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Podcasts : 2016 Podcasts

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Listen to 2016 Author Readings and Library Events

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 in iTunes or by downloading one of the audio programs listed below.


See the Calendar of Events & Classes for a complete list of upcoming programs.


Audio Archive

2006 | 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017

Housing Is a Human Right: Community Ownership

Listen to a panel discussion with local and national leaders working to build out a vision for community control that allows neighbors to thrive in place. They discuss the necessary principles for community ownership, and community led strategies to curb displacement. Hear about specific examples where community ownership is taking root in the form of Limited Equity Housing Cooperatives (LEHCs) and Community Land Trusts (CLTs). -- Panelists include: Urban Homesteading Assistance Board- NYC; TRUST South LA- Los Angeles, CA; Benson East Apartments- Kent, WA; and the Africatown-Central District Preservation & Development Association - Seattle, WA. -- Co-hosts: Puget Sound Sage & Councilmember Mike O'Brien.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 45.0 MB]


Michael Chabon reads from 'Moonglow'

Listen to Michael Chabon as he discusses his new novel with Nancy Pearl. "Moonglow" unfolds as a deathbed confession. An old man, tongue loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of death, tells stories to his grandson, uncovering bits and pieces of a history long buried. From the Jewish slums of prewar South Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement village to the penal utopia of a New York prison, from the heyday of the space program to the twilight of "the American Century," "Moonglow" collapses an era into a single life and a lifetime into a single week. -- A gripping, poignant, tragicomic, scrupulously researched and wholly imaginary transcript of a life that spanned the dark heart of the 20th century, "Moonglow" is also a tour de force of speculative history in which Chabon attempts to reconstruct the mysterious origins and fate of Chabon Scientific, Co., an authentic mail-order novelty company whose ads for scale models of human skeletons, combustion engines and space rockets were once a fixture in the back pages of Esquire, Popular Mechanics and Boy's Life.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 32.0 MB]


Clay Jenkinson portrays Meriwether Lewis

Listen to history come alive when Clay Jenkinson, humanities scholar and Chautauquan, portrays Meriwether Lewis, commander of the Corps of Discovery. Jenkinson appears in costume and character as Meriwether Lewis, who with his friend William Clark, led the most successful exploration of American history -- one that made Lewis and Clark and Sacagawea principle figures in American mythology.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 29.8 MB]


Clay Jenkinson portrays Theodore Roosevelt

Listen to history come alive when Clay Jenkinson, humanities scholar and Chautauquan, portrays Theodore Roosevelt. Jenkinson appears in costume and character as Theodore Roosevelt, who served seven years, 171 days as the 26th President of the United States. He was an accidental president-"kicked upstairs" into the vice presidency in 1900, he ascended to the presidency on September 14, 1901, after President William McKinley died of gunshot wounds.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 47.8 MB]


Tim Wu reads and discusses 'The Attention Merchants'

The author who coined the phrase "net neutrality" takes a revelatory look at the rise of "attention harvesting" and its effect on our society and ourselves. In "The Attention Merchants: The Epic Scramble to Get Inside Our Heads," author Tim Wu offers this definition of "attention merchant:" An Industrial-scale harvester of human attention; a firm whose business model is the mass capture of attention for resale to advertisers. -- In nearly every moment of our waking lives, we face a barrage of advertising enticements, branding efforts, sponsored social media, commercials and other efforts to harvest our attention. Wu argues that from the pre-Madison Avenue birth of advertising to TV's golden age to our present age of radically individualized choices, the business model of attention merchants has always been the same. He describes the revolts that have risen against attempts to influence our consumption, from the remote control to FDA regulations to Apple's ad-blocking OS. "The Attention Merchants" examines how the methods for harvesting our attention have given rise to the defining industries of our time, changing our nature - cognitive, social and otherwise-in ways unimaginable even a generation ago.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 22.3 MB]


Paid Parental Leave - Panel Discussion

Listen to a panel discussion and learn about the paid family leave policy that will be considered by state legislators in 2017. Panel guests include Marilyn Watkins of the Economic Opportunity Institute; Rich Fox, President of the Seattle Restaurant Alliance; and Danielle Hulton Co-Owner of Ada's Technical Bookstore and Cafe.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 32.6 MB]


Civic Poet Claudia Castro Luna reads from 'This City'

Listen as Seattle's First Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna, reads from "This City," her chapbook of poems published by Floating Bridge Press. A writer of poetry and non-fiction, Castro Luna is a King County 4Culture grant recipient, a 2014 Jack Straw Fellow and VONA alumna. As civic poet, she is The Seattle Public Library's first poet-in-residence, leading month-long interactive poetic explorations, inspired by the everyday life of a neighborhood, in libraries across the city through "The Poet Is In" project. - Having arrived in the United States in 1981 after escaping from civil war in El Salvador, Castro Luna states that she writes "because the flesh remembers even when the mind forgets and moving the hand across a page is a measure of resistance."

