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!”

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”

20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 4: Northwest Classics

For the fourth of our posts suggesting twenty essential books for Seattleites, having focused on history, race and place, we now attempt to suggest some writers whose work best characterizes our “regional literature.” In previous posts we’ve already mentioned Richard Hugo and Sherman Alexie, both of whose works certainly belong on this post. Here are some more Northwest classics for your shelf.

With his mischievous, playful tone, Tom Robbins has certainly helped to define our offbeat Northwest style, but when it comes to picking one book for readers new to Robbins, we’re torn. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues and Another Roadside Attraction are both classic early gonzo Robbins. Then again, Jitterbug Perfume and Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas are both terrific, and set right here in Seattle. In the end, we’ll go with our heart: Still Life With Woodpecker. Why? Maybe it’s the way he writes about blackberries, how they force their way into polite society, engulfing dogs and small children, entwining the legs of virgins and trying to loop themselves over passing clouds. Maybe we’re still a little sweet on the girl who gave us this book in college. Does it really matter? Read it. Continue reading “20 Essential Seattle Books, Part 4: Northwest Classics”

My Favorite 2016 Science Fiction and Fantasy

Every year I push myself to read a variety of fiction, new and old, and a mixture of science fiction and fantasy. Here are some of my favorite science fiction and fantasy novels published in 2016:

Continue reading “My Favorite 2016 Science Fiction and Fantasy”

Book Bingo: Set in the Northwest

   – Posted by Misha

Book Bingo Set in NWThis summer The Seattle Public Library, in partnership with Seattle Arts & Lectures, is excited to offer a summer reading program for adults called Summer Book Bingo! In order to help you along on your quest to complete your bingo sheet, we have pulled together some book suggestions based on each category. Stay tuned for more throughout the summer!

There are so many great books set in the Northwest. I mean, who wouldn’t want to write or read about our majestic evergreens, white-capped mountain ranges and superior cups of coffee? If you are trying to cross this category off your summer bingo card, here are some under-the-radar NW set books to try:

22320471The Sasquatch Hunter’s Almanac by Sharma Shields: This debut by a Spokane author following three generations in a Washington State family is told with some mind-bending slipstream weirdness. And it starts with a bang: 9-year-old Eli Roebuck comes home one day to find his mother with a sasquatch. She leaves with the hairy beast and never comes back. Things just get stranger and more compelling from there. Continue reading “Book Bingo: Set in the Northwest”