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books

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."

File photo: diver swimming with dolphins
Flickr Photo/Steve Jurvetson (CC BY 2.0) bit.ly/1MhxdP5

Bestselling author Susan Casey was a former competitive swimmer with extensive experience in ocean swimming. So it surprised her when she realized she had never swum with dolphins.

That changed when she unexpectedly encountered a pod of Spinner dolphins during a solo swim off Maui. Casey was so affected by the experience that she spent the next few years researching dolphins around the world. The result is her latest book, “Voices in the Ocean: A Journey into the Wild and Haunting World of Dolphins.”    

Marcie Sillman talks to book maven Nancy Pearl about an unusual take on the late culinary guru Julia Child's life: a graphic biography from Jessie Hartland called "Bon Appetit! The Delicious Life of Julia Child."

Over the weekend, vampires were afoot in a small town on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Fans of a bestselling teen vampire romance series flooded into the town of Forks from all over the country.

Ross Reynolds interviews Bainbridge Island writer Jonathan Evison about his fourth novel, “This Is Your Life, Harriet Chance!," which centers around a mysterious phone call about an Alaska cruise made to a 79-year-old woman. Evison also talks about the influence of fellow Northwest novelist Maria Semple on his work and what it’s like to have Paul Rudd play him in the upcoming film based on his last book, “The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving."

Jason Schmidt and his dad around 1976 at their house on Hayes Street in Eugene, Oregon.
Courtesy of Jason Schmidt

Marcie Sillman gets the week's reading recommendation from librarian Nancy Pearl: "A List of Things That Didn't Kill Me," by Seattleite Jason Schmidt. Pearl says there's usually too much "me" in memoirs, but this one defied her expectations in a good way. 

Read an excerpt from Schmidt's book as part of KUOW's Seattle Stories Project: "I Couldn't Save My Dad From AIDS, So I Saved Myself Instead."

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

First-time novelist Elisabeth Egan spent most of her career writing about other people's books as a literary editor for magazines and websites. That provided the fodder for Egan's "A Window Opens," about a literary editor who finds what she thinks might be the job of her dreams.

Nancy Pearl talks with KUOW's Marcie Sillman about the novel and what makes an author's first book great.

Oliver Sacks, the famed neurologist and best-selling author of books such as The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat, died of cancer today in New York City at the age of 82, a longtime friend and colleague has confirmed.

The London-born academic's 1973 memoir Awakenings, about his efforts to use the drug L-Dopa to bring patients who survived the 1917-1928 encephalitis epidemic out of their persistent catatonic state, was turned into a 1990 Hollywood film starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro. He was the author of a dozen other books.

The inside of the elevators at Amazon headquarters in Seattle. People who work at Amazon refer to themselves as Amazonians.
Flickr File Photo/cheukiecfu CC BY-NC-ND: http://bit.ly/1MUXs0y

After a New York Times' expose on exacting worker conditions at Amazon, CEO Jeff Bezos said he was shocked -- and then asked for direct feedback from workers. 

Julia Cheiffetz, an executive editor at HarperCollins, took Bezos at his word. 

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Nancy Pearl was born in Detroit. She tells KUOW's Marcie Sillman that first-time novelist Angela Flournoy gets the city just right in her book, "The Turner House." It traces the history of a family through the civil rights era and beyond in a struggling city.  

Lovincer from Uganda works managing her fresh banana business to support her family.
Facebook Photo/Kiva

Jessica Jackley was a liberal arts major who stumbled her way into the Stanford MBA program.

Philosophy and business came together for her in 2005 when she helped start Kiva, the world’s first person- to-person microlending website. Kiva facilitates lending to poor and underserved entrepreneurs and students in 83 countries.

Special, important, brilliant: That’s the rave review from Nancy Pearl for this week’s reading pick, and she doesn’t use those words lightly. The book is “The Sympathizer,” by Viet Thanh Nguyen,  an associate professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicities at USC who was born in Vietnam and came to the United States as a refugee in 1975.

His novel follows an unnamed main character from South Vietnam who acts a spy for the North around the end of the war.

Pearl told Marcie Sillman on KUOW’s The Record that it should be on everyone’s must-read list, but it’s not an easy read.

