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Keynote Speaker: Timothy Egan
The Worst Hard Time by
Publication Date: 2005-12-14
"The Worst Hard Time is an epic story of blind hope and endurance almost beyond belief; it is also, as Tim Egan has told it, a riveting tale of bumptious charlatans, conmen, and tricksters, environmental arrogance and hubris, political chicanery, and a ruinous ignorance of nature's ways. Egan has reached across the generations and brought us the people who played out the drama in this devastated land, and uses their voices to tell the story as well as it could ever be told." -- Marq de Villiers, author of Water: The Fate of Our Most Precious Resource The dust storms that terrorized America's High Plains in the darkest years of the Depression were like nothing ever seen before or since, and the stories of the people that held on have never been fully told. Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalist and author Timothy Egan follows a half-dozen families and their communities through the rise and fall of the region, going from sod homes to new framed houses to huddling in basements with the windows sealed by damp sheets in a futile effort to keep the dust out. He follows their desperate attempts to carry on through blinding black blizzards, crop failure, and the deaths of loved ones. Drawing on the voices of those who stayed and survived--those who, now in their eighties and nineties, will soon carry their memories to the grave--Egan tells a story of endurance and heroism against the backdrop of the Great Depression. As only great history can, Egan's book captures the very voice of the times: its grit, pathos, and abiding courage. Combining the human drama of Isaac's Storm with the sweep of The American People in the Great Depression, The Worst Hard Time is a lasting and important work of American history. Timothy Egan is a national enterprise reporter for the New York Times. He is the author of four books and the recipient of several awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Seattle, Washington. "As one who, as a young reporter, survived and reported on the great Dust Bowl disaster, I recommend this book as a dramatic, exciting, and accurate account of that incredible and deadly phenomenon. This is can't-put-it-down history." --Walter Cronkite "The Worst Hard Time is wonderful: ribbed like surf, and battering us with a national epic that ranks second only to the Revolution and the Civil War. Egan knows this and convincingly claims recognition for his subject--as we as a country finally accomplished, first with Lewis and Clark, and then for 'the greatest generation,' many of whose members of course were also survivors of the hardships of the Great Depression. This is a banner, heartfelt but informative book, full of energy, research, and compassion." --Edward Hoagland, author of Compass Points: How I Lived "Here's a terrific true story--who could put it down? Egan humanizes Dust Bowl history by telling the vivid stories of the families who stayed behind. One loves the people and admires Egan's vigor and sympathy." --Annie Dillard, author of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek "The American West got lucky when Tim Egan focused his acute powers of observation on its past and present. Egan's remarkable combination of clear analysis and warm empathy anchors his portrait of the women and men who held on to their places--and held on to their souls--through the nearly unimaginable miseries of the Dust Bowl. This book provides the finest mental exercise for people wanting to deepen, broaden, and strengthen their thinking about the relationship of human beings to this earth." --Patricia N. Limerick, author of The Legacy of Conquest: The Unbroken Past of the American West
The Owl and the Woodpecker by
Publication Date: 2008-10-01
An intimate blend of personal field notes, rich natural history, and stunning photographs in the wild, this perfect holiday book for all bird-watchers provides an in-depth look at two of our most iconic--and important-- bird species. Great for photography lovers, conservationists and backyard enthusiasts alike, it includes an overview map of habitats and a foreword by award-winning artist and writer Tony Angell.Every wild place and urban area in North America hosts an owl or a woodpecker species, while healthy natural places often boast representatives of both. The diversity of these two families of birds, and the ways in which they define and enrich the ecosystems they inhabit, are the subject of this vivid new book by photographer and naturalist Paul Bannick. The Owl and the Woodpecker showcases a sense of these birds' natural rhythms, as well as the integral spirit of our wild places. Based on hundreds of hours in the field photographing these fascinating and wily birds, Bannick evokes all 41 North American species of owls and woodpeckers, across 11 key habitats. And by revealing the impact of two of our most iconic birds, Bannick has created a wholly unique approach to birding and conservation.
