20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 5 – Tales of the City

Arriving at our fifth and final post suggesting twenty essential Seattle books, after posts highlighting historyraceplace, and Northwest classics, we finish with a handful of novels evocative of our city and its culture.

There are several good mystery series set in Seattle, but when a fictional detective has been on our rain-soaked streets for three decades his casebook offers real perspective. Homicide detective J.P Beamont made his debut in 1985 in J.A. Jance’s Until Proven Guilty, hunting the twisted killer of a young girl while frequenting such vanished local landmarks as the Doghouse. Over twenty titles later, Beaumont still patrols Seattle’s seamy side, most recently in Dance of the Bones. (For readers who prefer a lighter touch, check out G.M. Ford’s classic Who the Hell is Wanda Fuca? starring wisecracking Seattle P.I. Leo Waterman.) Continue reading “20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 5 – Tales of the City”

Science Fiction Fridays: It’s the end of the world as we know it…

And I feel pretty freaked out! Here are three mid-apocalypse books that will make you as nervous as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chair. Continue reading “Science Fiction Fridays: It’s the end of the world as we know it…”

Nightstand Reading: Matt Ruff reads the gamut, from War to Pie.

Editor’s Note: Matt Ruff will be reading from his 2008 PNBA Book Award-winning book Bad Monkeys, freshly released in paperback, at the Ballard Branch Library this Thursday, August 21at 6:30 p.m, in conjunction with Secret Garden Books.  (Matt will also be reading at Queen Anne books on Tuesday, and coming up in October he will be reading from a new work at the Richard Hugo House).
If you haven’t had a chance to read Matt Ruff’s Bad Monkeys yet, do yourself a favor and get it into your To Be Read pile now. It is that wonderful combination of a book that you cannot stand to put down, even though it is actually exploding your head into happy little shards. It is no surprise, then, that Matt has a diversity of interesting reads on his nightstand, and we thank him for offering us a glimpse of what keeps a mind like Matt’s supplied with creative fodder:

In the Red Zone: A Journey into the Soul of Iraq by Steven Vincent – Vincent is a former artcritic turned war journalist who was killed in Basra in 2005. This book, published just months before his death, describes his first trip to post-Saddam Iraq. I’m reading it as part of the research for my next novel.

Watchmen by Alan Moore – A highly praised DC Comics series by the author of V for Vendetta. There’s a movie version due out next year which has been generating lots of Internet buzz, so I decided to pick up the collected edition of the original books and Continue reading “Nightstand Reading: Matt Ruff reads the gamut, from War to Pie.”