Category Archives: Authors

Happy Birthday Alice Walker

Today happens to be author Alice Walker’s birthday and in honor of African American History Month we are featuring  her influential books and other writings.  In 1982 her  book “The Color Purple” came out.  It won both the Pulitzer Prize and American Book Award in 1983 and was made into a successful movie.

For more information about her and her other books, click here.




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Looking for Betty Macdonald – The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I

Looking for Betty Macdonald Tuesday afternoon, January 17th 2017

Tuesday afternoon, January 17th 2017 2 p.m.

Program “Looking for Betty MacDonald – The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I
Speaker : Paula Becker, Seattle Author and Historian
January 17th 2017
Tuesday afternoon, 2 p.m.
Burlington Public Library
820 E. Washington Ave
Burlington WA

Join us for a slide presentation and reading from the new biography “Looking for Betty MacDonald – The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, and I” by the author Paula Becker.

This new book is the story of the life of Betty MacDonald, one of only a few nationally celebrated authors from Washington State in the 1940s and early 50s. Biographer Paula Becker chronicles MacDonald’s vibrant, close family life, writing career, her books and her era.

Material from letters, personal accounts, and her own writing made it possible for Becker to explore what drove this unconventional often irreverent woman. MacDonald’s first bestselling success “The Egg and I” (1945) evolved from stories she told and re-told of her experience chicken farming as young wife on the rural Olympic Peninsula. She followed her unexpected success with the children’s book “Mrs. Piggle Wiggle” (1947), another memoir “The Plague and I” (1948) and more of the children’s stories, articles and memoirs until her untimely death at the age of 49 in 1958.

Join us to hear Becker share her observations about MacDonald’s humorous writing style and the world as Betty saw it.  Q & A to follow.

For more information, contact the Burlington Public Library at 820 East Washington Avenue, call 755-0760, or visit the Burlington Library

More links:


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Filed under Adult programs, Authors, Books, Library events, New Books, Non-fiction, Washington

What we’re reading – July 2016

What We're ReadingCheck out the list below of the books we’re reading here at the library.  Click the highlighted titles for a link to our catalog listing to reserve your copy.

Fans of audiobooks know that the reader matters. For J. Ryan Stradal’s novel Kitchens of the great Midwest, readers Amy Ryan and Michael Stuhlbarg raise the book from good to great! Stradal introduces Eva Thorvald, and her culinary journey from adolescent foodie to star chef behind a legendary and secretive pop-up supper club. Eva’s story is told through the family, friends, and the wide variety of ingredients that have been a part of her life–from Scandinavian lutefisk to hydroponic chocolate habaneros. Image ofKitchens of the Great Midwest by StradalReaders Ryan and Stuhlbarg fully embrace the accents of the Midwest, creating a good story—wonderfully told. —  Janice


Pax by Sara  Pennypacker is a great childrens chapter book. Peter rescued a defenseless fox kit whom he named Pax.  The boy and Pax bonded and became inseparable. Then Peter’s father enlisted in the Military and Peter was forced to release Pax out into the woods far from home. Peter ‘s father dropped Peter off at his grandfather’s house to reside. Image of item Peter sneaks off to find his beloved pet, Pax.  Meanwhile, Pax is learning how to survive in wild. —  Lisa






Me Before You by Jojo MoyesMe before you by Jojo Moyes

Check out this modern classic in preparation for the upcoming movie. The story follows the unconventional love story of Will Traynor, former business whiz kid and London socialite, and his caregiver, Louisa. After suffering an accident that left him paralyzed from the waist down, Will begins contemplating suicide. Is Louisa’s love and determination to see him live enough to change Will’s mind?

After You Jo Jo Moyes After youby Jojo Moyes —  The sequel to Me Before You picks up approximately 18 months after the end of the last book. This book follows Louisa as she tries to live the life Will challenged her to live, plan her future, and find peace with after the heartbreaking conclusion of Me Before You.  –Jennifer



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Filed under Audiobooks, Authors, Books, Staff, What we're reading

Nancy Pearl’s monthly interviews with authors

About once a month Nancy Pearl, our favorite librarian reader’s advisor, does a monthly interview with an author.  I lose track once in a while myself but here is the link for the video interviews on the Seattle Channel – generally about 30 minutes but always enjoyable to hear about how the authors create their great stories.

Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell

Epitaph by Mary Doria Russell

Her latest is with Mary Doria Sparrow talking about her latest –

“Epitaph” a new twist on the O.K. Corral legend

Here is a review.






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Author of “Closing the Food Gap” Speaks on Tues 11 am

Don’t forget, the Author “Closing the Food Gap”, Mark Winne will speak Tuesday at 11 a.m. at the Burlington Public Library.

For the rest of the Skagit Reads programs

Author Mark Winne speaks food insecurity, public health, sustainable agriculture, social and food justice.

