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That Stack Of Books with Nancy Pearl and Steve Scher - The House of Podcasts
40 minutes | 3 years ago
Nancy Pearl on Nancy Pearl
That Stack of Books listeners, I am back with an interview with none other than Nancy Pearl.Nancy has written her first novel, "George and Lizzie." It's a love story, with one partner, Lizzie, trying to figure out just how committed she is to George, who seems to be going along with a heart full of love and a head full of patience. We met in Seattle at the Bryant Corner Cafe, our ongoing book club haunt, to talk about her foray into fiction.
34 minutes | 5 years ago
Don't Be Afraid of Science Fiction or Why Nancy Hates Lumping Books Into Categories
Classic cover of a classic book Don’t Reject Science Fiction or Books That Take You Outside The Box or Why Nancy Hates Categorizing Books! Again we are dealing with the basic issue that rankles Nancy Pearl. When you put books into categories or label books as this but not that, too many readers skip over wonderful reading experiences.She knows some people just can’t relate to the science fiction genre. We had a lot of folks around the table who felt sort of “meh” about sci-fi and fantasy.We were interested in what people enjoy or don’t enjoy about sci-fi and fantasy. Robert Heinlein’s book, “Space Cadet” turned Nancy on to science fiction and fantasy back when she was just a wee lass. Isaac Asimov’s books inspired many.Not sure about the genre? Maybe don’t think of it as a genre. Perhaps start with a classic Clifford Simak like “Shakespeare’s Planet.” A colorful cover that captures the joys of 1950’s science fiction and a story Nancy Pearl says everyone should read.If you are interested in Science Fiction, Nancy says you can sign up for a daily sci-fi email from Tor.comNot sure about science fiction, read Ursula Le Guin.“Stranger in a Strange Land.” That Heinlein book doesn’t sit well with many readers, but it sure fit into its era.Ray Bradbury is beloved but quite a few readers around the table were bored of the rings. Shocking! Kurt Vonnegut’s books are steeped in science fiction, yet put in the literature category. Need some broader views of science fiction than robots and space travel. How about Octavia Butler’s “Kindred” and “Earth Seed.” Need a laugh, The Hitchikers series. And if you need a disturbing scare, “The Handmaid’s Tale,” by Margaret Atwood, or “Never Let Me Go,” by Kazuo Ishiguru.Looking for different views of the modern world. Check out William Gibson, Neal Stephenson“1Q84,” by Haruki Murakami We touched on some women in science fiction, but not enough. Check out these lists.Non-English Sci-Fi, look here. Asian writers of science fiction, here.
27 minutes | 5 years ago
Teens Eating Pizza and Reading Books
Nancy and Steve had the opportunity to spend some time with King County Librarian Aarene Storms and a great group of young readers at the Teen Pizza and Books group at the Lake Forest Park Library meeting room. You should drop by. The next one at the Lake Forest Park Library is scheduled for June 7th. By the way, there are numerous reading groups for teens offered throughout the King County Library System Of course, a quick search for Pizza, Teens and Books brings up similar offerings around the country. Pizza contributes to literacy. You knew that.On a separate note, applause for the King County Library locating in the basement of a shopping mall. Great use of space, great notion to bring the books to the people, and what a way to enliven a mall. Thank you. And upstairs you can wander Third Place Books.Teens, Books and Pizza.compiled by Aarene StormsHere is the long and extremely eclectic list of books we talked about on Tuesday. Links are to the KCLS catalog unless otherwise noted. Whew! Pizza and Books @ LFPMay 2016 Lumberjanes v.1, Beware the Kitten Holy By Stevenson, Noelle (graphic novel) Friendship to the max! At Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's camp for hardcore lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together-- and they're not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way! The Graveyard Book Volume 1 and Volume 2 By Russell, P. Craig (graphic novel) Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard. Sadly, this graphic novel isn’t as wonderful as the print novel OR the audiobook. Saga [Volume One] By Vaughan, Brian K. (graphic novel) When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe. Godspeed: Kurt Cobain graphic novel by Legg, Barnaby (graphic novel)Writers Barnaby Legg and Jim McCarthy have constructed their story using biographical fact interwoven with references to the singer's tortured self image with vibrant art by Flameboy. KCLS does not own this book, the link is to Amazon.com Steve Jobs Insanely Great By Hartland, Jessie (graphic novel) This biography in graphic format presents the story of the ultimate American entrepreneur, who brought us Apple Computer, Pixar, Macs, iPods, iPhones and more, this unique and stylish book is sure to appeal to the legions of readers who live and breathe the techno-centric world Jobs created. Heavier Than Heaven A Biography of Kurt Cobain By Cross, Charles R. Published on the 10th anniversary of Nirvana's album "Nevermind", this in-depth biography includes new information from over 400 interviews and exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries. eBook eAudio Audio CD The Raven King By Stiefvater, Maggie (book 4 in the series) Blue never thought the warning that she will cause her true love's death would be a problem, but as her life is entangled in the world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. Audio CD The Pillars of the Earth By Follett, Ken (series) Adventure saga of 12th century England, from a stone mason whose dream is to build a glorious cathedral to a man of God in a web of dangerous political intrigue. Audio CD eAudio DVD Spanish French Unleashed By Korman, Gordon (series) Luthor, a former attack dog, is supposed to be on his best behavior now that he's in the care of Savannah, a girl who's easily a dog's best friend. But every time a certain truck passes by Savannah's house, Luthor goes into attack mode