25 Ginormous Book Jacket Covers Are Turning Burien Into One Giant Library

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Twenty-five ginormous book covers have suddenly appeared on and around various Burien businesses, seemingly turning sleepy little B-Town into a giant library.

Actually, they’re all part of the King County Library System’s “Book Cover Walking Tour,” a display of over 100 framed book jacket covers turned into outdoor art pieces placed in eight cities around the county and on display through the end of March. Other participating  communities include Bellevue, Issaquah, Kent, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Renton and Vashon.

“The inspiration for the tour is to provide an opportunity for the public to interact and engage with books in a fun and unique way,” reads a statement on the KCLS website.

All of the book covers on the Tour are reprinted with permission of the publisher, so if you’re some hungry, greedy lawyer looking for trouble, just fuggetaboutit.

Here are a couple of pics of some oversized book covers we found:

Outside the Tin Theater is Robert B. Parker's "Appaloosa": When Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch arrive in Appaloosa, they find a small, dusty town suffering at the hands of Randall Bragg, a renegade rancher with so little regard for the law that he has killed the city marshal and one of his deputies.

Just west of 909 Coffee & Wine is Dave Eggers' "What the What," a biographical novel that traces the story of Valentino Achak Deng, who as a boy was separated from his family when his village in southern Sudan was attacked, and he became one of the estimated 17,000 “lost boys of Sudan” before relocating from a Kenyan refugee camp to Atlanta in 2001.

Here’s a full list of where you can find all 25 around B-Town, along with Audio Tour explanations of each – looks like a great walking tour:

909 Coffee & Wine
909 SW 152nd Street
What is the WhatPlace HoldWhat is the What
Dave Eggers
Vintage (Random House) 

Audio TourThis biographical novel traces the story of Valentino Achak Deng, who as a boy was separated from his family when his village in southern Sudan was attacked, and he became one of the estimated 17,000 “lost boys of Sudan” before relocating from a Kenyan refugee camp to Atlanta in 2001.

Burien Library
400 SW 152nd Street
Blood HinaPlace HoldBlood Hina
Naomi Hirahara
Minotaur Books (Macmillan 

Audio TourMas Arai is all set to be the best man at his friend Haruo’s wedding, until an ancient Japanese doll display owned by Haruo’s fiance goes missing, prompting Mas to take the case to clear his friend’s name, in an investigation that uncovers a world of deception and murder.

Place HoldFramed
Gordon Korman
Scholastic Press 

Audio TourIn this sequel to Swindle and Zoobreak, Griffin Bing is in trouble again! When a Super Bowl ring disappears from the school’s display case he is framed for the crime. Will he be able to solve the mystery in time?

Burien Town Square
455 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldGulf Music
Robert Pinsky
Farrar, Straus and Giroux (Macmillan) 

Audio TourThese poems by the former Poet Laureate of the United States span a wide range of topics, including love and war, the architecture of small towns, and objects on top of a desk.

Place HoldOld Possum’s Book of Practical Cat
T. S. Eliot
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich 

Audio TourThis famous collection of nonsense verse about feline characters was the inspiration for the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, Cats.

Cover from OLD POSSUM’S BOOK OF PRACTICAL CATS by T.S. Eliot drawings by Edward Gorey. Jacket Design © 1982 by Edward Gorey. Used by permission of Harcourt Books, an imprint of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

CC’s Lounge
635 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldBlack Mirror
Nancy Werlin
Dial Books for Young People (Penguin Group) 

Audio TourSixteen-year-old Frances begins an investigation to prove her brother’s death was murder rather than suicide after suspicious student activities at her boarding school.

Danish Bakery
825 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldThe Sneetches and Other Stories
Dr. Seuss
Random House 

Audio TourIn this collection, the famous doctor of rhyme serves up four wild stories that are not only entertaining but also teach valuable lessons about human nature: The Sneetches, The Zax, The Many Daves, and What was I Scared Of?


Elliott Bay Brewhouse
255 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldRobot Dreams
Sara Varon
First Second (Macmillan) 

Audio TourIn this poignant and wordless graphic novel about friendship, Dog orders a mail-order robot kit and builds himself a best buddy. They are happy together until a trip to the beach results in their separation. Will Dog and Robot ever find each other again?


Glass Expressions
648 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldThe Affinity Bridge
George Mann
Tor (Macmillan) 

Audio TourIn an alternate-universe London marked by airships, robots, and a Queen Victoria who is kept alive by a primitive life-support system, agents Newbury and Hobbes investigate the wreckage of a crashed airship while attempting to solve a string of murders.

Goodie Gumdrops
816 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldNo, David!
David Shannon
Blue Sky Press (Scholastic) 

In this autobiographical picture book, a mischievous boy is depicted doing a variety of things which he should not. But don’t worry, in the end he gets a hug.

Audio TourFrom NO, DAVID! by David Shannon. Scholastic Inc./The Blue Sky Press. Copyright © 1998 by David Shannon. Used by permission.


Grand Central Bakery
626 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldAnnie and the Wild Animals
Jan Brett
Houghton Mifflin
Cover from ANNIE AND THE WILD ANIMALS by Jan Brett. 

Audio TourWhen Annie’s cat disappears, she attempts friendship with a variety of unsuitable woodland animals. Will Annie find a new animal friend? The beautiful illustrations foretell the emergence of spring and the birth of kittens.

Copyright © 1985 by Jan Brett. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Howard & Marge
901 SW 152nd Street
Why Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears Place HoldWhy Mosquitoes Buzz in People’s Ears
Verna Aardema
Dial Press (Penguin Books) 

Audio TourThis retelling of a West African folktale reveals how the mosquito developed its annoying habit while imparting a lesson about how one’s actions affect others.


