June 2022 Author Events: Quintard Taylor, Judy Heumann, Ottessa Moshfegh and More

The Library is bringing in June with amazing author evens. Learn about the history of Seattle’s Black community, hear poems inspired by video games and AI, meet the authors of one of the most talked-about comics of 2020, listen to award-winning fantasy authors, hear the story of leading disability rights activist Judy Heumann and more.

Registration is required for both in-person and online attendance; check the event description at spl.org/Calendar for registration and links. All events are free and open to the public.

Breakpoint coverThe Language of Machines: Asian Voices on New Poetics From Tech, Robotics and Video Games – online

Saturday, June 4, 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.  Poets Neil Aitken (“Baggage’s Dream”), Betsy Aoki (“Breakpoint”), and Margaret Rhee (“Love, Robot”), share insights about crafting award-winning poems from programming languages, video games, AI and robotics. This event is presented in partnership with Open Books: A Poetry Emporium and supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation, author series sponsors the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation, Open Books and Seattle City of Literature.

The Forging of a Black Community coverQuintard Taylor Discusses “The Forging of a Black Community” Central Library and online

Tuesday, June 7, 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Celebrate the release of the second edition of this seminal work by the Scott and Dorothy Bullitt Professor of American History and professor emeritus at the University of Washington. With a new foreword and afterword, “The Forging of a Black Community” is essential to understanding the history and present of the largest Black community in the Pacific Northwest. The author will appear in conversation with Dr. Quin’Nita Cobbins-Modica. This event is presented in partnership with the Northwest African American Museum, Elliott Bay Book Company, and University of Washington Press, and is supported by The Seattle Public Library Foundation and the Gary and Connie Kunis Foundation.

Continue reading “June 2022 Author Events: Quintard Taylor, Judy Heumann, Ottessa Moshfegh and More”

Comic Book Cool Cats

It’s kitten season (April-October) and cats are absolutely everywhere right meow, including in just about every type of comic book or manga story you could imagine.

In Cat Massage Therapy by Haru Hisakawa, world weary workers find relief from the most unexpected of feline massage professionals.

Catboy by Benji Nate sees Olive’s wish to hang out with her cat Henry “like a person” come very precisely true, when her best cat friend becomes her best cat-person friend. Adulting and style abound in this hilarious and beautiful collection of the weekly webcomic.

A Man and His Cat by Umi Sakurai is really all in the title. An older gentleman adopts a seemingly unwanted cat from a local pet store. Does each have what the other is looking for? Read on and find out in this purrfect slice-of-life manga! Continue reading “Comic Book Cool Cats”

“We Hereby Refuse” – Sharing the History of Japanese American Resistance, 80 Years Ago

We Hereby Refuse

Just over 80 years ago, on March 30, 1942, more than 200 Bainbridge Island residents were expelled from their homes and forcibly relocated and incarcerated in American concentration camps. They were among the first of the 120,000 Japanese Americans – according to a recent story in the Seattle Times – who were incarcerated during World War II solely on the basis of race.

In May 2021, a groundbreaking graphic novel was published that shared a lesser-known story of that mass injustice: resistance. Published by the Wing Luke Museum and Chin Music Press, “We Hereby Refuse: Japanese American Resistance to Wartime Incarceration,” authored by Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura and illustrated by Ross Ishikawa and Matt Sasaki, wove together an epic narrative of three Japanese Americans who refused to submit to imprisonment in American concentration camps without a fight.

Want to learn about this remarkable graphic novel and the story behind it? Watch the YouTube recording of the Library event that celebrated its publication, hosted in partnership with the Wing Luke Museum, Densho and Elliott Bay Book Company.

Moderated by Tom Ikeda, Executive Director of Densho: The Japanese American Legacy Project, this must-see event gathered panelists including “We Hereby Refuse” authors Frank Abe and Tamiko Nimura, and artist Ross Ishikawa, as well as Wing Luke Museum board member Diane Sugimura. Continue reading ““We Hereby Refuse” – Sharing the History of Japanese American Resistance, 80 Years Ago”

Staff Faves 2021: Graphic Novels

It seems like both the quantity and quality of graphic novels and graphic nonfiction just keeps increasing every year.  This is great news for readers but it can feel a bit overwhelming when trying to find your next great graphic read. Luckily, our librarians read hundred of titles this year did a fantastic job sorting through the wealth of 2021 offerings. Here are some of our favorites:

If you are looking for warm fuzzies:

Our Dining Table by Mita OriOur Dining Table by Ori Mita

Salaryman Yutaka loves to cook (and is no slouch in the kitchen), but unhappy childhood memories prevent him from sharing meals with anyone but himself. When he meets charming young Tane and his much older brother, Minoru, Yutaka finds that sharing meals is not only a wonderful experience, but can lead to much more than just friendship.

The Thud by Mikaël Ross

When his mother suffers a stroke, Noel is at a complete loss. With no other family and unable to live independently, Noel becomes the newest resident at Neuerkerode, a village predominantly run and inhabited by people with developmental disabilities. Translated from the original German, this fictional story set in a real location follows Noel from his initial loss to gradual acceptance to ultimately thriving in his new life. Continue reading “Staff Faves 2021: Graphic Novels”

Library Explainer: A Peek at Picking Peak Picks

Peak Picks display Northeast Branch
A recent display of Peak Picks titles at The Seattle Public Library’s Northeast Branch

Editor’s note: This is a new, occasional series that looks behind the scenes at the Library to explain something readers want to know about. Have a burning Library question? Email communications@spl.org.

Peak Picks logo

If you’ve visited one of our neighborhood libraries in the past few years, you’ve likely noticed a display of Peak Picks books and stopped to browse or check out one (or five!) of the titles. It’s easy to spot: Just look for the bright blue and green logo with two peaks and the tagline: “no holds. no wait.”

That’s the promise of the Library’s wildly popular Peak Picks program: New and popular books you can check out right away – first come, first served – at any branch in our system.

Peak Picks began in 2017, designed by a cross-Library team led by Collection Services Manager Elena Gutierrez. The team made decisions on elements such as types of titles, guidelines for checkout, pilot locations, promotion and the complex logistics involved in a rapidly moving collection. Initially piloted at eight locations, within a year Peak Picks expanded to all branches (and our Bookmobile).

This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan
This Is Your Mind on Plants, by Michael Pollan, was our most highly circulated Peak Picks title in recent months.

Peak Picks is billed as “Bestsellers and More,” and the Library works to provide both with our picks. The Selection Services librarians who curate Peak Picks select titles by popular authors with loyal readership and highly anticipated books that we expect will be widely promoted in the media. (Think Michael Pollan’s This Is Your Mind on Plants, our most highly circulated Peak Pick title in the past few months.)

We also choose titles that we expect to be of interest and importance to our local patrons, even if they may not be national bestsellers. (A nonfiction example from the current lineup is the graphic memoir Seek You: A Journey Through American Loneliness, by Kristen Radtke.) Continue reading “Library Explainer: A Peek at Picking Peak Picks”