books

Good Reads
8:00 pm
Mon September 2, 2013

Nancy Pearl On The Best Books Of The Summer

Librarian Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

What was the best book you read this summer? Book commentator Nancy Pearl joins us with her picks, and we want to hear yours, too.

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Princess Culture
8:00 pm
Thu August 29, 2013

"Cinderella Ate My Daughter" With Peggy Orenstein

Peggy Orenstein's book "Cinderella Ate My Daughter."

Pink is no longer just a color for young girls — it’s a lifestyle. It celebrates girlhood, but more alarmingly, it fuses girlhood to an obsession with appearance, argues Peggy Orenstein.

Orenstein, an author and the mother of a young girl, was shocked by today’s “princess culture” that forces girls to value material objects and looking pretty over individuality. To research this phenomenon, Orenstein braved toddler beauty pageants, Disneyland and Miley Cyrus concerts, and her resulting book is a tough examination of the girlie-girl culture and its effect on young girls’ identities and futures.

Orenstein spoke at Seattle’s Town Hall on February 15, 2012.

Author Event
8:00 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

"Faith And Madness On The Alaska Frontier" With Tom Kizzia

Tom Kizzia's book "Pilgrim's Wilderness."

Alaska journalist Tom Kizzia spent a decade following the Pilgrims, a modern-day Alaska pioneer family. With his wife and fifteen children, Papa Pilgrim masqueraded as a homespun Christian family man. Over time, however, Kizzia reveals that this father was actually a sociopath.

Kizzia spoke at the Elliott Bay Book Company on August 8.

Imaginary Friends
6:00 am
Tue August 20, 2013

Imaginary Friends, Ruth Reichl, And Robert Olen Butler

Flickr Photo/Jared Eberhardt

Imaginary Friends: Can’t Live With 'Em, Can’t Live Without 'Em

Most of us have fond memories of our childhood friends, but what about our friends that weren’t real? Imaginary friends come in many shapes and sizes, and they often provide handy scapegoats. Steve Scher talked with Marjorie Taylor, professor and head of psychology at the University of Oregon and author of "Imaginary Companions." He also talked to Stephanie Carlson, professor of child development at the University of Minnesota, about where our imaginary friends come from and why they leave.

Ruth Reichl On How And What Americans Eat

At the end of 2009, legendary Gourmet Magazine printed its last issue. Steve Scher talked with then-editor and author Ruth Reichl just four days before the announcement of the magazine’s end about how and what Americans are eating.

Robert Olen Butler On Vietnamese Expat Communities

Robert Olen Butler is the author of “A Good Scent from a Stranger Mountain,” a collection of short stories about Vietnamese expats. In his book, Butler recalls many stories from Vietnamese expats around the world and the often, as he deems them, temperamental dynamics of these communities. Steve Scher talked with Butler back in 1992.

E-Books
11:37 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Is Seattle The Next "New York" In Publishing?

Flickr Photo/Andrew Masson

When it comes to publishing authors’ works, Seattle may be the next New York City. Amazon and other tech companies have transformed publishing with e-readers, social media and new financial models, making the old New York book publishing house less relevant, according to tech reporter Emily Parkhurst.

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Life And Culture
10:00 am
Mon August 19, 2013

Girls Gone Mild, Surfing, And Fantasy Fiction

Cold water and threatening currents don't keep avid surfers away from the waves in the Pacific Northwest.
Flickr Photo/daisydoubleoh

Girls Gone Mild: Demands For Modest Fashion

In 2004, an 11-year-old girl in Redmond wrote a letter to Nordstrom complaining that the choice of clothing available to her was too revealing; midriff shirts, low-riding pants. Today many still worry about the revealing clothing options for young girls. KUOW’s Steve Scher talked with Dr. Pepper Schwartz, professor of sociology at the University of Washington, and Laura Portolese Dias, an instructor of business administration now at Central Washington University, about where these trends come from and where to find modest clothing for children.

Surfing: Pacific Northwest Style

Frankie Avalon surfed in every beach party movie he made while Annette Funicello looked on lovingly. The movie "Blue Crush" profiled a bunch of girls who surfed competitively. Even Elvis surfed in one of his movies. But none of them surfed in the Pacific Northwest, which has the best swells in the world according to a study by legendary explorer Jacques Cousteau. The Pacific Northwest also has notoriously cold water, but that's not the worst of a surfer's worries compared to the strong currents and undertows. Marcie Sillman talked with Bobby Arzadon, owner and founder of the Perfect Wave Shop in Kirkland, and Eric Fleming, then middle school art teacher and longboard surfer, about surfin’ in the PNW.

The Allure Of Fantasy

Authors Terry Brooks and Greg Keyes have sold millions of copies of books. Both writers have legions of fans around the nation and the world, and both are part of a parallel universe of fantasy and science fiction: "Star Wars," "Star Trek," "The Lord of the Rings;" the list could go on and on. In 2004, Steve Scher talked with Brooks and Keyes about writing, working with George Lucas and the lasting allure of fantasy.

Science And Stories
9:00 am
Mon August 19, 2013

War Stories, The Science Of Aggregation, And David Sedaris

Flickr Photo/NOAA's National Ocean Service

War Stories

War is often remembered through history textbooks. Shortly before Veteran’s Day 2004, Weekday took a look at war through the eyes of soldiers and their families. Steve Scher talked with two Medal of Honor recipients: retired Air Force Col. Joe M. Jackson and retired Army Maj. Gen. Patrick H. Brady.

Aggregation: Swarming, Flocking And Schooling

Many of us have experienced "the wave" at a baseball game, and most of us have marveled at fish swimming in schools or starlings whirling around in the evening sky. In 2009, Steve Scher talked with Julia Parish, associate director of the school of aquatic and fishery sciences at the University of Washington, about why animals move together.

