Edmonds Booktalk: Favorite mysteries, poets — and independent bookstore day

Elaine Mattson

Happy Spring!

One of our favorite book awards is the one presented by the Mystery Writers of America, The Edgar Awards, widely acknowledged to be the most prestigious awards in the genre. The nominees for this years’ best first novel category, are:

  • “A Knife in the Fog” by Bradley Harper
  • “The Captives” by Debra Jo Immergut
  • “The Last Equation of Isaac Severy” by Nova Jacobs
  • “Bearskin” by James A. McLaughlin
  • “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

As an amazing added bonus, G.P. Putnam’s Sons is partnering with the Mystery Writers of America to create the Sue Grafton Memorial Award, honoring the best novel in a series featuring a female protagonist. The award will seek to honor work that has “the hallmarks of Sue’s writing” as well as those of her famous character, Detective Kinsey Milhone: “a woman with quirks but also with a sense of herself, with empathy but also with savvy, intelligence, and wit.”

The nominees for the inaugural Sue Grafton Memorial Award are:

  • “Perish,” by Lisa Black
  • “Shell Game,” by Sara Paretsky
  • “City of Secrets,” by Victoria Thompson
  • “A Forgotten Place,” by Charles Todd
  • “To Die But Once,” by Jacqueline Winspear

The winner will be announced at the 73rd Annual Edgar Awards on April 25, 2019 —and will from now on, be presented annually as a part of the Edgar Awards to honor Grafton’s life and work.

This makes your humble columnist so very happy! Sue Grafton and Kinsey Milhone have been favorites of mine since “A is for Alibi” in 1982. [Please do not do the math!]

All the information about this years’ Edgar nominees is here.

Here is some of what’s happening this month at Edmonds Bookshop: 

April 2019 Book Club Book.
April 4 & 17, 2019.

“In the Distance” by Hernan Diaz
Finalist for the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction

A young Swedish immigrant finds himself penniless and alone in California. The boy travels east in search of his brother, moving on foot against the great current of emigrants pushing west. Driven back again and again, he meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, swindlers, Indians, and lawmen, and his exploits turn him into a legend.

“In the Distance” is a brutal, sad, tender coming-of-age story, set in a historical past that feels both familiar and at the same time like nothing we’ve ever encountered before.”–The Guardian

Saturday, April 6, 2019. noon to 1 p.m.

Welcome author John Dodge with his book, “A Deadly Wind: The 1962 Columbus Day Storm.”

The Columbus Day Storm of 1962 was a freak of nature, a weather outlier with deadly winds topping one hundred miles per hour. The storm killed dozens, injured hundreds, and damaged more than 50,000 homes. To find an equally ferocious storm of its kind, fast-forward fifty years and cross the continent to Superstorm Sandy’s 2012 attack on the East Coast. While Superstorm Sandy was predicted days in advance, the Columbus Day Storm caught ill-equipped weather forecasters by surprise.

Learn more about Mr. Dodge from his blog at JohnDodgeWrites and join the conversation at the Facebook page for the 1962 Columbus Day Storm.

All the information about the author appearance here.

Saturday, April 13, 2019. Noon to 1:30 p.m.

April is National Poetry Month! We welcome two local poets, Bethany Reid and Karen Whalley, each with a new collection!

Bethany Reid as an MFA in poetry and a PhD in American Literature from the University of Washington, where she was a poetry editor at “The Seattle Review”. She has a chapbook, and three full-length books of poetry, including “Sparrow,” which won the 2012 Gell Poetry Prize.

Her poems have won numerous prizes, most recently the 22nd annual Poet Hunt Prize at “The MacGuffin,” judged by Naomi Shihab Nye.

Words from Bethany: I’ve been writing since I was a kid — and many of my poems and stories are drawn from my childhood on a farm in southwest Washington state. I taught writing at the college level for 25 years, and continue to teach and talk about writing whenever and wherever opportunities find me.

Reid will bring her new paperback, “Body My House.”

Bethany lives in Edmonds. She blogs about writing and life at www.bethanyareid.com.

