Edmonds Booktalk: Suggestions for your summer reading list

Elaine Mattson

Happy June!

As promised, a little list to get your summer reading started. Not surprisingly, it ended up being more than a “little” list. So many good books! I have divided the list into Fiction and Nonfiction [alphabetical by title], and included only paperbacks [at least for the main list. Couldn’t resist a small addendum of hardcovers that we love…] and culled the list even further by including only award-winners and/or staff recommended titles.

“All the Light We Cannot See: A Novel” by Anthony Doerr. Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, with more than two and a half years on the New York Times bestseller list.
“Barkskins” by Annie Proulx. A sweeping magnum opus that follows two families for generations as they attempt to tame their world. A lush and ambitious piece of literature that may be her best work yet. Pacific Northwest Book Award [PNBA] winner.
“Before the Fall” by Noah Hawley. On a foggy summer night, eleven people–ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter–depart Martha’s Vineyard on a private jet. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. Winner of the 2017 Edgar Award for Best Novel. Staff recommended. Coming in paperback June 6, 2017.
“Before the Wind” by Jim Lynch. A highly recommended staff favorite.
“Commonwealth: A Novel” by Ann Patchett. The enthralling story of an unexpected romantic encounter that irrevocably changes two families’ lives. Staff recommended.
“Dark Matter: A Novel” by Blake Crouch. A relentlessly surprising science-fiction thriller about choices, paths not taken, and how far we’ll go to claim the lives we dream of. Staff recommended.
“Everyone Brave is Forgiven” by Chris Cleave. Staff recommended.
“The Girls: A Novel” by Emma Cline. California, during the violent end of the 1960s. An indelible portrait of girls, the women they become, and that moment in life when everything can go horribly wrong. Staff recommended.
“The Glorious Heresies” by Lisa McInerney. Winner of the 2016 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction. Staff recommended.
Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi. This follows the parallel paths of two half-sisters, born into different villages in eighteenth century Ghana, and their descendants, through eight generations. Winner of the PEN/ Hemingway Award; National Book Critic Circle Awards /John Leonard Prize which honors an author’s first book in any genre.
“Imagine Me Gone” by Adam Haslett. Pulitzer finalist in fiction.
It” by Stephen King. If you have never read this classic novel, now is a great time, it’s scheduled to be in movie theaters in September. Staff recommended.
“LaRose” by Louise Erdrich. National Book Critic Circle Award winner in Fiction.
“The Last Days of Night” by Graham Moore. A 19th-century legal thriller involving Thomas Edison, George Westinghouse and Nikola Tesla. Oh, and Eddie Redmayne’s set to star in the movie. Staff recommended.
“Marrow Island” by Alexis M. Smith. Captivates in the first pages. PNBA award winner. Staff recommended. Coming in paperback June 6, 2017.
The Nix” by Nathan Hill. Staff recommended.
“What Is Not Yours Is Not Yours” by Helen Oyeyemi. PEN Open Book Award.
“Zero K: A Novel” by Don DeLillo. A meditation on death and an embrace of life. Staff recommended.

“Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City” by Matthew Desmond. PEN/John Kenneth Galbraith Award for Nonfiction; National Book Critic Circle Awards; Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.
“The Gene: An Intimate History” by Siddhartha Mukherjee. From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author, comes an acclaimed exploration of the science of genetics.
Lab Girl” by Hope Jahren. National Book Critic Circle Award for Autobiography.
“Patient H.M.: A Story of Memory, Madness, and Family Secrets” by Luke Dittrich. PEN/E.O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award.
Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” by Lindy West. This brilliant book will make your sides hurt with laughter while inspiring empathy. West uses humor as a gateway to grab the attention of those who may not normally want to read a “feminist book.” PNBA winner.
Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution” by Nathaniel Philbrick. From the bestselling author comes a surprising account of the middle years of the American Revolution, and the tragic relationship between George Washington and Benedict Arnold.

And a few in hardcover that I could not resist mentioning!

