#BookBingoNW2019: By an author from Mexico or Canada

If you’re still working away on your Adult Summer Book Bingo, we’re back with some suggestions for authors from Mexico and Canada to check out. I’ve focused on writers with a new book out in the past few years, but try our longer list in the catalog for even more suggestions including some classic authors from each country.

Yuri Herrera
Herrera won the Best Translated Book Award in 2016 for his novel Signs Preceding the End of the World, in which Makina leaves behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother across the border in the United States. Makina is carrying two secret messages – one from her mother, and one from some gang members. The Transmigration of Bodies is a slim novella (just 101 pages) in which a plague has come to the city, and two feuding crime families need The Redeemer to broker peace.

Valeria Luiselli
Luiselli has been prolific over the past few years writing fiction and nonfiction alike. Her latest is the novel Lost Children Archive, a fragmented narrative that incorporates multiple points of view, archival documents and photographs while telling the story of a family traveling from New York to the Arizona/Mexico border and the ways they become enmeshed in the migration crisis at the border.  Or check an earlier novel, Faces in the Crowd, which weaves together the story of a poet and mother living in present-day Mexico City, and the story of a young editor in 1950s New York City translating the works of an obscure Mexican poet from the 1920s.

Emiliano Monge
In his novel Among the Lost, Monge follows two human traffickers in love over 24 hours of intense time in the Mexican jungle.

Esi Edugyan
Edugyan is one of the few authors to have won Canada’s Giller Prize twice. Washington Black begins when 11-year-old Wash is a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation. When Titch, his master’s brother arrives, Wash is pulled out of the fields and assigned to help Titch with his naturalist observations. When another man dies, a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, and Wash and Titch flee together, beginning Wash’s journey in search of his true self. Edugyan’s previous book Half-blood Blues follows a mixed-race German American jazz band in Nazi Germany as one of their most talented members is arrested by the Gestapo, and the long-reaching repercussions of that moment.

Michael Ondaatje
If you’re familiar with Ondaatje, it’s most likely from his 1992 novel (and later film) The English Patient, which followed four characters – a nurse, a thief, an Indian sapper, and a burn victim – as their lives converge in a bombed-out Italian villa at the end of World War II. Ondaatje’s most recent novel, Warlight, also has its narrative roots in World War II. When Nathaniel Williams was 14 and his sister 15, World War II was ending and they were left in the care of their parent’s friends. Years later, Nathaniel examines that time and interviews those who were there in an effort to understand his history.

Miriam Toews
Toews grew up in a Mennonite town in Manitoba, and much of her work centers Mennonite communities. Her latest novel, Women Talking, is based on a true story and set in a present-day Mennonite colony in Bolivia. Eight women surreptitiously gather in a barn to decide their future after learning the truth behind two years of sexual assaults committed by neighbors and family members. Will they stay, stay and fight, or leave? What about their faith, their duty, their anger? Toews’ previous novel All My Puny Sorrows teases apart the fraught relationship between two adult sisters as they grapple with family history, art and music, depression, and suicide.

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2019 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2019 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.

~ posted by Andrea G.

#BookBingoNW2019: One Word Titles

Stop by your library and see what one-word titles are on display — and in the stacks.

A few readers have asked if the one-word title reading challenge for Book Bingo can include a book with a subtitle. There are no hard and fast rules for Book Bingo (for any of the squares), but I’m going to weigh in with an enthusiastic and reassuring “YES! Read that book with a long subtitle!” because that opens the door for so many wonderful nonfiction books.

However, I draw the line at an article preceding the one-word title. If there’s an “a” or “the” ahead of the word, it doesn’t count — at least not by my rules. But you should play by your own rules.

Back to the challenge at hand. This is one of the easiest categories for rediscovering the joy of browsing in the stacks. Those one-word titles are easy to spot, and serendipity can lead you to a new author or perspective. You can also start at the Peak Picks collection at your favorite branch, where you’ll find these nonfiction titles: Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2019: One Word Titles”

#BookBingoNW2019: Set in Summer

A particular satisfaction can be found in reading that mirrors the season outside, a satisfaction you can revel in while filling the BookBingoNW category Set in Summer. From coming-of-age, to mystery, to general fiction and nonfiction, we have ideas to get you started.

Call Me By Your Name by Andre Aciman
Over the course of one transformative summer a teen boy and a summer guest at his parents’ home on the Italian Riviera pursue an unexpected and swift romance. Elio is a bookish 17-year-old still discovering his place in the world; Oliver is a 24-year-old scholar who knows exactly the impact of his looks on people of all ages and genders. (This was also recently adapted into a movie, if you’re looking to fill that square). Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2019: Set in Summer”

Graphic Medicine

Ever read a comic story with a character that has arthritis? How about someone who lives with anxiety and depression? PTSD? Food poisoning? If so, then you’re already familiar with Graphic Medicine!

Graphic Medicine is a genre of comics (with a website!) that examines the intersection of the comics medium with the discourses of healthcare, providing an accessible and impactful method of communicating and sharing illness narratives. These comics cover the spectrum, from published graphic novels (El Deafo), crowd-funded anthologies (Corpus), self-published web-comics (Kate or Die!) and zines ((No) Pain: A Guide to Injury Prevention for Cartoonists), with Graphic Medicine sometimes the focus of the work, other times simply present in a particular character or storyline. Continue reading “Graphic Medicine”

#BookBingoNW2019: Science

Looking for something to fill in your Book Bingo “Science” square?  Something that will stretch your brain? How about a fascinating page-turner that somehow makes complex topics easy to grasp? Here are some titles that bear no resemblance to a dusty chemistry textbook:

A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived: The Human Story Retold Through Our Genes by Adam Rutherford
The first complete sequencing of the human genome in 2003 (as part of The Human Genome Project) opened the floodgates to voluminous scientific data which are changing our understanding of the human species. Rutherford, a British geneticist and science writer, explains how recent genetic research upends much of what we thought we knew about evolution, migration, race and more. He writes in an engaging and at times humorous style. According to the New York Times Book Review, this book is “Nothing less than a tour de force–a heady amalgam of science, history, a little bit of anthropology and plenty of nuanced, captivating storytelling.” Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2019: Science”