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Marchers walk through Seattle's Central Area on the 2015 anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.
KUOW Photo/Liz Jones

When Reverend David Billings started giving anti-racism trainings in the 1980s, he said many people "just didn't see it." But he said that's not the case today.

While structural and cultural racism remains entrenched in the U.S., Billings see a growing awareness by whites of their privilege and their role in combating the problem.  

Below are four of his main talking points. 


Jeannie Yandel speaks with Seattle Times reporter Claudia Rowe about her new book, "The Spider and the Fly." 

Before Seattle Times reporter Claudia Rowe moved here, she was living in Poughkeepsie, New York where  in 1996 women started to disappear. These women had worked as prostitutes, and they had all all reported a man named Kendall Francois to the police for sexual assault, beating, choking. 

The Amazon bestseller list has become something of a political barometer of late. Recently Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis's memoir March rose to the top after President Trump criticized him for questioning the legitimacy of the presidential election. Since the election, Hillbilly Elegy, a memoir that has become a guide to working class America has been at or near the top of the list. Now the classic dystopian novel 1984, written by George Orwell and published in 1948, is number one.

Courtesy of Anne McTiernan

Bill Radke speaks with Anne McTiernan about her new memior called, "Starved: A Nutrition Doctor's Journey from Empty to Full." McTiernan is a research professor at the University of Washington Schools of Public Health and Medicine and a member of the public health sciences division at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Does America have a divine origin?

Jan 12, 2017
Michael Medved speaking at the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland.
FLICKR PHOTO/Gage Skidmore (CC by SA 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/kPpwPZ

Bill Radke speaks with conservative talk show host Michael Medved about his new book, "The American Miracle: Divine Providence in the Rise of the Republic." 

Some Americans believe that President Trump will restore this nation's greatness as God intended it. Medved is not a Trump supporter, but he does believe God has a plan for America. Medved believes the history of the United States is improbable and bizarre, which makes it easier to see where that divine providence guided the nation.

Jessica Bennett at Town Hall Seattle.
KUOW Photo/Sonya Harris

Author Jessica Bennett and a group of fellow female professionals were facing man’s world issues, like male colleagues taking credit for their ideas and work. The women started a monthly meeting to share stories and look for solutions. Their gatherings explored workplace discrimination and social research on how to combat it. 

If reading more in 2017 was one of your new year's resolutions, Nancy Pearl is here to help. Every once in a while, the Seattle-based librarian sends host Steve Inskeep a big stack of books. They're generally "under-the-radar" reads — titles she thinks deserve more attention than they've been getting.

This year, the stack includes breathtaking thrillers, a multi-generational crime story, an unforgettable family tale, and more. Pearl tells Inskeep why she loves these novels, and why she thinks you will, too.

Chin Music Press

Bill Radke talks with KUOW poetry correspondent Elizabeth Austen about the book, "Are You An Echo? The Lost Poetry Of Misuzu Kaneko," illustrated by Toshikado Hajiri with narrative and translation by David Jacobson, Sally Ito and Michiko Tsuboi. 

"Difficult woman" is a loaded term, but writer Roxane Gay isn't afraid of taking on ideas with baggage. (A few years ago, she wrote a book of essays called Bad Feminist.) Her new short story collection, Difficult Women, explores women's lives and issues of race, class and sex.

White House 2014 World AIDS Day
Flickr Photo/Ted Eytan (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/2hT2Rem

Author David France faced the fear and reality of AIDS first hand as a gay man, an investigative reporter and a New Yorker. He was there when word of the illness spread through the gay community and was largely ignored by politicians, religious figures and the press.

He writes about that dark history and how a small group of activists forged a way out in “How To Survive A Plague: The Inside Story of How Citizens and Science Tamed AIDS.”

The AP reported Friday that Simon & Schuster planned to move forward with publication of a book by Milo Yiannopoulos, in spite of harsh criticism. The forthcoming book, called Dangerous, is said to be about free speech.

Soon-to-be President Donald Trump will hold the keys, or the codes, to America's nuclear weapons arsenal in a few short weeks.

A lesson in leadership illustrated by images of men only. A fill-in-the-blanks test whose "correct" answer is a stereotype: "I am a Filipino. I am a domestic helper in Hong Kong." A discussion of global warming that highlights potential "positive effects" of climate change, such as "Places that are too cold for farming today could become farmland."

These are some examples from textbooks around the world included in a newly released study about the role of textbooks by the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report.

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.

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