New Fiction Roundup – December 2018

12/4: The Accidental Beauty Queen by Teri Wilson – School librarian Charlotte finds herself filling in for her glamorous twin sister who falls ill the night before a beauty pageant.

12/4: The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash – This family saga follows the Winters family, living New York City’s famed Dakota building, in the year leading up to John Lennon’s assassination.

12/4: Eighteen Below by Stefan Ahnhem – When a police chase in Helsingborg ends in the death of a tech entrepreneur, Danish police officer Fabian Risk makes a bizarre discovery that complicates the case. Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup – December 2018”

Bus Reads for November

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time. Here’s what I read on the bus in November:

There Therebook cover image of There There by Tommy Orange. It was one of those books I loved, but wanted more. I want more book, I want a sequel, I want more of the story, more, more, more, but it was beautiful and tragic and a needed voice. This story centers around the Oakland powwow that takes place at the end of the novel, those who are a part of it, those who want to be a part of it, and those that bring in harm. You have multiple character perspectives and as you read you start to see the connections being made. This book had brilliance and poetry in its commentary on the lives of urban Indians. The author also brings in history and stereotype and blows everything wide open. Continue reading “Bus Reads for November”

Cultivating Gratitude with Picture Books

“What I have come to believe is that joy is the twin sister of gratitude.  I am most joyful when I am most grateful.”*
         –Katherine Paterson, Newbery Medal-winning author

Thankfulness doesn’t end with Thanksgiving. Enjoy these wonderful picture books celebrating gratitude!

Gracias, Thanks by Pat Mora, illustrated by John Parra
A boy recounts the many things he is thankful for, in both Spanish and English.  This Pura Belpré Honor winner brims with a sense of happiness brought by the small pleasures in life. Continue reading “Cultivating Gratitude with Picture Books”

Classics Reimagined

Here are five fantastic books that explore some classic Greek tales many of us know, touching upon many centralized themes of classic Greek mythology but in unexpected and innovative ways. All are an illuminating read!

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

This fine rendition of a classic tale, the Odyssey by Homer, rejects the standard canon and explores Penelope’s story through her voice and the song of her twelve murdered maidens.  Atwood draws upon extant sources to create her story, drawing out the inconsistencies of a story that would originally have been told orally thus showcasing the myriad interpretations that can arise from a single story.  Mysterious and intriguing, this tale is a must read for anyone interested in the Odyssey. Continue reading “Classics Reimagined”

DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food

Today is Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and historically the busiest shopping day of the year. If the idea of battling frenzied crowds for the latest must-have doo-dad makes you want to pull the covers over your head and never come out, we have an idea for you – make your own gifts! You’ll get to stay home, avoid the clogged streets, and maybe even learn a new skill. And nothing says you care like a homemade present! Here are a few recent titles to inspire you:

Miniature Terrariums
Terrariums are among some of the easiest, quickest and cheapest crafts to make. Try it out yourself at our Holiday Craft workshop coming up next Thursday, November 29th at the Central Library, 5:30 pm (free and open to all while supplies last).

Take a Tin by Jemima Schlee
You’ve probably got a few tin cans lying around the house somewhere. Upcycle these ubiquitous household items into lamps, storage and other fun gifts. Continue reading “DIY Holidays: Crafty Gifts and Gifts of Food”