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BELLEVUE LIBRARY | SEPTEMBER PROGRAMS

September 7th, 2014 at 3:43 pm by Kerry
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Boys

Book Group Extravaganza!

Sunday, September 21, 1-4pm

Featuring Daniel James Brown, Author of The Boys in the Boat.

The afternoon will include book talks, strategies and resources for great book groups. First come, first seated.

 

Bellevue Friends of the Library Book Group

Wednesday, September 17, 10am

The Boys in the Boat By Daniel Brown

 

Genealogy Research: Using Ancestry

Thursday, September 4, 10:30am

Learn to use the popular Ancestry Library Edition database to do genealogical research at the library. Bring information on your own ancestors to use during practice segments of the class and bring a flash drive to save your results.
Genealogy Boot Camp:
Saturday, September 6

10am: Using Family Search
Presented by Celia McNay

1pm: Getting It Down: Writing Family Stories
Presented by Claire Gebben

2:30pm: Genetic Testing in Genealogy
Presented by Dr. Geoff Baird

4pm: Timelines in Genealogical Research
Presented by Bob Barnes

 

Genealogy Boot Camp:

Sunday, September 7

Noon: Mining Our Memories for Hidden Gems
Presented by Claire Gebben

2pm: Exploring the US Census & Census Substitutes
Presented by Bob Barnes

4pm: Using Ancestry
Presented by David Abernathy

 

 

 

Book Lover’s Happy Hour

Thursday, September 18, 5pm

Held at Bake’s Place, 155 108th Ave NE #110, Bellevue. Mingle with other book lovers and hear about new titles for your to-read list. Light appetizers will be provided.

 

Chinese Book Discussion Group

Saturday, September 20, 10am

Information on the current title is available at the Bellevue Library.

 

DIY Series: Homemade Beer

Saturday, September 13, 2pm

This introduction to the world of home brewing covers the basics of beer making using malt extract and includes a discussion of beer ingredients, equipment needed, and the basic beer making process.

 EV3 Robotics

Monday, September 29, 7pm
Presented by BEAM Experiences.
Featuring robotics designed by Italian Master Builder Daniele Benedettelli. Witness a robot build from start to finish. Infrared components, sensors, logic, arithmetic mean and other robotic concepts will be touched upon.

    Bellevue Rhythm & Roots Series

Marianna Trio

Sunday, September 28, 1pm
A group of local artists featuring traditional to contemporary music sung in languages from all over the world, including English, French, Hebrew, Italian, Russian, Spanish and more.

Bellevue’s Past, Present and Future

Sunday, September 28, 6pm

Get to know your neighbors, past, present and future! This evening includes a historical slide show with Jane Morton of Eastside Heritage Center and a snapshot of our city from City of Bellevue’s Chief Demographer, Gwen Rousseau.

 

   ONGOING

 Citizenship Classes

Mondays, 7pm

Get free individualized help with all stages of the process for becoming a United States citizen, from completing the application forms to preparing for a successful interview. Students may join at any time.

 

 Talk Time

Tuesdays, 6:30pm
Saturdays, 10am

Improve your speaking and listening skills in this English conversation group.

 

  Genealogy Research Help

Tuesdays, 7-9pm
Wednesdays, 1-3pm

Volunteers from the Eastside Genealogical Society can help you track the history of your family. Come by for research help and an introduction to the library’s genealogy books, periodicals and databases.
Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.   Register online or call the library, 425.450.1765.

 

What’s On at Bellevue Library – March 2014

February 21st, 2014 at 5:47 pm by Meredith
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Bellevue Library Adult/Teen Programs – March 2014
All programs are free of charge. No registration necessary unless noted. For more info visit www.kcls.org/programs or call 425.450.1765.
Bellevue Library
1111 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue

Adults:

AARP Tax Help
Wednesdays and Thursdays through April 10, 10am
No appointments taken; last client at 3pm.
Free individualized tax preparation assistance provided by trained AARP volunteers. No age or income limits. Please bring picture I.D., documented proof of Social Security Number, and last year’s return as well as any current tax documents. First come, first served. Both spouses must sign joint returns.

