Sharing Our Stories: Seattle Public Library Celebrates the Art of Storytelling


“We tell ourselves stories in order to live.” – Joan Didion

One evening a friend took me to Roy Street Coffee and Tea in Capitol Hill to a standing room only event. It was a Thursday night and I was at Fresh Ground Stories, a first-person storytelling open mic inspired by The Moth Radio Hour. The room was warm with so many bodies, stuffed chairs, and steaming lattes, but ordinary coffee shop din was virtually absent as the crowd’s attention was honed on the teller at the microphone. I was floored by the jaw dropping honesty, beauty, courage, hilarity, and universality of each story I encountered. Hearing strangers tell these true personal stories in front of a live audience left me changed: grinning foolishly, laughing loudly, and, more often than I’d like to admit, reaching for a scrunched up Kleenex. Continue reading “Sharing Our Stories: Seattle Public Library Celebrates the Art of Storytelling”

Warm Bodies screening with author Isaac Marion

 warm-bodies-postersCan love make a dead heart beat again? Shamble in to the Central Library to watch the newly released zombie romance film “Warm Bodies” and meet the book’s author, Isaac Marion, for a question and answer period afterward. Isaac Marion has recently completed a prequel novella and is currently working on the sequel to Warm Bodies.

 Warm Bodies stars Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and John Malkovich and will be shown in the Microsoft Auditorium at the Central Library at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 6. Library events and programs are free and everyone is welcome. Registration is not required. Bonus points for coming costumed as a zombie!!

Documentaries from SIFFs gone by

As I pore over the hundreds of screenings at the Seattle International Film Festival every year, I find myself focusing on two categories – documentaries and Scandinavian films. Here are some of my favorite documentaries from SIFFs gone by.

Click here to view Every Little Step in the catalogEvery Little Step is about the making of “A Chorus Line” on Broadway. Yes, it’s about actors auditioning for a musical about auditioning for a musical. Interviews with composer Marvin Hamlisch when the musical premiered in the mid-1970s are interspersed with actors auditioning for roles and the producers making casting decisions for the 2006 Broadway revival. It’s every bit as Continue reading “Documentaries from SIFFs gone by”

Science Fiction Fridays: An ode to teenage anarchists

There’s nothing like a great story starring a strong, resourceful teenager who thumbs their nose at authority and manages to save the day by being true themselves, instead of bowing to whims of establishment. Whether we’re talking about young adult literature or not (and really, does that distinction matter to us science fiction aficionados?), I have a soft spot for teens that face down not just the usual know-it-all authority figures, but also whatever dangers lurk in the universe of the novel. This past week, I’ve read three exceptional examples of teen protagonists that stand up to the “the man” and don’t back down, even if “the man” happens to be a giant alien that looks like an upside down mop bucket.

After the Fall, before the Fall, during the Fall by Nancy Kress

A young man is caught in the act of kidnapping two little girls and literally vanishes in front of the terrified parents’ eyes. A brilliant mathematician develops an algorithm to track the pattern of the next disappearance. And 50 years in the future, the last survivors of Earth struggle to keep the human race alive by expanding their gene pool. It all adds up to one of Kress’ greatest books a sure-fire contender for a Hugo nomination 

Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan

Waverly is on a generation ship when a vicious attack by religious extremists from their sister ship leaves her a prisoner. Meanwhile, the remaining teenagers struggle to both rescue those kidnapped and save their crippled ship. It’s a pulse-pounding story where you’re never sure which characters to trust and the hits come fast and heavy. Also, Waverly is the kind of brave, resourceful and utterly human character that will have fans of The Hunger Games leaping for joy for a new series to love.

Marsbound by Joe Haldeman

A conversational first person narrative about teen Carmen Dula who is more than a little nervous when her parents decide to uproot the family and join the new colony on Mars. As if dealing with her budding sexuality and usual teen problems weren’t enough, Carmen also accidently becomes one half of the universe’s first human-alien encounter. Throw in some mysterious technology, a devastating secret and Haldeman’s warm writing and this book becomes utterly charming. First in a trilogy.

Rae’s Manga Blitz – Library Wars

Title: Library Wars

Manga Author: Kiiro Yumi

Original Story Author: Hiro Arikawa

Audience: T+ (Older Teen)

Genre: Action, Comedy, Romance, Drama, Political, SF (future)

Summary: “In the near future, the federal government creates a committee to rid society of books it deems unsuitable. The libraries vow to protect their collections, and with the help of local governments, form a military group to defend themselves—the Library Forces! Iku Kasahara has dreamed of joining the Library Defense Force ever since one of its soldiers stepped in to protect her favorite book from being confiscated in a bookstore when she was younger. But now that she’s finally a recruit, she’s finding her dream job to be a bit of a nightmare. Especially since her hard-hearted drill instructor seems to have it in for her!” Continue reading “Rae’s Manga Blitz – Library Wars”