Solar Eclipse 2017: Reading for all ages

Whether you’re reading in advance of the solar eclipse on August 21, or stockpiling suggestions to read afterward, here are a selection of books for readers of all ages; check out the full list in our catalog.

Mask of the Sun: The Science, History, and Forgotten Lore of Eclipses by John Dvorak (adult)
Dvorak addresses both the scientific and the cultural aspects of solar eclipses, with an overview of how eclipses work plus a survey of how different peoples have interpreted them through time from the ancient Chinese, to the Mayans, up to the most recent eclipse viewable from the United States in 1978. A four page eclipse primer with illustrations is included.

American Eclipse: A Nation’s Epic Race to Catch the Shadow of the Moon and Win the Glory of the World by David Baron (adult)
Focusing on the eclipse of 1878, Baron traces the goals and efforts of three scientists during an important moment in the emergence of American science.  James Craig Watson hoped to discover a new planet; Maria Mitchell led an all-female expedition to prove that women could contribute to science; and Thomas Edison wanted to test out a new invention for measuring solar heat.

Sun Moon Earth: The History of Solar Eclipses from Omens of Doom to Einstein and Exoplanets by Tyler Nordgren (adult)
In this mix of memoir, history and science narrative, Nordgren shares his enthusiasm for solar eclipses and his travels around the world to see them, while also incorporating astronomy lessons and the varied history of human cultural response to eclipses.

When the Sun Goes Dark by Andrew Fraknoi and Dennis Schatz (grades 3-6)
Schatz provided the Library’s Summer of Learning eclipse programs, and here explains solar and lunar eclipses, why our view of constellations changes during the year, and more.

Eclipses by Nick Hunter (grades 2-4)
In this introduction to easily observable astronomical phenomena, Hunter describes solar and lunar eclipses, their effects on wildlife, how they are studied, and what people thought of eclipses in the past.

Sun and Moon by Lindsey Yankey (preschool-grade 2)
Although this is not actually about a solar eclipse, it is a lovely story of the Moon and the Sun and the Earth they look over.

~ posted by Andrea G.

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Making a Library Purchase Suggestion

“They have every other book in this 57 volume manga series, how can they not have volume two?!?!”

Sometimes the library doesn’t have what you’re looking for. This can be a frustrating or confusing situation. The library is supposed to have everything, right? Sometimes it’s one part of a book series, or one movie of a particular director you’re binging. What can you do? Go to another library system if you have another card? Interlibrary Loan? Buy the thing? Go into a library branch and complain to the librarian? Yes, these are all things that one might do. But there is another option that should be considered: making a materials purchase suggestion. Continue reading

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Washington State Book Awards finalists for 2017!

Take a look at this lineup of stellar authors from Washington state! These 32 books, published in 2016, are finalists in the 2017 Washington State Book Awards. Find the full list later in this blog post, or if you’re itching to place holds right away, check out the WSBA 2017 finalists in adult categories and finalists in the four books for youth categories in our catalog.

Winners will be announced at the awards celebration on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 7 p.m. at the Central Library downtown. Lots of awards ceremonies are pricey affairs, but ours is free and open to everyone. There’s even a post-awards reception (also free and open to all!), book sales, and book signing.

And here is the list of finalists, otherwise known as books you want to read and authors you want to know: Continue reading

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Library Reads: 10 top picks for September 2017

Extra celebrating this month with the Library Reads Top Ten list — because two local authors are shining bright on this selection of books that librarians across the U.S. are loving! Our beloved Nancy Pearl, former librarian at The Seattle Public Library, has a debut novel you must place on hold now! And Jamie Ford, who you may know best for The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, has deep Seattle roots (although he lives in Montana now) and we still claim him as one of ours, has a new novel set in Seattle in 1909.

And here they are, new books for September 2017 that librarians are raving about!

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng: Little Fires Everywhere delves into family relationships and what parenthood, either biological or by adoption, means. We follow the members of two families living in the idyllic, perfectly-planned suburb of Shaker Heights, Ohio: Mia and Pearl, a mother and daughter living a less traditional lifestyle, moving from town to town every few months, and the Richardsons, the perfect nuclear family in the perfect suburb…until Izzy Richardson burns her family home down. Ng’s superpower is her ability to pull you into her books from the very first sentence! ~ Emma DeLooze-Klein, Kirkwood Public Library, Kirkwood, MO Continue reading

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#BookBingoNW2017: Reread a Book You Read in School

Although we are hard pressed to think of a single drawback to Book Bingo, it is true that for some readers it calls forth unwelcome memories of required reading. Yet the popularity of bingo and similar reading challenges and groups suggests that something appeals to us about being stretched beyond our habitual reading appetites. Might those same restrictions we chafed at in school suddenly feel like a welcome dose of structure, now that we can read whatever we please?

Rereading can be an interesting way of deepening our awareness both of a text, and of our former selves. This is especially true when we willingly and with curiosity take up some book that we have previously experienced as obligatory drudgery. Freed from the need to take notes, uncover themes or prep for a quiz, we can encounter afresh some of the best and most engaging books ever written, reclaiming them for our own.

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#BookBingoNW2017: Finish in a day

As much as I enjoy being immersed in a great book for days on end, there is something particularly satisfying about finishing a book quickly. This year’s Summer Book Bingo again features the category “Finish in a Day.” For the sake of consistency, I have chosen to limit this list to books that average about 200 pages in length. There is a wide variety here, from memoirs to classics, which can help make quick work of some of the other Book Bingo squares as well. After all, you’ll have this particular square done in a day! Continue reading

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Hoopla for Comics

Hoopla is an online streaming service available to Seattle Public Library patrons, offering 20 checkouts of movies, TV shows, music, and comics each calendar month, accessible on both web browsers and mobile devices. On mobile devices, the app, which is available for free through the Apple App store, Google Play, and Amazon, allows users to download and enjoy content offline, and can be streamed through Apple TV, Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV Stick onto a television screen. Use your library card to create an account and you’re ready to go.

The Hoopla comics collection became available for Seattle Public Library patrons in November 2016, and includes popular titles from DC, Image, Dark Horse, Vertigo, Archie, and Boom! Studios. In addition to a search function, the comics home page includes “featured” and “popular” comics tabs, as well as a “categories” tab that allows browsing via comics specific groupings. Moreover, if you already know what you like, there are pages listing the works of particular creators or series groupings (which is helpful with comics in particular, since figuring out reading order can be a challenge). Finally, at the bottom of each item’s page, there are “similar artists” and “people who borrowed” suggestions for further reading.

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