Edmonds Booktalk: Uncertain times call for hygge (and a good book)

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So the good news is that we all survived January. And the world is still intact. At least mostly.

Here is one good idea to help get us through the next month or two: surrounding ourselves with only good things and good people. The Danes have apparently perfected this way of life. They call it: Hygge. [If you haven’t seen this mentioned anywhere yet, you will soon!]

Hygge (pronounced hue’-gah) is a Danish word that is a feeling or mood that comes with taking genuine pleasure in making ordinary, everyday moments more meaningful, beautiful and special. While there’s no exact English translation for hygge, several words can be used to describe the idea of hygge: coziness, charm, happiness, contentedness, security, familiarity, comfort, reassurance, kinship and simple-ness.

In essence, hygge is creating a warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people. The warm glow of candlelight is hygge. Time with friends and family whom you love – always hygge. Reading a good book in front of a fire, or snuggled warm in bed – definitely hygge. There’s nothing more hygge than sitting around a table, discussing the big and small things in life with a good group of family and friends.

Hygge is about appreciation. It’s about how we give and receive. Hygge is about being. Not having.

Good hygge to you all! [Apparently it can be a noun or a verb! Fantastic!]

February Events at The Edmonds Bookshop

Feb 16. Third Thursday Art Walk. 5-8 p.m. We will welcome back local Edmonds author Paddy Eger with her third novel set in the ballet world:

“Letters to Follow: A Dancer’s Adventure. Lynne’s Adventures through Letters and Cards”

Marta’s best friend Lynne begins a grand adventure when she travels to Paris on a dance exchange. Her move to a wacky boarding house is not a good fit for an outspoken American dancer but it creates humorous encounters with the tenants. At the end of the exchange, Lynne becomes the travel companion for her harebrained Uncle Leo. She sends postcards and letters to Marta to retell her madcap adventures.

Visit her website for all kinds of great information.

February 2017 Book Club Book.

Feb. 15. “The Plover: A Novel” by Brian Doyle.

Declan O’Donnell has sailed deep into the vast, wild ocean, having had just finally enough of other people and their problems. He will go it alone, he will be his own country, he will be beholden to and beloved of no one.
But the galaxy soon presents him with a string of odd, entertaining, and dangerous passengers, who become companions of every sort and stripe. This is the story of their adventures and misadventures in the immense blue country one of their company calls Pacifica.

See more information on our Book Club page.

Recent book releases of note:

“The Fireman: A Novel” by Joe Hill. A chilling novel about a worldwide pandemic of spontaneous combustion that threatens to reduce civilization to ashes and a band of improbable heroes who battle to save it, led by one powerful and enigmatic man known as the Fireman. Staff recommended. In paperback.

“Idaho: A Novel” by Emily Ruskovich. A stunning debut novel about love and forgiveness, about the violence of memory and the equal violence of its loss—from the O. Henry Prize–winning author. Staff recommended.

“Dodgers: A Novel” by Bill Beverly. A dark, unforgettable coming-of-age journey. Written in stark and unforgettable prose and featuring an array of surprising and memorable characters rendered with empathy and wit, this heralds the arrival of a major new voice in American fiction. In paperback.

“The Sleepwalker: A Novel” by Chris Bohjalian. From the bestselling author comes a spine-tingling novel of lies, loss, and buried desire—the mesmerizing story of a wife and mother who vanishes from her bed late one night.

“Green Island: A Novel” by Shawna Yang Ryan. Taipei, 1947: A stunningly lyrical story of a family and a nation grappling with the nuances of complicity and survival, it raises the question: how far would you go for the ones you love? Now in paperback.

“Furious George: My Forty Years Surviving NBA Divas, Clueless GMs, and Poor Shot Selection” by George Karl and Curt Sampson. The most outspoken and combative coach in NBA history—and one of the most successful, amassing more than 1,175 victories, the sixth best winning record ever—reflects on his life, his career, and his battles on and off the basketball court in this no-holds-barred memoir. And coach of the SuperSonics from 1992 – 1998, lest we forget… New [1/21/17] article in The Seattle Times.

“The Bear and the Nightingale: A Novel” by Katherine Arden. A magical debut novel that spins an irresistible spell as it announces the arrival of a singular talent with a gorgeous voice. Chosen for January IndieNext.

Everybody’s Fool: A Novel by Richard Russo. New York Times 2016 Notable Book. In these pages, Richard Russo returns to North Bath, ten years later, the Rust Belt town first brought to unforgettable life in “Nobody’s Fool.” Now in paperback.

“Behind Her Eyes: A Novel” by Sarah Pinborough. A novel that takes the modern day love triangle and not only turns it on its head, but completely reinvents it in a way that will leave readers reeling. Chosen for February IndieNext.

Books of note being released in February:

“All Our Wrong Todays: A Novel” by Elan Mastai. This debut novel by an award-winning screenwriter is about the versions of ourselves that we shed and grow into overtime. It is a story of friendship and family, of unexpected journeys and alternate paths, and of love in its multitude of forms. Filled with humor and heart, and saturated with insight and intelligence and a mind-bending talent for invention, this novel signals the arrival of a major talent.
“A thrilling tale of time travel and alternate timelines with a refreshingly optimistic view of        humanity’s future.”–Andy Weir, New York Times bestselling author of “The Martian.”

Chosen for February IndieNext. Feb. 7. The Impossible Fortress: A Novel” by Jason Rekulak. This debut novel is a love letter to the 1980s, to the dawn of the computer age, and to adolescence—a time when anything feels possible. February 7, 2017.

Britt-Marie Was Here: A Novel” by Fredrik Backman. Funny and moving, sweet and inspiring, this novel celebrates the importance of community and connection in a world that can feel isolating. In paperback. Feb. 7.

The Forgetting Time: A Novel” by Sharon Guskin. What would you do if your four-year-old son claimed he had lived another life and that he wants to go back to it? That he wants his other mother? Staff recommended and by a local author. In paperback. Feb. 7.

“Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel” by George Saunders. The long-awaited first novel from the author of “Tenth of December” a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented. Chosen for February IndieNext. Feb. 14.

As always, check our website for all the latest in book news.

Happy reading!

— By Elaine Mattson

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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