Each year the Library hosts readings, lectures, and discussions by authors and other public figures. You may listen to many of these programs by subscribing to the Library's authors & events podcast or by downloading one of the audio programs listed below. Our archive goes back more than 10 years and includes thousands of podcasts of memorable Library events.
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Clay Jenkinson presents a debate between Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt
Humanities scholar and Chautauquan, Clay Jenkinson presents a debate between Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States, and Theodore Roosevelt, 26th president of the United States, as part of the McLellan/O'Donnell Living History Series. -- This podcast features a three-part Chautauqua performance. First, Jenkinson appears in costume in the persona of his characters, speaking as Presidents Jefferson and Roosevelt. Next he opens the floor to questions from the audience. Finally, he breaks character and answers questions as a scholar, based on his research.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 43.18MB] [Play time: 01 hr 34 min]
Steven Roby discusses 'Hendrix on Hendrix: Interviews and Encounters with Jimi Hendrix'
'Hendrix on Hendrix' includes the most important interviews from the peak of Jimi Hendrix's career, carefully selected by one of the world's leading Hendrix historians, Steven Roby. -- In Roby's book, Hendrix recalls for reporters his heartbreaking childhood. He explains that his concept of "Electric Church Music" is intended to wash their souls and give them a new direction. And in his final interview, just days before his death, he discloses that he wants to be remembered as not just another guitar player. -- 'Hendrix on Hendrix' (released near what would have been Hendrix's 70th birthday) includes new transcriptions from European papers, the African-American press, and counterculture newspapers; radio and television interviews; and previously unpublished court transcripts.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 22.17MB] [Play time: 0 hr 48 min]
Thomas Ricks discusses 'The Generals: American Military Command from World War II to the Present'
Thomas Ricks explores why history has been kind to the American generals of World War II and less kind to the generals of the wars that followed. -- This is the story of a widening gulf between performance and accountability. During World War II, scores of American generals were relieved of command simply for not being good enough. Today, as one American colonel said bitterly during the Iraq War, "As matters stand now, a private who loses a rifle suffers far greater consequences than a general who loses a war." -- "Combining lucid historical analysis, acid-etched portraits of generals from 'troublesome blowhard' Douglas MacArthur to 'two-time loser' Tommy Franks, and shrewd postmortems of military failures and pointless slaughters such as My Lai, the author demonstrates how everything from strategic doctrine to personnel policies create a mediocre, rigid, morally derelict army leadership ... " Publisher's Weekly starred review.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 21.09MB] [Play time: 0 hr 46 min]
Mark Bowden discusses 'The Finish: The Killing of Osama bin Laden'
Mark Bowden presents a gripping account of the hunt for and elimination of Osama bin Laden. -- With unprecedented access to key sources, Bowden tells about the highest profile special-forces operation ever to have been undertaken. 'The Finish' is his page-turning narrative of how the man behind 9/11 was finally brought to justice.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 34.05MB] [Play time: 01 hr 14 min]
Jack Nisbet discusses his latest book 'David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work'
Jack Nisbet shows images and discusses his latest book, 'David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work: An Illustrated Exploration Across Two Centuries in the Pacific Northwest.' -- From 1825 to 1834, David Douglas made the first systematic collections of flora and fauna over many parts of the greater Pacific Northwest. Despite his early death, colleagues in Great Britain attached the Douglas name to more than 80 different species, including the iconic timber tree of the region. -- 'David Douglas, a Naturalist at Work' is an illustrated collection of essays that examines various aspects of Douglas' career, demonstrating the connections between his work in the Pacific Northwest of the 19th century and the modern landscape. This volume is the companion book to a major museum exhibit at the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture in Spokane.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 27.60MB] [Play time: 01 hr 00 min]
Readings by 12 local writers in the 2012 Jack Straw Writers Program
Washington Center for the Book and Jack Straw Productions presents readings by 12 literary artists, selected for the program by curator Shawn Wong. -- The purpose of the Jack Straw Writers Program is to introduce local writers to the medium of recorded audio, encourage the creation of new literary work and provide new venues for the writer and their work. The program was created in 1997. Each year, a single curator selects 12 writers/writing teams out of dozens of applicants based on artistic excellence, diversity of literary genres and a cohesive grouping of writers. The 2012 participants are: Kathleen Alcalá, Stacey Bennetts, Kaia Chessen, Gabriela Denise Frank, Sharon Hashimoto, Lacey Jane Henson, Carol Light, Sally Neumann, Claudia Rowe, Johanna Stoberock, Mitsu Sundvall, and Nick Wong.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 38.34MB] [Play time: 01 hr 23 min]
Cartoonist Ellen Forney discusses her book 'Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo, and Me.'
Shortly before her thirtieth birthday, Forney was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Flagrantly manic and terrified that medications would cause her to lose creativity and her livelihood, she began a years-long struggle to find mental stability while retaining her passion and creativity. -- Searching to make sense of the popular concept of the crazy artist, Forney finds inspiration from the lives and work of other artists and writers who suffered from mood disorders, including: Vincent van Gogh, Georgia O'Keeffe, William Styron and Sylvia Plath. She analyzes the clinical aspects of bipolar disorder as she struggles with the strengths and limitations of a parade of medications and treatments. -- Forney's graphic memoir provides a visceral glimpse into the effects of a mood disorder on the artist's work. Her story seeks the answer to this question: If there's a correlation between creativity and mood disorders, is an artist's bipolar disorder a curse... or a gift?
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 25.59MB] [Play time: 0 hr 55 min]
Seattle Times' food writer Nancy Leson leads a discussion on how to run a successful restaurant with five local chefs and restaurateurs
Seattle Times' food writer Nancy Leson leads a discussion on how to run a successful restaurant with five local chefs and restaurateurs. How do you turn a passion for food into a profit? Listen in as our panel of five local restaurateur discuss their experiences. The panel includes: Tom Douglas of Etta's, Dahlia Lounge, Serious Pie and many other eateries; Ethan Stowell of How to Cook a Wolf, Tavolata, Anchovies & Olives, and Staple & Fancy; Maria Hines of Tilth and Golden Beetle; Donna Moodie of Marjorie; and Zak Melang of Matador.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 38.04MB] [Play time: 01 hr 23 min]
Gary Stroutsos presents a tribute to the tradition of song and story in the Zuni, Navajo and Salish cultures
Gary Stroutsos will share time-honored songs on his traditional American Indian flutes. -- The event also includes a screening of the film "Remembering the Songs," which offers a glimpse of the music-makers of the Diné, Zuni and Salish communities. This 30-minute film features Zuni song keeper Fernando Cellicion; friend and mentor to Stroutsos, Navajo flute maker Paul Thompson; and Lucy Vanderburg, daughter of Jerome Vandenburg, one of the last Salish men who made and played traditional flutes.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 28.62MB] [Play time: 01 hr 02 min]
A-P Hurd discusses and reads from her new book, 'The Carbon Efficient City'
Seattle-based system dynamics and complex system architecture author, A-P Hurd, discusses a concrete action plan for a carbon-efficient city. -- 'The Carbon Efficient City' is Hurd's vision of a path through neighborhoods, new buildings, upgraded buildings, bicycle networks and transit systems that might produce carbon efficient cities. The book describes an economic and regulatory environment in which the DNA of sustainable buildings and cities can be successfully expressed.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 27.07MB] [Play time: 0 hr 59 min]