books

The video, taken at Spring Valley High School in Columbia, S.C., went viral last fall: A school safety officer flips a desk to the floor with a girl seated in it, then flings her across the floor. The student is African-American; the officer is white.

Washington Redskins quarterback Joe Theismann gestures as he is carried off the field at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C., Nov. 18, 1985. Theismann injured his right leg during second quarter action.
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Marcie Sillman talks with "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl about her pick of the week, "The Throwback Special" by Chris Bachelder.

Jennifer Hopper in KUOW's green room in 2014.
KUOW Photo/Akiko Oda

In the summer of 2009 a terrible crime was committed in the South Park neighborhood of Seattle. Jennifer Hopper and her partner Teresa Butz were attacked in their home. Hopper survived, but Butz was murdered.

Journalist Eli Sanders wrote a series of articles in The Stranger about that attack and its aftermath. He received the Pulitzer Prize for the third piece in the series “The Bravest Woman In Seattle.”

Author Kara Platoni
Courtesy of Justine Quart Photography

Kara Platoni took a year off to travel around the world searching for cutting edge investigations into sensory perception -- including what the taste of fatty acids does to mice and us and how scent triggers memories in Alzheimer’s patients.

The lessons she learned inspired her new book “We Have the Technology: How Biohackers, Foodies, Physicians, and Scientists Are Transforming Human Perception One Sense at a Time.”

Paul Kalanithi's 'When Breath Becomes Air'
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Marcie Sillman talks with "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl about her pick of the week, "When Breath Becomes Air," by Paul Kalanithi.

Yes, You Can Still Teach Kids To Love Books

Mar 8, 2016

The Internet has not killed the book.

For film critic David Denby, this wasn't immediately obvious. He would watch young people hunched over their phones — on the subway, in coffee shops, walking down the street — and wonder: Are kids still learning to read books?

Denby, who is best known for his work in The New Yorker, went back to high school to find out. He describes his experience in Lit Up: One Reporter. Three Schools. Twenty-Four Books That Can Change Lives.

Geraldine Brooks at McCaw Hall.
Courtesy of Libby Lewis Photography

Geraldine Brooks, an Australian-American journalist and author, spoke at McCaw Hall in Seattle about her writing method. 

"I swim in a sea of words. They flow around me and through me and, by a process that is not fully clear to me, some delicate hidden membrane draws forth the stuff that is the necessary condition of my life," Brooks said. 

Open Books, Seattle's only poetry-only bookstore.
Flickr Photo/Curtis Cronn (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/aw6Tyc

Bill Radke talks with former Washington state poet laureate Elizabeth Austin about Open Books, a poetry-only bookstore in Seattle. The owners of Open Books are looking to sell the store to a new owner.

Open Books, Seattle's only poetry-only bookstore.
Flickr Photo/J Brew (CC BY SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/3JQB13

The West Coast’s only bookstore devoted exclusively to poetry is up for sale.

John Marshall, co-owner of Seattle’s Open Books, said after 29 years in the business, he’s ready to retire.

He said the time is right for somebody younger with more energy to shepherd the bookstore into the 21st century.

Hear that change jingling in my pocket? Good. I have two little questions for you.

  1. I have a quarter, a dime and a nickel. How much money DO I have?

  2. I have three coins. How much money COULD I have?

The first question is a basic arithmetic problem with one and only one right answer. You might find it on a multiple-choice test.

Marley Dias is like a lot of 11-year-olds: She loves getting lost in a book.

But the books she was reading at school were starting to get on her nerves. She enjoyed Where The Red Fern Grows and the Shiloh series, but those classics, found in so many elementary school classrooms, were all about white boys or dogs ... or white boys and their dogs, Marley says.

Black girls, like Marley, were almost never the main character.

Diane Rehm in the KUOW studios.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Jeannie Yandel talks with longtime show host Diane Rehm about having to learn who she is without her husband, John Rehm. After 54 years of marriage, John Rehm chose to end his own life after a long battle with Parkinson's disease. Diane Rehm writes about how his illness and death changed her in her book, "On My Own." 

As public health officials struggle to contain the Zika virus, science writer Sonia Shah tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies that epidemiologists are bracing themselves for what has been called the next "Big One" — a disease that could kill tens of millions of people in the coming years.

Nancy Pearl's pick: 'This Old Man' by Roger Angell.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

Marcie Sillman talks with "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl about "This Old Man," by longtime New Yorker fiction editor Roger Angell. Nancy calls it the perfect book for anybody who reads The New Yorker.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

When book-loving KUOW listeners are at a loss for what to read next, help is just a phone call away – as long as the call is to "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl.

This week, Nancy and KUOW's Marcie Sillman help a listener in Clinton, Washington who loved the "The Bone Tree" by Greg Iles. 

Nancy's picks include: "Time's Witness" and "Uncivil Seasons" by Michael Malone, "Black Water Rising" and "Pleasantville" by Attica Locke, and Angela Flournoy's debut novel, "The Turner House."

Want Nancy Pearl to help pick your next great read? Call 206.221.3663 and tell us about a book you loved – one you wish you could read again for the first time – and we'll patch you through to Seattle's favorite librarian to see if she can guide you to your next book.

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