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 12.1 MB]


2016 Jack Straw Writers Program

Listen to readings from the writers who were selected for the prestigious Jack Straw Writers Program. This reading features fellows in the 2016 Jack Straw Writers Program, hosted by curator Karen Finneyfrock. The 2016 Jack Straw Writers are Anis Gisele, Ramon Isao, EJ Koh, Robert Lashley, Casandra Lopez, Kirsten Sundberg Lunstrum, Corinne Manning, Ruby Hansen Murray, Shin Yu Pai, Alison Stagner, Shontina Vernon and Carolyne Wright. -- The Jack Straw Writers Program, now in its 20th year, was created to introduce local writers to the medium of recorded audio, to develop their presentation skills for both live and recorded readings, to encourage the creation of new literary work, and to provide new venues for the writers and their work. -- Each year 12 writers/writing teams are selected by a curator out of dozens of applicants, based on artistic excellence, diversity of literary genres, and a cohesive grouping of writers. The program features voice and presentation training, in-studio interviews, public readings, a published anthology, and podcasts. Live readings are recorded, and selected portions are produced for podcasts and radio broadcast.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 29.7 MB]


Ha Jin reads and discusses ‘The Boat Rocker’

Listen as award-winning author Ha Jin, discusses his newest novel, 'The Boat Rocker' a darkly funny story of corruption, integrity and the power of the pen . -- New York, 2005. Chinese expatriate Feng Danlin is a fiercely principled reporter at a small news agency that produces a website read by Chinese all over the world. Danlin's explosive exposés have made him legendary among readers and feared by Communist officials. But his newest assignment may be his undoing: investigating his ex-wife, Yan Haili, an unscrupulous novelist who has willingly become a pawn of the Chinese government in order to realize her dreams of literary stardom. Haili's scheme infuriates Danlin both morally and personally-he will do whatever it takes to expose her as a fraud. But in outing Haili, he is also provoking her powerful political allies, and he will need to draw on all of his journalistic cunning to come out of this investigation with his career, and his life, still intact.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 24.5 MB]


A Historical Perspective on Homelessness in Seattle

What did local homeless encampments look like 80 years ago? How did homelessness become a state of emergency in Seattle? Gain a historical perspective on homelessness from a panel of experts.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 46.1 MB]


Lessons from World War II: Enduring Legacies of Japanese American Incarceration

Listen to a panel of scholars in Japanese American history as they discuss racial profiling during World War II and current racialized politics. It's been nearly 75 years since 120,000 people of Japanese heritage were imprisoned as a result of racist wartime hysteria. It took decades for the U.S. Government to acknowledge their wrongdoing and Americans are still coming to terms with this black mark on our nation's history. In this panel, three leading scholars of Japanese American history will discuss the circumstances that lead to incarceration and its bearing on current events, including racial profiling of American Muslims and the racialized politics on display in the current election cycle. Panelists: Karen M. Inouye is the author of "The Long Afterlife of Nikkei Wartime Incarceration". She is Assistant Professor of American Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. -- Greg Robinson is professor of history at Université du Québec À Montréal. He is the author of "The Great Unknown: Japanese American Sketches" as well as author and editor of several notable books on Japanese Americans, including "A Tragedy of Democracy," which was awarded the history book prize of the Association for Asian American Studies; "After Camp," winner of the Caroline Bancroft History Prize in Western US History, and "By Order of the President." -- Lon Kurashige is the author of "Two Faces of Exclusion: The Untold History of Anti-Asian Racism in the United States". He is associate professor of history at the University of Southern California. -- The panel will be moderated by Brian Niiya, Densho Content Director, who edits the Densho Encyclopedia and is the author of the "Encyclopedia of Japanese American History."

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 30.4 MB]


Arlie Russell Hochschild reads from ‘Strangers in Their Own Land'

Influential sociologist and author ("The Second Shift" and "The Outsourced Self") Arlie Hochschild takes readers on a journey to the heart of our political divide. -- In "Strangers in Their Own Land: Anger and Mourning on the American Right," Arlie Russell Hochschild embarks on a thought-provoking journey from her liberal hometown of Berkeley, California, deep into the bayou of Lake Charles, Louisiana, to examine the rise of the American right and the Tea Party. Hochschild draws on her expert knowledge of the sociology of emotion to help us understand what it feels like to live in "red" America. Along the way she finds answers to one of the crucial questions of contemporary American politics: Why do the people who would seem to benefit most from "liberal" government intervention abhor the very idea? -- "There could not be a more important topic in current American politics, nor a better person to dissect it. Every page-every story and individual-is fascinating, and the emerging analysis is revelatory." -- Barbara Ehrenreich, author of "Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America"

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 26.7 MB]


Film Discussion - “Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell”

A recent documentary follows the journey of a mother who experienced homelessness as a teen. Listen to a Question and Answer session with film director Martin Bell, the documentary's key subject Erin ‘Tiny' Blackwell and a leading housing advocate.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 15.5 MB]


7th Congressional District General Election Debate

Listen to a debate where citizens help set the agenda. This year the residents of the 7th Congressional District will vote to replace Rep Jim McDermott, who has held his seat since 1989. This will be a hotly contested race between Pramila Jayapal and Brady Walkinshaw, and one which will have a lasting impact on our region. The debate is moderated by: C.R. Douglas - Q13 FOX News and Essex Porter - KIRO 7 News.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 24.4 MB]


Kim Stafford reads from ‘Having Everything Right’

Listen as we present a celebration of the 30th anniversary edition of Kim Stafford's critically acclaimed Pacific Northwest essays on nature and place: "Having Everything Right: Essays of Place". Kim Stafford writes with poetic and evocative prose as he reflects on the history, folklore and physical beauty of the Pacific Northwest. When "Having Everything Right: Essays of Place" was first published in 1986, the book was awarded a precedent setting Special Citation for Excellence by the Western States Book Awards. The book has been compared to the essay collections of Edward Abbey and Wendell Berry, books that blend personal vision and regional evocation. -- The 30th anniversary edition of "Having Everything Right" is published by Pharos Editions, a small publisher dedicated to bringing to light out-of-print books of distinction. Pharos works with contemporary authors and asks them to select a title that is out-of-print or hard to find that means a lot to them which they would love to re-introduce to readers everywhere. Kim Stafford's essays were selected by, and now introduced by, Robert Michael Pyle. In the introduction, Pyle says, "(Each essay) is a small masterpiece of concision, precision, and incision. Each is also witty, elegiac, and wise."

