Short and Sweet: Stories to Savor while Social Distancing

As is the case for most folks these days, I am spending a lot of time alone. Under normal circumstances this would be the perfect time to tackle my to-be-read pile, but between phone and video catch-ups with friends and family and a seemingly endless amount of news to absorb, I’ve been finding it difficult to fully immerse myself in novels.

If like me you find yourself simultaneously sheltered in place but short on attention, it might be time to check out some short story collections. From standby classic authors to exciting contemporary voices, there’s enough here to give you a temporary break from current events, or at the very least, from social media.

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#BookBingoNW2018: LGBTQIA Author or Character

Throughout history the personal stories of LGBTQIA+ people have been either ignored or told secondhand, but as readers we can address this by seeking out memoirs, biographies, Book Cover of Surpassing Certainty by Janet Mockand historical works that center LGBTQIA+ voices. Writer and activist Hida Viloria’s trailblazing memoir Born Both: an Intersex Life explores the author’s intersex identity and activism. Janet Mock’s Surpassing Certainty is a solid follow-up to her previous memoir Redefining Realness, further cementing Mock as an essential modern transgender voice. Fierce Femmes and Notorious Liars, by transgender author Kai Cheng Thom, is an unforgettable fictionalized memoir that speaks vital truths. Inspired by his identity as a gay Chinese American man, When I Grow Up, I Want to Be a List of Further Possibilities by Chen Chen is an honest and witty poetry collection that received the A. Poulin Jr. Poetry Prize. Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2018: LGBTQIA Author or Character”

Book Bingo: Prize-winner

Join The Seattle Public Library and Seattle Arts & Lectures for our 2nd annual Summer Book Bingo for adults! Follow us throughout the summer for reading suggestions based on each category.

Yes, you should probably check out the big prize winners of the Pulitzer, Man Booker, and National Book Awards. But why not shake things up and try a lesser-known award, like the winner of the Spur Award for Westerns? I lassoed some other award winners too, most of which double as other bingo categories.

Joy Williams’ piercing, memorable tales shine light on the darkness that awaits in everyday life. Her most recent collection, The Visiting Privilege, contains several new stories mixed with highlights from previous works. The 2016 PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story is a much-deserved recognition for this underrated author.

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Noteworthy 2015 RITA Award Finalists

-Posted by Eric G.

The Romance Writers of America (RWA) announced the winners of the 2015 RITA Awards at their annual conference on July 25th. The RITA is one of the most prestigious awards for romance writers and its numerous subcategories showcase the variety within romance publishing. That being said, there were many excellent books nominated that didn’t walk away with the prize this year.


A Bollywood Affair in the Library catalogBest First Book nominee: A Bollywood Affair by Sonali Dev

Despite not winning Best First Book, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more winning romance from the past year than Sonali Dev’s debut. This joyful love story is steeped in rich Indian culture and was a library favorite that ended up on numerous staff-curated lists. Pick it up and join us in singing its praises.


Continue reading “Noteworthy 2015 RITA Award Finalists”

Book Bingo: Books You Can Finish Reading in a Day!

 – Posted by Eric G.

This summer The Seattle Public Library, in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures, is Finished Reading in a Dayexcited to offer a summer reading program for adults called Summer Book Bingo! In order to help you along on your quest to complete your bingo sheet, we have pulled together some book suggestions based on each category. Stay tuned for more throughout the summer!

Today’s Book Bingo category is “You Finish Reading in a Day.” For the sake of consistency, the books I picked are around 200 pages or less, with some having significantly less. Therefore, each of these could theoretically be finished in one day, barring any outside distractions or obligations. Personally I am a very slow reader who has a penchant for dense, emotionally-grueling literary fiction, so if you’re like me your mileage may vary!

Speaking of literary novels, I recently read Justin Torres’ acclaimed We the Animals (144 pp.), a succinct story that packs a punch. You could also try A Mercy by Toni Morrison (224 pp.) or The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (163 pp.). Continue reading “Book Bingo: Books You Can Finish Reading in a Day!”