New Fiction Roundup, February 2023

Family dramas, mythological retellings and more await you in February!

2/7: Cold People by Tom Rob Smith
Earth has fallen to an outside force, and the remnants of humanity will only be allowed on Antarctica. Those who make it there confront an urgent challenge: to what extremes are they willing to go to evolve quickly enough to ensure humankind’s survival? (science fiction) A Peak Pick!

2/7: Hungry Ghosts by Kevin Jared Hosein
Two families in 1940s Trinidad, one wealthy and one poor, are inextricably linked by the disappearance of a wealthy landowner. (historical fiction)

2/7: Our Share of Night by Mariana Enriquez, translated by Megan McDowell
A woman’s mysterious death puts her husband and son on a collision course with her demonic family, who are determined to pull the son back into the family fold. (horror)

2/7: A Spell of Good Things by Ayòbámi Adébáyò
Teenage Eniola and doctor Wuraola find themselves caught in the snare of wealth, power, corruption and violence in this story set in contemporary Nigeria. (general fiction)

2/7: Stone Blind by Natalie Haynes
This retelling of a classical myth presents Medusa’s story, from growing up as the youngest (and only mortal) of the Gorgon sisters, to her punishment for the crime of another and transformation into a snake-haired monster, to her pursuit by Perseus. (fantasy) A Peak Pick!

2/7: VenCo by Cherie Dimaline
Lucky St. James finds a tarnished silver spoon in the wall of her Toronto apartment, a discovery that sets Lucky and her grandmother on a road trip to New Orleans to connect with a network of witches and forestall a powerful adversary. (fantasy)

2/7: Victory City by Salman Rushdie
In 14th century India, a goddess speaks through nine-year-old Pampa Kampana and breathes into existence the city of Bisnaga, a place where women have equal agency. Over the next 250 years, Pampa Kampana strives to maintain the city in the face of human pride and greed. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

2/7: When Trying to Return Home by Jennifer Maritza McCauley
This short story collection full of Black American and Afro-Puerto Rican characters is a meditation on belonging and the meaning of home. (general fiction)

2/14: The Sun Walks Down by Fiona McFarlane
In September 1883, six-year-old Denny Wallace goes missing from a small town in the Australian outback during a dust storm. As community members search for him, the large cast of characters and their daily lives, conflicts, and dreams come into vivid relief. (historical fiction)

2/14: The Wife of Willesden by Zadie Smith
Novelist and essayist Smith turns to playwriting with this adaptation of Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Wife of Bath, following Jamaican-born British woman Alvita as she tells her life story to a band of strangers in a small pub. (play)

2/21: Arch-Conspirator by Veronica Roth
A reimagining of Antigone in a dystopian future where widespread radiation has led to reproductive oppression. Antigone, living in the last habitable city on Earth under the tyrannical rule of her uncle, is sentenced to death and seeks her revenge. (science fiction)

2/21: The Destroyer of Worlds by Matt Ruff
This sequel to Lovecraft Country finds Atticus Turner and his father facing an old nemesis in North Carolina; Atticus’ uncle George contemplating a deal with the ghost of Hiram Winthrop; Hippolyta and Letitia finding the far end of the universe on a trip to Nevada; and much more. (fantasy)

2/21: I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai
Bodie Kane, professor and podcaster, has long put behind her her four years at a New Hampshire boarding school and the murder of her roommate their senior year. When she returns as a visiting instructor, she’s drawn back into the intrigue of the past. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

2/21: The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz
A young author attends an exclusive writer’s retreat, only for it to descend into nightmare. Can she make it out alive? (thriller)

2/28: Black Candle Women by Diane Marie Brown
Four generations of Black women grapple with a familial curse that sees any person they fall in love with die. When 17-year-old Nickie brings a boy home for the first time, the women are galvanized, set on a course to a New Orleans book shop where they may discover the answers they seek. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

2/28: Homestead by Melinda Moustakis
In 1956 Alaska, two near-strangers are drawn together by a shared dream of homesteading. As they marry and work the rugged land, they must face all they don’t know about one another and the reality of homesteading. (historical fiction)

~ posted by Andrea G.

