Edmonds Booktalk: Books to love in February

There has been evidence that spring will eventually arrive: The days are getting longer [sunset after 5:15 p.m.!]; and all of those daffodils bulbs are starting to sprout in Edmonds flower boxes. Of course, it’s dangerous to get ahead of ourselves; we all remember that snow sometimes happens in March… So while we are looking forward to longer warmer days, we will do our best to be in the moment and enjoy February! With that in mind, we start with books to look forward to and then we present fantastic events and many many books to enjoy in this February moment.

Here are a few books, scheduled to be published in the next few months, which have us intrigued:

  • “Gallant” by E. Schwab. The bestselling author of “The Invisible Life of Addie Larue” branches out with a new YA fantasy that weaves a dark and original tale about the place where the world meets its shadow, and the young woman beckoned by both sides. March 1, 2022.
  • “Burning Questions: Essays and Occasional Pieces 2004-2021” by Margaret Atwood. In over 50 pieces, Atwood covers everything from the climate crisis to the tech industry, from the rise of Trump to how we should define granola. March 1, 2022.
  • “Booth” by Karen Joy Fowler. Her new historical novel shines a light on one of the most famous figures in American history, John Wilkes Booth. Following this family and their notorious son’s upbringing, she will transform the way we look at the past and how it makes us think about our present times. March 8, 2022.
  • “Sea of Tranquility” by Emily St. John Mandel. The author of “Station Eleven” and “The Glass Hotel” returns with a novel that sends the reader across both space and time, from the deepest part of the Canadian wilderness to the dark side of the moon. April 5, 2022. Pre-order a limited signed edition — available at Indie Bookshops only — here!
  • “The Candy House” by Jennifer Egan. Pulitzer Prize-winner Egan returns with a tale of a tech genius who creates a way to access one’s memory — and that of others. What could possibly go wrong? April 5, 2022.
  • “Finding Me” by Viola Davis. The Academy Award-winning actor has spoken in interviews about having grown up in “abject poverty”; here, in her new memoir, she tells the full story of her life. April 26, 2022.
  • “City on Fire” by Don Winslow. Postponed from fall 2021 — Winslow said then in a statement that he wanted to wait until it was safe to have a full-capacity book tour — this is the first book in a planned trilogy, a crime saga inspired by Homer’s “The Iliad.” April 26, 2022.
  • “Book Lovers” by Emily Henry. An insightful, delightful new novel from the bestselling author of “Beach Read” and “People We Meet on Vacation.” One summer. Two rivals. A plot twist they didn’t see coming… May 3, 2022.
  • “The Book Woman’s Daughter” by Kim Michele Richardson. The bestselling historical fiction author is back with the perfect book club read following Honey Lovett, the daughter of the beloved Troublesome book woman, who must fight for her own independence with the help of the women who guide her and the books that set her free. May 3, 2022.
  • “Book of Night” by Holly Black. This is her stunning adult debut, a modern dark fantasy of shadowy thieves and secret societies in the vein of “Ninth House” and “The Night Circus.” Charlie Hall has never found a lock she couldn’t pick, a book she couldn’t steal, or a bad decision she wouldn’t make. May 3, 2022.
  • “The Summer Place: A Novel” by Jennifer Weiner. A testament to family in all its messy glory; a story about what we sacrifice and how we forgive. Enthralling, witty, big-hearted, and sharply observed, this is Jennifer Weiner’s love letter to the Outer Cape and the power of home, the way our lives are enriched by the people we call family, and the endless ways love can surprise us.  May 10, 2022.
  • “This Time Tomorrow” by Emma Straub. What if you could take a vacation to your past? With her celebrated humor, insight, and heart, Straub offers her own twist on traditional time travel tropes, and a different kind of love story. May 17, 2022.
  • “Tracy Flick Can’t Win” by Tom Perrotta. Yes, class president wannabe Tracy Flick — so memorably played by Reese Witherspoon in the film of Perrotta’s novel “Election” — is back, and she’s middle-aged and working at a high school. June 7, 2022.

Pre-order any of these books on our website here.

Show your love for The Edmonds Bookshop lover in your life! Choose a V-neck Tee, a Classic Long Sleeve Tee, or a Pullover Hoodie. Multiple colors available in each style. Order here.

Fantastic Edmonds Bookshop Events

Donna Barba Higuera

On Feb. 1, we welcomed Donna Barba Higuera and her newest book for young readers: “The Last Cuentista.” Fun bonus! She was just announced as the winner of the 2022 John Newbery Medal, which honors the “most outstanding contribution to children’s literature.”

You can watch the recorded event on our Facebook page, here. [joined in progress… brief technical issues.]

