Conversation Hearts: An Inclusive Love Fest for Romance Readers and Writers

Romance readers and writers are passionate people. They are passionate about the power of love to transform people’s lives and to transform the world. They are passionate about an HEA (Happily-Ever-After) or a HFN (Happy-for-Now). And it’s safe to say they are tired of hearing ill-informed and dismissive opinions about the genre they love. If you haven’t read a romance or attended a romance event, now is the time!

Romance readers and writers are also asking for more inclusive and representative writers and characters. An article in the Guardian last year, Fifty shades of white: the long fight against racism in romance novels, highlighted the need for diverse voices in the field and much work needs to be done in publishing and the greater reading and writing community to create change. Continue reading “Conversation Hearts: An Inclusive Love Fest for Romance Readers and Writers”

Arthur C. Pillsbury Photograph Collection

Interested in seeing panoramic photos of Seattle and Alaska at the height of the Klondike Gold Rush? We recently digitized 197 photographs taken by Arthur C. Pillsbury between approximately 1896 and 1900, documenting the Gold Rush and scenes from California, Oregon and Washington. The collection includes a mixture of photograph sizes, many of them panoramic images that measure nearly three feet in length.

Pioneer Square, Seattle, 1899

The majority of the photographs in the collection show scenes from the Klondike Gold Rush. Pillsbury first traveled to Alaska in 1898, shortly after his graduation from Stanford University. (By this time, his interest in photography was already well established. To help fund his education at Stanford he operated a combination bicycle and photography shop and for his senior project at the University, he invented the first circuit panorama camera.) His father accompanied him on his travels and the two men experienced a fair share of adventure on their journey.

After setting out from Seattle and traveling hundreds of miles up the coast, they wrecked their small boat in a storm near Cape Fox, Alaska. Miraculously, neither Pillsbury’s camera nor his camera supplies (which were in airtight metal canisters) were damaged in the wreck but they did lose their maps and navigation charts. Once ashore, Pillsbury and his father created a temporary shelter from the boat’s wreckage and Pillsbury walked ten miles to a Tlingit village (which he remembered being marked on the now lost maps) for help. Continue reading “Arthur C. Pillsbury Photograph Collection”

Local Graphic Novels to Gear Up for Short Run

Graphic novels are doing particularly well in the Pacific Northwest, with Short Run Comix & Arts Festival coming up I like to prepare for the small press and independent level of creators by focusing on local creators. From mainstream on down to independent, Seattle has every genre being created right here. Here are a few favorites!

Ms. Marvel

G. Willow Wilson is a local creator, known for her writing in the novel The Bird King and Alif the Unseen, she also helped marvel comics welcome the first Muslim superhero in their history – Ms. Marvel! Kamila Kanh suddenly gets super powers and now is trying to juggle being a superhero with normal teenage concerns like school and friendships. Hiding her identity and finding what kind of superhero she needs to be, Kamila’s story is an excellent refresh of the classic superhero narrative.

Going to another well known title, Amulet by Kazu Kibuishi is a local creator who captivates readers of all ages with this fantastical tale of siblings who find a portal to another world in their basement. Dealing with loss and discovery the story doesn’t feel old with Kazu’s unique flair for writing and will leave you wanting the next book as soon as you finish the first. Continue reading “Local Graphic Novels to Gear Up for Short Run”

Upcoming Author Events

Andre Acimen, David Treuer, Clifford Thompson, Julie Pham, cartoonist T Edward Bak, and a love fest for romance readers are among the featured author events coming your way.

The free programs listed below are held at a variety of locations in November (Central Library, Montlake Branch Library, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute); please check our online Author and Books Events calendar for complete details on these featured November events and more.

André Aciman with Dave Wheeler
Find Me
Monday, November 4, 7 p.m.
Central Library, Microsoft Auditorium
Join us to hear novelist André Aciman, the author of the worldwide bestseller Call Me by Your Name, discuss his new book, which revisits the complex and beguiling characters from Call Me by Your Name decades after their first meeting. He will appear in conversation with Dave Wheeler of Shelf Awareness.

The A. Scott Bullitt Lecture in American History presents David Treuer
“The Past Isn’t Past: Native History as American History”
Thursday, November 7, at 7 p.m.
Central Library
Anthropologist David Treuer, author of The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present (finalist for the 2019 National Book Award), struggled with popular depictions of Native American history (including the bestselling Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee), many of which seemed to conclude that his culture was a relic of the past. Treuer has spent his career dissecting narratives around Native American life and will talk about what he’s learned. Josh Reid, professor at the University of Washington, will join Treuer on stage. Continue reading “Upcoming Author Events”

Donald Schmechel Oral History Collection

October is American Archives Month and we are celebrating with the completion of a new digital collection: the Donald Schmechel Oral History Collection.

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Donald Schmechel was a Seattle Public Library board member who, in the 1980s, created a project to interview prominent figures in Pacific Northwest History. Schmechel raised funding for the project, volunteered his time to manage it, and conducted interviews along with a crew of volunteers. The resulting oral histories were divided between the Seattle Public Library and the Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI). Continue reading “Donald Schmechel Oral History Collection”