Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008

Seattle Reads, the arts, and gentrification was the topic in our Throwback Thursday post on March 31, 2008.

Image result for the beautiful things that heaven bears

If you have picked up this year’s Seattle Reads novel, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu you’ve had a chance to get one novelist’s take on some of the issues and pressures that can fracture a community changing in the face of gentrification and immigration.

Facing similar issues, particularly those of gentrification pressures, local Capitol Hill artists, arts activists, neighbors and interested citizens are gathering at Seattle City Hall in April to discuss community concerns about rapidly diminishing affordable space for arts uses in the City’s core neighborhoods. Get details at:

Make Room for Art: Cultural Overlay Districts for Seattle
April 2, 5pm-6:30pm, Seattle City Hall

City Councilmembers will hear from Seattle residents, arts and entertainment venues and organizations, property owners, developers, and officials on how the Council might go about establishing an overlay district to offer incentives and controls in a specific area to encourage or preserve particular kinds of activities, spaces, and/or design. How can the city grow in a healthy balanced way that benefits all? This could be an exciting opportunity to add your voice as “A City Makes Herself.” Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008”

Seattle Reads: An Interview with Thi Bui

In celebration of Seattle Reads 2019, Jess Boyd spoke to Thi Bui about her award- winning graphic novel, The Best We Could Do (TBWCD), the 2019 Seattle Reads selection.

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An Interview with Thi Bui
by Jess Boyd

Thi Bui’s The Best We Could Do is a story that moved me, my family and my community. It gave voice to feelings and frustrations that I had yet to articulate and acted as a medium to bridge generations and countries.

The story is a multigenerational saga told through Bui’s past and present selves. Bui generously shares herself at different moments throughout her life, as a child, as a sibling, as a new mother, allowing us to see the far reaching ripples of war, and the way that those ripples can become waves that carry people across oceans.

Jess Boyd: Where was the birthplace of your creativity?
Thi Bui:
I have to take a moment to allow myself to accept the compliment embedded in this question. “Ya not creative!” shouts my inner Viet.

Okay, it’s good now. I remember making things and daydreaming when I was a kid as a form of escape. Whether I was escaping my drab physical environment or tense emotional environment, I’m not sure … maybe both? It’s not like that anymore but that was how being creative started — first as an escape and then as a rebellion.

Why is it important to remember and reflect on the past?
We apes learn slow and we keep having to learn the same lessons over and over again. History keeps us humble and it also lends us perspective. Continue reading “Seattle Reads: An Interview with Thi Bui”

OverDrive Comics and ‘The Best We Could Do’

The Seattle Public Library has physical comics for children, teens, and adults available for checkout in all of our 27 locations, as well as through our mobile services. We also have comics available through our Hoopla Digital service. But did you know, amongst all of the mysteries, memoirs, and literary fiction e-books, that we also have approximately 1,700 “comic and graphic works” in our OverDrive collection?! This collection includes popular kids comics like the Narwhal and Jelly series, relatable webcomics such as “Sarah’s Scribbles,” award winners like Kindred… and even the 2019 Seattle Reads selection The Best We Could Do by Thi Bui!

Narwhal’s Otter Friend: Narwhal and Jelly Series, Book 4 by Ben Clanton
This is the fourth book of the Narwhal and Jelly aquatic graphic novel adventure series for early readers! While Narwhal enthusiastically accepts newcomer Otter into the friend-pod, Jelly reacts somewhat jelly-ously… (Clanton, a local author, won the Washington State Book Award for the first book in this series.) Continue reading “OverDrive Comics and ‘The Best We Could Do’”

Seattle Reads Homegoing: Fiction to Read Next

In 2018 Seattle Reads Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Beginning in Ghana, 1760, Homegoing follows the parallel paths of two half-sisters and seven generations of their descendants in Ghana and the United States, in a stunning saga of the African diaspora that illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy. Gyasi will be in Seattle for a series of events May 16-17; find the full schedule here, including book groups, genealogy workshops, and three appearances by Gyasi.

We hope you’ve read, or are planning to read, Homegoing. Perhaps you enjoyed how Gyasi portrayed the sweep of familial generations, or the evocation of families dealing with enslavement and the aftermath. Perhaps you’re wondering – what do I read next? Fret not, our librarians have put together a list of fiction for fans of Homegoing to help you out.

Continue reading “Seattle Reads Homegoing: Fiction to Read Next”

Seattle Reads Homegoing: Nonfiction Titles to Delve Deeper

In 2018 Seattle Reads Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi. Beginning in Ghana, 1760, Homegoing follows the parallel paths of two half-sisters and seven generations of their descendants in Ghana and the United States in a stunning saga of the African diaspora that illuminates slavery’s troubled legacy. Gyasi will be in Seattle for a series of events May 16-17; find the full schedule here, including book groups, genealogy workshops, and three appearances by Gyasi.

We hope you’ve read, or are planning to read, Homegoing. Perhaps you’re interested in learning more about Cape Castle in Ghana, or in hearing first hand narrative of what it was like to be on a slave ship, or finding true multi-generational stories of families brought to the US via slavery. Perhaps you’re wondering – how do I learn more? Our librarians have you covered with this list of nonfiction for readers of Homegoing.

Continue reading “Seattle Reads Homegoing: Nonfiction Titles to Delve Deeper”