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Library Closed Monday, May 30

All locations of The Seattle Public Library and the book drops at the Central Library will be closed on Memorial Day, Monday, May 30.

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Audio Archive

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


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 39.9 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 32.8 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 32.4 MB]


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.

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


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 27.5 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 23.8 MB]


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.

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


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 30.5 MB]


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!

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 20.1 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 23.9 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 23.1 MB]


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).

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 30.8 MB]


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'.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 33.2 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 37.7 MB]


'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).

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 23.1 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 22.0 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 30.6 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 34.7 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 51.3 MB]


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.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 13.9 MB]


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'.

Download Audio (mp3) [file size: 22.5 MB]


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."

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


Audio Archive

2015 Podcasts

2014 Podcasts

2013 Podcasts

2012 Podcasts

2011 Podcasts

2010 Podcasts

2009 Podcasts

2008 Podcasts

2007 Podcasts

2006 Podcasts