Karen Whalley holds an MFA from Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers in Asheville, North Carolina. She was the recipient of the Rona Jaffe award for poetry, which came with a financial grant that allowed her to take time off work to complete her first collection of poems, “The Rented Violin,” by Ausable Press in New York. Karen has been a resident at UCross, an artist’s colony in Wyoming. She lives in Port Angeles.

Her brand new collection, just published December 31, 2018, “My Own Name Seems Strange to Me,” is the winner of the 2018 Off The Grid Poetry Prize.

Glowing words from her publisher: Karen Whalley’s second book takes up the question of identity in the face of isolation and loss. At its core are twin wounds–the death of a father and the end of a marriage–and the struggle to define oneself in the ensuing absences. … Whalley’s collection bravely questions the nature of self, and finds answers in unexpected places. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019. 5-8 p.m. Third Thursday Art Walk: Poetry Night!

Even more celebrating of National Poetry Month! David Horowitz (and Edmonds Bookshop!) presents: an evening with local poets!

In addition to readings from all of the poets, there will be trivia and all kinds of fun, including a few small prizes for trivia question winners.

This year’s featured poets are:

  • Mary Eliza Crane
  • Erika Michael
  • James Rodgers
  • Joannie Stangeland
  • David D. Horowitz

Visit the Rose Alley Press website for more information about all of the authors, book and events from this local independent press. 

Saturday, April 27, 2019. 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Independent Bookstore Day 2019!

To help you get ready for the celebration:

Here is the official webpage with all kinds of great information including this year’s participating stores. Also join the conversation on the Facebook page.

Here is some great advice and behind-the-scenes info from people that have actually done it!

We are getting ready here at Edmonds Bookshop. Available NOW, t-shirts and book bags, while supplies last!

In honor of Independent Bookstore Day, our Audio Books partner, Libro.fm is offering free audiobooks! It’s never too early to get ready: Create your free Libro.fm account here, so you are ready for the free downloads available on April 27!

We will be updating event information all month, so check our calendar here.

For more information about these events and all the others scheduled so far in 2019, visit our fantastic new Events calendar.

Recent book releases of note:

“The River: A Novel” by Peter Heller.

“The Island of Sea Women” by Lisa See.Staff recommended.

For little kids “Circle” by Mac Barnett(author) and Jon Klassen(illustrator).

“Little Faith” by Nickolas ButlerStaff favorite author.

“Daisy Jones & the Six” by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Newest title chosen for Reese

Witherspoon’s  Bookclub and the lead review for March IndieNext.

“The Woman in the Window” by A J Finn.Staff recommended.

“Army of None” by …  one of Bill Gates best of… in paper.

“The Italian Teacher” by Tom Rachman.Staff recommended.  Now in paperback.

“Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison. Now in Paperback

“The Bird King” by G Willow Wilson. Staff favorite author.

“The Parade: A Novel” by Dave Eggers.

“Inspection: A Novel” by Josh Malerman. The author of staff recommended“Bird Box” invites you into a world of secrets and horror in this tantalizing thriller.

“Horizon” by Barry Lopez. Latest from the visionary author of the National Book Award winner “Arctic Dreams,”

Books of note being released in April [and the last week in March!]:

“A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles. Staff favorite: all of us! Finally in paperback. March 26, 2019.

“The American Agent: A Maisie Dobbs Novel #15” by Jacqueline Winspear. Beloved heroine Maisie Dobbs, investigates the mysterious murder of an American war correspondent in London during the Blitz in a page-turning tale of love and war, terror and survival.  March 26, 2019

“The Library of Lost and Found” by Phaedra Patrick. A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the bestselling author of “The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.” Staff recommended. March 26, 2019

“The A List : Ali Reynolds #14” by JA Jance. Ali Reynolds learns that no good deed goes unpunished. In this gripping suspense novel from the bestselling author praised for her “inimitable, take-no-prisoners style” (Kirkus Reviews), Ali Reynolds and her team race against the clock to stop this ruthless killer. April 2, 2019

“The Overstory” by Richard Powers.  Staff recommended. In paperback. April 2, 2019

“Warlight” Michael Ondaatje. Staff recommended. In paperback.  April 2, 2019

“Noir” by Christopher Moore. In paperback. April 2, 2019

“Women Talking” by Miriam Toews. Based on real events and told through the “minutes” of the women’s all-female symposium, the masterful novel uses wry, politically engaged humor to relate this tale of women claiming their own power to decide. April 2, 2019.
“Greek to Me: Adventures of the Comma Queen” by Mary Norris. The Comma Queen returns with a buoyant book about language, love, and the wine-dark sea. April 2, 2019.

