Edmonds Booktalk: So many new books about sisters

There are so many new books featuring sisters and many of them are getting great reviews. I felt the need to make a list! Many of these titles are fairly new; there are of course, a few classics. The list is mostly fiction, with a couple of non-fiction titles thrown in; and mostly adult titles, with a few young adult and young reader titles also included. Please enjoy! Alphabetically by title:

  • “Beezus and Ramona (Ramona, #1)” by Beverly Cleary. For young readers. In this perennial bestseller, Beezus and Ramona learn about the challenges of sisterly love. 1990.
  • “Boy, Snow, Bird” by Helen Oyeyemi. This book examines the tumultuous history of race in the United States as well as within a single family. The story roughly follows lines connected with the fable of Snow White, while also using those images to create an utterly original tale. Both transporting and deeply analytical of race relationships, this book shows how culture and the past always impact the way sisters relate to each other. 2015.
  • “The Chicken Sisters” by KJ Dell’antonia. Three generations. Two chicken shacks. One recipe for disaster. A charming, hilarious, feel-good story about the kind of bonds and rivalries only sisters can share. A Reese’s Book Club pick. Paperback 12/2020.
  • “Clap When You Land” by Elizabeth Acevedo. This young adult novel-in-verse brims with grief and love. The National Book Award-winning author writes about the devastation of loss, the difficulty of forgiveness, and the bittersweet bonds that shape our lives. 5/2020
  • “The Doctors Blackwell: How Two Pioneering Sisters Brought Medicine to Women and Women to Medicine” by Janice P. Nimura. Non-fiction. In 1849 Elizabeth Blackwell became the first woman in America to receive an M.D. Her achievement made her an icon, but her sister Emily, was the more brilliant physician. Together they founded the first hospital staffed entirely by women in New York City. 1/2021
  • “The Drowning Kind” by Jennifer McMahon. Be careful what you wish for. When social worker Jax receives nine missed calls from her older sister, Lexie, she assumes that it’s just another one of her sister’s episodes. 4/6/2021
  • “The Fairy-Tale Detectives (the Sisters Grimm #1)” by Michael Buckley. For young readers. Enter a world of fractured fairy tales and magical mysteries as orphaned sisters Sabrina and Daphne are sent to live with their newly discovered grandmother and soon learn a family secret: they are descendants of the famous Brothers Grimm. 10th Anniversary Edition May 2017.
  • “Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell. Young adult fiction. Writing fan fiction helped twin sisters survive a tough childhood, now ready to enter college, one wants to have some independence. Will the sisters successfully forge their own paths?  11/2018
  • “Girl Waits with Gun (Kopp Sisters Novel #1)” by Amy Stewart. Quick-witted and full of madcap escapades, this is an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs, and her sisters! Staff recommended. 5/2016
  • “The Good Sister “ by Sally Hepworth. From the outside, everyone might think Fern and Rose are as close as twin sisters can be: Rose is the responsible one and Fern is the quirky one.  A knock-out of a novel about the lies that bind two sisters.  4/13/2021
  • “Homegoing” by Yaa Gyasi. This truly unique story follows the descendants of two daughters of a single matriarch in the Gold Coast (what is now modern-day Ghana). One sister becomes wealthy by a fortuitous marriage and the other struggles while imprisoned. The chapters of the book follow important, real historical events while showing how even people who are born to the same mother can experience utterly distinct lives and legacies. 5/2017
  • “In the Time of the Butterflies” by Julia Alvarez. It is November 25, 1960, and the bodies of three beautiful, convent-educated sisters have been found near their wrecked Jeep at the bottom of a 150-foot cliff on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. El Caribe, the official newspaper, reports their deaths as an accident. It does not mention that a fourth sister lives. Three decades later, Julia Alvarez, also a daughter of the Dominican Republic and long haunted by these sisters, immerses us in a tangled and dangerous moment in Hispanic Caribbean history to tell their story in the only way it can truly be understood – through fiction. 1/2010
  • “Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters” by Jennifer Chiaverini. The four Todd sister’s fates were bound to their husbands’ choices as some joined the Lincoln administration, others the Confederate Army. Now, though discord and tragedy have strained their bonds, Elizabeth knows they must come together as sisters to help Mary in her most desperate hour. Coming in paperback this June: 6/29/2021.
  • “Little Women” by Louisa May Alcott. Chronicles the joys and sorrows of the four March sisters as they grow into young ladies in nineteenth-century New England. Perhaps the best known [and best loved!] book about sisters! Staff recommended, of course!
