Read This: The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch

Quote: “You are not nothing. You are vital to your culture. We misfits are the ones with the ability to enter grief. Death. Trauma. And emerge. But we have to keep telling our stories, giving them to each other, or they will eat us alive. Our suffering is not the Christ story. Our suffering is generative of secular meaning. We put ordinary forms of hope into the world so that others, scruffy or graceful, might go on.”
– The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch

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What’s it about? Yuknavitch expands her TED Talk into a compelling account of how she and other misfits have struggled to be in the world, and how the world is a better place for it. It is about the lie that suffering makes you stronger; about the misleading myth of the hero’s journey; about making mistakes and making art and making it through the day; about surviving, and not surviving. This is a different kind of self help book, without a dash of sentiment, schmaltz or feel-good glibness. Continue reading “Read This: The Misfit’s Manifesto, by Lidia Yuknavitch”

New & Notable Northwest Nonfiction

A dozen new and updated books about Seattle and the great Northwest, past and present, are coming to shelves at a library near you.

Building Tradition: Pan-Asian Seattle and Life in the Residential Hotels by Rose Marie Wong. This history of the International District is told through the neighborhood’s single-room occupancy hotels. Continue reading “New & Notable Northwest Nonfiction”

Nightstand Reads: Seattle author Kim Fu shares recent favorites

Our guest blogger today is Kim Fu, author of the forthcoming novel The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore, in which a group of young girls descend on Camp Forevermore, a sleepaway camp in the Pacific Northwest, where their days are filled with swimming lessons, friendship bracelets, and camp songs by the fire. Filled with excitement and nervous energy, they set off on an overnight kayaking trip to a nearby island. But before the night is over, they find themselves stranded, with no adults to help them survive or guide them home. The Lost Girls of Camp Forevermore traces these five girls—Nita, Andee, Isabel, Dina, and Siobhan—through and beyond this fateful trip. Fu will be appearing at Elliott Bay Book Co. at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13.

I’ve kept a list of every book I’ve read since 2010. It’s been interesting to see patterns that align with events in my personal life: interests that crop up and fade, what and how much I read in a year of mourning versus a year of celebration. Like many people, I also discovered that what I thought of as my own capricious, wide-ranging taste was instead reflective of what books get published and hyped in a particular year, and that I needed to make a conscious effort to read more diversely. I was especially inspired by this list by R.O. Kwon, Continue reading “Nightstand Reads: Seattle author Kim Fu shares recent favorites”

Seattle Rep’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING: Beyond the Theatre

August Wilson Way, a pedestrian walkway at Seattle Center. (Photo by Curtis Cronn, flickr)

Here in Seattle we claim playwright August Wilson as one of our own, even though he was born in Pittsburgh and spent only 15 years (from 1990 until his death in 2005) here. But it was here, in the basement of his Capitol Hill house, where he completed his magnificent Pittsburgh Cycle (sometimes also called the Twentieth Century Pittsburgh Cycle). It was here where he worked with Seattle Repertory Theatre to produce all ten plays in the cycle. It is here, in Seattle, where a lovely walkway, just south of the Seattle Rep (along the vacated Republican Street between Warren Ave N. and 2nd Ave. North) is known as August Wilson Way.

Two Trains Running, which opens next Friday at the Seattle Rep, premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 1990 and then went on to the Huntington Theatre in Boston and, in 1991, at the Seattle Rep with Laurence Fishburne. We’re excited to welcome this production back to Seattle. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING: Beyond the Theatre”

New books from Washington authors: September 2017

We are thrilled to share some of the latest books published by authors in Washington state! First up, three novels for adults, beginning with one from a former SPL librarian:

George & Lizzie by Nancy Pearl: From “America’s librarian” and NPR books commentator Nancy Pearl comes an emotionally riveting debut novel about an unlikely marriage at a crossroads. Pearl formerly served as the executive director for the Washington Center for the Book. Continue reading “New books from Washington authors: September 2017”