Hidden Parks In West Seattle…and Beyond

Emma Schmitz Memorial OutlookI recently read a magazine article about hidden parks in Seattle and it made me think about those little gems that I grew up with in West Seattle.

Westcrest Park
 is a stone’s throw away from where I grew up. It has one of the most amazing views of Downtown Seattle I have seen, besides the deck from my grandparent’s house in the Admiral District. I loved looking out onto the reservoir as a child, which has now been covered, and hiking a bit of the West Duwamish Greenbelt. That trail along with others in Puget Park and Pigeon Point Park capture what it must have been like to live in this region so many years ago. Continue reading “Hidden Parks In West Seattle…and Beyond”

Women risk takers: Beyond the Olympics

Watching the Olympics this last week, it’s not hard be awed by all of the athletes, and particularly for the women who have pushed for full participation in Olympic sports. Clearly risk takers, they and their predecessors have also redrawn the boundaries which for so long have defined “proper” women’s roles. With the celebration of Women’s History Month in just a few weeks, it’s perfect timing to uncover some of the hundreds of stories of women who followed their hearts and intellect, discovered their physical capacity and defied convention. Continue reading “Women risk takers: Beyond the Olympics”

Summer reading: Reviews from readers in West Seattle

In the Kingdom of Men by Kim Barnes
I loved this book from start to finish, and now want to read everything else the insightful Barnes has written. Following Gin from the back hills of Oklahoma all the way to the streets of Rome captured my imagination. I sympathized with her then changed my mind as she changed hers. The men in her life helped me as well as hindered her. Gin’s sadness at the end of the story told of her learning that we all have to take the sweet with the sour, the rough with the smooth. People try (and often fall short in their attempts) to be the best human beings they can be. ~ Merrily

Confessions of a Prairie Bitch: How I Survived Nellie Oleson and Learned to Love Being Hated by Alison Arngrim
Having grown up watching every episode of Little House on the Prairie at least 20 times, I wholeheartedly enjoyed Nellie Oleson’s account of what her life was like growing up on a television set. ~ Carrie Ann

Head Over Heels by Rain Mitchell
This is for a yoga lover! L.A.’s beautiful people have lots of yoga studios to choose from. The story follows a few women as they make choices: good and bad, and practice yoga!  ~ Connie


What are you reading this summer? Sign up online for our summer reading program for adults — or drop by a branch and fill out a quick review form. For each three books you read and review, we’ll enter you in a drawing for a Kindle. We have 20 Kindles to give away to teen and adult readers this summer!

A look back at West Seattle

Last year the West Seattle Branch library celebrated its centennial: 100 years in a building that has always and only served as a library for the Admiral neighborhood. The library has weathered just a few changes in 100 years: earthquakes, a flu epidemic, and card catalogs that morphed into microfilm to computer databases, not to mention the advent of the internet! A wonderful companion piece to the library’s centennial arrived with the publication of West Seattle, an Images of America book edited by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society and the Log House Museum.

The cover photo shows a family camping on Alki beach in 1901 before their permanent home was built. The home under construction is the historic log house “Fir Lodge” that became the much loved Homestead Restaurant. Check out the woman lounging in a wooden beach chair in full winter clothing: it wasn’t a warm beach day! There are many other beach photos that show the wide variety of swimming attire, including spaceman-like scuba diving outfits.

The book is full of interesting pictures that provide glimpses of West Seattle’s past. There are photos of the short-lived Luna Park amusement park, the lagoon that preceded Colman Pool and pictures of actresses Frances Farmer and Dyan Cannon (famous West Seattleites!) There are other intriguing titles in this series that have more wonderful photos including Vanishing Seattle (Dag’s burgers for 19 cents!) You can find them in the catalog under the series title: Images of America.

                        ~Molly H., West Seattle Branch

Summer Reads: West Seattle and Southwest reader suggestions

In Seattle, the term “beach reads” is generally used figuratively (if not a little wistfully) for books more generally read on decks, in parks, on busses, but not on our pebbled shores. In West Seattle, however, beach reading actually happens on a beach! Here is some of what readers at our West Seattle and Southwest branches have been enjoying this summer.

West Seattle Readers recommend:

Her Royal Spyness by Rhys Bowen

Great breezy read! I finished it in 24 hours. I’m eager to read the sequel and see what other messes Georgie can get into.  🙂

Nothing to Lose by Lee Child

His books are marvelous – wonderful summer reading! Jack Reacher, as usual. He is walking in a town called Hope – wants coffee but gets involved with the entire town.

Plum Lucky by Janet Evanovich

Stephanie and her friends follow Grandma Mazur to Atlantic City, where she’s gambling Continue reading “Summer Reads: West Seattle and Southwest reader suggestions”