Recommended Reads

Recommended Reads: Novel set in North Korea highlights brutal repression

Recommended Reads: Novel set in North Korea highlights brutal repression

The Orphan Master’s Son, by Adam Johnson This novel is about families living in North Korea under the dictatorship of “the Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il. At points it’s a brutal story, and there were times I wanted to stop reading, but I just couldn’t put it down. This novel will move you through a range of emotions as it reveals human nature at extraordinary and at terrifying moments. I think I had to... »

Recommended Reads: Local author uses Rome as backdrop for novel of adventure and intrigue

Recommended Reads: Local author uses Rome as backdrop for novel of adventure and intrigue

A note for those interested – Judith Works will be signing copies of City of Illusions at the Edmonds Bookshop (111 5th Ave. S.) at noon this Saturday, Jan. 17. City of Illusions, by Judith Works There’s no place like Rome. With its abundant architectural and artistic riches, Rome celebrates more than 2,500 years of history. Judith Works’ City of Illusions has given me an exciting taste of contemp... »

Recommended Reads: Book suggests easy ways to live a beautiful life

Recommended Reads: Book suggests easy ways to live a beautiful life

Living a Beautiful Life, by Alexandra Stoddard As I attempt to fulfill my New Year’s resolutions, I’ve discovered a book that goes beyond a resolution check list and reminds that living a beautiful life is in the daily details. Alexandra Stoddard suggests simple ways to easily and inexpensively enhance your quality of life. The foreword points out that many people save up to 95 percent of their mo... »

Recommended Reads: This Christmas romance will make you believe in miracles

Recommended Reads: This Christmas romance will make you believe in miracles

Christmas in the Highlands, by Pam Binder Miracles blanket Christmas, like a gentle snowfall. I’ve discovered this special book; it crystallizes what’s behind miracles. This book displays the author’s belief that time is an illusion, and love is the reality that makes miracles happen. This is a romantic story, and with an open heart it can make you a believer too. Irene travels to Scotland on Chri... »

Recommended Reads: A wintry tale about people taking time to care

Recommended Reads: A wintry tale about people taking time to care

A Week in Winter, by Maeve Binchy This is a week in winter that is years in the making. A group of strangers converge on the opening of a charming, rebuilt, historic bed and breakfast on the west coast of Ireland for a week’s vacation. Each guest carries their own baggage in hand and in heart. They blend together, coming from all over and from all ages, for a moment in time. They share a joyful op... »

Recommended Reads: Spy thriller explores life of World War II double agent

Recommended Reads: Spy thriller explores life of World War II double agent

Agent ZigZag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love and Betrayal, by Ben MacIntyre Do you like spy thrillers? Well, this one is the real thing. This is the true accounting of the self-serving, but also heroic adventures of Eddie Chapman as a double agent during World War II. He was a British citizen with an interesting personal history. Despite his checkered past, he volunteered for the British spy... »

Recommended Reads: A thriller with a Shakespearan twist

Recommended Reads: A thriller with a Shakespearan twist

The Book of Air and Shadows, by Michael Gruber What if your day at work has turned into your worst nightmare, and out of the ashes of that terrible day you discover you’ve found a clue to the location of an unknown play by Shakespeare? Is this your silver lining? What would a Shakespeare scholar do to find an entire play in the Bard’s hand? Whom would a criminal mastermind kill to steal it? ... »

Recommended Reads: ‘The Rook’ an action-packed paranormal fantasy

Recommended Reads: ‘The Rook’ an action-packed paranormal fantasy

The Rook, by Daniel O’Malley This is a novel about adventures on her Majesty’s supernatural secret service, and the author telling the tale has an imagination with no limits. Anything and everything goes as these agents come up against unpredictable, supernatural foes and forces all requiring action in order to protect the blissfully ignorant public. Fortunately these agents are armed not just wit... »

Recommended Reads: Storms of Denali a gripping, realistic adventure

Recommended Reads: Storms of Denali a gripping, realistic adventure

The Storms of Denali, by Nicholas O’Connell Reading this book, I found myself continually re-checking whether it’s a novel, or a factual account. These characters are so touching they ascend from the page and bivouac in my heart and soul as real people. The harrowing description of their expedition is so believable, it‘s gripping. John Walker narrates the story and expedition. He’s a family man wh... »

Recommended Reads: Care for a cup of tea with that murder?

Recommended Reads: Care for a cup of tea with that murder?

