Lisa Kron’s Well at Seattle Repertory Theatre

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents Well by Lisa Kron from February 10 to March 5, 2017. 

How does an adult child care for a chronically ill parent? Lisa Kron’s Well explores her complicated and loving relationship with her mother, as well as community activism and the nature of illness—all through the lens of deconstructed theatre Continue reading

Posted in BOOKS, CULTURE, Events, LOCAL INTEREST | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Publishing new book round-up – February 2017

Looking for something new? Here is a selection of books being published in February 2017.

2/7 – The Book of Hygge by Louisa Brits – another book about the Danish phenomenon that promotes coziness, comfort and connection, from the happiest people on Earth.

2/7 – You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why It Matters by Deepak Chopra – Chopra joins forces with a physicist to explore our role in the universe.

2/7 – Universal Harvester by John Darnielle – Jeremy, a video store clerk in Iowa, discovers some unusual footage spliced into returned videos; what is lurking in the cornfields? By singer/songwriter Darnielle of The Mountain Goats.

2/7 – Norse Mythology by Neil Gaiman – Thor, Odin and Loki come alive in Gaiman’s re-imagining of Norse mythology.

2/7 – Things You Can See Only When You Slow Down: How to Be Calm and Mindful in a Fast Paced World by Hyemin – Find the path to inner peace with this title, which was the #1 bestseller in South Korea for 41 weeks.

no-so-perfect-life2/7 – My Not So Perfect Life by Sophie Kinsella – Fired from her perfect job, Katie returns home to her father’s farm and unexpectedly has her worlds collide. From Kinsella, the chick-lit/rom-com queen.

2/7 – A Separation by Katie Kitamura – a woman separated from her husband goes to Greece to find him and ask for a divorce; a simple description, but Kitamura has written a finely observed novel of infidelity relationships. Continue reading

Posted in BOOKS | Tagged , | Leave a comment

20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 3: Place

Next in our ongoing series of 20 books that capture the essence of Seattle, we look at a variety of titles that capture a sense of our city and its environs. Whether you’re new in town, just passing through, or you’ve lived here all your life, these titles will enhance your awareness of and appreciation for the misty charms of this city on the Sound.

cliff-massThe bluest skies that you’ll ever see are in Seattle, unless of course they’re hidden by fifty shades of grey. While less extreme than many other areas of the country, our soggy maritime weather has always been a big part of our identity and outlook: not for nothing are Puget Sound natives called “mossbacks.” Given that weather forms a lion’s share of our small talk, reading Weather of the Pacific Northwest, by local climate celebrity Cliff Mass will up your game when it comes to discussing convergence zones, onshore flow, and our Seattle specialty, the “occasional sunbreak.”

tim-eganMeteorology not your thing? Check out Tim Egan’s 1990 The Good Rain: Across Time and Terrain in the Pacific Northwest for a more personal and evocative exploration of the beauty and fragility of the Northwest landscape. In vivid prose Egan etches the water-shaped, forested home looking back over a century into the past, and presciently forward to the increasing sprawl, clearcutting and traffic of the past twenty-five years. (For more particular approaches to our environs, check out Richard Morril and Michael Brown’s Seattle Geographies, David Williams’ Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography, and Matthew Kringle’s Emerald City: An Environmental History of Seattle. Or for a disturbing look at what simmers beneath our city’s surface, locals are well advised to check out Sandi Doughton’s Full Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. (Long story short: have your emergency plans ready.)  Continue reading

Posted in BOOKS, LISTS, LOCAL INTEREST | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Points of Departure: Understanding Human Migration

Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series portrays conditions that precipitated the exodus of African Americans out of the south as well as the complexities encountered by the migrants upon their arrival and settlement in the northern states.

Alejandro Santiago, also, sought to portray a historic event; one which we can witness today. 2,501 Migrants: A Journey consists of life-sized sculptures exemplifying absence. Returning to Oaxaca after a decade abroad, the artist was alarmed by the number of Mexicans leaving their ancestral village to cross a deadly desert in search of a better life.  As with Jacob Lawrence, Santiago’s work mirrors the impetus to move from south to north, from rural to urban, and the consequences wrought of that decision and its impact on the family unit.  Continue reading

Posted in Art & Design, BOOKS, History and Biography, Library Events, Nonfiction | Tagged , | Leave a comment

A Little Life, A Little Home, A Little Break

In December I got engaged and bought a house with my fiancé and my mind has been abuzz with all the planning and decorating and, honestly, “grownup-ness.” I thought I would use inspiration from that to kick off the new year with a blog post and to also take a break from Shelftalk to focus on those two wonderful adventures.


Nolo’s Essential Guide to Buying Your First Home by Ilona M. Bray
Buying a house is probably one of the biggest decisions you will ever make and with the market the way it is it can also be incredibly terrifying. Remember first, you are your greatest asset, so be smart! The year before getting into the house buying game our biggest focus was our credit. You do some pretty silly things in your twenties: trying to survive college, paying for our own medical care, and getting speeding tickets… all that adds up. Once we were ready to jump in we found a real estate agent we trusted. We had been renting and looking to buy in Tacoma and the houses were selling in two days!!! Our real estate agent knew the area incredible well, always managed to calm my anxiety, and wasn’t afraid to tell it like it is. Remember second, your realtor is part of your team, keep them in the know and have fun!  Continue reading

Posted in BOOKS, Nonfiction | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Epistolary Novels in the 21st Century

If you ever took an English class that covered the history of literature, you very likely spent at least a few minutes on epistolary novels, or novels written as a series of documents, traditionally letters. The examples that spring to my mind are the classics, such as Pamela; or, Virtue Rewarded by Samuel Richardson (c. 1740) and Dangerous Liaisons by Choderlos de Laclos (c. 1782). However I’ve been rather surprised and delighted to find the genre is still going strong, evolving alongside our forms of communication, ranging from from historical novels where characters exchange letters to contemporary fiction using emails, text messages, tweets and more.  Continue reading

Posted in BOOKS, Fiction, Historical Fiction | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 2 – Diversity

Here at the library, we’re often asked by both locals and newcomers, “What books are must reads for Seattleites?” While we’re not much for ‘must’ or ‘should,’ we thought we’d list twenty titles that capture essential aspects of the history and culture of this place. Not a definitive list: a jumping off place. Our first post looked at Seattle’s history, and in today’s post we revisit that history through the lens of diversity.

no-no-boyThere are many excellent books about the Internment of Japanese Americans during the second World War, but one of the earliest – and one that holds special significance for Seattleites – is John Okada’s 1957 novel No-No Boy. After two years in an internment camp and two years in federal prison for declining military service and a loyalty oath, Ichiro Yamada returns home to Seattle to find himself alienated on all sides. For another view of experiences of Seattle’s Japanese Americans before and during the War, check out Monica Sone’s 1953 memoir Nisei Daughter
Continue reading

Posted in BOOKS, LISTS, local history, LOCAL INTEREST, Northwest Authors | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment