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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Gerald Chertavian reads from 'A Year Up'
Year Up founder Gerald Chertavian tells how a pioneering program is redefining urban young adults as economic assets, not deficits. -- During Chertavian's many years as a Big Brother, the former technology entrepreneur realized that the opportunity divide strands millions of young, disadvantaged, yet motivated workers at the bottom of the job ladder. In 2000, he created Year Up to address the challenges. Today, Year Up serves more than 1,400 students annually in nine cities across the United States, including Seattle. Chertavian's book follows a Year Up class from admissions through graduation, letting students share, in their own words, the challenges, failures, and personal successes they've experienced before, during, and after their program year.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 23.06MB] [Play time: 0 hr 50 min]
Kirsten Grind discusses 'The Lost Bank: The Story of Washington Mutual -- The Biggest Bank Failure in American History'
As a reporter for the Puget Sound Business Journal in 2009, Grind wrote a series of investigative stories about Washington Mutual. Her coverage would name her a finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the Gerald Loeb Award. -- Based on that reporting, Grind's new book 'The Lost Bank' offers a look at the human failings that lay at the root of the Great Recession, the personalities caught up in good times and easy money, a seriously deluded industry and an entire culture ultimately undone by financial collapse. -- She describes WaMu's unprecedented bank runs and unveils the details of its purchase by JPMorgan Chase and the controversial actions taken by federal regulators in closing the bank. Grind also traces the last 20 years of WaMu's existence, focusing on the people who led the bank through its spectacular rise and fall.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 29.06MB] [Play time: 01 hr 03 min]
Sing Along with Caspar Babypants
Dance, wriggle and laugh during this live musical performance of funny songs that feature sing along elements and call and response themes.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 21.92MB] [Play time: 0 hr 47 min]
Daniel Silva in conversation with Warren Etheredge
Listen to Daniel Silva in conversation with popular cultural commentator, Warren Etheredge, as they discuss Silva's latest book, 'The Fallen Angel.' Silva writes an internationally-bestselling literary espionage series featuring Gabriel Allon (an Israeli art restorer, spy and assassin).
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 29.18MB] [Play time: 01 hr 03 min]
Karen Thompson Walker reads from "The Age of Miracles," a debut speculative & coming-of-age fiction
On an ordinary Saturday in a California suburb, Julia and her family awake to discover that an earthquake has caused the Earth's rotation to slow dramatically. Days grow longer, gravity is affected, and the environment is thrown into disarray. As she struggles to navigate an ever-shifting landscape, Julia remains a typical young girl, making her way through adolescence, coping with the normal disasters of everyday life. -- "While the apocalypse looms large, has in fact already arrived, the narrative remains fiercely grounded in the surreal and horrifying day-to-day and the personal decisions that persist even though no one knows what to do. ...[T]he story also feels eerily plausible, as if the problems we've been worrying about all along pale in comparison to what might actually bring our end." -- Publishers Weekly starred review.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 22.38MB] [Play time: 0 hr 48 min]
Chris Cleave reads from from his novel, 'Gold'
We welcome back 2011 Seattle Reads author Chris Cleave for an exclusive Seattle appearance for his new novel. "Gold" tells the story of Kate and Zoe, who first met at age 19. Now 32, in what they know will be their last race, each desperately wants to win the 2012 Olympic gold medal for speed cycling. -- Kate and Zoe are coached by Kate's husband, Tom, who barely missed his own gold medal in 1968. Their eight-year-old daughter, Sophie, is fragile, fighting a recurrence of leukemia. She dreams of the Death Star and of battling alongside the Rebels as evil white blood cells ravage her personal galaxy. The question for everyone is, what would you sacrifice for those you love, if it means giving up the thing that is most important to you?
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 36.17MB] [Play time: 01 hr 18 min]
Joy Harjo reads from 'Crazy Brave'
Joy Harjo reads from her memoir: a story about family, a hardscrabble youth, young adulthood, and her journey to become an award-winning poet and musician. -- Joy Harjo was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where she grew up with an abusive stepfather. She attended an Indian arts boarding school, where she gained an appreciation for painting, music, and poetry; gave birth while still a teenager; and struggled on her own as a single mother, eventually finding her poetic voice. Recorded on July 11, 2012.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 31.49MB] [Play time: 01 hr 08 min]
Eth-Noh-Tec Asian Story Theater, July 11Eth-Noh-Tec's collection of stories casts a magical spell of starlight, fantasy and imagination on the young and young-at-heart.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 18 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 00 min]
Kate Wilhelm reads from 'Whisper Her Name'
When a prospective clients claims all Bainbridge men are cursed, arson investigator-turned-private detective Charlie Meiklejohn doesn't want to take the case -- even though he knows resistance is futile. Psychologist Constance Leidl, his partner and wife, simply cannot resist confronting a curse. The late Howard Bainbridge's cryptic will stipulates that each family member has just 12 hours to choose one item from his home, but then can never return. A rumored five million in cashiers' checks somewhere in the house raises the stakes and deepens suspicions. Matters become further complicated when unsolved drowning deaths and yet another murder are connected to the investigation. It takes Meiklejohn & Leidl's combined detective skills to unravel the mystery of the Bainbridge Curse and expose a killer. -- Wilhelm's first story was published in 1956. She has recently returned to writing mysteries with her Barbara Holloway and her Constance Leidl and Charlie Meiklejohn novels.
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 25.59MB] [Play time: 00 hr 55 min]
Terry Tempest Williams, June 22Terry Tempest Williams ponders the meaning of her mother's journals full of blank pages in a new memoir, "When Women Were Birds: 54 Variations on Voice."
Listen to Audio (mp3) [file size: 26 MB] [Play time: 0 hr 00 min]