Not to brag too much about the Evergreen state (clearly bragging here), but it’s not actually much of a challenge to ask someone to read a local author. If you’re playing Summer Book Bingo with us, you have hundreds — seriously hundreds — of excellent choices for books to read to fill your “Washington state author” square.
Let’s start with recent (published in 2016 or 2017) nonfiction recommendations:
- Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman by Lindy West: A series of often hilarious essays dealing with issues of body image, pop culture, feminism and social justice. Bonus: This book is excellent on audio, too.
- While the City Slept by Eli Sanders: Sanders won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing for his reporting in The Stranger of the murder of Teresa Butz in South Park. His nonfiction book on the subject is riveting.
- Looking for Betty MacDonald: The Egg, the Plague, Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle and I by Paula Becker: The first biography of bestselling mid-20th century author MacDonald, who wrote The Egg and I — and it’s a charmer. Bonus: You’ll be inspired to read Betty MacDonald’s work, and she was, of course, a Washington state author.
- Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning by Claire Dederer: A ferocious, sexy, hilarious memoir about going off the rails at midlife and trying to reconcile the girl she was with the woman she has become.
- You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me by Sherman Alexie: This memoir is one of the most anticipated books of 2017, especially here in Seattle.
Feel like reading a novel? A small sampling:
- The Twilight Wife by A.J. Banner (suspense): A marine biologist remembers nothing about the diving accident that left her with a complex form of memory loss.
- Come Hell or Highball by Maia Chance: Set in the 1920s. A 31-year-old widow inherits a big pile of debt and decides to open a detective agency to pay down her bills. First in a fun mystery series.
- Smells Like Finn Spirit by Randy Henderson: Finn Graymare is back in the final installment of the Finn Graymore humorous fantasy series.
- Today Will Be Different by Maria Semple: If you loved Where’d You Go, Bernadette, then make sure you pick up the latest from Semple.
- Everfair by Nisi Shawl: Speculative fiction that looks at an alternate history of the Belgian Congo.
Feel like reading poetry under a tree? Try one of these:
- This Glittering Republic by Quenton Baker
- Tributaries by Laura Da’
- My, My, My, My, My by Tara Hardy
- Hive by Christina Stoddard
- Overpour by Jane Wong
You’ll find a list of 30 (thirty!) years of Washington State Book Award winners to be an easy place to find a perfect book. See the 2016 WSBA winners and an archive of Washington State Book Award winners from 1987 to 2015. You can also use Seattle Public Library’s catalog to search for books readers and librarians have tagged “Washington author.” (If you find a Washington author who isn’t tagged as such, go ahead and do it yourself. And we thank you!).
~ posted by Linda J.