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books

KUOW Photo/Caroline Chamberlain

Bill Radke sits down with Sharon H. Chang, author of "Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World."

She explains why it's important to study the experiences of mixed race people and how it relates to our broader history of race in this country.

Every year, libraries around the country observe Banned Books Week, to remind the public that even well known and much loved books can be the targets of censorship. This year, Washington, D.C.'s public library came up with a clever idea to focus attention on the issue: a banned books scavenger hunt.

Labor journalist Sarah Jaffe
Courtesy of Julieta Salgado

When it comes to the future of good jobs and a contented workforce in the United States, the outlook is tenuous at best. Workers left in the wake of off-shoring, financial crises and game-changing robotic technology developments know that all too well.

Journalist Sarah Jaffe says community movements are a key to better outcomes. “For the people taking part in them it is not a question of left or right, but of the powerless against the powerful.”

Courtesy of Madeline Whitehead

Bill Radke sits down with author Colson Whitehead to talk about his new novel, "The Underground Railroad."

His book explores slavery in the American South and the role of the Underground Railroad in that story. But in a departure from the history we know about the Underground Railroad, in his book the railroad is an actual railroad. 

Poet Laura Da'
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Elizabeth Austen talks to local poet Laura Da', the author of "Tributaries", about how she uses poetry to tell the story of her ancestors. Her book is the recipient of the American Book Award. 

Over the course of her career, soccer star Abby Wambach scored 184 goals — more than any other man or woman in the history of international soccer. She won two Olympic gold medals and was named the 2012 FIFA World Player of the Year before retiring from the sport in 2015. And yet, she says she never wanted to be known "just as a soccer player."

Bill Radke talks with former Seattle police chief Norm Stamper about his new book, "To Protect And Serve: How To Fix America's Police."

Bill Radke speaks with Seattle writer and comedian Ken Boynton about his two near-death experiences, and why he struggled with writing his book, "Blip."

When Emily Lindin was in middle school, her classmates labeled her a slut and bullied her to the point where she considered suicide. As an adult, Lindin wanted to help others in the same situation.

First, she put her middle school diaries online in “The Unslut Project” and then published the book “Unslut: A Diary and a Memoir.” Today we revisit host Robin Young’s conversation with Lindin.

camping
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with author Dan White about the history of camping in America. White highlights how we overcame the early Puritan fear of the woods and the changing demographics of wild places. His latest book is "Under the Stars: How America Fell in Love with Camping."

Grizzly sow and cubs near Fishing Bridge, Yellowstone National Park.
Flickr Photo/Yellowstone National Park (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/sTZsC2

In 1972 a young man named Harry Walker was killed by a grizzly bear in Yellowstone National Park. The subsequent wrongful death trial focused on whether the National Park Service had done enough to prevent human interaction with bears.

The story puzzled and fascinated former park ranger Jordan Fisher Smith. In it he found myriad questions of what it means to manage nature.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl about “She Poured Out Her Heart,” by Jean Thompson.

Mount Rainier National Park.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

Bill Radke speaks with Bruce Barcott about the character of Mount Rainier and the place it takes in the lives of people who live around Puget Sound. Barcott is the author of "Measure of a Mountain: Beauty and Terror on Mount Rainier." 

KUOW has profiled all three of the national parks in Washington to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. You can also hear our conversations about Olympic National Park and North Cascades National Park

Author and illustrator Elisha Cooper
Courtesy of Elisha Cooper/Christopher Smith

In his new memoir, “Falling: A Daughter, A Father, and a Journey Back,"  author Elisha Cooper recalls how he and his family faced and survived his daughter Zoe’s cancer.

The act of reflection, some years after the events, is cathartic for Cooper. The result is the chronicle of a life-changing period, marked by terrifying uncertainty and resilience. He tells the story with humor and a palpable sense of awe. 

Finding beauty along Seattle's toxic scar

Aug 22, 2016
Courtesy of Tom Reese

Bill Radke speaks with photographer Tom Reese and journalist Eric Wagner about their book, "Once and Future River: Reclaiming the Duwamish." The three talk about the history of the Duwamish, how it became Seattle's forgotten river and the efforts to clean it up.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl about "The Last Samurai" by Helen DeWitt.

Novelist Angela Flournoy recently said, "I think it's an undue burden for the writer of color that's just trying to get people to care about their book as much as other people's books, to then also be the one to have the answers."

'If, for my birthday dinner, I could order anything I wanted, I'd request a Maine lobster or a tarantula spider. ' - David George Gordon
Courtesy of Chugrad McAndrews

Deborah Wang speaks with Seattleite David George Gordon, author of the "Eat-a-Bug Cookbook," about his favorite insects to eat and why. Plus: what he serves to trick-or-treaters at Halloween.

Want to get started with entomophagy? See Gordon's recipe for deep-fried tarantulas. Or head over to Central Co-op in Seattle to pick up some crickets.