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 24.2 MB]


Luvvie Ajayi and Lindy West

A don't miss event with two of the most insightful, funny, feminist voices writing today. Lucky for us, both have brand new books. Luvvie Ajayi, the comedic voice behind the blog Awesomely Luvvie, brings her debut book, "I'm Judging You: The Do-Better Manual," to Seattle to share the stage with friend Lindy West ("Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman"). -- In "I'm Judging you," the unique voice and sharp wit that Ajayi's dedicated followers have come to expect ricochet throughout essays such as "When Baehood Goes Bad," "Nobody Wins at the Feminism Olympics," and "So You're Kind of a Big Deal on the Internet." Luvvie Ajayi is an equal opportunity shade thrower, and none of us are safe from her gimlet eye. -- Lindy West is a columnist at The Guardian, a contributor to This American Life (Ira Glass calls her a "totally entertaining and original writer") and a freelance writer whose work focuses on feminism, social justice, humor and body image. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Cosmopolitan, GQ, Vulture, Jezebel, The Stranger, and others. West is the founder of I Believe You, It's Not Your Fault, an advice blog for teens, as well as the reproductive rights destigmatization campaign #ShoutYourAbortion. Her debut book, "Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman," is a bestseller.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 36.4 MB]


James Gleick reads from ‘Time Travel’

Listen to an exploration of time travel ‘s subversive origins, its evolution in literature and science, and its influence on our understanding of time itself with the author of the groundbreaking bestseller "Chaos." Author James Gleick's story begins at the turn of the 20th century with the young H. G. Wells writing and rewriting the fantastic tale that became his first book, an international sensation, "The Time Machine." A host of forces were converging to transmute the human understanding of time, some philosophical and some technological-the electric telegraph, the steam railroad, the discovery of buried civilizations and the perfection of clocks. -- Gleick tracks the evolution of time travel as an idea in the culture-from Marcel Proust to "Doctor Who," from Woody Allen to Jorge Luis Borges. He explores the inevitable looping paradoxes and examines the porous boundary between pulp fiction and modern physics. Finally, he delves into a temporal shift that is unsettling our own moment: the instantaneous wired world, with its all-consuming present and vanishing future.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 25.7 MB]


The Legacy of Mary Ellen Mark - an Art History Talk

Photographic Center Northwest executive director Michelle Dunn Marsh reflects on the documentary photography of Mary Ellen Mark.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 28.8 MB]


"Raising Mixed Race": An Evening with Sharon H. Chang

Listen to a discussion with Sharon H. Chang. Drawn from extensive research and interviews with sixty-eight parents of multiracial children, "Raising Mixed Race: Multiracial Asian Children in a Post-Racial World" examines the complex task of supporting our youngest around being "two or more races" and Asian while living amongst post-racial ideologies. -- "Racist America" author Joe R. Feagin hailed Chang's work as "one of the best field interview studies of multiracial issues yet to be done," one which captures "the gritty realities of being mixed-race in this country." -- Sharon H. Chang is a writer, scholar and activist who focuses on racism, social justice and the Asian American diaspora with a feminist lens. She serves as a consultant for Families of Color Seattle and is on the planning committee for the Critical Mixed Race Studies Conference.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 29.4 MB]


Stacy Schiff reads from "The Witches: Salem, 1692"

The author of "Cleopatra" and "Véra" unpacks the mystery of the Salem Witch Trials. It began in 1692, over an exceptionally raw Massachusetts winter, when a minister's daughter began to scream and convulse. It ended less than a year later, but not before 19 men and women had been hanged and a 75-year-old man crushed to death. The panic spread quickly, involving the most educated men and prominent politicians in the colony. Neighbors accused neighbors, parents and children each other. Aside from suffrage, the Salem Witch Trials represent the only moment when women played the central role in American history. In curious ways, the trials would shape the future republic. As psychologically thrilling as it is historically seminal, "The Witches" is an American mystery now unveiled fully by author Stacy Schiff in a book the New York Times described as having "an almost novelistic, thriller-like narrative." -- "Schiff brings to bear a sensibility as different from the Puritans' as can be imagined: gentle, ironic, broadly empathetic, with a keen eye for humor and nuance. Thanks to this, and to Schiff's narrative gifts, the present-day reader flits above New England's smoky chimneys and thatched rooftops... it is wizardry of a sort-in a flash of brimstone, a whole world made wondrously visible." - The Atlantic

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 28.0 MB]


Colson Whitehead reads and discusses 'The Underground Railroad'

Bestselling author Colson Whitehead's newest novel,"The Underground Railroad", tells the story of Cora, a slave on a cotton plantation in Georgia. When Caesar, a recent arrival from Virginia, tells her about the Underground Railroad, they decide to take a terrifying risk and escape. In Whitehead's ingenious conception, the Underground Railroad is no mere metaphor-engineers and conductors operate a secret network of tracks and tunnels beneath the Southern soil. Like the protagonist of "Gulliver's Travels," Cora encounters different worlds at each stage of her journey-hers is an odyssey through time as well as space. "The Underground Railroad" is at once a kinetic adventure tale of one woman's ferocious will to escape the horrors of bondage and a shattering, powerful meditation on the history we all share. -- A Publishers Weekly starred review says, "... spellbinding and ferocious.... The story is literature at its finest and history at its most barbaric. Would that this novel were required reading for every American citizen."

