#BookBingoNW2019: By an author from Mexico or Canada

If you’re still working away on your Adult Summer Book Bingo, we’re back with some suggestions for authors from Mexico and Canada to check out. I’ve focused on writers with a new book out in the past few years, but try our longer list in the catalog for even more suggestions including some classic authors from each country.

Yuri Herrera
Herrera won the Best Translated Book Award in 2016 for his novel Signs Preceding the End of the World, in which Makina leaves behind her life in Mexico to search for her brother across the border in the United States. Makina is carrying two secret messages – one from her mother, and one from some gang members. The Transmigration of Bodies is a slim novella (just 101 pages) in which a plague has come to the city, and two feuding crime families need The Redeemer to broker peace.

Valeria Luiselli
Luiselli has been prolific over the past few years writing fiction and nonfiction alike. Her latest is the novel Lost Children Archive, a fragmented narrative that incorporates multiple points of view, archival documents and photographs while telling the story of a family traveling from New York to the Arizona/Mexico border and the ways they become enmeshed in the migration crisis at the border.  Or check an earlier novel, Faces in the Crowd, which weaves together the story of a poet and mother living in present-day Mexico City, and the story of a young editor in 1950s New York City translating the works of an obscure Mexican poet from the 1920s.

Emiliano Monge
In his novel Among the Lost, Monge follows two human traffickers in love over 24 hours of intense time in the Mexican jungle.

Esi Edugyan
Edugyan is one of the few authors to have won Canada’s Giller Prize twice. Washington Black begins when 11-year-old Wash is a field slave on a Barbados sugar plantation. When Titch, his master’s brother arrives, Wash is pulled out of the fields and assigned to help Titch with his naturalist observations. When another man dies, a bounty is placed on Wash’s head, and Wash and Titch flee together, beginning Wash’s journey in search of his true self. Edugyan’s previous book Half-blood Blues follows a mixed-race German American jazz band in Nazi Germany as one of their most talented members is arrested by the Gestapo, and the long-reaching repercussions of that moment.

Michael Ondaatje
If you’re familiar with Ondaatje, it’s most likely from his 1992 novel (and later film) The English Patient, which followed four characters – a nurse, a thief, an Indian sapper, and a burn victim – as their lives converge in a bombed-out Italian villa at the end of World War II. Ondaatje’s most recent novel, Warlight, also has its narrative roots in World War II. When Nathaniel Williams was 14 and his sister 15, World War II was ending and they were left in the care of their parent’s friends. Years later, Nathaniel examines that time and interviews those who were there in an effort to understand his history.

Miriam Toews
Toews grew up in a Mennonite town in Manitoba, and much of her work centers Mennonite communities. Her latest novel, Women Talking, is based on a true story and set in a present-day Mennonite colony in Bolivia. Eight women surreptitiously gather in a barn to decide their future after learning the truth behind two years of sexual assaults committed by neighbors and family members. Will they stay, stay and fight, or leave? What about their faith, their duty, their anger? Toews’ previous novel All My Puny Sorrows teases apart the fraught relationship between two adult sisters as they grapple with family history, art and music, depression, and suicide.

For more ideas for books to meet your Summer Book Bingo challenge, follow our Shelf Talk #BookBingoNW2019 series or check the hashtag #BookBingoNW2019 on social media. Need a Book Bingo card? Print one out here or pick one up at your Library. Book bingo is presented in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures.

~ posted by Andrea G.

Bestselling Fiction in the Pacific Northwest

Comparing what’s popular and in-demand in the Northwest with national bestsellers can be an interesting look into local readers’ preferences. Each week, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association shares the bestselling titles from independent bookstores in our area. Compare that list with the national bestseller lists from New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today and you’ll see  some overlap — and quite a bit of difference.

Here are the top 15 hardcover fiction titles in the Pacific Northwest from last week:

1.  Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (a Peak Pick)
2.  The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead (a Peak Pick)
3.  City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert (a Peak Pick)
4.  Circe by Madeline Miller (a former Peak Pick)
5.  On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong (a Peak Pick)
6.  Normal People by Sally Rooney (a Peak Pick)
7.  The New Girl by Daniel Silva
8.  Deep River by Karl Marlantes (Seattle author!)
9.  Fleishman Is in Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner
10. Exhalation Ted Chiang (Seattle author! And a Peak Pick)
11. Knife by Jo Nesbø
12. The Guest Book by Sarah Blake
13. Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett
14. Big Sky by Kate Atkinson (a Peak Pick)
15. The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister (Seattle author!
And a Peak Pick) Continue reading “Bestselling Fiction in the Pacific Northwest”

Get Out of the Lake!

The lake is where you want to be on a beautiful August day, unless you’re a character in a mystery novel. I’m here to tell you that, in my experience as an avid mystery reader, an idyllic remote lake can often double as the scene of a crime. Which is why these mysteries are wonderful choices for atmospheric lakeside (or backyard or park) reads.

Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman: Baltimore in the 1960s is the setting for this noir-inspired stand-alone novel from Lippman. Maddie Schwartz leaves her husband and son and pursues her dream of being a journalist. She’s obsessed with two murders and her involvement by happenstance in the first one helps her land a job at a reporter. The second murder is the LADY IN THE LAKE, a tale that has all sorts of urban lore around the case. Lippman, in my opinion, is one of the finest crime fiction writers today and I eagerly anticipate each new book from her, and this one delivered. Booklist said in a review: “This is a superb character study, a terrific newspaper novel, and a fascinating look at urban life and racial discrimination in the ’60s.” This is a Peak Pick, too! Take it to the lake, but don’t stay in the water too long … Continue reading “Get Out of the Lake!”

New Fiction Roundup, August 2019

A book told from the point of view of a Seattle crow, two novels about surveillance states, several short story collections and much more await you this August.

8/1: They Could Have Named Her Anything by Stephanie Jimenez – Racism, class, and betrayal collide in this poignant debut novel about restoring the broken bonds of family and friendship.

8/6: Hollow Kingdom by Kira Jane Buxton – A domesticated crow fights to save humanity from an apocalypse in this debut by a Seattle author. A Peak Pick!

8/6: Right Swipe by Alisha Rai – Two rival dating app creators find themselves at odds in the boardroom, but in sync in the bedroom. Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup, August 2019”

Bus Reads for July

Commuting to Seattle by bus five days a week gives me a lot of reading time. Here’s what I read on the bus in July:

Early Riser by Jasper Fforde. I really enjoyed this book, I think the only issue I sometimes have with Jasper is that it sometimes feels like in his books there are inside jokes I’m not aware of so it takes me a bit longer to truly get into his novels. Once I’m in it though and things start to come together better in my mind I’m good to go. And this was quite a tricky little novel that really kept me reading. I don’t want to give too much away, but the concept of hibernation during winter – considering the current way of the world – was brilliant. It was dystopian light with intrigue and suspense, but in a completely nerdy way. Continue reading “Bus Reads for July”