Edmonds Booktalk: Numerous intriguing titles are on the way

The week of Oct. 1 was Banned Book Week. Yes. Banning and challenging is still happening. I know. It’s crazy. So we are going to take most of the month and celebrate our Freedom to Read. Check out our window display. Read all of the books. Read the books you want to read. Read the books they don’t want you to read. Just read, read, read. 

The American Library Association tracked 1,269 challenges to library, school, and university materials and services in 2022. Of the 2,571 unique titles that were challenged or banned in 2022, here are the top 13 most challenged:

• “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe. REASONS: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit.

“All Boys Aren’t Blue: A Memoir-Manifesto” by George M. Johnson. REASONS: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

• “The Bluest Eye” by Toni Morrison. REASONS: rape, incest, claimed to be sexually explicit; Equality, Diversity and Inclusion content.

• “Flamer” by Mike Curato. REASONS: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit

• “Looking for Alaska” by John Green. REASONS: claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content

• “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky. REASONS: claimed to be sexually explicit, LGBTQIA+ content, rape, drugs, profanity.

• “Lawn Boy” by Jonathan Evison. REASONS: LGBTQIA+ content, claimed to be sexually explicit.

“The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian” by Sherman Alexie. REASONS: claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity.

• “Out of Darkness” by Ashley Hope Pérez. REASONS: claimed to be sexually explicit.

“A Court of Mist and Fury” by Sarah J. Maas. REASONS: claimed to be sexually explicit. “Crank (The Crank Trilogy)” by Ellen Hopkins. REASONS: claimed to be sexually explicit, drugs. 

• “Me and Earl and the Dying Girl” by Jesse Andrews. REASONS: claimed to be sexually explicit, profanity.

• “This Book Is Gay” by Juno Dawson. REASONS: LGBTQIA+ content, sex education, claimed to be sexually explicit.

All kinds of great information [and more books] on our website here. 

 Edmonds Bookshop Events

Edmonds Bookshop Book Club: 9-10 a.m. Wednesday, Oct. 18

Our book for October: “Crying in H Mart” by Michelle Zauner.

In this exquisite story of family, food, grief and endurance, Michelle Zauner proves herself far more than a dazzling singer, songwriter, and guitarist.

With humor and heart, she tells of growing up one of the few Asian American kids at her school in Eugene, Oregon; of struggling with her mother’s particular, high expectations of her; of a painful adolescence; of treasured months spent in her grandmother’s tiny apartment in Seoul, where she and her mother would bond, late at night, over heaping plates of food.

Rich with intimate anecdotes that will resonate widely, and complete with family photos, “Crying in H Mart” is a book to cherish, share, and reread.

So much more information about the book is here.

More information about the book club is here.

6-7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 19: Third Thursday Art Walk — Join us to meet Annie Carl, editor of “Soul Jar: Thirty-One Fantastical Tales by Disabled Authors”

This original paperback is being published Oct. 17; we are thrilled to welcome Annie just a couple of days after official publication day.

Annie will be joined in conversation by two of the authors included in the collection of fantastical tales, Mika Grimmer and Ellis Bray. More information about the book can be found on our event page, here.

9:30-10:30 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2: Join us for Children’s Story Time with Dr. Margaret Towolawi, Medical Director and Founder of Nurture Well Center A Direct Primary Care Practice. We will open the shop a bit early [at 9:30 a.m] for this event.

“Ayomide and Seyi’s Kitchen” inspires children to develop a love for diverse plant foods at a young age by taking them on a whirlwind alphabet tour. So much more information is here on our event page.

Recent book releases of note: 

“Holly” by Stephen King. Holly Gibney returns in this thrilling novel to solve the gruesome truth behind multiple disappearances in a Midwestern town. Staff recommended.

“The River We Remember: A Novel” by William Kent Krueger. A dazzling standalone murder mystery set in small-town Minnesota, 1958 from the author of “This Tender Land” and “Ordinary Grace.”

“The Fraud: A Novel” by Zadie Smith. “…a kaleidoscopic work of historical fiction set against the legal trial that divided Victorian England…”

“Elon Musk” by Walter Isaacson. Isaacson shadowed the Tesla and SpaceX founder’s day-to-day life for two years. Oh, my…

“The Secret Hours” by Mick Herron. A gripping standalone spy thriller from the bestselling author of “Slow Horses,” with a riveting reveal about a disastrous MI5 mission in Cold War Berlin–an absolute must-read for Slough House fans.

“The Vaster Wilds: A Novel” by Lauren Groff. A taut and electrifying novel about one spirited girl alone in the wilderness, trying to survive.

“Build the Life You Want: The Art and Science of Getting Happier” by Arthur C. Brooks, Oprah Winfrey. The two offer science-backed solutions that they say will help anyone, no matter their circumstances, change their life for the better.

“Bright Young Women: A Novel” by Jessica Knoll. Two women from opposite sides of the country are brought together by violent acts of the same man, and become allies and sisters in arms as they pursue justice. Staff recommended.

“The Book of (More) Delights: Essays” by Ross Gay.  A lovely book continuing his celebration of the everyday delights. Staff recommended.

