Edmonds Booktalk: The best book I’ve read lately

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By Elaine Mattson

A long-time customer, and a woman I have known since I was a kid (hi Mrs. Pince!), asked me what was the best book I had recently read. And it stumped me for a minute. I’ve been reading a lot of books this summer, and have liked a lot of them … but what is the best book I’ve read lately…? A much tougher question than I thought it should be! I finally chose: “The Last Werewolf” by Glen Duncan. It’s his first novel, and it’s an interesting new take on a werewolf story. And the writing, the language that he uses, is amazing, and lovely. I know. Lovely language and a werewolf story! Heaven for me! Although maybe not for everyone…

Here are a few more that made my short list: “Crooked Letter, Crooked Letter” by Tom Franklin (great literary fiction with a secret from the past that slowly comes to light); “The Dresden Files” series by Jim Butcher (just pure fun summer reading – any time of the year!); “Final Jeopardy: Man vs. Machine and the Quest to Know Everything” by Stephen Baker by (the fascinating story about Watson, the computer that took on the humans in a Jeopardy competition); “The Wave: In Pursuit of the Rogues, Freaks and Giants of the Ocean” by Susan Casey (Look behind — under? — the scenes at huge waves, the ships that have come in contact and the crazy people that go looking for them.)

We have declared that summer is going to last through September, so that gives us one more month for great summer reading! See what is on the current local best seller list anytime at the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association website.

September Events at the Edmonds Bookshop.

Our Book Club book for Sept. 1 and 21. “The Gardner Heist: The True Story of the World’s Largest Unsolved Art Theft” by Ulrich Boser.
In the early morning hours of March 18, 1990, thieves posing as cops entered Boston’s Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum and left with a haul unrivaled in the art world. The author’s rousing account of his years spent collecting clues large and small is entertaining enough to make readers almost forget that, after 18 years, the paintings have still not been found: the museum is still offering a $5 million reward for information leading to their return.

Third Thursday Art Walk. Sept. 15, 5-8 p.m. Join us for light snacks and beverages, and discover with us the beauty of Lindsey Baldwin’s book-stitchery.

September 9, 10, 11, 2011. Puget Sound Birdfest!
We are thrilled to welcome to Edmonds, three whole days of Birdfest! The schedule of events and locations are detailed on the Puget Sound Birdfest website.

Highlights include:

  • Dennis Paulson, author of “Dragonflies.”
  • Connie Sidles will present her book: “In My Nature: A Birder’s Year at the Montlake Fill.”
  • A perennial favorite, Burton Guttman will talk about “Finding Your Wings: A Workbook for Beginning Bird Watchers.”
  • Local Backyard Birds experts, Craig and Joy Johnson, with their newest book.

Sept. 17, Saturday, noon. Author Paddy Eger will be here to sign the new book, “Educating America: 101 Strategies.”

Sept. 24. Saturday, noon. Local author (he wrote the book at Tully’s!) Sean Salazar will join us to chat and sign his finished first novel, “Babylon Prophecy.” A brief blurb about the book: Within hours of an accidental bombing in Iraq, retired CIA sniper Al Robek is summoned to investigate. While battling his own demons, Al uncovers one mystery after another.

Bonus! We will have 2 authors joining us on Sept. 24!

Vincent Meis, author of “Eddie’s Desert Rose.” Brand new in paperback, Aug. 10, 2011. Brief book blurb: In the 1980s, Dave and Eddie Bates are just trying to get ahead by taking high-paying teaching contracts in Saudi Arabia. They know nothing about the winds of Islamic fundamentalism sweeping across the Arabian sands. Misunderstandings, trouble, run-ins with local authorities… will any of them make it out alive? And what is a desert rose anyway?

Recent paperback releases:
“American Assassin” by Vince Flynn.

“God of the Hive” by Laurie King. The latest novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes.

“Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer” by Siddhartha Mukherjee. The Pulitzer Prize winning book.

“I Am Number Four” by Pittacus Lore. The basis for the blockbuster movie.

Recent hardcover releases:
“Rip Tide: A Novel” by Stella Rimington.

“The Leftovers” by Tom Perrotta. Chosen for IndieBound.

“The Buddha in the Attic” by Julie Otsuka. The long awaited follow-up to “When the Emperor Was Divine.”

“Cocktail Hour Under the Tree of Forgetfulness” by Alexandra Fuller. The author of one of our favorites, “Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight”, has a new memoir!

“Ready Player One” by Ernest Cline. Stuffed to the gills with action, puzzles, nerdy romance, and ’80s nostalgia.

“Spycatcher” by Matthew Dunn. The debut novel from an ex-MI6 field operative who worked on some of the West’s most clandestine missions. Chosen for IndieBound.

Coming later in September:

“Pirate King: A novel of suspense featuring Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes” by Laurie R. King. Sept. 6.

“Bumble-Ardy” by Maurice Sendak. A brand new book written and illustrated by one of our favorites! Sept. 6.

“Otis and the Tornado” by Loren Long. Our favorite tractor is back for another adventure for little kids. Sept. 6.

“Cleopatra: A Life” by Stacy Schiff. From the Pulitzer Prize-Winning author, coming in paperback. Chosen for IndieBound.  Sept. 6.

“The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern. This debut novel is getting all kinds of great press, including the lead review in September’s IndieNext. Sept. 13.

“Reamde: A Novel” by Neal Stephenson. Sept. 20.

“Lost Memory of Skin: A Novel” by Russell Banks. Sept. 27.

“The Affair: A Reacher Novel” by Lee Child. Sept. 27.

“Feast Day of Fools” by James Lee Burke. Sept. 27.

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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