#BookBingoNW2022: Read Outside!

Are you ready to get outside? We’re jumping into this Book Bingo square right away, because it is without doubt the easiest one there is. You can literally read anything you feel like, including whatever books you’ve already been planning to read: just read that book outside. Of course the trick around here is that the weather needs to cooperate.

Image of people reading in the sun, courtesy Megan Trace via Flickr

Yesterday – Sunday, May 21 – was that magical day when the clouds cleared and we finally broke 70 degrees. Long range forecasts are for an unusually sunny June; perhaps with such a cold, rainy spring, we got our legendary June Gloom out of the way early. Sure, there is still some drizzle in the forecast, so the trick for reading outdoors in Seattle is to be prepared. Yes, a well-stocked eReader works, and your library offers hundreds of thousands of eBooks for you to download, but we suggest having a pocket-sized paperback handy, so that when that unexpected sunbreak hits you can switch off your phone and race outdoors to lose yourself in some good old analog reading bliss. Here are a variety of pocket-sized paperbacks, to get you stocked up.

Angel’s Flight, by Lou Cameron.
Back in the fifties and sixties, lurid pulp fiction came in tight little paperbacks not much bigger than a pack of cigs, sporting lurid cover illustrations and branded “Gold Medal Originals.” Books like this 1960 jazz-noir thriller, the epic tale of a pair of duelling musicians told in syncopated prose, rich with hepcat lingo. Published by vintage pulpster’s Stark House in the Black Gat line, which replicates the original 4.25” x 7 pocket paperback format, making this the perfect accompaniment to a walk down the mean streets, or just in the park.

Modern Latin American Literature: A Very Short Introduction, by Roberto González Echevarría.
We love Oxford University Press’s brightly covered Very Short Introduction series, offering bite-sized overviews of a hundreds of topics, ranging from politics to philosophy to religion to history, and beyond. No matter your interest, chances are they’ll have a very short intro to it; we’re suggesting this authoritative and brisk overview of Latin American Literature, which might help you pick something for your Latino/Latina/Latinx Author square!

Revenge of the Scapegoat, by Caren Beilin.
This wildly original, surreal, devastating and devastatingly funny novel about a woman who receives a packet of letters from her past is a part of The Dorothy Project , and award-winning feminist press that publishes fiction with a small footprint, and a big impact. And who was Dorothy? The editor’s great-aunt, a librarian and bookmobile driver. We can’t resist!

Gold, by  Jalāl ad-Dīn Rumi, translated from the Farsi by Haleh Liza Gafori.
New York Review Books Classics – that amazing treasure trove of intriguing authors from the past and from all over the world – publishes this eloquent, faithful translation of the popular 13th-century poet and mystic Rumi, which opens a fresh window on Rumi’s spiritual quest and his urgent invitation to readers to embrace a more enlightened existence.  Pocket-sized nirvana! What better book to engage with while lolling in the sunshine.

Discovering Seattle’s Parks: A Local’s Guide, by Linnea Westerlind.
If you’ve come across Westerlind’s blog Year of Seattle Parks, you know she’s visited ever single one of Seattle’s 426 parks, from vast Discovery Park – my own childhood playground – to the postage-stamp sized Lakeview Place. Her handy guide is arranged by neighborhood, which makes it the perfect book to drop in your pocket as you head out to enjoy some time out-of-doors this summer.

     ~ Posted by David W.

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