Under The Radar Books from Nancy Pearl

A few days ago I was driving to work and heard Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl on the radio with another set of “under-the-radar” books — titles you really, really should be reading but haven’t (yet). The latest batch features the story of three royal cousins, tales of wild animal adventures and a pun-filled picture book for younger readers.

One statement that particularly resonated with me was her reminder that people should walk the stacks every now and then. That is how you find these gems. Looking for a particular book? Wasn’t what you expected? Perhaps the one next to it is interesting…. Here she is featured on NPR. Each one looks like a treasure!



choosing the Next book to Reads

OK, I admit it, I enjoy exploring the many blurbs about books as much as I enjoy reading the book I choose.  My favorite way to get book blurbs is from The Seattle Public Library, and there are several ways available.  I think I just hit on a blog theme!  Today I’ll blog about NextReads.

NextReads comes directly to my Inbox and has 21 categories, such as suspense or travel, to choose from (Hey, that’s more than when I first signed up!  I need to go back and get on some more lists!).  It’s free. You get an annotated list of the titles, the first chapter and table of contents when available, and the list links you directly to The Seattle Public Library catalog. Oh, and the other thing I like about these lists is that the librarians, in addition to updating me on new and recently released titles, often include sub themes to the lists with a range of publishing dates. 

FSPL Reading List: January-08

Hello World,

The turn of a New Year is always an occasion for high hopes. Whether your resolutions are achievable or merely admirable (say, actually getting through that stack of books on your night stand before next year), we’ve been plowing through our reading lists with burning ambition, unfulfilled desires, and brilliant realizations. Below we share our booklist from this week’s Friends meeting –

roman.gif The Decline and Fall of the Holy Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon
“Well, it’s been on my shelf for a number of years now and now I can see why. It’s the most convoluted, rambling tale I’ve ever read!”
snow1.gif The Palace of the Snow Queen by Barbara Sjoholm
“I like stories about snow and cold places. This is the story of a local Seattle writer who goes to Norway and writes a travelogue (of sorts) about what the fascination is behind ice, snow, and wanting to sleep in an ice palace.”
ronnie.gif Ronnie by Ronnie Wood
“Story of long-term Rolling Stone rhythm guitarist who describes his relationships with Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and Charlie Watts; his evolution as a musician at the height of the band’s success; and his perspectives on the music scene of the 1960s – really interesting!”
steve.gif Born Standing Up by Steve Martin
“Story of Steve Martin’s life and career. I don’t read much fiction, but his book was so pleasant, I’m looking forward to checking out his other work. He’s had an interesting life.”
spy.gif “So there are two men I could marry tomorrow if given the chance: George Smiley and J P Beaumont. The new York Times commented that the novel An Ordinary Spy, the hero within is the hero for the Enron set. The book has redactions (a la CIA) throughout – every page. I loved it!”
devil.gif Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
“A pick from my book club…there is a constant sense of foreboding, a prologue, aboard the Olympic (1912), which was crossing the Atlantic opposite the Titanic — Frozen music (Chicago, 1890-1891)…. I haven’t made it to the end yet, but it’s been a hard book to read right before bed. It should come with a warning to watch 30 minutes of cartoons (or news) before actually retiring.”

Just click on the links in this post and it will take you to the SPL site to reserve your copies today!


A Special Thank You To Our Volunteers

Thanks to the best volunteers in Seattle, the Friends had a banner year in 2007. Our fundraising activities, through the Book Sales at Magnuson Park and the FriendShop at the Central Library, were the best ever.  We were able to grant the Library more than $116,000 in four areas including immigrant and refugee outreach and the new adult summer reading program.  And our fundraisers added a warm human face to the Friends, giving people the chance to buy great books at great prices at the Book Sale, and to enjoy the Gift Shop of the Year (nwsource.com) at our FriendShop.  For those who couldn’t attend, we added e-commerce options.We worked creatively to engage the city council in support of an increased materials budget for the Library. 

Our testimony at public hearings, signs, collaboration with community groups, letters, emails and telephone calls helped the council reach consensus on adding $2 million to the Library’s materials budget.We found new ways to tell our story to the public and our members.  The Bookmark; the website, was updated, and we started an e-newsletter, Among Friends. We also helped staff the Libraries for All celebrations reopening branches in 2007.       

No wonder the mayor proclaimed October 23-28 as Friends of the Seattle Public Library Week!