Medicare Made Clear Workshop
Thursday, March 6, 7pm
This free program will give an overview of the different parts of Medicare (Parts A, B, C, D and supplements), what they cover and how they work. There will be a discussion of the different ways you can receive your benefits, including the pros and cons and approximate costs. The goal of the meeting is to provide useful information that will put you in a better position to make an informed decision on your Medicare coverage.

Spring Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors
Friday, March 7, 14, 21 and 28, 10:15am
Join the Friends of the Library for a reading and discussion of Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors, which concerns two sets of identical twins who were separated as children and now live as master-servant pairs in neighboring cities. Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

Spring Genealogy Workshops
Presented by Bob Barnes, Eastside Genealogical Society.
Using Censuses and City Directories
Saturday, March 8, 1pm
Thursday, March 27, 7pm
Discover the hidden gems in city directories.
Accessing Free Databases at Local Libraries
Wednesday, March 12, 7pm
The library has a great collection of genealogical databases. Learn how to use them and see what you can find!
Using FamilySearch and Other Free Databases
Saturday, March 22, 1pm
Learn the tips and tricks of free genealogy databases.

Chinese Book Discussion Group
Saturday, March 15, 10am
Come for a discussion in Mandarin. All are welcome! Information on the current title is available at the Bellevue Library.

Tax Returns 101- “What to do with my tax refund money?”
Monday, March 17, 6pm
This 1.5 hour workshop will go over the Dos and Do Nots of what to do with your tax refund money and how to avoid tax scams. This class WILL NOT prepare any tax returns or offer tax advice. Registration requested, visit www.kcls.org or call 425.450.1765. Program offered by Hopelink, a nonprofit organization that guides clients to be self-sufficient.

Bellevue Friends of the Library Book Group
The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt
Wednesday, March 19, 10am
Book Group meets the third Wednesday of each month, September through June. Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

Fix-a-Flat and Beyond: Basic Bike Maintenance
Sunday, March 23, 1pm
Presented by Cascade Bicycle Club.
Learn this simple and important skill to minimize delays the next time your tire fizzles. Take the mystery out of wheel and tire removal, patching a tube and putting it all back together.
If you’re resolved to begin the New Year with a more active, healthy lifestyle, it’s easy to get started at your library. Throughout 2014, find ideas, inspiration and tips on simple ways to add more movement and healthy options to your life through the new adult series, Start to Fitness.
www.kcls.org/fitness

Unknown Verdi with Norm Hollingshead: Season 3
Monday, March 24, 31 and April 7, 7pm
Norm Hollingshead will illustrate his commentary on these Verdi works that have never been performed by Seattle Opera with recorded samples from his own extensive collection.
March 24: I Vespri Siciliani
March 31: Simon Boccanegra
April 7: String Quartet and Four Sacred Pieces
Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

Talk Time
Saturdays, 10am
Tuesdays, 6:30pm
Improve your speaking and listening skills in this English conversation group. Come on Saturdays to learn more about American culture and meet people from around the world. Everyone welcome.

Citizenship Preparation Classes
Mondays, 7pm
Get free individualized help with all stages of the process for becoming a United States citizen, from completing the application forms to preparing for a successful interview. Students may join at any time. Registration not required.

Genealogy Research Help
Tuesdays, 7pm
Wednesdays, 1-3pm
Volunteers from the Eastside Genealogical Society can help you track the history of your family. Come by for research help and an introduction to the library’s genealogy books, periodicals and databases.

Teens:

Study Zone
Sundays, 3-7pm
Mondays and Thursdays, 4-8pm
Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 3-7pm
Grades K-12.
Drop in for free homework help from trained volunteer tutors.

