(Reading About) The Great Outdoors

One of the things I love about living in Seattle is our proximity to the ocean and mountains and old-growth forests. Hey, occasionally you can even see the mountains (when it’s not overcast).  Alas, I don’t seem to get out into the great outdoors as often as I would like, but the next best thing to being there is reading about it. Here are some books about the natural world that I’ve enjoyed:

sandcountryalmanac.jpg

A Sand Country Almanac, and Sketches Here and There by Leopold Aldo. First published in 1949, this book by one of our country’s foremost conservationists was hailed by the New York Times as “full of beauty and vigor and bite.”

Continue reading “(Reading About) The Great Outdoors”

Sleuthing for a good mystery?

I don’t know why, but somehow reading a good mystery has a soothing effect on me. Go figure. The Library has lots of mysteries, but how to know which ones you will like? Librarians are always happy to talk to you and try to match up your tastes with the “right” book. There are also some great lists of recommended mystery reading, and here are some to get you started:

The Independent Mystery Booksellers Association has come up with a wide-ranging list of excellent mysteries, The 100 Favorite Mysteries of the 20th Century.

To see what other Seattlites are reading, check out Continue reading “Sleuthing for a good mystery?”

Sissy Spacek does Scout

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Audiobook read by Sissy Spacek

If you’re like me, you read this book in high school because you had to but don’t remember all the details.  Harper Lee’s great novel is considered a classic for good reason – it’s powerful and gripping and deals with timeless issues of growing up and prejudice.  And listening to this book is incredible – Sissy Spacek is the perfect narrator, her voice quirky and passionate and very believable as the young girl, Scout, who is wise beyond her years.  Even if you’ve already read this book, it’s definitely worth a re-listen.  I found myself looking forward to my bus commute so that I could tune back in to Scout’s world.

 

~posted by Paige C.

Growing Up Small

zippy3.jpgA Girl Named Zippy: Growing up Small in Mooreland, Indiana by Haven Kimmel.

This witty memoir about growing up in a small town in the 1970s is quirky, endearing and laugh-out-loud funny.  Although populated with some peculiar characters, this autobiography is not a depressing account of dysfunction. There is something joyful and uplifting, though certainly not pedestrian or saccharine, about Zippy’s unique angle of vision. Continue reading “Growing Up Small”

Looking for a good read?

Of course you are!  But the problem is, how to sort through the plethora of reading lists and suggestions?  Wouldn’t it be cool if someone – someone trustworthy – could poll award winning novelists, historians, poets, critics and biographers and then compile the top vote-getters into a tidy list?  Plus, it would be nice if you could get descriptions and reviews for each book, rather than just a list of titles that you have to take on faith.

The good news is that the National Book Critics Circle has done the work for us. Their voters have included Jonathan Franzen, Annie Proulx, John Updike, Cynthia Ozick and more than 500 other literary types.

Here is the NBCC’s GoodReads list from 1976 to the current year!

~posted by Paige C.