Edmonds Booktalk: Holiday gift ideas for book lovers on your list

November! The chill is in the air. Time for sweaters, mittens and cozy boots. And to make your lists!

Our annual Holiday catalog will be out in the middle of November; in the meantime, here are a few ideas to get you started:


All recently published and staff recommended

  • “A Better Man: Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #15” by Louise Penny
  • “Deep River” by Karl Marlantes
  • “Dutch House” by Ann Patchett
  • “Olive, Again” by Elizabeth Strout
  • “The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood
  • “Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem for the Pacific Northwest” by David Guterson
  • “The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern [coming 11/5] [technically not staff recommended yet, but we have high hopes!]



  • “A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith” by Timothy Egan. Staff recommended.
  • “We Are Puget Sound: Discovering and Recovering the Salish Sea” by David Workman. Amplifies the voices and ideas behind saving Puget Sound.
  • “Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated” by Irma Rombauer. [coming 11/12]
  • “Edison” by Edmund Morris. Inspiration and perspiration prodigiously unite in this sweeping biography of one of America’s greatest inventors from the Pulitzer-winning biographer.
  • “Me: Elton John Official Autobiography” In his first and only official autobiography, the music icon reveals the truth about his extraordinary life.
  • “Country Music: An Illustrated History” by Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns.  The companion book to the eight-part film series that aired on PBS.
  • “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover. Staff recommended.
  • “Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth” by Rachel Maddow.
  • “The Book of Gutsy Women: Favorite Stories of Courage and Resilience” by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Chelsea Clinton.


  • “A Wolf Called Wander” by Rosanne Parry. Inspired by an extraordinary true story, this irresistible tale of survival invites readers to experience and imagine what it would be like to be one of the most misunderstood animals on earth. Staff recommended.
  • “The Complete Baking Book for Young Chefs” is a great companion to last year’s “The Complete Cookbook for Young Chefs” both from America’s Test Kitchen.
  • “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire: The Illustrated Edition” by J.K. Rowling. Illustrated by Jim Kay. The 4th book illustrated, finally!
  • “Can You Hear the Trees Talking?: Discovering the Hidden Life of the Forest” by Peter Wohlleben. The author of “The Hidden Life of Trees,” brings us a version for kids, in which he shares the mysteries and magic of the forest in language kids will love and understand.
  • “Fetch-22: Dog Man #8” by Dav Pilkey [coming 12/10]

A few of the things going on this month at Edmonds Bookshop:

November 2019 Book Club Book.  “Clock Dance” by Anne Tyler.

Thursday Nov. 7, 2019. 7 – 8 p.m.

Wednesday Nov. 20, 2019. 9 – 10 a.m.

A charming novel of self-discovery and second chances from the Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

Saturday, Nov. 9, 2019. noon-1 p.m.

We welcome Mike Dillon, author of “Departures: Poetry and Prose on the Removal of Bainbridge Island’s Japanese Americans After Pearl Harbor.”

“Departures” opens on the eve of Pearl Harbor and ends at the present-day Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

“I’m surprised at how many alert, well-educated people know little or nothing about this shameful episode in American history,” Dillon said. “Given the current political environment, I felt it was important to revisit the matter and offer fresh angles on what happened.”

Nov. 21, 2019. Third Thursday Art Walk. 5 – 8 p.m.

Come to downtown Edmonds for First Dibs!  A holiday open house offering a first look at all the festive new merchandise before the holiday rush really gets started.

The town gets decked out and each store will feature something special for just one night! A special discount or a gift with purchase or a unique experience. It is always a great evening!

Nov. 28, 2019 Thanksgiving Day. Edmonds Bookshop is closed. Have a great day!

Saturday, Nov. 30, 2019. Small Business Saturday. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Come one come all! Be a part of the 10th annual holiday shopping tradition that brings together communities in support of their favorite small businesses: like Edmonds Bookshop!

Recent book releases of note:
“Blowout: Corrupted Democracy, Rogue State Russia, and the Richest, Most Destructive Industry on Earth” by Rachel Maddow.

“Grand Union: Stories” by Zadie Smith.

“The Body: A Guide for Occupants” by Bill Bryson.

“Olive, Again” by Elizabeth Strout. Staff recommended!

“A Pilgrimage to Eternity: From Canterbury to Rome in Search of a Faith” by Timothy Egan. Staff recommended!

“Running with Sherman: The Donkey with the Heart of a Hero” by Christopher McDougall.

“Unsheltered: A Novel” by Barbara Kingsolver. Now in paperback.

“Janis: Her Life and Music” by Holly George-Warren. This excellent biography paints a complex portrait of singer Janis Joplin.

“ Life Undercover: Coming of Age in the CIA” by Amaryllis Fox.

“Wild Game: My Mother, Her Lover, and Me” by Adrienne Brodeur.

“Edison” by Edmund Morris.

“To the Land of Long Lost Friends: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #20” by Alexander McCall Smith. Staff recommended series!

“Blue Moon: A Jack Reacher Novel” by Lee Child. Staff favorite series!

Some books of note being released in November:

“The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern. This new fantasy epic is a puzzlebox of a book, full of meta-narratives and small folkloric tales that will delight readers. Zachary is a grad student who stumbles on a mysterious book in his library. Pulling on the thread of its origins, he discovers the symbols of the bee, the book, and the sword, which in turn lead him to a secret society that protects a magical, subterranean library. November 5, 2019.

For young readers “Wrecking Ball: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #14” by Jeff Kinney. An unexpected inheritance gives Greg’s family a chance to make big changes to their house. But they soon find that home improvement isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. November 5, 2019.

“The Accomplice: A Novel” by Joseph Kanon. A mission to the Buenos Aires of 1962 to hunt down a reputedly deceased Nazi concentration camp doctor. Emotional zigs and zags leave the reader spellbound as the cat and mouse game closes in on the capture of a detestable unrepentant Nazi. November 5, 2019.

“The Witches Are Coming” by Lindy West. In a laugh-out-loud, incisive cultural critique, West extolls the world-changing magic of truth, urging readers to reckon with dark lies in the heart of the American mythos.  November 5, 2019

“Twisted Twenty-Six” by Janet Evanovich. How far will Stephanie Plum go to protect the one person who means the most to her? Grandma Mazur has decided to get married again – this time to a local gangster. If Stephanie has her doubts about this marriage, she doesn’t have to worry for long, because the groom drops dead of a heart attack 45 minutes after saying, “I do.” November 12, 2019.

“Joy of Cooking: 2019 Edition Fully Revised and Updated” by Irma S Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker, Ethan Becker, John Becker, Megan Scott. November 12, 2019.

“The Second Sleep: A Novel” by Robert Harris. A chilling and dark new thriller unlike anything Robert Harris has done before. November 19, 2019.

“Under Occupation” by Alan Furst. From “America’s preeminent spy novelist” (The New York Times) comes a fast-paced, mesmerizing thriller of the French resistance fighters working secretly and bravely to defeat Hitler. November 26, 2019.

You may pre-order any forthcoming title by giving us a call, or visiting our website.  [www.edmondsbookshop.com]

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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