Fiction new book round-up – April 2017

Looking for a new novel to read? Here is a selection of fiction being published in April 2017. Continue reading

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Seattle Rep’s HERE LIES LOVE: Beyond the Theater

Seattle Repertory Theatre presents HERE LIES LOVE by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim from April 7 to May 28, 2017. Librarians at Seattle Public Library created this list of books, CDs and films to enhance your experience of the show: Seattle Rep’s HERE LIES LOVE: Beyond the Theatre.

Seattle Rep will transform into a wild dance party for this one-of-a-kind song cycle. Here Lies Love follows the rise and fall of the controversial First Lady of the Philippines, Imelda Marcos, while the People’s Power Revolution led a campaign of civil resistance for the non-violent restoration of democracy in the Philippines. The studio recording features a host of notable vocalists and musicians including Sharon Jones, Cyndi Lauper and Sia. Continue reading

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New to our Digital Collections: Seattle Mail and Herald

Want to explore Seattle headlines from over 100 years ago? Take a look at our new Seattle Mail and Herald digital collection. The Mail and Herald was a weekly paper discussing the city’s news, politics, society events, entertainment and more. The paper included articles on topics such as Seattle’s regrades, the Alaskan Gold Rush, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition, the Lake Washington Ship Canal, and the proliferation of crime and vice under Seattle’s “Open Town” policy. Issues often include portraits of prominent Seattleites and visiting entertainers along with photographs of buildings and scenery in Seattle, Washington State and Alaska. Continue reading

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Wuthering Weather

Up here at the Central Library science desk, weather conversations are often much more than small talk. Patrons often want to know how their perceptions match available data, and recently it’s been all about fat raindrops and heavy coats. Has this winter really been unusual? Our research says yes. Seattle has just experienced the coldest winter in 32 years, as explained by Q13. Cliff Mass reports that we received a year’s worth of rain in five months.

Cliff Mass

So: What happened? Continue reading

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20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 5 – Tales of the City

Arriving at our fifth and final post suggesting twenty essential Seattle books, after posts highlighting historyraceplace, and Northwest classics, we finish with a handful of novels evocative of our city and its culture.

There are several good mystery series set in Seattle, but when a fictional detective has been on our rain-soaked streets for three decades his casebook offers real perspective. Homicide detective J.P Beamont made his debut in 1985 in J.A. Jance’s Until Proven Guilty, hunting the twisted killer of a young girl while frequenting such vanished local landmarks as the Doghouse. Over twenty titles later, Beaumont still patrols Seattle’s seamy side, most recently in Dance of the Bones. (For readers who prefer a lighter touch, check out G.M. Ford’s classic Who the Hell is Wanda Fuca? starring wisecracking Seattle P.I. Leo Waterman.) Continue reading

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Bringing Women’s Stories to Life

For Women’s History Month this year, I’d like to highlight the way fiction can take a real person’s life and help fill in the gaps about what we historically know, using imagination in order to bring that person’s story back. In particular, since the historical register generally focuses on men, women’s full lives were often elided or ignored in the historical record, and thus in history class and history books. Here, then, is a small sampling of novels by women writers bringing back to full, bright life women from history.

Jubilee by Margaret Walker
Grounded in decades of research, Walker tells the story of her great-grandmother Vyry, the child of a white plantation owner and an enslaved woman on his plantation. Through Vyry’s experiences the reader sees life in pre-Civil War Georgia, wartime deprivation, and the promise and hard reality of Reconstruction. Continue reading

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A Short Climate Change Reading List

Climate change is an issue on the minds of many people around the world. After years of unsuccessful attempts to come together around this issue, 195 countries met in December 2015 at the Paris Climate Conference and adopted the first ever universal, legally binding deal to address climate change. Yet the issue of climate change was noticeably absent from the televised political debates leading up to the November 2016 U.S. election. I’ve been struggling to wrap my mind around this complex and contentious issue, and I wanted to share some books that I’ve found to be helpful in cutting through the confusion and malaise.

Continue reading

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