books

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.

Why My Mom Left Me Out Of Her Book

Jun 19, 2016

Frank and Lucky Get Schooled is a new children's book by author Lynne Rae Perkins. It's about a boy and a dog. And it's based on real life — her son Frank and their dog Lucky.

But there's another person in the family who got left out — her daughter Lucy. And Lucy Perkins happens to be a producer at NPR.

Lucy decided to ask her mom about the new book and why she got left out of the story.

Dear Sugar Radio is a weekly podcast from member station WBUR. Hosts Steve Almond and Cheryl Strayed offer "radical empathy" and advice on everything from relationships and parenthood to dealing with drug problems or anxiety.

Today the Sugars talk parenting and mental health. In this letter, a new father who struggles with bipolar disorder wonders if his young daughter is in danger of adopting his "self-hating" feelings.


Dear Sugars,

Sebastian Junger speaks at TED Talks Live in November 2015 at Town Hall New York.
Flickr Photo/TED Conference (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/A7DoJU

News of soldiers who struggle on their return home from war is a constant in the United States. Author Sebastian Junger looked for an explanation for this cultural phenomenon, and may have found it in his research into Native American history. His new book is “Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging.”

Author Peggy Orenstein
Courtesy Photo/Michael Todd

Girls want to be hot.

They want to look good – not because they want to feel good, but because they’re thinking about how others are thinking about them.

Nicole Maines along with her twin brother Jonas and parents Kelly and Wayne.
Courtesy of Penguin Random House/Kelly Campbel

Bill Radke speaks with Amy Ellis Nutt about her book, "Becoming Nicole." Radke and Nutt discuss how the journey of transgender teen Nicole Maines has influenced the national conversation around transgender rights. 

Can comedy reform a swing hater?

Jun 14, 2016
Negin Farsad performs at TEDWomen2015, May 29, 2015.
Flickr Photo/TED Conference (CC BY NC 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/sRrmMx

Bill Radke speaks with social justice comedian Negin Farsad about how she believes comedy can change people's negative views of Muslims and other minorities. Her new book is "How To Make White People Laugh." 

Jeannie Yandel speaks with writer Peggy Orenstein about her new book, "Girls and Sex: Navigating The Complicated New Landscape." Orenstein talked with 70 high-school and college-aged girls while researching the book and says she was shocked to hear what she called "garden-variety stories about coercion" from nearly all the girls.   

Poets Faiza Sultan and Lena Khalaf Tuffaha at the KUOW studio.
KUOW Photo/Amina Al-Sadi

Elizabeth Austen talks to Seattle poet Faiza Sultan and poet and translator Lena Khalaf Tuffaha about how Sultan uses her poetry to bridge cultures.


When you look up at a starry night sky, it may make you feel small and insignificant — but it's also beautiful and awe inspiring. That's the feeling author Virginia Heffernan thinks we should be getting when we behold the Internet.

"Google organizes all the world's information," Heffernan tells NPR's Rachel Martin. "There's no way that one small person in our small, fathom-long bodies, could imagine containing all that information."

Nancy Pearl
KUOW Photo

Marcie Sillman talks with "Book Lust" author Nancy Pearl about Katie Roiphe's "The Violet Hour."

D
RoaldDahl.com/Courtesy

Do you know the difference between a Phizzwizzard and a Trogglehumper?

Can you tell your Snozzberries from your Snozzwangers?

Do you know what a Quogwinkle is?

If not, you might want to try looking up some of these words in a dictionary.

But chances are you won’t find them in any ordinary dictionary. You’ll need the "Oxford Roald Dahl Dictionary," which is being released later this year to celebrate the centenary of Dahl’s birth.

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