  • “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. 12/2020
  • “Mirrorland” by Carole Johnstone. A thrilling work of psychological suspense about twin sisters, the man they both love, and the dark childhood they can’t leave behind.  4/20/2021
  • “Mrs. Everything” by Jennifer Weiner. In “her most sprawling and intensely personal novel to date” (Entertainment Weekly), she tells a “simply unputdownable” (Good Housekeeping) story of two sisters who, with their different dreams and different paths, offer answers to the question: How should a woman be in the world? 4/7/2020
  • “My Sister, the Serial Killer” by Oyinkan Braithwaite. Slasher meets satire in this darkly comic novel set in Nigeria about a woman whose younger sister has a very inconvenient habit of killing her boyfriends. 7/2019
  • “The Nightingale” by Kristin Hannah.  The story of two sisters, separated by years and experiences, by ideals, passion, and circumstance, each embarking on her own dangerous path toward survival, love, and freedom in WWII German-occupied, war-torn France. 4/2017
  • “Northern Spy” by Flynn Berry. The acclaimed author returns with her most thrilling novel to date: the story of two sisters who become entangled with the IRA.  4/6/2021
  • “The Other Boleyn Girl” (The Plantagenet and Tudor Novels) by Philippa Gregory. The daughters of a ruthlessly ambitious family, Mary and Anne Boleyn are sent to the court of Henry VIII to attract the attention of the king, who first takes Mary as his mistress, in which role she bears him an illegitimate son, and then Anne as his wife. 6/2002
  • “The Poisonwood Bible” by Barbara Kingsolver. This narrative of sisters who travel with their parents to be missionaries in the Belgian Congo combines lush imagery with incredibly intense family and community dynamics. Through it all, the sisters must rely on each other or find themselves torn down by their circumstances.  Staff recommended.  7/2005
  • “Practical Magic” by Alice Hoffman. A novel that reveals what happens when magic competes with real love. At the heart of this work are Gillian and Sally Owens, whose conjuring spinster aunts raised them not with square meals and curfews but with magic spells and respect for the powers of nature. Staff recommended. 8/2003
  • “Pretty Girls” by Karin Slaughter. More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia’s teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss–a devastating wound that’s cruelly ripped open when Claire’s husband is killed. 2/2017
  • “Sense and Sensibility” by Jane Austen. The story of Marianne and Elinor that has made sisters groan with sympathy and laugh with joy for over two centuries. Marianne’s impetuous and passionate style is contrasted with Elinor’s inability to express love outright, but both of them are forced to confront their choices as, in their own ways, love requires them to push their limits. Tough to choose only one Jane Austen novel!
  • “Shanghai Girls” by Lisa See. Pearl and May go through so much more than most girls in life. In this novel, they leave war-torn Shanghai, accustom themselves to life in a new country, and adjust to arranged marriages. If you are a history buff, you’ll see how world events and important historical locations play out in the story of the sisters and their divergent and convergent lives. Staff recommended. 2/2010
  • “Sisters” by Raina Telgemeier. Graphic novel for young readers. Raina can’t wait to be a big sister. But once Amara is born, things aren’t quite how she expected them to be. Amara is cute, but she’s also a cranky, grouchy baby, and mostly prefers to play by herself. Their relationship doesn’t improve much over the years, but when a baby brother enters the picture and later, something doesn’t seem right between their parents, they realize they must figure out how to get along. They are sisters, after all. 8/2014
  • “The Unhoneymooners” by Christina Lauren. “A sexy, hilarious rom-com that offers a look into the bonds of a large Mexican-American family and between twin sisters as well as at whether blood is thicker than water. Readers will laugh out loud… Perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory.”—Booklist. 5/2019
  • “The Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett. A stunning novel about twin sisters, inseparable as children, who ultimately choose to live in two very different worlds, one black and one white. 6/2020.
  • “Where the Grass Is Green and the Girls Are Pretty” by Lauren Weisberger. A highly entertaining, sharply observed novel about sisters, their perfect lives . . . and their perfect lies. One little lie. That’s all it takes. For the illusions to crack. For resentments to surface. Suddenly the grass doesn’t look so green. And they’re left wondering: will they have what it takes to survive the truth? Bonus point for the title… Coming 5/18/2021.

