Edmonds Booktalk: Bestsellers and staff favorites to put under the tree


So many great books and all kinds of other great gift items on shelves everywhere in the bookshop: calendars [wall, engagement, page-a-day, mini-wall], tote bags, note cards, socks, fancy stickers, fancy bookmarks, mugs, magnets, Sue Coccia art flags, candles, Happy Blob Fish, racing sloths, giant pencils, axolotl tree ornaments… all so much fun!

Bestsellers at Edmonds Bookshop January – December 4, 2022:
Not surprisingly, most of these are staff favorites and book club choices… so many great books!


  1. “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt
  2. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens
  3. “The Cold Millions” by Jess Walter
  4. “The House in the Cerulean Sea” by TJ Klune
  5. “Hamnet” by Maggie O’Farrell
  6. “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus
  7. “The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid
  8. “It Ends with Us” by Colleen Hoover
  9. “The Night Watchman” by Louise Erdrich
  10. “The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman



  1. “Atlas of the Heart : Mapping Meaningful Connection and the Language of Human Experience” by Brené Brown
  2. “A Dog’s Devotion: True Adventures of a K9 Search and Rescue Team” by Suzanne Elshult and James Guy Mansfield
  3. “Talking to Strangers : What We Should Know about the People We Don’t Know” by Malcolm Gladwell
  4. “Crying in H Mart: A Memoir” by Michelle Zauner
  5. “What Happened to You?: Conversations on Trauma, Resilience, and Healing” by Oprah Winfrey
  6. “Braiding Sweetgrass” by Robin Wall Kimmerer
  7. “The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times” by Michelle Obama


  1. “Itty Bitty Kitty Corn” by Shannon Hale

We also picked our favorite books of the year! Always hard to narrow down – none of us could pick just one. Here are our lists:

Michelle chose:
“We Are the Light” by Matthew Quick
“Inciting Joy: Essays” by Ross Gay
“Signal Fires” by Dani Shapiro

Mary Kay chose:
“The Three Billy Goats Gruff” by Mac Barnett + Jon Klassen
“The Passenger” by Cormac McCarthy
“Pastoral Song: A Farmer’s Journey” by James Rebanks

David chose:
“Stay True: A Memoir” by Hua Hsu
“The Gray Man” series by Mark Greaney
“When the Moon Turns to Blood: Lori Vallow, Chad Daybell, and a Story of Murder, Wild Faith, and End Times” by Leah Sottile
“Mamacita: Recipes Celebrating Life as a Mexican Immigrant in America” by Andrea Pons

Susan chose:
“The House in the Cerulean Sea” by TJ Klune
“The Ministry for the Future” by Kim Stanley Robinson
“The Ways We Hide” by Kristina McMorris

Elaine chose:
“Firekeeper’s Daughter” by Angeline Boulley
“Billy Summers” by Stephen King
”When Women Were Dragons” by Kelly Barnhill

Pat chose:
“Horse” by Geraldine Brooks
“Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt

Eleanor chose:
“Where The Language Lives: VI Hilbert and the Gift of Lushootseed” by Janet Yoder
“Wildoak” by C.C. Harrington

More information and our mini reviews are here.

We have so many options to help with your book gifting needs this month:

  • Shop in person in the shop! Bring your list; check out this year’s Give Books Holiday Catalog [in the shop ready to pick up!] also online to peruse and shop from, here.
  • Order online: com or shop from the catalog online right here!
  • Pick up in store, or curbside – just let us know you have arrived, happy to run your books out to you!
  • Order online or on the phone + get it all delivered for free if you are in the greater Edmonds area.
  • Order online or on the phone + have it shipped anywhere you wish within the U.S. [we use the media mail option, which is reasonably priced, and takes about 10 days…you may request quicker options, we will be happy to let you know the price difference.]
  • We have complimentary gift wrap available, as usual.
  • And always a fantastic option: Edmonds Bookshop Gift Cards! Available in any denomination you wish. We can take orders for them online, here or over the phone. We can mail them directly to the recipient[s] or to you, if you wish to gift them yourself. We can also have them available to pick up in the store. Whatever works best for you!

Edmonds Bookshop Events.

Page Ahead Book Drive. Dec. 11-17. We will be accepting donations of NEW books for the Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program the entire week. We are offering 10% off any books purchased for donation during the week.  Please consider a donation as you do your holiday shopping this season! Thank you so much.More information on our website, here. And so much information about Page Ahead, here. Giving kids their very own new books – what could be better than that?! It makes our hearts so happy!

