Edmonds Booktalk: Tantalizing titles for autumn

Presented for your consideration: books being published this fall with great advance reviews and some interesting buzz…

We are so happy to have you back in the store!

A quick refresher on Edmonds Bookshop operations: we remain open under Phase 2 guidance, with masks and use of hand sanitizer required for entry; we enforce a limit of about six customers at a time, so we request that you respect social distancing and keep lollygagging and dillydallying to a minimum… as much as possible! We continue to provide curbside pick-up, free local delivery and free shipping to help keep our community safe.

Last month I featured a list of book-world “comfort-food-titles” – books from authors we already know and love — that are being published this fall. See here for that column.

This month I present for your consideration, a list of even more books coming this fall! Some have great advance reviews, most have lots of buzz, and some of these just sound really intriguing! Listed in order of publishing date [*all dates are subject to change, especially this year]:

  • “His Only Wife” by Peace Adzo Medie. An intelligent and funny debut about a relatable, indomitable heroine: a young seamstress in Ghana who agrees to an arranged marriage, only to realize that some compromises are too extreme to accept, illuminating what it means to be a woman in a rapidly changing world. September 1, 2020.
  • “When No One Is Watching: A Thriller” by Alyssa Cole. In paperback. Chosen for IndieNext. September 1, 2020.
  • “The Quiet Americans: Four CIA Spies at the Dawn of the Cold War–A Tragedy in Three Acts” by Scott Anderson. From the bestselling author of “Lawrence of Arabia” comes a gripping history of the early years of the Cold War, the CIA’s covert battles against communism, and the tragic consequences which still affect America and the world today. September 1, 2020.
  • “Daddy: Stories” by Emma Cline. Cline writes with such grace and precision that every sentence is a joy to absorb. September 1, 2020.
  • “Transcendent Kingdom” by Yaa Gyasi. The stunning follow-up to her acclaimed best seller “Homegoing” is a powerful, raw, intimate, deeply layered novel about a Ghanaian family in Alabama. Glowing review in The Washington Post. Selected for IndieNext. September 1, 2020.
  • “The Night Portrait: A Novel of World War II and Da Vinci’s Italy” by Laura Morelli. Art and WWII! In paperback. September 8, 2020.
  • “Homeland Elegies” by Ayad Akhtar. In this new novel, set in the post-9/11 United States, Pulitzer-winning playwright and novelist Akhtar offers a tale of autofiction* about a Staten Island–born man and his Pakistani immigrant father as they navigate Trump’s America. September 8, 2020. [*the story is quite reminiscent of his life. He gets to call it fiction. We get to judge…] Chosen for IndieNext.
  • “The Gifts of Imperfection: 10th Anniversary Edition” by Brené Brown. In hardcover for the first time, the tenth-anniversary edition of the game-changing bestseller features a new foreword and brand-new tools to make the work your own. September 8, 2020.
  • “What Can I Do?: My Path from Climate Despair to Action” by Jane Fonda. A call to action from one of the most inspiring activists of our time, urging us to wake up to the looming disaster of climate change and equipping us with the tools we need to join her in protest. September 8, 2020.
  • “Eat a Peach: A Memoir” by David Chang. The chef behind Momofuku and star of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious shares an intimate account of the making of a chef, the story of the modern restaurant world that he helped shape, and how he discovered that success can be much harder to understand than failure. Chosen for IndieNext. September 8, 2020.
  • “The Book of Two Ways” by Jodi Picoult. From the bestselling author of “Small Great Things” comes a riveting novel about the choices that alter the course of our lives. September 22, 2020.
  • “How to Fly (in Ten Thousand Easy Lessons): Poetry” by Barbara Kingsolver. September 22, 2020.
  • “Just Like You” by Nick Hornby. This warm, wise, highly entertaining twenty-first century love story is about what happens when the person who makes you happiest is someone you never expected. September 29, 2020.
  • “Hench” by Natalie Zina Walschots. A sharp, witty, modern debut, that explores the individual cost of justice through a fascinating mix of Millennial office politics, heroism measured through data science, body horror, and a profound misunderstanding of quantum mechanics. How can we resist?! Chosen for IndieNext. September 22, 2020.
  • “The Daughters of Yalta: The Churchills, Roosevelts, and Harrimans: A Story of Love and War” by Catherine Grace Katz. The untold story of the three intelligent and glamorous young women who accompanied their famous fathers to the Yalta Conference in February 1945, and of the conference’s fateful reverberations in the waning days of World War II. [sounds like a terrific follow-up to Eric Larson’s “The Splendid and The Vile.”] September 29, 2020.
  • “A Deadly Education: The Scholomance #1” by Naomi Novik. This buzzed-about new fantasy [the first in a planned trilogy] is set in a brutal, otherworldly boarding school called Scholomance. Here, the students must fend off encroaching monsters in Darwinian fashion; the unlucky ones get eaten, while the lucky ones are allowed to graduate. In a bid for survival, sorceress El and monster slayer Orion strike up an alliance. October 2020 Indie Next Pick. September 29, 2020.
