A Blog of Seattle Arts & Lectures

2020 Summer Book Bingo: Two Books by the Same Author

With summer here, we’re busy playing 2020 Summer Book Bingo, our free summer reading program with The Seattle Public Library! Download your card here. Engage with others and their own reading adventures by using the hashtag #BookBingoNW2020 on social media.

Sarah Burns, our Event & Corporate Giving Manager, shares what she’s reading and offers ideas for the “Two Books by the Same Author” category. Sarah also gives a few tips on how to strategize for Summer Book Bingo—read on to discover her recommendations and ideas!

By Sarah Burns, SAL’s Event & Corporate Giving Manager

With libraries closed these past months, I’ve been rearranging my bookshelves, leading me to rediscover and reread some old favorites. So many books to press into your hands, lovingly, through my computer to yours.

I was recently gifted Writers & Lovers by Lily King, which transported me back to a time I lived in Boston and dreamed of the writer’s life and handsome men. Finishing that, I immediately went to pull down King’s Euphoria, inspired by Margaret Mead’s anthropological work in Papua New Guinea.

Having Ross Gay’s books on my desk serve as a visual balm and a call to action both. He reminds me to practice gratitude and radical joy in his Catalog of Unabashed Gratitude and Book of Delights.

Author Madeline Miller will be coming to SAL next season. I read Circe, then began The Song of Achilles the next day. Excellent time travel across centuries, to the time of gods and goddesses. I highly recommended reading Circe, at least, before the HBO series comes out. What actress can possibly pull off Circe? I can’t wait to find out.

My friend and colleague Alison Stagner, SAL’s Communications Manager, inspired me to revisit some plays after she told me she’s been reading plays aloud with friends over Zoom on Saturday nights. I recommend both Tom Stoppard’s The Invention of Love and Arcadia. I watched my brother perform in Arcadia on stage a few years back. This same brother has recently given his new daughter the middle name of Arcadia. Don’t we all want to find Arcadia now, more than ever?

Seattle poet Melinda Mueller transports us to Shackleton’s expedition to Antarctica and South Georgia in What the Ice Gets. I’ve read many books about Shackleton and none other captures the voices of the crew like Mueller does in this impressive array of poetic forms. I felt I was there on deck of the Endurance. Mueller’s book of poems Mary’s Dust is masterful too, breathing life into thirty-two historic Marys. (And, it is worth mentioning if you are strategizing or happen to have a competitive streak, a play or a book of poems can often be completed in one sitting. Summer hours are finite, after all).

Joy Harjo is serving her second term as U.S. Poet Laureate. She Had Some Horses, published in 1983, is a must-read, as is her latest, An American Sunrise. I also gobbled up her memoir, Crazy Brave. Harjo wrote a beautiful celebration and meditation on birth, For A Girl Becoming. That is four books by the same author, but this is an expansive exercise—feel free to read as many books by the same author as you like!

Recommended by my niece Mabel, I read The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall, aloud to my two children last summer. This book will forever live in my memory for being the first book my son and I underlined favorite passages together, sharing that joy of interacting and conversing with a book. We are ready to dive into the whole series this summer. Next up is Penderwicks on Gardam Street, Penderwicks at Point  Mouette, and Penderwicks in Spring. (Please note: children are not necessary for full enjoyment).

Want more Summer Book Bingo suggestions? Read In Translation, Recommended by an Independent Bookstore—Part TwoRecommended by an Independent Bookstore—Part One, or check out these category deep-dives from the SAL staff have got us reading and ready: Recommended by a Friend, Afrofuturism, UpliftingNature, and On Your Shelf. You can also find more on The Seattle Public Library’s website.

Posted in SAL Staff/BoardSummer Book Bingo