Publication Date: 2008-12-02
"Knute "Skip" Berger is one of the most recognized commentators on politics, culture, business, and life in the Pacific Northwest. He's the Mike Royko/Jimmy Breslin of this part of the country. As Timothy Egan describes him in the Foreword to Pugetopolis, he is the region's "crank with a conscience...a contrarian" thinker who calls out the folly and hubris of mayors, governors, presidents, and gazillionaires. In his signature Mossback column, which ran for years in the Seattle Weekly and now on Crosscut.com, Knute Berger comments on politics (the 50-year odyssey of mass transit), cultural matters (we got art out here in the provinces), the big natural world (what's left of it), enterprise (as in the Microsoft-Starbucks Industrial Complex), and odd local behavior (car-less living that allows mooching rides). As a third-generation Seattle native, he has the perspective to take the long view, so he knows there was a life without jackasses on jet ski, bear attacks in the suburbs, and not so many millionaires. Gathered in Pugetopolis are Knute Berger's best commentaries that provide grist for anyone's mental m
Picturing the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition by
Publication Date: 2009-07-15
For those who experienced it, the Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition was a time of wonder in a "citadel set in stars" -- a grand world's fair that transformed the summer of 1909 in Seattle into a whirl of excitement and pleasure. On what would become the University of Washington campus, for a brief moment a huge city emerged. At noon on June 1, amidst the blasting of horns and whistles, confetti filled the air and the gates were opened to a pent-up crowd of about 80,000 fairgoers. At the end of the evening on October 16, the fair was over and the magical city became a memory for its 3.7 million visitors. For those who couldn't make the trip to see the exhibits and for the rest of us today, the best record of the event was made by Frank H. Nowell, official photographer for the exposition. He documented the construction of the city, its landscaping, the people who built it, and the people who visited it, as well as the buildings that housed displays from dozens of foreign countries. He used a large view camera and 8 x 10 glass-plate negatives to create several thousand photographs. For this book, Nicolette Bromberg has chosen the best and most representative. Her essay illuminates both the man and the fair, providing perspective to a history of the West that connects us to a world-expanding event a hundred years ago, and also contains Nowell's photographs of Alaska during the gold rush, relating how an Alaskan photographer became the official A-Y-P photographer. For the 100th anniversary of the exposition, John Stamets organized and led University of Washington students in a project to rephotograph the site. This book includes an essay by Stamets describing the challenges, delights, and problems of the project, along with thirty rephotographs that imagine the fabulously spectacular ghost city on the campus.
The Informed Gardener by
Publication Date: 2008-01-01
Winner of the Best Book Award in the 2009 Garden Writers Association Media Awards Named an "Outstanding Title" in University Press Books for Public and Secondary School Libraries, 2009 In this introduction to sustainable landscaping practices, Linda Chalker-Scott addresses the most common myths and misconceptions that plague home gardeners and horticultural professionals. Chalker-Scott offers invaluable advice to gardeners gardeners who have wondered: Are native plants the best choice for sustainable landscaping? Should you avoid disturbing the root ball when planting? Are organic products better or safer than synthetic ones? What is the best way to control weeds-fabric or mulch? Does giving vitamins to plants stimulate growth? Are compost teas effective in controlling diseases? When is the best time to water in hot weather? If you pay more, do you get a higher-quality plant? How can you differentiate good advice from bad advice? The answers may surprise you. In her more than twenty years as a university researcher and educator in the field of plant physiology, Linda Chalker-Scott has discovered a number of so-called truths that originated in traditional agriculture and that have been applied to urban horticulture, in many cases damaging both plant and environmental health. The Informed Gardener is based on basic and applied research from university faculty and landscape professionals, originally published in peer-reviewed journals. After reading this book, you will: Understand your landscape or garden plants as components of a living system Save time (by not overdoing soil preparation, weeding, pruning, staking, or replacing plants that have died before their time) Save money (by avoiding worthless or harmful garden products, and producing healthier, longer-lived plants) Reduce use of fertilizers and pesticides Assess marketing claims objectively This book will be of interest to landscape architects, nursery and landscape professionals, urban foresters, arborists, certified professional horticulturists, and home gardeners. For more information go to: http://www.theinformedgardener.com