We have a few signed copies of her new book still available! Let us know if you would like us to hold one for you: 425.775.2789. Also all kinds of great information about Donna Barba Higuera on our event page.

Juhea Kim photo by Nola Logan

Thursday, Feb. 10, 6-7 p.m. Join us virtually to welcome Juhea Kim and her debut novel, in conversation with Stacy Flood.

Huge congratulations to Juhea Kim on the publication of her debut novel! “Beasts of a Little Land.”

An epic story of love, war, and redemption set against the backdrop of the Korean independence movement, following the intertwined fates of a young girl sold to a courtesan school and the penniless son of a hunter.
          “A spectacular debut filled with great characters and heart.”Lisa See, author of “Snow Flower and the Secret Fan”

Juhea Kim will be in conversation with Stacy Flood, author of “The Salt Fields: A Novella.” All kinds of great information on his website, here.

Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.

Still doing Zoom meetings for Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.

Zoom meeting Wednesday, Feb.16, 9-10 a.m.: “Legends of the North Cascades” by Jonathan Evison.

Poignant and profound, “Legends of the North Cascades” brings Jonathan Evison’s trademark vibrant, honest voice to bear on an expansive story that is at once a meditation on the perils of isolation and an exploration of the ways that connection can save us. Staff recommended!

More information about the book and our book club is here.

Send us an email here to register your email for book club membership. We will send you an invitation with a Zoom Meeting link as each book club meeting is scheduled. Once you accept the invitation it will show up in your calendar.

Third Thursday Artwalk. Feb. 17, 6-7 p.m. Join us in welcoming Kim Fay and her new novel: virtually!

We are thrilled to welcome author Kim Fay and her new novel, “Love and Saffron,” which has been chosen as the #1 pick for IndieNext February 2022! Link to the review here.  We will chat with Kim Fay on FacebookLive beginning at 6pm…. just head to our facebook page, at that time. And feel free to ask questions in the comment section!

Visit her Facebook page for all kinds of additional information.

More information about the event is here.

Recent book releases of note [books to enjoy in this moment!]

“Anthem” by Noah Hawley. A band of unlikely heroes sets out on a quest to save one innocent life. But this isn’t a fairy tale.

“Brown Girls” by Daphne Palasi Andreades.  A remarkable story about a group of friends growing up and forging their own paths in Queens, New York. Review in the NYTimes.

“Fiona and Jane” by Jean Chen Ho. “Beautiful, intimate look at the evolving relationship of two complex women navigating their lives from youth into adulthood. Fierce and unsentimental, this one will stay with you!” Chosen for IndieBound.

“The Maid: A Novel” by Nita Prose. “Very entertaining! Miss Marple meets The Rosie Project in this charming book about a hotel maid who sees the world a bit differently than many of us. Molly the maid and her cast of friends will bring a smile to your face!” Chosen for IndieBound.

“The School for Good Mothers: A Novel” by Jessamine Chan. In her debut novel Chan imagines a future where parents (mostly women) get sent to government-run reform school. NYT review. Chosen for IndieBound.

“Something to Hide: A Lynley Novel” by Elizabeth George. Another intelligent, intricate mystery starring Detective Inspector Thomas Lynley of New Scotland Yard.

“The Final Case: A Novel” by David Guterson. From the award-winning author of “Snow Falling on Cedars”–a moving father-son story that is also a taut courtroom drama and a bold examination of privilege, power, and how to live a meaningful life. Review in the NY Times.

“Small World: A Novel” by Jonathan Evison. … a historical epic with a Dickensian flair, a grand entertainment that asks whether our nation has made good on its promises. It dazzles as its characters come to connect with one another through time. Chosen for IndieBound.

“Legends of the North Cascades” by Jonathan Evison. In paperback. Staff recommended.

“To Paradise” by Hanya Yanagihara. From the author of “A Little Life” comes another emotional powerhouse of a novel. This brilliant work is told in three sections—set in the years 1893, 1993, and 2093—and while each section is vastly different, each character at their core grapples with the lengths we would all go to to protect those we love. Review in the NY Times.

“Chasing History: A Kid in the Newsroom” by Carl Bernstein. The investigative journalist and co-author of “All the President’s Men” writes of his roots in journalism, beginning as a 16-year-old copy boy for the Washington, D.C. Evening Star in 1960.

“You Don’t Know Us Negroes and Other Essays” by Zora Neale Hurston, edited and with an introduction by Henry Louis Gates Jr. Astonishingly, this is the first comprehensive collection of essays and articles by the legendary Harlem Renaissance author of who died in 1960. The works included span more than 35 years.