Another fun list for you to peruse: The Edgar Awards were just announced April 29. Here is the link to this year’s winners.

Edmonds Bookshop Events.

Thursday, May 13, 2021 – 6-7 p.m.
Middle Grade Authors in Conversation: Kelly Jones and Jennifer Adam
One of our favorite middle grade authors has a new book out May 4!

Join us to welcome Kelly Jones with her new book “Happily for Now,” in conversation with friend, and author, Jennifer Adam and her debut middle grade novel, “The Last Windwitch.”

Once upon a time, Kelly Jones was a librarian and a bookseller. Now, she writes novels for young people and takes care of a few hilarious chickens. She’s the author of “Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer;” “Are You Ready to Hatch an Unusual Chicken?;” “Murder, Magic, and What We Wore;” “Sauerkraut;” and “Happily for Now” (new May 4, 2021!) You can find her online at her website, curiosityjones.net, or on Twitter and Instagram @curiosityjones.

Recommendation from Kelly: “The Last Windwitch” by Jennifer Adam is a gorgeous, magical middle grade fantasy with stormhorses and an apprentice hedgewitch who’s taking on the Queen of Crows. Jen has horses and works with mustangs, so this is perfect for horse kids…

Jennifer Adam lives on a farm in a house full of books, cats, and half-finished cups of tea. When she’s not writing, she’s probably riding a formerly wild mustang, paddling a kayak across a lake of swans, or wandering through the woods. “The Last Windwitch” is her first novel. You can find her online at jenniferfrancesadam.com or @JenFSAdam on twitter.

These titles are certainly appropriate for upper-elementary as well as middle school kids.
Join us on our Facebook page here, May 13, 2021 at 6pm.

Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.

We are still doing Zoom meetings for Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.

By all accounts, it’s going pretty well, join us!

Zoom meeting Wednesday, May 19, 2021 – 9-10 a.m.

“French Exit” by Patrick deWitt.
From the bestselling author, a brilliant and darkly comic novel about a wealthy widow and her adult son who flee New York for Paris in the wake of scandal and financial disintegration.

Brimming with pathos, “French Exit” is a one-of-a-kind ‘tragedy of manners, ‘ a send-up of high society, as well as a moving mother/son caper which only Patrick deWitt could conceive and execute.

Staff recommended.

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 and the books for the next few months all on our website, here.]

Wednesday, May 26, 2021 – 6-7 p.m.


uthor David B. Williams in conversation with Artist/Author Tony Angell.

We are thrilled to invite you to what is sure to be a fascinating conversation between local author David B. Williams and Northwest artist and author Tony Angell about Mr. Williams’ brand new book, “Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound.”

About Mr. Williams’ new book:

Focusing on the area south of Port Townsend and between the Cascade and Olympic mountains, Williams uncovers human and natural histories in, on, and around the Sound. In conversations with archaeologists, biologists, and tribal authorities, Williams traces how generations of humans have interacted with such species as geoducks, salmon, orcas, rockfish, and herring. The book also takes an unflinching look at how the Sound’s ecosystems have suffered from human behavior, including pollution, habitat destruction, and the effects of climate change.

Witty, graceful, and deeply informed, “Homewaters” weaves history and science into a fascinating and hopeful narrative, one that will introduce newcomers to the astonishing life that inhabits the Sound and offers longtime residents new insight into and appreciation of the waters they call home.

Williams is a curatorial associate at the Burke Museum. Follow him on Twitter @geologywriter, and visit his website at geologywriter.com.

Tony Angell is a Northwest Artist and Author. From his childhood, Angell has kept and worked with animals including hawks and falcons that he has trained. As an adult he continues to rehabilitate wild species, particularly birds of prey and crows and ravens. This intimate contact has provided the foundation of understanding for his artwork that is realized in his drawings, paintings, stone carvings and bronze sculptures.

So much more information on his website here.

Recent book releases of note:

“Broken (in the Best Possible Way)” by Jenny Lawson.
“Caul Baby” by Morgan Jerkins. A debut novel, for fans of Ta-Nehisi Coates and Jacqueline Woodson.
“Good Company” by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney. A warm, incisive new novel about the enduring bonds of marriage and friendship.
“The Hard Crowd: Essays 2000-2020” by Rachel Kushner.
“Gold Diggers” by Sanjena Sathian.
“Broken Horses: A Memoir” by Brandi Carlile.
“Peaces” by Helen Oyeyemi.
“Hummingbird Salamander” by Jeff Vandermeer.
“First Person Singular: Stories” by Haruki Murakami.
“The God Equation” by Michio Kaku.
“When the Stars Go Dark” by Paula McLain.
“World Travel: An Irreverent Guide” by Anthony Bourdain.
“Getaway: Food & Drink to Transport You” by Renee Erickson.
“The Bomber Mafia: A Dream, a Temptation, and the Longest Night of the Second World War” by Malcom Gladwell.
“Whereabouts” by Jhumpa Lahiri.

Some books of note being released in May:

“Project Hail Mary: A Novel” by Andy Weir. Another interstellar adventure, with an astronaut who’s the sole survivor of a last-chance mission. Can he remember what he was sent to do in time to do it? May 4, 2021.

