Who was Shakespeare?

image-of-shakespeares-head-in-text-courtesy-of-yelnocWhile the academic world is solidly behind William Shakespeare of Stratford, such notables as Mark Twain, Sigmund Freud, Derek Jacobi, Walt Whitman and Orson Welles have questioned whether he could have written the works credited to him. Among those who suspect that Shakespeare of Stratford was not the author of the plays and sonnets, the candidates who have been put forth as the real Shakespeare include Sir Frances Bacon, Christopher Marlowe, and Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, among others.
There are a number of Oxford titles, either to be praised or condemned, depending on one’s leanings; I suggest two titles Continue reading “Who was Shakespeare?”

On the hunt for the latest CD by your favorite band?

Are you a visual learner? Hoping to find that hot new movie or CD at Seattle Public Library but not sure how to search the catalog? We are experimenting – Let’s us know what you think. Just click to start the video. And then start power searching the SPL Catalog .

Books for new moms

New moms barely have time to bathe or eat. How could they possibly have time to read?! They make the time, that’s how — during their children’s naps, while nursing or as they wait in line at the doctor’s or the grocery store. Reading other moms’ stories, whether fact or fiction, can ease the isolation that new moms often feel and help them stay sane during that surreal time of early parenthood.

If you’re a mom, we wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day and offer the following reading suggestions that provide various views of motherhood.


Guarding the Moon: A Mother’s First Year by Francesca Lia Block
Block, author of the popular Weetzie Bat books for young adults, revels in the intense love she feels for her newborn daughter and reflects on her new life as a mother.

The Big Rumpus: A Mother’s Tale from the Trenches by Ayun Halliday
This thirty-something, hip mother Continue reading “Books for new moms”

Seattle Reads author … in Seattle!

Photo of Dinaw MengestuDinaw Mengestu, author of The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears, is in town (see the schedule for his five Library visits and two other appearances) — and that in itself is a beautiful thing. Lots of cities now have community reads or “One Book” projects to bring people together for  discussions and events centered around a book. But we are extra lucky here in Seattle because the Washington Center for the Book has, for 10 years now, also managed to bring large crowds of readers together to see the author.  I’m going to see Mengestu on Friday night (Central Library at 7 p.m.) and the word on the street (and around the Library) is that his parents will be there, too. Super cool!

Although Library-sponsored book discussions are wrapping up this week, dozens of book groups around Seattle will be reading and discussing The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears for months to come. Members of my book group are seeing the author this week Continue reading “Seattle Reads author … in Seattle!”

Read a Movie, See a Book

Image of DVD A Love Song for Bobby Long“See what it is invisible and you will see what to write. That’s how Bobby used to put it. It was the invisible people he wanted to live with. The ones that we walk past everyday, the ones we sometimes become. The ones in books who live only in someones mind’s eye.”

A Love Song for Bobby Long was originally released in 2004, and is to me one of the most overlooked films in our collection. Its screenplay is based on the novel Off Magazine Street by Ronald Everett Capps. Also featured throughout the movie are quotes from some of our most famous writers, and it is filled with themes from the book The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers. It’s a movie inundated with the love of literature.

The movie takes place in the heart of New Orleans where both beauty Continue reading “Read a Movie, See a Book”