“Manifesto: On Never Giving Up” by Bernardine Evaristo. After winning the Booker Prize at age 60 for “Girl, Woman, Other,” Evaristo was portrayed as an overnight sensation. In truth, her preceding decades were filled with climbing up through a world that did not know what to make of a biracial, sexually fluid artist with a flair for dramatic arts. Her raw memoir reveals a woman with enough perspective on her own life to tell the truth, and her manifesto is a gift to those seeking their own truths.

“The Runaway : A Peter Ash Novel” by Nick Petrie. When Peter Ash rescues a stranded woman, he finds she’s in far deeper trouble than he could ever imagine in the powerful new thriller. Staff recommended author/series.

“The Good Son” by Jacquelyn Mitchard. A gripping emotionally charged novel of a mother who must help her son after he is convicted of a devastating crime.

“Joan Is Okay” by Weike Wang. Joan is a Chinese American ICU doctor at a prestigious NYC hospital. She’s finally content with her life and her work when back-to-back her father suddenly dies, the pandemic hits, and everything seems to turn upside down. Poignant and incisive, but also incredibly witty and humorous, this is a book you won’t want to end.

“Violeta” by Isabel Allende. Fans of Allende’s generation-spanning family epics are in for a treat with her latest novel, centered on Violeta Del Valle, a centenarian whose life is bookended by pandemics. Through a letter to a loved one, she unspools her story, showing a consistent devotion both to her family and to the joy of living.

Some books of note being released in February: this is just a partial list – so many more books coming this month! What a great start to the year! [books to enjoy the entire month of February!]

“The Violin Conspiracy” by Brendan Slocumb. A fascinating mystery that takes you into the world of classical music. For as long as he can remember, Ray McMillian has dreamed of becoming a professional violinist. But growing up Black in rural North Carolina has put every type of challenge in his path. After years of working hard, and on the eve of the biggest musical competition in the world, his beloved Stradivarius is stolen. What follows is a riveting and desperate quest to find his most valuable possession. Just chosen as the February Book Club pick by GMA! February 1, 2022.

“What the Fireflies Knew” by Kai Harris. An ode to Black girlhood and adolescence as seen through the eyes of almost-eleven-year-old Kenyatta Bernice, as she and her sister try to make sense of their new life with their estranged grandfather in the wake of their father’s death and their mother’s disappearance. Chosen for IndieNext.February 1, 2022.

“Four Hundred Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019” by Ibram X Kendi. In paperback. February 1, 2022.

”Thank You, Mr. Nixon: Stories” by Gish JenGreat npr review here. February 1, 2022.

“Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett. In paperback. February 1, 2022.

“The Nineties: A Book” by Chuck Klosterman. Essays about 1990s popular culture, politics, sports, literature, music. February 8, 2022.

“Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover.  In paperback at long last! Staff recommended.  February 8, 2022.

“Love & Saffron: A Novel of Friendship, Food, and Love” by Kim Fay. This witty and tender novel follows two women in 1960s America as they discover that food really does connect us all, and that friendship and laughter are the best medicine. Chosen as the #1 Pick for February IndieNext! February 8, 2022. Author event February 17!See above, or here on our website, for all the information.

“The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together” by Heather McGhee.  Now in paperback. February 8, 2022.

“The Windsor Knot” by SJ Bennett. The first book in a highly original and clever new crime series captures Queen Elizabeth’s voice with skill, nuance, wit, and genuine charm in this imaginative and engaging mystery that portrays Her Majesty as she’s rarely seen: kind yet worldly, decisive, shrewd, and, most important, a superb judge of character.  In paperback. Chosen for IndieNext. February 8, 2022.

“The Splendid and the Vile: A Saga of Churchill, Family, and Defiance During the Blitz” by Erik Larson. In paperback! Staff recommended. February 15, 2022.

“Moon Witch, Spider King” by Marlon James.  The second book in his Dark Star trilogy following “Black Leopard, Red Wolf.” In the first book the Moon Witch was presented as the worthy adversary to our mythical hero. Now, readers get to hear her own account as she forges her own battles across the empire. This adventure tale is a good reminder that sometimes the difference between good and evil is a matter of perspective. February 15, 2022.

“Nothing to Lose: A J.P. Beaumont Novel” by J. A. Jance. Beaumont is approached by a visitor from the past and finds himself drawn into a missing person’s case where danger is lurking … February 22, 2022.

“The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty” by Neal Thompson. Based on genealogical breakthroughs and previously unreleased records, this is the first book to explore the inspiring story of the poor Irish refugee couple who escaped famine, created a life together in a city hostile to Irish, immigrants, and Catholics, and launched the Kennedy dynasty in America. February 22, 2022. Neal Thompson will be joining us for an author event March 16, 2022! All the information here!

And even more great lists: February recommended reads from The New York Times and The Washington Post on our blog posts.

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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