Edmonds Booktalk: Ideas for those with book-related resolutions on their list

Happy New Year 2020!

Since you are here with me, I am going to take a wild guess that something reading-related may be on your list of resolutions. Read more? Read different?

One of my resolutions: Read books outside my usual genres. I did something similar last year, and it was great! I purposely read more nonfiction than I usually do and some of those ended up being of my favorite books of last year. [spoiler: lots of great memoirs were read and “Pilgrimage to Eternity” by Timothy Egan made my top 10!]

This year I am choosing graphic novels and graphic nonfiction as my category. If you have kids, or spend any time around kids, you’ve heard about graphic novels: “Wimpy Kid,” “Dog Man,” “Dork Diaries,” “Amulet,” “Phoebe and Her Unicorn”…

Here are a few adult-friendly graphics we currently have at the Bookshop, one of which will start my 2020 adventure! [can you stand the suspense?!]

The ones we have seem to be mostly in a couple of categories:

  1. Books already out, with a new graphic version.
  • “American Gods Volume 1: Shadows.” Neil Gaiman’s award-winning novel and the basis for the new Starz Original Series finally adapted as a graphic novel.
  • “Anne Frank’s Diary: The Graphic Adaptation.” The only graphic adaptation of Frank’s diary authorized by the Anne Frank Foundation that maintains the integrity and power of the original work.
  •  “The Handmaid’s Tale” by Margaret Atwood. Illustrator Renee Nault.
  •  “White Bird: A Wonder Story” by RJ Palacio. Palacio makes her graphic novel debut with this heartrending story of Grandmère, Julian’s grandmother in the blockbuster novel “Wonder,” and how she, a young Jewish girl, was hidden by a family in a Nazi-occupied French village during World War II. [new book and story, but related to previous books.]
  1. Memoirs.
  • “Can’t We Talk about Something More Pleasant?: A Memoir” by Roz Chast. Award-winning graphic memoir by New Yorker cartoonist Roz Chast about her parents’ final years.
  • “Green River Killer: A True Detective Story” by Jeff Jensen. Illustrated by Jonathan Case. After 20 years, the killer was finally captured with the help of DNA technology. Detective Tom Jensen spent 180 days interviewing Gary Leon Ridgway in an effort to learn his most closely held secrets — an epic confrontation with evil that proved as disturbing and surreal as can be imagined. [Written by the lead detective’s son. So, a one-degree-removed memoir…]
  • “March: Books One, Two + Three” by John Lewis. Illustrated by Nate Powell. A graphic novel trilogy based on the life of civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis.
  • “Persepolis: The Story of a Childhood” by Marjane Satrapi. A wise, funny, and heartbreaking memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution.
  • “They Called Us Enemy” by George Takei. Illustrated by Harmony Becker. A stunning graphic memoir recounting actor/author/activist Takei’s childhood imprisoned within American concentration camps during World War II.

Stay tuned! I will keep you posted on my progress, and I will let you know about “reading” these books. Yes – the quotes completely tell the tale of my pre-conceived notion/opinion about this genre… but, I have decided/committed to be more open/accepting about all kinds of things this year — this is a pretty easy way to start!

Going on this month at Edmonds Bookshop:

January  2020 Book Club Book.  “The Overstory: A Novel” by Richard Powers.

1/15/2020 9am – 10am

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.

An ingeniously structured narrative that branches and canopies like the trees at the core of the story whose wonder and connectivity echo those of the humans living amongst them.–citation from the Pulitzer Prize in Fiction

This was the PBS NewsHour-New York Times book club, Now Read This choice for November 2019. So much great information on the website here.

Included are some discussion questions, an interview with Mr. Powers, and his list of 26 books that contain a wide range of information about trees, from how the American Chestnut disappeared to histories of radical forest activism… an amazing amount of fantastic behind-the-scenes information!

Staff recommended.

Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020. Noon – 1 p.m.

