Edmonds Booktalk: Book award season could hold some surprises

Elaine Mattson

October already! And as you may have suspected, September was a record setting month of rain. October is starting out just a tad blustery and damp… a tad… heh. Hold on. Buy batteries for those flashlights, and get a book [or three] to read by candle- & flash- light! Just in case.

The end-of-the–year book award season has begun… and there has been some juicy controversy…always fun! The most controversy is around the Man Booker Awards… the powers-that-be have decided to allow all books written in English as eligible for the award… people are shocked and outraged! [say the following sentence in an upper-crusty-British accent.]

“It is fair to say that the decision to open the Man Booker Prize to American and other English-writing authors outside Britain… has caused a certain amount of fluttering in the literary dovecote.” The entire article here. The shortlist for this year’s prize [untainted by pesky Americans] has been announced, and the six books on the list could not be more diverse. See more at: www.themanbookerprize.com. The winner will be announced Oct. 15, 2013.

The National Book Awards long list has been announced. A pair works by staff writers at The New Yorker, Lawrence Wright’s “Going Clear” and George Packer’s “The Unwinding,” were among 10 books chosen for the nonfiction long list.

Authors Thomas Pynchon, George Saunders and Jhumpa Lahiri are among the finalists for the fiction long-list. Visit the National Book Foundation web site for the complete lists [https://www.nationalbook.org/]. And see a fascinating article in The Seattle Times with some behind-the-scenes info about all of the politics involved with book awards – fascinating! Winners will be announced Nov. 20, 2013

Start reading, so you can see if the judges get it right!

October Events at Edmonds Bookshop

Truth like the sunOct. 16. Our October Book Club choice is “Truth Like the Sun” by Jim Lynch. A hugely entertaining political novel, the cat-and-mouse story of urban intrigue in Seattle both in 1962, when Seattle hosted the World’s Fair, and in 2001, after its transformation in the Microsoft gold rush.

Find more information, and the list of books chosen for the rest of the year, on our Book Club page.

And for some really exciting news about Jim Lynch, check our home page for some ‘plan-ahead’ news!

Oct. 4-6. The 28th Annual Write on the Sound Writers’ Conference in Edmonds. The WOTS weekend begins with: An Evening with Robert Dugoni. Friday, 7 p.m. at The Edmonds Public Library. We will be there with stacks of Mr. Dugoni’s books.

Saturday at The Edmonds Theater, 1 p.m. is Keynote Speaker Benjamin Percy. For complete schedules, lists of speakers, and more info, visit the official WOTS website. And yes! We will be around all weekend selling books authored by all of the amazing authors that are in town leading workshops, and giving seminars.

Daughters of fireOct. 5. Saturday at noon. Join us to welcome Dr. Rita Bennett and her book “A New Look at the News: As Seen Through a Christian’s Eyes,” a collection of her religion columns originally published in the Edmonds Beacon. Visit her website for all kinds of great additional information about Dr. Bennett’s ministries and teaching.

Third Thursday Art Walk. Oct. 17. 5-8 p.m. We welcome author Tom Peek. He will read from and chat about his debut novel, “Daughters of Fire,” “…a tale of romance, intrigue, myth and murder set amid the cultural tensions of America’s fiftieth state.” Visit his website for all kinds of information.

Recent book releases of note:
“David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants” by Malcolm Gladwell.
“One Summer: America, 1927” by Bill Bryson.
“Survival Lessons” by Alice Hoffman. One of America’s most beloved writers shares her suggestions for finding beauty in the world even during the toughest times.
“The Signature of All Things: A Novel” by Elizabeth Gilbert. A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the bestselling author of “Eat, Pray, Love.”
Ages 12 and up. “Russian Roulette: The Story of an Assassin (Alex Rider)” by Anthony Horowitz. The international bestselling author delivers a blockbuster thrill ride in this, his final Alex Rider novel!
“Doctor Sleep: A Novel” by Stephen King. Stephen King returns to the characters and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, “The Shining,” in this riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special 12-year-old girl he must save.
Ages 10–up. “Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures” by Kate DiCamillo. Newbery Medalist DiCamillo and illustrator Campbell meld prose with comics sequences in a broad comedy tinged with sadness.

And coming soon:
“Autobiography of Mark Twain, Volume 2: The Complete and Authoritative Edition” by Mark Twain. Oct. 5
“The Circle” by Dave Eggers. In this exhilarating new novel, Mae can’t believe her luck, her great fortune to work for the most influential company in the world. What begins as the captivating story of one woman’s ambition and idealism soon becomes a heart-racing novel of suspense, raising questions about memory, history, privacy, democracy, and the limits of human knowledge. Oct. 8
“The House of Hades : Heroes of Olympus, Book 4” by Rick Riordan. Oct. 8
For ages 3 – 5. “Madeline and the Old House in Paris” by John Bemelmans Marciano. Oct. 8
“Practice to Deceive” by Ann Rule. The best-selling author unravels a shattering case of Christmastime murder on Whidbey Island. Oct. 8
“Just One Evil Act” by Elizabeth George. The Whidbey Island author’s latest installment in her Inspector Lynley series. Oct. 15
“The Family: Three Journeys into the Heart of the Twentieth Century” by David Laskin. The Seattle-based author of “The Children’s Blizzard” turns to his own genealogy to tell the story of three different paths in his extended family over 150 years. Oct. 15
“Police: A Harry Hole Novel” by Jo Nesbo. Harry Hole returns in a terrifyingly paced, vertiginous new roller coaster of a thriller. Oct. 15
“Identical” by Scott Turow. Based loosely on the myth of Castor and Pollux, this is the story of identical twins and the complex relationships between their family and their former neighbors. Oct. 15
“Provence, 1970: M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, James Beard, and the Reinvention of American Taste” by Luke Barr. In the winter of 1970, more or less coincidentally, the iconic culinary figures James Beard, M.F.K. Fisher, Julia Child, Richard Olney, Simone Beck, and Judith Jones found themselves together in the South of France. In this new book, her nephew uses M.F.K. Fisher’s journals and letters to capture this seminal season. Oct. 22

For teen readers

“Allegiant : Divergent #3” by Veronica Roth. This book brings the Divergent series to a powerful conclusion, revealing the secrets of the dystopian world that has captivated millions. Oct. 22, 2013.
“Aimless Love: New and Selected Poems” by Billy Collins. New poetry by the two-term poet laureate of the United States. Oct. 22
“The Death of Santini: The Story of a Father and His Son” by Pat Conroy. Conroy writes about his father, and his quest to find common ground with him. Oct. 29
“Making Masterpiece: 25 Years Behind the Scenes at Masterpiece Theatre and Mystery! On PBS” by Rebecca Eaton. Eaton, who helped bring “Upstairs, Downstairs,” “Inspector Morse” and “Downton Abbey” to PBS, offers readers a behind-the-scenes look at how the program works. Oct. 29
johnny cash“Johnny Cash: the Life” by Robert Hilburn. The life of one of the 20th century’s most famous and influential musicians — billed as definitive and no-holds-barred. Hilburn is a distinguished music critic and journalist. Oct. 29

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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