and chaos follows. No More Dead Dogs By Korman, Gordon Wallace Wallace is tired of dog stories because the dog always dies. eAudio Audio CD Sunshine By McKinley, Robin The “anti-vampire” book featuring cinnamon rolls as big as your head, no kidding. Audio CD eAudio Divergent By Roth, Veronica (series) 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five factions to define her identity for the rest of her life. Then, she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. KCLS does not own this book in Spanish, however, it is available in Chinese as well as eAudio eBook DVD Audio CD Player Charming By James, Elliott (series) John Charming, formerly a member of the modern Knights Templar and sworn to protect mortals from supernatural threats until he was infected by a werewolf, now tends bar under an assumed name in a small Virginia town. When a blonde and a vampire create havoc enter his bar, he is forced to confront his true nature as well as his destiny. eBook Les Misérables By Hugo, Victor (a good translation, unabridged) The story of Jean Valjean, his unjust imprisonment, and his lifelong flight from a relentless police officer. eBook unabridged eBook abridged DVD The Princess Bride S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure By Goldman, William Although the authorial voice claims that this is an “abridged” story, the whole thing is made up entirely (and convincingly) by Mr. Goldman. I libraried this to verify it. If you want, you can library it yourself! And then, you can watch the movie. DVD As You Wish Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride By Elwes, Carya first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner. The audiobook is great too! eBook Audio CD eAudio Bloody Jack Being An Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy By Meyer, L. A. (series) Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates. Awesome audiobook! eBook Audio CD eAudio Wild Rover No More is the last in the series. Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell By Clarke, Susanna In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging, the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight. Soon, another magician comes forth: the young, handsome, Jonathan Strange. eBook Audio CD eAudio DVD ßthere’s a DVD?!?!? How to Train your Dragon By Cowell, Cressida (series) Warrior chieftain, awesome sword-fighter, and amateur naturalist, he was known throughout Vikingdom as 'the Dragon Whisperer' on account of his amazing power over these terrifying beasts. TOTALLY DIFFERENT PLOT FROM THE MOVIE. And the audio is read by David Tennant! Audio CD eAudio Player DVD Reckless By Funke, Cornelia Caroline (series) Jacob and Will Reckless have looked out for each other ever since their father disappeared, but when Jacob discovers a magical mirror that transports him to a warring world populated by witches, giants, and ogres, he keeps it to himself until Will follows him one day, with dire consequences. eBook Cry Baby By Martinez, Melanie this link is to the music CD. The library doesn’t own the picturebook that isn’t for kids—but you can view it on Youtube HERE. Go the F**k to Sleep By Mansbach, Adam The bedtime book for parents who live in the real world ... profane, affectionate, and radically honest, it captures the familiar, and unspoken, tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. Samuel L. Jackson reads the audiobook perfectly. eBook Audio CD The Supernaturalist By Colfer, Eoin Fourteen-year-old Cosmo Hill escapes from his abusive orphanage and teams up with three other people who share his unusual ability to see supernatural creatures, and together they determine the nature and purpose of the swarming blue Parasites. eBook eAudio Graphic Novel Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls By Weingarten, Lynn They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather's shed, but June does not believe it was suicide. eBook Odyssey By Homer The story of Odysseus' long journey back to his wife and home after the Trojan War. Audio CD eBook eAudio Graphic Novel Vietnamese Of Mice and Men By Steinbeck, John George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, grasp for their American Dream. eBook Audio CD eAudio DVD Tess of the D'Urbervilles By Hardy, Thomas The life of a simple country girl in nineteenth-century England is destroyed by her father's determination to use her in order to regain the family's former social standing. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone By Rowling, J. K. (series) Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. eBook Audio CD eAudio Japanese Spanish French Russian Chinese German Latin Ukrainian Hebrew Vietnamese DVD The Invasion By Applegate, Katherine (ser
38 minutes | 5 years ago
Stewart O'Nan, "City of Secrets," and the Work of Writing
Stewart O'Nan's newest novel. “In post-World War II Jerusalem, a concentration camp survivor becomes involved in the underground resistance movement against the British.”That is the straightforward description of Stewart O’Nan’s newest novel, “City of Secrets.” Brand, the camp survivor navigates between loss and hope in violent Jerusalem. Stewart O’Nan is an award winning American novelist. Beginning with the release of his 1993 debut novel “Snow Angel,”O’Nan’s spare, precise storytelling has garnered praise and awards. Before he turned to writing full-time, O’Nan worked as a test engineer for Grumman Aerospace. O’Nan’s engineering background serves him. To teach himself how to write, he would take apart the best American short stories in order to figure out how they were put together. This interview is both a discussion of O’Nan’s latest novel and a generous class in writing from a master storyteller. This interview was recorded at our favorite spot for talking books The Bryant Corner Cafe. We will be back at the cafe May 10th at 3. Nancy Pearl will be leading a discussion about science fiction and fantasy. Do you read that genre, or do you avoid it? Join us with your thoughts at the cafe, or weigh in on twitter @thatstack or on Facebook, That Stack of Books with Nancy Pearl and Steve Scher. Get That Stack of Books delivered to via email.
