Libraryoke!

Karaoke is one of those things that I will either be super stoked about and will want to sing Colors of the Wind to the rooftops or I’ll just want to sit back and take it all in.   Regardless, karaoke has a way of bringing everyone together and here are a few books that illustrate that very point:

Turn Around Bright Eyes: The Rituals of Love & Karaoke by Rob Sheffield

“In this follow-up to Love is a Mix Tape, a writer for Rolling Stone, after his wife’s death, finds solace in music, which leads him to the strangest places and gives him the courage to start over, move on and rock the mike.”

Adventures of the Karaoke King by Harold Taw

“In Harold Taw’s entertaining, sometimes bawdy, and often moving novel, Adventures of the Karaoke King, readers are quickly pulled into the vortex of the extremes of human emotions: passion, fear, hope, despair, and the longing for redemption and clarity. Guy Watanabe is a thirty-something man who is marginally in touch with his Asian heritage and completely out of touch with his own needs and desires. Recovering from a divorce, Watanabe is unsure of himself and the course his future might take. When he wins a local karaoke contest, he discovers not only a newfound confidence, but the courage to take risks.”

Don’t Stop Believin’: How Karaoke Conquered the World and Changed My Life by Brian Raftery

“Armed with a keen eye and a terrible singing voice, writer Brian Raftery sets out across the globe, tracing karaoke’s evolution from cult fad to multi-million dollar phenomenon. In Japan, he meets Daisuke Inoue, the godfather of karaoke; in Thailand, he follows a group of Americans hoping to win the Karaoke World Championships; and in New York City, he hangs out backstage with the world’s longest-running heavy-metal karaoke band. Along the way, Raftery chronicles his own time as an obsessive karaoke fan, recalling a life’s worth of noisy relationships and poor song choices, and analyzing the karaoke-bar merits of such artists as Prince, Bob Dylan and Fugazi.”

If you need some karaoke inspiration, here is a list of literature-related songs that can be found at most karaoke joints: Libraryoke!   And, if you would like to partake in karaoke with other literature-minded folks the Seattle Public Library will be hosting Libraryoke with Baby Ketten at the Skylark Café on Tuesday, October 9th.

~posted by Kara P. & Sven S.

Banned Books Week September 23-29

Every year, the American Library Association’s Office for Intellectual Freedom compiles a list of all the books that have been challenged and banned during the previous year.  In 2017, there were 416 reports of challenges or outright bans in libraries and schools.  Here are the Top Ten Most Challenged Books from the previous year, including the reasons for the challenges or bans provided by ALA:

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Originally published in 2007, this New York Times bestseller has resurfaced as a controversial book after Netflix aired a TV series by the same name. This YA novel was challenged and banned in multiple school districts because it discusses suicide.

The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie
Consistently challenged since its publication in 2007 for acknowledging issues such as poverty, alcoholism, and sexuality, this National Book Award winner was challenged in school curriculums because of profanity and situations that were deemed sexually explicit.

Drama written and illustrated by Raina Telgemeier
This Stonewall Honor Award-winning, 2012 graphic novel from an acclaimed cartoonist was challenged and banned in school libraries because it includes LGBT characters and was considered “confusing.”

The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini
This critically acclaimed, multigenerational novel was challenged and banned because it includes sexual violence and was thought to “lead to terrorism” and “promote Islam.”

George by Alex Gino
Written for elementary-age children, this Lambda Literary Award winner was challenged and banned because it includes a transgender child.

Sex is a Funny Word by Cory Silverberg and illustrated by Fiona Smyth
This 2015 informational children’s book written by a certified sex educator was challenged because it addresses sex education and is believed to lead children to “want to have sex or ask questions about sex.”

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
This Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, considered an American classic, was challenged and banned because of violence and its use of the N-word.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Despite winning multiple awards and being the most searched-for book on Goodreads during its debut year, this YA novel was challenged and banned in school libraries and curriculums because it was considered “pervasively vulgar” and because of drug use, profanity, and offensive language.

