The Apollo 11 Anniversary 1969-2019

What began as one small step for [a] man, is now one giant leap through half a century of the calendar of human history, as we commemorate the first landing on the moon, July 20, 1969.

With the anniversary comes books and other resources highlighting the landing, the astronauts, and the space race—which was an echo of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. After some early experiments in space, President Kennedy in 1961 set the mission for the nation, to land a person on the moon by the end of the sixties. This story had it all, great characters, drama, heroes and villains, pathos and tragedy, and finally triumph. Also, microwaves, Teflon, and the never ending development of technology that came about as offshoots of the space missions during that half century.

Some of the newer titles out for the anniversary year include the books American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley, Apollo’s Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings by Roger Launius, and One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman.

DVDs include First Man (based on the book by James Hansen), and from director Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11. Continue reading “The Apollo 11 Anniversary 1969-2019”

Bird Week: Shakespeare’s Birds

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.

Image of William Shakespeare, a bird is perched on his let arm. Text reads: Shakespeare, Illustration from "The Birds of Shakespeare," James Edmund Harting 1871

‘Tis unnatural,
Even like the deed that’s done. On Tuesday last,
A falcon, tow’ring in her pride of place,
Was by a mousing owl hawk’d at and kill’d.
~ Macbeth: Act 2, Scene 4

By coincidence, as we celebrate this Bird Week, it is also Bard Week, as in the birthday of Mr. William Shakespeare of Stratford-upon-Avon, a noted appreciator of the many qualities of birds. He was born April 23, 1564 according to most sources.

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The Vietnam War: Essential Accounts

There is no single story of the Vietnam War. In our second of four lists commemorating the premiere of Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s ten part documentary series on the Vietnam War, we feature twenty-five memoirs and personal accounts of the War and its aftermath, representing a wide array of experiences and voices. Here are some highlights.

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The Vietnam War: Essential History

As our city and our nation tunes in to the premiere presentation of Ken Burns’ and Lynn Novick’s ten part documentary series on the Vietnam War, interest is spiking in books and films that explore the War and the era from all angles. In the first of a four part series featuring lists including one hundred works of history, memoir, fiction and film, we suggest some of the best historical overviews of the Vietnam War.

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