New Fiction Roundup – October 2022

The busy fall publishing season is underway, and October brings a slate of horror novels, new fiction by popular authors Celeste Ng, Barbara Kingsolver, Cormac McCarthy, Orhan Pamuk, Colleen Hoover, and much more.

10/4: The Hero of This Book by Elizabeth McCracken
A nameless narrator wanders around London remembering her recently deceased mother, recounting stories from her mother’s life and reflecting on how we tell the stories of ourselves and others. (general fiction)

10/4: Jackal by Erin E. Adams
Reluctantly returning to her Pennsylvania home town for her best friend’s wedding, Liz is pulled into a frantic search for a missing girl. Digging through the town’s history, Liz uncovers a pattern: children have been going missing in the woods for years, and they’re all Black girls. Can Liz discover and stop the evil? (horror)

10/4: Mad Honey by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan
Escaping a bad marriage, Olivia returns to her family home with son Asher, where she takes over the family beekeeping business. But their new idyll is upended when Asher is questioned by police in the death of a classmate. (general fiction)

10/4: Nights of Plague by Orhan Pamuk
When a plague arrives on an imaginary island in the Ottoman Empire in 1900, the local population of Orthodox Greeks and Muslims are divided. Poorly followed quarantine orders, inept local government, and a murder complicate matters. (historical fiction).

10/4: Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng
In a dystopian tale where PAOs (Persons of Asian Origin) are considered a threat to American culture,  12-year-old Bird goes in search of his Chinese American mother, who disappeared when he was a small child after publishing a rebellious poem. From the author of Little Fires Everywhere. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

10/4: Station Eternity by Mur Lafferty
Murder and death seem to follow Mallory Viridian wherever she goes, which is fine since she’s an excellent detective. But it’s also made her a social pariah. A new life on a sentient space station, where her only company are alien beings, seems like the answer. When human guests start to arrive, so does murder, landing Mallory in the middle of an extraterrestrial whodunit. (mystery/science fiction)

10/4: Such Sharp Teeth by Rachel Harrison
Rory needs a change, but returning to her hometown and being attacked by an animal weren’t on her list. She survives, but feels … different. She’s strong, she loves the moon, she hates silver. Is this just the change she needed? (horror)

10/11: Daughters of the New Year by E.M. Tran
In New Orleans, Xuan Trung is obsessed with forecasting her daughters’ futures via their Vietnamese zodiac signs. But her three daughters are determined to follow their own paths, even as they begin to catch strange glimpses of long-buried family secrets. (general fiction)

10/11: Dinosaurs by Lydia Millet
Broken-hearted Gil walks to Arizona, and when new neighbors move into the glass-walled house next door, finds his life beginning to mesh with theirs in this exploration of the self and of community. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

10/11: Illuminations by Alan Moore
In his first-ever short story collection, graphic novel master Alan Moore examines the fantastical underside of reality. (general fiction)

10/11: Little Eve by Catriona Ward
On a remote island off the Scottish coast, a clan is preparing a ceremony to welcome the end of the world, and its rebirth. But when a detective arrives to investigate a murder, the group’s plans go terribly wrong. (horror)

10/18: Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver
This coming-of-age novel follows the story of a boy born in the mountains of southern Appalachia with little beyond good looks, sharp wit, and a talent for survival. (general fiction)

10/18: It Starts With Us by Colleen Hoover
Lily, now a single mother, is caught between abusive ex-husband Ryle and first love Atlas in this sequel to It Ends With Us. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

10/18: The Last Chairlift by John Irving
An extended family saga follows writer Adam, his entertaining and loving family, and his search through family history to discover his father. (general fiction)

10/18: Lavender House by Lev A.C. Rosen
In 1952 California, soap empire proprietor Irene Lamontaine presides over an estate that offers unique freedom to a sprawling, queer family and household staff. When Irene mysteriously dies, former detective Evander Mills investigates, only to be pulled into a game of old money, subterfuge, and jealousy. (mystery)

10/18: Liberation Day by George Saunders
A master of the form returns with a new collection of short stories. (general fiction)

10/18: Poster Girl by Veronica Roth
For decades the Delegation ruled the Seattle-Portland megalopolis with a strict moral code regulated by the Insight, which tracked every word and action. After the Delegation’s fall, former regime poster girl Sonya is imprisoned, but can gain her freedom by finding a missing girl stolen from her parents by the old regime. (dystopian fiction)

10/25: Anywhere You Run by Wanda M. Morris
In 1964 Mississippi, two Black sisters go on the run. Violet kills a man in self-defense, but knows there’s no justice in the Jim Crow South, and feels to Georgia. Marigold, unmarried and pregnant, flees north. But both have someone on their trail, with a motive for finding them both. (thriller)

10/25: The Passenger by Cormac McCarthy
Bobby, a salvage diver, is haunted by the demons of his past and by the death of his sister Stella. First in a duology, by the author of The Road. (general fiction) A Peak Pick!

