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The Desk Set

English, Literature, 4 seasons, 36 episodes, 1 day, 5 hours, 25 minutes
A bookish podcast for reading broadly. Librarians interview authors, share reading suggestions and explore literary topics through lively conversations. Each episode is based on reading challenge categories, which encourage listeners to expand their reading horizons. You can find show notes, including a list of books discussed in each episode and transcripts at
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The Best Books of 2021

Librarians talk about staff picks for the best books of 2021. We also chat about books we're looking forward to reading in 2022 and the value of reading broadly.
12/28/202136 minutes, 32 seconds
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Epistolary Time Travel

Hear interviews with authors Amal El-Mohtar, Max Gladstone, and E.J. Koh. El-Mohtar and Gladston chat about their spy novella, This Is How You Lose the Time War. Koh discusses her memoir, The Magical Language of Others. Each author talks about how letter writing can act as a form of time travel. We also share some of our other favorite epistolary works.
9/17/202134 minutes, 53 seconds
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Race, Place, and Coming of Age

Hear interviews with authors Monica West and Brittany Ackerman. West talks about Revival Season, a story about a Black evangelical family and a crisis of faith. Ackerman chats about The Brittanys, a novel about teen friends growing up in Florida. We also discuss our picks for books set where we were born.
8/17/20211 hour, 1 minute, 9 seconds
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Feed Drop: Mateo Askaripour

Hear Mateo Askaripour, author of Black Buck, in conversation with Marcus Harrison Green of the South Seattle Emerald moderates.
6/24/202129 minutes, 16 seconds
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The Future, Real and Imagined

Explore the future through the lens of science and fiction. We chat with scientist Kelly Weinersmith about the nonfiction book Soonish. Then, we talk to Sarah Pinsker, author of the science fiction novel, We Are Satellites.
6/9/202139 minutes, 28 seconds
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Feed Drop: Syed Masood

Syed Masood, author of The Bad Muslim Discount, in conversation with Shahina Piyarali. This feed drop is an audio recording of a live webcast event.
4/13/202139 minutes, 22 seconds
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Wild Characters and Re-Reading

Hear interviews with authors: Emily St. John Mandel (The Glass Hotel, Station Eleven) and Kira Jane Buxton (Hollow Kingdom) We chat about revisiting Station Eleven during the pandemic and writing nonhuman characters. Librarians Emily and Britta also have a conversation about rereading old favorites.    
3/12/202142 minutes, 30 seconds
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Fake It Til You Make It

Authors Rachel Lynn Solomon and Gabrielle Korn join us as guests to chat about their new books. Rachel talks about her adult debut The Ex Talk, a romantic comedy set at a Seattle public radio station. In the book, Shay and Dominic fake a past relationship as a pretense for the podcast they host together. Then, Gabrielle talks about her memoir Everybody (Else) Is Perfect. The book shares her experiences working in women's media, recovering from an eating disorder, street harassment, queer identity, and overcoming imposter syndrome as the youngest Editor-in-Chief at NYLON. 
2/16/202138 minutes, 3 seconds
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Reading and Reflecting in 2021

We interview Jenny Odell, the author of How To Do Nothing and chat about reading in 2021. We talk about new books we're excited to read and discuss our personal reading goals. We also reveal this year's library reading challenge categories. Then, Jenny Odell shares how persuasive design keeps our attention in digital spaces. She talks about connecting offline, reflecting on values, and redefining productivity.
2/2/202147 minutes, 34 seconds