Third Thursday Art Walk. Dec. 15. 5-8 p.m.
Receive 20% off any one item at Edmonds Bookshop during Art Walk Edmonds (some exclusions apply)!

Yes! You may choose to use the 20% off any one thing to donate a book to our Page Ahead New Book Drive! Lovely.

Edmonds Bookshop Book Club: January
Wednesday morning, Jan. 18: 9 -10 a.m. We are planning to be hybrid again in January! We are still doing Zoom meetings, but also – welcoming back some to join us in person. Send us an email here to inquire about attending in person.

Our January book is “Cloud Cuckoo Land” by Anthony Doerr.

A masterpiece spanning multiple characters, time periods, and places. Readers will be drawn into this clever literary puzzle and repeatedly satisfied every time one piece is revealed to relate to another. “Cloud Cuckoo Land” celebrates the power of stories and how they connect us as well as comfort us during difficult times.

National Book Award Finalist
2022 PNBA Award Winner

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.

Recent book releases of note:

“The World We Make: Great Cities #2” by N.K. Jemisin. The three-time Hugo Award-winning crafts “a glorious fantasy” (Neil Gaiman) — a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City, in the final book of the Great Cities Duology. Lovely review, here.

“We Are the Light” by Matthew Quick.  From the bestselling author comes a poignant and hopeful novel about a widower who takes in a grieving teenager and inspires a magical revival in their small town. Staff recommended.Chosen for IndieBound.

“Surrender: 40 Songs, One Story” by Bono. Artist, activist, and the lead singer of U2–has written a memoir: honest and irreverent, intimate and profound, this is the story of the remarkable life he’s lived, the challenges he’s faced, and the friends and family who have shaped and sustained him. Review in The New York Times here. And in The Washington Post here.

“All about Me!: My Remarkable Life in Show Business” by Mel Brooks. Now in paper.  Recommended in The Seattle Times, here.

“Friends, Lovers and the Terrible Thing: A Memoir” by Matthew Perry. Perry, who played Chandler Bing on “Friends,” has been candid about his substance abuse and sobriety. In this memoir, he returns again to discussions of fame and addiction, but also reaches back to his childhood.

“The Appeal” by Janice Hallett. Now in paperback.  Recommended in The Seattle Times, here. Chosen as one of the best thrillers of the year by The New York Times, list and mini-review here.

“Small Game” by Blair Braverman. A gripping novel about a survival reality show gone wrong that leaves a group of strangers stranded in the northern wilds. Review/interview on npr, here.

“The Philosophy of Modern Song” by Bob Dylan. This book offers Dylan’s commentaries on a range of music, written in the singer’s unmistakable lyrical style. Interesting review in The New York Times, here.

“The Last Campaign: Sherman, Geronimo and the War for America” by H. W. Brands. The bestselling historian and Pulitzer Prize finalist follows the lives of General William Tecumseh Sherman and Apache war leader Geronimo to tell the story of the Indian Wars and the final fight for control of the American continent. The Last Campaign is a powerful retelling of a turning point in the making of our nation and a searing elegy for a way of life that is gone.

“These Precious Days” by Ann Patchett. Now in paper.  Recommended in The Seattle Times, here.

“Bewilderment” by Richard Powers. In paperback.

“And Yet: Poems” by Kate Baer. Her second full-length book of traditional poetry dives deeper into the themes that are the hallmarks of her writing: motherhood, friendship, love, and loss. Chosen for IndieBound.

“The King: The Life of Charles III” by Christopher Andersen. A vivid and unsparing, yet sympathetic portrait of one of the most complex and enigmatic figures of our time: Charles, who has taken his place on the throne after being the oldest and longest-serving heir in British history.

“Now Is Not the Time to Panic” by Kevin Wilson. A bold coming-of-age story, written with his trademark wit and blazing prose, this is a nuanced exploration of young love, identity, and the power of art. It’s also about the secrets that haunt us—and, ultimately, what the truth will set free. Chosen for IndieBound. New York Times review, here.

“Cursed: Gilded #2” by Marissa Meyer.  The fairytale-inspired Gilded duology comes to a conclusion… Adalheid Castle is in chaos. Following a shocking turn of events, Serilda finds herself ensnared in a deadly game of make-believe with the Erlking, who is determined to propel her deeper into the castle’s lies.

