Bus Reads: April Favorites

~posted by Kara F. 

First off, I moved to Tacoma. I gotta say I never thought I’d move from Seattle, but life happens and between rent increases and a boy I made the plunge to the sassy sister to the south! One of the many highlights of my move has actually been my bus commute. That’s not something you hear every day, but the 90 minutes now has become my quiet time to devour books and devour them I have. The plan is to share my plethora of reading with you, which seems to be about four ebooks a month at this point and I average about 80 pages a trip. I’ll attempt to stay away from books that have already been posted and best sellers because really they get enough attention. Enjoy the ride!

A Trip to the Stars Find A Trip to the Stars in the SPL catalogby Nicholas Christopher was a wonderful read. The connections the author uses to unite characters while they are separated from each other was beautiful and magical. The chapters go back and forth between the nephew that is ‘lost’ yet found and the aunt who struggles to find herself after her nephew goes missing. I was completely enthralled with each page and the secondary characters added another level of interest. It was a bit longer than I usually grab for a bus book, but so very worth it.

The Dept. of SpeculationFind Dept. of Speculation in the SPL catalog by Jenny Offill was a small book that took no time to read; it felt along the same vein as Fates and Furies, which I finished in January. In this novel, though, the narrator is the wife, and while discussing all the little things that make up a marriage and the loss of self, she intertwines literature and art. Although it is a short book, the observations, themes, and messages stay with you longer than expected. It’s a bit choppy, but I liked it, almost as if you are riding along her train of thought and witty in its moments of sadness. It’s an odd thing to laugh when someone is feeling that way, but I did.

Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End Find Being Mortal in the SPL catalogby Atul Gawande was a book recommended to me by a friend. We both have a family member suffering from Alzheimer’s and it’s a crazy thing to see what it does to them and your family. This book talks about what we do in this country when things get to the point where quality of life comes into question. It gives background to the independent living idea as well as experiments that have succeeded, and how some places have failed in the original concept the creator had in mind. It addresses our problem with prolonging life, and doing everything we can to live longer despite what is does to us. Also preparing for the possibility of hospice, what that can accomplish, and the questions we need to ask our loved ones in this time of their lives to make these life decisions easier for all of us. Even though I had a hard time getting through it, as it took me two checkouts because I got a little depressed, I still recommend this book for every single person, ever!

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Thrift Shopping: Save Money by Finding Recycled Treasures

~posted by Siri A.

Shopping can be tough when you’re living on a budget – but thrift shopping is a great way to get what you need at a discount. Not only is it affordable, but you can also find some unique, quality items that you wouldn’t find in a regular store.

Here are some great items to look for when you’re thrift shopping:

T-Shirts, Pants, Dresses & Accessories: Thrift stores often have a bunch of low-priced, comfy T-shirts, pants (hem them if the fit is wrong or cut them to make shorts for the summer!), dresses, and accessories, such as jewelry and belts. Continue reading

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The Story Behind a Modern Marvel: The Seattle Space Needle


Photographer George Gulacsik atop the Space Needle, ca. November 1961

Photographer George Gulacsik atop the Space Needle, ca. November 1961

Fifty-five years ago this month, construction began on one of Seattle’ s most prominent icons – the Space Needle.  Our newest digital collection, the George Gulacsik Photograph Collection, documents the construction of the Needle from its start on April 17, 1961 to its completion in 1962 with the opening of the World’s Fair. Continue reading

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How to Find a Financial Planner (for Non-Millionaires)


~posted by Ann G.

Irish Labour Party.png

Photo Credit: The Irish Labour Party

Getting your finances in order can seem daunting, especially if you are not wealthy.  You know that most of us are in very good company in wondering how to get good financial advice at lower (!) incomes if you consider that a household income of $450,000 a year puts you in the top 1% and many financial planners consider a portfolio “small” if it has less than half a million dollars in it! Continue reading

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Free and Inexpensive Activities in Seattle

~posted by Tina M. 

Looking for things to do this spring and summer, but you’re on a budget? Well, look no further! In this post you will learn about fun, free (or insanely cheap) things to do on your own or with your kids and family!

Recreational Activities:

Fortunately for Seattleites, there are plenty of recreational activities to do around or near Seattle. If you’re looking to explore nature and get outdoors, we are home to some of the most magnificent hikes. As the weather starts to warm up, you can find unique hiking experiences all around. Here are some early season hikes! Imagine the snow melting away, where you are treated to the beautiful sights of melted snow, the sounds of serene waterfalls and birds flying atop the magnificent trees! I say it’s time for a hike! You can find some wonderful books on hiking in Seattle here.  Continue reading

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The Language of Water: Poetry on Buses

Image courtesy of avocadogirlfriend on flikrBy Library Staff

Do you have a thirst for verse? Well, there’s a way to quench it! The Poetry on Buses Public Art Program, a partnership between 4Culture and Metro Transit, invites poets of all inclinations to submit a poem around a particular theme.  The 2016 theme is “Your Body of Water” and the Office of Arts & Culture, Sound Transit, Seattle Public Utilities, King County Water and Land Division and The Seattle Public Library are also taking the plunge. Continue reading

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Beyond and After Butler

-posted by Veronica H.

Octavia Butler is a giant in science fiction and fantasy and her legacy is far-reaching. Her importance to the genre cannot be overstated. In honor of the recent Door to a Pink Universe Flash Fiction contest, I wanted to highlight some authors who are following in Butler’s footsteps and changing the definitions of science fiction and fantasy.

The Book of Phoenix cover imageNnedi Okorafor, a Nigerian-American author, combines complex political and social issues with African-based science fiction and fantasy for riveting fiction that explores the world we live in and those we might. Her most recent book, The Book of Phoenix, is a prequel to her World Fantasy Award-winning book Who Fears Death, and is set in a future Africa where the effects of technology, colonialism, racism, and war are explored with stunning beauty and intensity. It’s not necessary to read the books in order; both will blow you away. Okorafor has also written several young adult novels that deal with similar themes. She is currently working on a sequel to Akata Witch, a Junior Library Guild Selection book and a YALSA 2011 Best Book of the year. Continue reading

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