Washington State is home to an amazing array of authors. You can spend an entire year reading our writers of fiction, science fiction, fantasy, mystery, poetry, children’s literature, nonfiction and more. Check out the Washington State Book Awards for a glimpse of the range of writers that live, work, or have ties to our region.
So, with this rich literary landscape, it still surprises when two Washington authors decide to tackle a similar theme in their recent work. Both Karl Marlantes and Jess Walter have released novels that touch on the IWW aka Wobblies and labor history in our state. What goes around comes around, and the issues of social justice that so many fought for 100 years ago persist and take on new resonance and dimension as more voices and perspectives emerge or are re-discovered. Both Marlantes’ Deep River and Walters’ The Cold Millions (currently a Peak Pick!) dramatize the men and women engaged in the labor movement and the opposition they faced in fighting for worker’s rights.
The IWW started in Chicago in 1905 and “it was the only American union to welcome all workers, including women, immigrants, African Americans and Asians, into the same organization.” The solidarity and strikes the IWW inspired caused quite the commotion and controversy as wealthy capitalists, politicians, and police tried to prevent worker’s rights from advancing. This history forms the backbone of Deep River and The Cold Millions. Continue reading “Two Washington Authors Tackle Labor History”
Where the Light Enters is the latest from Sara Donati, a bestselling author known for her riveting and well-researched historical novels. We asked her to share her own reading list with us:
I read a wide variety of fiction and non-fiction out of personal interest and professional necessity. My novels are deeply researched, so I spend a lot of time reading medical texts and government reports written before 1890. But I also read contemporary and historical fiction of all stripes, from noir crime to romance to short story collections. Ancient Rome, modern-day Detroit, Victorian England, WWII China are all welcome.
If I continue thinking about a book long after I’ve finished it, I consider it time well spent. Here are some of my recent discoveries.
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger
by Rebecca Traister
There is a lot to be angry about. Traister’s book came out just after Dr. Christine Blasey Ford testified, and it reminded me that women’s anger, once focused, is hugely powerful. It has launched movements and revolutions that have changed the world for the better. Continue reading “Nightstand Reads with author Sara Donati”
Seattle author Trudi Trueit’s newest book, The Nebula Secret, is part of the Explorer Academy series of novels from National Geographic. We asked Trudi to tell us about some other middle-grade books she’s been reading and loving. Here are five she recommends:
Amal Unbound by Aisha Saeed
When Amal, a young Pakistani girl, offends the son of her village’s corrupt landlord, she is forced into indentured servitude to work off her family’s debt. In a country where women are perceived as inferior, Amal refuses to abandon her belief that girls have as much right to pursue their dreams as boys. This story could have easily turned darkly tragic, but Saeed chooses, instead, to make it a hopeful one. Amal’s optimism, as well as her bravery and resolve, gives hope to us all that change is possible. At the end of the book, Saeed writes that she was inspired by the real life story of Malala Yousafzai. Continue reading “Nightstand Reads: Trudi Trueit recommends middle-grade novels to read now”
We’re delighted to have Seattle author Will Taylor, whose debut middle grade novel Maggie & Abby’s Neverending Pillow Fort came out last month, here to share with young readers and parents five novels he can’t wait for you all to read. But first, let us tell you a bit more about his novel:
Maggie & Abby’s Neverending Pillow Fort is “a rollicking good time” says Booklist (confirmed!) and “Ridiculously irresistible,” according to Kirkus Reviews (also confirmed). In this first book in a series, Maggie has eagerly waited for her best friend Abby to get home from Camp Cantaloupe, only to find that all Abby wants to talk about is camp things. When Maggie discovers that a pillow in the back of her fort mysteriously leads into the one Abby built, the two friends are just an arm’s length away — and set for adventure. Continue reading “Nightstand Reads: Author Will Taylor Shares Some Favorite Middle Grade Books”