And Tango Makes Three by Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson and illustrated by Henry Cole
Returning after a brief hiatus from the Top Ten Most Challenged list, this ALA Notable Children’s Book, published in 2005, was challenged and labeled because it features a same-sex relationship.

I Am Jazz by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings and illustrated by Shelagh McNicholas
This autobiographical picture book co-written by the 13-year-old protagonist was challenged because it addresses gender identity.

Click here to see the books in our catalog.

~Posted by Summer H.

Novels to read during Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month, September 15th-October 15th, honors the histories, cultures and contributions of Americans with ancestry in Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. To help you celebrate through reading, our librarians put together a list of fiction by Latinx authors published between 2016-2018; see the full list and place holds in our catalog.

The Living Infinite by Chantel Acevedo
A real 19th-century Bourbon infanta is the inspiration for this novel about a princess who writes a rebellious feminist memoir. Fresh, fast-moving historical fiction from a master storyteller.

The House of Impossible Beauties by Joseph Cassara
A cast of gay and transgender kids navigate the Harlem ball scene of the 1980s and 1990s. Inspired by the House of Xtravaganza made famous in the documentary, Paris Is Burning.

The Regional Office Is Under Attack! by Manuel Gonzales
When a prophecy suggests that an insider might bring down a powerful underground organization, devoted recruit Sarah and young assassin Rose find their respective lives clashing in a dispute that threatens everything they know.

Her Body and Other Parties by Carmen Maria Machado
Eight stories showcase Machado’s fluency in the bizarre, magical, and sharply frightening depths of the imagination. Each of these stories has a strange and surprising idea that communicates, in a shockingly visceral way, the experience of living inside a woman’s body.

Lost Empress by Sergio de la Pava
A madcap, football-obsessed tale of crossed destinies and criminal plots gone awry.

The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles
Two girls from a sugar plantation in early 20th-century Brazil pursue pop stardom. Samba music and its allure beats beneath this winding and sinuous tale of ambition, memory, and identity.

What Happens In Summer by Caridad Piñeiro
Years after a failed summer fling, Jonathan and Connie are thrown together again. Their attraction is alive and well, but their fundamental differences are still getting in the way. Aren’t they?

The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
Across one bittersweet weekend in their San Diego neighborhood, revelers mingle and celebrate the lives of family patriarch Miguel “Big Angel” De La Cruz and his mother, recounting the many tales that have passed into family lore.

~ posted by Andrea G.

John Wyndham’s Work Remains Scary and Thought-provoking

I love discovering authors that were impactful in their era and whose work still holds up today. Wyndham is the kind of writer I truly enjoy–he writes the kind of unfussy, competent prose that is underrated and more supple than it first appears. His writing reminds me of the work of Walter Tevis, Theodore Sturgeon, and James Tiptree, Jr. where the first lines draw you in, and the characters are drawn swiftly in compelling details without overdoing it.

Wyndham wrote short, chilling novels that he called “logical fantasy” and what were alternately and perhaps dismissively called “cosy catastrophes.” He also knew how to draw you in from the first sentence and paragraph.

Here is the first sentence in The Day of the Triffids (1951): “When a day that you happen to know is Wednesday starts off by sounding like a Sunday, there is something seriously wrong somewhere.” Continue reading “John Wyndham’s Work Remains Scary and Thought-provoking”

Book-It Repertory Theatre’s JANE EYRE: Beyond the Theatre

Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, adapted and directed by Julie Beckman, will be playing from September 13 to October 14, 2018 at Seattle’s Book-It Repertory Theatre. Since its publication in 1847, Jane Eyre has inspired countless readers. Below are a few books and films to enhance your experience of the show:

The Secret History of Jane Eyre. by John Pfordresher
Why did Charlotte insist on hiding her authorship of JANE EYRE from everyone but her sisters? Pfordresher lays bare the painful parallels between Charlotte’s life and her novel. Continue reading “Book-It Repertory Theatre’s JANE EYRE: Beyond the Theatre”