Demons Are a Ghouls Best Friend by Victoria Laurie

Book cover of Demons are a ghouls best friendWhen professional medium MJ Holliday hears that a boarding school in Upstate New York is being haunted by a terrifying phantom, she and her business partners rush out to banish the bad guy. With the help of the Lake Placid townsfolk and a friendly specter named Eric, MJ attempts to learn the truth about the ghostly “Hatchet Jack” and save the school from another terrifying semester.

There is a lot to love about Demons Are a Ghoul’s Best Friend — engaging characters (from the ghosts to the parrot), a romantic entanglement and a few hair-raising moments that will have you sleeping with the lights on, at least for a few nights. While reading about MJ and her pals, keep in mind that author Victoria Laurie is a professional psychic. This fact gives the book a bizarre credibility — and, besides that, it’s just cool.

April Question of the Month: An irregular series

bnr_askaquestion.gifThe reference librarians at Seattle Public Library are pretty darn amazing.  They don’t know everything, instead they know where to find everything.   As part of an irregular series of posts we salute the talented and dedicated reference staff at your local library.   Names and other identifying information have been removed from the questions we showcase.  Got a stumper? Click on Ask a Librarian.  It’s what we do. 

“What is $161,000.00 in 1987 dollars worth in today’s dollars?”

We found a calculator on the web at
that gives the answer to your question using various measurements.  Be aware that current data is only available through 2007.

In 2007, $161,000.00 in 1987 dollars was worth:
$293,856.18 using the Consumer Price Index
$263,229.41 using the GDP* deflator
$378,036.94 using the Continue reading “April Question of the Month: An irregular series”

Earth Day: How about no trash in Seattle?

It’s Earth Day again! Break out the recycled-paper banners and … well, what does one do to honor Earth Day?

This year I would like to highlight the work of one Seattle-based website that’s doing its part towards sustainability by offering an event called No Trash Week. The goal of this event is not to eliminate garbage entirely but to become mindful of what areas of your life generate waste and make changes that are reasonable for you. Participants are asked to, “Think about what you eat, how you commute, how you move things from place to place, how you share information and take notes…”

From April 20 to 26 you can post your daily trash tally on the No Trash Week website and share useful feedback and support with other participants. I am looking forward to discovering more sustainable ways to interact with the Library over the next week, both as an employee and as a patron!

Have you thought of ways to make your library experience “greener”? Or perhaps you have your own Earth Day traditions? Please share your thoughts with us. Then take a moment to peek at No Trash Week where I’ll be posting about my progress throughout the event.

The Triggering Town by Richard Hugo

One of my favorite books in our poetry section isn’t a book of poetry at all. Richard Hugo’s The Triggering Town gathers nine brief lectures, essays and “sentimental reminiscences” by the beloved Seattle writer. I’m not a poet and I don’t plan to become one, but Hugo’s ideas are so wise and clear, and his humor and candor are so appealing that I suspect a lot of readers will enjoy this. Writers certainly will find plenty to think about here, and will jot down many of Hugo’s rules of thumb, such as “Use number 2 pencils … Don’t erase. Cross out rapidly and violently, never with slow consideration if you can help it.” Or “Use ‘love’ as a transitive verb for the first fifteen years.” Come to think of it, that last one is good advice for non-writers too. There is some great pragmatic discussion of being an artist in the material world (Hugo worked for Boeing for many years) and interesting local touches (for more see Hugo’s autobiography, The Real West Marginal Way, and the documentary film Richard Hugo: Kicking the Loose Gravel Home.) The wonderful chapter about Theodore Roethke, who taught Hugo at U.W. back in the 1940s, may leave you wanting more, and Straw for the Fire, fellow student David Wagoner’s recent collection from Roethke’s own notebooks, fits the bill perfectly.


The Making of a Museum

With the oFacade of African American Museumpening of the Northwest African American Museum (NAAM) on March 8, 2008, Seattle’s cultural map expands to include one more unique and interesting destination. Through interactive exhibits, programs and events the museum promises to “document the unique historical and cultural experiences of African Americans in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.” NAAM is, clearly, the new kid on the block of established and honored museums in the region.

Planning a trip to the museum? Enhance your visit before you enter the Journey Gallery by reading In Search of the Racial Frontier: African Americans in the American West, 1528-1990 by Quintard Taylor or The Forging of a Black Community: Seattle’s Central District, from 1870 through the Civil Rights Era, also by Taylor.

The Northwest Gallery features painter Jacob Lawrence and sculptor James Washington Jr. In addition to their works of art, the tools each artist used to shape and develop their creations are on view. While Jacob Lawrence: Paintings, Drawings and Murals (1935-1999) A Catalogue Raisonné by Peter Nesbitt is Continue reading “The Making of a Museum”