Join us to welcome Catherine Fransson and her new memoir “Loving the Enemy: When the Favorite Parent Dies First” the chronicle of her ongoing contention with her demanding father throughout her life until his decline in health in his late 90s.

This memoir reveals how estrangement can be overcome with courage, time and an open heart.
More information about the event here.

Third Thursday Art Walk. Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020. 5 –  7 p.m.

We will welcome author Dena Taylor with her memoir “I Don’t Wanna Be Pink: How a single, 39-year-old woman refused to let breast cancer and its fervent culture define her.”
With a special introduction by our very own David Brewster. More information on our website here.

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2020. Noon – 1 p.m.
Welcome Kate Alice Marshall and her new Young Adult novel, “Rules for Vanishing”

In the faux-documentary style of The Blair Witch Project comes the campfire story of a missing girl, a vengeful ghost, and the girl who is determined to find her sister–at all costs.

Kate Marshall lives outside of Seattle with her husband, a dog named Vonnegut, and her two kids. They all conspire to keep her on her toes. Learn all about her on her website, here.

Sunday, Jan. 19, 2020. 1 – 2 p.m.

Join us for a very special Children’s Story + Activity hour!

We will welcome Laura McGee Kvasnosky and her new book “Squeak!”

The creative duo behind “Little Wolf’s First Howling” (2017) returns with this ode to animals of the American W

The alliteration, combined with a wealth of rich sounds, makes the book a joy to read aloud.

Laura will read her new book, and then there will also be a fun activity for the kids!

For more details check our Events Calendar, here.

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

“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.

“Edison” by Edmund Morris.

“The Starless Sea” by Erin Morgenstern.

For young readers “Wrecking Ball: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #14” by Jeff Kinney.
“The Witches Are Coming” by Lindy West.

“Twisted Twenty-Six” by Janet Evanovich.

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

For young readers “Fetch-22: Dog Man #8” by Dav Pilkey.

Some books of note being released in January:

“Such a Fun Age” by Kiley Reid. A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, this is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both. Chosen for January IndieBound.
Reese Witherspoon’s latest choice for her book club. Dec. 31, 2019.

“Dear Edward” by Ann Napolitano. A twelve-year-old boy struggles with the worst kind of fame—as the sole survivor of a notorious plane crash—in this “stunning novel of courage and connection”  ~ Helen Simonson, bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand.  Chosen for January IndieBound. Jan. 6. 2020

“The Magical Language of Others : A Memoir” by E. J. Koh. A powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter. After living in America for over a decade, Koh’s parents return to South Korea for work, leaving fifteen-year-old Eun Ji and her brother behind in California. Chosen for January IndieBound Jan. 7, 2020

EJ Koh will be visiting the Bookshop for Third Thursday Art Walk in February. Thursday, Feb. 20, 2020 – 5 to 8 p.m. More information here.

“Creatures : A Novel” by Crissy Van Meter. Lyrical, darkly funny and ultimately cathartic, “Creatures” exerts a pull as strong as the tides. Chosen for January IndieBound. Jan. 7, 2020

“Why We Can’t Sleep: Women’s New Midlife Crisis” by Ada Calhoun. Calhoun opens up the cultural and political contexts of Gen X’s predicament and offers solutions for how to pull oneself out of the abyss — and keep the next generation of women from falling in. The result is reassuring, empowering, and essential reading for all middle-aged women, and anyone who hopes to understand them.  Chosen for January IndieBound. Jan. 7, 2020.

For teen readers “Black Enough: Stories of Being Young & Black in America.” Edited by National Book Award finalist Ibi Zoboi, and featuring some of the most acclaimed bestselling Black authors writing for teens today — Black Enough is an essential collection of captivating stories about what it’s like to be young and Black in America. Jan. 7, 2020.

“Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life After Which Everything Was Different” by Chuck Palahniuk. In this spellbinding blend of memoir and insight, the bestselling author shares stories and generous advice on what makes writing powerful and what makes for powerful writing. Jan. 7, 2020.