For Computer Class Schedules, see www.kcls.org/programs/

Bellevue Library Hosting Pre-Wintergrass Concerts

February 18th, 2014 at 10:52 am by Kerry
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Wintergrass 2014 Pre-Festival Bellevue Library Concerts ~ February 19 & 22

by Tom Petersen

The Bellevue Library will host two concerts to get the community ready for Wintergrass 2014 and show music fans what resources are available at the library.

On Wednesday, February 19, the venerable Cliff Perry will bring his band for an evening of music, fun, and history, ideal for families and people who want to know more about Bluegrass, Americana, and the Wintergrass Festival. Cliff teaches the popular Bluegrass class at Shoreline Community College and leads workshops geared toward beginners at Wintergrass, including the famous “Two Chord Songs” workshop.

Cliff’s show starts at 7 pm and will be in Room 1 at the Bellevue Library.

cliff-perry-photo-by-mike-melnyk

The second show, a Saturday matinee, features one of the Festival’s local groups, the Downtown Mountain Boys. The DMB’s high-energy performances are not to be missed, and, as with Cliff Perry’s shows, are the perfect introduction to Bluegrass for the uninitiated, or the appetizer before the banquet for those already planning to attend Wintergrass.

The Downtown Mountain Boys play at 2 pm in Room 1 on Saturday, February 22.

dmb-2009-high-resolution

Both concerts are made possible through the generosity of the Friends of the Bellevue Library and the support of KCLS.  Library staff and Wintergrass educator Tom Petersen will be on hand with information about KCLS’s vast collection of music CDs and downloads, books, magazines, and sheet music, plus the festival line-up, workshops, and programs.

The Bellevue Library is just two blocks from the Hyatt, at 1111 110th Ave. NE, Bellevue, 98004.  King County Library System  Phone: 425.450.1765

What’s On At Bellevue Library – February 2014

January 27th, 2014 at 1:49 pm by Meredith
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Bellevue Library Adult/Teen Programs – February 2014
All programs are free of charge. No registration necessary unless noted. For more info visit www.kcls.org/programs or call 425.450.1765.
Bellevue Library
1111 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue

For Adults:

Opera Preview: The Consul
Monday, February 10, 7pm
Presented by Norm Hollingshead
The Consul is set in an unnamed totalitarian country in the mid-20th Century. It is a grim story of Cold War politics, in which Magda Sorel, the embattled wife of a political fugitive, tries to keep herself, her infant child, and her aged mother-in law alive as her husband evades the secret police. Her only hope is to receive an all-important visa from the Consul, but to do that she must surmount a bureaucratic nightmare. In Act 3, help is finally on the way, but will it be too late for Magda?
Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

Chinese Book Discussion Group
Saturday, February 15, 10am
Come for a discussion in Mandarin. All are welcome!
Information on the current title is available at the Lake Hills Library.

Bellevue Friends of the Library Book Group
The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery
Wednesday, February 19, 10am
Book Group meets the third Wednesday of each month, September through June. Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

Meet Virginia Morris: Author of How to Care for Aging Parents
Tuesday, February 25, 7pm
Author Virginia Morris is the go-to person on eldercare for the media, appearing on ABC News with Diane Sawyer, KATIE, TODAY and Good Morning America, among many other outlets. How to Care for Aging Parents gives you the tools you need to navigate the new challenges facing today’s aging population.

Spring Genealogy Workshops: Using Family Search
Thursday, February 27, 7pm
Presented by Bob Barnes, Eastside Genealogical Society.
Learn the tips and tricks of Family Search, a free genealogical database.

