Edmonds Booktalk: Pulitzer, Edgar book award winners and May Bookshop events

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By Elaine Mattson

Wow! Did any of us survive wet, soggy, oh so cold April? It wasn’t just us. It really was the coldest wettest April ever. Ever. And now we are so ready for May! Thank goodness for a nice day to start it. On a weekend, no less! Of course, the weather gods do owe us, but that usually doesn’t mean much around here. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for us! This coming Saturday, May 7, the Edmonds Museum Garden Market begins (Fresh flowers! Fresh veggies!) – that always feels like there is hope for spring!

Big book-world news. Two prestigious literary prizes were announced in the last couple of weeks: The Pulitzer Prize and the Edgar Awards.

The Pulitzer Prize in Fiction went to “A Visit from the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan; in Biography to “Washington: A Life” by Ron Chernow; in General Non-Fiction to “The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee. For all the Pulitzer winners, visit the official website.

The Edgar Award for best first novel went to “Rogue Island” by Bruce DeSilva; best novel was awarded to “The Lock Artist” by Steve Hamilton. For the complete list of nominees and winners visit the website.

May Events at the Bookshop.
Our Book Club book for May 5 and 18, is “Old Filth” by Jane Gardam. The title of her latest novel, “Filth”, is an acronym (Failed In London, Try Hong Kong) and the affectionate nickname for Sir Edward Feathers, who has progressed from struggling young barrister to wealthy expatriate lawyer to distinguished retired judge living out his last days in comfortable seclusion in Dorset. The engrossing and moving account of his life encapsulates a large part of the 20th century.

Third Thursday Art Walk. May 19, 2011. 6:30 – 8 p.m. Our Third Thursday guest will be fine artist Aleksandr Kargopoltsev. For a sneak preview, visit his lovely website.

Mother’s Day is quite early this year! Are you ready? By all means do not forget to spoil your mothers, grandmothers, aunts, cousins and all the other special women in your life. How about a book? There are so many great new books out, that it will be easy to find something that all of those women will love, and tough to choose just one!

And then at the very end of the month is Memorial Day weekend! A long weekend, maybe a day or two off…? Definitely an occasion for more books! Kick off the summer with a stack of great books to read! And now the fun part: the list of recent and upcoming books – lots of which would be perfect for mom and probably at least one or two that would be great for you!

Recent paperback releases:
“A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism” by Peter Mountford. A debut novel in paperback. Glowing review in The Seattle Times.
“What Is Left the Daughter: A Novel” by Howard Norman. Review in IndieBound.
“The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel” by Brady Udall.
“The Dirty Life: A Memoir of Farming, Food and Love” by Kristin Kimball. Review in IndieBound.

Recent hardcover releases:
The Uncoupling” by Meg Wolitzer. Review in the NY Times Book Review, and in The Seattle Times.
“Please Look After Mom” by Kyung-Sook Shin. Review in The Seattle Times.
“The Pale King” by David Foster Wallace. A couple of reviews in the NY Times here and here.
“Idea Man: A Memoir by the Cofounder of Microsoft” by Paul Allen.
“22 Britannia Road: A Novel” by Amanda Hodgkinson. Review in IndieBound.
“Reading My Father: A Memoir” by Alexandra Styron. Review in the New York Times. And in IndieBound.
“She Walks in Beauty: A Woman’s Journey Through Poems.” Selected and Introduced by Caroline Kennedy.

Coming in May:
“Lost in Shangri-La: A True Story of Survival, Adventure and the Most Incredible Rescue Mission of World War II” by Mitchell Zuckoff. Chosen for IndieBound. Rave review in The Seattle Times.
“Robert Redford: The Biography” by Michael Feeney Callan. May 3, 2011.
“Caleb’s Crossing: A Novel” by Geraldine Brooks. Chosen for IndieBound. May 3, 2011.
“Doc: A Novel” by Mary Doria Russell. Review in IndieBound. May 3, 2011.
“Dead Reckoning (Sookie Stackhouse, Book 11)” by Charlaine Harris. May 3, 2011.
“Sixkill: A Spenser Mystery” by Robert B. Parker. (“Most Spenser fans will be willing to ignore the flaws in this probable first draft and relish the unexpected appearance of one more adventure starring the beloved hard-boiled detective.”) May 3, 2011.
“The Story of Beautiful Girl: A Novel” by Rachel Simon. Lead review in IndieBound. May 4, 2011.
“In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler’s Berlin” by Erik Larson. Chosen for IndieBound. May 10, 2011. Larson will be at Seattle’s Central Public Library on May 31. For more details, visit www.spl.org.
“Buried Prey” by John Sandford. May 10, 2011.
“The Snowman” by Jo Nesbø and Don Bartlett. Review in IndieBound. May 10, 2011.
“Does the Noise in My Head Bother You?: A Rock ‘n’ Roll Memoir” by Steven Tyler. May 11, 2011
“Dreams of Joy: A Novel” by Lisa See. May 31, 2011.

Coming in paperback in May:
“I’d Know You Anywhere: A Novel” by Laura Lippman. May 3, 2011. The Edgar nominee in paper!
“Girl In Translation: A Novel” by Jean Kwok. Review in IndieBound. May 3, 2011.

“Life” by Keith Richards and James Fox. May 3, 2011.

“The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival” by John Vaillant. Review in IndieBound. May 3, 2011.
“Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War” by Karl Marlantes. The award-winner in paperback! May 10, 2011.
“Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter: A Novel” by Tom Franklin. Review in IndieBound. May 17, 2011. An Edgar award nominee!

“The Passage: A Novel” by Justin Cronin. May 17, 2011.
“Room: A Novel” by Emma Donoghue. May 18, 2011.

And don’t forget about some of our recent favorites, good for moms, good for you! “Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet,” “Cutting for Stone,” “Art of Racing in the Rain”, “Maisie Dobbs” (the whole series!).

As always, check our website for all the latest in book news!

Happy reading!

Edmonds native Elaine Mattson has worked at The Edmonds Bookshop off and on since she was 12 years old, and has also worked at a book wholesaler, a book publisher, and for the book publishing division of a large local software company (yes, that one). “I was raised a book lover [thanks, Mom!],” Mattson says. “We got book lights by our beds as soon as we were old enough to read. And then I probably got in trouble for reading too late the very next night. And I still read too late!”

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