Author Vicki Conrad Shares Favorite Picture Book Biographies

We asked the author of Just Like Beverly, a new picture book biography of Beverly Cleary, to share her favorite biographies for children in this Nightstand Reads post. Here are five picks from Vicki Conrad:

As a child, the Ramona Series was dear to my heart. I truly felt so much like her. My two favorite books are Ramona and her Mother, and Ramona and her Father. I also loved The Mouse and the Motorcycle.

My 5 Favorite Biographies, right now:

Spring After Spring: How Rachel Carson Inspired the Environmental Movement by Stephanie Roth Sisson
This book is packed with scientific information, but with lovely poetic language. It is a quiet gem.

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate
I have loved this story for years. I read it when I was a classroom teacher, my students always wanted to know more about his life.

The Flying Girl: How Aida de Acosta Learned to Soar by Margarita Engle
We can never grow tired of the women who were brave enough to break through barriers. Rhyme, colorful illustrations, and an unusual topic make this worth the read.

Secret Engineer: How Emily Roebling Built the Brooklyn Bridge by Rachel Dougherty
Part lesson in engineering and architecture, part story of a woman blazing a new trail. Emily Roebling basic took over construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, by studying engineering all by herself. This books shows children and adults we are all responsible for our own learning, and you can figure hard things out with persistence.

When Marian Sang: the True Recital of Marian Anderson, the Voice of a Century by Pam Munoz Ryan
This book literally sings with a lyrical lilt and poetic language. It is masterfully written so you can almost hear her singing voice as you read. It is an older book, but she is a woman worth knowing about and the writing is brilliant.

Vicki Conrad is a Seattle author and also a teacher with a passion for literacy development and inspiring students to love reading just as much as she did as a child. As a young girl, Beverly Cleary struggled to learn to read and found most children’s books dull and uninteresting. She often wondered if there were any books about kids just like her. With hard work, and the encouragement of her parents and a special teacher, she learned to read and at a young age discovered she had a knack for writing. Just Like Beverly, illustrated by David Hohn and published by Little Bigfoot (Sasquatch Books) follows this beloved author’s journey. Meet Vicki and hear more about Just Like Beverly at the University Book Store on Sunday, Sept. 15, at 1 p.m.

New Nonfiction Roundup – September 2019

September marks the beginning of the fall publishing season, and you’ll see new releases from some big names: Malcolm Gladwell, Demi Moore, Patti Smith, Edward Snowden and Tegan & Sara, just to name a few. Happy reading!

Audience of OneJames Poniewozik explains how Trump mastered television as a businessman, TV host and President.

A Beginner’s Guide to JapanA ruminative guide to Japan, from Pico Iyer (The Art of Stillness). 

Call Sign Chaos. A guide to leadership from former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Will be at Temple de Hirsch Sinai September 16!

Creative Calling. Chase Jarvis argues that you don’t find fulfillment, you create it.  Will be at Town Hall September 23!

CoventryRachel Cusk dissects memoir, art and literary criticism through a feminist lens in her first essay collection.

Economist’s Hour. Binyamin Applebaum surveys the influence of economists exert on the U.S. government.

Education of an Idealist. A memoir from humanitatian and former Ambassador to the U.N under Obama. Will be at Town Hall September 16!

Everything is Figureoutable. Life coach Marie Forleo gives you the tools to confront any crisis and persevere.  Will be at Town Hall September 17!

Generation Friends. A behind-the-scenes look at Friends on the 25th anniversary of its premiere.

High SchoolMusicians Tegan & Sara Quin detail their first loves and first songs from their high school years.

House on Stilts. This memoir by Paula Becker (Looking for Betty McDonald focuses on mothering a son with an opioid addiction. Will be at Central Library September 21 and Third Place Lake Forest Park September 26!

How To. More absurd scientific advice from xkcd‘s Randall Munroe.  Will be at Third Place Books Lake Forest Park on September 9! A Peak Pick!

