It was amazing, astounding, this loss of communication with the world. It was exactly as if the world had ceased, been blotted out. …With the coming of the Scarlet Death the world fell apart, absolutely, irretrievably.
– The Scarlet Plague, by Jack London
Just a handful of years after the novella quoted above came out, the world was plunged into a global pandemic that claimed over 50 million lives. Jack London didn’t live to see it, but he had recently witnessed the ominous return of the Black Death, a startling outbreak of bubonic plague in turn-of-the-century San Francisco that is recounted in David Randall’s Black Death at the Golden Gate. What’s more, he had the foresight to know that worse – much worse – was to come:
Now this is the strange thing about these germs. There were always new ones coming to live in men’s bodies. …the more men there were, the more thickly were they packed together on the earth, the more new kinds of germs became diseases. There were warnings. Soldervetzsky, as early as 1929, told the bacteriologists that they had no guaranty against some new disease, a thousand times more deadly than any they knew, arising and killing by the hundreds of millions and even by the billion.
While not all of the predictions in London’s vision of America circa 2013 ring true – personal dirigibles, anyone? – his pandemic prophecies have only gained force. In H.G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds, humankind is saved by micro-organisms; in London’s The Scarlet Plague, these same germs turn on us, and almost win. Looking back from the year 2073 on the devastation, an old man attempts to teach his grandsons how to relight the torch of civilization, with the aid of that most precious tool: books! Continue reading “Pandemic Post-Apocalyptic Podcast”
Two trains speed toward each other in a blizzard, as a killer wanders the night! Melodrama on the rails, in this week’s Thrilling Tales: Storytime for Grownups, available now! On May 20, 1920 the readers opening the new issue of Metropolitan magazine were captivated by a heart-stopping tale entitled The Signal Tower, by Wadsworth Camp. Never heard of him? Neither had I! Most of the details we know about the man come from biographies of his daughter Madeleine L’Engle, the beloved author of A Wrinkle in Time. Camp was known in his day as the author of several excellent mystery novels, many of which were adapted to the stage or screen. Continue reading “Panic on the Rails in our Thrilling Tales podcast”
Last week I highlighted some of the diverse podcasts the library has to offer on it’s website with no library card required. I wanted to discuss some of the other things offered on the Library Podcast page, specifically the variety of discussions on Seattle and Seattle history.
In Fall of 2019, the Library hosted discussions on the hidden history of the Space Needle, including Space Needle Redux: Knute Berger and B.J. Bullert Eye the Needle. Continue reading “Library Podcasts with a Seattle Focus”
Was there an author event you missed out on at the library? Did you miss a Thrilling Tales adult story time? Don’t fret! The library records many of its events, everything from author readings to theatre previews. Found under the Books and Media tab on our homepage, Library Podcasts are sorted by year at the top of the page and by some subjects at the bottom.
Here’s a few suggestions to get you started with this great online resource (you don’t even need a library card to listen!):
In 2018, Maxwell King discussed his new book, The Good Neighbor: The Life and Work of Fred Rogers, which is the first full-length biography of Mr. Rogers. Hear the story of this enduring Icon and read the ebook yourself, along with the ebook A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood by Fred Rogers himself. Continue reading “Revisit Past Events with Our Podcasts”
Being talked at is one of my favorite past times. Whether someone is telling me a fascinating story about Seattle’s history at work or my husband is listing and ranking his favorite cheeseburgers at home, I love listening. So much so, I listen to complete strangers talking inside my earbuds all the time. In this instance I am referring to podcasts!
Some of my favorite podcasts, as it turns out, have inspired books. As a librarian who loves podcasts, this is the ultimate intersection of my passions. These books go all over the map from graphic novel adaptations to collected stories to further research on true events.
Here are a list of some of the ones I enjoyed:
The Adventure Zone: Here There Be Gerblins by Clint McElroy, Griffin McElroy, Justin McElroy, Travis McElroy, and Carey Pietsch.
Based on the podcast: The Adventure Zone, Balance Story Arc
This is the graphic novel adaptation of a comedy roleplaying podcast in which the McElroy brothers plus their dad, Clint, play Dungeons and Dragons. What starts out as a funny romp through well-known territory takes a deep dive into original storytelling that will make you laugh and sob uncontrollably. Clint and artist Carey Pietsch do an amazing job in retelling the story from the podcast in a new format. Continue reading “Books inspired by podcasts”