Theater, Music and Film: February 2023 Events at The Seattle Public Library

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We’ve got some amazing author programs and community events planned for February, from Lambda Award-winning novelist Annalee Newitz to Bonnie Garmus, author of the bestselling novel “Lessons in Chemistry”. The Fifth Avenue Theatre is also back with a Sondheim show talk and the South Park Branch is hosting a movie screening with former Washington State poet Claudia Castro Luna.

Many events require registration, but all Library events are free and open to the public. Find information and registration through the event links below or at


Annalee Newitz With Misha Stone — “The Terraformers”: From 7 p.m. to 8 p.m, Friday, Feb. 3, at Third Place Books, Ravenna. Science journalist, podcaster and Lambda Award-winning novelist Annalee Newitz will discuss their highly anticipated sci-fi epic, “The Terraformers,” a science fiction epic for our times — and a love letter to our future. Newitz will be in conversation with Misha Stone, Reader Services librarian and Vice-Chair of the Clarion West Writers Workshop board.

Ladies Musical Club Concert: From noon to 1 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 8 at the Central Library. The Ladies Musical Club concert this month features solo piano works and songs for soprano, including performances by Tiina Ritalahti (soprano), Joan Lundquist (piano) and Joyce Gibb (piano).

Virtual It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series: From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 9. Online. Join us for this virtual event hosted by the Ballard Branch, featuring Amanda Hartzell, Sylvia Pollack, and Jared Leising. New and experienced writers are always welcome to read for a three-minute open mic.

Show Talks With the 5th Avenue Theatre – The Genius of Sondheim: From 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 11. Central Library, Level 1 – Microsoft Auditorium. In this special musical tribute to one of “the most revered and influential composer-lyricists” in Broadway history, artistic director Emeritus of the Fifth Avenue Theatre David Armstrong will share fascinating insights into Sondheim’s life, times, and career. This event will also include musical performances by guest artists.

Virtual Writers Read: From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., Sunday, Feb. 12. Online. Presented in partnership with the African-American Writers’ Alliance, this monthly reading series features an open mic and selected author readings from local writers who read from their diverse repertoires of poetry, short stories, novels and essays.

Write with Hugo House: Seattle Writes: From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 14 at the Fremont Branch and from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 15 at the Douglass-Truth Branch. Attend this free multi-genre drop-in writing circle facilitated by an established local writer from Hugo House!

“Pelo Malo” with Claudia Castro Luna and Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra: From 6:15 p.m. to 8:15 p.m., Friday, Feb. 17 at the South Park Branch. Join us for a Spanish-language screening and discussion of the filmPelo Malo,” facilitated by guest curator and former Washington State poet Claudia Castro Luna and Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra of Movimiento Afrolatino Seattle. This event is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation. Ven a ver la proyección y discusión de la película en español “Pelo Malo”, facilitada por la curadora invitada Claudia Castro Luna y Milvia Berenice Pacheco Salvatierra del Movimiento Afrolatino Seattle.

Bonnie Garmus presents “Lessons in Chemistry”: From 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 23. Central Library, Level 1 Microsoft Auditorium. Bonnie Garmus will discuss her national bestselling debut novel “Lessons in Chemistry,” which tells the story of Elizabeth Zott, “a formidable, unapologetic and inspiring” (Parade Magazine) scientist in 1960s California whose career takes a detour when she becomes the unlikely star of a beloved TV cooking show. The event will include a public signing and audience Q&A.

Lily Yu discusses “On Fragile Waves”: From 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Saturday, February 25 at the Central Library. Join us for a reading and conversation with E. Lily Yu, winner of the 2022 Washington State Book Award for Fiction. “Devastating and perfect” is how the New York Times Book Review described “On Fragile Waves,”the haunting story of a family of dreamers and tale-tellers looking for home in an unwelcoming world. Yu will be in conversation with Jenna Zarzycki, a librarian with the King County Library System and a Washington State Book Award judge.


