Book News Roundup: Meet the new Literature and Humanities Program Director at SPL

  • Stesha Brandon, the former University Book Store and Town Hall Seattle rock star who most recently was interviewed on this site in her role as interim executive director of the Seattle City of Literature organization, is officially the new Literature and Humanities Program Manager at Seattle Public Library. The job description calls for the creation of "public programming that connects patrons to information, ideas, and stories" and which "respond[s] to the evolving interests and needs of our communities by developing and supporting public events and activities that promote cultural enrichment, reading and storytelling, and community building." In short, Brandon will be doing the readings curation and community outreach that she did so well at University Book Store and Town Hall. Brandon's hire does a lot to ease my concern that Chris Higashi's departure created; the library needed another strong advocate for books and literary events on staff, and now they have one in Brandon. (She'll continue working with the board of Seattle City of Literature, too.) Congratulations to Brandon, and to SPL for the great hire.

  • Every so often, McSweeney's absolutely cleans your clock with a perfect piece of humor writing. Meg Elison's "If Women Wrote Men the Way Men Write Women" is one such piece:

Brett pulled his tank top up over his head and stared at himself in the full-length mirror. He pushed down his jeans, then his boxers, and imagined the moment when Jennifer saw him nude for the first time. His feet were average-sized, and there was hair on his toes that he should probably take care of before tonight. He liked his legs just fine, but his thighs were wide and embarrassingly muscular. He tried standing at an angle, a twist at his waist. Some improvement. In that position, it was easier to see his ass and notice that it was not as pert as it had been at 22. He clenched both cheeks, hoping that tightened its look. He sucked in his tummy and pulled his pecs up high, trying to present them like pastries in a bakery window. Would she like him? Were the goods good enough? He pouted his lips and ran his hands over his thighs, masking their expanse. Maybe.
  • The world's greatest slang dictionary is now available online.

  • August 2016 bookstore sales are up two percent.

  • This fan-run petition to get Quentin Tarantino to direct the Deadpool sequel is so incredibly dumb that I have to include it here, even though it's only tangentially related to books. Why would Quentin Tarantino, who has never in his life directed a full-length movie written by someone else, suddenly decide to take on a sequel to a corporate superhero property? Because you like Deadpool and you like Quentin Tarantino? I like macaroni and cheese and I like Ritter Sport Chocolate Biscuit bars, but you don't see me blending them together into a smoothie, do you? I'm usually loath to use the term "fan entitlement," but it absolutely applies here.