Alaska beckons

ChilkootPass_steps
Chilkoot Pass Steps by George G. Cantwell

It’s been quite the hot summer — it has many of us dreaming of going even further north to catch some cool breezes and gain additional daylight hours to play in. Alaska beckons!

Ann says:

Alaska is vast, beautiful and unforgiving. Many men (and a few women) have been lured to Alaska by its beauty and its promise of gold.

Continue reading “Alaska beckons”

Historical Fiction: World War II at Sea

Click here to view Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk in SPL catalogSeattle’s Seafair Fleet Week (July 31–August 4) is a 64 year annual tradition that brings military ships to the Port of Seattle for public viewing, to honor the men and women who serve their country at sea. Historical novels about World War II at sea add a vivid and exciting dimension to our celebration. Older books, like Nevil Shute’s Most Secret, Tales of the South Pacific by James  Michener and Herman Wouk’s The Caine Mutiny, reveal the danger and stress of sea battle, military life in close quarters and how people processed their wartime experiences. Continue reading “Historical Fiction: World War II at Sea”

Civil Rights in the 1940s: When Seattle began to grow up

photo used with permission, Museum of History & Industry, Post-Intelligencer CollectionThe 1940’s were times of change for Seattle, as the world war and social pressures associated with it brought the beginnings of maturity to the city. Seattle’s African American citizens experienced much of this change directly. Populations from the south, and elsewhere in the country, were drawn to better-paying war work in Seattle and brought cultural conflict. Discriminatory housing practices meant crowded living conditions in often substandard housing. Continue reading “Civil Rights in the 1940s: When Seattle began to grow up”

Crime: Philip Kerr – Back to Berlin.

Find Philip Kerr's Berlin Noir in the Seattle Public Library catalog.Way back in 1989, British author Philip Kerr published March Violets, a hardboiled mystery in which tough, tarnished private investigator Bernhard Gunther plunged into the depthless iniquities of Nazi Berlin in search of some small sliver of justice. This was followed up by two other moody period novels featuring Gunther – The Pale Criminal and A German Requiem, and all three books were subsequently published together as Berlin Noir, a trilogy that deeply influenced much of today’s WWII thrillers by such authors as Alan Furst, J. Robert Janes, Paul Grossman, Joseph Kanon and Jonathan Rabb. Quite few readers have mentioned Berlin Noir to me as one of their all-time favorites, and I agree. Continue reading “Crime: Philip Kerr – Back to Berlin.”

Jack Nisbet on Vasily Grossman’s Volga.

Today’s post is by naturalist and author Jack Nisbet, whose latest book is David Douglas, A Naturalist at Work: An Illustrated Exploration Across Two Centuries in the Pacific Northwest. Nisbet, a Spokane resident and winner of the Washington State Book Award,  will be appearing at the Central Library on Tuesday, November 13.

The Volga is the great river of western Russia. Like the Columbia River of western North America, The Volga’s upper reaches drain vast coniferous forests, while further downstream it flows through productive wheat country and arid shrub-steppe. Continue reading “Jack Nisbet on Vasily Grossman’s Volga.”