Chamomile Mourning by Laura Childs This author serves up a savory blend of herbal teas, pastries, and murder. This novel is just one in a series of “cozy” mysteries that revolve around Theodosia Browning who owns Indigo Tea Shop in Charleston, South Carolina. I’m such a fan of the series, I’ve read them all. I’ve read some of them more than once. Chamomile Mourning is early in the series, and one ... »

Recommended Reads: Book explores the strengths of introverts

Recommended Reads: Book explores the strengths of introverts

Quiet Influence: The Introvert’s Guide to Making a Difference, by Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, PhD “Do not underestimate the determination of a quiet man,” is a quote from Iain Duncan Smith, British politician. The quiet one in the background used to be in the shadow of the attention getters in the world. This book insists those introverts can be highly effective influencers when they make the most of ... »

Recommended Reads: You can’t go wrong with this murder mystery

Recommended Reads: You can’t go wrong with this murder mystery

The Wrong Girl, by Hank Phillippi Ryan Is she the wrong girl? The two women sitting across from each other, recently introduced, look much the same. In subtle and uncanny ways, their mannerisms are similar. Are these women related, long lost to each other and now reunited? Or, is she the wrong girl? Is this really her birth mother? Is this the reunion they’ve both yearned for? Or is this match-by-... »

Recommended Reads: ‘The Paris Wife’ looks at Hemingway’s life through spouse’s eyes

Recommended Reads: ‘The Paris Wife’ looks at Hemingway’s life through spouse’s eyes

The Paris Wife, By Paula McLain I’ve found an interesting he said/she said pair of books. Published after Ernest Hemingway’s death, “A Moveable Feast” is his memoir of his experience starting as a writer in 1920’s Paris, with his wife Hadley Richardson. It was put together by his fourth wife, Mary Welsh, who edited his personal manuscripts and notes containing his observations and stor... »

Recommended Reads: A savory memoir from actress Linda Evans

Recommended Reads: A savory memoir from actress Linda Evans

Recipes for Life, by Linda Evans Start with a large serving of a lifetime of memories including appearances around the world, interesting stories with friends, including many other celebrities, and loves of her life. Season it with many vibrant pictures that spice up the stories. Then sprinkle that with the author’s favorite recipes, as well as some recipes shared by her celebrity friends. Finally... »

Recommended Reads: Four best friends reunited in ‘Once Upon A Project’

Recommended Reads: Four best friends reunited in ‘Once Upon A Project’

Once Upon A Project, by Bettye Griffin It’s an invitation to a different kind of reunion. Its 50 years since the opening of the Chicago housing project, and one of the former residents wants to celebrate their past community. Many of the former residents come, spanning generations. This book focuses primarily on four women who grew up in the project as best friends. They halfheartedly kept in spor... »

Recommended Reads: ‘B is for Burglar’ an exciting, cozy mystery

Recommended Reads: ‘B is for Burglar’ an exciting, cozy mystery

B is for Burglar, by Sue Grafton I’m drawn to red herrings in an entertaining mystery novel — are you? I’ve just stumbled onto Sue Grafton’s “alphabet mysteries”, and in B Is for Burglar I happily feasted on a red herring served up by the author with all the trimmings. At the novel’s end, the surprise was on me. Kinsey Millhone is the single, female, 32-year-old, self-employed private invest... »

Recommended Reads: ‘When I was Puerto Rican’ a touching memoir

Recommended Reads: ‘When I was Puerto Rican’ a touching memoir

When I Was Puerto Rican, by Esmeralda Santiago April 23 is William Shakespeare’s celebrated birthday, and it’s World Book Night. Each year on that night, World Book Givers across the U.S. give away books that are donated by the authors and publishers. The books are given to those who don’t regularly read or don’t have access to printed books. In 2013 Givers across the country handed out half a mil... »

Recommended Reads: ‘Gone Girl’ a chilling thriller

Recommended Reads: ‘Gone Girl’ a chilling thriller

Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn Last Thursday night, author Gillian Flynn spoke at the Seattle Town Hall, Seattle Arts and Lectures series. She is the author of three novels, including “Gone Girl.” This story is a chilling, psychological thriller. As I kept reading I thought curiously how strange this story gets, and then it gets crazier and crazier. Gillian’s novel is plot driven, but the... »

Recommended Reads: ‘The Night Circus’ a magical tale that delivers

Recommended Reads: ‘The Night Circus’ a magical tale that delivers

The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstern “The circus arrives without warning. . . It is simply there when yesterday it was not.” It’s a mystical Victorian circus and as it travels its fame grows. The appeal is to all ages, and a group of fans form with mysterious ways to predict where the circus may appear next. Open only from sunset to sunrise, the night hours are filled with magic, caramel popcorn,... »

Recommended Reads: Book sheds light on secrets to a happy life

Recommended Reads: Book sheds light on secrets to a happy life

The Five Secrets You Must Discover Before You Die, by John Izzo What does a happy life, a life well lived, look like? That is the question this author sets out to research. This book is a description of what he learned from interviewing over 200 people ages 60 to 106. Each person had been identified by friends and family as “the one person they knew who had found happiness and meaning.” It turns o... »

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