“It is laugh-aloud funny in many places and terrifying and harrowing to read in other places,” she said. “But it took a lot for me to read it. It took a lot of compartmentalizing on my part.”

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with Nancy Pearl about this week's reading pick: a new graphic biography of the famous Apple co-founder called "Steve Jobs: Insanely Great," by Jessie Hartland. Pearl says it rivals even Walter Isaacson's "Steve Jobs," which is considered the definitive biography of the tech leader.

When the New York Times published a Sunday spread on the author Raymond Carver in the spring of 1981, his stark stories about loneliness and bruised relationships had already earned him a Guggenheim fellowship and a nomination for a National Book Award. He’d won the most prestigious prize in short story writing three times. So a high school classmate of Carver’s brought the newspaper clipping to share with friends on a trip back home.

Scotts Bluff National Monument along the Oregon Trail.
Flickr Photo/Kent Kanouse (CC BY NC 2.0)

Ross Reynolds interviews Rinker Buck about his new book,“The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey.” Buck and his brother took a mule-drawn wagon more than 2,000 miles over the path of the trail that brought the first mass migration of white settlers to the Pacific Northwest.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with Nancy Pearl about this week's reading recommendation: Rinker Buck's first hand account of recreating in the 21st century the famous treks of the 19th century in, "The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey." Pearl says it's perfect fodder for your next summer road trip.

Ross Reynolds interviews former Stranger writer Paul Constant about why he created Seattle Review of Books. Constant says he intends to reflect the typical Seattle reader. And he's paying reviewers.

Jimmy Hoff and Robert 'Bobby' Kennedy.
Wikipedia

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963, labor leader Jimmy Hoffa was heard to say, “Bobby Kennedy is just another lawyer now.”

The animosity between Hoffa and the Kennedys dated to a famous 1957 Senate investigation, the so-called Rackets Committee, led by Robert Kennedy. That very public hearing began a lifelong feud between two powerful and dedicated adversaries.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about this week’s reading recommendation: artist Sally Mann’s memoir “Hold Still.” Mann is a photographer with an MFA in creative writing. Pearl says that her memoir will delight even people who aren’t aware of her work. 

A photo of Ann Rule in 1976 from her official website. Rule was the author, most famously, of The Stranger Beside Me, about her personal relationship with serial killer Ted Bundy before he was caught.
Leslie Rule/AuthorAnnRule.com

Marcie Sillman talks with The Stranger's Eli Sanders about bestselling true-crime writer Ann Rule, who died on Sunday at age 83. Sanders wrote an in-depth profile about Rule for The Seattle Times.

A view from inside a Boeing factory
Courtesy of Boeing

Ross Reynolds interviews journalist Russ Banham about the history of the Boeing company, which turns 100 this year. Banhan is the author of “Higher: 100 Years of Boeing.”

It begins with the story of how Bill Boeing went from the timber business to boat building to airplanes. Banham also tells the story of how at the end of World War II a Boeing executive found plans for a swept wing jet aircraft while touring a liberated German factory. This led to the Boeing 707, the plane that secured Boeing's pre-eminence in the U.S. airline industry.

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about a pick that's aimed at teens, but great for readers of all ages: "The Game of Love and Death," by Martha Brockenbrough.

Copyright 2017 Troy Public Radio. To see more, visit Troy Public Radio.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This week saw the release of Harper Lee’s “Go Set a Watchman,” a follow-up to her beloved book “To Kill a Mockingbird.” But for Alice Randall, a professor of African-American and diaspora studies at Vanderbilt University, the first novel still has a lot of relevance today.

Scholar Amy Kittelstrom argues that being liberal doesn't mean not being religious or spiritual.q
Flickr Photo/Madison (CC BY NC 2.0)

When we call someone liberal, do we imply that they are not religious or spiritual? Today’s speaker says we shouldn’t.

In her new book “The Religion of Democracy,” scholar Amy Kittelstrom chronicles seven liberals who influenced early American democracy and helped guide its progress -- and did so with their religious values firmly in tow.

Editor's note: spoilers ahead.

I don't remember how old I was when I read To Kill A Mockingbird for the first time. But I do know that I loved it — which is why I was thrilled in February at the news that another manuscript penned by Harper Lee, previously unknown to the larger public, existed and would be published this summer.

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