"The high, thrilling song of the Sirens will transfix him, lolling there in their meadow, 'round them heaps of corpses, rotting away, rags of skin shriveling on their bones."
-Circe in The Odyssey
While novels generally take center stage and (let’s be real) steal all the limelight, it behooves me to share my love for the often overlooked and misjudged genre of short stories and essays.
You might be a diehard reader of grand tales and thick tomes. Preferably with lots of characters and plot that grows for pages and pages. The bigger, the better; the longer, the more exciting. And perhaps you believe that short stories and essays tend to end abruptly and without very good resolutions. But I am going to let you in on a secret. The shortness and brevity of these stories can actually work in your favor!
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month!!! To celebrate, I've put together a list of incredible kids and young adult books by AAPI authors to fill your life with wonderfully diverse stories :) As there are quite a few books on this list (I couldn't help myself, truly), I recommend bookmarking this tab so you can refer back to it throughout the year whenever you are in need of some inspiration for what kids books to read next. Stay tuned for adult book recommendations for AAPI heritage month coming next week!
Also, if you have the means, please consider donating to local organizations that support AAPI communities such as API Chaya here in Seattle (a local non-profit organization that seeks to end systemic violence in our communities). Every bit helps <3 <3
What better way to celebrate April than with poetry books! I am a bit biased as someone who reads poetry not only during National Poetry Month but every other month as well. But I’m here because I love poems and I want more people to love them too.
Studying it in college, reading it during my lunch breaks, and writing it in my spare time, I am very familiar with the eye rolls and shrugs I get from people when I mention poetry. And, believe me, I understand when they say they just don’t get it because I don't get all of it either. One of the most common responses I hear is that school ruined it for them because required reading sometimes has a way of doing that.The overanalyzing in high school English class, your teacher and their unforgiving red pen, deters readers and nonreaders alike from picking up some of these amazing writers that are doing incredible things with language. Like Billy Collins writes, "all they want to do / is tie the poem to a chair with rope / and torture a confession out of it." You don't need a rope, a chair, or a confession - I promise.
Part 2 is here with more narrative non-fiction books! From the divas of Egypt's roaring 20's to a 4,000 mile journey into the Alaskan wilds to the natural history heist of the century, these true stories will have you reading late into the night. If you missed part 1, definitely check it out here. Enjoy!
A while back, a customer came in and asked me, do you have any recommendations for non-fiction books that read like fiction? As someone who predominantly reads young adult, fantasy, and sci. fi. I was a bit of a deer in headlights and didn't have a quick answer. However, I wasn't going to leave this literary seeking stranger just standing there. So after running around to ask my fellow booksellers, I was able to show the customer a solid 3-4 titles (teamwork really does make the dream work people).
I don’t know about you, but this past year I have watched far too much television and spent far too little time on anything remotely productive. It has been difficult for me to find things that can capture and hold my attention - even reading has felt like a chore lately. When I’m having trouble reigning in my idleness, sometimes I turn to paper crafts. Paper folding, cutting, and gluing doesn't demand all of my focus, and I need that when I’m not in the mental/emotional space to give anything my complete attention. There are so many different kinds of crafts and so many creative crafting possibilities to explore that can help with restlessness and inattention.
Everything these days is understandably viewed through the lense of the pandemic--even these blog posts. I've only written three over the last year, but I'm pretty sure all of them started with some sort of cry for "normalcy" or a statement on how books can help us deal with everything that has had to change. And while yes, this Valentine's Day will be another unusual holiday in the books, I feel confident in saying that one thing has NOT changed: long distance relationships are a tale as old as time! Be it through letters, emails, texts, tweets, post-it notes or even time travel, love finds a way no matter how far apart we are.
Don’t know where to start with kids' books these days? No worries! We’ve got you covered with a list of your favorite classics paired with modern titles to help you find some great, new reads for the young readers in your life. These newer books tackle a lot of the same themes and storylines as the classics but with fresh twists and more diverse perspectives.