Spring into Pacific Northwest Food

Never have I ever been so excited for spring! Each sliver of sun has me beaming as blooms burst forth from their winter burrows. And with spring sprung, all I can think about is our delicious PNW food.

Image courtesy of Gemma Billings via Flickr

Now, let’s be clear: I don’t actually enjoy cooking… My husband is the chef in our house. I do the dishes, so it’s perfect. But I just can’t stop drooling over our abundant CSAs and citywide farmers markets, our butcher shops and charcuterie masters, and all of the upcoming amazing food events. Most recently, I’ve been tempted to eat out even more at women-owned, POC-owned, and immigrant-supporting restaurants. Every time I turn around, there’s a delectable new way to taste the beauty of our region. Continue reading

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Nonfiction to read alongside The Turner House

In 2017 Seattle Reads The Turner House, a novel about a large African-American family set in Detroit. We hope you’ve read it, or are planning to. Perhaps it has left you wanting to know more about the Great Migration of African-Americans from the South to the North; or about the city of Detroit; about the economic crisis and eviction; or wanting to read more about families. We’ve got you covered with twelve suggestions of nonfiction to read next. Read more below or check out the list of titles in our catalog. Author Angela Flournoy will be in Seattle for a series of events May 8-11; find the full schedule here.

The Making of Black Detroit in the Age of Henry Ford by Beth Tompkins Bates
Black Detroiters, newly arrived from the South, hoped to gain greater economic security, but Ford’s anti-union plan blocked workers’ access to the American Dream. A groundbreaking historical account. Continue reading

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Omar El Akkad, author of American War, on reading and the radical act of empathy

Our guest blogger Omar El Akkad has been garnering rave reviews for his powerful, thought-provoking debut novel, American War. Set during the Second American Civil War of 2075, American War lays bare our own fractured cultural and political existence in a dystopian fantasy that rings all too true for many others struggling in war-torn places of the world. Today he shares three books you probably haven’t read, and why you should. El Akkad will be appearing on Monday, April 17 at the Elliott Bay Book Company. Catch his recent NPR Interview.

Empathy, which these days feels more and more like a radical act, has become as of late the primary criterion for inclusion in my reading list. More than beautiful writing or technical merit or imaginative flair, I find myself most urgently in need of fiction’s ability to transpose, to immerse me in the thick of strangers’ lives. In this isolationist era, run and overrun by men whose worldview relies on exclusion and deliberate unknowing, it seems an obligation to seek out writing that chronicles other cultures, other histories, other lives. Continue reading

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 Getting Down to Business: The Working Artist

It counts! Effort given to artistic endeavors count. Long term benefits are derived from sustained focus, investment of time and the development of one’s craft. Allowing yourself time to grow and broaden your reach into work that no one else, but you, can do pays off in the long run.

Compensation for your efforts can take many forms. A sense of satisfaction, positive responses from family, friends and, better yet, strangers pays off. Finishing is compensation! Getting paid for your work is acknowledgment of your skills and talents. It counts!

Did you find your passion and, then, find yourself trying to figure out a way to make a living wage doing the work you love? Art is work. It is labor and, for many an artist, a labor of love. What, exactly, does the business of art, the business of being an artist, entail?

Let’s get down to business. Becoming a competent practitioner of your craft is an ongoing endeavor. Learning what it takes to maintain a thriving artistic practice never ceases. Check out the resource list Getting Down to Business: The Working Artist. The list is intended to offer information and insight so you can strategize and plan a course of action. Continue reading

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Seattle Reads The Turner House: Fiction to Read Next

In 2017 Seattle Reads The Turner House by Angela Flournoy. Set in Detroit in 2008, post-economic crash, we meet the Turner family as the 13 adult siblings must decide what to do with their family home, worth only 1/10 of its mortgage. As we get to know three of the siblings better, we also get the story of how the Turner patriarch arrived in Detroit after World War II, part of the Great Migration. Flournoy will be in Seattle for a series of events May 8-11; find the full schedule here.

We hope you’ve read, or are planning to read, The Turner House. Perhaps you enjoyed the way Flournoy brings to life the dynamics of a large African-American family, or the way the city of Detroit is almost a character in itself. Perhaps you’re wondering – what do I read next? Fret not, our librarians have put together a list of fiction for fans of The Turner House to help you out.

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Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. While a difficult and uncomfortable topic for many to discuss, rape is a deep-seated and prevalent issue that has the ability to harm society just as much as any individual victim. Sexual assault affects everyone; no gender, class, ethnicity, or education can ensure absolute safety. Trauma narratives are as varied and unique as the people that tell them, and in this way, have the opportunity not only to allow survivors a chance to externalize and make sense of their own experiences, but also allow for those experiences to find themselves in a larger framework, eventually leading to a broader understanding about the very real and long term psychological effects of sexual assault.

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Nonfiction new book round up – April 2017

Looking for new nonfiction to read or a new cookbook to test out? Here is a selection of nonfiction being published in April 2017. Continue reading

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