“Maybe You Should Talk to Someone: A Therapist, Her Therapist, and Our Lives Revealed” by Lori Gottlieb. From a best-selling author, psychotherapist, and national advice columnist, a hilarious, thought-provoking, and surprising new book that takes us behind the scenes of a therapist’s world–where her patients are looking for answers (and so is she).  April 2, 2019

“The Honey Bus: A Memoir of Loss, Courage and a Girl Saved by Bees” by Meredith May. An extraordinary story of a girl, her grandfather and one of nature’s most mysterious and beguiling creatures: the honeybee.  April 2, 2019

“Lost and Wanted” by Nell  Freudenberger. An emotionally engaging, suspenseful new novel, told in the voice of a renowned physicist: an exploration of female friendship, romantic love, and parenthood–bonds that show their power in surprising ways. April 2, 2019

“Lost Roses” by Martha Hall Kelly. The bestseller “Lilac Girls” introduced the real-life heroine Caroline Ferriday. Now “Lost Roses,” set a generation earlier and also inspired by true events, features Caroline’s mother, Eliza, and follows three equally indomitable women from St. Petersburg to Paris under the shadow of World War I. April 9, 2019

“The Book of Dreams” by Nina George. Warm, wise, and magical–the latest novel by the bestselling author of “The Little Paris Bookshop” is an astonishing exploration of the thresholds between life and death. April 9, 2019

“Tin Man” by Sarah Winman.  In paperback. April 9, 2019

“Washington Black” by Esi Edugyan. In paperback. April 9, 2019

“Heart Berries: A Memoir” by Terese Marie Mailhot. In paperback. April 9, 2019

“The Peacock Emporium” by Jojo Moyes.  The story of a young woman who finds new meaning in life after opening an eclectic shop and comes to terms with the secrets of her past. In paperback. April 9, 2019

“The Department of Sensitive Crimes: A Detective Varg Novel” by Alexander McCall Smith. From the bestselling author of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series comes a lighthearted comedic novel about a Swedish police department tasked with solving the most unusual, complicated, and, often, insignificant crimes.  Equal parts hilarious and heartening, it is a tour de farce from a literary master. April 16, 2019

“Mostly Plants” by the Pollan Family. “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.” With these seven words, Michael Pollan started a national conversation about how to eat for optimal health.

In this new book, readers will find recipes that satisfy or can be adapted to almost all dietary needs; vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, and dairy free. And the best part: many of these dishes can be on the table in 35 minutes or less! April 16, 2019

“The Moment of Lift: How Empowering Women Changes the World” by Melinda Gates. A first-time author but a very familiar name, Gates writes about her experiences with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and about how in order to make a difference to the millions living in extreme poverty worldwide, constraints on women need to be lifted. (Gates will speak at Seattle Arts & Lectures at McCaw Hall on May 9, 2019.) April 23, 2019.

“Machines Like Me : A Novel” by Ian McEwan. An alternative 1980s London. Britain has lost the Falklands War, Margaret Thatcher battles Tony Benn for power, and Alan Turing achieves a breakthrough in artificial intelligence. In a world not quite like this one, two lovers will be tested beyond their understanding. April 23, 2019.

“Nanaville: Adventures in Grandparenting” by Anna Quindlen. Before mommy blogs were even invented, Anna Quindlen became a go-to writer on the joys and challenges of motherhood in her nationally syndicated column. Now she’s taking the next step and going full Nana in the pages of this lively and moving book about her grandchildren, her children, and her new and remarkable role. April 23, 2019

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!”

3 Replies to “Edmonds Booktalk: Favorite mysteries, poets — and independent bookstore day”

  1. Wow! I’m dizzy with excitement about all the awards, new books and Edmonds Bookshop coming events. Thanks for continuing to share the world of books ‘ala Edmonds’.


  2. If anyone is interested I put the addresses in and here’s the optimum route to do things in. I picked a location from the ones that had multiple locations based on proximity to another store.



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