Susan Marie Conrad completed a solo kayak trip from Washington to Alaska in 2010.
Courtesy of Susan Marie Conrad

Ross Reynolds interviews Susan Conrad about her 1,200 mile solo kayak trip from Washington to Alaska. She recounts the 2010 trip in her new memoir, "Inside: One Woman’s Journey Through the Inside Passage."

It's a story as old as time. Man tweets as bookstore. Woman falls in love with his literary Pokemon jokes. The inevitable next chapter: marriage.

Wait. What?

It started in 2012. Jonathan O'Brien was running the social media accounts for a Waterstone's book store on Oxford Street in London.

He tweeted a couple of jokes about books and Pokemon.

University of Washington conservators Kate Leonard, left, and Judith Johnson in the UW's Conservation Center at Suzzallo Library. Conservators repair and protect 10 thousand rare books, manuscripts, maps and other paper items every year.
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

In the land of Microsoft and Amazon, a non-digital book almost seems like an anachronism. Why bother with paper and ink when you can download the latest thriller?

Millions of Seattle area residents do just that, at least when it comes to local libraries. The King County Library System reports patrons checked out more than 3 million digital items (including films and music) in 2015, giving KCLS the largest digital circulation in North America.

With the overwhelming support of the Senate, Dr. Carla Hayden has been approved as the next librarian of Congress.

Hayden, the head of Baltimore's public library system and the former president of the American Library Association, is the first woman and the first African-American to hold the post.

Hayden was nominated by President Obama in February, but a vote on her nomination wasn't held until Wednesday.

Journalist Gay Talese has never shied away from controversial topics. He took on the mafia in Honor Thy Father and dove deep into America's sex life in Thy Neighbor's Wife. But even Talese paused when he first heard about the Manor House Motel in Aurora Colo., back in 1980. Innkeeper Gerald Foos had outfitted his motel with a special platform which allowed him to spy on his guests — and he invited Talese to take a peek as well. Talese, a man of seemigly insatiable curiosity, did just that. But Foos demanded anonymity, so Talese decided not to write about the experience.

Author Lindy West lives in Seattle.
Photo by Jenny Jimenez / http://photojj.com

From slaying trolls on Twitter, writing as a columnist for The Guardian, to co-founding the social media campaign, Shout Your Abortion, Lindy West is fearless. But she wasn’t always that way.

West’s new memoir is “Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman.” Memoirists often chronicle embarrassing experiences, but not everyone can do it with the humor and grit West is known for. She got her start at The Stranger and kept writing, because she’s good at it, and because life’s too short to be ashamed of yourself, or shamed by others.

'Missing, Presumed' Brings The Police Procedural To Life

Jul 2, 2016

If you've binge-watched Happy Valley, The Fall or Prime Suspect, have I got a book for you: Former journalist Susie Steiner's Missing, Presumed offers a close view of diverse British characters coming to terms with both a murder and their own imperfect lives. You might come to Missing, Presumed for the police procedural; you'll stay for the layered, authentic characters that Steiner brings to life.

Bill Radke speaks with pop culture author Chuck Klosterman about his new book, "But What If We're Wrong: Thinking About the Present As If It Were the Past."   

Pfc. Holly Horned of the Indiana Army National Guard adjusts her gas mask before entering a gas chamber during a nuclear, biological and chemical warfare training exercise at Camp Atterbury, Ind., June 15, 2010.
Flickr Photo/DVIDSHUB (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/8cwDmR

Author Mary Roach has a specialty of sorts; she writes about the funnier aspects of science. Along with the humor, she’s known for her thorough research.

Her books include “Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers,” “Bonk: The Curious Coupling of Science and Sex” and now “Grunt: The Curious Science of Humans at War.”  

Mary Roach spoke with Seattle Review of Book’s co-founder Paul Constant at Town Hall Seattle on June 15. The event was sponsored by University Book Store. Ana Sofia Knauf recorded their conversation.

Stock paper
Flickr Photo/Hobvias Sudoneighm (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/Fecq6

Author Mark Kurlansky tells the story of the time he met legendary newsman Walter Cronkite. Cronkite greeted him with the line “I know you. You’re the leading expander of minutiae.”

If you’re only familiar with Kurlansky’s book titles that may seem an apt description. His latest is “Paper: Paging Through History.”

But he begs to differ. He says he’s not trying to find the obscure in minor details. He’s looking for critical keys to history.

In this age of social media, where nothing is either sacred or secret, author J.K. Rowling wants nothing short of a miracle. She has asked theatergoers who attend previews of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in London not to reveal the plot of the play.

She made her request in a video posted online after previews began.

Two men arrive in a world of infinite forest: "Mud, rain, biting insects and the odor of willows made the first impression of New France. The second was of dark vast forest, inimical wilderness." René Sel and Charles Duquet are indentured French woodsmen, set to work chipping away at the forests of Canada — then called New France.

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