Nightstand Reading: Seattle novelist Heather Barbieri’s late summer reading

LaceMakersOfGlenmaraIn Heather Barbieri’s newest book, The Lace Makers of Glenmara, 26-year-old fashion designer Kate Robinson heads to Ireland to change destructive patterns in her own life. In Glenmara, Kate finds inspiration in the local lace-making society. Fans of Maeve Binchy’s work and The Friday Night Knitting Club (Kate Jacobs) will find much to enjoy in Lace Makers. We asked the Seattle novelist to give us a peek at her “to-read” pile:

I have towers of books in my home office. It’s like a miniature book metropolis, really, with skyscrapers made of novels, memoirs, poetry, and cookbooks.  Some are mine, some are borrowed. I’ve tried to convince my family that they are a form of public art; they’re not buying it. 

Lace Makers--heatherbarbieriHow wonderful it is to literally be surrounded by literature! Many of the books come from my local branch of the Seattle Public Library.  (I’ve been a card holder, in one place or another, since the age of 5.) One of these days, I might have to resort to wheeling the treasured tomes to and from the car in a red wagon or hand truck.  There’s so much to read! The hold slips also come in handy for jotting down thoughts for my current projects, which are also—you guessed it–scattered around the office. 

Here’s what’s currently at the top of the pile: 

  • The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Barcelona and a writer making a deal with the devil by a writer, yes, at the top of his game. What more could we ask for? Can’t wait to dive into this one!
  • The Size of the World by Joan Silber. A pitch-perfect collection of linked short fiction. Utterly captivating and exquisitely crafted.
  • Kate Walbert’s work—I’m currently reading her book of short stories, Our Kind. She’s a master of the form — and pulls off the tricky use of collective voice, no less. I’m in awe of her talent. Her debut novel, The Gardens of Kyoto is next. 
  • Light Years by James Salter—I love rereading the opening passages of this book. They never fail to inspire. Absolutely gorgeous prose.
  • A Reliable Wife by Robert Goolrick. I can’t resist a good literary gothic read and from all accounts, this sounds like a grand one.

Barbieri will read from her novel and discuss her work at the Southwest Branch on Thursday, September 17 and at the Montlake Branch on Tuesday, September 22, at 6:30 p.m. Be sure to visit Heather Barbieri’s website, too, for other events and the story behind her novel.

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