Classics Reimagined

Here are five fantastic books that explore some classic Greek tales many of us know, touching upon many centralized themes of classic Greek mythology but in unexpected and innovative ways. All are an illuminating read!

The Penelopiad by Margaret Atwood

This fine rendition of a classic tale, the Odyssey by Homer, rejects the standard canon and explores Penelope’s story through her voice and the song of her twelve murdered maidens.  Atwood draws upon extant sources to create her story, drawing out the inconsistencies of a story that would originally have been told orally thus showcasing the myriad interpretations that can arise from a single story.  Mysterious and intriguing, this tale is a must read for anyone interested in the Odyssey. Continue reading “Classics Reimagined”

2018 Washington State Book Award winners!

The Washington Center for the Book announced the winners of the 2018 Washington State Book Awards last month in a celebration at the Central Library. Winners are highlighted below, and the complete list of finalists and winners is here in  this list in our catalog where you’ll find some of the best books by local authors in eight categories.


Continue reading “2018 Washington State Book Award winners!”

Theater in the Library: I Can Get It for You Wholesale

Seattle Jewish Theater Company has been touring productions of classic Jewish theater throughout the Seattle area since 2011. Seattle Public Library has been fortunate to host several of these productions in the past and were excited to continue the tradition this year. Join us in the Microsoft Auditorium at Central Library on Sunday, April 29 at 2pm to catch a rare production of the hit Broadway musical I Can Get It for You Wholesale.

You might know I Can Get It for You Wholesale as Barbra Streisand’s Broadway debut and the show that Continue reading “Theater in the Library: I Can Get It for You Wholesale”

Seattle Rep’s IBSEN IN CHICAGO: Beyond the Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents IBSEN IN CHICAGO by David Grimm from February 2 to March 4, 2018. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, CDs and films to enhance your experience of the show: Seattle Rep’s IBSEN IN CHICAGO: Beyond the Theatre.

Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen gained success in the Scandinavian world with Brand in 1866, and then world-wide fame with Peer Gynt (1867), with music provided by Edvard Grieg, and continued to grow his reputation with subsequent plays like A Doll’s House (1879). Ibsen, who lived in Germany and other countries in Europe, never visited the United States. Yet in 1882, his new play Ghosts was produced not in Norway nor anywhere in Scandinavia, but at Aurora Turner Hall in Chicago. David Grimm, playwright of Ibsen in Chicago, takes this unlikely Chicago setting and the controversial plot mention of venereal disease in Ghosts to create a comedy imagining a motley crew of Danish and Norwegian immigrants debuting the play. Continue reading “Seattle Rep’s IBSEN IN CHICAGO: Beyond the Theatre”

Mayor Jenny Durkan on the Book that Made the Difference

This past November, Seattle swore in a new Mayor and City Councilmember, and we here at ShelfTalk thought this would be a great opportunity to continue our series of posts in which we invited your representatives to share books that have meant a lot to them. This time, we asked them “What book was most influential in your life or career and why?” Mayor Jenny Durkan reflects on a book that has had a powerful influence on so many readers, herself included.

“What book was most influential in your life or career and why?”

To Kill A Mockingbird, by Harper Lee

I have read this book many times, and each time I am struck by something new.  Two scenes were particularly influential on my career. The most significant is Atticus’ closing arguments, in which he refers to the courts as the “great leveler”. To him this means every person has a right to justice, regardless of race, personal circumstances, station in life, or background. This view of justice has inspired me to work on issues of inequality and discrimination. While we have not achieved Atticus’ vision of universal justice, I have fought to realize this goal for my whole career. Continue reading “Mayor Jenny Durkan on the Book that Made the Difference”