10/25: The Singularities by John Banville
Characters from previous novels congregate in a drafty old house in Ireland, where they explore the nostalgia of their pasts and connections of the present. (general fiction)

~ posted by Andrea G.

Fall sports season is here

Fall sports season is underway! The Seahawks (football) kick off their season on Sept 12, the Mariners (baseball) are making a run for the playoffs, with the OL Reign (women’s soccer) likely headed to playoffs and the Sounders (men’s soccer) making a last push for a playoff spot. If all the excitement has you wanting more, delve into one of these books on the history, personalities, and art of sports.

The Forgotten First: Kenny Washington, Woody Strode, Marion Motley, Bill Willis, and the Breaking of the NFL Color Barrier by Keyshawn Johnson and Bob Glauber
A year before Jackie Robinson signed with the Brooklyn Dodgers and broke the color barrier in baseball, UCLA running back Kenny Washington signed with the NFL’s Los Angeles Rams, breaking the color barrier in professional football. The Forgotten First chronicles the life of Washington and the other three first Black players in the NFL in 1946 (two at the LA Rams, two at the Cleveland Browns), their accomplishments, the racism they faced, and the paths they paved for the players who came after them. Continue reading “Fall sports season is here”

Seattle Stories

New to Seattle, or to reading about Seattle? Take a trip through the many stories of Seattle with this selection of fiction and nonfiction, recent and classic.

Emerald Street: A History of Hip Hop in Seattle, by Daudi J. Abe Abe
Interviews with artists and journalists trace how rapping, DJing, breaking, and graffiti flourished in Seattle, far from the hip hop epicenters of New York and Los Angeles. 

Uncle Rico’s Encore: Mostly True Stories of Filipino Seattle, by Peter Bacho
Autobiographical essays explore the experiences of Filipino Americans in Seattle from the 1950s-1970s, from everyday moments and celebrations to coordinated acts of defiance and activism.

Written in the Stars, by Alexandria Bellefleur
Free-spirited astrologer Elle and buttoned-up actuary Darcy go on a disastrous date but agree to pretend they’re dating to make it through the holidays, finding that opposites really do attract.

Nature Obscura: A City’s Hidden Natural World, by Kelly Brenner
Brenner explores and celebrates Seattle’s microhabitats – shores, wetlands, forests, parks – and the many organisms that share our urban landscape.

The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics, by Daniel James Brown
The inspiring story of the University of Washington rowing team, which overcame adversity to triumph at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin.

Black Hole, by Charles Burns
A strange plague has hit teenagers in Burns’ horror graphic novel set in Seattle’s Roosevelt and Ravenna neighborhoods in the 1970s. Originally published as a series of 12 comic books.

Hollow Kingdom, by Kira Jane Buxton
A northeast Seattle crow, armed with a TV education and a canine pal named Dennis, may be the one to save humanity from extinction. Finalist for the Thurber Prize for American Humor.

My Unforgotten Seattle, by Ron Chew
Chew, a third-generation Seattleite and journalist, paints vivid descriptions of Beacon Hill, Chinatown International District, local politics and community leaders in this deeply personal memoir.

Skid Road: On the Frontier of Health and Homelessness in an American City, by Josephine Ensign.
Digging through layers of Seattle history, Ensign examines the roots of poverty and homelessness in Seattle, including public policy, health care, and the search for community.

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet, by Jamie Ford.
When renovations at a Seattle hotel reveal a basement full of stored items from Japanese Americans sent to internment camps during World War II, Chinese American Henry remembers his childhood friendship with Japanese American Keiko.

Dog Biscuits, by Graham, Alex
Gussy tries to keep his dog biscuit business going amidst Covid anxiety, police brutality, dating apps and the loneliness of lockdown during the summer of 2020 in this graphic novel.

The Final Case, by David Guterson
In this examination of justice and injustice, a Seattle attorney takes on the fraught case of white adoptive parents of a young girl born in Ethiopia charged with her murder.

Seattle Prohibition: Bootleggers, Rumrunners & Graft in the Queen City, by Brad Holden
The 20 years of Prohibition in Seattle saw plenty of entrepreneurial spirit and mayhem as bootleggers, moonshiners, and corrupt cops tried to outsmart the Seattle Prohibition Bureau.

Still Here: A Southend Mixtape from an Unexpected Journalist, by Reagan E.J. Jackson
Journalist Jackson’s collection of essays and articles explores the stories of Seattle’s Black communities, including her own, often overlooked by local media outlets.