30 minutes | 5 years ago
Sad Books For A Summer Read
Last week we talked about books that make us happy. For balance, we take up books that make a reader sad, that take the reader into the darkest places of the human experience. Here are some books that are such an emotionally tough read, they might best be read In the sunny days of summer. The Bryant Corner Cafe is a warm and cozy place. The sunshine comes streaming the big south facing windows. Steam rises from fresh baked goods and hot off the grill meals. The world looks pretty good.We had a nice sunny day, hot coffee, iced tea and a plateful of tasty cookies as we discussed murder, rape, mass shootings, imprisonment, genocide and the disintegration of democracy. You can see why we thought these are books that might lend themselves to a summer read. You could look up from the page every once in a while, feel the sun on your face, listen to a few birds sing, watch the leaves rustle in a cooling breeze. Take a deep breath. Tell yourself that it isn't all so tragic. It's summer. Then dive back in. Here are a few of the books we talked about. Nancy says “The Honorable Schoolboy,” by John Le Carre just broke her heart. She can’t imagine ever picking it up again. “The Book of Lamentations” is a modern novel by Rosario Castellanos, about the Mayan Spanish conflicts.“The Bedside Book of Bastards,” Dorothy M. Johnson and R.T. Turner, a light tone about the terrible things people do to one another.“Democracy For Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government,” Larry Bartels and Christopher Achen. One reviewer called it brutally depressing.The novels of Thomas Hardy. His topics are timeless.“Please Look After Mom,” by Kyung-sook Shin is a novel of Dickensian extremes that had South Korean readers weeping.“King’s Leopold’s Ghost,” by Adam Hochschild.“Spain In Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939,” also by Adam Hochschild. There is a personal connection for Nancy. Her father fought in that war.“To The Power of Three,” by Laura Lippman and “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” by Lionel Shriver. These are two books about school shootings.“My Promised Land The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel” by Ari Shavit.“Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck,” by Adam Cohen. A sadly revealing history of Eugenics in America.“The Divide,” by Matt Taibbi, is about the gaping divide between the haves and have-nots in America and how that reality affects health, justice and opportunity for all Americans. “The Last of the Just,” by Andre Schwarz-BartMost books by Elie WieselFind us @thatstack on Twitter, and That Stack of Books with Nancy Pearl and Steve Scher on Facebook.
34 minutes | 5 years ago
Books That Make You Happy
We have had some remarkably wonderful spring days here in Seattle. Record April high's in the 80's have put smiles on our faces and have us thinking happy thoughts and reaching for books that make us happy. We have tasked ourselves, those of us sitting around the table at the Bryant Corner Cafe and those of basking in the weather in our homes, on the bus, secretly listening at work ( oh we know you are. Keep it up.) We are tasked with coming up with a short list of books that make us happy. Now this is a topic that lends itself to wide interpretation. Google it. You will see.And just what is happiness anyway. It's all so personal.Nevertheless, we made a start at it.How about adding to our list? You can write us on Twitter @thatstack, post on Facebook, or write us at email@example.com.What books make you happy? Here is the list of books we shared on this episode. A shout out first, though. One of Nancy’s favorite books this year, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, just won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction. Nancy brought in two books that make her happy. The Remarkable Trees of the World, Thomas Pakenham When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Travelers Journal of Staying Put, by Vivian Swift Here are some of the other books we talked about today. Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul , by Giulio TononiThe Encounter, by Rita Wirkala No Biking in the House Without a Helmet, by Melissa Fay Greene. It's been called a brilliant book about a household full of kids, reminiscent of Erma Bombeck or Jean Kerr. Praying for Sheetrock , Melissa Fay Greene's 1991 National Book Award Finalist that Coretta Scott King called, "An inspiring and absorbing account of the struggle for human dignity and racial equality" We Could Almost Eat Outside: An Appreciation of Life's Small Pleasures, Philipe Delerm The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante. Shortlisted this year for the Man Booker Prize. Here is a nice interview she gave about the books.The Black Count, by Tom Reiss, a compelling history of the man who served as the model for The Count of Monte Cristo. And if you like history books that focus on little known figures, Nancy also recommends Dancing to the Precipice by Caroline Moorehead Steve always gets happy when he reads one of James Thurber’s short stories or when he looks at his cartoons. Check out The Thurber Carnival for some laughs.
14 minutes | 5 years ago
Toure: What is it Like to Be Black In America Now?
