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!”

Library Reads for August 2019

Here are twelve books coming out in August that librarians across the country are loving. Library Reads usually features 10 books each month, but this time you get two bonus books by authors who are “alums” of Library Reads. Here you go:

The Right Swipe by Alisha Rai: An intelligent, multicultural contemporary romance. Rhi, CEO of the Crush dating app, and Samson, NFL star, embark on a joint project that turns into more than just talk. Issues of #MeToo in the tech industry and the NFL’s concussion problem are woven in. For readers of the Forbidden Heart series, Elle Wright, and Alyssa Cole. Jessica Werner, The Seattle Public Library

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior: When Ellie walks into the Harp Barn, her life is bound to change. Dan the harpmaker is a sensitive soul who gives Ellie a harp. Ellie’s husband Clive thinks the gift is inappropriate and doesn’t support her desire to play, so she takes lessons behind his back. An engaging and tender book for fans of Fredrik Backman and Graeme Simsion. ~ Kathleen Harriott, Punta Gorda Public Library, Punta Gorda, FL

Inland by Tea Obreht: Obreht lays a mythical voice over an already dreamlike landscape of drought in Arizona. A mother and half-grown sons generate a powerful dynamic not often explored, and the youngest, who knows about scary beasts, brings magic and intuition. A journey into a barren world, inside and out. For fans of Larry Watson and Alice Hoffman. ~ Katherine Phenix, Rangeview Library District, Adams County, CO

The Last Widow by Karin Slaughter:  A fast-paced thriller in the Will Trent series has Will and Sara trying to prevent a deadly epidemic. The book tells the story of what is happening to three different people during the same short time periods, as they are unaware of the actions of the others. For readers who enjoy Tana French and John Sanford. ~ Susanne Guide, Union County Public Library, Liberty, IN

Life and Other Inconveniences by Kristan Higgins: Explores the complex relationships between caregivers and their children, as four generations of one family reflect on their past, and the failing health of the family matriarch looms large. For readers who like fully developed characters with real-world problems, and fans of Jennifer Weiner and Susan Elizabeth Phillips. ~ Amanda Kowalcze, Green Hills Public Library District, Palos Hills, IL

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews: The fifth Hidden Legacy paranormal adventure requires middle sister Catalina, now head of House Baylor, to use all her skills and poise to make the right decisions for herself and her family. For fans of Nalini Singh’s Psy/Changeling series and Patricia Briggs’ Moon Called.  ~Lynne Welch, Herrick Memorial Library, Wellington, OH

The Swallows by Lisa Lutz: A dark, satirical book that centers around a school and the revenge that we seek in times of humiliation. It’s a twisty read that will have you following an investigation filled with secrets, lies, and threats. For readers who liked Prep by Curtis Sittenfeld and Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel. ~ Kathryn Neal, Skiatook Library, Skiatook, OK

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center: A traumatic event as a young woman has left firefighter Cassie with a hard shell which breaks apart as she learns about forgiveness, love, and friendship. With gripping firefighting scenes and a love story, this is perfect for fans of Jo Jo Moyes or Marissa de los Santos. ~ Alissa Williams, Morton Public Library, Morton, IL

The Warehouse by Rob Hart: Paxton and Zinnia are new employees at Cloud where they work, live, and have their productivity and location tracked through their smartwatches. Gibson is the dying industrialist who created the Cloud company and is touring the country visiting his facilities. This near-future dystopian sci-fi thriller made me leery of ever shopping online again. For fans of The Circle by Dave Eggers and Notes from the Internet Apocalypse by Wayne Gladstone. ~ Dan Brooks, Wake County Public Library, Raleigh, NC

The Whisper Man by Alex North: Tom and his son Jake move to Featherbank to rebuild their life after the death of Tom’s wife; unknown to them, the town has a dark history and another little boy has gone missing and Jake begins to hear whispers in his new house. For fans of Joe Hill and Paul Tremblay. ~ Jennifer Winberry, Hunterdon County Library, Flemington, NJ

The Perfect Wife by JP Delaney: Abbie wakes up with no memory of how she ended up in the hospital. Her tech wizard husband tells her that after a horrific accident, he spent five years trying to bring her back. But is Abbie’s return a miracle of science, or a nightmare? Delaney’s latest psychological thriller keeps you guessing. ~Joan Meis Wilson, Needles Public Library, Needles, CA

The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware: Rowan travels to northern Scotland to nanny for a rich, eccentric family; a seemingly perfect job until everything unravels. The isolated location, creepy gothic vibe, unreliable narrator, and brilliant twists keep readers on edge from start to finish in a pulse-pounding read. ~ Cyndi Larsen, Avon Free Public Library, Avon, CT

 ~ Posted by Linda J. 

2019 Washington State Book Awards finalists!

Congratulations to the finalists for the 2019 Washington State book Awards!  The awards, a program of the Washington Center for the Book, honor outstanding books published by Washington authors in 2018.

Finalists in all eight categories will be honored and winners announced at a ceremony and reception on Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, 7 to 9 p.m. at the Central Library. The event is free and open to all.

Here are the finalists! Continue reading “2019 Washington State Book Awards finalists!”

#BookBingoNW2019: One Word Titles

Stop by your library and see what one-word titles are on display — and in the stacks.

A few readers have asked if the one-word title reading challenge for Book Bingo can include a book with a subtitle. There are no hard and fast rules for Book Bingo (for any of the squares), but I’m going to weigh in with an enthusiastic and reassuring “YES! Read that book with a long subtitle!” because that opens the door for so many wonderful nonfiction books.

However, I draw the line at an article preceding the one-word title. If there’s an “a” or “the” ahead of the word, it doesn’t count — at least not by my rules. But you should play by your own rules.

Back to the challenge at hand. This is one of the easiest categories for rediscovering the joy of browsing in the stacks. Those one-word titles are easy to spot, and serendipity can lead you to a new author or perspective. You can also start at the Peak Picks collection at your favorite branch, where you’ll find these nonfiction titles: Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2019: One Word Titles”