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 29.4 MB]


Food Justice, Food Education, and Food Literacy

Listen as we celebrate Food Literacy Month with a panel discussion about food justice, food education, and food literacy. The kickoff speaker, Chef Eduardo Jordan from Salare Restaurant was named among the Best New Chefs in America by Food & Wine and will be followed by a lively panel moderated by Philip Lee from Readers to Eaters. -- Panelists include: Mei Yook Woo, Danny Woo Garden/FoodWays Project; Michael Friedman, Farestart; Tarik Abdullah, Hillman City Collaboratory; Cecilia McGowan, King County Library System; and Valerie Segrest, Muckleshoot Food Sovereignty Project.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 28.1 MB]


"Looking for Betty MacDonald" A conversation with Paula Becker

Paula Becker talks about Betty MacDonald, her life and writings. MacDonald (1907-1958) was the best-selling author of 'The Egg and I' and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children's books. Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald's archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. 'Looking for Betty MacDonald', a biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 33.0 MB]


Sarah Jaffe reads from ‘Necessary Trouble: Americans in Revolt'

Journalist Sarah Jaffe examines the new era of political engagement and social activism, including the $15 minimum wage and Black Lives Matter. Pundits once fretted about Americans’ apathy, but in the last few years we’ve seen uprisings and protests across the country: the successful fight for a $15 minimum wage, Black Lives Matter, Occupy Wall Street, the rise of the Tea Party, and grassroots political networks. In "Necessary Trouble," journalist Sarah Jaffe leads readers into the heart of these movements, explaining what has made ordinary Americans from Seattle to St. Louis to Atlanta become activists. As Jaffe shows, Americans, regardless of political alignment, are boldly challenging who wields power in this country. 

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 29.4 MB]


Robert Wyss discusses 'The Man Who Built the Sierra Club'

Robert Wyss reads and discusses his latest book, 'The Man Who Built the Sierra Club', which tells the story of the first Executive Director of the Sierra Club. David Brower (1912–2000) was a central figure in the modern environmental movement. As a young man growing up in Berkeley, California, Brower proved himself a fearless climber of the Sierra Nevada's dangerous peaks. After serving in the Tenth Mountain Division during World War II, he became executive director of the Sierra Club. Brower transformed the Sierra Club into a national force that challenged and stopped federally-sponsored projects that would have dammed the Grand Canyon and destroyed hundreds of millions of acres of our nation's wilderness. This uncompromising biography explores Brower's role as a steward of the modern environmental movement. What emerges from this unique portrait is a rich and robust profile of a leader who took up the work of John Muir and, along with Rachel Carson, made environmentalism the cause of our time.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 19.4 MB]


Michael Swanwick reads from his new novel "Chasing the Phoenix"

Join award-winning writer Michael Swanwick for a reading and discussion as part of the Clarion West Summer Reading Series. -- Swanwick is the author of eight novels, including "In the Drift," "Vacuum Flowers," "Stations of the Tide," "The Iron Dragon's Daughter," "Jack Faust," "Bones of the Earth," "The Dragons of Babel," and "Dancing With Bears." His short fiction has been collected in Gravity's Angels, A Geography of Imaginary Lands, Moon Dogs, Tales of Old Earth, Cigar Box Faust and Other Miniatures, The Dog Said Bow Wow, and The Best of Michael Swanwick. His most recent novel, "Chasing the Phoenix," which chronicles the adventures of confidence artists Darger and Surplus in post-Utopian China, is currently available from Tor Books. He is currently at work on a third and final novel set in Industrialized Faerie.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 24.3 MB]


Discussion of the Film 'Under the Bridge: the Criminalization of Homelessness'

Listen to a discussion about 'Under the Bridge: The Criminalization of Homelessness' a film about the plight of a homeless camp under threat of closure by the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. -- The Davidson St. homeless camp is a community, bordering on family, for the 60-70 camp residents. The community includes the volunteers, many of them church activists, who come on a regular basis to help and befriend the campers. -- For many of the homeless here, the camp is the only island of stability they have known in their chaotic lives. This is a group of citizens that American society has left behind. As we get to know these residents, and hear their intimate stories, it becomes apparent that in addition to not having homes or jobs, most are battling addiction, mental illness or both.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 19.3 MB]


Moby reads from his memoir 'Porcelain'

From one of the most interesting and iconic musicians of our time, a piercingly tender, funny, and harrowing account of the path from suburban poverty and alienation to a life of beauty, squalor and unlikely success out of the NYC club scene of the late ’80s and ’90s. There were many reasons Moby was never going to make it as a DJ and musician in the New York club scene. This was the New York of Palladium; of Mars, Limelight, and Twilo; of unchecked, drug-fueled hedonism in pumping clubs where dance music was still largely underground, popular chiefly among working-class African Americans and Latinos. And then there was Moby—not just a poor, skinny white kid from Connecticut, but a devout Christian, a vegan, and a teetotaler. He would learn what it was to be spat on, to live on almost nothing. But it was perhaps the last good time for an artist to live on nothing in New York City: the age of AIDS and crack but also of a defiantly festive cultural underworld. Not without drama, he found his way. But success was not uncomplicated; it led to wretched, if in hindsight sometimes hilarious, excess and proved all too fleeting. And so by the end of the decade, Moby contemplated an end in his career and elsewhere in his life, and put that emotion into what he assumed would be his swan song, his good-bye to all that, the album that would in fact be the beginning of an astonishing new phase: the multimillion-selling 'Play'. -- At once bighearted and remorseless in its excavation of a lost world, Porcelain is both a chronicle of a city and a time and a deeply intimate exploration of finding one’s place during the most gloriously anxious period in life, when you’re on your own, betting on yourself, but have no idea how the story ends, and so you live with the honest dread that you’re one false step from being thrown out on your face. Moby’s voice resonates with honesty, wit, and, above all, an unshakable passion for his music that steered him through some very rough seas. -- Porcelain is about making it, losing it, loving it, and hating it. It’s about finding your people, your place, thinking you’ve lost them both, and then, somehow, when you think it’s over, from a place of well-earned despair, creating a masterpiece. As a portrait of the young artist, Porcelain is a masterpiece in its own right, fit for the short shelf of musicians’ memoirs that capture not just a scene but an age, and something timeless about the human condition. Push play.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 23.4 MB]


