Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves: Women in the Kitchen

There’s that old patriarchal saying that “a woman’s place is in the kitchen,” but in an industry dominated by men, it’s actually a lot harder to “get in the kitchen.” Just last year the Department for Labor Statistics showed that only 19.7 percent of restaurant kitchens are run by women. Things are changing, but it’s a cultural shift – kitchens have been notoriously unfriendly places for women between sexual harassment, long work hours, and lack of parental leave.

Here are two memoirs of women who have pushed against the norm and are changing the way we think about food. Continue reading “Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves: Women in the Kitchen”

Read along: Iditarod 2019

This Saturday, March 2 the 47th Iditarod will begin. 52 mushers and their sled dog teams will run 1000 miles of rough terrain from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, contending with mountains, frozen rivers, sub-zero temperatures, and sleep deprivation. The route roughly follows historic mail routes from the early 20th century, when gold came out and mail and supplies went in via dog sled, and which in 1925 was crucial to supplying diphtheria antitoxin to Nome. If you enjoy following extreme or endurance sports, love working dogs, or just want to know more about the event history and types of people who run this race, check out these items.

Book cover image for The Cruelest MilesThe Cruelest Miles by Gay Salisbury
This is the full story of the serum run that gives the Iditarod its legendary route. In the winter of 1925, Nome was isolated and on the cusp of a deadly diphtheria outbreak, with a desperate need for antitoxin. Airplanes still couldn’t consistently handle cold temperatures, and nothing else could make it through. So the serum was taken by rail from Seattle as far as it could go, and then dog mushers transported it the final 650 miles over 5 days. If you’ve only ever heard of one sled dog, it’s likely Balto, the lead dog of the last team. Continue reading “Read along: Iditarod 2019”

New Digital Collection Highlights Lives of Seattle Pioneers

This month we’ve launched a new digital collection which reveals a glimpse into the personal lives of some of Seattle’s early pioneers. The Lu Jacobson Collection of Latimer and Denny Family Material includes materials focusing on Alexander Latimer, his wife Sarah Chesney Latimer and their five daughters: Narcissa Latimer Denny, Eliza Alice Latimer Fowler, Harriet Ellen Latimer Stephens, Clara Latimer Bickford, and Emma Chesney Latimer Reynolds.

Narcissa, Alice, Hattie, Clara, and Emma Latimer, circa 1880.

The descendants of the Latimer family played a significant role in the founding of Seattle. Alexander Latimer’s sister, Sarah Latimer, married her first husband, Richard Boren in 1822. Their children, Mary Ann Boren Denny, Carson Dobbins Boren and Louisa Boren, were in the group of Seattle’s first settlers who landed at Alki on November 13, 1851. They were accompanied by Arthur Armstrong Denny (husband to Mary Ann Boren Denny) and David Thomas Denny (soon to be husband to Louisa Boren). Arthur and David were the sons Sarah Latimer’s second husband John Denny from a previous marriage. Continue reading “New Digital Collection Highlights Lives of Seattle Pioneers”

Books for Two

Our book group is growing! We reached out to a few friends to start building that sense of community around books so from now on we’ll be Books for Two or More! It’s still a no pressure book group and size doesn’t matter -we’ll be getting together once every two months to discuss our read.

Here were our Books for Two selections for October through December:

Amaro: The Spirited World of Bittersweet, Herbal Liqueurs with Cocktails, Recipes, and Formulas by Brad Thomas Parsons

This book is a gem, we learned so much in just a few pages. I’ve had two encounters with Amari over the years: Amaro Nonino Quintessentia and Fernet-Branca. Amaro Nonino was an amazing experience…Fernet-Branca, not so much, at least for me, my husband loooooves it. My friend’s husband is from Argentina and drinks it with Coca-Cola…you’ll read about that in this book…and that’s how my husband got hooked. I’m excited to try other Amari and other Fernets; its a big wide world out there! And the recipes to make cocktails and even your own Amaro at home was wonderful!

Educated by Tara Westover

This book was remarkable; the author pulls you into her life. Born in Idaho to a survivalist Mormon family, her father is the head of the home and makes that known at every turn. Paranoid of the government and the medical establishment the children receive a “home-schooled education” and are expected to work for their father at a very young age. While Tara would sometimes help her mother, an herbalist and midwife, with oils and tinctures, she was also called out to the junkyard to help her father gather scrap. The work in the junkyard is the cause of multiple injuries to family members over the years with tonics and salves given by their mother that are shockingly inadequate. Tara also suffers at the hand of an abusive brother…but everything is the Lord’s way. As Tara looks to a life outside of her small world she seeks an education that, while makes her more complete, pulls her farther and farther away from family and home.

The Heart by Maylis de Kerangal

Taking place within twenty-four hours, this book follows the beginning, middle, and end of the path of a donated heart. Three young men make their way to the beach, the waves calling their names, on their way home exhausted the driver falls asleep at the wheel. One doesn’t make it, his brain ceases to function, but his organs can still go on. The layers this book takes from the parents, to the surgeon, to the interns, and finally to the recipient was a tragic and beautiful journey of hope.

You can look back on previous Books for Two by following our blog posts here: Books for Two

Our book selection for January and February is An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks – A Peak Pick!

~posted by Kara P.

Thanks Obama

It’s that time of year again! Former President Barack Obama has released his list of favorite reads in 2018 and it’s gooooooooood.

Becoming by Michelle Obama – Obviously his favorite! And a Peak Pick!
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
American Prison by Shane Bauer
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Arthur Ashe: A Life by Raymond Arsenault
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne Continue reading “Thanks Obama”