Keeping you in Suspense: Thrilling Tales for Autumn

Twisting, turning, thrilling tales!

It seems like Summer was hardly here at all, but longer chillier Fall nights are waiting in the wings, and with them a fresh batch of chilling stories for the library’s Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Grownups. Taking place in the Central Library’s Microsoft Auditorium on the first and thirdMonday each month from 12:05 – 12:50, this fun lunch hour program is finishing it’s sixth year of captivating story hours with a diverse slate of authors. You’ll find classic favorites such as Ray Bradbury and Damon Runyon, and more contemporary fare from Neil Gaiman and Roddy Doyle. There’s suspense, horror, humor, science fiction, and even tales of the Old West. Come join us for the world’s easiest book club: just bring your ears, your imagination, and – if you like – a sack lunch.

  • Monday, Sept. 19: Broker’s Special by Stanley Ellin. Cornelius commutes to work by train, but for murder only an automobile will do. Also, Moonlight Sonata by Alexander Woollcott. Ill met by moonlight.
  • Monday, Oct 3: The Voice in the Night by William Hope Hodgson. It called out across the murky waves of a darkling sea with a terrible tale to tell.
  • Monday, Oct 17: The Hunger by Charles Beaumont. There’s a psycho killer on the loose. The sunset is red as blood reflects Julia, as she walks home alone.
  • Monday, Oct 31: Blood by Roddy Doyle. There’s no accounting for taste, and no accounting for a Dublin man’s sudden taste for blood. Also, Trick or Treat by Judith Garner.
  • Monday, Nov. 7: We Can Get Them For You Wholesale by Neil Gaiman. Peter Pinter can’t resist a bargain, and this week there’s a special deal on murder, two-for-one. Also The Nine Billion Names of God by Arthur C. Clarke. If computers could pray, what would they pray for?
  • Monday, Nov. 21: The Caballero’s Way by O. Henry. The Cisco Kid was a more than a friend of hers, but would she be true to him? Also Hopalong’s Hop by Clarence Mulford. How Hopalong Cassidy got his name.
  • Monday, Dec. 5: The Fog Horn by Ray Bradbury. Through the mists it blows to warn the ships at sea, and far out in the ocean’s depths something hears the call. Also Leakage by Frank Sisk. They know supermarket manager Jorgenson must be skimming off the top, but nobody can figure out how.
  • Monday, December 19: Dancing Dan’s Christmas by Damon Runyon. In which Dancing Dan plays Santa Claus with some hot loot. Also Indiscretion by Daphne du Maurier. The wrong word at the wrong moment takes all the cheer out of Christmas.

Let me tell you a story

In March of 2005, I sat down in front of a crowd in our auditorium and read them a story about a man planning to poison his wife. Six years later, our regular lunch hour program Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Grownups is still going strong on the first and third Mondays of every month, and people are still sitting still for suspenseful short stories while having a sandwich or doing a little knitting. Together we’ve enjoyed such master storytellers as Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Roald Dahl, Dorothy Sayers, Damon Runyon, Kelly Link, and many others. I feel like the luckiest librarian in the world. Continue reading “Let me tell you a story”

Thrilling Tales for 2010.

Entering its sixth year, the library’s Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Grownups continues to thrill and delight. Last year’s season was our most popular yet, and this year we’ve got a great slate of tales, many from yesteryear. Thrilling Tales takes place in the Microsoft Auditorium on level one of the Central library, on alternating Mondays from 12:05 – 12:45. Feel free to bring your lunch, your knitting, or both. (If you’re able to knit your lunch, so much the better).

May 3: End of the Day, by Jane Speed.  Absent-minded Ruth would lose her head if it wasn’t screwed on, but where on earth did she put her husband?

May 17: The Magic Shop, by H.G. Wells.  One might have expected to find it there amidst the tricks and trinkets: after all, it was advertised on the sign.

June 7: It’s a Good Life, by Jerome Bixby.  Who can know what goes on in the mind of a child? The residents of the tiny village of Peaksville learn, to their ultimate horror. Continue reading “Thrilling Tales for 2010.”

Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Adults

I can remember attending story hour at the Magnolia branch library when I was a kid, just as image of woman in horrorthousands of children still do each year at libraries all over the city. I’ve never stopped loving stories, but as I grew older they stopped having a storytime for me. So I started one myself, and every other week for the past four years, at the Central Branch of The Seattle Public Library, grownups have gathered to enjoy a story time that is a little different from most. On the first and third Monday of each month during the lunch hour, Seattle Public Library hosts Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Adults. Unlike the children’s stories being shared next door, in our storytime listeners are transported to the scene of the crime or deep into the Twilight Zone with twisted tales of murder and mirth, intrigue and imagination written by masters of suspense. Sometimes it feels like sitting around the campfire, and sometimes it is like mystery radio theater on a dark, lonely road. Come join us: stories start at 12:05, and are done by 12:45 or so. Bring your lunch, or your knitting, or just yourself for an pleasant escape from the everyday. After all, when was the last time someone read you a story? Remember how good that was? It still is.

Here are the stories you’ll be hearing in the year ahead:

Jan 5: A Trader’s Lot, by Twist Phelan. As a hurricane closes in on the gulf, a frantic trader on Wall Street prays that it will be the perfect storm for his falling fortunes.

February 2: The Lie, by T.C. Boyle. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when we practice to deceive! Also A Souvenir from Hell, by Etgar Keret. “There’s this village in Uzbekistan that was built right smack at the mouth of Hell…”

March 2: Making Amends, by Jeffery Deaver. Inspired by the popular TV show My Name is Earl, Jamie Feldon feels it is time to Continue reading “Thrilling Tales: A Storytime for Adults”

Horror Stories

This is a great time of year to sit around and share ghost stories, as featured in this post from last week, but some readers prefer something a little stronger to properly curdle their blood. The distinction between ghost stories and other horror is nicely drawn in the Modern Library anthology Great Tales of Terror and the Supernatural, with over a 1,000 pages neatly divided into supernatural horror, and classics of all-too-natural terror and suspense such as Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game,” Ambrose Bierce’s “The Boarded Window,” and Saki’s “Sredni Vashtar,” all of which have been featured in the library’s Thrilling Tales: Adult Storytime. Some other handy classic horror anthologies are The 13 Best Horror Stories of All Time (not sure if I agree with their Continue reading “Horror Stories”