Alain de Botton reads from his new novel 'The Course of Love'

“The Course of Love” explores what happens after the birth of love, what it takes to maintain love, and what happens to our original ideals under the pressures of an average existence. The novel follows Edinburgh couple Rabih and Kirsten through the complex and intricate course of a long-term relationship. Interwoven with their story and its challenges is an overlay of philosophy -- an annotation and a guide to what we are reading. -- Alain de Botton is the internationally bestselling author of “On Love” and “How Proust Can Change Your Life.” His other works include "The Consolations of Philosophy," "The Art of Travel," and "The Course of Love." He lives in London where he founded The School of Life, an organization devoted to fostering emotional health and intelligence.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 27.7 MB]


Terry McMillan reads from 'I Almost Forgot About You'

The latest from Terry McMillan, the bestselling author of “How Stella Got Her Groove Back” and “Waiting to Exhale,” is the story of a woman who shakes things up in her life to find greater meaning. -- Dr. Georgia Young's wonderful life -- great friends, family, and successful career -- aren't enough to keep her from feeling stuck and restless. When she decides to make some major changes, she finds herself on a wild journey that may or may not include a second chance at love. “I Almost Forgot About You” shows readers what can happen when you face your fears, take a chance, and open yourself up to life, love, and the possibility of a new direction. -- “McMillan has written an engaging novel with an appealing cast of women... This near-perfect choice for women’s book club discussions will prompt arguments of what makes a guy too good to be true.” -Library Journal starred review

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 27.0 MB]


The Wild Geese Players Present Readings from James Joyce's 'Ulysses'

Listen to The Wild Geese Players of Seattle as they present a staged reading of two chapters of James Joyce’s "Ulysses." -- For this year’s reading of "Ulysses," the Wild Geese Players continue last year’s approach of following Joyce’s timeline for June 16th, rather than reading the chapters in strict linear order. Chapters 3 (“Proteus”) and 6 (“Hades”) will be interwoven to highlight the parallel journeys of Leopold Bloom and Stephen Daedalus during the novel’s eleven o’clock hour. -- The Wild Geese Players have been staging readings of Irish literature, by writers such as James Joyce and W. B. Yeats, in Seattle since 1998.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 53.0 MB]


Tracy Baron Reads and Discusses 'Happy Family' with Maria Semple

Listen to a conversation between authors Tracy Barone and Maria Semple about Barone's debut novel "Happy Family." "Happy Family" is the story of Cheri Matzner, an academic and former cop forced to come to terms with the family that raised her, the one that gave her up and the one she so desperately wants. -- Barone was the executive producer on "Wild Wild West," "Rosewood," "My Fellow Americans" and Money Train," and was instrumental in the acquisition and development of "Men in Black" and "Ali." She’ll appear in conversation with Seattle’s own Maria Semple ("Where'd You Go, Bernadette"), whose new novel, "Today Will be Different" will be published in October. -- "In her debut novel, screenwriter, playwright, and film producer Barone uses a wide lens to capture Cheri Matzner's life, from a precarious beginning to a confident, peaceful middle age... Cinematic in its scope, this novel takes readers on a broad, deep, and poignant journey alongside a tough, admirable woman and the varied characters who populate her life."―Kirkus.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 26.2 MB]


Your Business - Operate Smart

You've completed your business plan, sought financing, developed your market strategy - now what? Listen to this podcast to learn about operating your business.  Topics include: Choosing vendors, investors, stakeholders and advisors; Credit and collections; Hiring, firing and employment law; Timely tax reporting sales and B and O; Correct registrations and licensing; Distribution channels; Banking relationships; and Preparing, reading and interpreting financial statements.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 35.8 MB]


Advancing Racial Equity & Engaging the Community’s Voice: Reverend Starsky Wilson

In the wake of Michael Brown, Jr.’s tragic death in 2014 in Ferguson, Missouri, what can other cities and regions do to advance racial equity and authentically work together to support and empower communities?  Listen in to a conversation with Reverend Starsky D. Wilson, president & CEO of Deaconess Foundation and co-chair of the Ferguson Commission. Appointed by Missouri’s governor in 2014, the Ferguson Commission made recommendations in 2015 to help the region address issues exposed by Brown’s death including changes in policing, the courts, child well-being and economic mobility. -- Karen Toering of Social Justice Fund Northwest moderates a discussion and audience Question and Answer session with Reverend Wilson. Discussion topics include the role of the media in shaping conversations about race and how to engage diverse community voices when working towards equity and equitable outcomes for all.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 36.1 MB]


Community Listening: The Jungle

Listen to residents of the homeless encampment called The Jungle as they share their perspectives on their community. -- The Jungle: This is a deep dive into the encampment, the city's efforts to clean it up, and what the alternatives are for people who live there. This conversation was moderated by KUOW's Joshua McNichols, with a panel of current and former Jungle residents, Tim Harris from Real Change, and other advocates.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 40.4 MB]


LGBT Business Builder

Listen to this podcast about programs and assistance available to LGBT-owned small businesses, and how to register as a certified LGBT-owned small business with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC). Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (LGBTBE), businesses are able to build relationships with America's leading corporations, generate prospective business and clients, and collectively team with each other for contracting opportunities. As corporate America becomes more inclusive and further diversifies its supply chain, certification offers the opportunity for LGBT-owned businesses to differentiate themselves from their competitors.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 76.4 MB]


Youth Homelessness: Advocacy & Action

Listen in to a panel on youth and young adult homelessness as they engage the audience in a conversation about the causes of youth homelessness, as well as potential solutions. Why are some groups disproportionately represented among insecurely housed young people? How are local agencies and organizations addressing youth homelessness? How can community members take action and advocate for young people experiencing homelessness? -- Hosted by the Accelerator YMCA and The Seattle Public Library.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 34.0 MB]


Writers in the Schools, Second Night

Listen in to an evening with future Pulitzer Prize-winning voices! Students will share original poems, short stories, and memoirs created during their residencies with the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. -- WITS middle school and high school students read from their work.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 33.5 MB]


Writers in the Schools, First Night

Listen in to an evening with future Pulitzer Prize-winning voices! Students will share original poems, short stories, and memoirs created during their residencies with the Writers in the Schools (WITS) program. -- WITS elementary and middle school students read from their work.