John L. Scott
930 SW 152nd Street
The Enormous RoomPlace HoldThe Enormous Room
E. E. Cummings
Penguin Books (Penguin Group 

Audio TourIn 1917 Cummings served in a Red Cross ambulance unit on the Western Front. His free-spirited, combative ways got him tagged as a possible enemy of La Patrie, and he was sent to a French concentration camp. Unexpectedly, under the vilest conditions, he discovers what it means to become free.


Karuna Arts Studio
819 SW 152nd Street
Ca Dao VietnamPlace HoldCa Dao Vietnam (Vietnamese Folk Poetry)
John Balaban
Copper Canyon Press 

Audio TourDuring the Vietnam war, John Balaban traveled the Vietnamese countryside alone, taping, transcribing, and translating oral folk poems known as “ca dao.” He walked up to farmers, fishermen, seamstresses, and monks and said, “Sing me your favorite poem,” and they did.

Jacket art copyright ©2010 by Jennifer Taylor from FRAMED by Gordon Korman. Scholastic Inc./Scholastic Press. Used by permission.


Law Offices of Doug Moreland
417 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldCharlotte’s Web
E. B. White
HarperCollins Publishers 

Audio TourIn a story beloved by generations, Wilbur the pig is desolate when he discovers that he is destined to be the farmer’s Christmas dinner until his spider friend, Charlotte, decides to help him.


Mark Restaurant & Bar
918 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldShark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper
Fuchsia Dunlop W. W. Norton 

Audio TourThis food writer creates a memoir that combines her love of travel with her respect for Chinese cuisine.  After obtaining a study scholarship in China, she enrolls in a professional chef’s program then researches the cuisine for her cookbooks.


Miller Paint
636 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldBookseller of Kabul
Åsne Seierstad
Little Brown (Hachette) 

Audio TourThe Norwegian journalist provides a portrait of a committed Muslim man and his family living in post-Taliban Kabul, Afghanistan.


Natural Pet Pantry
830 SW 152nd Street
Windy CityPlace HoldWindy City
Scott Simon
Random House 

Audio TourA widower transplanted from India with two Americanized daughters, Sonny Roopini is an alderman in Chicago’s city government and finds himself thrust into the limelight thanks to the sudden death of the mayor.

Photography by Steven
243 SW 152nd Street
Avielle of Rhia 219Place HoldAvielle of Rhia 219
Dia Calhoun
Marshall Cavendish 

Audio TourTaught to hate and fear the heritage that sets her apart from most people of the kingdom, fifteen-year-old Princess Avielle of Rhia must finally embrace the magic of her Dredonian ancestors to save the very people who scorn her.

Sal’s Deli
15212 6th SW
The Calligrapher’s DaughterPlace HoldThe Calligrapher’s Daughter
Eugenia Kim
Henry Holt (Macmillan) Reprinted courtesy of Henry Holt and Company 

Audio TourIn early twentieth-century Korea, the privileged daughter of a calligrapher, is sent to serve as a companion to the princess, only to see the monarchy crumble after the king’s assassination and be sent on her own journey through increasing oppression.

Sterling Bank
244 SW 152nd Street
Nuns Having FunPlace HoldNuns Having Fun
Maureen Kelly

Audio TourHallelujah, it’s a book! The 125 photos of nuns in full habit, cutting loose – are vintage 1950’s and 60’s images with retro charm. The former parochial school students who compiled the book explore the lore and legends surrounding nuns, with good humor and respect.

Tin Room Bar & Theatre
923 SW 152nd Street
AppaloosaPlace HoldAppaloosa
Robert B. Parker
G.P. Putnam’s Sons (Penguin Group) 

Audio TourWhen Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch arrive in Appaloosa, they find a small, dusty town suffering at the hands of Randall Bragg, a renegade rancher with so little regard for the law that he has killed the city marshal and one of his deputies.

Town Square Dentistry
610 SW 152nd Street
Place HoldThe Consequences of Love
Sulaiman Addonia
Random House 

Audio TourA Romeo and Juliet story set against the strict Muslim laws of Saudi Arabia, a sensuous and intensely wrought story of a young immigrant and a girl behind the veil who defy law and risk their lives to be together.

Vino Bello Wine Bar
636 SW 152nd Street
Hungry Woman in ParisPlace HoldHungry Woman in Paris
Josefina López
Grand Central Publishing (Hachette) 

Audio TourFrom the celebrated author of Real Women Have Curves, a young woman, disillusioned with life, runs away to Paris and enrolls in cooking school to reawaken her senses and mend her broken heart.

Windermere Real Estate
401 SW 152nd Street
Antiques to Die For Place HoldAntiques to Die For
Jane K. Cleland
St. Martin’s Minotaur (Macmillan) 

Audio TourWhen Josie Prescott leaves a high-paying job in New York to set up shop as an antiques appraiser on the rugged New Hampshire coast, her life does not go exactly according to plan: dead bodies keep crossing her path.

We think the only thing that could’ve made this concept a little better would have been to include book jacket covers from local authors (like Ann Rule, Shawn Underwood or George Matthew Cole) or from books that use Burien in various scenes (Robert Dugoni).

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3 Responses to “25 Ginormous Book Jacket Covers Are Turning Burien Into One Giant Library”
  1. mw says:

    I noticed these over the weekend when walking the dog through downtown. Great art and good publicity for the Library system. Thanks for calling them out.

  2. Rebecca Dare says:

    It’s given me a sense of delight seeing these posters around town!!

  3. neighborhood guy says:

    I had wondered what these large posters were when driving through Olde Burien this weekend. I think they look great. Thanks for telling their story.

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