Spring Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors
Friday, February 28, 10:15am
Shakespeare’s Comedy of Errors concerns two sets of identical twins who were separated as children and now live as master-servant pairs in neighboring cities. When one pair crosses the border to find the other, so begins an adventure in mistaken identity, wrongful imprisonment, and general mayhem! Slapstick and brilliant wordplay make this one of Shakespeare’s most farcical comedies.
Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

The Cliff Perry Band
Wednesday, February 19, 7pm
Enjoy these recognized veterans in the bluegrass and old-time music community of the Pacific Northwest, respected by their peers and beloved by their fans. Presented in conjunction with Wintergrass 2014 and sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

The Downtown Mountain Boys
Saturday, February 22, 2pm
Enjoy Pacific Northwest’s premier bluegrass band, and the cream of Seattle-area pickers, top teachers, session musicians and musicologists. Presented in conjunction with Wintergrass 2014 and sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

Citizenship Preparation
Mondays, 7pm
No class on February 17.
Get free individualized help with all stages of the process for becoming a United States citizen, from completing the application forms to preparing for a successful interview. Students may join at any time.
Registration not required.

Talk Time
Tuesdays, 6:30pm
Saturdays, 10am
Improve your speaking and listening skills in this English conversation group.
Everyone welcome.
Registration not required.

Genealogy Research Help
Tuesdays, 7pm
Wednesdays, 1pm
Volunteers from the Eastside Genealogical Society can help you track the history of your family. Come by for research help and an introduction to the library’s genealogy books, periodicals and databases. Research help from EGS is also available every Wednesday from 1-3pm.

For Teens:

Teen Comic Writing Workshops
Presented by An Nguyen, International School Senior.
Week 1 Create Your Characters
Wednesday, February 5, 3pm
Define traits and personalities of your characters as you start to plan out your stories.
Week 2 Create A Setting
Wednesday, February 12, 3pm
Create the scenes and settings for your characters, while furthering the plot.
Week 3 Storyboard and Plot Structure
Wednesday, February 26, 3pm
Build your story boards, speech bubbles and narration.

Study Zone
Sundays, 3-7pm
Mondays, 4-8pm
Tuesdays, 3-7pm
Wednesdays, 3-7pm
Thursdays, 4-8pm

When school is in session.
Grades K-12.
Drop in for free homework help from trained volunteer tutors.

 For Computer Class Schedules, see www.kcls.org/instruction

Bellevue Library Adult Programs – January 2014

December 27th, 2013 at 2:01 pm by Kerry
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All programs are free of charge. No registration necessary unless noted. For more info visit www.kcls.org/programs or call 425.450.1765.

Bellevue Library

1111 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue

 

Opera Preview: Rigoletto

Monday, January 6, 7pm

Presented by Norm Hollingshead.
In 1851, Giuseppe Verdi’s 16th opera, Rigoletto, was first performed at La Fenice in Venice and suddenly, the mature Verdi stood before the Italian operatic public. Not only is the dramatic story told by music that combines gripping power with imperishable tunes but also, for the first time, Verdi’s huge heart was revealed to his public. The music and drama combine in a way that has captured the heart of opera audiences for more than 160 years. Don’t miss it!
Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

 

Bellevue Friends of the Library Book Group

Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo
Wednesday, January 15, 10am

Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

 

Meet the Author Robert Harken

Life on Nubis
Sunday, January 26, 2pm

In the future, robots will do your work. You’ll date a droid hottie. Nice. Wait, is that a laser canon the robot’s pointing at you? Join Robert Harken, author of the critically acclaimed, science fiction adventure, Life on Nubis, for a discussion of technology advances over the next thirty years that will alter human existence.

 

CP_start_to_fitness

If you’re resolved to begin the New Year with a more active, healthy lifestyle, it’s easy to get started at your library. Throughout 2014, find ideas, inspiration and tips on simple ways to add more movement and healthy options to your life through the new adult series, Start to Fitness.

Scottish Country Dance for All

Sunday, January 19, 2pm

Presented by Royal Scottish Country Dance Society.
You don’t need a kilt to learn Scottish Country Dancing! Learn some fun beginner’s dances to live music and get some exercise, too! No prior dance experience is necessary, so bring your comfortable shoes and get ready to reel!
Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library.

