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
WWII Concentration Camps Print Email

Images of Dr. Robert Keller, WWU Professor Emeritus, and the jacket covers from the two books mentioned in this articleIf the 2013 Whatcom READS! selection Snow Falling on Cedars has piqued your curiosity about Japanese internment camps during WWII, there are plenty of programs planned to help you learn more about this event in our history. Dr. Robert Keller, WWU Professor Emeritus, presents "Reconciling the Past: The History, Literature and Ethics of Japanese Removal," asking the question: How do we come to terms with dark parts of our history? on Tuesday, January 22nd at Fairhaven Library and Saturday, February 9th at Blaine Library.

Enhance your reading of Snow Falling on Cedars with these new nonfiction titles about Japanese internment camps: In Colors of Confinement, Bill Manbo tells how he photo documented his family’s internment using Kodachrome film, at the time a new technology, in stunning images of daily life at the Heart Mountain camp in Wyoming. Linda Tamura's Nisei Soldiers Break Their Silence: coming home to Hood River tells of Japanese-American soldiers from families of landowners and fruit growers who served on front lines and as linguists, cooks and medics – only to find that their hometown attempted to block their return after the war.

Academy Awards Movielist Print Email

Image of Oscar statue and 85th Academy Awards announcementThe 2013 Oscar nominees were recently announced and you still have a little over a month to watch the nominees and get your votes in. Did you know that there is a list in the library catalog of Academy Award winners and nominees (back to 1995)? Conveniently sortable by Oscar category or nomination year, or you can limit it to see "only winners."  Let February be Oscar Fever month - request some movies and break out the popcorn.

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).

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