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Jo Baker reads from 'A Country Road, A Tree'

Jo Baker reads from her new novel, "A Country Road, A Tree". From the best-selling author of “Longbourn,” a stunning new novel that follows an unnamed writer, Samuel Beckett, whose life and extraordinary literary gift are permanently shaped in the forge of war. -- When war breaks out in Europe in 1939, a young, unknown writer journeys from his home in neutral Ireland to conflict-ridden Paris and is drawn into the maelstrom. With him we experience the hardships yet stubborn vibrancy at the heart of Europe during the Nazis' rise to power; his friendships with James Joyce and other luminaries; his quietly passionate devotion to the Frenchwoman who will become his lifelong companion; his secret work for the French Resistance and narrow escapes from the Gestapo; his flight from occupied Paris to the countryside; and the rubble of his life after liberation. Through it all we are witness to workings of a uniquely brilliant mind struggling to create a language that will express his experience of this shattered world. Here is a remarkable story of survival and determination, and a portrait of the extremes of human experience alchemized into timeless art.

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Housing is a Human Right: Frontlines of the Housing Crisis

Join us for the second installment of the year-long series "Housing is a Human Right". This community talk highlights the voices of people affected by Seattle's housing crisis. This series is created in conjunction with the New Foundation exhibition by artist Martha Rosler "If You Lived Here."

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Steve Olson discusses his book 'Eruption, The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens'

Award-winning science writer Steve Olson presents an illustrated talk about 'Eruption.' He explains why the Mount St. Helens blast happened and recounts the untold stories of the 57 people who were killed. Some people thought that these individuals had foolishly entered the danger zone, but that turns out not to be true. Only three people were in the designated danger zone, and two of them had permission to be there. A major contributor to the death toll on May 18, 1980, was that the danger zone was much too close to the mountain. The Weyerhaeuser Company logging in the Northwest, construction of the transcontinental railroads, establishment of the national forests, and the conservation movement in Washington State all played in to what happened that day. -- "This first-class, meticulously crafted piece of reportage was as exciting as it was informative and will long stand as a classic of descriptive narrative of the biggest American volcanic eruption of all our lifetimes or so we all hope!" --Simon Winchester, author of 'Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded.'

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We Are Seattle

What is it like to be an immigrant or refugee in Seattle? How do we address their needs and celebrate their strengths? How have world events and national politics impacted our communities? Listen to our panel discussion and explore images of Seattle's changing populations. Featuring Broadcast Journalist Enrique Cerna as moderator. 

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"Seattle Reads - Main Event" with Karen Joy Fowler

Listen in to our 2016 Seattle Reads - Main Event, as Book-It Repertory Theatre presents staged readings from “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves.” Karen Joy Fowler joins adapter, director, and cast for a post-performance discussion. -- Fowler’s smart, funny, heartbreaking novel is about a middle-class American family, ordinary in every way except one: Fern, being raised by psychologist parents, is a chimp. Rosemary, the narrator, knows Fern as her sister. Then something happens and Fern disappears from the family. The novel explores memory, family life, childhood, child rearing, and what it means to be human. -- 2016 Seattle Reads “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves,” is a project designed to deepen engagement in literature through reading and discussion.

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Shakespeare, Here & Now with Jeffrey Todd Knight & Allison Meyer

Listen in to an evening of debate on Shakespeare's cultural influence. Shakespearean scholars Jeffrey Todd Knight (UW), Allison Meyer (Seattle U) and other experts from the worlds of academia and theater present a lively debate on Shakespeare's influence on theater, pop culture and more.

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Chris Cleave reads from “Everyone Brave Is Forgiven”

'Everyone Brave Is Forgiven,' based loosely on Chris Cleave's grandparents' lives, is the story of young people thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging, in World War II London. -- War breaks out in 1939 London, and Mary leaves finishing school to volunteer for the war effort. But rather than a glamorous war job, she is assigned to be a teacher working with children left behind when others are evacuated. Her lover, the school administrator Tom, decides to give the war a pass; his flatmate Alistair enlists. When Mary and Alistair meet, love and war will test them in ways they could not have imagined, entangling three lives in violence and passions, friendship and deception, inexorably shaping their hopes and dreams. -- "Insightful, stark, and heartbreaking, Cleave's latest novel portrays the irrepressible hopefulness that can arise in the face of catastrophe." Publishers Weekly starred review.

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An Investment Plan for Busy People

Do you want to learn to invest in, and monitor, individual companies in a portfolio?  Do you have a 401(k) and don't know which fund to invest in?  Listen in to learn how quick and easy it is to make investment decisions.  Also learn how to encourage teenagers and young adults to get an early start in investing.

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Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami read from 'Burning Country'

Syrian-British co-authors Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami discuss their book 'Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War'. -- In 2011, many Syrians took to the streets of Damascus to demand the overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad. Today, much of Syria has become a warzone and many worry that the country is on the brink of collapse. 'Burning Country' explores the complicated reality of life in present-day Syria, drawing on new firsthand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists. The authors interweave these stories with an incisive analysis of the militarization of the uprising, the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of Syria's government in exacerbating the brutalization of the conflict. Through these accounts and a broad range of secondary source material, the authors argue that the international community has failed in its stated commitments to support the Syrian opposition movements.

