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”

Let’s Swim!

This return of warmer weather has me thinking about swimming – dipping my feet in a lake,* seeking out a pool. I’m still feeling cautious about being in proximity to people, even as pandemic precautions wane, which means that while I scope out swimming spots I’m also finding books to satisfy my urge.

Waterlog: A Swimmer’s Journey by Roger Deakin
Originally published in Britain in 1999 and now being published for the first time in the US, Waterlog is Deakin’s thoughtful reflection on swimming in wild places. Inspired by John Cheever’s story “The Swimmer,” Deakin began with a dip in the moat behind his farmhouse, and then conceived of a plan to swim the waterways of Britain, pristine and polluted alike. Swimming in seas, springs, rivers and ponds, he reflects on the history and geography of the waterways he visits, and on the general responsibility of environmental stewardship and maintenance of natural places that are open to all. Deakin’s work launched an international “wild swimming” movement; it’s good to see it published on our shores. (For a fantastic, in-depth review, check out Anelise Chen’s story in The Atlantic).

Continue reading “Let’s Swim!”