The Central Library Expands Hours, and 20-Plus Things to Do There

The Central Library at dusk
The Central Library at dusk

Tourists stop by all the time, but when was the last time you visited The Seattle Public Library’s internationally acclaimed downtown location?

If it’s been a while, we have good news: Starting Wednesday, Jan. 18, the Central Library will be open two nights a week until 8 p.m. (with the exception of the Faye G. Allen Children’s Center on Level 1, which will continue to close at 6 p.m. each evening). The Central Library’s nonfiction book spiral, located on Levels 6 through 9, also recently expanded its hours. It’s now open seven days a week, during all Central Library open hours.

If you need a refresher on what to explore at the Central Library, you can follow one of our self-guided tours, including this kids’ tour for families, chock full of fun facts. And below are floor-by-floor highlights.

Map from the kids tour of the Central Library
Map from the kids’ tour of the Central Library

Level 1, Fourth Avenue entrance

After you enter from Fourth Avenue, you can learn about the Rem Koolhaas-designed building at the displays in the lobby, then peruse the Peak Picks display (near the circulation desk) for the hottest new titles. Make sure to admire Ann Hamilton’s floor artwork of raised text in 11 languages.

Look down at the Peak Picks display to see the Ann Hamilton floor art
Look down at the Peak Picks display to see the Ann Hamilton floor art

Bring the children in your life to the spacious Faye G. Allen’s Children’s Center and cozy up with a book under the twinkling lights. Kids can browse books, play on filtered computers, and look for colorful artwork such as Mandy Greer’s Babe the Blue Ox. Or check out a Read-Aloud book, which comes with a built-in MP3 player.

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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 Nonfiction Roundup – January 2023

Start 2023 with some “new year, new you” titles, assessments of historical and current events, science books, and more!

Bestselling author Jay Shetty provides a guide to every stage of romance in 8 Rules of Love, while Portland’s Aubrey Gordon dispels myths about fat people in “You Just Need to Lose Weight.” Legendary music producer Rick Rubin shares wisdom about how to make a great work of art in The Creative Act, while Dacher Keltner explores how wonder can transform your life in Awe. Ayurvedic medicine expert Deepak Chopra delivers a guide to yoga for self-realization in Living in the Light; Jill Schlesinger gives readers ten financial steps to build a better life in The Great Money Reset; and Gloria Mark helps you find focus and fight distraction in Attention Span. And for those looking for a new project for the new year, Wendy Chow has 15 beginner-friendly quilt patterns ready to go in The Quilted Home Handbook.

In memoir, former Playboy model and actress Pamela Anderson takes readers beyond the tabloid headlines in Love, Pamela; Goldie Taylor debuts with the story of family, faith and the power of books in The Love You Save; and Peggy Orenstein reveals what she learned about life as she sets out to make a sweater from scratch in Unraveling. Prefer essays? Check out 20 years of idiosyncratic selected writings by Will Self in Why Read; embark on a search for paradise with beloved travel writer Pico Iyer in The Half Known Life; and novelist/poet Colm Tóibín writes about cancer, priests, popes, homosexuality, and literature through 11 essays in A Guest at the Feast.

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Crafty Gifts for the Holidays and Beyond

As year-end holidays approach, you may be looking to supplement (or replace!) store-bought gifts with handmade items. Take inspiration from one of the books below and make use of these dark winter evenings to make a homemade gift.

Made with Love: Get Hooked with 30 Knitting and Crochet Patterns by Tom Daley
British diver and Olympian Tom Daley presents 30 patterns for knit and crochet items, as well as instructions for the novice just getting started with either craft.

Natural Kitchen Dyes by Alicia Hall
Discover how to use common plants – even food scraps! – to dye cloth and fiber, and then use your dyed items to make one of ten craft projects.

The Crafty Chica Creates! Latinx-inspired DIY Projects with Spirit and Sparkle by Kathy Cano-Murillo
Tap into a diverse range of Latin style with the wide spectrum of projects included here, from clothing and jewelry to home and garden decorations, party staples, and more.

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Seattle Staff Faves 2022: Nonfiction

Library staff across the city weighed in on their favorite nonfiction books published in 2022 — and what a great list we created together! Read on for highlights of the excellent nonfiction included, with raves from staff; or jump straight into the full 36-item list.

Ducks: Two Years in the Oil Sands by Kate Beaton
“This graphic memoir is an utterly absorbing account of Beaton’s time spent working in the Alberta oil sands to pay off her college debts and an unflinching look at the human and environmental costs of an extractive capitalist system.” – Abby

 How to Keep House While Drowning by K.C. Davis
“A quick, compassionate read that provides a grounded approach to making your home life work for you when mental health, disability, or the weight of capitalism are impacting your ability to keep house.” – Micah
“KC Davis’ neurodivergent-friendly approach is particularly important to me.​” – Orion

Red Paint by Sasha taqwéseblu LaPointe
“CW: generational, colonial, and personal trauma.
The audiobook is narrated by the author! A coming of age story about processing and working through trauma that’s also so much more than that. Sasha taqwéseblu LaPointe, a Coast Salish musician and writer takes you on a journey both geographically (throughout the PNW) and introspectively through her search for healing and ‘home.’” – Kristy

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