What Is Art For? by
Publication Date: 1988-05-01
Every human society displays some form of behavior that can be called "art," and in most societies other than our own the arts play an integral part in social life. Those who wish to understand art in its broadest sense, as a universal human endowment, need to go beyond modern Western elitist notions that disregard other cultures and ignore the human species' four-million-year evolutionary history. This book offers a new and unprecedentedly comprehensive theory of the evolutionary significance of art. Art, meaning not only visual art, but music, poetic language, dance, and performance, is for the first time regarded from a biobehavioral or ethical viewpoint. It is shown to be a biological necessity in human existence and fundamental characteristic of the human species. In this provocative study, Ellen Dissanayake examines art along with play and ritual as human behaviors that "make special," and proposes that making special is an inherited tendency as intrinsic to the human species as speech and toolmaking. She claims that the arts evolved as means of making socially important activities memorable and pleasurable, and thus have been essential to human survival. Avoiding simplism and reductionism, this original synthetic approach permits a fresh look at old questions about the origins, nature, purpose, and value of art. It crosses disciplinary boundaries and integrates a number of divers fields: human ethology; evolutionary biology; the psychology and philosophy of art; physical and cultural anthropology; "primitive" and prehistoric art; Western cultural history; and children's art. The final chapter, "From Tradition to Aestheticism," explores some of the ways in which modern Western society has diverged from other societies--particularly the type of society in which human beings evolved--and considers the effects of the aberrance on our art and our attitudes toward art. This book is addressed to readers who have a concerned interest in the arts or in human nature and the state of modern society.
Flotsametrics and the Floating World by
Publication Date: 2009-03-24
"Ebbesmeyer's goal is noble and fresh: to show how the flow of ocean debris around the world reveals 'the music' of the world's oceans." --New York Times Book Review Through the fascinating stories of flotsam, one of the Earth's greatest secrets is revealed. In Flotsametrics and the Floating World, maverick scientist Curtis Ebbesmeyer details how his obsession with floating garbage--from rubber ducks to discarded Nike sneakers--helped to revolutionize ocean science. Scientist and environmentalist David Suzuki, host of CBC TV's "The Nature of Things," calls Flotsametrics and the Floating World "Science and storytelling at its very best." "A very enjoyable, if at times dark, book" (Nature), it is must reading for anyone interested in Oceanography, Environmental Science, and the way our world works.
A Sudden Country by
Publication Date: 2005-08-16
A vivid and revelatory novel based on actual events of the 1847 Oregon migration, A Sudden Country follows two characters of remarkable complexity and strength in a journey of survival and redemption. James MacLaren, once a resourceful and ambitious Hudson's Bay Company trader, has renounced his aspirations for a quiet family life in the Bitterroot wilderness. Yet his life is overturned in the winter of 1846, when his Nez Perce wife deserts him and his children die of smallpox. In the grip of a profound sorrow, MacLaren, whose home once spanned a continent, sets out to find his wife. But an act of secret vengeance changes his course, introducing him to a different wife and mother: Lucy Mitchell, journeying westward with her family. Lucy, a remarried widow, careful mother, and reluctant emigrant, is drawn at once to the self-possessed MacLaren. Convinced that he is the key to her family's safe passage, she persuades her husband to employ him. As their hidden stories and obsessions unfold, and pasts and cultures collide, both Lucy and MacLaren must confront the people they have truly been, are, and may become. Alive with incident and insight, presenting with rare scope and intimacy the complex relations among nineteenth-century traders, immigrants, and Native Americans, A Sudden Country is, above all, a heroic and unforgettable story of love and loss, sacrifice and understanding.
