Edmonds Booktalk: New books and ideas for the year ahead

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Elaine Mattson

Happy New Year!

We started out last year learning:

“How to Hygge: The Nordic Secrets to a Happy Life” [Jan. 3, 2017]. And of course, we learned how to pronounce “hygge!” [something like: HOO – gah]

Followed closely by, “The Little Book of Hygge: Danish Secrets to Happy Living” [Jan. 17, 2017], “The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life,” by a Finnish journalist [June 27, 2017]; then a journey east to “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” [Aug. 29, 2017] “If hygge is the art of doing nothing, ikigai is the art of doing something—and doing it with supreme focus and joy.” —New York Post [oh: ee-key-guy]

Then, back to the Nordic region with: “Lagom: Not Too Little, Not Too Much: The Swedish Art of Living a Balanced, Happy Life” [Oct. 3, 2017]. And on to a much broader approach with “Silence: In the Age of Noise” [Nov. 21, 2017], recounting his own experiences and discussing the observations of poets, artists, and explorers, the author shows us why silence is essential to sanity and happiness—and how it can open doors to wonder and gratitude. And guess where we ended up the year? Yes, back in Denmark with: “The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World’s Happiest People” [Dec. 26, 2017]. [and another word to learn how to pronounce!] The author of the bestseller “The Little Book of Hygge” offers more inspiration and suggestions for achieving greater happiness, by practicing Lykke (LOO-ka)—pursuing and finding the good that exists in the world around us every day.

We have survived an entire year, and even better, the world did not blow up. At least not literally. Which means there is plenty of room for hope and for finding the good.

Find the good. Be good. Do good. What a good world it could be.

January Events at Edmonds Bookshop.

Jan. 13, 2018. Saturday. Noon – 1 p.m. We will welcome our first author of the new year! Local author, Jennifer Wilhoit and her book, “Writing on the Landscape: Essays and Practices to Write, Roam, Renew,” just published in paperback Sept. 26, 2017.

“Writing on the Landscape” is a practical, lyrical book aimed at helping blocked writers to become unstuck.

Jennifer J. Wilhoit, PhD is focusing her current essays and books on the inner/outer landscape: the ecotone between human nature and ecological nature. Jennifer is the owner of TEALarbor stories; she mentors writers, offers “story and nature guiding,” supports people in life transition, and mediates conflict.

Jan. 18, 2018. Third Thursday Art Walk. 5 – 8pm.
Our featured artist will be Natalie Smith. Come see [and prepare to be amazed by!] her faceted geometric designs and watercolors.

Jan. 20, 2018. Saturday. 12 noon -1 pm. “A Sideways Look at Clouds” by Maria Mudd Ruth. An intriguing natural history about our ubiquitous and fascinating clouds.

Author Maria Mudd Ruth fell in love with clouds the same way she stumbles into most passions: madly and unexpectedly. This is the story of her quite accidental infatuation with and education about the clouds above. A captivating story teller, Maria blends science, wonder, and humor to take the scenic route through the clouds and encourages readers to chart their own rambling, idiosyncratic course.

A Washington, D.C. native, Maria Mudd Ruth has been researching, watching, photographing, and blogging about clouds for many years. She is the author of more than a dozen books on natural history topics, including “Rare Bird: Pursuing the Mystery of the Marbled Murrelet” and now lives in Olympia, Washington, with her husband and sons.

Visit her website at mariaruthbooks.net. Follow her on Facebook.

Saturday, Jan. 27, Noon-1 pm. “Magickal Family: Pagan Living in Harmony with Nature” by Monica Crosson. A guide for those who want to practice magick and simplicity.

A real-life guide for those who want to practice magick and simplicity but need a little nudge to take a break from the workaday world. Filled with tips, ideas, stories, and projects to bring you and your family closer to nature … Includes more than 65 rituals, blessings, recipes, crafts, and activities.

Monica Crosson is a Master Gardner who lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, happily digging in the dirt and tending her raspberries with her husband, three kids and small menagerie of farm animals, including a very grouchy donkey named Rosetta.

Visit her website at monicacrosson.com.

January 2018 Book Club Book.

Jan. 17, 2018. “The Nix” by Nathan Hill.

It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson hasn’t seen his mother in decades—not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now she’s reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the nightly news and inflames a politically divided country. The media paints her as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high school sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true?