Tuesday 11 a.m. at the Burlington Public Library

Tuesday, November 4
“A Place at the Table” Exclusive screening for Mount Vernon High School,
Sharon Thornberry, Oregon Food Bank Executve Director will speak to students after the film.
Lincoln Theater, 7 p.m.
$10 admission, a fundraiser for Community Action

Author Presentation
Closing the Food Gap author Mark Winne will give a historical review of the book and a progress report on the issues of hunger and food insecurity.
Anacortes Public Library, 2:30 p.m.

Wednesday, November 5
“A Place at the Table,” Documentary Film Movie Screening,
Concrete Theatre. 7 p.m



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Filed under Adult programs, Authors, Books, Food

Writers: are you going to PNWA?

The logo for the Pacific Northwest Writers AssociationA lot of local authors make their home in the library, and we don’t blame them.  We’ve got a relaxing environment, contact information for every publisher you could possibly think of, and books filled with writing tips.

However, all you authors might want to consider spending your time in Seattle this weekend, because the Pacific Northwest Writers Association (PNWA) will be throwing a fantastic conference.  It will be great for several reasons:

  1. Authors will have the chance to pitch their books to literary agents and editors in person, rather than sending in an email or a letter with (maybe) a few pages of their book. As you can imagine, agents gets thousands of these query letters every week; pitching it in person is an opportunity not to be missed.
  2. There will be lots of other authors, many published, that unpublished authors can rub elbows with.  It will be a great chance to make friends and important connections.
  3. There are tons of workshops scheduled to help even the most seasoned writer hone their craft.
  4. PNWA is regarded as one of the best writers conferences in the country.  Even though it’s on the pricey side (about $600), it saves on traveling fees by being in our own backyard; most of the other big conferences are on the east coast.

So, authors, will any of you be at PNWA?  If so, be sure to tell us all about it when you get back!


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Happy Birthday, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle!


Tomorrow, May 22nd, marks the 154th birthday of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.  Doyle is, of course, known most for being the creator of Sherlock Holmes, but he also wrote historical novels, science fiction, and non-fiction about war, spiritualism and real-life crimes.

Both the Holmes books and Doyle’s other books have been adapted for the screen countless times, and the library can offer you a number of videos and books to help you celebrate Doyle’s birthday in style!

Jeremy Brett Jeremy Brett portrayed Sherlock Holmes in now-classic 1980s series.  We have The adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The return of Sherlock Holmes, and The sign of four available for you to check out.
facsimile Want to read the Holmes stories exactly as readers in the 1890s did? We have a facsimile copy of the original stories, complete with their original illustrations.
Sherlock We have the first two seasons of the BBC’s excellent Sherlock series, which mixes together the original stories and places them in a modern setting. Here’s season one, and here’s season two.

Doyle enthusiasts will also be excited to know that the 1925 silent film based on Doyle’s adventure novel The Lost World is no longer protected by copyright, so you can watch it onlineclaymation dinosaurs and allat the Internet Archive.



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He’s mad and he’s not going to take it anymore.

Are you familiar with the author James Patterson?  If not, you’re the only one… he writes an amazing number of books, from tweens to adults: quick-reading thrillers.  He’s also quite an active advocate for reading, and last weekend, he took out a full-page ad in the New York Times.  (Click on the image to enlarge.)


paterson nytbr 2

What do you think?   Are books and libraries at risk?  What should happen?

—  Mary Beth


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Filed under Authors, Books, Libraries, Reading

Happy Birthday, Paul Theroux

April 10 is Paul Theroux’s birthday.  A somewhat controversial figure – he managed to get himself thrown out of the Peace Corps – he wrote a large body of work, both fiction and non-fiction, nearly all of them featuring travel in some way.  He started writing in 1967 and published his latest book, The Lower River, last year.

We have nine of his books, including his most famous, The Mosquito Coast, which was made into a movie starring Harrison Ford and River Phoenix.

Theroux being a sort of patron saint of travel writers, here’s a look at some of our great collection of non-fiction travel.  If you can’t afford a trip this year, don’t let that slow you down.  You can go wherever you want, at your library.



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Women in Flight


Lately there’ve been quite a slew of books featuring flying women, and they all seem fascinating.

Eighty days : Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s history-making race around the world, by Matthew Goodman, is the tale of a rollicking and true adventure: an 1889 race around the world, a la Phineas Fogg.  Non-fiction narrative that reads like a novel, you’ll enjoy the suspense, the competition, and the snapshot of what it was to be a woman in those days.

The Aviator’s Wife, by Melanie Benjamin, is the opposite: a fictional interpretation of actual events.  Benjamin brings to life the famous Anne Morrow Lindberg, a pilot, poet, and mother, who lived in the shadow of her famous husband, Charles Lindbergh.

And The Secretary: a Journey with Hillary Clinton…., by Kim Ghattas, offers a you-are-there glimpse of an enigmatic American figure.  Fly all over the world with Hillary and see if you don’t know her better when you finish.

And of course, they’re all available for you at your library!


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