“The Passion Economy: The New Rules for Thriving in the Twenty-First Century” by Adam Davidson. The brilliant creator of NPR’s Planet Money podcast and award-winning New Yorker staff writer explains our current economy: laying out its internal logic and revealing the transformative hope it offers for millions of people to thrive as they never have before. Jan. 7, 2020.

“Skin in the Game: Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life” by Nassim Nicholas Taleb.  In his most provocative and practical book yet, one of the foremost thinkers of our time redefines what it means to understand the world,  Citing examples ranging from Hammurabi to Seneca, he shows how the willingness to accept one’s own risks is an essential attribute of heroes, saints, and flourishing people in all walks of life. Now in paperback. Jan. 7, 2020.

“Deep Creek: Finding Hope in the High Country” by Pam Houston. In essays as lucid and invigorating as mountain air, Deep Creek delivers Houston’s most profound meditations yet on how “to live simultaneously inside the wonder and the grief… to love the damaged world and do what I can to help it thrive.  Staff recommended. In paperback.  Jan. 7, 2020.

“Long Bright River” by Liz Moore. Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, this is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate. Jan. 7, 2020.

“Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives” by Daniel J. Levitin. Jan. 7, 2020.

“Working” by Robert Caro. From the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning author comes an unprecedented gathering of vivid, candid, deeply moving recollections about his experiences researching and writing his acclaimed books. In paperback.  Jan. 7, 2020

For young readers “A Flicker of Courage” by Deb Caletti. Printz Award Honoree and National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti debuts in middle grade with a tongue-in-cheek hero’s journey set in a town full of magic, mayhem, lighthouses… and evil. Jan. 7, 2020.

“Imperfect Union: How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War” by Steve Inskeep.  The riveting story of John and Jessie Frémont, the husband and wife team who in the 1800s were instrumental in the westward expansion of the United States, and thus became America’s first great political couple. Jan. 14, 2020.

“Golden State” by Ben Winters. A mind-bending novel set in a world governed by absolute truth, where lies are as dangerous as murder. Staff favorite author. In paperback. Jan. 14, 2020.

“The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls” by Anissa Gray IndieBound recommended. In paperback Jan. 14, 2020.

“Agency” by William Gibson. A science fiction thriller heavily influenced by our most current events. Jan. 21, 2020

“The Janes: Alice Vega #2” by Louisa Luna. “The Janes has everything–a plot ripped from the headlines and darkly twisted, explosive action, original characters, a dash of humor, and memorable settings. The story grabs the reader like a steel band of cold tension tightening with each new development. Investigators Alice Vega and Max Caplan deserve a long career with many more cases ahead.” –Anne Hillerman, author of the New York Times best-selling Leaphorn, Chee & Manuelito mysteries. Jan. 21, 2020.

“When You See Me” by Lisa Gardner. The bestselling author unites three of her most beloved characters — Detective D. D. Warren, Flora Dane, and Kimberly Quincy — in a twisty new thriller, as they investigate a mysterious murder from the past…which points to a dangerous and chilling present-day crime. Jan. 28, 2020.

“Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou. Rigorously reported and fearlessly written, Bad Blood is a gripping story of the biggest corporate fraud since Enron — a tale of ambition and hubris set amid the bold promises of Silicon Valley. Finally in paperback! Staff highly recommended. Jan. 28, 2020.

You may pre-order any forthcoming title by giving us a call, or visiting our website.

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!


One Reply to “Edmonds Booktalk: Ideas for those with book-related resolutions on their list”

  1. Thank you Elaine for keeping us up to date on books not to be missed.
    I hoped one of them would be mine “The Secret of Anja” The Edmonds Book Shop carries it.
    I am a local Edmonds writer who always feels appreciated when local writers are recognized.
    You can see more about The Secret of Anja on my website http://www.ingridwolsk.com
    I wish you a happy 2020 and I look forward to your future updates.
    Thank you,
    Ingrid Wolsk


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