Start: 6:30 pm
As the literature of ideas and imagination, Science Fiction and Fantasy simply demands discussion. Our selection for February is the Nebula and Hugo Award-winning novel Among Others by Jo Walton. Raised by a half-mad mother who dabbled in magic, Morwenna Phelps found refuge in two worlds. As a child growing up in Wales, she played among the spirits who made their homes in industrial ruins. But her mind found freedom and promise in the science fiction novels that were her closest companions. Startling, unusual, and yet irresistably readable, Among Others is at once the compelling story of a young woman struggling to escape a troubled childhood, a brilliant diary of first encounters with the great novels of modern fantasy and SF, and a spellbinding tale of escape from ancient enchantment.
Start: 7:00 pm
Co-presented with the WASHINGTON CENTER FOR THE BOOK AT THE SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY. A night for talk and reading about the vital place of reading this is as onetime Microsoft executive John Wood, who left Microsoft to start Room to Read (www.roomtoread.org), a non-profit organization that in its relatively short time has grown to play a prominent role in both non-profit and reading advocacy and instructional affairs. His wonderful earlier book, Leaving Microsoft to Change the World, was a memoir of his decision to change courses and start Room to Read. He is here this evening with Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy (Viking), an inspiring and articulate chronicle of the work Room to Read has been doingbringing reading to over six million children in impoverished areas of Asia and Africa. Free admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The Seattle Public Library is at 1000 Fourth Avenue (between Madison & Spring). For more information, please see www.spl.org or call (206) 386-4636.
Start: 7:00 pm
Co-presented with the WASHINGTON CENTER FOR THE BOOK AT THE SEATTLE PUBLIC LIBRARY & SEATTLE CITYCLUB. The United States is known as a world leader in innovation, brilliant thinkers, and trendsetting companies, but that status is at risk, says Michelle Rhee. American children are well outside the top-10 international student rankings in reading, science, and math, and those rankingsnot to mention our nation's leadership positionwill continue to plummet unless we take dramatic action. Rhee, a driving force behind American education reform and author of Radical: Fighting to Put Students First (Harper) is ready to make a change. In an onstage conversation, Rhee draws on her life story— her years of teaching in inner-city Baltimore; her turbulent tenure as chancellor of Washington, D.C., public schools; and her role as an education activist and founder and CEO of StudentsFirstto deliver a plan for better American schools that ensures that laws, leaders, and policies make studentsnot adultsour top priority. "Michelle Rhee is famous as a hard-charging champion of education reform, but this charming and engrossing memoir is full of surprises as we learn that Rhee is also a strong Democrat and a thoughtfuleven contriteactivist working every day to help kids learn." - Jonathan Alter. Free admission is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Town Hall Seattle is at 1119 Eighth Avenue (at Seneca). Doors open at 6:15 p.m. For more information, please see www.spl.org or call (206) 386-4636. Early arrival is suggested.