Mask use is strongly encouraged and additional safety precautions are in place: Library staff are fully vaccinated, the Library offers free masks and hand sanitizer to patrons at sanitation stations, and all Library locations have high-quality ventilation and air filtration.

The Library offers a range of other free events and workshops in February, including services such as Tax Help (back this year at eight locations) and phone and service enrollment; and business workshops and consults. See all events at

What Seattle Read in 2022: Teen Edition

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What are the teenagers checking out these days? We were curious, so as a follow-up to our post on The Seattle Public Library’s most popular books for adults in 2022, we’ve compiled the top-circulated 10 fiction and nonfiction books for teen audiences. It’s a diverse, fascinating list, ranging from award-winning graphic novels to an Ojibwe coming-of-age story to a youth edition of Trevor Noah’s memoir. Maybe you’ll find a new book for your young adult reader — or for yourself.

Top teen fiction: Print books

  1. Firekeeper's Daughter, by Angeline BoulleyMaus: A Survivor’s Tale, by Art Spiegelman
  2. Firekeeper’s Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
  3. Last Night at the Telegraph Club, by Malinda Lo
  4. We Hereby Refuse: Japanese-American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration, by Frank Abe, Tamiko Nimura, with art by Ross Ishikawa, Matt Sasaki
  5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, by Suzanne Collins
  6. The Girl from the Sea, by Molly Knox Ostertag
  7. Maus, I, A Survivor’s Tale: My Father Bleeds History, by Art Spiegelman
  8. A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah J. Maas
  9. Heartstopper, Volume 1, by Alice Oseman
  10. The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas

Top teen fiction: E-books

  1. Shadow and Bone: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 1, by Leigh BardugoShadow and Bone: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 1, by Leigh Bardugo
  2. A Court of Thorns and Roses, by Sarah M. Maas
  3. Siege and Storm: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 2, by Leigh Bardugo
  4. A Snake Falls to Earth, by Darcie Little Badger
  5. The Book Thief, by Markus Zusak
  6. Ruin and Rising: The Grisha Trilogy, Book 3, by Leigh Bardugo
  7. The Summer I Turned Pretty, Book 1, by Jenny Han
  8. Firekeeper’s Daughter, by Angeline Boulley
  9. Heartstopper, Volume 1, by Alice Oseman
  10. We Were Liars, by E. Lockhart

Continue reading “What Seattle Read in 2022: Teen Edition”

New Fiction Roundup, January 2023

New year, new fiction! 2023 gets off to a great start with a slate of engaging general fiction, mysteries, horror, historical fiction, and much more. What will be the first novel you read in 2023?

1/1: Hide by Tracy Clark
Chicago detective Harriet Foster is on the hunt for a serial killer who targets redheads. (mystery)

1/3: The Bandit Queens by Parini Shroff
Five years ago, Geeta’s husband walked away without a trace – but rumor in the village is that she killed him, and now other women are asking for her help getting rid of their husbands. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

1/10: Bad Cree by Jessica Johns
Mackenzie, a young Cree woman, begins to have dreams that seep into her waking hours, dreams that connect back to her sister Sabrina’s untimely death. She travels back to her rural Alberta hometown where she’ll try to figure out what happened at the lake before Sabrina died, and if it threatens the rest of her family. (horror)

Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup, January 2023”

Short Books to End the Year

As the end of the year approaches, perhaps you’re looking for a short read, either to help you hit a reading goal or to devour during some self-care time as 2022 finishes up. If so, check out one of these reads, all coming in at under 200 pages.

The Singing Hills Cycle novels by Nghi Vo
In this series set in a land inspired by Imperial China, cleric Chih travels around gathering stories and legends to take back to their monastery. Each book is short, but wholly absorbing, like listening to a storyteller around a fire. Start at the beginning, with The Empress of Salt and Fortune, or pop into the second or third book in the series, which also stand alone (When the Tiger Came Down the Mountain or Into the Riverlands). You can’t go wrong.

Continue reading “Short Books to End the Year”