Toure Toure, the writer, TV commentator and social critic, was the Signature Speaker at the University of Washington lecture series on Equity and Difference .Steve spoke to Toure about his work, including his book, "Who is Afraid of Post-Blackness: What it is Like to Be Black In America Now."Here is a short excerpt from the interview. For the entire conversation-from Trump to Fox news, go to At Length with Steve Scher.Toure had a reality TV show from 2008-2011. You can find it on YouTube. In "I'll Try Anything Once," Toure is introduced to a variety of sports and activities and has to master them. The program illustrates the message of his book. We are all unique, made up of our ancestry, our ethnicity, our race, our experience. But any one of us can do anything we want. There is no right way of being. Just be. Nancy Pearl and Steve Scher will be back with at the Bryant Corner Cafe this Tuesday , April 19th, 2016, at 3 pm to talk about books that make us happy.What the book that makes you happy? Love to have you join us at the table, get a cup of coffee and a half price cookie and tell us about that book.. Permalink
20 minutes | 5 years ago
How Would You Imagine an American Truth and Reconciliation Commission?
Nancy and Steve talk about two books that look at the history of the American civil rights movement. But one book sparks another suggestion. Carry Me home: Birmingham, Alabama: The Climactic Battle of the Civil Rights Revolution,” by Diane McWhorter. Nancy says that if you are going to read one book about how young people challenged Jim Crow institutions in the early 60s, this is the book to read. Nancy is also recommending books by Lewis Norden, a southern white writer. She says that his books are hard to describe. His novel, loosely based on the death of Emmett Till is called, “Wolf Whistle.” She calls it hilarious and heartbreaking. She invites readers to read it and write to us with your reaction. Maybe post your thoughts on our Facebook page.She also likes his novel, “The Sharpshooter Blues.”She says Norden is a writer who never got the readership he deserved. Other books mentioned or that came to mind. The Children, by David Halberstam The Middle Passage, by Charles Johnson While the World Watched: A Birmingham Bombing Survivor Comes of Age During the Civil Rights Movement , by Carolyn McKinstry Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson In Peace and Freedom: My Journey To Selma, by Bernard Lafayette Who’s Afraid of Post-Blackness: What It Means To Be Black Now, by Toure Archbishop Desmond Tutu wrote about the truth and reconciliation process in South Africa in his book, No Future Without Forgiveness: A Personal Overview of South Africa's Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Does America need to take such an unflinching look at our past and present? And maybe we should read some Mark Twain. W.E.B. Du Bois, Langston Hughes, Octavia Butler, James Baldwin, Maya Angelou.Well, it is a long and fulfilling list. -Steve
67 minutes | 5 years ago
Who was Rasputin? (Audio- author interview extra)
Why do we know the name of an early 20th century Russian mystic? Why is it that the story of Rasputin has become a mini-industry of myth and folklore, well into the 21st century?Here is a That Stack of Books Extra, an author interview about a forthcoming book. Steve Scher talked to historian Douglas Smith at Folio, the new independent library and cultural center in downtown Seattle. So why do we know the name Rasputin?Oh, right, it may have something to do with the story that he had to be poisoned, stabbed and shot and dumped into a freezing river by his murderers before he would die. Or that he had a momentous appetite for food and wine and women. Turns out, these stories are part of the apocryphal tales that arose about the monk. They were usually spread by his court enemies. Russian scholar Douglas Smith has a new book coming out in the fall. It may well be the definitive history of the man and the myth. Smith's previous books include "Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy," and "The Pearl: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in Catharine the Great's Russia."For his work on Rasputin, he was given access to Russian archives as well as the papers of some of Rasputin's contemporaries.We will be back at the Bryant Corner Cafe soon with more conversations about books. Check for more information about Folio membership and upcoming events.Folio is another institution created by Seattle's David Brewster. He is the man behind Crosscut, Town Hall Seattle and The Seattle Weekly.
34 minutes | 5 years ago
Where Were You When Mount St. Helens Blew?
When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18th, 1980, 57 people were killed. What were they still doing in harm's way on the mountain, after months of warnings by scientists and rumblings from the volcano? Steve Olson has gone back to tell their stories in his new book, "Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens." We spoke at Town Hall, in Seattle. If you haven't been to the mountain in a while, it is well worth a visit. The recovery of nature is an incredible sight. Check out these resources before you head out.Mount St. Helens National MonumentMount St. Helens InstituteSenator Maria Cantwell opposes mining near the Monument.
37 minutes | 5 years ago
The political season is in full throttled shout now. So we figured this might be the time to pick up some books to put our American system into some context. A few of the books we discussed in this episode. All The King’s Men, by Robert Penn WarrenAdvise and Consent, Allan DruryLincoln, Gore VidalBurr, by Gore VidalAmerica, by John StewartAll The Truth is Out, Matt BaiThe Making of The President, Theodore WhiteAll The Presidents Men, Woodward and BernsteinWilson, by A. Scott BergThe Paranoid Style in American History, by Richard Hofstader1912:Wilson, Roosevelt Taft and Debs, by James ChaseTeam of Rivals, by Doris Kearns GoodwinThe People’ Choice, by Jeff GreenfieldOpen Veins of Latin America, by Eduardo GaleanoNoam Chomsky’s booksConfessions of an Economic Hit-man, by John PerkinsThe Plot Against America, by Phillip RothThe Yiddish Policeman’s Union, by Michael ChabonThe Worm at the Core: On The Role of Death in Life, by SHELDON SOLOMON, JEFF GREENBERG and TOM PYSZCZYNSKIAmerican Theocracy, by Kevin PhillipsEscape From Freedom, by Erich FrommWolf Hall, by Hilary MantelFear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, by Hunter S. ThompsonThe Boys on the Bus, Timothy Crouse
16 minutes | 5 years ago
New Books From Northwest Writers.
