Upcoming Author Events for December

Laureen Nussbaum, Terry Tempest, Local broadcaster and historian Feliks Banel, and two open mic readings at Ballard and Columbia branches are in store this month.

The free programs listed below are held at a variety of locations in December; please check our online Author and Books Events calendar for complete details on these featured December events and more.

Laureen Nussbaum discusses 'Shedding Our Stars' Nussbaum discusses ‘Shedding Our Stars’
Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m.
Wallingford Branch
Join us to hear Nussbaum talk about her personal experiences during World War Two, when her family was saved by Hans Calmeyer during World War Two, who was able to save over 3700 Jews from deportation. Nussbaum was recently honored as winner of two categories at the American Book Fest for Shedding Our Stars in the categories of Biography and History.

Writers Read
Sunday, December 8 at 2 p.m.
Columbia Branch
Join us for a monthly reading series featuring an open mic and selected author readings from local writers. Local writers will read from their diverse repertoires of poetry, short stories, novels and essays. The event will end with a Q&A session, followed by an open mic session. This program is presented in partnership with African-American Writers’ Alliance on the second Sunday of the month.

Terry Tempest Williams discusses 'Erosion: Essays of Undoing' Terry Tempest Williams discusses ‘Erosion: Essays of Undoing’
Tuesday, December 10 at 7 p.m.
Central Library
Join us to hear Williams discuss the concept of Erosion: of the land, of the self, of belief, of fear, as she wrangles with the paradox of desert lands and the truth of erosion in her book Erosion: Essays of Undoing. The event is presented in partnership with Elliott Bay Book Company.

It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series
Thursday, December 12 at 6 p.m.
Ballard Branch
The Ballard Branch welcomes the 362nd meeting of the It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series, featuring author readings and open mics. This month’s presentation features Doug Johnson of Cave Moon Press, Priscilla Long, and an Open Mic Extravaganza in honor of It’s About Time Writers’ Reading Series Anthology, So, Dear Writer…

Words, Writers & SouthWest Stories Words, Writers & SouthWest Stories
Thursday, December 12,  6 p.m.    Southwest Branch
Local broadcaster and historian Feliks Banel explores our region’s darkest weather days and most infamous storms. Using archival photos, radio, and TV clips, Banel takes us back in time to hear stories of those who survived some of the worst Pacific Northwest weather in recorded history. Further, Banel explores how these storms can revive our shared humanity. This program is in partnership with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and Humanities Washington.

Upcoming Author Events

Andre Acimen, David Treuer, Clifford Thompson, Julie Pham, cartoonist T Edward Bak, and a love fest for romance readers are among the featured author events coming your way.

The free programs listed below are held at a variety of locations in November (Central Library, Montlake Branch Library, Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute); please check our online Author and Books Events calendar for complete details on these featured November events and more.

André Aciman with Dave Wheeler
Find Me
Monday, November 4, 7 p.m.
Central Library, Microsoft Auditorium
Join us to hear novelist André Aciman, the author of the worldwide bestseller Call Me by Your Name, discuss his new book, which revisits the complex and beguiling characters from Call Me by Your Name decades after their first meeting. He will appear in conversation with Dave Wheeler of Shelf Awareness.

The A. Scott Bullitt Lecture in American History presents David Treuer
“The Past Isn’t Past: Native History as American History”
Thursday, November 7, at 7 p.m.
Central Library
Anthropologist David Treuer, author of The Heartbeat of Wounded Knee: Native America from 1890 to the Present (finalist for the 2019 National Book Award), struggled with popular depictions of Native American history (including the bestselling Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee), many of which seemed to conclude that his culture was a relic of the past. Treuer has spent his career dissecting narratives around Native American life and will talk about what he’s learned. Josh Reid, professor at the University of Washington, will join Treuer on stage. Continue reading “Upcoming Author Events”

Seattle Reads: An Interview with Thi Bui

In celebration of Seattle Reads 2019, Jess Boyd spoke to Thi Bui about her award- winning graphic novel, The Best We Could Do (TBWCD), the 2019 Seattle Reads selection.

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An Interview with Thi Bui
by Jess Boyd

Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do is a story that moved me, my family and my community. It gave voice to feelings and frustrations that I had yet to articulate and acted as a medium to bridge generations and countries.

The story is a multigenerational saga told through Bui’s past and present selves. Bui generously shares herself at different moments throughout her life, as a child, as a sibling, as a new mother, allowing us to see the far reaching ripples of war, and the way that those ripples can become waves that carry people across oceans.

Jess Boyd: Where was the birthplace of your creativity?
Thi Bui:
I have to take a moment to allow myself to accept the compliment embedded in this question. “Ya not creative!” shouts my inner Viet.

Okay, it’s good now. I remember making things and daydreaming when I was a kid as a form of escape. Whether I was escaping my drab physical environment or tense emotional environment, I’m not sure … maybe both? It’s not like that anymore but that was how being creative started — first as an escape and then as a rebellion.

Why is it important to remember and reflect on the past?
We apes learn slow and we keep having to learn the same lessons over and over again. History keeps us humble and it also lends us perspective. Continue reading “Seattle Reads: An Interview with Thi Bui”

A conversation with Tim Wu, author of ‘The Attention Merchants’

Tim Wu, the author who coined the phrase “net neutrality,” takes a revelatory look at the rise of “attention harvesting” and its effect on our society and ourselves. He’ll be at the Central Library on Thursday, Nov. 17, at 7 p.m. to talk about his newest book, The Attention Merchants. Get a bit of the inside story here and be sure to join us for his free presentation on Thursday evening!


tim-wu-the-attention-merchants-book-coverQ: What is an Attention Merchant?

A: An Attention Merchant is anyone whose business is attracting human attention to resell for profit. The category is broad and includes ad-based TV channels, celebrities, social media sites like Facebook and Instagram, and so on. Basically, it is business of gathering a crowd by creating something so allur­ing, sensational, or even useful that you can’t help but pay attention—and the crowd itself can then be sold to advertisers.

The Attention Merchants drive what the book calls the “Attention Harvest,” namely, a process of gath­ering as much human attention as possible to sell to the advertising industry. This book is mainly the 100+ year long story of the attention harvest. Once small and obscure, it has grown to become a major part of our lives.

Today, on average, Americans spend about three hours with their phone, nearly five hours with television, and some other hours with their computers. Throw in some sleep, and that’s basically our lives. So policing the bargains is really important. Continue reading “A conversation with Tim Wu, author of ‘The Attention Merchants’”