Pilgrim on the Great Bird Continent by
Publication Date: 2006-03-06
By focusing mostly on the birds Charles Darwin observed, and by brilliantly mining his lesser-known writings, Haupt pens a startlingly fresh exploration of the man's genius that invites readers to look at the world with new eyes.
After the Prophet by
Publication Date: 2009-09-15
Narrative history at its most compelling,After the Prophetallows readers to grasp the power and depth of the Shia-Sunni split as never before. Even as Muhammad lay dying, the battle over who would succeed him as the ruler of the Muslim people had begun. And as Lesley Hazleton shows in her gripping historyAfter the Prophet, the battle has never ended. This is the foundation story of the Shia-Sunni split in Islam, a magnificent tale of power, intrigue, assassination, and passionate faith. Starting in Arabia in the year 632 and reaching its terrible breaking point fifty years later in Iraq, it still shapes modern headlines from Iran’s Islamic Revolution to the Iraq civil war. The succession crisis set Muhammad’s son-in-law, the philosopher-warrior Ali, in opposition to the controversial Aisha, Muhammad’s favorite wife. She would defy all expectations by leading an army against Ali, urging on her warriors in the thick of battle. The ultimate breaking point came when soldiers of the first Sunni dynasty massacred seventy-two warriors led by Ali’s son, Hussein, at Karbala in Iraq, forging the Shia-Sunni split in blood. Hussein’s ordeal would quickly become the Passion story at the core of Shia Islam, and history would be transformed into sacred history. Balancing past and present, Lesley Hazleton shows how this story is alive in Middle Eastern hearts and minds today, as though it had just happened. Even as she tells what happened in the seventh century, she never lets the reader lose sight of where those events have left us, and why they matter so much now as the struggle for dominance in the Muslim world plays out in the cities and mountains of Iraq and Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Placed squarely at the volatile intersection of religion and politics, history and current events, the vividly narratedAfter the Prophetis compulsive reading-and an emotional and political revelation for Western readers. From the Hardcover edition.
Border Songs by
Publication Date: 2009-06-16
By the acclaimed author of The Highest Tide, a story of contrary destinies further complicated by the border that separates them. Six foot eight and severely dyslexic, Brandon Vanderkool has always had an unusual perspective ¿ which comes in handy once his father pushes him off their dairy farm and into the Border Patrol. He used to jump over the ditch into British Columbia but now is responsible for policing a thirty-mile stretch of this largely invisible boundary. Uncomfortable in this uniformed role, he indulges his passion for bird-watching and often finds not only an astonishing variety of species but also a great many smugglers hauling pot into Washington State, as well as potentially more dangerous illegals. What a decade before was a sleepy rural hinterland is now the front line of an escalating war on both drugs and terrorism. Life on either side of the border is undergoing a similar transformation. Mountaintop mansions in Canada peer down into berry farms that might offer convenient routes into the budding American market, politicians clamor for increased security, surveillance cameras sprout up everywhere and previously law-abiding citizens are tempted to turn a blind eye. Closer to home, Brandon's father battles disease in his herd, and his mother something far more frightening. Madeline Rousseau, who grew up right across the ditch, has seen her gardening skills turn lucrative, while her father keeps busy by replicating great past inventions, medicating himself and railing against imperialism. And overseeing all is the mysterious masseuse who knows everybody's secrets. Rich in characters contending with a swiftly changing world and their own elusive hopes and dreams, Border Songs is at once comic and tender and momentous ¿ a riveting portrait of a distinctive community, an extraordinary love story and fiction of the highest order.