Steve had the chance to talk to a few Northwest based writers who have new books on the way. That prompted Nancy to share a few new books by Northwesterners that she is reading right now too. “Lovecraft Country,” by Matt Ruff. Nancy says Ruff takes the thriller into new and surprising territory. This story begins as a very realistic novel, set in 1954, when a young black man is stopped by a white policeman and told to leave town. But soon enough we are sucked into a story of horror, power and racism. Nancy says Ruff does amazing things with his novels. Check out his earlier novel, “The Mirage.” “The Immortal Irishmen: the Irish Revolutionary Who Became American Hero,” is best selling writer Tim Egan’s engrossing story of the 19th century Irish-American leader Thomas F. Meager. It too is a story with modern echoes. Here is the nativism of the anti-Irish movement. It will remind many readers of today’s anti-immigrant hysteria. “The Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount. St. Helens.” Is Steve Olson’s fascinating book that takes another look at the 1980 eruption. Steve Scher has a conversation with Steve Olson on stage at Town Hall March 7th at 7:30. Jim Lynch is another Northwest author with a new book coming out. Nancy admires the author and expects “Before the Wind,” will be a high point of her spring reading. Happy reading folks! Find us on twitter @thatstack. Find us on Facebook. Write us a review and subscribe at Itunes. Listen also on Stitcher, Tune-in Radio and of course at our homepage, That Stack of Books.
48 minutes | 5 years ago
The rigors of the mystery test our panel. We debate authors, series, and definitions. And we have quite a list. Before we got started on our mysteries,Nancy Decided to add to our stack of sad books. “The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams“The House of Mirth,” Edith Warton“Charlotte’s Web,” by E.B. White“When Breathe Becomes Air,” by Paul Kalanithi. This book is an account of the death of the author, a surgeon who wrote about his late stage cancer. Nancy says the writing is magnificent. This book belongs with the other recent great books on dying, “ Being Mortal,” by Atul Gawande and “How We Die,” by Sherwin Nuland. Mysteries. Throughout this show we debate the difference between thriller and mystery and crime novels and end up suggesting, like always, that maybe we should stop categorizing every thing. But, really, how can we stop. It is what we humans do. Well actually there are two categories of humans, ones who make categories and ones who don’t. Nancy tells us she is looking for a new favorite mystery author. Maybe she will find one in this list of books we brought up this episode. “Gaudy Night,” by Dorothy L Sayers, who our special guest, dance writer and broadcaster Marcie Sillman calls the first great feminist mystery writer. Her books are full of romance and suspense. Marcie has been enjoying what she says is the page turning series by Julia Spencer Fleming, the Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne series. Nancy and Marcie say these books have to read in order to really appreciate. Carolyn Heilbrun (writing as Amanda Cross) created an erudite and literary series featuring Kate Fansler. The first, and Nancy’s favorite is “In The Last Analysis.”After a while they become more about academia with lots of upper-class repartee. Books featuring the character Martin Beck and really all the mysteries written by the Swedish couple, Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö. Back in the 60’s and 70’s. Alan Bradley’s series about the very young detective, Flavia de Luce. (https://www.facebook.com/Alan-Bradley-165276310190997/ )Marcie just discovered Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy set on the Outer Hebrides. (@authorpetermay)Charles Todd’s Inspector Rutledge mysteries set after World War One.Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawsky(@saraparetsky)Craig Johnson’s LongmireRobert CraisElizabeth George “Norwegian By Night,” by Derek B. Miller“I Am Pilgrim,” by Terry Hayes“Neanderthal,” by John DardenStephanie Plum series by Janet EvanovichThe Rabbi Small series by Harry KemelmanThe Decker and Lazarus series by Faye KellermanSneaky Pie series by Rita Mae BrownSpenser series by Robert ParkerGraham GreeneJohn Banville writing as Benjamin BlackRichard Price, “Lush Life” and “The Whites.”The Easy Rawlins series and the Leonid McGill series by Walter Mosley.Sue Grafton, the Kinsey Millhone series. A few mystery writers living in Puget Sound and Washington State. G.M.Ford, “Who the Hell is Wanda Fuca?”Earl Emerson’s various series of books“Oxygen,” by Carol Casella, plus the next two in the series.“Animal, Vegetable, Murder,” and “Forget You Ever Knew Me,” by Judith Dailey Back in the wider world, “Bridge of Spies,” by Olen Steinhauer and the rest of his books in that series and his new series too.Ross MacDonald’s books who Nancy argues has a unique voice and a vision for a better world. And when Nancy goes back to reread books, she goes back to her old Rex Stout series of Nero Wolfe paperbacks. Lot’s of people agree.“Nerve,” “Odds Against,” “Reflex” just a few of the best by the great Dick Francis.“Gorky Park,” and more by Martin Cruz Smith Various books by Stuart KaminskyThe Kemal Kayankaya series by German author Jakob ArjouniThe author Robert Crais, who Marcie says, like Ross MacDonald, features a detective who wants there to be good in the world. Good Reading!
