Walking, Rolling, and Driving in the Accessible Outdoors

The days are longer, the sun is (somewhat) back, and the weather is taking a turn for the more comfortable. That means it is time to get outside and enjoy all that the great outdoors has to offer, be it your neighborhood park, the shores of Lake Washington, or the not-so-distant mountains.

If you are anything like me though, getting outside and moving can be a challenge. I’m not much for long hikes on steep, muddy trails. I can’t keep up with my more active friends. Being disabled can be a huge barrier to feeling I belong in the outdoors. Lucky for us disabled folks, Syren Nagakyrie, founder and director of the nonprofit Disabled Hikers, is working to change the way we think about who belongs outside, and how we connect with nature.

Disabled Hikers is many things: a web portal for resources, an advocacy group, and a community of disabled people who love getting outside. I interviewed Syren about their organization recently, and one of my favorite things was talking about what makes a hike…well, a hike! Syren’s answer was validating: a hike is anything you want it to be, so long as you are outside taking in the nature around you. Even walking to a park bench and sitting to observe the natural world can be a hike.

Continue reading “Walking, Rolling, and Driving in the Accessible Outdoors”

Fall sports season is here

Fall sports season is underway! The Seahawks (football) kick off their season on Sept 12, the Mariners (baseball) are making a run for the playoffs, with the OL Reign (women’s soccer) likely headed to playoffs and the Sounders (men’s soccer) making a last push for a playoff spot. If all the excitement has you wanting more, delve into one of these books on the history, personalities, and art of sports.

The Forgotten First: Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley, Bill Willis, and the Breaking of the NFL Color Barrier by Keyshawn Johnson and Bob Glauber
A year before Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke the color barrier in baseball, UCLA running back Kenny Washington signed with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, breaking the color barrier in professional football. The Forgotten First chronicles the life of Washington and the other three first Black players in the NFL in 1946 (two at the LA Rams, two at the Cleveland Browns), their accomplishments, the racism they faced, and the paths they paved for the players who came after them. Continue reading “Fall sports season is here”

From Minecraft to Mae Jemison: The Library’s most popular kids’ nonfiction books in 2021

What true stories did Seattle’s children turn to in 2021? While the Library’s most popular fiction books for kids were fairly unsurprising – bestselling titles by Dav Pilkey, Raina Telgemeier and Mo Willems dominated – the most popular kids’ nonfiction books last year were a more varied, surprising collection.

Our young Library readers checked out nonfiction books that tackled topics from Minecraft to Mae Jemison and from Dreamers to dinosaurs. Take some inspiration, and if you have a great nonfiction read to recommend for kids, leave it in the comments!

The Library’s 12 most popular physical books in kids’ nonfiction, 2021

Continue reading “From Minecraft to Mae Jemison: The Library’s most popular kids’ nonfiction books in 2021”

MeatEater: Your Link to the Food Chain

Steven Rinella grew up in Twin Lake, Michigan and learned to hunt and fish at an early age. This love of hunting and the outdoors has now become quite a career as an author, television personality, podcaster, and conservationist. He breaks the stereotype we have of the “American hunter” – when he explores a subject, he nerds out so spectacularly that I have come to appreciate his level of intellect and extensive research.

The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine (2006) – The first book in the Steven Rinella canon. Steven sets out to recreate the recipes from master chef Escoffier’s classic 1903 Le Guide Culinaire to get back to where the history of modern food got its start. Continue reading “MeatEater: Your Link to the Food Chain”

#BookBingoNW2021 Sports

Still struggling to find the right book for your Sports Book Bingo square? Never fear, your intrepid Seattle Public Library sports librarian has some suggestions for you, whether you’re a diehard sports writing fan, or have never picked up a book about sports before in your life.

Confession time: despite serving as the Library’s sports librarian for the past 8 years, I never really understood the appeal of reading about sports until I picked up Levels of the Game by John McPhee a few years ago. This slim volume hooked me from the first page with its insightful profiles of a young Arthur Ashe and his wealthy, white opponent Clark Graebner, skillfully woven into a nail-biting narrative of a career-changing tennis match. In fact I enjoyed McPhee’s sports writing so much that I returned to him to complete my square for this year’s Book Bingo by reading A Sense of Where You Are, his fascinating portrait of Bill Bradley and his phenomenal basketball playing at Princeton. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021 Sports”