Readers Advisor

Readers Advisor

I’m Mary K.–librarian, mom, blogger, reader. I believe there’s no such thing as too many books–if you do, too, you’re in the right place! Browse this page for great finds from across our collection. What will you read next?

Email Mary K.

Book Buzz
Japanese-American Experience during WWII Print Email

Jacket cover from Whatcom READS! logo - text and a yellow-rayed sun behind itThis year's Whatcom READS! community reading program focuses on David Guterson's award-winning book Snow Falling on Cedars.  Part love story, part courtroom drama, and part historical fiction, Snow Falling on Cedars is set on an island in Puget Sound in the 1950s, and tells of the death of a white fisherman and the Japanese-American man who is charged with his murder.  Guterson lives on Bainbridge Island and based many of the characters on real island residents whose families were removed to concentration camps during WWII.  Here are just a few of the ways to get involved and learn more about this period of history (besides reading the book!):

  • Meet Japanese-American Bainbridge Island residents who will discuss their WWII experience (Sumas)
  • Learn more about the history of Japanese-American internment camps (Blaine)
  • Discuss the book with others (many locations)
  • Meet Japanese students studying at WWU and learn more about their culture (Deming)
  • Attend a panel discussion on ethics in journalism (Fairhaven)

For more information, visit the Whatcom READS! events calendar!


Nine Struggling Writers on Film Print Email

Cover images from three of the movies on this list: The Shining, Ruby Sparks, and Sideways

It seems appropriate to talk about films instead of books this week with the recent announcement of Oscar nominees.  Attention aspiring writers - the characters in these films just might have some lessons learned to share, or at least provide a humorous look at the struggling writer stereotype.  From lunatic Jack Torrance in The Shining to the magical writing powers bestowed to Calvin Weir-Fields in Ruby Sparks, Word&Film has provided an interesting list for your entertainment when writer's block strikes.  Reserve movies in the library catalog HERE.

PNBA Awards Announced Print Email

Photos of six winning authors - Sherman Alexie, Jonathan Evison, Eowyn Ivey, Lucia Perillo, Cheryl Strayed, and G. Willow Wilson

The results are in!  Nine Northwest booksellers have volunteered a lot of their reading time over the past ten months to evaluate hundreds of titles, looking for the best-of-the-best in Northwest literature.  The award recognizes all types of literature, the only requirement being that the book was published during the previous calendar year and that the author and/or illustrator resides in the Pacific Northwest (Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana, Idaho and British Columbia).  Washington State did well this year, representing all but two of this year's winners: Seattle (Alexie & Wilson), Bainbridge Island (Evison), Palmer, Alaska (Ivey), Olympia (Perillo), and Portland (Strayed).  If you're looking for a good read, this list won't disappoint (includes 2013 winners and shortlist), or browse previous award winners, or the shortlists of worthy contenders (2010  2011  2012).

Catching Up on Reading Print Email

Image of Joan laughingHere is what library director Joan had to say when asked what books she looks forward to reading in retirement.  Thank you for guest blogging, Joan, and best wishes for good reading and new adventures - both on the page and off! 

Jacket cover from Jacket cover of Cheryl's Strayed's Confession. I have not had much time to read and depend on Book Buzz and Hot Picks for quick and great choices.  I’m eager to savor the three foot stack of titles collected over time next to my bed; and I want to explore and focus on the edge of our inner and outer worlds. Last night in Lynden, I checked out Another Way the River Has: taut true tales from the Pacific Northwest by Robin Cody.  I need to finish Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (which goes both ways) and anything on the big “why” questions.  I’ll be watching this blog for ideas!    

What Did the Librarians Like Best? Print Email

When asked about their favorite books of 2012, hundreds of librarians around the country tweeted their favs over twelve days.  Here is the list of the titles that received the most votes (400 titles mentioned in nearly 700 votes).  My favorites of 2012?

  • Louise Erdrich's The Round House - Big questions told through the accessible voice of a young boy struggling to understand circumstances that have fractured his family and community.
  • Lance Weller's Wilderness - Thought-provoking narrative about a Civil War veteran who takes refugee from his demons along the pristine and virtually unpeopled Pacific coast.
  • Eden Robinson's Monkey Beach - Set along the coast north of Vancouver Island, delicious writing, a story that gets under your skin and haunts you.
  • Tiny Beautiful Things by Cheryl Strayed - broke my heart, made me laugh, and reminded me how words used well have the power to touch as at our core.
  • Detroit City is the Place to Be by Mark Binelli - an evocative journey back to the city of my youth, once a template for the industrial city of the future, can Detroit show us a new path once again?
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