30 minutes | 5 years ago
Cocoon Of Cancer Author Abbe Rolnick Talks with Steve Scher
You get that dreaded phone call from your loved one, who tells you, “I have cancer.” How do you share the pain and the fear? Nancy is off this week and we have an interview Steve did with a northwest author. In a sense it is following up on last week's episode about romance and love. Here is a true love story. For writer Abbe Rolnick, the love and sharing over that dreaded diagnosis took the form of words, essays and poems written in the moment, day-to-day, hour-to-hour. Cocoon of Cancer is a collection of those moments between Abbe and her husband, Jim Wiggins, an ecologist. For links to their readings and appearances, you can start at her homepage or on her Facebook page. We are back at the Bryant Corner Café on Tuesday Feb 23rd, 2016. Join us there at 3:15 for a lively discussion. Oh, it gets lively. Half-price cookies gets everyone on a sugar jag and we start spouting off about the great books in our stack. You know you can find us at ITunes –where it would be great if you would take the time to write a review-- follow us on twitter @thatstack or on our Facebook page.Follow us twitter @thatstack. Find us on Stitcher and Tune-in Radio.Get That Stack of Books delivered by email. Permalink
33 minutes | 5 years ago
This Is The Love Story List You Need For Real Romance.
What is the difference between a love story and a romance? Which do you prefer? We sat down at the Bryant Corner Café to talk about love. Valentines Day had everyone thinking about it, but we got into a pretty substantive discussion about the difference between love stories and romances. Finally, different kinds of love, between different people emerge as our main theme. Nancy started out, however, by calling our attention to a recently published novel she found remarkable by an author she follows.“A God In Every Stone,” by Kamila Shamsie, is the story of a young English woman who goes on an archeological dig in what would become Pakistan just before WW1 just breaks out. Nancy says, “What we get in this wonderful, wonderful novel is a perspective on WW1 from the Indian soldiers who went to fight for the British and died in great numbers.” It is also a story of the beginnings of the fight for independence on the sub-continent. She says it opens up a period of history as only fiction can, bringing new insights and revealing the roots of our present turmoil in the struggles of the past. It is a challenging book for the way the story is told and for the subject matter, but she says it fabulous. Here are the books we talked about. Some are romances. Most are love stories.What do you think, what is the difference? “Gone With The Wind,” by Margaret Mitchell“Romeo and Juliet,” by William Shakespeare“Soulless” by Gail Carriger, a romance about a young woman who is rudely attacked by a vampire. Nancy loved it. “Astrid and Veronika,” by Linda Olson. Sharon says two women, one young, one old, share a love, but not a sexual love.“Me Before You,” by JoJo Moyes. A young woman takes care of a wheel-chair bound man. Nancy loved it because JoJo Moyes doesn’t give into the easy way out andturned what mighthave beenaromance into a love story.“Plainsong,” by Ken Haruf a love story between two old men and the young girl they care for.“Dancing Alone Without Music” by Larry Gildersleeve, who is a friend of Jenny’s. She says it’s an evolution of different loves.Diana Galbadon’s long and involved books. “Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson. Judy says it is about love within a family.“Boys In The Boat,” by Daniel James Brown. Judy said that what amazed her was the love of Mr. Pocock for the boats themselves and the young men in the boat. So now, when defined so broadly, what book isn’t a love story? “Angle of Repose,” by Wallace Stegner, in which Nancy asks, who loves whom? ( well, she said “who loves who,” but you know how autocorrect can be.) Another love story by this definition can be Stegner’s “Crossing to Safety.”“Still Alice,” by Lisa Genova“Cocoon of Cancer” An Invitation to Love Deeply,” by Abbe Rolnick with Jim Wiggins“Chocolat,” by Joanne Harris is Roz’s choice. That prompts Nancy to plug her other books, which she says don’t get the attention they deserve. She recommends “Gentlemen and Players.”“Like Water For Chocolate,” by Laura Esquivel“Bettyville,” by George Hodgman is the story of a son who leaves his life to take care of his 90 year old mother. Susie says it is funny and delightful.“Cold Mountain,” by Charles Fraser“Atonement,” by Ian McEwan“Love In The Time of Cholera,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez“Love Again,” by Doris Lessing. Not about romantic or erotic love, but about the trembling between them says Elwyn. He also loves the episode in Tom Sawyer where he explores his passion of Becky Thatcher.“Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand,” by Giaconda Belli“Middlemarch,” by George EliotWrapping, we had shout outs for Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries, Dorothy Sayers’ romance between Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane and to get into the western genre, “Shane,” by Jack Shaefer about the love of a young boy for his father and the man who rides in to help.“Bridges of Madison County,” by Robert Waller, or “Fanny Hill,” by John Cleland, but now we are getting pretty far afield from love or even romance. These are but insubstantial flings, aren’t they?