Upgraded to Serious by
Publication Date: 2009-11-01
Carol Muske-Dukes calls "McHugh, with her comic-book moxie and her linguistic virtuosity, a kind of Superwoman of poetry. The poems focus on what is within 'eyeshot,' or visible, but their true subject is their author's mortal acuity." - Los Angeles Times "McHugh's eighth book finds this acclaimed poet as odd and entertaining as ever, with her trademark slippery associative lines and jagged stanzas... but also subtly sobered by growing older while living through the grim political climate of the last eight years. McHugh's short, jerky lines, odd rhymes, bemused gravity and slant perspective on the world at hand bring Emily Dickinson to mind... .McHugh remains one of our most important and unusual poets... ." -Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) "Offering an idiosyncratic sense of sacredness, the book makes the earnest and the tongue-in-cheek almost indistinguishable... .Writing in her signature relaxed iambic line, McHugh flips and winds the language of American common wisdom. InUpgraded to Serious... we encounter a poet who is listening assiduously. Her attention to language is visible in each poem's marked use of rhyme. The sustained outpouring of alliteration gives the sense that McHugh will never be out of breath." -ForeWord "McHugh's poems move as fluent wholes, thanks in part to her artful use of rhyme, rhythm, and portmanteaux. If much ancient poetry has become fragmentary over time, and much modern poetry begins as fragments, Heather McHugh's poetry blurs the line between fragments and wholes, crafting one from the other. She delights both in dilating linguistic fragments into astonishing new wholes and in exposing and excavating language's invisible fault-lines." -The Oxonian Review 'If McHugh is serious, she's anything but grim; with all her punning, bantering, and mock scolding of herself . . . she brightens the shadowy corners of her world with verbal pyrotechnics.' -The New York Times Book Review 'McHugh is known as a challenging wordsmith, but, as this collection reveals, she is also a compassionate eyewitness . . . Her lines are animated but serious, and though they accelerate quickly, meaning and humor can be found in a single word.' -The New Yorker 'Her poems are open, resilient, invisibly twisted: part safety net, part trampoline.' -The Village Voice Literary Supplement One ofPublishers Weekly 's Best Books of 2009 National Book Award finalist and 2009 MacArthur Fellow Heather McHugh presents a fast-paced, verbally dexterous, and brilliantly humorous book. Utilizing medical terminology and iconography to work through loss and detachment, McHugh's startling rhymes and rhythms - along with her sarcastic self-reflection and infectious laughter - serve as antidotes to the sufferings of the world. Being 'upgraded to serious' from critical condition is a nod to the healing powers ofpoetry. "Not to Be Dwelled On" Self-interest cropped up even there, the day I hoisted three instead of the ceremonially called-for two spadefuls of loam onto the coffin of my friend. Why shovel more than anybody else? What did I think I'd prove? More love (mud in her eye)? More will to work? (Her father what, a shirker?) Christ, what wouldn't anybody give to get that gesture back? She cannot die again; and I do nothing but re-live. Heather McHugh is the author of a dozen books of poetry and translation. She teaches at the University of Washington and Warren Wilson College and lives in Seattle.
Never Again by
Publication Date: 2004-08-17
Doug Nufer writes fiction, poetry, and performance pieces that seem to be based on formal constraints even when they are not. Never Again, the most audacious example of his work to date, is a novel in which no word appears more than once. It is the story of a gambler who narrates how he set out to avoid the mistakes of his past by doing (and saying) nothing he ever did (or said) before.
Out of Left Field by
Publication Date: 2003-09-24
This colorful book chronicles the Seattle Mariners' rise from basement to penthouse in major league baseball and Seattle's transition from funky burg to a major city of baseball fanatics. It's all here--the lawsuits, the crazy confluence of sports and ego and civic destiny, and of course, superstars Ichiro, A-Rod, Randy Johnson, and Ken Griffey. Seattle sportswriter Art Thiel recounts the painful birth, awkward adolescence, and hard-won maturity of one of the most beloved teams in sports history.
