Edmonds Booktalk: 2017 — the year for non-fiction

Wow, October! I probably should have seen it coming…

It has been quite the year for non-fiction titles. More than a few are about the current political situation, as you may imagine, but there are also many biographies, memoirs, science and history titles that have enjoyed some great attention. There is quite an impressive list of new non-fiction titles being published just this month. Here is a very small selection of the non-fiction titles that have been particularly popular so far this year at Edmonds Bookshop, and then a list of the titles coming out this month that we are particularly looking forward to.

Already published, alphabetically by title:

  • “Al Franken, Giant of the Senate” by Al Franken.
  • “Astrophysics for People in a Hurry” by Neil deGrasse Tyson.
  • “Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow” by Yuval Noah Harari.
  • “Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam” by Mark Bowden.
  • “Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI” by David Grann. 2017 National Book Awards Finalist
  • “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind” by Yuval Noah Harari. A Summer Reading Pick for President Barack Obama, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg.
  • “The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit” by Michael Finkel.
  • “Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977-2002)” by David Sedaris.
  • “Unbelievable: My Front-Row Seat to the Craziest Campaign in American History” by Katy Tur.
  • “What Happened” by Hillary Rodham Clinton.
  • “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir” by Sherman Alexie.

And a selection of the titles coming this month, by publication date:

  • “Ali: A Life” by Jonathan Eig. Oct. 3, 2017
  • “Logical Family: A Memoir” by Armistead Maupin. Oct. 3, 2017
  • “The Origins of Creativity” by Edward O. Wilson. Oct. 3, 2017
  • “We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Oct. 3, 2017
  • “Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II” by Liza Mundy. October 10, 2017
  • “Grant” by Ron Chernow. Oct. 10, 2017
  • “Endurance: A Year in Space, A Lifetime of Discovery” by Scott Kelly. Oct. 17, 2017
  • “Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson. Oct. 17, 2017
  • “Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell” by David Yaffe. Oct. 17, 2017
  • “Where the Past Begins: A Writer’s Memoir” by Amy Tan. Oct. 17, 2017

October Events at Edmonds Bookshop

Oct. 19, 2017. Third Thursday Art Walk. 5 – 8pm. We will welcome author Elise Hooper and her debut novel, “The Other Alcott: A Novel,” just published September 5, 2017.

This debut novel conjures the fascinating, untold story of May Alcott—Louisa’s youngest sister and an artist in her own right.

May embarks on a quest to discover her own true identity, as an artist and a woman. From Boston to Rome, London, and Paris, this brave, talented, and determined woman forges an amazing life of her own, making her so much more than merely “The Other Alcott.”

For more information about the book, and all about the author, visit her web site. [https://www.elisehooper.com/]

Oct. 28th, 2017. Saturday at noon. We will welcome author Lauren Danner with her brand new book, “Crown Jewel Wilderness: Creating North Cascades National Park,” just published September 1, 2017.

This first full-length account chronicles the creation of the park, just in time for the 50th anniversary in 2018.

As the environmental movement matured, conservationists sought to establish a national park that prioritized wilderness, instead of development for tourism or logging. Their grassroots activism became increasingly sophisticated, eventually leading to the compromise that resulted in the 1968 creation of Washington’s magnificent third national park.

Ms. Danner says: I write about the Pacific Northwest and environmental history, outdoor recreation, and public lands policy from my home in Olympia, Washington. Much more on her web site. [https://laurendanner.com/author/ldannerme-com/]

October 2017 Book Club Book.

Oct. 18, 2017. “Commonwealth: A Novel” by Ann Patchett.

The acclaimed, bestselling author—winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award and the Orange Prize—tells the enthralling story of an unexpected romantic encounter that irrevocably changes two families’ lives.

Told with equal measures of humor and heartbreak, it is a meditation on inspiration, interpretation, and the ownership of stories. It is a brilliant and tender tale of the far-reaching ties of love and responsibility that bind us together.

Learn more here.

Recent book releases of note:
“The Golden House: A Novel” by Salman Rushdie. A modern American epic set against the strange and exuberant backdrop of current American culture and politics.

“The Vietnam War: An Intimate History” by Geoffrey C. Ward and Ken Burns. This lavishly illustrated companion volume to the documentary miniseries.

“Sing, Unburied, Sing” by Jesmyn Ward. When the father of Leonie’s children is released from prison, Leonie packs her kids and a friend into her car and sets out for Parchman farm, on a journey rife with danger and promise.