“The Last Devil to Die: A Thursday Murder Club Mystery” by Richard Osman. A new mystery is afoot in the 4th book in the series.

“North Woods: A Novel” by Daniel Mason. A sweeping novel about a single house in the woods of New England, told through the lives of those who inhabit it across the centuries — a daring, moving tale of memory and fate from the Pulitzer Prize finalist and author of “The Piano Tuner.”

“The Armor of Light: Kingsbridge #5” by Ken Follett. The long-awaited sequel to “A Column of Fire.” heralds a new dawn for Kingsbridge, England, where progress clashes with tradition, class struggles push into every part of society, and war in Europe engulfs the entire continent and beyond.

“The Running Grave: A Cormoran Strike Novel” by Robert Galbraith. In the seventh installment in the “outrageously entertaining” Strike series, Cormoran and Robin must rescue a man ensnared in the trap of a dangerous cult.

“Thicker than Water: A Memoir” by Kerry Washington. Throughout this profoundly moving and beautifully written memoir, Washington attempts to answer the questions so many have struggled with.

For young readers… “Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Chalice of the Gods” by Rick Riordan. The original heroes from “The Lightning Thief” are reunited for their biggest challenge yet: getting Percy to college when the gods are standing in his way.

For young readers… “The Wild Robot Protects” by Peter Brown. “The Wild Robot” series returns, taking Roz on an action-packed under-the-ocean journey to save her beloved island. Staff highly recommended author + series.

For more info about, and to order any of these [and more] September books, visit our blog here.

Books coming in October

“The Roaring Days of Zora Lilly” by Noelle Salazar. In this dazzling new novel, the discovery of a hidden label on a famous gown unearths the story of a talented young seamstress and her journey from the smoke-filled speakeasies of Jazz Age Seattle to the costume houses of Hollywood.

The new book by friend of the Bookshop, Noelle Salazar. We had so much fun when she was here in March: You can still watch the event on demand here. October 3, 2023. Plan ahead; Noelle will be joining us to chat and sign copies of her books from 5-8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 18 during First Dibs. More information as we get closer.

“Menewood: A Novel” (The Hild Sequence) by Nicola Griffith.

Moira: “Ten years after her Washington State Book Award-winning “Hild,” about a king’s niece growing up in seventh-century Britain, Seattle resident Griffith returns with a sequel. On her website, Griffith offered this description: ‘If “Hild” was about a child relying on her agile mind and acute observations of nature and human behaviour to stay one step ahead of the whims of a volatile king, then “Menewood” revolves around a young woman becoming herself—learning to live life on her own terms; to build, hold, and wield power—exploring and really inhabiting who she is …”  Moira Macdonald’s complete list of Fall recommendations here. October 3, 2023.

“Begin Again: How We Got Here and Where We Might Go – Our Human Story. So Far.” by Oliver Jeffers. In his first illustrated book created specifically with a wider audience [he usually does amazing, lovely books for little kids + parents], Jeffers shares a very brief history of humanity, reviews our current position, and shares his dreams for where we go from here. Oliver Jeffers will be at SAL October 5, 2023, information here. October 3, 2023.

“A Man of Two Faces: A Memoir, a History, a Memorial” by Viet Thanh Nguyen. The highly original, blistering, and unconventional memoir by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of “The Sympathizer.” With insight, humor, formal invention, and lyricism he rewinds the film of his own life. He expands the genre of personal memoir by acknowledging larger stories of refugee hood, colonization, and ideas about Vietnam and America, writing with his trademark sardonic wit and incisive analysis, as well as a deep emotional openness about his life as a father and a son. Nguyen will be at SAL November 8, 2023, information here. October 3, 2023.

“Going Infinite: The Rise and Fall of a New Tycoon” by Michael Lewis. The story of FTX’s spectacular collapse and the enigmatic founder at its center. New York Times recommended. October 3, 2023.

“How to Say Babylon: A Memoir” by Safiya Sinclair. The stunning story of the author’s struggle to break free of her rigid Rastafarian upbringing, ruled by her father’s strict patriarchal views and repressive control of her childhood, to find her own voice as a woman and poet. New York Times recommended. October 3, 2023.

“Differ We Must: How Lincoln Succeeded in a Divided America” by Steve Inskeep. A compelling and nuanced exploration of Abraham Lincoln’s political acumen, illuminating a great politician’s strategy in a country divided–and lessons for our own disorderly present. Inskeep will be at SAL, information here. October 3, 2023.

“In the Form of a Question: The Joys and Rewards of a Curious Life” by Amy Schneider. “An inspirational and bold memoir from the most successful woman ever to compete on Jeopardy.” A great interview with her in Parade Magazine. October 3, 2023.

‘“Family Meal” by Bryan Washington. His third novel has it all: delicious food, tender sex scenes, and a jealous ghost. Cam is struggling to grieve the love of his life. It doesn’t help that the spirit of his late partner won’t leave him alone. When he returns to his hometown of Houston seeking solace, he finds himself reconnecting with a (living) ghost from his past: TJ, his estranged childhood bestie, who may be the only person who can help him find closure. October 10, 2023.