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A Reading by Seattle’s Civic Poet, Youth Poet Laureate & Friends

The Poets Are In! is an intergenerational reading featuring Seattle's Civic Poet, Youth Poet Laureate and friends. Hear six poets share what it means to live, love and remember in the Emerald City. -- Civic Poet, Claudia Castro Luna, Youth Poet Laureate Leija Farr and Anastacia Rene'e Tolbert, Alan Chong Lau, Maya Chinen and Max Taylor will share individual work and together create a poetic cartography of Seattle. -- The reading celebrates National Poetry Month and marks the inaugural reading of The Poet Is In!, Claudia Castro Luna's tenure as artist-in-residence at the Seattle Public Library.

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Jonathan Levi reads from 'Septimania'

'Septimania,' Jonathan Levi's first novel since 'A Guide for the Perplexed,' presents a strange and magical picaresque romance, set from the 8th century to the present. -- On an spring afternoon in 1978 in the loft of a church outside Cambridge, England, an organ tuner named Malory loses his virginity to a dyslexic math genius named Louiza. When Louiza disappears, Malory follows her trail to Rome. There, the quest to find his love gets sidetracked when he discovers he is the heir to the Kingdom of Septimania, given by Charlemagne to the Jews of eighth-century France. Malory is crowned King of the Jews, Holy Roman Emperor and possibly Caliph of All Islam. Malory's search for Louiza leads to encounters with Pope John Paul II, a magical Bernini statue, Haroun al Rashid of Arabian Nights fame, a shadowy U.S. spy agency and one of the 9/11 bombers, the secret history of Isaac Newton and his discovery of a Grand Unified Theory that explains everything, and more. -- " energetically brilliant, genre-defying masterpiece filled with lavish descriptions, mysteries intertwined with history and legend, and a large cast of memorable, offbeat characters." Booklist starred review.

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Door to a Pink Universe Awards Ceremony

Listen in as The Seattle Public Library hosts the "Door to a Pink Universe" Award Ceremony. The flash fiction contest was held in tribute to science fiction writer Octavia Butler. This year is the 10th anniversary of the Seattle writer's passing. The 2016 theme for National Library Week is "Libraries Transform." -- Octavia Butler heralded libraries for their contribution in her development as a writer. Her life was transformed when she found refuge and riches within the walls of libraries. Through multiracial characters and aliens, Butler challenged long-held societal norms around race, gender and power and reimagined the future. The work that grew out of her journey as a writer, transformed the science fiction world and continues to do so to this day. -- The flash fiction contest, Door to a Pink Universe, invited submissions of works of science fiction set in any one of The Seattle Public Library locations that evoke the social, racial and historical themes found in Octavia Butler's fiction. Listen as we celebrate the winners of the Door to a Pink Universe contest, as well as honor those whose works garnered an honorable mention.

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Award-winning historian Adam Hochschild discusses 'Spain in Our Hearts'

Adam Hochschild's new book 'Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939' tells a history of the war through the lens of the U.S. involvement in it. The Spanish Civil War was a war between fascism, communism, and democracy that preceded World War II -- a tale of idealism and a noble cause that failed. Hochschild recounts the personal narratives of some of the participants: Americans in the Lincoln Brigade, Ernest Hemingway and George Orwell. He explores why they went and what, in retrospect, they felt about the conflict and their participation in it.

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LGBTQ Immigrant, Refugee and Undocumented Immigrant Celebration

LGBTQ immigrants, refugees and undocumented individuals living in King County helped Seattle Counseling Service uncover the barriers they face to accessing behavioral health care in King County. Join us in a celebration of their courage, learn what we uncovered and how we can create services for everyone in our community!

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Colleen McElroy reads from 'Blood Memory'

Through the rhythms and musicality of McElroy's voice, "Blood Memory" portrays an extended family, a complex culture spanning several decades, multiple victories and failures. This is consummate storytelling and unforgettable poetry capturing a place and time gone forever. -- "She is still the master storyteller to the 60 million of the Passage. When I didn't know how to be a poet, I first read Colleen McElroy to slowly walk the path to how."-Nikky Finney -- "A testimonial to family that startles us with its beauty. And blood. ..."-Sonia Sanchez.

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Bharti Kirchner discusses her novel 'Goddess of Fire'

Kirchner reads and discusses her novel with Seattle University English Professor Nalini Iyer. 'Goddess of Fire,' a historical novel set in 17th century India, tells the story of a village woman's rise through the ranks of the British East India Company. -- Moorti, widowed at just 17 and about to be burned on her husband's funeral pyre, is saved from the fire by the Englishman Job Charnock. Taken to safety and given employment by Charnock, Moorti, renamed Maria, must embrace her new life amongst the English traders. But the intelligent and talented Maria is not content to be a servant for the rest of her life. Moorti realizes that learning English will be her path to success. 'Goddess of Fire,' based on a true story, tells how Moorti rises through the British East India Company to eventually become founder of Calcutta, the first city of the British Empire.

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Damon Tweedy reads and discusses his memoir 'Black Man in a White Coat'

'Black Man in a White Coat: A Doctor's Reflections on Race and Medicine,' explores Damon Tweedy's experience grappling with race, bias and the unique health problems of black Americans. Tweedy, an African American psychiatrist, examines the complex ways in which both black doctors and patients must navigate the difficult and often contradictory terrain of race and medicine. -- "On one level the book is a straightforward memoir; on another it's a thoughtful, painfully honest, multi-angled, constant self-interrogation about himself and about the health implications of being black." (The New York Times). -- "Tweedy expertly weaves together statistics, personal anecdotes, and patient stories to explain why 'being black can be bad for your health'... A smart, thought-provoking, frontline look at race and medicine." (Booklist starred review).

