Introducing The Desk Set

The Desk Set is a bookish podcast that encourages reading broadly, through author interviews, book suggestions, and interesting conversations on literary topics. You can download episodes via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Spotify, or listen in your browser using the streaming media player included with each episode's show notes. We encourage you to start by downloading episodes with the subjects and guests that excite you most. If you like the show, be sure to subscribe, rate, and review us on Apple Podcasts. Help us make the show even better by sharing your feedback via this survey. You can also get to know the hosts of the show by reading this interview.

Episodes are themed around the 10 to Try Reading Challenge categories. You can find show notes for each episode on our blog. Show notes include lists of books mentioned on the show (that you can borrow from the library!), links to further reading, transcripts, and more.

Books Foodies Will Love

We talk with author and chef Becky Selengut (How to Taste) about the art and science of taste. Then, we explore the relationship between pie and whiskey with authors, bakers, and cocktail makers Sam Ligon and Kate Lebo (Pie & Whiskey). Finally, we visit The Book Larder, a cookbook store in Seattle, to talk to store owner Lara Hamilton. We also share suggestions for other books about food that we think are worth checking out.

Young Adult Friction

We chat with young adult author/superstar Marissa Meyer about her new series, Renegades, the power of fairytale retellings, and which Sailor Scout she wants to be. Then, we talk about banned books, including the most banned books of 2017, and why comic books and graphic novels so often top the list of most banned books. Did you know you can check out digital comics, including some of frequently banned and challenged titles, from the library via hoopla? Plus we share our top picks for under-appreciated young adult books to try when you’ve finished all the best sellers.

Harry Potter and the Books in Translation

We chat with Kristin Hannah, New York Times bestselling author of The Nightingale and The Great Alone. We also talk to Megan McDowell, who was recently nominated for a Man Booker International Prize for her heart-stopping translation of Samanta Schweblin’s Fever Dream. Then, hear about our favorite books set in places you might not have been, learn how to get a personalized list of picks by using BookMatch, and develop your world language skills with Mango. Plus, we explore the unique challenge of translating the magical world of Harry Potter for a global audience.

Is the Book Always Better Than the Movie?

Author Matt Ruff joins us to talk about his book Lovecraft Country. Inspired by mid-century African-American travel guides as well as classic sci-fi and horror, the book is being adapted in a miniseries for HBO. Then, we talk about book-to-screen adaptations: the ones we love, the ones we hate, and the ones we can't wait to see. Kim Fu, author of The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore visits us in the studio to talk about her book, why children make interesting characters and the difference between writing poetry and prose. Plus, we recommend movies to watch on the library's new streaming service Kanopy and a few more books with very long titles.

Lived Experiences

We chat with Hugo-Award winning author Rebecca Roanhorse about her Navajo-inspired urban fantasy Trail of Lightning and her award-winning short story, "Welcome to Your Authentic Indian Experience™". We also sit down with Seattleite and memoirist Litsa Dremousis to talk her about her memoir, Altitude Sickness, and her role in the #MeToo allegations surrounding Sherman Alexie. Plus, we recommend some memoirs we love and the downloadable audiobook versions of those books, available on OverDrive.