IndistractableNir Eyal explores the roots of distraction and develops a framework to control your attention and focus.

Inside Out. Demi Moore tells the story of her life, film career and high profile relationships in her first memoir.

Make It Scream, Make It BurnThe latest eclectic essay collection from Leslie Jamison combines memoir, criticism and journalism.

The Meritocracy TrapDaniel Markovits dispels the myth that meritocracy values ability and effort above all else.

On Fire. Naomi Klein (The Shock Doctrine) makes the case for a Green New Deal with trenchant essays. Will be at Town Hall September 24! A Peak Pick!

Our Dogs, Ourselves.  Alexandra Horowitz examines our unique relationship with dogs. Will be at Town Hall September 28!

Over the TopQueer Eye star Jonathan Van Ness shares how he overcame ridicule and trauma to be “the radiant human he is today.”

Own Your SelfHolistic psychiatrist Kelly Brogan argues that working through physical and emotion pain is better than pharmaceuticals.

Permanent Record. Edward Snowden tells the story of his life, from childhood to whistle-blower in exile.

Proof of ConspiracySeth Abramson follows up Proof of Collusion with a further investigation into Trump’s relationship with world leaders.

Second FoundingHistorian Eric Foner posits that the “Reconstruction Amendments” marked the second founding of the U.S.

She SaidJodi Kantor & Megan Twohey won the Pulitzer Prize for investigating allegations against Harvey Weinstein, launching the #metoo movement. Will be at Benaroya Hall January 20!

SontagBenjamin Moser delivers a massive biography of essayist, novelist and critic Susan Sontag.

Super Attractor. Gabrielle Bernstein gives readers the confidence to unleash their power and achieve all that they desire.

Super Pumped. Mike Isaac covers the rise and fall of Uber in a twelve-month period.  Will be at Third Place Lake Forest Park September 14!

Talking to Strangers. Malcolm Gladwell examines why our interactions with strangers often go wrong.  Will be at Benaroya Hall September 23! A Peak Pick! 

Think Black. Clyde Ford tells the story of his father, the first black software engineer at IBM.  Will be at Town Hall September 22!

Tools & Weapons. Microsoft president Brad Smith tackles thorny issues that tech companies face. Will be at Town Hall September 20!

Turn Around Time. This book-length poem by David Guterson (Snow Falling on Cedars) celebrates the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Will be at the Central Library September 10! A Peak Pick! 

Ungrateful Refugee. This memoir by Dina Nayeri shines a light on the lives of refugees like herself.  Will be at Elliott Bay Book Co. September 18!

United States of TrumpBill O’Reilly obtained exclusive interviews with Trump to explain his unlikely ascendancy to the presidency.

We Are the Weather. Jonathan Safran Foer(Eating Animals) argues that limiting our consumption of animal products will help save the planet.  Will be at Town Hall September 25!

Whose Story is This? A new, provocative essay collection from progressive voice Rebecca Solnit.

Wilding. A married couple decide to restore their failing farm to the wild, before human intervention. Will be at Town Hall September 26!

Will My Cat Eat My Eyeballs? -Caitlin Doughty (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes) answers dozens of questions about death in entertaining guide.  Will be at Town Hall September 16!

Year of the MonkeyPatti Smith (Just Kidsreflects on 2016, which saw the loss of a close friend and the election of Donald Trump. A Peak Pick!

Ale Yeah!

My dad’s favorite beer was Schmidt – during football games or working in the garage, that was his go-to drink of choice. Occasionally he might add some tomato juice, but more often than not it was just that simple can with a fish on the label. Camping in my twenties I often grabbed a pack of Rolling Rock or Corona, but I don’t think I started to appreciate beer until I met my husband. Born in Michigan, he was exposed to more floral notes of the hop rather than bitter. I didn’t like IPAs at all until he had me try Bell’s Two Hearted…a smile came to my face when I saw it too had a fish on the label. Not sure dad would have cared for it, but it taught me to discover I had a palate. Now drinking beer is all about trying and discovering. My local favorites are Dystopian’s Coconut Cream Ale and Georgetown’s Gusto Crema. Outside of state lines I’ve fallen for Founder’s Green Zebra as my go to gose; for a stout, Perennial nails it with their Abraxas; for a shandy, Short’s does it for me with their Soft Parade, and Riverbend kills it with their Milkshake IPAs…Hawaiian Crunch is calling my name right now! And now I know no matter where I go, I’ll find something I enjoy.