“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles. Brimming with humor, a glittering cast of characters, and one beautifully rendered scene after another, this singular novel casts a spell. Highly recommended.
“The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O.” by Neal Stephenson and Nicole Galland. So much fun! It is an amazing amalgam of science fiction and fantasy, with great, and hilarious, jabs at government bureaucracy. Time travel. Magic. Historical figures sucked in to the story. Highly recommended. Coming June 13, 2017.
“Since We Fell: A Novel” by Dennis Lehane. Rachel Childs, a former journalist enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon, when she is sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness. By turns heart- breaking, suspenseful, romantic, and sophisticated, this is a novel of profound psychological insight and tension. Staff recommended.
“You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir” by Sherman Alexie. A searing, deeply moving memoir about family, love, loss, and forgiveness from the critically acclaimed, bestselling National Book Award-winning author. Coming June 13, 2017.

June Events at The Edmonds Bookshop

June 10, 2017. Saturday at noon. We will welcome Seattle author Charlie Sheldon, and his new book, “Strong Heart,” now in paperback. Adventure, scientific inquiry, a tinge of mystery, and a hint of the unexplainable infuse this meticulously-imagined tale. In a story matching the breathtaking scope of its Pacific Northwest and North Pacific setting, Sheldon’s tale startles, yet challenges us to think.

June 15, 2017. Third Thursday Art Walk. 5 – 8 p.m.. Join us to welcome Lynda V. Mapes with her latest book, “Witness Tree: Seasons of Change with a Century-Old Oak,” published April 11, 2017.

An intimate look at one majestic hundred-year-old oak tree through four seasons–and the reality of global climate change it reveals.

Lynda V. Mapes specializes in coverage of the environment, natural history, and Native American tribes.

To learn more about the book, and the blog she kept while at the forest, visit lyndavmapes.com.

June 2017 Book Club Book.

June 21, 2017. “Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption” by Bryan Stevenson.

A powerful true story about the potential for mercy to redeem us, and a clarion call to fix our broken system of justice—from one of the most brilliant and influential lawyers of our time.

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Seattle Times

Bryan Stevenson was a young lawyer when he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, a legal practice dedicated to defending those most desperate and in need: the poor, the wrongly condemned, and women and children trapped in the farthest reaches of our criminal justice system.

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

Recent book releases of note:
“Into the Water: A Novel by Paula Hawkins. The author of the bestseller “The Girl on the Train” returns with an addictive new novel of psychological suspense. New [4/27/17] review in The Seattle Times.
“A Great Reckoning: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel” by Louise Penny. Her latest spellbinding novel pulls back the layers to reveal a brilliant and emotionally powerful truth. Now in paperback.
“Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning” by Claire Dederer. The bestselling Seattle author was a happily married mother of two, when she suddenly found herself in the midst of an erotic reawakening. While that may sound exciting in theory, the reality was not so pleasant. Her revealing stories uncover something universal about the experience of being a woman, a daughter, a wife.

Books of note being released in June:
“The Shark Club” by Ann Kidd Taylor. In her first novel, Taylor crafts an unexpected tale of romance and shark attacks set against the Gulf Coast’s sparkling waters. A novel about love, loss, and sharks. June 6, 2017.
For teen readers “Once and for All” by Sarah Dessen. In this latest teen romance, cynical Louna finds an unexpected match while pitching in with her family’s wedding business over the summer. June 6, 2017 “The Wangs vs. the World” by Jade Chang. This debut, in which an immigrant Chinese businessman takes his family on a cross-country road trip (which goes about as well as most family cross-country road trips), was a kick; I think it might go nicely with long summer afternoons. In paperback June 6, 2017.
“As Good as Gone: A Novel” by Larry Watson. He captures our longing for the Old West and its heroes, and he challenges our understanding of loyalty and justice. Both tough and tender, it is a stunning achievement. Staff recommended. In paperback. June 13, 2017.
“The Force” by Don Winslow. “Ever since I started writing, I’ve wanted to write a big, New York City cop book,” says Edgar Award-finalist Winslow. This is it. June 20, 2017.
“Today Will Be Different” by Maria Semple. Set on a single day in Seattle — filled with chance encounters, unexpected complications, everyday annoyances, and people who don’t cross the street properly — Semple’s novel is an irresistibly funny portrait of a woman who refuses to give up on love. In paperback June 27, 2017.

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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