“Great Circle” by Maggie Shipstead. Spanning Prohibition-era Montana, the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, New Zealand, wartime London, and modern-day Los Angeles, this tells the unforgettable story of a daredevil female aviator determined to chart her own course in life, at any cost. Chosen as lead title for May IndieNext.  May 4, 2021. **We have a few signed First Editions available! Call us if you would like us to hold a copy for you.**

“Second Place” by Rachel Cusk. The acclaimed British author of the “Outline” trilogy sets her latest novel in a remote coastal region, where a woman has invited a famed artist to visit her.  May 4, 2021.

“Secrets of Happiness: A Novel” by Joan Silber. “No one is better than Joan Silber at revealing the hidden links that connect people. The small, human details in Secrets of Happiness feel at first like ripples in a pond, but they prove in the end to be mighty waves in an ocean the size of the world.”—James Crossley, Madison Books, Seattle, WA. Chosen for IndieBound. Great review in The Seattle Times.  May 4, 2021.

“Ariadne: A Novel” by Jennifer Saint. “Satisfying the need for more Greek/Roman transformational myths from much-needed other viewpoints, Jennifer Saint delivers tales of Ariadne and her sister Phaedra’s life on Crete and beyond. Less heroic yarn and more character inquisitiveness — a refreshing addition.” —Michelle Bear, Edmonds Bookshop, Edmonds, WA. [Hey! We know her!!] Chosen for IndieBound.  May 4, 2021

“Olympus, Texas: A Novel” by Stacey Swann. A bighearted debut with technicolor characters, plenty of Texas swagger, and a powder keg of a plot in which marriages struggle, rivalries flare, and secrets explode, all with a clever wink toward classical mythology . Chosen for IndieBound. May 4, 2021.

“Hour of the Witch: A Novel” by Chris Bohjalian.  A young Puritan woman–faithful, resourceful, but afraid of the demons that dog her soul–plots her escape from a violent marriage in this riveting and propulsive novel. May 4, 2021.

“One by One: A Novel” by Ruth Ware. In paperback. Chosen for IndieBound. Staff recommended. May 4, 2021.

“The Silent Patient: A Novel” by Alex Michaelides. “…an outstanding thriller with a shocking twist that will have you rethinking every riveting scene in this brilliant debut.”  Finally in paperback! Chosen for IndieBound. May 4, 2021.

“Utopia Avenue: A Novel” by David MitchellChosen for IndieBound. Now in paperback. May 4, 2021.

“The Secret to Superhuman Strength” by Alison Bechdel.  The author/illustrator examines her lifelong fixation with exercise in her latest graphic work of nonfiction. Along the way, she realizes that these pursuits all point back to one thing: a desire to avoid dealing with difficult issues. May 4, 2021.

“Arsenic and Adobo (Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery, #1)” by Mia P. Manansala. The first book in a new culinary cozy series full of sharp humor and delectable dishes—one that might just be killer…. May 4, 2021.

“Finding the Mother Tree” by Suzanne Simard. From the world’s leading forest ecologist who forever changed how people view trees and their connections to one another and to other living things in the forest–a moving, deeply personal journey of discovery.   Heard on npr Weekend Edition Saturday, May 1. May 4, 2021.

Facing the Mountain: A True Story of Japanese American Heroes in World War II by Daniel James Brown.  [yes! Finally another book from the author of “Boys in the Boat.”] A gripping World War II saga of patriotism, highlighting the contributions and sacrifices that Japanese immigrants and their American-born children made for the sake of the nation. May 11, 2021.

“People We Meet on Vacation: A Novel” by Emily Henry.  Two best friends. Ten summer trips. One last chance to fall in love. A sparkling new novel that will leave you with the warm, hazy afterglow usually reserved for the best vacations. Chosen for IndieBound. In paperback.  May 11, 2021.

“While Justice Sleeps“ by Stacey Abrams. A gripping complexly plotted thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court. May 11, 2021.

“Squeeze Me” by Carl Hiaasen. In paperback. May 11, 2021.

“Goblin: A Novel in Six Novellas” by Josh Malerman.  These six novellas tell the story of a place where the rain is always falling, nighttime is always near, and your darkest fears and desires await. May 18, 2021.

“Malorie: The Sequel to Bird Box” by Josh Malerman. In paperback. May 18, 2021.

“Phase Six” by Jim Shepard. A spare and gripping novel about the next pandemic–completed by the award-winning author before COVID-19 even emerged–that reads like a fictional sequel to our current crisis. May 18, 2021.

“The Southern Book Club’s Guide to Slaying Vampires” by Grady Hendrix. Staff recommended. Now in paperback. May 25, 2021.

We will keep posting our 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!

— 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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