#BookBingoNW2021 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color) Food Writing

Need a suggestion for your BIPOC Food Writing Book Bingo square? Expand your reading (and eating) palette with these tasty, filling and thoroughly engrossing memoirs and cookbooks!*

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

Noted indie rock musician Zauner (Japanese Breakfast) has penned a heartfelt and captivating memoir about growing up Asian American in a predominantly white Pacific Northwest community and her complex relationship with her mother, with whom she shared a fierce love of Korean food. Zauner writes candidly about her mother’s early death from cancer, her attempts to care for her and her grief, weaving evocative descriptions of Korean dishes and cooking throughout. Currently available at most Library locations as a Peak Pick.

Notes From a Young Black Chef by Kwame Onwuachi 

Top Chef fans may remember Onwuachi from Season 13, when he wowed the judges with his pickled shrimp with cucumber onion salad, among other delectable dishes that drew on his Nigerian heritage. In this absorbing memoir, he recounts his journey from a rough childhood in the Bronx to working in three-star Michelin restaurants and finally opening his own highly anticipated restaurant before he turned 30. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or Person of Color) Food Writing”

#BookBingoNW2021 Cli-fi or Environmental Non-fiction

The Cli-fi/Environmental Non-Fiction square offers lots of good reading options! From visions of how the world might look after a climate apocalypse, to intensely personal stories of connection with the land; from accounts of how we got to this point in time, to examinations of the intersection of capitalism and climate; and much more. Check out a few suggestions below to get you started, and find many, many more on our Cli-fi or Environmental Non-fiction booklist.

The Disaster Tourist by Yun Ko-eun
Fiction
Yona works for a travel agency, Jungle, which arranges high-end vacations to areas ravaged by disasters: floods, avalanches, earthquakes, etc. Her most recent assignment is as an evaluator, joining four vacationers on an island off the coast of Vietnam with a somewhat lackluster sinkhole. With the local economy now entirely dependent on Jungle’s tourists, Yona discovers a plan to punch up the drama – and the danger. This is a fast-paced satire that interrogates issues of capitalism, tourism, and climate change. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2021 Cli-fi or Environmental Non-fiction”

Bird Week: Birds Ground Us — The Earth and Environmental Equity

The Seattle Public Library is partnering with the Seward Park Audubon Center for Bird Week, April 23-30, in celebration of the center’s tenth anniversary and the National Audubon Society’s 2018 Year of the Bird.

A bird in hand is worth two in the bush. Don’t you think our lush planet is worth far more than two desolate balls of dust light years away?  This good earth is our bird in the hand.

Birds have, long, been our inspiration. They have served as an impetus to move beyond earthly limitations. If they can take to air, plumb watery depths and strut around the breadth and width of this earth like they own it, so can we!

We’ve followed their example in so many ways. We feather our nests, warn our children not to count their chickens before they hatch, put feathers in our caps and flock together. Continue reading “Bird Week: Birds Ground Us — The Earth and Environmental Equity”

City Council Reads – Mike O’Brien, District 6

This past November, Seattle swore in a new Mayor and City Councilmember, and we here at ShelfTalk thought this would be a great opportunity to continue our series of posts in which we invited your representatives to share books that have meant a lot to them. This time, we asked them “What book was most influential in your life or career and why?” This week, Councilmember Mike O’Brien, representing District 6, Northwest Seattle.

“What book was most influential in your life or career and why?”

I read Cadillac Desert by Marc Reisner in my early 20’s when I was beginning to work as a river guide and an outdoor instructor.  It’s about land development and water policy in the Western United States, including places where I spent a lot of time (the Columbia River basin) and places I wanted to spend time (the Colorado River).  It opened my eyes to the ways in which government policy shapes our landscape and environment, and has spurred me on to pursue environmental policy work as both a volunteer with organizations like the Sierra Club and as a Seattle City Councilmember.

Continue reading “City Council Reads – Mike O’Brien, District 6”

Futurama Redux: Urban Mobility After Cars, a Traveling International Exhibition


One of the highlights of the 1939 World’s Fair was a massive exhibit called “Futurama,” created by General Motors. It promised that within twenty years the working man would live in a glorious future filled with friendly suburbs, gleaming skyscrapers, and extensive highways—all of this made possible by the comfort and convenience of the personal car.

More than 75 years later, most of us are living in the car-centric future prophesied at the World’s Fair, but it is not quite the utopia GM envisioned. Pollution, traffic congestion, and the looming end to fossil fuels leave us wondering: What comes next?

The international exhibition Futurama Redux: Urban Mobility After Cars offers fascinating answers to this question. Continue reading “Futurama Redux: Urban Mobility After Cars, a Traveling International Exhibition”