Edmonds Booktalk: 50 years in the book business — and still going strong

50 years ago in movie theaters: 

50 years ago on our radios [‘cuz that’s all we had!]: American Pie [Don McLean]; Nights in White Satin [The Moody Blues]; The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face [Roberta Flack]; Brand New Key [Melanie]; Song Sung Blue[Neil Diamond].

Details of life in 1972: A gallon of gas cost 55 cents. Average monthly rent was $165. And a Ford Pinto was $2,078!

Big things that happened in 1972: President Nixon visited China; five White House operatives are arrested for burglarizing the offices of the Democratic National Committee, which marked the start of the Watergate Scandal; 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by Arab gunman at the Munich Olympics; American swimmer Mark Spitz won a record seven gold medals at the Munich Olympics; NASA’s Space Shuttle Program is officially launched [it will take until 1981 for the Space Shuttle Columbia to have its maiden flight]; Atari kicks off the first generation of video games with the release of PONG, the first game to achieve commercial success.

Book news from 1972:
New York Times Adult Fiction Bestsellers for March 5, 1972:

1. “The Winds of War” by Herman Wouk.
2. “Wheels” by Arthur Hailey.
3. “The Day of the Jackal” by Frederick Forsyth.
4. “The Exorcist” by William Peter Blatty.
5. “Message from Malaga” by Helen MacInnes.
6. “The Assassins” by Elia Kazan.
7. “The Betsy” by Harold Robbins.
8. “Rabbit Redux” by John Updike.
9. “Our Gang” by Philip Roth.
10. “Nemesis” by Agatha Christie.

A few of the great [and now classic!] kids’ books published in 1972: “Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day” by Judith Viorst; “Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing” by Judy Blume; “Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator” by Roald Dahl; “The Farthest Shore (Earthsea Cycle, #3)” by Ursula K. Le Guin; “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever” by Barbara Robinson.

Most importantly in 1972: Edmonds Bookshop opened our door for the very first time! We are officially celebrating on Saturday March 5, from 11 a.m.– 2 p.m. Join us. There will be cupcakes. Surprise giveaways. A prize for wearing your Edmonds Bookshop t-shirt. Some history and photos of our 50 years. A special discount raffle for one lucky customer. And more!

Please share your stories and memories and pictures. Send us an email here, or post on our Facebook page, here!

Thank you so much for all of the love and support over the years – we wouldn’t be here without you!
This amazing article by Larry Vogel at My Edmonds News tells the history of The Bookshop beautifully and includes some great photos! Here.

Edmonds Bookshop Events

Edmonds Bookshop Book Club

We are still doing Zoom meetings for Edmonds Bookshop Book Club.
Zoom meeting Wednesday, March 16, 9-10 a.m.: “The House in the Cerulean Sea” by TJ Klune.

A magical island. A dangerous task. A burning secret.

Linus Baker leads a quiet, solitary life. At forty, he lives in a tiny house with a devious cat [who does not like him!] and his old records. As a Case Worker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, he spends his days overseeing the well-being of children in government-sanctioned orphanages.
When Linus is unexpectedly summoned by Extremely Upper Management he’s given a curious and highly classified assignment: travel to Marsyas Island Orphanage, where six dangerous children reside: a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. Linus must set aside his fears and determine whether or not they’re likely to bring about the end of days. [no pressure.]

An enchanting story, masterfully told, “The House in the Cerulean Sea” is about the profound experience of discovering an unlikely family in an unexpected place–and realizing that family is yours.

Staff highly 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.

March 16, 6-7p.m. We are so happy to [virtually!] welcome Neal Thompson and his brand new book, “The First Kennedys: The Humble Roots of an American Dynasty.”

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.

Written by the grandson of an Irish immigrant couple and based on first-ever access to P.J. Kennedy’s private papers, “The First Kennedys” is a story of sacrifice and survival, resistance and reinvention: an American story.

Neal Thompson is a journalist and the author of five highly acclaimed books, including “Driving with the Devil,” and the fatherhood-and-skateboarding memoir “Kickflip Boys.” He has written for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Esquire, Outside, Oprah.com, and more and has taught creative nonfiction at Hugo House and the Great Smokies Writing Program. He lives in Seattle with his family.

Visit his website for all kinds of additional information!

Mr. Thompson will be in conversation with John Keane:  Edmonds resident, Honorary Consul of Ireland in Seattle [great article from 2019 here about that!] and author of “Irish Seattle” from Arcadia Publishing.