27 minutes | 5 years ago
Eli Sanders, "While The City Slept"
"While The City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence and A Young Man's Descent Into Madness," is a compassionate and clear-eyed account of the 2009 murderous attack on Seattle residents Jennifer Hopper and Theresa Butz. Teresa Butz was killed. Isaiah Kalebu, a mentally ill man who had spent much of his life in and out of underfunded courts and deficient mental health programs, is now serving life in prison with no parole for the crimes. Eli Sanders won a 2012 Feature Writing Pulitzer Prize for his reporting on Jennifer Hopper's testimony during the trial. He called her the bravest woman in the world. The book follows the paths of these two women, who were getting ready to be married when they were attacked. It tracks Kalebu's path as well and digs into the mental health and criminal justice systems that failed to serve families like Kalebu's and the thousands of others like him. This a story about forgiveness and compassion.Jennifer Hopper works with the Angel Band Project on a music therapy program for survivors of sexual/domestic violence.What do you think? Connect with us on Twitter @thatstack or on Facebook, That Stack of books with Nancy Pearl and Steve Scher. Permalink
5 minutes | 5 years ago
At "Martha's Place," Martha Hawkins Finds Her Soul
Martha Hawkins Martha Hawkins serves soul food at Martha's Place in Montgomery, Alabama. Born poor in a Jim Crow State, Hawkins is now a successful restaurateur and speaker. She uses her story to try and inspire people to stretch their sense of their own worth. Her book is “Finding Martha’s Place: My Journey Through Sin, Salvation and Lots of Soul Food,” “We are eating Southern soul food. We are eating sweet potatoes. We have some sweet corn, lima beans and black-eyed peas. Carlton McDaniel is going through the buffet line at Martha’s Place, a nationally recognized Soul Food restaurant in Montgomery Alabama. “And on the other end we have dressing turkey and fried chicken” McDaniel is driving the bus for a group hailing from Puget Sound and Logan, Utah. They are traveling through the south on a civil rights pilgrimage. They have stopped at Martha’s Place to eat good food and to hear from owner Martha Hawkins. “I like to welcome you the Martha’s Place. It is not every day you get a chance, an opportunity to live out your dream. When I started my restaurant I was on welfare. But what I realized that it doesn’t really matter where you come from. What matters is where you want to go in this life. “ Hawkins had 11 siblings growing up in Montgomery. Her family was poor, but she says her mother would cook wonderful meals from their vegetable garden. She learned from her and dreamed of opening her own restaurant. Eviction, bad relationships, ruptured appendix, the loss of a kidney, severe mental illness and attempted suicide brought her low. She writes in her book, “Martha’s Place,” once you hit bottom, there is nowhere to go but up. “I used to look in the mirror and hated who I was. But after awhile when I realized I found out, hey, girl you alright, you ain’t so bad. Cause I had to learn to love me.” Hawkins was broke and living in a housing project when against all odds, she had the chance to open her restaurant in 1988. “Owning a restaurant, never cooked in a restaurant before in my life, on welfare, been in a mental institution, now here I was talking about owning a restaurant, they thought sure enough I had lost it. So I start tearing down wallpaper, I start painting; I went to rent a buffer, buff all my floors. I went to the yard sales. If I clean up somebody’s house, If I backed a cake or pie, I put it right back in the restaurant. Cause you see it was my dream, my vision. To the young generation I want you to know that hey, the sky’s the limit. The only limitation you have is what you place on yourself. “ Martha Hawkins is speaking to group of people that don’t often come together in America. These people, black and white and brown, gay, straight, rich and poor are on a Civil Rights Pilgrimage sponsored by the University of Washington, Bellevue College and Utah State University. One goal for the people on the trip is to connect the struggles of the civil rights era to today’s struggles for equal justice. Martha Hawkins makes that connection every time she makes a dish. She was inspired by Georgia Gilmore, a midwife and cook, who helped fund the Montgomery Bus Boycott in the 1950’s by organizing women to sell their baked pies and chicken dinners to boycotters at churches, Laundromats and beauty parlors. Gilmore served meals in her home. “Dr. King used to go to her house to eat. And everybody that came to town, Robert Kennedy, all of them, they came to town they went to her house. So she had a restaurant and it was in her house. So that’s why I wanted a restaurant in my house cause you would always read about the people that came to her place and everything so. It’s my house now. It is. I’m enjoying it.” Martha Hawkins is a successful restaurateur and speaker. In 2004, she received the Ruth Fertel Keeper of the Flame Award for own success and her work with Martha Hawkins Ministries, helping single parents and low-income children. Her book, “Finding Martha’s Place: My Journey Through Sin, Salvation and Lots of Soul Food,” comes with recipes for catfish, fried green tomatoes and the other dishes that still connect her to her community.Like green lima beans. “When you cook them, they are hard. Once you start cooking them, there’s so much juice. Fried Chicken, strong stable food and it is just southern, like I am. And I like the collards, cause it’s something you add to it to give it that extra…you know” You can sample that something extra for yourself the next time you are in Montgomery Alabama. You can find the restaurant online at Marthasplacebuffet.com. The next 8 day Civil Rights Pilgrimage gets underway February 27th, 2016Follow the journey. Hear stories by searching for On the Bus The House of Podcasts. You can also visit the University of Washington’s Communication Department home page.Don’t eat too much. As Carlton McDaniel reminds us, “Dessert is German Chocolate Cake and Banana Pudding.” Permalink