For those that can’t hit the road right now for a beer tour here are a few books to get some studying in before your beer imbibing adventure begins!

Tasting Cider: The Cidercraft Guide to Distinctive Flavors of North American Hard Cider by Erin James

Ciders were always sweet delights – hot ciders during high school football games or apple cider donuts at the pumpkin patch. Most hard ciders I had were filled with so much sugar I was guaranteed an instant headache in the morning. As more and more hard ciders started being produced, it was more the dry or English style that I enjoyed most. Finn River out of Chimicum is now my go-to with that bit of funk and twang that keeps me wanting more without my gut taking a punch. Cider has a long history and is incredibly diverse – this guide will walk you along the many flavors and ways of imbibing.

Complete IPA: The Guide to your Favorite Craft Beer by Joshua M. Bernstein

In the Pacific Northwest we love our hops…like really, really, really love our hops. We love them so much that our IPAs will often taste like someone is hitting me with a pillow filled with them. My face distorts and I forget where I am. But I think that is starting to change with more and more experimentation. I love hops, I do, but it’s their floral notes that really pull me in. Sweet and smooth is the kind of IPA I can cuddle up with. This guide will show you some of the places making some interesting changes in the IPA realm.

Craft Beer Country: In Search of the Best Breweries From the South Pacific to the Pacific Coast by Kirk Richardson

Some great breweries in the craft beer game have found their way into this guide of the Pacific Coast – I see you Georgetown! While there are tons more to discover and explore, this guide will get you started and have you trying beers you might not have tried before, although I will always encourage folks to find those back roads! Some of the best breweries I’ve found have been road trips with friends like Fort George Brewing in Astoria and Bron Yr Aur in Naches.

My Beer Year: Adventures With Hop Farmers, Craft Brewers, Chefs, Beer Sommeliers, & Fanatical Drinkers as A Beer Master in Training by Lucy Burningham

Follow Lucy’s path as she gets her beer education on! Like the sommeliers of the wine world, Lucy dived into that beer knowledge so deep in order to become a certified cicerone (sis-uh-rohn). I’m also a sucker for a good memoir, so beer plus story has me taking some pretty big sips. Hello, beer goddess, tell me all the things!

Want the beer to come to you? Just check out the many beer festivals Washington has to offer! And take a look at our Booktoberfest events!

~posted by Kara P.

DIY Different

While gardening, cooking, and home improvement are what most people think of as do-it-yourself, or DIY, in a more general sense anything that you can pay someone else to do or buy ready-made, but do yourself, is do-it-yourself. Let’s DIY Different!

Whether you’re an incessant reader, enjoy binge-watching television shows, or love a long videogame session, it’s storytelling that drives many of our hobbies and passions. If you’d like to take this one step further and are looking to participate in the storytelling yourself, one fantastic possibility is through tabletop roleplaying games (TTRPGs) such as Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, or Numenera. Grab yourself a few friends, some paper and pencils, a set of dice, check out the Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook (& Dungeon Master’s Guide, & maybe the Monster Manual), and you’re ready to roll! Continue reading “DIY Different”

Thanks Obama: Summer Edition

We have just a little over a month before we say good bye to summer and hello to fall, which gives you plenty of time to read some of former president Barack Obama’s summer reading favorites!

Toni Morrison’s collected works, including Song of Solomon, The Bluest Eye, and Beloved – a longtime popular author even before her death at the beginning of August. I definitely suggest placing a request since her books have been flying off the shelf!

Continue reading “Thanks Obama: Summer Edition”