 

Evaluating Diets: What Science Says about Trendy Diets like Paleo & Wheat Belly

Monday, January 27, 7pm

Presented by Washington State Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
Learn how to evaluate a diet. Discuss popular myths and fad diets as well as the scientific evidence for how diets work.

 

Citizenship Preparation Classes

Monday, January 6, 13 and 27, 7pm

Get free individualized help with all stages of the process for becoming a United States citizen, from completing the application forms to preparing for a successful interview. Students may join at any time.
Registration not required.

 

Talk Time

Tuesdays, 6:30pm

Saturdays, 10am

Improve your speaking and listening skills in this English conversation group. Come on Saturdays to learn more about American culture and meet people from around the world. Everyone welcome.

 

Genealogy Research Help

Tuesdays, 7-9pm

Wednesdays, 1-3pm Volunteers from the Eastside Genealogical Society can help you track the history of your family. Come by for research help and an introduction to the library’s genealogy books, periodicals and databases.

 

Copy of CP_computer_classes

For Computer Class Schedules, see www.kcls.org/instruction

Something Old, Something New

December 18th, 2013 at 1:54 pm by Meredith
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It’s probably been a while since you walked into a library and made your way to the Card Catalog, that stalwart fixture of many libraries until about 20 years ago. As a librarian, I have what I thought was a particular and unusual affinity for the tiny drawers, the creamy cardstock, and the uneven typewriter text of old. However, a quick search of EBay shows that others must value these cabinets as well, since they often sell for thousands of dollars. Changing over to a computer based catalog was surely bittersweet for many library users, which resulted in often faster and easier searching capabilities, but an interface lacking the cozy tactility of our old friend.

Over the years, the online catalog (called the OPAC, in library-speak), has gone through many transformations. With every upgrade and new interface, we hope for an improved and enhanced experience for all library users. However, change can be challenging. We get used to seeing things a certain way, we develop our own tried and true use habits, and when faced with a shiny new catalog, it’s easy to be initially overwhelmed.

Yesterday, KCLS launched its new catalog interface. This new catalog is meant to do a much better job at keyword search, something like how you would use Google. Other highlights include:

  • Search.  Results are greatly improved and offer immediate access to filters for additional accuracy.
  • eBook integration.  You can see eBooks and eAudioBooks and check them out right in the catalog. Your eBook checkout and holds information is part of the My Account section of the catalog.
  • Reading recommendations.  KCLS-provided reading recommendations are driven by in-catalog reviews and booklists.
  • Sharing.  All links are permanent and can be shared via email or social media.

If you are a patron of Seattle Public Libraries, you will already be familiar with this new catalog, as it is the interface they use. Be sure to follow the directions in our catalog if you plan to link your SPL and KCLS accounts. Take a few moments to play with the new catalog. Introduce  yourself, get comfy, click some stuff. And if you have any questions at all, feel free to contact AskKCLS. We are here to help!

World Cinema Salon: Culture through Film at the Bellevue Library ~ Join us!

September 23rd, 2013 at 4:11 pm by Kerry
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moviesforever

The Bellevue Library is presenting a month long film series, showcasing movies from India, Russia, Mexico, and China. Explore Bellevue’s diverse community through film on Sundays at 2 p.m. during the month of October.

 

October 6 - Film from India; Tamil with subtitles, 123 min. Unrated.

     A little girl’s search for her biological mother who had abandoned her as a newborn baby is brought out poignantly against the backdrop of strife-torn Sri Lanka. Explores universal themes of displacement, struggle and family.

 

October 13 – Film from Russia; Russian with subtitles, 112 min. Unrated.

     Somewhere in Northern Russia in a small Russian Orthodox monastery lives an unusual man. Is he a healer? A seer? A murderer? A tale of sin, faith and redemption.

 

October 20 – Film from Mexico; Spanish with subtitles, 90 min. Rated R for language and some drug content.

     Two teens boys left on their own on a Sunday afternoon will contend with a day filled of unexpected surprises helped along by the cute girl next door neighbor and a pizza delivery boy that just won’t leave. A funny quirky film explores the struggles of coming of age.

