For the seventh consecutive year, the Seattle Public Library and Seattle Arts & Lectures have teamed up to help readers spice up their TBR lists with Summer Book Bingo, a 25-square downloadable bingo card (this year’s woodland creature-adorned design comes courtesy of local illustrator Tessa Hulls) representing different categories of books, like “climate fiction,” “Black joy,” “made you laugh,” and “activism or social justice.” Those who fill out a full line (a “bingo”) or the whole sheet (a “blackout”) through September 7 can submit their card (either in person at a local library branch, via email, or via social media with the hashtag #BookBingoNW2021) for the chance to win prizes. To help you get started, we’ve listed some suggestions for the fourth row of the card (which, if completed, could score you a gift certificate to a local indie bookstore). If the book you’re eyeing has a long hold line at your local branch, try your luck at your nearest bookseller.
BIPOC FOOD WRITING
From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke
While studying abroad in Italy, actress Tembi Locke fell for a Sicilian chef named Saro, who introduced her to a new world of food. Their romance came with no shortage of challenges: Saro’s family did not approve of their son marrying a Black American woman, and once they reconciled, he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer that led to his death in 2016, leaving Tembi to raise their adopted daughter Zoella on her own. Locke recounts these and other major life events in her debut memoir, which is being adapted into a Netflix series starring Zoe Saldana.
Terminal Boredom by Izumi Suzuki
This collection of short stories by the late Japanese sci-fi writer Izumi Suzuki (which gets its first English translation from Polly Barton, Sam Bett, David Boyd, Daniel Joseph, Aiko Masubuchi, and Helen O’Horan) takes on a decidedly punk bent, jumping from drinks among friends on a distant planet to a world in which men escape from isolation and violently disrupt a queer matriarchal utopia.
On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
Vietnamese American poet Ocean Vuong’s widely acclaimed fiction debut is part epistolary novel, part autofiction, written in the form of a letter from a son to his illiterate mother. The author will join Seattle Arts & Lectures for an online talk on June 9.
ASIAN AMERICAN OR PACIFIC ISLANDER AUTHOR
Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner
In her recently released, searingly poignant debut memoir, Michelle Zauner—known for making dreamy indie-pop under the name Japanese Breakfast—details her Korean American upbringing in Eugene, Oregon, losing her mother to terminal pancreatic cancer, and finding connection through food.
POETRY OR ESSAYS
Popular Longing by Natalie Shapiro
“A poem you thought was just going to be kind of fun and chatty turns you into a miserable little tear puddle at the end. But a wiser one,” wrote The Stranger‘s Rich Smith about the work of Natalie Shapiro, whose newest collection is lauded by Electric Lit as “cutting, clever, and a criticism of modern culture.”