John F. Keane was a young man when he left Ireland in 1967. He came to the Seattle area in 1978 and has been involved in everything Irish in Seattle since then. Described by the Celtic Connection newspaper as “the lynchpin in the Irish community” in Seattle, Keane is highly qualified to tell this Seattle story and to illustrate the Irish community’s rich history.

Books coming to a screen near you:
“Bad Blood: Secrets and Lies in a Silicon Valley Startup” by John Carreyrou.
In 2014 Theranos founder and CEO Elizabeth Holmes was widely seen as the female Steve Jobs: a brilliant Stanford dropout whose startup ‘unicorn’ promised to revolutionize the medical industry with a machine that would make blood tests significantly faster and easier … There was just one problem: The technology didn’t work. For years, Holmes had been misleading investors, FDA officials, and her own employees. Staff recommended book.

“The Dropout” on Hulu begins March 3.

“Under the Banner of Heaven” by Jon Krakauer.
Extremes of religious belief are explored in this true story of an appalling double murder committed by two Mormon Fundamentalist brothers who insist God commanded them to kill. Staff recommended book.
FX on Hulu. 7 episodes.

Recent book releases of note:

“The Final Case: A Novel” by David Guterson. Review in the NY Times.

“Small World: A Novel” by Jonathan Evison. Chosen for IndieBound.

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

“To Paradise” by Hanya Yanagihara. This brilliant work is told in three sections with each character at their core grapples with the lengths we would all go to to protect those we love. Review in the NY Times.

“Joan Is Okay” by Weike Wang. Joan is a Chinese American ICU doctor at a prestigious NYC hospital. Poignant and incisive, but also incredibly witty and humorous, this is a book you won’t want to end.

“Violeta” by Isabel Allende. Fans are in for a treat with her latest novel, centered on Violeta Del Valle, a centenarian whose life is bookended by pandemics.

“The Violin Conspiracy” by Brendan Slocumb. A fascinating mystery that takes you into the world of classical music. 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. Chosen as the February Book Club pick by GMA!

“The Verifiers” by Jane Pek. Introducing Claudia Lin: a sharp-witted amateur sleuth for the 21st century. A client with an unusual request goes missing …   Chosen for IndieNext.

“The Swimmers: A Novel” by Julie Otsuka. This searing, intimate story of mothers and daughters—and the sorrows of implacable loss—is the most commanding and unforgettable work yet from a modern master.  Chosen for IndieNext.

“The Lost Apothecary” by Sarah Penner. Now in paperback. Staff recommended. Chosen for IndieNext.

“The Paris Apartment” by Lucy Foley.  A new locked room mystery, set in a Paris apartment building in which every resident has something to hide…   Chosen for IndieNext.

“Delilah Green Doesn’t Care” by Ashley Herring Blake. A clever and steamy debut queer romantic comedy about taking chances and accepting love—with all its complications.  Chosen for IndieNext. In paperback.

“Vanishing Half” by Brit Bennett. In paperback.

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

“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! We had a virtual Author event Feb. 17! View the recorded event on our Facebook page, here.

“The Windsor Knot” by SJ Bennett. The first book in a highly original and clever new crime series starring Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth. In paperback. Chosen for IndieNext.

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

“Moon Witch, Spider King” by Marlon James.  The second book in a trilogy following “Black Leopard, Red Wolf.” In the first book the Moon Witch was presented as the worthy adversary to our mythical hero. This adventure tale is a good reminder that sometimes the difference between good and evil is a matter of perspective.

“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. Neal Thompson will be joining us for an author event March 16, 2022! All the information here!

Some books of note being released in March:

“Gallant” by V.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, Atwoodcovers everything from the climate crisis to the tech industry, from the rise of Trump to how we should define granola. March 1, 2022.

“One Italian Summer” by Rebecca Serle. A moving and unforgettable exploration of the powerful bond between mother and daughter set on the breathtaking Amalfi Coast.  Chosen for IndieNext.  March 1, 2022.

“The Tobacco Wives” by Adele Myers. North Carolina, 1946. One woman. A discovery that could rewrite history. Chosen for IndieNext.  March 1, 2022.

“The Paris Library” by Janet Skeslien Charles. Now in paperback. Chosen for IndieNext. March 1, 2022.

“Hook, Line, And Sinker: A Novel” by Tessa Bailey.  In the follow-up to “It Happened One Summer,” Bailey delivers another deliciously fun rom-com about a former player who accidentally falls for his best friend … Chosen for IndieNext. In paperback.  March 1, 2022.