  • “The Invisible Life of Addie Larue” by E. Schwab. Would you be willing to accept a bargain for eternal life, if it meant that you would be forgotten by everyone who you ever met? In 1714 France Addie LaRue cut a deal with a Faustian twist. As the decades roll by, Addie discovers the cruel twist at the heart of her decision. Until one day, after 300 years, she meets a young man who remembers her. Chosen for IndieNext. October 6, 2020.
  • “Whale Day: And Other Poems” by Billy Collins. His thirteenth collection contains more than fifty new poems that showcase the playfulness, wit, and wisdom that have made him one of our most celebrated and widely read poets. September 29, 2020.
  • “Is This Anything?” by Jerry Seinfeld. For his first book in twenty-five years Seinfeld has selected his favorite material, organized by decade. On ‘60 Minutes’: Seinfeld speaks about a host of topics, including his new book and what kind of comedy life in a pandemic has inspired. The interview here. October 6, 2020.
  • “When We Were Young & Brave” by Hazel Gaynor. The bestselling author sets her unforgettable new novel in China during WWII, inspired by true events surrounding the Japanese Army’s internment of teachers and children from a British-run missionary school. October 6, 2020.
  • “This Just Speaks to Me: Words to Live by Every Day” by Hoda Kotb. In this all-new collection of beloved quotes, Hoda offers inspiration, wisdom, and hope 365 days a year. October 13, 2020.
  • “Cook with Me: 150 Recipes for the Home Cook” by Alex Guarnaschell The Food Network and Iron Chef notable presents hearty recipes for the entire family. October 13, 2020.
  • “Greenlights” by Matthew McConaughey. An unconventional memoir filled with raucous stories, outlaw wisdom, and lessons learned the hard way about living with greater satisfaction. October 20, 2020.
  • “The Sentinel” by Lee Child and Andrew Child. Jack Reacher is back! The “utterly addictive” (The New York Times) series continues as the acclaimed bestselling author teams up with his brother, Andrew Child, fellow thriller writer extraordinaire.
    As always, Reacher has no particular place to go, and all kinds of time to get there…
    Read a sneak-peek excerpt here! October 27, 2020.
  • “The Best of Me” by David Sedaris. A lavish gift edition of David Sedaris’s best stories, spanning his spectacular bestselling career. Hand-picked by David himself, these are stories that will make you laugh and cry, sometimes at the same time, from “the funniest man alive” (Time Out New York). Collected in one volume for the first time. November 3, 2020.
  • “To Be a Man: Stories” by Nicole Krauss. In this dazzling collection of short fiction, the National Book Award Finalist and bestselling author of “The History of Love” — explores what it means to be in a couple, and to be a man and a woman in that perplexing relationship and beyond. November 3, 2020.
  • “Dearly: New Poems” by Margaret Atwood. In her first collection of poetry in over a decade, Atwoodaddresses themes such as love, loss, the passage of time, the nature of nature and – zombies. Her new poetry is introspective and personal in tone, but wide-ranging in topic. November 10, 2020.
  • “One Life” by Megan Rapinoe. The Olympic gold medalist and two-time Women’s World Cup champion, has become a galvanizing force for social change; here, she urges all of us to take up the mantle, with actions big and small, to continue the fight for justice and equality. November 10, 2020.
  • “The Law of Innocence : A Lincoln Lawyer Novel” by Michael Connelly. Defense attorney Mickey Haller is pulled over by police, who find the body of a client in the trunk of his Lincoln. Haller is charged with murder and can’t make the exorbitant $5 million bail slapped on him by a vindictive judge. Mickey knows he’s been framed. Now, with the help of his trusted team, including Harry Bosch, he has to figure out who has plotted to destroy his life and why. Then he has to go before a judge and jury and prove his innocence. November 10, 2020.
      Do YOU want to live in a Michael Connelly book? Enter for a chance to make it real! In anticipation of the new Lincoln Lawyer novel, the publishers are celebrating Michael Connelly and Mickey Haller with a special SWEEPSTAKES! The grand prize? YOUR NAME as a character in a 2021 Michael Connelly novel (a Bosch and Ballard novel).  Click here to enter! [I have already entered… so stay tuned for my victory celebration! I totally want my name in a book!!]
  • “Bag Man: The Wild Crimes, Audacious Cover-Up, and Spectacular Downfall of a Brazen Crook in the White House” by Rachel Maddow and Michael Yarvitz. The knockdown, drag-out, untold story of the other scandal that rocked Nixon’s White House, and reset the rules for crooked presidents to come—with new reporting that expands on Rachel Maddow’s Peabody Award-nominated podcast. November 17, 2020.
  • “A Promised Land: The Presidential Memoirs, Volume 1” by Barack Obama. All the information here. And pre-order the book here.  November 17, 2020.


Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.

