books

Gretchen Rubin at the World Domination Summit 2013 in Portland, Oregon.
Flickr Photo/Chris Guillebeau (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/f4Zory

Gretchen Rubin is a student of human nature. And she’s built a cottage industry around helping people improve their habits and happiness.

“Habits are the invisible architecture of a happy life, and when we change our habits, we change our lives,” she said.

In Hong Kong's densely packed Causeway Bay district, a red sign with a portrait of Chairman Mao looms over the bustling storefronts and shoppers. The sign indicates that there is coffee, books and Internet on offer inside.

Customers go past a window where travelers can exchange foreign currencies, up a narrow staircase and into a room stacked high with books. The walls are painted red and decked out with 1960s Cultural Revolution propaganda posters and other Mao-era memorabilia. The aroma of coffee and the sound of jazz waft over the book-browsing customers.

Nancy Pearl said you'll learn more than you ever thought possible about mules from this week's reading picks.
Flickr Photo/Greg Westfall (CC BY 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/sS617i

When KUOW listeners are at a loss for what book to read next, help is just a phone call away – as long as the person picking up the phone is "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl.

This week, Pearl and KUOW's Marcie Sillman help a history buff in Seabeck, Washington who loved Bernard DeVoto's "The Journals of Lewis and Clark."

Pearl recommends "The Oregon Trail" by Rinker Buck and another title by DeVoto, "Across the Wide Missouri."

Want Nancy Pearl to help pick your next great read? Call 206.221.3663 and tell us about a book you loved – one you wish you could read again for the first time – and we'll see if Seattle's favorite librarian can guide you to your next book.

Jennifer Hopper in KUOW's green room in 2014.
KUOW Photo/Akiko Oda

Bill Radke speaks with Eli Sanders, Pulitzer-prize winning author of "While The City Slept," about the attack on a hot summer night that changed three Seattle lives forever. On July 19, 2009, Isaiah Kalebu broke into the South Park home that Jennifer Hopper shared with her fiancée Teresa Butz. The man repeatedly stabbed and raped the two women. Butz died on the street in front of her home.

Also, Katy Sewall talks to Hopper about how she feels about having her name forever connected to that attack. For more from Hopper, check out another interview she did with KUOW in 2014. 

Eli Sanders and Jennifer Hopper will join KUOW's Marcie Sillman in conversation at Town Hall Seattle on Wednesday, Feb. 3 at 7:30 pm. More information on the event can be found here.

Carrie Brownstein at The Neptune Theatre.
Courtesy of Jason Tang Photography

Musician, actor and writer Carrie Brownstein co-founded the band Sleater-Kinney and currently stars in the television series Portlandia and Transparent. She spoke with novelist Maria Semple about her new memoir, “Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl.”

Anna Tatistcheff recorded their conversation at STG’s Neptune Theatre on Nov. 6, 2015.

Please note, this talk contains unedited language of an adult nature.

Web Exclusive: Listen to the full, unedited event below

Mermaid
Flickr Photo/AK Rockefeller (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/20rsa5l

When KUOW listeners are at a loss for what book to read next, help is just a phone call away – as long as the person picking up the phone is "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl.

This week, Pearl and KUOW's Marcie Sillman help a listener in Friday Harbor follow up on Majia Comella's "The Bay of Mermaids."

Pearl recommends Sarah Addison Allen's "Garden Spells" and "City of Bones" by Cassandra Clare, plus a little Alice Hoffman for good measure.

Seattle City Hall
Flickr Photo/Daniel X. O'Neil (CC-BY-NC-ND)/http://bit.ly/1OGMTuh

Ross Reynolds asks former Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata why the back cover of his book, “Becoming A Citizen Activist,” proclaims "you can fight city hall." Licata was in City Hall for 16 years.

For lots of people, New Year's resolutions don't last. Two New York designers wanted to change that — and they wanted to change themselves at the same time.

So, Timothy Goodman and Jessica Walsh, best known for the viral blog and book 40 Days of Dating, created a yearlong social experiment to see if following 12 steps could make them more kind and empathetic people — and they're releasing details about each step on their website.

A reprint of Adolf Hitler's notorious autobiography, Mein Kampf, or "My Struggle," is for sale in German bookstores today for the first time in 70 years.

The annotated edition is being published by the Munich-based Institute for Contemporary History, and its editors say the new version points out Hitler's lies and errors and includes critical commentary on how the original version, published in the 1920s, influenced Nazi atrocities.

In the 10 years he spent driving an ambulance in Atlanta, former paramedic Kevin Hazzard rescued people from choking, overdoses, cardiac arrest, gunshot wounds and a host of other medical emergencies.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman speaks with book maven Nancy Pearl about her pick for a new science-fiction novel to transport you out of the dark Pacific Northwest December: "City of Stairs," by Robert Jackson Bennett.

KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman talks with book hugger Nancy Pearl about this week's reading recommendation: "Crooked Heart" by Lissa Evans, which Pearl says is every bit as good as the cover design promises it will be.

Pacific Ocean from across the straights.
KUOW Photo/Kara McDermott

In 1520, explorer Ferdinand Magellan called it “peaceful.” At more than 60 million square miles, the Pacific Ocean covers 30 percent of the earth’s surface -- an area larger than the landmass of all the continents combined. It is our planet’s largest and deepest ocean basin, and it has stories to tell. So, where to begin?

Author Simon Winchester sees many good starting points. His new book is “Pacific: Silicon Chips and Surfboards, Coral Reefs and Atom Bombs, Brutal Dictators, Fading Empires, and the Coming Collision of the World's Superpowers.”

Ari Berman's 'Give Us the Ballot'
KUOW Photo/Bond Huberman

Marcie Sillman discusses the approach of another presidential election year with librarian Nancy Pearl, who recommends a new book that traces the evolution of American voting rights: "Give Us The Ballot: The Modern Struggle for Voting Rights in America," by Ari Berman.

Professor Robert Reich at Town Hall Seattle on Oct. 19, 2015.
Flickr Photo/Al Garman (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1TeSMCu

Robert Reich says he’s often stopped by strangers at airports. People walk right up to him, forego any niceties, and get straight to the question: “What are we going to do?”

Reich says that makes him optimistic, because it’s not just liberals asking.

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