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Ethan Canin reads from his new novel 'A Doubter’s Almanac'

'A Doubter's Almanac' explores the nature of genius, rivalry, ambition and love in multiple generations of a gifted family in the latest novel from bestselling author Ethan Canin. -- "A nuanced, heartbreaking portrait of a tortured mathematician.  Canin, in translucent prose, elucidates the way a mathematician sees the world and humanity's own insignificance within it. A harrowing, poignant read about the blessing and curse of genius." Booklist (starred review) -- Ethan Canin is the author of seven books, including the story collections 'Emperor of the Air' and 'The Palace Thief' and the novels 'For Kings and Planets', 'Carry Me Across the Water', and 'America America'.

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First Folio Panel: Shakespeare in America

Join expert panelists to explore the influence of Shakespeare in America. At one time, the two most likely books in the American family library were the Bible and Shakespeare. -- Dr. Allison Meyer a Shakespeare Scholar at Seattle University, George Mount, Artistic Director for Seattle Shakespeare Company, and Michael Paulus, University Librarian and Associate Professor, Seattle Pacific University will address a set of questions about how and why the Bard became so important to Americans.

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'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution'

A new revolutionary culture emerged in the turbulent 1960s, and the Black Panther Party was at the vanguard. Weaving together a treasure trove of rare footage with the voices of a diverse group of people who were there, Director Stanley Nelson tells the vibrant story of a pivotal movement as urgent today as it was then. -- Listen to a panel discussion that followed the screening of the documentary 'The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution', with LaShawnDa Pittman (Assistant Professor at UW) and Elmer Dixon (former Black Panther member in Seattle).

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Bestselling novelist Yann Martel reads from 'The High Mountains of Portugal'

'The High Mountains of Portugal' is part quest, part ghost story, part contemporary fable -- a haunting exploration of great love and great loss from the bestselling author of 'Life of Pi.' -- In Lisbon in 1904, a young man named Tomás discovers an old journal. It hints at the existence of an extraordinary artifact that, if he can find it, would redefine history. Traveling in one of Europe's earliest automobiles, he sets out in search of this strange treasure.  Thirty-five years later, a Portuguese pathologist devoted to the murder mysteries of Agatha Christie finds himself at the center of a mystery of his own and drawn into the consequences of Tomás's quest.  Fifty years on, a Canadian senator takes refuge in his ancestral village in northern Portugal, grieving the loss of his beloved wife. But he arrives with an unusual companion: a chimpanzee. And there the century-old quest will come to an unexpected conclusion.

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Nick Licata reads and discusses 'Becoming a Citizen Activist'

Longtime Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata discusses 'Becoming a Citizen Activist: Stories, Strategies, and Advice for Changing Our World.' -- Licata has been one of Seattle's most effective leaders of political and social change since the 1960s. In his new book, he explains how to get organized, congregate power, and master the tactics for change.

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The Science of Love with Dr. Pepper Schwartz

We often think of love as a mystery, or even a fairy tale, but there is science underlying our attractions! Listen to Dr. Pepper Schwartz, popular relationship expert and author of '50 Myths About Human Sexuality', discuss the science of love and how understanding it can help improve your love life. Dr. Schwartz touches on different theories of what makes people fall in love, different (and often conflicting) styles of showing love, and how love and intimacy (sexual and non-sexual) can be renewed in a relationship.

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Martha Rosler: Housing Is a Human Right

Join Martha Rosler, Alison Eisinger - Executive Director of the Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness, and invited guests, for a community talk examining housing as a human right. -- Martha Rosler works across a range of media, including photography, video, writing, performance, sculpture, and installation, often addressing matters of the public sphere and everyday life, especially as they affect women. Rosler has for many years produced works on war and the "national security climate," connecting everyday experiences at home with the conduct of war abroad - most famously in 'House Beautiful: Bringing the War Home', originally made as a response to the war in Vietnam in the late 1960s and reprised in 2004-2008 as a new series on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

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Rainier Beach Branch: Re-opening Celebration

Join us in celebrating the grand re-opening of the Rainier Beach Branch with brief remarks by City Librarian Marcellus Turner and Mayor Ed Murray as well as a poetry reading by the African American Writers' Alliance.

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Page to Screen presents: Tod Browning's 'Freaks'

The "Page to Screen" series explores the adaptation of short stories to film. This program presents "Freaks," Tod Browning, director (1932); based on "Spurs," by Tod Robbins (1923). -- She despised him as a freak, but married him for his money. Who then is the real monster? Robbins' macabre circus tale becomes Browning's infamous cult classic, a horror film showcasing actual sideshow performers. -- Listen to a reading of 'Spurs'.

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Gretchen Rubin reads from and discusses 'Better Than Before'

How do we change our habits? Bestselling author Gretchen Rubin turns her attention to this crucial question. Join us for a reading and Q&A to help start your 2016 off on the right track! Gretchen Rubin ("The Happiness Project") brings a provocative yet practical perspective to habits in her New York Times Bestseller "Better Than Before: What I Learned About Making and Breaking Habits - to Sleep More, Quit Sugar, Procrastinate Less, and Generally Build a Happier Life." With her signature mix of rigorous research, easy humor and personal experimentation, Rubin identifies and illustrates the core principles of habit change. -- The New York Times Book Review said: "'The Happiness Project' lays out life's essential goals ... Her [Rubin's] new book, 'Better Than Before,' serves as a kind of detailed instruction manual on how to achieve them."

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