For the foreseeable future we are going virtual with Edmonds Bookshop Book Club via Zoom.

By all accounts, the Zoom book clubs are going quite well, join us this month!

In October we will be discussing “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng.

Wednesday morning Oct. 21: 9 – 10 a.m..

From the bestselling author of “Everything I Never Told You,” a riveting novel that traces the intertwined fates of the picture-perfect Richardson family and the enigmatic mother and daughter who upend their lives. The novel explores the weight of secrets, the nature of art and identity, and the ferocious pull of motherhood–and the danger of believing that following the rules can avert disaster.

The paperback edition includes: a conversation with the author, discussion questions, and a letter from the author.

Chosen by Reese Witherspoon for her book club: “To say I love this book is an understatement. It’s a deep psychological mystery about the power of motherhood, the intensity of teenage love, and the danger of perfection. It moved me to tears.” Reese Witherspoon
The Hulu original series starring Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, premiered on Hulu on March 18, 2020 and consists of eight episodes. More information about the hulu series, here.

Visit http://www.celesteng.com for discussion guides and more.

Send us an email here to register your email for Book Club and we will send you an invitation with a Zoom Meeting link as each book club meeting is scheduled. [More specific, expansive information on our website, here.]

WOTS at 35: The Online Edition

Write on the Sound was held at its customary time in early October. What was different this year was the place: All live conference activities and presentations were held online, October 1-4, 2020. The WOTS website here.

Edmonds Bookshop is happy to be your official online bookshop for WOTS 2020. All the books are still available: Start your shopping here!.

10/15/2020 Third Thursday Virtual Event:  Poetry with Holly Hughes and Bethany Reid
We are thrilled to announce a virtual author event with two of our favorite local poets, Bethany Reid and Holly Hughes.

In addition to reading & discussing their latest books, they will be open to discussing other time + place specific issues: For example:  Writing during the pandemic, is it horribly challenging because of the easy/horrifying distraction of the 24-hour news cycle? Or is it wide open and encouraging because of the space the pandemic opened up for creative work….?

Stay tuned for more information on our events page here.

Recent book releases of note:
“Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson. The Pulitzer Prize-winning author examines the unspoken caste system that has shaped America and shows how our lives today are still defined by a hierarchy of human divisions.
“Vesper Flights” by Helen Macdonald. The author of the phenomenal “H Is for Hawk” takes flight again in this collection.
“Sisters” by Daisy Johnson.  From the Booker Prize finalist, a dark, atmospheric novel that explores the tension of familial closeness and unfolds in a house in near-isolation… and somehow she wrote it before the pandemic.
“Squeeze Me” by Carl Hiaasen. A hilarious new novel of social and political intrigue, set against the glittering backdrop of Florida’s gold coast. Irreverent, ingenious, and highly entertaining, this new novel perfectly captures the absurdity of our times.
“The Testaments” by Margaret Atwood. In paperback.  Staff recommended.
“The World That We Knew” by Alice Hoffman. In paperback.  Staff recommended.
“Nothing to See Here” by Kevin Wilson. In paperback.  Staff recommended.
“What Are You Going Through” by Sigrid Nunez.  This follow up to her National Book Award–winning “The Friend” is another novel about death and women’s friendship, this one involving euthanasia.
“The Midnight Library” by Matt Haig. Every book provides a chance to try another life you could have lived. To see how things would be if you had made other choices… Would you have done anything different, if you had the chance to undo your regrets?

Some more books of note being released in October:

“Jacques Pépin Quick & Simple” by Jacques Pépin.  In these 250 recipes, the master chef collects classic recipes that require minimal prep but carry his signature polished presentation. October 6, 2020.

“Fire Cannot Kill a Dragon: Game of Thrones and the Official Untold Story of the Epic Series” by James Hibberd. The award-winning Entertainment Weekly writer Hibberd chronicles the untold story of “Game of Thrones,” from the creative team’s first meetings to staging the series finale and all the on-camera battles and off-camera struggles in between. October 6, 2020.

“What We’ll Build: Plans for Our Together Future” by Oliver Jeffers. October 6, 2020.

“Pieometry: Modern Tart Art and Pie Design for the Eye and the Palate” by Lauren Ko. She “earned Instagram fame for her gorgeously crafted pies,” according to PW’s starred review, and here “shares the secrets behind her show-stopping work.” October 13, 2020.

“African American Poetry: 250 Years of Struggle & Song: A Library of America Anthology” Editor Kevin Young. “We wanted to highlight the themes of community and struggle and the urge for freedom, and how they speak to the present moment,” Young says of the book, which includes work ranging from 18th-century poet Phillis Wheatley to such 21st-century prize winners as Terrance Hayes and Tracy K. Smith. October 13, 2020.

We will keep posting our latest favorite reads, along with links to all kinds of book-related interesting things! In all the places: on our website, facebook, Instagram, and twitter.

You may pre-order any forthcoming title by visiting our website.

Stay safe. Do your best to stay sane. And as always: 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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