Summer reading: Book suggestions from readers at our International District/Chinatown branch



大冰河: 乔良

乔良 是一位优秀的军旅作家。他的这本小说集从不同的角度反映了当代军人的风采。尤其是“大冰河”这篇中篇小说, 通过一次救灾,显示的不仅是军人的力量,更显示了他们的情怀和勇于牺牲。

Guaranteed no-pressure book group experience

I clearly have the best job in the world, because I regularly get to go to a book group that does nothing but talk about good books — and lots of them. This isn’t your typical “let’s all read the same book and talk about it” book group. Instead, this is an informal group where we go around the room and each reader takes about two to three minutes to talk about a book he or she’s enjoyed. It’s an incredible place to get ideas for what to read next. And although the name — Let’s Talk About Books — is sort of boring and a teensy bit dopey, it really does say it all.

laura-riders-masterpieceThis summer several branches around Seattle are offering similar low-pressure drop-in book sessions called Read a Book, Share a Book. Again, the idea is just to encourage people to talk about what they’ve enjoyed reading, give other people suggestions and walk away with ideas of what you might want to add to your reading list. (Look for Read a Book, Share a Book this Saturday, July 11, at 2:30 at the Douglass-Truth branch for ages 11 through adult; August 1 again at Douglass-Truth, August 8 at the International District/Chinatown Branch, August 9 and the Rainier Beach Branch and August 15 at the South Park Branch.)

One of my many favorite things about this group is how readers talk about what they enjoy.  I had read several reviews of The Uncommon Reader by Alan Bennett and had certainly seen it on the library shelves. But when I heard Andrea talking about a specific scene from the book, I was convinced that I needed to start reading it that same day on the bus ride home. I knew that Jane Hamilton had a new book out, called Laura Rider’s Masterpiece, but it wasn’t until Lillian talked about how surprisingly funny it was that I: 1.) realized Hamilton could write funny; 2.) decided to place a hold on it. And just yesterday Della’s recommendation of a nonfiction book about the Mustang Ranch (Brothel: The Mustang Ranch and Its Women by Alexa Albert) and Joan’s recommendation of Linda Fairstein’s newest (Lethal Legacy, set in a library in NYC) meant two more books for my reading pile, and Susan’s recommendation of The Water’s Lovely by Ruth Rendell on audio means a new book will soon be downloaded to my iPod.  Ali, Erika and Randy all chimed in with recommendations and we all left with personal insight into more than a dozen books and authors.

This is the best model for a book group ever,” my friend and fellow librarian Abby said the last time she attended Let’s Talk About Books. I couldn’t agree more.

Summer Reads: Green Lake and International District reader suggestions

Want to share what you’re reading? Enter the Adult Summer Reading Program at any branch (or downtown at the Central Library), write one or two sentences about three books you’ve read. You’ll be entered in a weekly drawing to win a book bag (one winner per week at each location; lots of chances to win!).

Greek Lake readers recommend:

A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway.

I’ve read almost all of Hemingway’s fiction, but have never before read this autobiography which covers 5 years in Paris. An intriquing, nonchalant account of his life, his approach to writing, and the daily lives of famous 1920’s expat authors.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. 

The story centers around Liesel, a young girl living near Munich, Germany. Her foster father teaches her how to read and she becomes obsessed with books. It is her book-stealing and story-telling talents which help sustain her family and the Jewish man they are hiding. A riveting account of life in Germany during WWII.

The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan.

Pollan’s account of the industrial food chain impressed upon me the extent to which man has perverted nature to suit his largely short-sighted purposes. I was a little bit disappointed, however, that the author did not offer a clear-cut answer to the “what to eat ” question.

International District / Chinatown readers recommend: 

The Laughing Buddha of Tofukuji: The Life of Zen Master Keido Fukushima by Ishwar C. Harris

Within the Zen tradition, a Zen master is a Buddha. His enlightenment is to be reflected through his life & message. Keido (Buddism’s teacher), his lecture derived from Zen Buddhism in general.

The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan

Luling Young searches for the name of her mother trying to hold on to evaporating past. Meanwhile, her daughter, Ruth, loses the ability to speak up for herself. Ruth starts suspecting that something is terribly wrong with Continue reading “Summer Reads: Green Lake and International District reader suggestions”