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Bill Radke sits down with local author Maria Semple, author of "Where's You Go, Bernadette?" and the new "Today Will Be Different." Semple discusses the idea of "the helpless traveler," a theory that when on vacation, you choose to either take charge or do absolutely nothing. 

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

If you've been in a quandary over what to give your favorite child this holiday season, fret no more! Nancy Pearl tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman about "The Christmas Crocodile," a picture book by Bonny Becker, illustrated by David Small.

Senator Bernie Sanders at University Temple United Methodist Church
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

It may come as no surprise to you to hear that Bernie Sanders is not done. He was on the post-campaign trail last week, with a stop in Seattle to promote his new book, “Our Revolution: A Future To Believe In.”

Even after a bruising election season and outcome, Sanders says the majority of Americans agree with his vision of progress. He challenges us to “think big” about progressive change.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Longtime KUOW listeners know that Nancy Pearl calls herself an armchair historian. She tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman about Candice Millard's new book "Hero of the Empire," a chronicle of Winston Churchill and South African's Boer War.

Fishermen's Terminal, Seattle, Washington.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with managing director of Investigate West Lee van der Voo about her new book, "The Fish Market: Inside the Big-Money Battle for the Ocean and Your Dinner Plate." She explains the effects that privatizing access to fishing rights have had on the fishing industry and how you buy seafood. 

NPR's annual Book Concierge is back. And to mark the occasion, correspondent Lynn Neary joins Morning Edition's Rachel Martin to talk about the year in fiction — and to share a couple of her favorite titles from 2016.

If you're looking for the books mentioned on-air, here are links to:

Brevet Major General George Armstrong Custer, United States Army, 1865
Public Domain

Bill Radke speaks with T.J. Stiles about his book, "Custer's Trial: A Life on the Frontier of a New America." Stiles draws parallels between a changing America during the time of Custer and changes happening in our country today. Stiles book won the 2016 Pulizter Prize for history.   

KUOW's Marcie Sillman with book hugger Nancy Pearl.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Nancy Pearl tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman about Ian McEwan's newest book, "Nutshell." You may be familiar with McEwan's novel "Atonement," which was transformed into an award-winning film. 

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Award winning short story writer Nina Allan has just published her first novel. Although bookstores and libraries may file it in the science fiction/fantasy section, librarian Nancy Pearl tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman that Allan's book "The Race" is best described as experimental fiction.

Deborah Wang talks to Erik Vance about his book, "Suggestible You: The Curious Science of Your Brain's Ability to Deceive, Transform and Heal."  

KUOW's Marcie Sillman with book hugger Nancy Pearl.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Terry McDonnell spent his career as an editor at an assortment of national magazines, and he's got the dirt of the writers he worked with. Nancy Pearl  tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman you'll find some great stories in McDonnell's essay collection, "The Accidental Life."

This year, the National Book Awards ceremony comes at a time when the nation has rarely seemed more divided. The bitter presidential campaign exposed a fault line in the United States that will not easily be repaired. And while there's no one simple answer, Lisa Lucas, head of the National Book Foundation, recommends one way to understand the other side: read.

"My life is small" she says, "and I think books are a way to make your life larger."

Bill Radke speaks with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz and Dina Gilio-Whitaker about their new book, "All The Real Indians Died Off And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans."

Peter Urban

Sherry Turkle writes “face to face conversation is the most human – and humanizing – thing we do.” Yet, Turkle says in contemporary society we’re seeing a flight from conversation to our phones where we get a constant feed of connection, information and entertainment. 

Bill Radke talks to biotech journalist Luke Timmerman about his new book, "Hood: Trailblazer of the Genomics Age." 

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Most of the time, Nancy Pearl loves a good literary thriller. But sometimes, she just likes to chill out with a page turner. Today she tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman about a new writer she's just discovered named Becky Masterman, author of a series featuring a retired FBI agent. The book is called "Rage Against the Dying."

Mark Frost is the co-creator of 'Twin Peaks' filmed in North Bend, Washington.
Courtesy photos

Jeannie Yandel speaks with Mark Frost, co-creator of the 90s television show Twin Peaks, about his new book "The Secret History of Twin Peaks" and the upcoming revival of the show on Showtime next year. Frost will be holding an event at the Elliot Bay Book Company on October 29.

Oxford University Press has announced that its new edition of the complete works of William Shakespeare will credit Christopher Marlowe as a co-author on the three Henry VI plays.

Despite years of controversy about the authorship of some of Shakespeare's work, this is the first time a major publishing house has formally named Marlowe as a co-author.

Maria Semple at Town Hall Seattle
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

If you don’t already love Maria Semple’s Seattle-brewed writing, her new work may pull you in. Just one day in the life of protagonist Eleanor Flood will likely leave you wanting more.

Nancy Pearl.
Flickr Photo/KCTS 9

October is prime time to stay inside with a book. Nancy Pearl tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman about a novel that should keep readers happy: "After the Parade," by Lori Ostlund.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Some books are page turners; other require a little more concentration. Nancy Pearl tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman that Carol Black's novel "Orphans of the Carnival" is not an easy read, but the effort pays off in the end.

There’s a line in “Where’d You Go, Bernadette,” by Maria Semple, that triggers pained recognition among locals.

“The drivers here are horrible,” she begins. “They’re the slowest drivers you ever saw.”

Paige Parsons

Ross Reynolds interviews Arlie Hochschild, professor of sociology at the University of California Berkeley, about her new book, “Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right", which has just been listed as a finalist for a 2016 National Book Award in Non-Fiction.

Hochschild spent five years among low income people in rural Louisiana in order to understand the conservative movement. 

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about "Avid Reader" — a title after the book hugger's own heart. It's a memoir by Robert Gottlieb, who worked as editor-in-chief at the publishing houses Simon and Schuster and Alfred A. Knopf before landing at the New Yorker magazine.

Luke Cage was one of the first black superheroes to appear in the pages of Marvel Comics, back in the 1970s.

Put in prison for a crime he didn't commit, he eventually gets put into a machine where he gains powers like super-strength and bulletproof skin. And, like many good Marvel characters, he's now on TV — in the new show Marvel's Luke Cage.

Tax records and literary criticism are strange bedfellows. But over the weekend, the two combined and brought into the world a literary controversy — call it the Ferrante Furor of 2016.

To put it briefly: Elena Ferrante, an admired and cherished Italian novelist, has always made it clear that her name is a pseudonym and her true identity is not for public consumption.

We meet Eleanor Flood, the main character of Maria Semple's new novel, on a day when she has resolved to change some things about her life:

KUOW Photo/Caroline Chamberlain

Bill Radke sits down with Sharon H. Chang, author of "Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World."

She explains why it's important to study the experiences of mixed race people and how it relates to our broader history of race in this country.

Every year, libraries around the country observe Banned Books Week, to remind the public that even well known and much loved books can be the targets of censorship. This year, Washington, D.C.'s public library came up with a clever idea to focus attention on the issue: a banned books scavenger hunt.

Labor journalist Sarah Jaffe
Courtesy of Julieta Salgado

When it comes to the future of good jobs and a contented workforce in the United States, the outlook is tenuous at best. Workers left in the wake of off-shoring, financial crises and game-changing robotic technology developments know that all too well.

Journalist Sarah Jaffe says community movements are a key to better outcomes. “For the people taking part in them it is not a question of left or right, but of the powerless against the powerful.”

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