“Bloodmarked : Legendborn #2” by Tracy Deonn. The shadows have risen, and the line is law. All Bree wanted was to uncover the truth behind her mother’s death. But the ancient war between demons and the Order is rising…

“Novelist as a Vocation” by Haruki Murakami. Readers who have long wondered where the mysterious novelist gets his ideas and what inspires his strangely surreal worlds will be fascinated by this insightful and unique look at the craft of writing. Fascinating review in The New York Times.

“Stellarlune: Keeper of the Lost Cities #9 by Shannon Messenger.  With her friends divided and scattered, and the Black Swan wanting her to focus on their projects, Sophie is led in a different direction to Stellarlune, which might be their salvation or destruction, and learns the true meaning of power–and evil.

“Desert Star: A Renée Ballard and Harry Bosch Novel” by Michael Connelly.  The LAPD detectives team up to hunt the brutal killer who is Bosch’s “white whale”–a man responsible for the murder of an entire family.

“Scattered Showers: Stories” by Rainbow Rowell. A collection of nine stories about love and life featuring best friends, princes, trolls, imaginary boys, and Simon Snow.

“The Queen: Her Life” by Andrew Morton. The bestselling biographer provides the definitive, most comprehensive account of Queen Elizabeth II’s legendary reign.

“The Light We Carry: Overcoming in Uncertain Times” by Michelle Obama. In an inspiring follow-up to her critically acclaimed memoir “Becoming,” former First Lady Michelle Obama shares practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today’s highly uncertain world.

“The Twist of a Knife” by Anthony Horowitz. In his fourth mystery featuring a fictionalized version of himself, Horowitz skewers critics while crafting a brilliant, amusing whodunit. The other 3: “The Word is Murder,” “The Sentence is Death,” and “A Line to Kill.”

“The Lost Metal: A Mistborn Novel #7” by Brandon Sanderson.  Return to the Mistborn world of Scadrial as its second era, which began with “The Alloy of Law,” comes to its earth-shattering conclusion in “The Lost Metal.”

“Musical Tables: Poems” by Billy Collins.  The former Poet Laureate has found a new form for his unique poetic style: the small poem. Here Collins writes about his trademark themes of nature, animals, poetry, mortality, absurdity, and love–all in a handful of lines. On npr here.

“They’re Going to Love You” by Meg Howrey. A “soul-stirring novel about love, loyalty and one’s lifelong relationship to art” (Seattle Times) set in the world of professional ballet, New York City during the AIDS crisis, and present-day Los Angeles. This is a gripping and gorgeously written novel of heartbreaking intensity.

“Dickens and Prince: A Particular Kind of Genius” by Nick Hornby. From the bestselling author comes a short, warm, and entertaining book about art, creativity, and the unlikely similarities between Victorian novelist Charles Dickens and modern American rock star Prince.

“Tread of Angels” by Rebecca Roanhorse. Celeste, a card sharp with a need for justice, takes on the role of advocatus diaboli , to defend her sister Mariel, accused of murdering a Virtue, a member of the ruling class of this mining town. Chosen for December IndieBound.

“A Book of Days” by Patti Smith. A deeply moving and brilliantly idiosyncratic visual book of days by the National Book Award-winning author, featuring more than 365 images and reflections that chart Smith’s singular aesthetic–inspired by her wildly popular Instagram. Check out her Instagram here!

“Smitten Kitchen Keepers” by Deb Perelman. The long-awaited new book features a collection of essential recipes for meals you’ll want to prepare again and again.

“Marie Kondo’s Kurashi at Home: How to Organize Your Space and Achieve Your Ideal Life” by Marie Kondo. Transform your home into a haven of calm and achieve your ideal lifestyle with this inspirational visual guide featuring more than 100 photographs.

“Astrid Parker Doesn’t Fail” by Ashley Herring Blake.  An interior designer who is never without the perfect plan learns to renovate her love life without one in this new romantic comedy. In paperback.

“A World of Curiosities: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel #18” by Louise Penny. It’s spring and Three Pines is reemerging after the harsh winter. But not everything buried should come alive again. Not everything lying dormant should reemerge. But something has.

“Five Survive” by Holly Jackson. A new addictive thriller about a road trip that turns deadly. Eight hours. Six friends. Five survive.  “Holly Jackson plays off of our collective true crime obsession brilliantly.” —PopSugar.

“The Final Case” by David Guterson. Now in paperback. November 29, 2022. Recommended in The Seattle Times, here.

