Thrilling Tales for the Holidays

Now that Hallowe’en is past, we approach the holidays with visions of murder dancing in our heads. We’re talking about the next few months of Thrilling Tales – Seattle Public Library’s popular Story time for Grownups, of course!

It all starts this Sunday: November 17, 7 p.m. with a Storytime for Grownups at Third Place Books, Seward Park of the story Plan 19, by Jack Ritchie
Fred and Hector have cooked up eighteen separate plans for their big prison break, but it takes Big Duke to add that one missing ingredient. This time, they can’t fail!

Monday November 18, noon: Dances With Ghosts, by Joseph Bruchac. Harley Bigbear is haunted enough, without the angry ghosts of white men banging on his trailer door. Gritty Indian Country noir by this prize-winning Indigenous author. Continue reading “Thrilling Tales for the Holidays”

Ready, Set, Holidays!

The holidays are nearly upon us. For many of us, it’s time to start thinking about making a Halloween costume, what dish to make for Thanksgiving, or what gifts to make for friends and family. Now is the time to start planning! Here are some books to guide you as the season approaches.

In The Horrible Craft Book, Laura Minter brings kids and adults together to make gross items like cat poo chocolates, or a brain piñata and tasty eyeballs, just in time for Halloween. In Autumn BouquetSharon Keightley shows quilters how to prepare appliques featuring beautiful fall colors and themes. Deck the halls Scandi-style with Norwegian sensations Arne & Carlos’s 55 Christmas Balls to Knit and Jorid Livnik’s Big Book of Christmas Knits. Make Beautiful Wreaths with Melissa Skidmore or step up your decorating game with Cassie Kitzmiller’s Christmas Tree BookPersonalize your own cards, gift wrap and decorations with Holiday Hand Lettering from Lark Books and Vivienne Bolton’s Making Your Own Greeting Cards and Gift WrapAnd Doerthe Eisterlehner keeps things festive and charming with My Little Crocheted Christmas along with ideas for traditional crafts in Taste of Home: Handmade Christmas Continue reading “Ready, Set, Holidays!”

Holiday Reads for the Rest of Us

To get into the holiday spirit this year I’ve been cranking up the Christmas tunes, decorating the Christmas tree, and drinking hot cocoa while watching Home Alone, but when it comes to books I need something a little less sparkly and bright. I like to read realistic fiction – nothing against a good cozy mystery or a holiday themed romance, but I enjoy the struggle of real life in my reading. It helps me recognize what I’m thankful for and helps me feel less alone if I’m having a hard time. Here are some fiction reads, for however you spend the season, to bring some empathy, understanding, and maybe a little chaos.

Disgruntled: A Novel by Asali Solomon: “Kenya is teased mercilessly by her Philadelphia grade-school classmates for her Kwanzaa-celebrating family’s odd ways—and they don’t know the half of it.  Her father preaches “black anarchy” as the volatile leader of the Seven Days, a group he and Kenya’s mother, Sheila, who grew up in the projects and who supports her family as a librarian, has pulled together. Preternaturally observant and mordantly funny, Kenya is a hypnotic narrator coping valiantly with an increasingly bewildering life.” (Booklist) Continue reading “Holiday Reads for the Rest of Us”

Ideas for Book Giving this Holiday

Librarians give – and get – a lot of books this time of year. Seeing that familiar shape surrounded by festive wrapping is a special thrill. Sure, we know it is a book, but what book? We recently shared some ideas on how to choose good books for your loved ones. Now here are some titles we’re especially excited to be giving – or receiving – this year.

Mozart’s Starling by Lyanda Lynn Haupt. An uncommon look at a seemingly common bird, this is narrative nonfiction at its best. And, yes, Mozart had a pet starling. So did Haupt. From the Seattle author who brought you Crow Planet.  – Linda

Pie & Whiskey edited by Kate Lebo and Sam Ligon. These two Spokane authors have been hosting spirited literary events inspiring northwest authors to write poems, stories, and essays under the influence of butter and booze. The resulting anthology is funny, wise, insightful, irreverent — and handy. Fits in a (large) stocking!  – Linda Continue reading “Ideas for Book Giving this Holiday”

How to Succeed at Gifting Books this Holiday Season.

Books make the perfect gift, except when they don’t. Few presents are such a joy for a reader to open as a well-chosen book, but we all know that sinking feeling when a literary gift strikes out. Giving a book can be an emotional minefield, as the books we share are reflections our ourselves, bound up with our own values and sense of self. Rightly or wrongly, it is like giving a piece of yourself. For an amusing consideration of this, check out Jen Adams’ diverting collection The Books They Gave Me, which shares 200 anonymous accounts of literary gifts, and how wonderful and terrible those results can be.

The trick about bookish giving is to try to find something that your recipient will enjoy, rather than something you enjoyed. Continue reading “How to Succeed at Gifting Books this Holiday Season.”