chronicle that change. "Driving Home," a collection of Raban’s essays written over 20 years, is out now in paperback. He talks with Marcie Sillman about the Seattle he first met.