 

October 27 – Film from China; Mandarin with subtitles, 99 min. Rated PG-13 for stylized martial arts violence and a scene of sensuality.

     One “Nameless” warrior, a swordsman who is lethal at 10 paces, defeats 3 deadly assassins who want to kill the most powerful warlord in ancient China. Experience world class action and fighting scenes in this epic wuxia film which many consider the best martial arts movie ever made. Starring Jet Li.

 

Enjoy a short introduction to each film and snacks from each showcased country!  Films contain subject matter, language and/or images intended for adult audiences.  

Please call the Bellevue Library at 425-450-1765 for the titles of the movies.  We hope to see you there!

Sponsored by the Bellevue Friends of the Library

Help! Homework!

September 11th, 2013 at 7:08 pm by Erin
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School started last week for students in the Bellevue School District. While they may have gotten off easy last week, likely there will be homework this week! Sometimes it’s easy for parents to help kids with their homework, especially in the lower grades, but sometimes it’s just frustrating for all involved.

Luckily, starting September 8th, the King County Library System can help. That’s the first day of the fall semester of our free, drop-in tutoring program for grades K-12 called Study Zone.  The program is staffed by volunteer tutors who range from upper high school students obtaining volunteer service hours to local business professionals who want to be involved in their community. All have undergone background checks and been trained to help all students up through 6th grade. Additionally, tutors have specialized knowledge of one or two advanced subjects at the middle and high school level. If you are specifically looking for a tutor who can help with physics or statistics or another advanced subject, you’ll want to check the schedule of tutor subjects.

Out of the forty-eight KCLS libraries, thirty-three offer Study Zone tutors at least once a week. Here in Bellevue, tutors are available at the Newport Way Library (Wednesdays, 6:30-9), the Lake Hills Library (Mondays 4-6pm and Wednesdays 2-4pm), and at the downtown Bellevue Library (Mondays & Thursdays 4-8pm and Sundays, Tuesdays & Wednesdays 3-5pm).

Some things to note about Study Zone:

-Our program is designed to help students with homework assignments and questions. Please bring a specific assignment rather than just say, “I need to get better at math.”

-This is group tutoring, not one-on-one individual tutoring. On a busy day, tutors may be juggling several students at once. On a quiet day, you may be the only one needing help and have the tutor’s whole attention.

-Study Zone is free, no library card is required, no registration is necessary, and no advance appointment is needed. Just drop in with an assignment!

-KCLS strongly recommends that a parent, guardian, or other responsible party be present in the library with children age 12 or younger. Library staff and volunteer tutors are unable to provide supervision for children left alone in the library.

-Study Zone is staffed by volunteers, some of whom have dedicated years to this program. However, sometimes they are sick or stuck in traffic or have family emergencies and cannot make their scheduled time.  It can be a good idea to call and ask if a tutor has arrived before you set out for the library.

-Some tutors are able to help students who are studying another language, or tutor ELL students in their native language.  If you are looking for a tutor with a specific language ability, you’ll want to check the schedule of tutor languages.

-Study Zone hours don’t work for you? Check out the Live Homework Help from tutor.com.

-Finally, if you are interested in volunteering to be a Study Zone Tutor, more information about the program (including an application) is available here: http://www.kcls.org/studyzone/studyzone_volunteer.cfm

A Classic Summer

July 31st, 2013 at 8:09 am by Meredith
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Remember when your teachers used to assign summer reading? When I was in high school, there was one summer when we were assigned around 12 classics of the Western Canon. I remember being extremely reluctant to read these books, as I was completely absorbed in Stephen King and Ray Bradbury, and procrastinated until nearly the end of the summer, barely completing the assignment in time for the start of fall term. Okay, let’s be real here: I didn’t finish. I derived little pleasure and less understanding from the experience, and generally avoided classics from then on, as they were something I “should” read.

