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?

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Book Buzz
Sharing the Joy of Poetry Print Email

Photo of Kathleen Flenniken, current WA State Poet LaureateDid you know that Washington has a Poet Laureate? The 2012-2014 appointee, Kathleen Flenniken, is a lifelong Washington resident, raised in Richland, WA and currently living in Seattle. Her role as Poet Laureate is to support and promote poetry in Washington through public readings, workshops, lectures, and presentations in communities, schools, colleges, universities, and other public settings throughout the state.  She also has a blog called The Far Field which features the work of other Pacific Northwest poets. (Check out the great story about a poetry kiosk someone put up on a residential parking strip in Everett!)  Current residents of Washington State who would like their work considered for publication in The Far Field may submit up to five poems to the blog. Consult the submission guidelines on the blog’s “About” page for more details.

Spring Firsts Print Email

Four jacket covers from titles on this featured First Novels 2012 listFirst novels. Most authors have at least one, and sometimes several, that were written and abandoned before their actual first published novel.  They generally speak of these as embarassing but necessary steps on their journey to publication.  I've always contended that there is often an energy in an author's first published work that is difficult to recreate in subsequent books; though the writing may improve, that first book seems imbued with hopes and dreams and aspirations that lend a special vitality to the words. For readers, the first novel can open doors to new worlds and a fresh perspective when you are stuck in a reading rut, similar to the charge you can get when striking up a new and stimulating friendship.  Take a look at some of these featured first novels and enjoy a fresh, new world of reading.

Poetry Out Loud Print Email

Logo from the Poetry Foundation, includes an image of a winged horse flyingListen to Donald Hall's selection of classic American poets reading from their work. These recordings are being made available as the result of a collaboration between US and UK poet laureates Donald Hall and Andrew Motion.  The recordings are preceded by a short biography of each poet and many of the actual recordings of each poet reading include comments by the poet about the poems.  So interesting!  And nothing like hearing the pronunciation and cadence from the voice of the mind that created the vision, painting of words.  Gertrude Stein, Gary Snyder, Adrienne Rich, Kenneth Rexroth, Lucille Clifton, Denise Levertov, Jane Kenyon, W.S. Merwin ... the list goes on - let one of these essential poets read to you in honor of National Poetry Month!

Happy National Poetry Month! Print Email

Image of someone holding a smart phone with the poem flow app on it (poem title and author)Treat yourself to some delicious words with the too-cool Poem Flow (posted on our nonfiction feature page, or get the app!)  Sad news last week in the poetry world was the passage of Adrienne Rich, iconic feminist poet and intellectual, who could sum up her reason for writing in seven words: "the creation of a society without domination."  (Read the NYT obituary here.)  Spend some time this month exploring new poetry in the library collection - here's a list to get you started!

Book Lust Rediscoveries Print Email

Jacket cover of After Life by Rhian Ellis, showing a grayscale photo of a foggy forest with a young woman walking into the mist, her back to the cameraPromo photo of Nancy Pearl, librarian and author of the Book Lust series, wire frame glasses and very short cropped salt-and-pepper hairBetween now and the end of the year, Nancy Pearl and will be reprinting six of Nancy's favorite reads in what they are calling the Book Lust Rediscoveries series.  They intend to republish six titles each year that are mentioned by Nancy in her Book Lust recommendation series, titles originally published between 1960-2000 that have since fallen out-of-print.  Coming this spring are reprints of After Life by Rhian Ellis and A Gay And Melancholy Sound by Merle Miller, each with an introduction by Nancy and suggested questions for discussion.  (These ought to be good books for book groups!)  I'm reading After Life right now and was gripped from the very first line: "First, I had to get his body into the boat."  Set in upstate New York in a wonderfully eccentric community of mystics and spirtitualists (based on the real community of Lily Dale, NY), the narrator, medium Naomi Ash, certainly has a compelling personality but I'm still not sure that I totally trust her account of things!

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