books

Ross Reynolds talks with author Joel Kotkin about his new book, "The New Class Conflict."

Musician and author James McBride.
Flickr Photo/American Library Association (CC-BY-NC-ND)

As you listen to this episode of Speakers Forum, keep in mind that author James McBride gave this talk without any notes. In it he riffs on his family, career, books and life in America with thoughtful, humorous and inspiring improvisation.

Flickr Photo/Joe Thorn (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks to librarian Nancy Pearl about her recommendation for the week: "Spooner," a novel by Pete Dexter that Pearl first read in 2009 and still loves.

Charles R. Johnson with Ralph Ellison
Wikipedia Photo/Robin Platzer

As a teenager, University of Washington professor emeritus Charles Johnson discovered a book on yoga and meditation on his mom’s bookshelf that sparked his interest in practicing Buddhism.

Johnson spoke with Marcie Sillman on KUOW’s The Record to discuss the intersection of race, religion and his writing. His newest book is called “Taming the Ox: Buddhist Stories and Reflections on Politics, Race, Culture, and Spiritual Practice.”

The sign at Pike Place Market.
Flickr Photo/Jonathan Cohen (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with former Seattle PI arts writer R.M. Campbell about the civic group Allied Arts and the role it played in shaping the city. Campbell's new book is called "Stirring Up Seattle: Allied Arts in the Civic Landscape."

Walter Benjamin in 1928.
Wikimedia Commons

Walter Benjamin was a radical German philosopher and critic. In the 1920s and 30s his fascination with new technology lead him to create a series of radio broadcasts. No recordings of those broadcasts remain. We don’t even know what Benjamin sounded like, though it has been said he was a talented performer. Benjamin, who was Jewish, committed suicide in 1940 when he became trapped in his attempt to escape the Nazis.

Flickr Photo/Gexydaf (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman talks with bookhugger Nancy Pearl about a new book that can help you improve your knowledge base for the beginning of the new year. Pearl recommends "Knowledge is Beautiful," by David McCandless.

Thornton Wilder, the novelist. Storyteller Gary Heyde wrote him letters before his death.
Wikimedia Commons

In 1975, I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

Someone handed me a copy of Thornton Wilder’s “The Eighth Day.” When I finished that novel, someone else handed me “Theopolis North.”

I decided I had to get in touch with Thornton Wilder. I remembered from the play “Our Town,” by Wilder, that little Rebecca tells the story of Jane Crofut getting the most amazing letter.

Flickr Photo/Jake Bouma (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman and librarian Nancy Pearl discuss escaping into a good book with this week's recommendation, "F," by Daniel Kehlmann, translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway.

Librarian Nancy Pearl occasionally joins Morning Edition to talk about books she loves that you might not have heard of. As she tells NPR's Steve Inskeep, her latest batch of under-the-radar reads includes some older books as well some new ones.

book Christmas holiday reading
Flickr Photo/Enokson (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Marcie Sillman gets a last minute gift recommendation from Seattle's jolliest librarian, Nancy Pearl. If you still have a child on your list, she suggests picking up "Take Away the A," by Michael Escoffier and Chris DiGiacomo.

Author Richard Ford, Livre sur la Place, September 2014.
Flickr Photo/ActuaLitte

Ross Reynolds interviews Pulitzer prize-winning novelist Richard Ford about his new book of novellas, “Let Me Be Frank With You."

It continues the story of Frank Bascombe, which began in Ford's earlier works, "The Sportswriter," "Independence Day" and "Lay of the Land."

Welcome to the first meeting of the Morning Edition Reads book club! Here's how it's going to work: A well-known writer will pick a book he or she loved. We'll all read it. Then, you'll send us your questions about the book. And about a month later, we'll reconvene to talk about the book with the author and the writer who picked it.

Ready? Here we go:

Karen Finneyfrock
Courtesy of Inti St. Clair

If you could go back in time, what would you want to say to your teenage self?

Writers Karen Finneyfrock, Rachel McKibbens and Mindy Nettifee decided to gather poems they wished they'd had when they were younger. 

"If we could give [teenage girls] one charm to tuck into their pockets, it would be courage," reads an excerpt from the introduction of their new anthology, "Courage: Daring Poems for Gutsy Girls."

One of the most famous sights on the University of Washington Seattle campus is when the cherry trees bloom in the quad each spring.
Flickr Photo/Michael Matti (CC-BY-NC-ND)

Ross Reynolds takes a tour of the University of Washington campus with Antoinette Wills and John Bolcer, co-authors of the new book "The University of Washington," which tells the 119 year history of the campus through the buildings. They talk about a 1960s bombing at UW that remains a great unsolved mystery and the story behind the strange stone faces atop all the buildings in the liberal arts Quad.

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