books

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman gets a historically-inspired mystery novel suggestion from book maven Nancy Pearl. "Tabula Rasa," by Ruth Downie, is the latest in a series based on the history of the Romans in the British Isles.

Mario Gómez, the eldest miner, was the ninth to be rescued from the San José Mine during 'Operación San Lorenzo'
Wikimedia Commons/Gobierno de Chile (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1G8kkaZ

In August 2010, the world’s attention was captured by the 33 Chilean miners trapped 2,300 feet underground at a mining facility located north of Chile’s capital, Copiapó.

Five years later, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Héctor Tobar’s new book, "Deep Down Dark: The Untold Stories of 33 Men Buried in a Chilean Mine, and the Miracle That Set Them Free," unveils the true story of each of the men. 

Shortlists for the National Book Awards went public Wednesday, halving the number of nominees to just 20 finalists. Among the books that have survived the second round of cuts, a few clear favorites are beginning to emerge — while others have been displaced by less familiar names.

The full lists of finalists can be found below.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with librarian Nancy Pearl about a unique way of transmitting history: through poetry of the era. Pearl's reading recommendation this week is a new anthology from Michael Hulse and Simon Rae called "The 20th Century in Poetry."

Author Robert Dugoni at a book signing at the Tin Room Bar & Grill in Burien, Wash., in 2009.
Flickr Photo/Michael @ NW Lens (CC BY NC ND)/http://bit.ly/1LrjXIy

Ross Reynolds interviews best selling Northwest writer Bob Dugoni about his  new crime novel, "Her Final Breath," the second in his series focusing on Seattle detective Tracy Crosswhite. Dugoni used two local police officers to help get the facts of police procedure right: Seattle detective Jennifer Southworth, who was in part the inspiration for the Tracy Crosswhite character, and  King County Sheriff's department detective Scott Tompkins.

Updated at 8:09 a.m. ET

Investigative journalist Svetlana Alexievich has been awarded this year's Nobel Prize for Literature, the Swedish Academy announced Thursday. Alexievich is the first writer from Belarus to win the prize.

Alexievich won "for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time," according to the citation for the award.

Ten years ago, Stephenie Meyer put a twist on the whole boy-meets-girl thing.

In her young adult novel Twilight, girl meets vampire and, later, werewolf. The supernatural romance between Bella and Edward sparked a saga that includes four best-selling books translated into more than 50 languages and five blockbuster movies.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman gets a reading recommendation from librarian Nancy Pearl, who suggests that if you are a fan of Terry Pratchett, you may like "The Murdstone Trilogy: A Novel," by Mal Peet.

Children's book author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, points to a 3-year-old fan Marcus Gabrielli as he signed autographs in New York.
AP Photo/Mike Appleton

Did Maurice Sendak, author of "Where The Wild Things Are," talk to kids about his work?

It was 1991, and Sendak had come into the KUOW studios for an interview with Ross Reynolds on “Saturday Afternoon.”  

Author Walter Mosley and his father in front of their home in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Waltermosley.com

People usually remember as far back as the generation that raises them, says writer Walter Mosley.

Mosley had come into KUOW’s studios to speak with KUOW’s Ross Reynolds. It was 1992, and his third book, "White Butterfly," had just been published.

Easy Rawlins, Mosley’s main character, emerged from those memories. Easy was a fixer, a guy who does favors for people.

Such a little bandaid for a big ouch!
Courtesy Bond Huberman

When writer Eula Biss was pregnant, she absorbed some of the fear about vaccines.   

“Fear is almost contagious itself, and so I caught some fears,” she told KUOW’s Jeannie Yandel.

Ross Reynolds interviews novelist Stephanie Clifford about her New York Times best seller “Everybody Rise,” the story of  a 26-year-old from Maryland who tries to fit in with the wealthy New York elite. It's a contemporary take on Edith Wharton's "House of Mirth". 

Clifford  based her book on her experience of culture shock after moving from Seattle to the East Coast. When she’s not writing novels Clifford is a a New York Times reporter covering courts.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks to history and book buff Nancy Pearl about a fresh take on Britain's 19th and early 20th century: "Parallel Lives: Five Victorian Marriages," by Phyllis Rose.

Seattle mystery author J.A. Jance.
KUOW Photo/Michael Clinard

On a damp gray morning, J.A. Jance sits inside the Seattle Mystery Bookshop. Her cheery yellow blazer stands out in all the gloom.

Jance chuckles as she points out a large shelf devoted to her books.

If you read mystery novels, chances are you’ve run across one of them. Jance has published 51 novels, along with novellas and short stories. They’re divided into four distinct series; three are set in Arizona, where Jance grew up.

Ross Reynolds talks to Porter Erisman, a former vice president at Alibaba -- the biggest e-commerce site on the Web -- about his new book, "Alibaba's World: How A Remarkable Chinese Company is Changing the Face of Global Business."

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