Edmonds Booktalk: Take a mini-vacation this spring with these great paperbacks

By Elaine Mattson

Welcome April! Maybe someday soon we will get to have spring…? In the meantime, I have heard that there are spring vacations looming, and luckily, there are a bunch of books, just out in paperback, that will make great vacation reading. Even if you don’t get to actually go anywhere, they can give you a mini-escape!

“The Hunger Games,” the movie has opened! Have you seen it yet? Did it live up to the hype? Did it do justice to the book? If you haven’t read it yet — read it now! And then there are books #2 and #3 waiting for you! (Seriously – buy all three – you’ll be really glad to have the next one at midnight some night!) Great spring reading for a couple of different age groups!

My favorite book from last year is finally in paperback! “The Last Werewolf” by Glen Duncan. Yes, it’s a werewolf tale, but truly, the best book — and the best written — that I read all of last year [and so far this year, for that matter!] You have been warned: I will talk more of you into trying this now that it’s in paper!

For pure escapism, you can’t beat Gail Carriger’s Parasol Protectorate series, starting with “Soulless,” and ending with #5 “Timeless,” just published last month, I am hoping she does more with the world she created — steam punk/fantasy, with just enough romance thrown in; werewolves and vampires coexisting, more-or-less peacefully, with humans in Victorian England. And where it is way more socially challenging to be Scottish, than to be a werewolf… Funny, and fun, quick reads — and best of all, our heroine is smart and funny, and gets some great digs in at her annoying, vapid younger sisters!

“Final Jeopardy: The Story of Watson, the Computer that Will Transform our World” by Stephen Baker. Loved this behind the scenes look at how Watson was conceived and developed, and some of the, unintentionally, crazy/hilarious mistakes that he made on his way to learning how to  beat the human champions.

“The Affair” by Lee Child. The latest Jack Reacher in paperback!

“Before I Go to Sleep” by S. J. Watson. Psychological mystery/thriller that sucks you right in, with twists that none of us saw coming!

It seems that a bunch of my favorite authors got together and decided to release all kinds of great new books in April. Thrilled, truly. But, apparently, I am going to need to quit my jobs and just spend the month reading. (Hmmmm. Now I _really_ wish I had won that huge lottery!)

“Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel” by Jacqueline Winspear. [released March 27] Chosen for IndieBound.

“Sacre Bleu: A Comedy d’Art” by Christopher Moore. In his latest masterpiece, Moore takes on the Great French Masters. It is part mystery, part history (sort of), part love story, and wholly hilarious as it follows a young baker-painter as he joins the dapper Henri Toulouse-Lautrec on a quest to unravel the mystery behind the supposed “suicide” of Vincent van Gogh. Cannot wait! Chosen for IndieBound April 3, 2012.

A new Jim Lynch! “Truth Like the Sun,” set in Seattle, partially in 1962 around the World’s Fair, and which I have on good authority is: ‘GOOD!’” April 10, 2012.

“Let’s Pretend This Never Happened: A Mostly True Memoir” by Jenny Lawson. This will have a recommended tag in it as soon as it arrives! Funny, and so wrong (in all the right ways!)  April 17, 2012. (OK, I got a sneak peak at this one – already read and loved it!)

“The Wind through the Keyhole: A Dark Tower Novel” by Stephen King. They tell me this is a great introduction to the epic Dark Tower series, as well as an immensely satisfying stand-alone novel for those of us that are already fans. OK, I’m in! April 24, 2012.

April Events at the Edmonds Bookshop.
Our Book Club book for April 5 and 18. “The Thousand Autumns of Jacob de Zoet” by David Mitchell.


April 14. Saturday, noon. We are thrilled to welcome three new authors on one Saturday! Marissa Burt, Anne Nesbet, and J. Anderson Coats will join us to read from, and talk about, their debut novels!

Marissa Burt’s book is “Storybound,” coming out April 3.

Anne Nesbet is the author of “The Cabinet of the Earths.” This novel was released Jan. 3. Age Level: 10 and up. Grade Level: 5 and up.

“The Wicked and the Just” is J. Anderson Coats’ new Young Adult novel. Due out April 17. Ages 12 and up. Lots more details on our website.

Third Thursday Art Walk. April 19. 6:30 p.m. To celebrate Poetry Month, we will have an amazing lineup of local poets: Victoria Ford, Holly Hughes, Jack McCarthy, Joannie Stangeland and Joan Swift. More details here.

More recent book releases of note:

“Clara and Mr.Tiffany” by Susan Vreeland. In paperback! Chosen for IndieBound.

“Some Assembly Required: A Journal of My Son’s First Son” by Anne Lamott.  She shares all about an unexpected grandchild. Chosen for IndieBound.

“Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed. This new memoir recounts how the author found her way out of sorrow and loss by hiking 1,100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. Great review in the New York Times and in the Seattle Times and chosen for IndieBound.

And also coming in April:

“The Beginner’s Goodbye” by Pulitzer-Prize-winning novelist Anne Tyler. Reviews in the Seattle Times and chosen for IndieBound. April 3.

“Please Look After Mom” by Kyung-Sook Shin. New in paperback. Chosen for IndieBound. April 3.

“Coffins of Little Hope” by Timothy Schaffert. Paperback. Chosen for IndieBound. April 3.

“Dovekeepers” by Alice Hoffman. Paperback. Chosen for IndieBound

“Say Her Name” by Francisco Goldman. In paper. Chosen for IndieBound. April 10.

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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