#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: In Translation

This year traveling around the world is put on hold, but there is another way you can do it this summer with Summer Book Bingo. The “In Translation” square let’s you travel by armchair from China to Morocco to India. Here are a few recommendations to get you started on your Book Bingo journey. Safe travels!


First stop is Iraq with The Beekeeper: Rescuing the Stolen Women of Iraq by Dunyā Mīkhāʼīl. A nonfiction book translated from Arabic, it tells the story of several women who have been held captive by Daesh (ISIS) and of their escape with the help of a local beekeeper.

Second stop on our journey is Casablanca in The Happy Marriage by Tahar Ben Jelloun. Translated from French, this fiction novel is told from two separate points of view, the husband who has written and hidden a book blaming everything wrong with his life on his wife. When his wife finds it, she writes her own interpretation of the events held within.

Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: In Translation”

#BookBingoNW2020: History or alternate history

“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” – Winston Churchill

One of the squares for adult bingo this year is History or Alternate History.   History is just one great big story told from different perspectives.  Also, since it’s so diverse the chances are high that you will find a story that you will enjoy. Here are a few that are available via ebook!

Chief Seattle and the Town That Took His Name: The Change of Worlds for the Native People and Settlers on Puget Sound  by David M.Buerge

An in-depth historical account of Chief Seattle, an advocate for peace and Native American rights, from the late 18th to mid-19th centuries.

The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind An American Myth  by Josh Levin

Levin exposes the racist myth of the “welfare queen” through the life of Linda Taylor. “THE QUEEN tells, for the first time, the fascinating story of what was done to Linda Taylor, what she did to others, and what was done in her name.” (Little, Brown & Co) Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: History or alternate history”

#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: Debut Book by Author Over 50

Does age matter when we’re talking about a book’s author? It does for this specific Book Bingo square! Here we’re celebrating authors who published their first book after they reached 50, reminding us it’s never too late to start writing.

Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War by Karl Marlantas

Washington state author Karl Marlantas published his first book at 64 — an epic, visceral novel about a young Marine lieutenant and his battalion facing combat in the mountain jungle of Vietnam in 1969. Marlantas, who served his own tour of duty as a Marine in Vietnam, won numerous awards, both for his military service and for this bestselling novel. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: Debut Book by Author Over 50”