Edmonds Booktalk: From gardening to bunnies, books perfect for spring

By Elaine Mattson

Welcome spring! It is finally beginning to feel as if it may happen this year, and having it stay light later is always a wonderful thing.

And spring means gardening books! Last year I started my gardening fun the first week of March, but this year March was way too cold and way too wet for way too long, so this year it’s going to be the first week of April! An extra month of anticipation will make those sugar snap peas that much sweeter!

At the Edmonds Bookshop, we have some great gardening books all about getting the most out of our Northwest location, from local authors including Ann Lovejoy, Ed Hume and Ciscoe Morris and with topics ranging from low- maintenance gardening, to container gardening, to starter vegetable gardens. Don’t forget the always highly recommended “Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades: The Complete Guide to Organic Gardening” by Steve Solomon and the ever-classic “Sunset Western Garden Book.” Also brand new in paperback is “Backyard Bounty: The Complete Guide to Year-Round Organic Gardening in the Pacific Northwest” by Linda Gilkeson.

And then, of course, you will want to harvest and cook the lovely things you are growing. We have cookbooks galore, many of them featuring local and seasonal ingredients.

Spring also means: bunny season! Easter is quite late this year, not until April 24, so we have plenty of time to stock up on chocolate and new bunny-related paraphernalia. Stop in to see our selection of Easter-related books, and add a special treat to the baskets this year! A couple of my favorite books: “The Easter Egg” by Jan Brett is full of her usual amazingly detailed and beautiful illustrations (pay particular attention to the pussy willows all around the edges of each page!) Also take a look at “Marshmallow” by Clare Turlay Newberry, with its lovely, simple illustrations and a sweet and true story. (Awwww!)

April Events at the Bookshop:

Our Book Club book for April 7 and 27 is “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee. The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, “To Kill A Mockingbird” became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961. A great read still, and a great choice if reading (or re-reading)  a classic has been on your to-do list for awhile.

Third Thursday Art Walk. April 21, 6:30-8 p.m. Join us for light snacks and beverages and our annual evening of poetry! We are pleased to announce the poets joining us this year will be Erika Michael, Martha Silano, Joan Swift and Richard Wakefield. Words from David D. Horowitz (the guy in charge at Rose Alley Press…!): “Erika and Joan are residents of Edmonds, Martha has taught for years at Edmonds Community College and Richard is an old friend of Joan’s with some roots in the Edmonds area. They are all fine poets.”

For more information, visit the Rose Alley Press website and check our Events page.

Some recent releases of note:

“A Lesson in Secrets: A Maisie Dobbs Novel” by Jacqueline Winspear. Ms. Dobbs is undercover at Cambridge! A great little mention in Parade.

“Mystery: An Alex Delaware Novel” by Jonathan Kellerman.

“The Land of Painted Caves: A Novel (Earth’s Children)” by Jean M. Auel. It’s true! A new one from Jean Auel! Can’t wait to see where this one takes us!

“The Troubled Man: A Kurt Wallander Novel” by Henning Mankell.

“Unfamiliar Fishes” by Sarah Vowell. Good review in The Seattle Times. We _love_ her writing! This latest is an examination of Hawaii, “… the place where Manifest Destiny gets a sunburn.”

“Night Road” by Kristin Hannah. Latest release from a local author.

“The Saturday Big Tent Wedding Party: The New No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Novel” by Alexander McCall Smith. This is the 12th book in his No.1 Ladies Detective Agency series. Great review in The Seattle Times, which includes a little background info on the series as a whole, including how lovely, sweet and just a pleasure to read these books are!

“Paris Wife” by Paula McLain. A novel about Hemingway, his wife Hadley, and their life in Paris! Review in The New York Times and in IndieBound.

“Blood, Bones & Butter: The Inadvertent Education of a Reluctant Chef” by Gabrielle Hamilton. Touted in IndieBound.

“The Tiger’s Wife: A Novel” by Tea Obreht. This first novel is getting great reviews: Seattle Times review here. And a review from the March Indie Next list.

Coming soon in paperback:

“Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void ” by Mary Roach. April 4

“The Help” by Kathryn Stockett. In paperback at last April 5. And a movie coming this Aug. 12!

“The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake” by Aimee Bender. April 19

“The Godfather of Kathmandu” by John Burdett. April 19

“A Visit from the Goon Squad” by Jennifer Egan, now in paper and just won The National Book Critics Circle Award

New hardcover releases coming up later in April:

“Question of Belief” by Donna Leon. April 5
“The Fifth Witness” by Michael Connelly. April 5
“Bossypants” by Tina Fey and Don Yaeger. “Once in a generation a woman comes along who changes everything. Tina Fey is not that woman, but she met that woman once and acted weird around her.” April 5
“City of Fallen Angels (Mortal Instruments, Book Four)” by Cassandra Clare. April 5
“Swim Back to Me” by Ann Packer. April 12

And don’t forget to check our website for all the latest book news! [www.edmondsbookshop.com/booknews.htm]

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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