Book Bingo: Local authors

   — Posted by Linda J.

This 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!

An abundance of choices awaits the Summer Book Bingo player looking to check-off the “local author” square. When I started making a list for you lovely Seattle readers, I ended up with dozens — DOZENS! — of authors and books. To rein it in a bit, l’m starting with three brand new books I can’t stop talking about, followed by two authors who once called Seattle home:

game of love and death  Hugo and Rose  Brutality_Cover  big little man  parable of the sower Continue reading “Book Bingo: Local authors”

Nightstand Reads: Seattle novelist Erica Bauermeister reads local

lost art of mixing at SPLSeattle novelist Erica Bauermeister’s third novel, The Lost Art of Mixing, was just released, reuniting Seattle readers with the group of Seattle friends we first met in The School of Essential Ingredients. A review in Publishers Weekly said: “Bauermeister’s prose is strong, particularly when it comes to food, and her novel brings to life the adage ‘be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.’” We asked Erica to tell us what she’s been reading lately. 

I’m part of an author group called the Seattle7Writers. We started off as a drinking club, coffee or wine depending on the time of day, sharing horror- or hope-filled publishing stories. Over time we became a working group, promoting literacy, libraries, independent bookstores and a general love of reading local. Taking the reading local part to heart, I’ve been spending time with books written within a 100 mile radius of my home – which is, trust me, as satisfying as eating that gorgeous heirloom tomato you bought at the farmer’s market in August. Continue reading “Nightstand Reads: Seattle novelist Erica Bauermeister reads local”

Where It’s At: New books by local authors

This fall brings a particulary good bumper crop of new books by local authors. There must be something in the air/water/mountains/evergreens/coffee to generate this much awesomeness in one place.

Here are some new and upcoming releases to kickstart your fall with some Pacific Northwest flavor:

Blasphemy: New and Selected Short Stories by Sherman Alexie
Sherman Alexie is one of Seattle’s most enigmatic and daring writers. Alexie writes for adults and teens, writes poetry, short stories, screenplays and fiction all while being an all-around raconteur. Alexie writes in bold, darkly comic strokes about Indians (his preferred term to Native Americans) in the Pacific Northwest. If you’ve never read Alexie, then this collection of classic and new short stories would be a wonderful place to start. Oh, and if you’ve never been to an Alexie reading, you simply must–the man will make you laugh until you cry.

The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
Evison’s third novel is about Benjamin Benjamin, a 39-year-old Kitsap County man whose life has gone to pieces. As a last-ditch effort to reenter the workforce and keep himself afloat, Benjamin becomes a caretaker of a teenage boy with muscular dystrophy. They wind up going on a road trip and their relationship of wisecracks becomes something deeper and fuller along the way. The Stranger’s Paul Constant gave it a rave review. 

Truth Like the Sun by Jim Lynch
The 1962 World’s Fair gave us our iconic Space Needle. When the Space Needle’s designer runs for mayor 40 years later, a scrappy young reporter from the Post-Intelligencer uncovers a scandal in the candidate’s past. Lynch makes a thoughtful page-turner out of local history and politics.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
While this technically came out in the summer, this Spokane author’s comic novel set at a seaside Italian villa would make a perfect fall read. Oh, and did you also see that his previous book, The Financial Lives of the Poets, is in production as a film starring Jack Black?

Wildnerness by Lance Weller
This historical fiction debut is already garnering lots of attention as it looks at the aftermath of the Civil War from a Northwest perspective. An elderly Civil War veteran takes one final hike through the Olympic Mountains while revisiting the past.

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
Semple, who used to write for the Arrested Development television series, is generating lots of buzz for this Seattle-based satire. The author also has a great sense of humor about her sophomore novel as evidenced by these fantastically funny pitches of the book with local celebs. Check it out:
 

Nightstand Reading: Kerry Colburn and Jen Worick

We asked local authors Kerry Colburn and Jen Worick to share their nightstand reads with us!

Being asked about our nightstand reads is like being asked to choose between children … but we will for the sake of SPL.

Jen’s nightstand: After reading A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness, which I loved, I went on a hunt for other academic thrillers (having already devoured books like The Historian and Ghostwalk). I plowed through The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomason, and am now reading The Oxford Murders by Guillermo Martinez. Then I plan on getting back to The Passage by Justin Cronin. I am sort of over both vampires and zombies (which may be literary sacrilege, I realize) but Cronin’s writing is so compelling that I’m willing to put my zombie disdain on the shelf.

Kerry’s nightstand: Having just finished Maile Meloy’s lovely novel  A Family Daughter, I found my nightstand empty last week (the horror!). So, I stole a book from my husband’s side: An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin. An interesting insider look at the New York art scene (with a killer endorsement by Joyce Carol Oates on the back), this book nonetheless doesn’t move me as much as Martin’s Shopgirl or my personal favorite, The Pleasure of My Company, a quirky and sweet gem of a book that I may just have to reread.

Editors’ note: Why not get your own book published and on nightstands across the country? Join Kerry and Jen at the Central Library on Saturday, April 2, at noon to learn how to “Publish Your Passion,” or check out their other publishing workshops at www.bizofbooks.com.

(Also, you can listen to Jen talk more about some of these books on the Seattle Bibliocafe Episode 7 podcast!)