Judge a Book by its Spine

They say to never judge a book by its cover (though we all do), but what about its spine? While in libraries, bookstores, and private homes we all try our best to face our beautiful collections out for all of the world to behold, most collections are smooshed together citing space considerations, presenting only the slender spine of the work.

Why should anyone care about the spine of a book? The spine is, especially in the library, a very valuable piece of real-estate on each book. Apart from the covers of display books, this is the first part of the book that people see. The spine conveys both utilitarian information about a book’s place in a series, its author, and publisher; and also presents a chance for the book to sell itself. This space can provides a reader’s first clue as to what the book is about, its characters, its appeal, and so on… You might not get to the cover, if you don’t get past the spine. Continue reading “Judge a Book by its Spine”

Our Top 10 Children’s Picture Books of 2017

Children’s Services Librarians from The Seattle Public Library have selected our ten favorite picture books of the year.  Though it’s a challenge to limit ourselves to ten titles (check out our longer list of favorite 2017 picture books), we all responded to the joy in these ten books – each is a celebration: of home and family; of being yourself; of caring for others; and of a fresh haircut!  Enjoy!

Quiet! by Kate Alizadeh
Keep your ears open for the wonderful array of delightful sounds in life as you journey through the day with this kiddo. Continue reading “Our Top 10 Children’s Picture Books of 2017”

Our Top 10 Teen Books of 2017

Every year, we look for the best books written for young adults. We all have our personal favorites, of course, but there are inevitably a handful of books that rise to the top. This year, our collective favorite titles cover an impressively wide range of timely and important topics, from immigration and criminal justice to racial equity and activism. We also found this year’s books are drawn from just about every genre, including romance, magical realism, survival, science-fiction, and realistic fiction.  Note: MS denotes books appropriate for middle grade readers.

Continue reading “Our Top 10 Teen Books of 2017”

Our Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2017

… according to Seattle Public Library adult librarians

Yesterday we listed our librarians’ favorite novels of 2017; today, we present you with the list of our ten favorite nonfiction books published in 2017, from memoirs to essay collections to history and cooking.

Continue reading “Our Top 10 Nonfiction Books of 2017”

Our Top 10 Novels of 2017

… according to Seattle Public Library’s adult librarians

The librarians here at the Seattle Public Library conferred, and here are our favorite ten novels published in 2017, from a debut mystery to the conclusion of a fantasy trilogy, a debut by a Washington state author to the winner of the 2017 National Book Award for Fiction. We even made a handy list in the catalog so that you can place them on hold. What were your favorite 2017 fiction reads?

American War by Omar El Akkad
El Akkad’s beautiful writing explores the universal nature of immigration in this dystopian novel set in a United States undone by war and plague. Continue reading “Our Top 10 Novels of 2017”