Fiction eBooks – Available NOW!

Hundreds of Always Available fiction eBooks are now available until June 30th due to the generosity of several publishers and distributors. Check some out while you wait for your holds to be filled and for the library to reopen.

This collection is particularly a boon for fans of translated fiction. Some highlights include Sayaka Murata’s breakout English-language debut Convenience Store Woman, a spare novel that questions the push to conform to societal expectations as seen through the experiences of 36-year-old convenience store clerk Keiko Furukawa. Hotel Silence by Audur Ava Ólafsdóttir is a tender, lighthearted novel with a dark premise, as suicidal Icelander Jonas Ebeneser travels to a war-torn country only to find himself needed by a brother and sister duo operating the titular Hotel. The translation of Argentinian writer Silvina Ocampo’s debut collection of short stories Forgotten Journey (published 1937), is full of short, dreamlike vignettes populated by singular characters and evocative of Argentina’s landscape, both urban and rural. Black Moses by Alain Mabanckou is an incisively witty coming-of-age novel set in the Republic of the Congo from the 1970s-1990s. And if you’re looking for a classic, check out The Master and Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov. Continue reading “Fiction eBooks – Available NOW!”

Noteworthy Nonfiction eBooks – Available NOW!

Thanks to the generosity of several publishers and distributors, The Seattle Public Library now provides access to hundreds of Always Available nonfiction eBooks until June 30th! While you wait for your holds to be filled and for the library to reopen, check some of these out.

Five National Book Award nominees are available, including two winners: Sarah M. Broom’s searing memoir The Yellow House (2019), which chronicles her family’s hundred year history through the family house in New Orleans, and Jeffrey Stewart’s The New Negro (2018), a biography of the “Father of the Harlem Renaissance” (this also won the Pulitzer Prize for Biography in 2018). Nominees include Tressie McMillan Cottom’s smart and provocative essay collection Thick (2019); Albert Woodfox’s devastating memoir Solitary (2019) about spending four decades in solitary confinement; and Strangers in Their Own Land (2018), where Berkeley-based author Arlie Russell Hochschild finds common ground with people on the conservative end of the political spectrum. Continue reading “Noteworthy Nonfiction eBooks – Available NOW!”

Meditation for Tough Times

We live amongst our stressors and our struggles. Anxiety manifests as feelings, physical symptoms, and in how we connect or disconnect with the people around us. We so often think “I’ll be more relaxed when-” but there is always the journey of getting to “when.” Mindfulness is the practice of finding peace wherever we are, no matter what may be going on inside or around us.

Image for Science of MindfulnessWhen facing any health issue, we first want to understand it and its treatment. Explore the science of psychotherapy and the application of mindfulness with Ronald D. Siegel, Psy. D. in The Science of Mindfulness: A Research-Based Path to Well-Being, a Great Courses series available streaming from Kanopy. Each of the 24 videos in the series relates the mental exercise of mindfulness to approaching a common concern, such as connecting with others, self-compassion, loneliness, and creating healthy habits. Mental and emotional resiliency can be a great help during times of change and developing a new normal. Continue reading “Meditation for Tough Times”

Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online

Friday the 13th of March was a dynamic scene at the Central Library, with patrons queuing for help to find good books to read during the library’s closure, and the DVD aisles packed with browsers. I miss assisting patrons in person in finding a great story to read or watch – though do visit my colleagues at I at Your Next Five Books where we continue to advise readers and listeners online. Fortunately, there are many other ways to enjoy stories right now.

If you have internet access, here are some places to find speculative stories – e.g. science fiction, fantasy, horror, magical realism, slipstream, and anything in the realms of the imagination. Because it times like these, we need stories that take us away from our current realities, don’t you agree? is a publisher of books, yes, but they also post full-text short stories, as well as blog posts about books and popular culture weekly. Stories are updated in the carousel at the top of the site. Recent stories stories have been written by the likes of Maria Dahvana Headley, Charlie Jane Anders, Harry Turtledove, Garth Nix, and Neil Gaiman. Continue reading “Speculative Short Stories to Read or Listen to Online”

Outdoor Escapes: Digital Edition

Need to escape your house? Looking for some peace and quiet? Enjoy the spring weather and get outside for a walk or bike ride.

For lovely walking in Seattle, I would suggest you get a hold of a digital copy of Seattle Walk Report. You can find a walk for every neighborhood. Some other digital titles with cool walk suggestions are Walking Seattle: 35 Tours of the Jet City’s Parks, Landmarks, Neighborhoods and Scenic Views, Seattle Stairway Walks: And Up-and-down Guide to City Neighborhoods, and Urban Trails, Seattle: Shoreline, Renton, Kent, Vashon Island.

Continue reading “Outdoor Escapes: Digital Edition”