“Woman on Fire” by Lisa Barr.  A gripping tale of a young, ambitious journalist embroiled in an international art scandal centered on a Nazi-looted masterpiece–forcing the ultimate showdown between passion and possession, lovers and liars, history and truth. March 1, 2022.

“Run, Rose, Run” by James Patterson and Dolly Parton. This highly anticipated mystery thriller is finally hitting shelves! A story of a young singer on the rise. She’s also on the run, trying to leave behind a past that doesn’t seem to want to let her go. March 7, 2022.

“Like a Sister” by Kellye Garrett. When Black reality TV star Desiree Pierce is found dead in a playground in the Bronx, the police and the media are quick to declare the death an overdose. But Desiree’s estranged half-sister knows that can’t be the case. March 8, 2022.

“After the Romanovs: Russian Exiles in Paris from the Belle Époque Through Revolution and War” by Helen Rappaport.  The story of the Russian aristocrats, artists, and intellectuals who sought freedom and refuge in the City of Light. March 8, 2022.

“In Love: A Memoir of Love and Loss” by Amy Bloom. This powerful memoir is an illuminating story of two people whose love and shared life experiences led them to find a courageous way to part—and of a woman’s struggle to go forward in the face of loss.  Chosen for IndieNext. March 8, 2022.

For young readers  “The Ogress and the Orphans” by Kelly Barnhill. A new instant-classic fantasy from the Newbery medalist about the power of generosity and love–and how a community suffers when they disappear. March 8, 2022.

“The Old Woman with the Knife” by Gu Byeong-mo. Hornclaw is a sixty-five-year-old assassin who has had a successful career for many years, but now as she nears retirement, she’s starting to slip up… March 8, 2022.

“Booth: A Novel” by Karen Joy Fowler. An epic novel about the family behind one of the most infamous figures in American history: John Wilkes Booth. A startling portrait of a country in the throes of change and a vivid exploration of the ties that make, and break, a family. Chosen for IndieNext. March 8, 2022.

“Fencing with the King” by Diana Abu-Jaber. This mesmerizing novel masterfully draws on King Lear and Arthurian fable to explore the power of inheritance, the trauma of displacement, and whether we can release the past to build a future. March 15, 2022.

“When We Were Birds: A Novel” by Ayanna Lloyd Banwo.  A mythic love story set in Trinidad, this radiant debut introduces two unforgettable outsiders brought together by their connection with the dead. Chosen for IndieNext. March15, 2022.

“The Match” by Harlan Coben. When Wilde starts to look into his family history through DNA websites, something strange happens. He soon gets caught up in a secret online community and a serial killer who wants them all dead. March 15, 2022.

“A Sunlit Weapon : Maisie Dobbs #17” by Jacqueline Winspear. In this latest installment, a series of possible attacks on British pilots leads our heroine Maisie Dobbs into a mystery involving First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. March 22, 2022.

“The Recovery Agent” by Janet Evanovich. A new series and an exciting new heroine! As a recovery agent, Gabriela Rose is hired to seek out lost treasures. If you’ve lost something, she can get it back. But what happens when Gabriela is tasked with a job that involves her own family? Since, when family is involved, much more is at stake, especially when her ex-husband shows up. March 22, 2022.

“French Braid” by Anne Tyler. From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author–a funny, joyful, brilliantly perceptive journey deep into one Baltimore family’s foibles, from a boyfriend with a red Chevy in the 1950s up to a longed-for reunion with a grandchild in our pandemic present. March 22, 2022.

“A House Between Earth and the Moon” by Rebecca Scherm. The gripping story of one scientist in outer space, another who watches over him, the family left behind, and the lengths people will go to protect the people and planet they love. March 29, 2022.

“Wild and Wicked Things” by Francesca May.  In the aftermath of World War I, a naive woman is swept into a glittering world filled with dark magic, romance, and murder in this lush and decadent debut. March 29, 2022.

“The Diamond Eye” by Kate Quinn. An unforgettable World War II tale of a quiet librarian who becomes history’s deadliest female sniper. Based on a true story.  March 29, 2022.

“Four Aunties and a Wedding” by Jesse Q. Sutanto.  In this hilarious sequel to “Dial A for Aunties,” the aunties are back to make sure that nothing spoils Meddy’s wedding day. These fierce ladies are not afraid to tackle anything, not even when they realize that the wedding vendors are all a part of the mafia! March 29, 2022.

And don’t forget …. Coming in April:
“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!

And even more great lists: March 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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