“A Legacy of Spies” by John le Carré. George Smiley returns in this spy novel, though it’s Peter Guillam, Smiley’s devoted assistant from MI6, who takes center stage.

“George and Lizzie: A Novel” by Nancy Pearl. From “America’s librarian” comes an emotionally riveting debut novel about an unlikely marriage at a crossroads.

”Proof of Life: A J. P. Beaumont Novel by J. A. Jance. Beaumont’s latest investigation strikes close to home.

“Coming to My Senses: The Making of a Counterculture Cook” by Alice Waters. A long-awaited memoir from the cultural icon and culinary standard bearer.

“Swing Time: A Novel” by Zadie Smith.
*Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction * Longlisted for the Man Booker Prize*
An ambitious, exuberant new novel moving from North West London to West Africa. Now in paperback.

“Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” by Atul Gawande. The best-selling book that shows how the ultimate goal is not a good death but a good life-all the way to the very end. Finally in paperback.

“Born to Run” by Bruce Springsteen. The revelatory and wildly bestselling memoir by the legendary rock star. In paperback.

“Forest Dark” by Nicole Krauss. The author of “The History of Love” offers a novel of metamorphosis and self-realization. In present-day Israel, two visiting Americans—one a young wife, mother, and novelist, the other an elderly philanthropist—experience existential crises and transcendence.

“A Column of Fire: A Kingsbridge Novel” by Ken Follett. His saga of the Middle Ages set in the fictional city of Kingsbridge, continues with this magnificent new epic.

“What Happened” by Hillary Rodham Clinton. For the first time, Hillary Rodham Clinton reveals what she was thinking and feeling during one of the most controversial and unpredictable presidential elections in history.

“The Good People” by Hannah Kent. *Short-listed for the Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction*
Based on true events in nineteenth century Ireland, this startling new novel tells the story of three women, drawn together to rescue a child from a superstitious town.

“Sleeping Beauties: A Novel” by Stephen King and Owen King. In this spectacular father/son collaboration, the authors tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?

For young readers “Wishtree” by Katherine Applegate, illus. by Charles Santoso. The Newbery Medalist movingly explores the way that prejudice affects a neighborhood after a Muslim family moves in. Through the memorable voice of an oak tree that has been around for more than 200 years.

More books of note being released in October [many non-fiction titles are listed at the beginning of this column]:

“Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: The Illustrated Edition” by J.K. Rowling and Jim Kay.

“Origin” by Dan Brown. Robert Langdon’s new adventure begins at the ultramodern Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and what is supposed to be the unveiling of a discovery that “will change the face of science forever.”

“We Were Eight Years in Power: An American Tragedy” by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The 2016 National Book Award–winning author offers essays that look back at the Obama era, and forward to what’s coming next.

For young readers “Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard, Book 3 The Ship of the Dead” by Rick Riordan. Magnus Chase, a once-homeless teen, is a resident of the Hotel Valhalla and one of Odin’s chosen warriors. Now he faces his most dangerous trial yet. His cousin, Annabeth, recruits her boyfriend, Percy Jackson, to give Magnus some pointers, but will his training be enough?
“The Power” by Naomi Alderman. Winner of the 2017 Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction

What would happen if women suddenly possessed a fierce new power?

This is speculative fiction at its most ambitious and provocative, at once taking us on a thrilling journey to an alternate reality, and exposing our own world in bold and surprising ways. October 10, 2017.

“The Wolf, the Duck, and the Mouse” by Mac Barnett, illus. by Jon Klassen. The great author/illustrator duo is back with a book about making the best of a bad situation. Oct. 10, 2017.

“Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green. Sixteen-year-old Aza never intended to pursue the mystery of a fugitive billionaire, but there’s a hundred-thousand-dollar reward at stake and her Best and Most Fearless Friend is eager to investigate. So together, they navigate the short distance and broad divides that separate them from the son of the billionaire. Oct. 10, 2017.

“Leonardo da Vinci” by Walter Isaacson. He was history’s most creative genius. What secrets can he teach us? Oct. 17, 2017.

“Reckless Daughter: A Portrait of Joni Mitchell” by David Yaffe. This book tells Joni Mitchell’s story, composed of dozens of in-person interviews with Mitchell and her friends, as well as analyses of her well-known lyrics, their imagery and style, and what they say about the woman herself. Oct. 17, 2017.

“Uncommon Type: Some Stories” by Tom Hanks. A collection of 17 wonderful short stories showing that two-time Oscar winner Tom Hanks is as talented a writer as he is an actor. Oct. 17, 2017.

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

Elaine Mattson

— 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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