Native Seattle by
Publication Date: 2008-01-01
Winner of the 2008 Washington State Book Award for History/Biography In traditional scholarship, Native Americans have been conspicuously absent from urban history. Indians appear at the time of contact, are involved in fighting or treaties, and then seem to vanish, usually onto reservations. In Native Seattle, Coll Thrush explodes the commonly accepted notion that Indians and cities-and thus Indian and urban histories-are mutually exclusive, that Indians and cities cannot coexist, and that one must necessarily be eclipsed by the other. Native people and places played a vital part in the founding of Seattle and in what the city is today, just as urban changes transformed what it meant to be Native. On the urban indigenous frontier of the 1850s, 1860s, and 1870s, Indians were central to town life. Native Americans literally made Seattle possible through their labor and their participation, even as they were made scapegoats for urban disorder. As late as 1880, Seattle was still very much a Native place. Between the 1880s and the 1930s, however, Seattle's urban and Indian histories were transformed as the town turned into a metropolis. Massive changes in the urban environment dramatically affected indigenous people's abilities to survive in traditional places. The movement of Native people and their material culture to Seattle from all across the region inspired new identities both for the migrants and for the city itself. As boosters, historians, and pioneers tried to explain Seattle's historical trajectory, they told stories about Indians: as hostile enemies, as exotic Others, and as noble symbols of a vanished wilderness. But by the beginning of World War II, a new multitribal urban Native community had begun to take shape in Seattle, even as it was overshadowed by the city's appropriation of Indian images to understand and sell itself. After World War II, more changes in the city, combined with the agency of Native people, led to a new visibility and authority for Indians in Seattle. The descendants of Seattle's indigenous peoples capitalized on broader historical revisionism to claim new authority over urban places and narratives. At the beginning of the twenty-first century, Native people have returned to the center of civic life, not as contrived symbols of a whitewashed past but on their own terms. In Seattle, the strands of urban and Indian history have always been intertwined. Including an atlas of indigenous Seattle created with linguist Nile Thompson, Native Seattle is a new kind of urban Indian history, a book with implications that reach far beyond the region. Replaced by ISBN 9780295741345
A Thousand Miles of Dreams by
Publication Date: 2007-09-05
A Thousand Miles of Dreams is an evocative and intimate biography of two Chinese sisters who took very different paths in their quest to be independent women. Ling Shuhao arrived in Cleveland in 1925 to study medicine in the middle of a U.S. crackdown on Chinese immigrant communities, and her effort to assimilate began. She became an American named Amy, while her sister Ling Shuhua burst onto the Beijing literary scene as a writer of short fiction. They were both Chinese modern girls who sought to forge their own way in an era of social revolution and followed trajectories unimaginable to their parents' generation. The journeys of these extraordinary women spanned the twentieth century and three continents in a saga of East-West cultural exchange and personal struggle.
Stories in Stone by
Publication Date: 2009-06-30
Most people do not think to look for geology from the sidewalks of a major city, but for David B. Williams any rock used as building material can tell a fascinating story. All he has to do is look at building stone in any urban center to find a range of rocks equal to any assembled by plate tectonics. InStories in Stone, he takes you on his explorations to find 3.5-billion-year-old rock that looks like swirled pink and black taffy, a gas station made of petrified wood, and a Florida fort that has withstood 300 years of attacks and hurricanes, despite being made of a stone that has the consistency of a granola bar. InStories in Stone, Williams also weaves in the cultural history of stone. He shows why a white, fossil-rich limestone from Indiana became the only building stone to be used in all 50 states; how in 1825, the construction of the Bunker Hill Monument led to America's first commercial railroad; and why when the same kind of marble used by Michelangelo was used on a Chicago skyscraper it warped so much after 19 years that all 44,000 panels of the stone had to be replaced. A love letter to building stone, from New England brownstone and Morton Gneiss of Minnsota to the limestone of Salem, Indiana; from granite and travertine to Carrara marble, David Willilams brings to life the stones you will see in the structures of every city, large and small. After reading his book, you will forever look at stone buildings with new eyes.
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