David Sedaris On Smoking

In this past month, Washington state cut funding for the smoking cessation hotline. Humorist David Sedaris has a different approach to quit smoking. Instead of calling the hotline, Sedaris moved to Japan. His story "The Smoking Section" is just one of 17 essays in his book “When You Are Engulfed in Flames. Steve Scher talked with David Sedaris back in 2008 about smoking and other tales.

Amateur Singing
9:10 am
Fri August 16, 2013

Rob Sheffield On The Fascinating World Of Karaoke

Rob Sheffield's book "Turn Around Bright Eyes."

Karaoke fascinates some and leave other baffled. Rob Sheffield is in the former category. The Rolling Stone contributing editor has written a memoir about love and karaoke and he sits down to take Ross Reynolds into the fascinating and often strange world of karaoke. 

Books And Writing
10:52 am
Mon August 12, 2013

Eli Hastings On “Clearly Now, The Rain”

Eli Hastings' book, "Clearly Now, the Rain."

Eli Hastings is the author of two memoirs and a team leader at the Pongo Teen Writing Project. Pongo is a nonprofit that works with troubled Seattle teens on how to express themselves through poetry and other forms of writing. He shares his story with Ross Reynolds.

Books
4:10 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Faith And Madness On The Alaska Frontier

Tom Kizzia's book "Pilgrim's Wilderness."

It’s not unusual to find people looking for a new life in Alaska. That’s what the man who called himself Papa Pilgrim seemed to be when he arrived in McCarthy with his wife and 15 children. But there was much more to the story. Alaskan journalist Tom Kizzia tells the story in "Pilgrim’s Wilderness: A True Story of Faith and Madness on the Alaska Frontier.”

Memoir
11:33 am
Tue August 6, 2013

Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me About Life, Love, And The Power Of Good Food

Darlene Barnes' book "Hungry"

  

Imagine a tiny, filthy-at-first kitchen, shockingly bad ingredients and the requirement to prepare two meals a day, five days a week for up to 80 young men. That’s what Darlene Barnes found when she applied for the position of house cook at Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity at the University of Washington. She was new to the area and wanted to continue her career in cooking. But what she got was so much more than a job.

Ross Reynolds talks with Darlene Barnes about her new memoir, “Hungry: What Eighty Ravenous Guys Taught Me about Life, Love, and the Power of Good Food.”

Book Recommendations
10:00 am
Mon August 5, 2013

News From D.C., And Nancy Pearl

Librarian Nancy Pearl action figure.
KUOW Photo

News From D.C.
Washington, D.C., is on recess. What didn’t get done before they left? CBS News Capitol Hill producer Jill Jackson.

Nancy Pearl On Armchair Travel
If you don’t have the time or money to travel this summer, you can still get away.  Nancy Pearl takes us on an armchair travel adventure with her recommendations of worldly books to read this summer.  Two titles she loves: “The Saddest Pleasure” by Moritz Thomsen and “Travels in a Thin Country” by Sara Wheeler.

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Crime Novels
9:26 am
Thu August 1, 2013

Bodies On The Boardwalk: Murder Stirs A Sleepy Jersey Shore

The Jersey shore's iconic Star Jet roller coaster was inundated after Superstorm Sandy.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 2, 2013 3:01 pm

When writer Chris Grabenstein plots his mysteries, the murders happen in the corny nooks of New Jersey's Jersey shore. After all, there's something delightfully cheesy about a beach town.

"I guess I'm a cheesy guy. I like this kind of stuff," Grabenstein says. "Ever since I was a kid I loved tourist towns."

The author points out shop names as we walk along his stretch of the shore. There's the Sunglass Menagerie, an ice cream shop called Do Me A Flavor, Shore Good Donuts and How You Brewin' coffee. I'll spare you the rest — Long Beach Island has 18 miles of this stuff.

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Poetry
8:00 am
Tue July 30, 2013

Marjorie Manwaring's "Church Camp-Out, 1978"

Credit Marjorie Manwaring's first full-length poetry collection "Search for a Velvet-Lined Cape."

"Summer hearts buzz like sapphire dragonflies," writes Marjorie Manwaring in "Church Camp-out, 1978," a poem that captures the particularly adolescent ability to conflate the sexual and the spiritual. The poem is part of Manwaring's collection, "Search for a Velvet-Lined Cape."

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Psychological Science
10:00 am
Mon July 29, 2013

Protests In Egypt, Reflections On Being Human, And New State Laws

Jesse Bering's book "Why is the Penis Shaped Like That?"

Protests In Egypt
Supporters and opponents to former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi held rallies throughout Egypt on Friday. Tensions between the two sides have been escalating over the past month resulting in the death of over 100 people. We get an update on the situation in Egypt from Middle East correspondent for the Financial Times, Borzou Daragahi. We also talk with Maha Jashan, a local Egyptian-American, on how she’s been following the events in Egypt from Seattle. 

"Why Is The Penis Shaped Like That? And Other Reflections On Being Human"
Being human is very different than being a chimpanzee, or a bumble bee, or a rat. We think different, we act different, and we look different. Psychological scientist Jesse Bering explores what it means to be human by asking questions that are sometimes outside the realm of “polite conversation.” 

New State Laws On The Books
Starting today, it will be easier for the wrongly convicted to receive restitution for jail time served, people parking in electric vehicle charging stations will be fined if they aren’t plugged in, and bosses can no longer demand social media passwords from prospective employees. Everett Herald reporter and columnist Jerry Cornfield gives us an overview.

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