I’m in Seattle, Where Are You?, by Mortada Gzar
Iraqi writer Gzar recounts his immigration to the US, his search for an American solider with whom he had a clandestine romance in Baghdad, and the aid and friendship found in Seattle’s gay community.

Lake City, by Thomas B. Kohnstamm, Thomas B.
After a fall from grace, Lane Bueche returns to his childhood home in Lake City and is pulled into a dubious scheme to regain what he has lost.

No-no Boy, by John Okada
Sent to prison for refusing the World War II draft, Japanese American Ichiro returns to Seattle after the war and faces hostility from family and community. A reprint of Okada’s 1957 classic.

Devil’s Chew Toy, by Rob Osler
A teacher turned amateur investigator, a missing go-go dancer, a bulldog, and Seattle’s gay community combine in this cozy mystery.

Grave Reservations, by Cherie Priest
Psychic travel agent Leda Foley saves detective Grady Merritt from boarding a plane that explodes, inspiring Grady to ask for Leda’s help with a case.

Secret Seattle: An Illustrated Guide to the City’s Offbeat and Overlooked History, by Susanna Ryan
Gain a new appreciation for Seattle with cartoonist Ryan as she walks the city, exploring and celebrating overlooked neighborhood places and histories.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple
Emails and school reports chronicle Bernadette’s descent into agoraphobia, fights with fellow private-school mothers, exasperated disdain for Seattle, and disappearance in this humorous novel.

Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography, by David B. Williams
From filling in the Duwamish tide flats to massively regrading Denny Hill, Williams chronicles the large-scale physical transformations that created the Seattle landscape we know today.

Find more essential Seattle reading here, and at your local library.

     ~ Linda J & Andrea G.

New Fiction Roundup, September 2022

The fall publishing season is upon us! As the days shorten and the rain creeps back, September new releases have something for everyone to curl up with.

9/6: The American Roommate Experiment by Elene Armas
Rosie is a writer suffering from writer’s block and temporarily, unexpectedly sharing housing with Spanish tourist Lucas. But Lucas has a tempting offer – he’ll take her on a series of romantic dates as inspiration for her romance novel. What could go wrong? (romance)

9/6: Back to the Garden by Laurie R. King
Renovation work at the legendary Gardener Estate reveals a human skull, which may be tied to the house’s time as a counterculture commune. Inspector Raquel Laing digs into the case expecting it to connect to local serial killer The Highwayman, but the Estate has plenty of secrets of its own. (mystery) A Peak Pick!

9/6: The Family Izquierdo by Rubén Degollado
Three generations of a Mexican American family grapple with unexplainable misfortunes, until they find a strange object in the backyard and worry that a neighbor has cursed them. (general fiction)

9/6: The Fortunes of Jaded Women by Carolyn Huynh
The Vietnamese American Duong family struggle with a generations-old curse that says they will never find never to find love or happiness. When a trusted psychic says that the curse will end, estranged mothers, daughters, aunts and cousins are reunited. (general fiction)

9/6: The Marriage Portrait by Maggie O’Farrell
In Renaissance Italy, 15-year-old Lucrezia de Medici feels freedom in being the third daughter, largely left alone. When her older sister dies, Lucrezia is married in her place and must adapt to a significant role in a troubled court. By the author of Hamnet. (historical fiction). A Peak Pick!

9/6: The Means by Amy Fusselman
In this comic novel, Shelly Means is an unsatisfied stay-at-home mom in therapy for anger management who thinks that a home in the Hamptons would really solve all her problems. She gets what she wants, and much more than she bargained for, in the process. (general fiction) Continue reading “New Fiction Roundup, September 2022”

Summer Scares

Horror novels aren’t just for October! Whether you’re a die-hard horror fan, or a new reader looking to dip your toe into the genre while it’s still light out in the evening, this summer has several books to entice you.

The Pallbearers Club by Paul Tremblay
This faux-memoir about a formative, youthful friendship where one friend turned to dark forces is told from two perspectives: Art Barbara, resolutely uncool dude, who formed a club of volunteer pallbearers for poorly attended funerals as a teenager; and Mercy, the cool girl who joined his club but was maybe too interested in the dead bodies.

 What Moves the Dead by T. Kingfisher
Receiving word that their childhood friend Madeline Usher is dying, former soldier Alex Easton rushes to the Usher’s estate in rural Ruritania to find unchecked fungal growth, possessed wildlife, and both Madeline and her brother Roderick behaving strangely. Can Alex unravel the secret of the House of Usher? Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Fall of the House of Usher.”

The Hacienda by Isabel Canas
In 1820s Mexico, Beatriz accepts a marriage proposal and finds herself at a haunted estate, where she’ll rely on the help of a local priest to save herself and the others who live at the hacienda.

Continue reading “Summer Scares”