50 Ways to Find Romance at your Local Library

No, not that kind of romance, silly! Not that we don’t know some wonderful couples who first met at the public library, but we’re not recommending our libraries as pick up spots: that would be creepy. However, every week dozens of new fresh romance novels arrive on our shelves, ready to be taken home by you. We’ve just updated our Romance Staff Picks list in the catalog with fifty fresh new titles; here’s a taste of what you’ll find there:

Miss Lattimore’s Letter, by Suzanne Allain
When Sophronia Lattimore put pen to paper after overhearing what seemed like some misguided matchmaking, she thought she was saving the day. But little did she surmise the persuasive power of her epistolary wit to sway the errant hearts of others. This sweetly funny novel of Regency era romantic intrigue is a sparkling rom-com in the best Jane Austen tradition.

Hana Khan Carries On, by Uzma Jalaluddin
Between waitressing at Three Sisters Biryani Poutine, her family’s struggling restaurant, interning at a Toronto radio station, and secretly producing her podcast, Hana has her hands more than full. Then handsome Aydin Shah starts moving in on her territory, his sheep’s clothing barely hiding his wolfish side. This charming contemporary romance doesn’t shy away from serious issues. Continue reading “50 Ways to Find Romance at your Local Library”

How 9/11 changed the way we read

As we mark twenty years since the terrible events of September 11, 2001, this past week has been a time of remembrance and reflection for many of us. While reading a powerful piece in the Washington Post in which people share how that day changed their world views, I reflected on how in the weeks, months and years following 9/11, we librarians witnessed a shift in the reading interests of our patrons at the Library that seemed to me a ray of hope during a dark time.

Like everyone, my memories of the day itself are indelible. I recall how the word spread via (then newfangled) email around our Central library’s temporary facility – the current library was still just a big hole in the ground. How people gathered around hastily set up televisions at many of our branches, to watch in stunned silence as the day unfolded. And how over phones and in person, the questions flooded in: What was happening? Were we safe in Seattle? What could people do to help, and where should they send support? Why do they hate us?

Image of two people reading courtesy of Bonnie Natko, via Flickr

Continue reading “How 9/11 changed the way we read”

The Book Was Better, 2019

It is rare that a movie or TV show is better than the book it is based on. I mean, it happens, but it’s rare.  Yes, some movies live up to or complement their source material, but most of the time they don’t. For starters, let’s take 2019 – remember 2019? – back when we were still going to movie theaters? Ah, seems like ages ago, doesn’t it? Skip these 2019 movies, and read the book (or listen to the audiobook) instead:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette? Cate Blanchett! Richard Linklater! Our fair city and library as a filming location! What could go wrong? A lot, it turns out.

  • The book: “…a compelling composite of a woman’s life—and the way she’s viewed by the many people who share it. …the nuances of mundane interactions are brilliantly captured, and the overarching mystery deepens with each page, until the thoroughly satisfying dénouement.” – Publisher’s Weekly.
  • The movie: “The script is an insult to the principle of adaptation: All that is good in the plot has been excised in favor of the shortest route to a happy ending.” – The New Republic. Rotten Tomatoes: 50%.

Continue reading “The Book Was Better, 2019”

#BookBingoNW2021 Small Press

Those who follow the literary world know the agglomeration of mega-publishers that was once termed the “big six” long ago became the “big five,” and through yet another merger/acquisition will soon become the “big four.” It seems just a matter of time before we’re talking about the “big one.” Fortunately, there are many many small publishers out there bringing a panorama of distinct editorial styles and missions to bookstore and library shelves. As you approach this Book Bingo square, you may want to browse this mega-list of small and independent publishers from our catalog. Here are just a few of my own favorites from this eclectic list:

Archipelago Books specializes in beautifully produced international titles, often in their English language debuts, making them a sort of United Nations of literature. Their big cash cow has been Karl Ove Knausgaard’s popular soul-searching six volume memoir My Struggle, the kind of commercial success that most small publishers dream of, and one that helps underwrite a wide range of other less profitable but no less fascinating titles. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021 Small Press”

Book Group Picks, July 2021

Are you in a book discussion group, and looking for affordable ways to supply your group with books to discuss? The library is here for you! Each month or so, we’ll share a varied handful of titles, any one of which would make for terrific discussion, and each of which – at the time of posting – has a dozen or more copies currently available at our various branches. Let’s get started with this month’s batch:

Just Us: An American Conversation, by Claudia Rankine.
“The murkiness as we exist alongside each other calls us forward. I don’t want to forget that I am here; at any given moment we are, each of us, next to any other capable of both the best and the worst our democracy has to offer.” 44 print, 6 eBook copies available.

Interior Chinatown, by Charles Yu.
“…we made it our own place – Chinatown. A place for preservation and self-preservation; give them what they feel what’s right, is safe; make it fit the idea of what is out there. Chinatown and indeed being Chinese is and always has been, from the very beginning a construction, a performance of features, gestures, culture and exoticism, invention/reinvention of stylization.” Winner of the Pulitzer Prize. 20 print copies available. Continue reading “Book Group Picks, July 2021”