37 minutes | 5 years ago
When Nancy wrote the first “Book Lust,” she included a section she called three-hankie reads. While we might not agree on books that make us laugh, it seems that books that make you sad touch many of us equally.Then we started to wonder why it is that so many of the books we read in high school are so sad. What do we want kids to learn by assigning those books? One consensus, books teach children how to deal with sadness as well as happiness.Pretty soon, the discussion turns very personal. Such is the power of literature.Tom said that it is interesting that fiction can make you cry and yet we can love that experience, while with non-fiction a sad book can just make us angry.Oh and we talk about a few very popular books that some found too manipulative. They go without a mention here. You know who you are.Then there is Charles Dickens, who could really tug at your heart strings, yes, but a little manipulative, don’t you think?And one of the folks around the table, writer Rita Wirkala, is talking about her new novel, “The Encounter,” February 6th at the Greenwood Branch of the Seattle Public Library. Nancy Pearl is the special guest at the Seattle Channel, Crosscut and City Club TV show Civic Cocktail February 3rd. Steve Scher will be on the panel asking her questions. Just like our podcast. Here is a Goodreads list of Sad Books. Here is our List of Sad Books “Island of Dreams,” Dan Boothby’s memoir of his time living in lighthouse on an island off western of Scotland. Cathy found it filled with an overwhelming sadness.“The Lovely Bones” by Alice Sebold, Laura said it was horrifying but compelling“The Illusions of Entrepreneurship:The Costly Myths That Entrepreneurs Investors and Policy Makers Live By,” by Scott Shane “First They Killed My Father,” by Luong Ung, a 5 year old girl witnesses the horror of the Pol Pot killing fields.“The Unwinding: An Inner History of The New America” by George Packer. “The Working Poor: Invisible In America,” by David K. Shipler. Bob says it is full of devastating individual stories.“La Celestina,” by Fernando de Roja, a book from 1498 written by a Jewish Converso.“Gone with the Wind,” by Margaret Mitchell, which Judy cried over in 6th grade and still does.“The World Without Us,” by Alan Weisman“Rosemary: The Hidden Kennedy Daughter,” by Kate Clifford Larson“Nothing To Envy: Ordinary Lives in North Korea,” by Barbara Demick, a national book award winner about the lives of people who live in North Korea. “The Last of The Just,” by Andre Schwarz-Bart , a novel of the Levy family over 8 centuries.“Beyond the Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity,” by Katherine Boo.“Winter Wheat” by Mildred Walker, the story of a family living in Eastern Montana.“The Flight” and “The Island of Silence,” two books by Horatio Verbitsky documenting the dirty war of Argentina.“The Panic Virus,” by Seth Mnookin, is about the fear-mongers who rail against the established science of vaccines. Nancy says all those horse and dog books, for example, “Beautiful Joe” or “Black Beauty”, made her sad.Oh, and when Laurie married Amy in “Little Women.” Nancy says he belonged with Jo. Oh, and when Beth died too.Or when Amy got to go to Europe and Jo didn’t’.Boy, “Little Women” is just one sad book, huh. Permalink
22 minutes | 5 years ago
2016 New Novels
Back from a trip to India, Nancy Pearl brought out a list of new novels coming out early in 2016 that she is pretty excited about. Here are a few of the novels we discussed in this episode. “My Name is Lucy Barton,” the new novel by Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer-prize winner for “Olive Kitteridge.” “The Portable Veblen” by Elizabeth McKenzie “Why We Came To The City,” by Kristopher Jansma.(Nancy choice was inspired in part by “Then We Came to The End,” by Joshua Ferris) “The Arrangement,” by Ashley Warlick, a fictional account of the life of M.F.K Fisher “The Ancient Minstrel,” by Jim Harrison is a collection of three novellas. “The Year of the Runaways,” by Sunjeev Sahota “ Innocence and Others,” by Dana Spiotta“Travelers”, by Chris Pavone. Nancy really likes his novels. They are thrillers. “The City of Mirrors” (Book Three of the Passage Trilogy ) by Justin CroninPermalink
56 minutes | 5 years ago
TSOB Extra- Author Interview with Nick Licata
Nick Licata set out to be a citizen activist long before he took his politics into the Seattle City Council. He continues the work now that he is retired, writing, raising alarms and encouraging the next generation of activists. Licata believes you can fight city hall, and you can join it. Elected politicians respond to citizens who organize, rally and compromise. Licata fought and lost a lot of battles during his 5 terms on the council but his voice shaped many debates and policies. He wants more people to step up and enter the battle and to that end he has written “Becoming A Citizen Activist: Stories, Strategies and Advice for Changing Our World.” We sat down to talk at the Greenlake coffee shop, Revolutions Espresso.Nick Licata’s book, published by Sasquatch Press, is available online and at bookstores. He is taking the stage at Town Hall January 19th to talk about his book and through stories, inspire to get involved. Permalink
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