Edmonds Booktalk: What to read in the New Year

My Edmonds News is pleased to introduce our new columnist, Elaine Mattson of the Edmonds Bookshop, and her monthly “Booktalk” column.

By Elaine Mattson

How has the New Year been treating you so far? Any unbroken resolutions remaining? Our favorite resolutions here at the Edmonds Bookshop have to do with reading more! For example: less screen time? A great alternative is more page time! Or expand your horizons by trying a genre that you don’t usually read… try a classic, or a non-fiction title, or how about a great science fiction or fantasy novel? This time of year there are also quite a few “Best of 2010” lists to get you started or to add to your reading lists. Here are links to a few of the lists that we like!

The Seattle Times’ list of the best books of 2010.

Seattle Times book editor, Mary Ann Gwinn’s picks for best biographies of the year.

The New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2010.

And then the NYT editors narrow it down even further: The 10 Best Books of the Year.

The Wall Street Journal’s Books our Critics Loved List.

Our Book Club list is also a great place to get ideas for what to read next. We have something for everyone coming up this year: a staff favorite set in WWII Russia; a great non-fiction read about one man’s experience during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina; an American classic; something quite British; and a debut novel, from a local author, with plot twists and turns! Our February title is City of Thieves by David Benioff and March is Zeitoun by Dave Eggers. Check our Book Club page for all of the details.

It is award season! Along with movie and tv awards, it is also book award season!

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) has announced five winners of the 2011 Pacific Northwest Book Awards:

The Lonely Polygamist by Brady Udall.

Matterhorn by Karl Marlantes

Memory Wall by Anthony Doerr.

River House: A Memoir by Sarahlee Lawrence

The PNBA’s Lifetime Achievement award went to Seattle librarian and author Nancy Pearl for her “Book Lust” series of reading guides and her illustrious career, first as a librarian, then as an author and champion of books. Here is the official announcement on the PNBA web site.

Nancy Pearl was also just named Library Journal’s Librarian of the Year! See the announcement here in The Seattle Times.

The 2011 Newbery and Caldecott Awards were announced:

Clare Vanderpool’s Moon Over Manifest won the John Newbery Medal and A Sick Day for Amos McGee received the Randolph Caldecott Medal. Illustrated by Erin E. Stead and written by her husband Philip C. Stead.

The 2010 Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry was just won by local poet Lucia Perillo for her 2009 book Inseminating the Elephant, from one of our amazing local publishers Copper Canyon Press.

February Events

A Different Kind of Book Group. Sunday, Feb. 6,  3-4 p.m. Anne Stewart, an English teacher in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program at Edmonds-Woodway High School, has agreed to lead discussions of a few high school reading list books for us! We will get to view the book through the lens of the IB method of analysis, noticing how the craft of writing informs our experience as readers. The February book is Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer.

Our Third Thursday Artist of the Month will be Pulitzer-prize winning photojournalist, (Edmonds High School alum, and former Edmonds resident!) Jerry Gay. Join us from 5-8 p.m. on Feb. 17 to say hello and celebrate the publication of his beautiful new book of photographs, Seeing Reality: Humanity, Humility and Humor.

New books! Some recent releases

Tick Tock by James Patterson, Michael Ledwidge.
My Father at 100: A Memoir by Ron Reagan. Excerpt in Parade Magazine.
Clara and Mr. Tiffany: A Novel by Susan Vreeland. A new novel from one of our favorite authors of Girl in Hyacinth Blue and Luncheon of the Boating Party.
The Sentry : A Joe Pike Novel by Robert Crais. Great review in the Seattle Times.
The Empty Family: Stories by Colm Toibin. Lovely review/recommendation in the Seattle Times.
Awakened (House of Night) by P. C. Cast, Kristin Cast.
The Lake of Dreams: A Novel by Kim Edwards. Brand new novel from the author of The Memory Keeper’s Daughter.
The Attenbury Emeralds: The New Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane Mystery by Jill Paton Walsh. The series begun by lauded author Dorothy L. Sayers is continued!
Poser: My Life in Twenty-three Yoga Poses by local author, Claire Dederer. Great review in the Seattle Times.

Recently released in paperback

Noah’s Compass by Anne Tyler.
The Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Book Five: Last Olympian by Rick Riordan.
The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande.
Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.
What the Dog Saw: And Other Adventures by Malcolm Gladwell.
Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand: A Novel by Helen Simonson.

Upcoming releases

Committed: A Love Story by Elizabeth Gilbert. In paperback. February 1, 2011.

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis. In paperback. February 1, 2011.
Gideon’s Sword by Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child. February 22, 2011.
The Union Quilters: An Elm Creek Quilts Novel by Jennifer Chiaverini. February 22, 2011.
The Wise Man’s Fear (Kingkiller Chronicles, Day 2) by Patrick Rothfuss. March 1, 2011. Finally!
River Marked (Mercy Thompson, Book 6) by Patricia Briggs. March 1, 2011.

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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