Books have been chosen for the first part of 2018. Check the Bookclub page for the list of great titles.

Recent book releases of note:

For young readers

“Diary of a Wimpy Kid Book 12: The Getaway” by Jeff Kinney.

“The Midnight Line: A Jack Reacher Novel” by Lee Child.

“The House of Unexpected Sisters: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #18” by Alexander McCall Smith.

“Hardcore Twenty-Four: A Stephanie Plum Novel” by Janet Evanovich.

“Artemis: A Novel” by Andy Weir.

“The People vs. Alex Cross” by James Patterson.

“The Hearts of Men: A Novel” by Nickolas Butler. An epic novel of intertwining friendships and families set in the North woods of Wisconsin at a beloved Boy Scout summer camp—from the author of staff favorite “Shotgun Lovesongs.” Now in paperback.

For teen readers

“Carve the Mark” by Veronica Roth. The first in a breathtaking new fantasy series featuring an unusual friendship, an epic love story, and a galaxy-sweeping adventure. Now in paperback.

Books of note being released in January:

“The Woman in the Window: A Novel by A. J. Finn. A twisty, powerful Hitchcockian thriller about an agoraphobic woman who believes she witnessed a crime in a neighboring house. Staff recommended. Jan. 2, 2018.

“The Better Brain Solution: How to Start Now–at Any Age–to Reverse and Prevent Insulin Resistance of the Brain, Sharpen Cognitive Function, and Avoid Memory Loss” by Steven Masley. Jan. 2, 2018.

“New Minimalism: Decluttering and Design for Sustainable, Intentional Living” by Cary Telander Fortin and Kyle Louise Quilici. The decluttering craze meets a passion for sustainable living and interior design in this gorgeous new book for readers of “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.” Jan. 2, 2018.

“The Women in the Castle: A Novel” by Jessica Shattuck. Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined. Now in paperback. Jan. 2, 2018.

“Celine: A Novel” by Peter Heller. The latest from the staff favorite author, in paperback. Jan. 2, 2018.

“The Music Shop: A Novel” by Rachel Joyce. A love story and a journey through music, the exquisite and perfectly pitched new novel from the bestselling author of “The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.” Jan. 2, 2018.

“Setting Free the Kites” by Alex George. A powerful story of two friends and the unintended consequences of friendship, loss, and hope. The staff favorite now in paperback. Jan. 9, 2018.

“The Chalk Man: A Novel” by C. J. Tudor. A riveting and relentlessly compelling psychological suspense debut that weaves a mystery about a childhood game gone dangerously awry, and will keep readers guessing right up to the shocking ending. Jan. 9, 2018.

“Gnomon: A Novel” by Nick Harkaway. From the widely acclaimed author of “The Gone-Away World,” comes a virtuosic new novel set in a near-future, high-tech surveillance state, that is equal parts dark comedy, gripping detective story, and mind-bending philosophical puzzle. Already named ‘A Best Science Fiction Book of 2017’ by The Guardian. Jan. 9, 2018.

“The Perfect Nanny: A Novel” by Leila Slimani. She has the keys to their apartment. She knows everything. She has embedded herself so deeply in their lives that it now seems impossible to remove her. npr recommended: “She writes so beautifully about these sort of intersections of race and class, which are so prevalent whenever we talk about babysitting and nannyhood and all of that world. And at the end of reading this book, I was so devastated, but I really felt like I was looking at the world through new eyes.” In paperback. Jan. 9, 2018.

“Iron Gold: Book 4 of the Red Rising Saga” by Pierce Brown. In the epic next chapter of the Red Rising Saga, the bestselling author pushes the boundaries of one of the boldest series in fiction. A decade ago Darrow was the hero of the revolution he believed would break the chains of the Society. But the Rising has shattered everything: Instead of peace and freedom, it has brought endless war. Darrow still believes he can save everyone, but can he save himself? Jan. 16, 2018.

“Still Me: A Novel” by Jojo Moyes. A brand new book featuring her iconic heroine of “Me Before You” and “After You.” Jan. 30, 2018.

“The Monk of Mokha” by Dave Eggers. A heart-pounding true story that weaves together the history of coffee, the struggles of everyday Yemenis living through civil war and the courageous journey of a young man–a Muslim and a U.S. citizen–following the most American of dreams. Jan. 30, 2018

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

Happy reading!

— By Elaine Mattson

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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