We Dare You…

As we enter peak fall foliage in the Pacific Northwest we dare you to get swept away by those beautiful colors and read a book by the color of its cover! Here are a handful to choose from, but we highly recommend you explore the stacks – you never know what gem you might find.

They May Not Mean To, but They Do by Cathleen Schine: Refusing to age quietly, take antidepressants or accept the inevitable loss of her longtime husband, Joy Bergman shocks her children when, after becoming a widow, she reconnects with a former flame from her college days, turning as willful and rebellious as the younger members of their family.

Map of the Invisible World by Tash Aw: Sixteen-year-old Adam, repeatedly abandoned by his caregivers in the wake of Holland’s repatriation activities, suffers a series of personal tragedies that mark his efforts to find his adoptive father.

The Mortifications by Derek Palacio: Conflicting political ideals, culture clashes, spiritual crises and divided passions challenge a Cuban-American family over multiple generations at the turn of the 21st century.

The Line That Held Us by David Joy: A deer hunter and his friend cover up the accidental shooting death of a man from a notoriously violent family, which discovers the crime and retaliates in nightmarish ways.

Guapa by Saleem Haddad: A debut novel that tells the story of Rasa, a young gay man coming of age in the Middle East.

The Dog by Joseph O’Neill: Leaving New York in the wake of a breakup to take a job in a futuristic Dubai at the height of its metropolitan self-invention, a young man struggles with growing feelings of being trapped while navigating the eccentricities of his wealthy employers.

Ancient Oceans of Central Kentucky by David Connerley Nahm: Leah’s little brother, Jacob, disappeared when the pair were younger, a tragedy that haunts her still. When a grown man arrives at the non-profit Leah directs claiming to be Jacob, she is wrenched back to her childhood.

Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land: A novel of psychological suspense follows the experiences of the 15-year-old daughter of a serial killer who, in spite of a new identity and placement in an affluent foster family, wrestles with the decision not to follow in her mother’s violent footsteps in the face of bullies, a teacher’s discovery and threats against a vulnerable friend.

The One-in-a-million Boy by Monica Wood: The incandescent story of a 104-year-old woman and the sweet, strange young boy assigned to help her around the house—a friendship with unexpected reverberations for the boy’s unmoored family.

Above by Isla Morley: Abducted and locked in an abandoned missile silo by a mad survivalist, a Kansas teen endures loneliness and despair while struggling to raise a baby in isolation before escaping into a world more changed than she anticipated.

Foreign Gods, Inc by Okey Ndibe: Barred by prejudice from the corporate world in spite of his strong education, a New York-based Nigerian cab driver is unable to meet his financial demands and embarks on a desperate plan to steal the statue of an ancient war deity from his home village and sell it to a New York gallery.

Nevada by Imogen Binnie: Maria Griffiths, a young trans woman living in New York City, is trying to stay true to her punk values while working retail. When she finds out her girlfriend has lied to her, the world she thought she’d carefully built for herself begins to unravel, and Maria sets out on a journey that will most certainly change her forever.

The Dinner List by Rebecca Serle: In a novel imbued with magical realism, when Sabrina Nielsen arrives at her 30th birthday dinner in New York City, she finds at the table not just her best friend, but also her favorite professor from college; her father; her ex-fiance Tobias; and Audrey Hepburn.

A Brightness Long Ago by Guy Gavriel Kay: A brilliant servant under a despotic count and a would-be assassin who has forfeited a life of comfort join an extraordinary group of companions when a rivalry between two mercenary commanders threatens the world balance.

The Private Lives of Trees by Alejandro Zambra: Worried that his wife Veronica will not return home from an art class, Julian imagines his stepdaughter Daniela’s future without her mother and tells her an improvisational bedtime story.

They Come in All Colors by Malcolm Hansen: Set between the Deep South and New York City during the 1960s and early 70s, about a biracial teenage boy whose new life in a big city is disrupted by childhood memories of the summer when racial tensions in his hometown reached a tipping point.

(all reviews via Novelist)

~posted by Kara P.

The Space Needle: A 21st Century View

How many times have you gauged your location or some necessary distance by that 605 foot spinning top of a landmark? Long after March 1962, the centerpiece of Seattle Center has evolved just as the campus it towers over continues to morph and change with the ever-growing city surrounding it.

The future is here! Built in record time, the Space Needle went from being a doodle of an idea, on a napkin, to an iconic landmark. Once the largest structure west of the Mississippi, the Space Needle is now dwarfed by buildings that soar over the 605 foot tower. Continue reading “The Space Needle: A 21st Century View”

If only my library were in a bar… Booktoberfest 2019!

Think of it: the nerdy erudition of your neighborhood library, crossed with the convivial bonhomie of your local pub. That’s Booktoberfest, now in its fifth year! Trivia, karaoke, happy hours, all with a bookish twist. Storytimes, art class, and literary readings, all in bars! Come out and celebrate the season with us. Here’s what’s in store: Continue reading “If only my library were in a bar… Booktoberfest 2019!”

Anna Deavere Smith’s Living Theater

Life and literature reflect each other in interesting ways. As the trial begins for Amber Guyger (the Dallas police officer charged with killing Botham Jean in his own apartment last September), I have been led to read books about the aftermath of previous trials and grand jury decisions involving police officers, and how they affected the populace of their cities.

Image result for notes from the fieldLately I read the 2018 play Notes from the Field by Anna Deavere Smith.  I had known about Anna Deavere Smith as an actress, specifically as the hospital administrator on Nurse Jackie.  This play deals with the school to prison pipeline and its disproportionate effects on black and indigenous people of color.  Ms. Smith wrote the play after interviewing over 250 people in different parts of the United States. Her transcripts include experiences from people around the Freddie Grey death, an indigenous man who started getting in trouble in school and ended up in prison, and Bree Newsome who pulled down the confederate flag in South Carolina, together with many other moving stories. Continue reading “Anna Deavere Smith’s Living Theater”

Scary Stories: All Grown Up Now

As October looms near, I can’t help but to think about making a Spooky Stories display for the library. As a children’s librarian, I am mostly gathering books for young readers. I just put on hold several of my favorites, like Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz, and the thought occurred to me: what are the grown up versions of these stories?

Not that we can’t enjoy these stories as adults (I know I still do!), but I’ve also read a vast array of horror and scary stories in adulthood. I thought up some interesting pairs. Hopefully you enjoy reading these ‘grown up’ matches to a few childhood favorites.

Pairing Number One:

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz and Fragments of Horror 1, by Junji Itō Continue reading “Scary Stories: All Grown Up Now”