All this changed when I became a librarian at Bellevue Library. The staff here began a tradition of choosing a classic to read each summer, then meeting in the fall to discuss the book, like a mini book club. The first selection was War and Peace, and I must say I didn’t make it through. However, I realized that as an adult with more life experiences under my belt, I was better able to process the themes and nuances of this book, and the other classics we read in subsequent summers. I began seeking out classics that I had been too intimidated to read, and found that many of them were engrossing, masterful stories that I had been completely missing out on during my self-imposed ban.

Here are some classics I have discovered or re-discovered in the past few years. And if you are interested, we are reading two books this summer: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, and Edith Wharton’s The House of Mirth.

Middlemarch by George Eliot.
Best soap opera ever.

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë
Romantic and creepy.

Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson
Could NOT put it down.

Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
Like watching a train wreck, I couldn’t look away.

A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court by Mark Twain
With time travel, what could be bad? Also…it’s hilarious.

Northanger Abbey by Jane Austen
Like a humorous teen thriller, except, you know, Jane Austen-like.

Tuning In

July 22nd, 2013 at 10:00 am by José
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If you live and work in the greater Seattle area, it is inevitable that you will be stuck in traffic at one point or another. It is a fact of life. And if there is construction or an accident, you might as well place a call (hands-free of course) to your retirement planner to check on your options, because you will be that much closer to it by the time you get home. Oh, and don’t get me started on sporting events—I might as well spend the night at work on those days.

Let’s face it; we spend a lot of time in our cars without a lot do. We can’t check our Facebook because that would mean taking your eyes off the road, and I don’t really of know anyone that actually calls anymore—we all text! So, what are we to do? Audiobooks to the rescue! Yes, audiobooks. Now, I have to admit that for the longest time I was a print snob. I refused to believe that I could get as much out of an audiobook than an actual book; there’s something about holding a book in your hands and visually absorbing ever word that is comforting and so-ever engrossing. However, after one too many long traffic delays, I finally caved in and started listening to “The Diviners” by Libba Bray in audiobook format. I was hooked! Not only was it a good story, but the narrator was dead-on in capturing all the character nuances and cadences of 1920’s New York, which is when the book takes place.  Now I don’t go anywhere without an audiobook—bring on the traffic!

Below is a select list of titles from the best audiobooks of 2013 according to the American Library Association’s “The Listen List.” For the complete list click HERE.  Enjoy!

Angelmaker,” by Nick Harkaway. Narrated by Daniel Weyman.
In a gravelly yet gleeful voice, Weyman narrates this swashbuckling genre-blend of spies, gangsters, and a doomsday machine. The lavish and imaginative story of Joe Spork, a clockmaker out of his depth as he attempts to save the world, is brilliantly realized through Weyman’s attention to inflection, characterization and pacing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“Bring Up the Bodies,” by Hilary Mantel. Narrated by Simon Vance.
In this grim and gripping tale, masterfully told, Vance brings Tudor England to life.  Beautifully accented and paced, his pitch-perfect narration deftly navigates the large and diverse cast and the intricate plot machinations to create a stunning glimpse into a dangerous time when Henry VIII ruled and Thomas Cromwell served as his “fixer.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Chalk Girl,” by Carol O’Connell.  Narrated by Barbara Rosenblat.
The discovery of a blood-covered little girl wandering in Central Park draws police detective Kathleen Mallory into an investigation involving long hidden secrets of New York’s elite.  Rosenblat’s warmly expressive voice embodies each character effortlessly while adroitly managing the pace of Mallory’s gritty and harrowing tenth case.

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The Remains of the Day,” by Kazuo Ishiguro.  Narrated by Simon Prebble.
Prebble’s performance is like listening to a full cast production so great is his skill in crafting characters. Navigating memories of both “upstairs” and “downstairs,” dutiful butler Stevens revisits past pains and triumphs. Prebble creates a poignant reflection of a life given to service seen through the eyes of a man finally questioning his purpose.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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