Books of note being released in December:

#1 IndieBound December Pick: “The Light Pirate: A Novel” by Lily Brooks-Dalton. “A survivor of a book. In the not-too-distant future, Florida is hurricane central, and Wanda (a hurricane namesake) is in the eye of this story that wraps around you; you’ll hold on for dear life, with everybody else.”—Michelle Bear, Edmonds Bookshop. December 6, 2022.

“A Private Spy: The Letters of John Le Carré” by John Le Carré. During his lifetime, Le Carré wrote numerous letters to writers, spies, politicians, artists, actors and public figures. This collection is a treasure trove, revealing the late author’s humour, generosity, and wit–a side of him many readers have not previously seen. December 6, 2022.

“How Far the Light Reaches: A Life in Ten Sea Creatures” by Sabrina Imbler. “The only thing more impressive than Imbler’s marine knowledge is their knowledge of themselves. Searching the ocean for new ways of being, they describe personal, familial, and communal trauma with astonishing honesty and lyricism.” —Amy Woolsey, Bards Alley, Vienna, VA. December 6, 2022.

“Stella Maris” by Cormac McCarthy. “Cormac McCarthy’s coda to “The Passenger” feels refreshingly different from, yet fully in-step with its predecessor. “Stella Maris” certainly makes “The Passenger” all the more tragic. If you read “The Passenger,” don’t skip dessert.” —Mary Wahlmeier, Raven Book Store, Lawrence, KS. December 6, 2022.

“A Dangerous Business” by Jane Smiley. “An incredibly thought-provoking new novel from Jane Smiley. Her characters are so well drawn out that I felt like I was living the narrative alongside them. The writing is evocative and makes the pages fly. I can’t wait to sell this!”—Brooke Beehler, Books Revisited, St. Cloud, MN
From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning and best-selling author of A Thousand Acres: a rollicking murder mystery set in Gold Rush California, as two young prostitutes follow a trail of missing girls. December 6, 2022.

“My Darkest Prayer: A Novel” by S. A. Cosby. “Former deputy Nathan Waymaker agrees to look into the sudden death of a beloved preacher of a Black church in a small Southern town. Cosby is a master of drawing you into a world where every knock on the door sounds like a harbinger of death.”—Alden Graves, Northshire Bookstore, Manchester Center, VT. December 6, 2022.

“Queens of the Age of Chivalry” by Alison Weir. Packed with dramatic true stories from one of European history’s most romantic and turbulent eras, this epic narrative chronicles the five vividly rendered queens of the Plantagenet kings who ruled England between 1299 and 1399. December 6, 2022.

“The Violin Conspiracy: A Novel” by Brendan Slocumb. “One of my new favorite novels. The book tells Ray’s story, a young Black man who just wants to play his violin in a world set to see him fail. You’ll root for Ray, get angry on his behalf, cry with him, and triumph with him.”—Laney Sheehan, Epilogue: Books Chocolate Brews, Chapel Hill, NC. Now in paper. December 6, 2022.  Recommended in The Seattle Times, here.

“Scatterlings” by Rešoketšwe Manenzhe.  A lyrical, moving novel — the most awarded debut title in South Africa–that tells the story of a multiracial family when the Immorality Act is passed, revealing the story of one family’s scattered souls in the wake of history. Intertwining her storytelling with ritual, myth, and the heart-wrenching question of who stays and who leaves, this marks the debut of a gifted storyteller who has become a sensation in her native South Africa–and promises to take the Western literary world by storm as well. Chosen as a best of December by both The Washington Post and The New York Times.  December 13, 2022.

The McCartney Legacy: Volume 1: 1969 – 73 by Allan Kozinn. In this first of a groundbreaking multivolume set captures the life of Paul McCartney in the years immediately following the dissolution of the Beatles, a period in which McCartney recreated himself as both a man and a musician. Informed by hundreds of interviews, extensive ground up research and thousands of never-before-seen documents is an in depth, revealing exploration of McCartney’s creative and personal lives beyond the Beatles. Review in The New York Times, here. December 13, 2022.

Some great blog posts/lists:

The New York Times recommends books coming in December.   On our blog here.

The New York Times Book Review chooses 10 Best Books of 2022. The list on our blog here!

The Washington Post names their 10 Best Books of 2022. On our blog here.

The Washington Post recommends 10 books to read in December. On the blog here.

NPR favorites so far this year, here.

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association [PNBA] bestseller list. Updated weekly. We do our best to have all of these books in stock.  [there is a link from their home page under the picture directly to the bestseller list!]

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. Enjoy the little things. 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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