#BookBingoNW2020: A SAL Author (past or upcoming)

You may be pleasantly surprised by just how many options there are to read a Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) author. SAL has been bringing writers to Seattle for over thirty years (here is the complete list), so there are literally hundreds of options. Or check out this amazing list of SAL Speaker titles available for immediate download from your library.

Here are some past SAL speakers who not only have books available for in our catalog, but – for all of you who miss attending literary events – whose podcast appearances at the Library can also be enjoyed right away:

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Lindy West. From Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman, to her latest, The Witches are Coming, local author, comedian and activist Lindy West pulls no punches in her refreshingly candid takes on American culture; she makes you laugh, and makes you think. West appeared at our library with Luvvie Ajayi in 2016, and with Scaachi Koul in 2017.

Award-winning Pacific Northwest poet Richard Kenneys latest collection Terminator: Poems 2008 – 2018 is available for download, or you can hear him reading from his 2008 library visit. Kenney’s formally ambitious poetry employs intricate and playful verse to comment on science, politics, love, and language.

Crowds flocked to see Viet Nguyen when he spoke at the library in 2017, reading from his story collection The Refugees, which is available for download, together with his provocative multi-award-winning novel The Sympathizer.

It wasn’t until 2016 when Colson Whitehead made his standing room only appearance at the Library, reading from his Pulitzer- and National Book Award-winning novel The Underground Railroad, though we’ve been hooked on his moving, thought-provoking novels since The Intuitionist, back in 2000. Right now feels like a good time to read his zombie novel, Zone One, or perhaps The Noble Hustle, his non-fiction book about poker, beef jerky, and death.

Okay so yes, there’s kind of a long waiting list in Ijeoma Oluo‘s popular anti-racist eBook So You Want To Talk About Race, but the audiobook, with a powerful narration by Banhi Turpin – is available right away as one of our always available titles. You can also enjoy her library visits, in a 2017 screening the documentary Oh, I Get It, and in conversation with Nicole Chung in 2018.

Our central library had only been open a couple of years when the great Isabel Allende paid us a visit in 2006, reading from her novel Ines of My Soul, and what a wonderful day it was! Allende was our featured author for that year’s Seattle Reads program, in which we featured several of her many books, in English and Spanish.

For even more suggestions, check out our booklist!

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2020 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2020 on social media. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.

~ Posted by David W.

#BookBingoNW2020: Myth or Fable (original or retold)

During quarantine one of my goals was going through all the Marvel movies in order of release (I’ve heard I’m not the only one).  This had me falling in love with Loki all over again.  This set of a spark in me to read more books about Loki and myths in general. I also lucked out that there is a bingo square this year just for this purpose: Myth or fable (original or retold).

When I was looking for books to read for this square, I stumbled across The Gospel of Loki by Joanne Harris and Mist by Susan Krinard.  Both of these books feature Loki prominently.  Mist is a re-imagining of a Valkyrie and Loki. It is set in modern day San Francisco and the main character realizes that she isn’t living a normal life like she thought.  She is a Valkyrie and her mortal boyfriend is actually the trickster god, Loki.  The Gospel of Loki is the Norse myths told from his perspective.

Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Myth or Fable (original or retold)”

#BookBingoNW2020: Neuro-diverse protagonist or author

In this year’s Book Bingo, the neuro-diverse protagonist or author square invites us to journey into the world of a person whose modes of thinking and ways of processing the world differ from those of the mainstream population. Neurodiversity, often associated with disabilities like autism or ADHD, can sometimes lead to deep connections, groundbreaking insights, innovation, and art. It can also pose significant, sometimes disabling challenges for those who experience it—the world can be very loud, bright and filled with social expectations that a neuro-diverse person may not be able to intuit, or may not wish to fulfill.

In this list, we aim to transcend stereotypes and elevate the voices of neurodivergent people by highlighting four authors who are themselves neuro-diverse, and six books by those authors—fiction, nonfiction, memoir, and graphic novel—which feature neuro-diverse characters

Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Neuro-diverse protagonist or author”

#BookBingoNW: Published in the 1920s

Book Bingo is taking us back in time to the 1920s! Books published in the 1920s made up most of my English curriculum and though it was often hard to love a book that was assigned, that century on its own has held a lot of fascination for me, especially now, a hundred years later.

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925)

This was one of the few books assigned to me that stuck and stuck hard. I fell in love with Gatsby’s world, this idea of trying so hard to battle where you come from. The thought of losing oneself to become what someone else wants no matter the cost was mind blowing to me. But also the visually stunning landscape, the decadence, when Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby film came out it felt like it was made for me. It had all the beauty and the darkness visualized perfectly, with an amazing soundtrack! Continue reading “#BookBingoNW: Published in the 1920s”

#BookBingoNW2020: Animal as Main Character

There’s something about stories narrated by animals that provide a very different reading experience. Whether they are anthropomorphized or remain true to their wild selves, animal narrators give us a chance to step out of our human skin and see the world around us in new ways. Here are some titles that are in turn tragic, poignant and delightful.

We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly

We3 by Grant Morrison and Frank Quietly

A dog, a cat, and a rabbit, formerly benign domestic pets, become lethal weapons through a top secret military cybernetics experiment. As prototypes, the team is programmed to work together as the ultimate killing machine, drawing on each species’ innate characteristics to create one unstoppable force. When the experiment comes to an end and it’s time for We3 to be neutralized, distant memories of home drive their desperate escape. This graphic novel is simply gorgeous in both story and execution. Morrison’s nuanced and emotionally resonant storytelling is amplified by Frank Quietly’s beautiful illustrations. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Animal as Main Character”