“Roman Stories” by Jhumpa Lahiri. Moira: Lahiri, whose first collection of short stories (“Interpreter of Maladies”) won a Pulitzer Prize in 2000, has in recent years been writing solely in Italian. This collection, in which each story takes Rome as a character, was translated into English by Lahiri and editor Todd Portnowitz. Moira Macdonald’s complete list of Fall recommendations here. October 10, 2023.

“Sword Catcher” by Cassandra Clare. In her adult debut novel, two outcasts find themselves caught in a web of forbidden love, dangerous magic and dark secrets that could change the world forever, in this start of a new fantasy series from the author of “The Shadowhunter Chronicles.” Washington Post recommended. October 10, 2023.

“Not That Fancy: Simple Lessons on Living, Loving, Eating, and Dusting Off Your Boots” by Reba McEntire. The GRAMMY-award winning singer and actress shares life lessons, behind-the-scenes stories and photos, and her favorite comfort food recipes to inspire you to enjoy the simple things in life. A lovely interview with Reba in Parade Magazine is here. October 10, 2023.

“The Goodbye Cat” by Hiro Arikawa. In the much-anticipated follow-up to the bestselling and beloved “The Travelling Cat Chronicles,” which is staff recommended, seven cats weave their way through their owners’ lives, climbing, comforting, nestling, and sometimes just tripping everyone up in this uplifting collection of tales. October 10, 2023.

“Liberation Day: Stories” by George Saunders. Finally in paperback; October 10, 2023.

“Prequel: An American Fight Against Fascism” by Rachel Maddow. Rachel Maddow traces the fight to preserve American democracy back to World War II, when a handful of committed public servants and brave private citizens thwarted far-right plotters trying to steer our nation toward an alliance with the Nazis. Maddow will be at Town Hall Seattle October 24, 2023. October 17, 2023.

“The Exchange: After the Firm” by John Grisham. The riveting sequel to “The Firm.” It is fifteen years later, Mitch is a partner at the largest law firm in the world. When a mentor in Rome asks him for a favor that will take him far from home, Mitch finds himself at the center of a sinister plot that has worldwide implications — and once again endangers his colleagues, friends, and family. Mitch has become a master at staying one step ahead of his adversaries, but this time there’s nowhere to hide. October 17, 2023.

“The Sisterhood: The Secret History of Women at the CIA” by Liza Mundy. The acclaimed author of “Code Girls” returns with a revelatory history of three generations at the CIA — the women who fought to become operatives, transformed spy craft, and tracked down Osama Bin Laden. October 17, 2023.

“Let Us Descend” by Jesmyn Ward. While a heartbreaking and tragic tale, this novel is fiercely gripping and incredibly spellbinding. Ward’s rich and poetic sentences beautifully interweave elements of magical realism, crafting a novel that’s both devastating and enlightening. The New York Times recommends. October 24, 2023.

“How to Know a Person: The Art of Seeing Others Deeply and Being Deeply Seen” by David Brooks. A practical, heartfelt guide to the art of truly knowing another person in order to foster deeper connections at home, at work, and throughout our lives. Brooks will be at Town Hall Seattle, November 20, 2023 7:30 pm PST, the information here.  October 24, 2023.

“Emperor of Rome: Ruling the Ancient Roman World” by Mary Beard. This is not your usual chronological account of Roman rulers, one after another. Beard asks bigger questions: What power did emperors actually have? Was the Roman palace really so bloodstained? She tracks down the emperor at home, at the races, on his travels, even on his way to heaven. Beard will be featured at Seattle Arts + Lectures October 27, 2023. More information here. October 24, 2023.

“Hidden Potential: The Science of Achieving Greater Things” by Adam Grant. The bestselling author of “Think Again” illuminates how we can elevate ourselves and others to unexpected heights. October 24, 2023.

“No Brainer: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #18” by Jeff Kinney. It’s up to Greg to save his crumbling school before it’s shuttered for good. October 24, 2023. 

“From a Far and Lovely Country: No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency #24” by Alexander McCall Smith. The latest installment in the delightfully diverting No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series, in which all of Mma Ramotswe’s tact, affability, and good sense will be required to disentangle a delicate dispute. October 31, 2023.

“Absolution: A Novel” by Alice McDermott. Moira: We’ve been waiting six years for a new McDermott novel (her last was 2017’s “The Ninth Hour”), so that she can slip us effortlessly into another world; this one takes place in the 1960s, from the point of view of two Vietnam War wives. Moira Macdonald’s complete list of Fall recommendations here. October 31, 2023.

“Being Henry: The Fonz . . . and Beyond” by Henry Winkler. From the Emmy-award winning actor, author, comedian, producer, and director comes a deeply thoughtful memoir of the lifelong effects of stardom and the struggle to become whole. October 31, 2023.

“The Reformatory: A Novel” by Tananarive Due. Based on an event in her own family history, Due creates a gripping, page-turning novel set in Jim Crow Florida. It follows Robert Stephens Jr. as he’s sent to a segregated reform school that is a chamber of terrors where he sees the horrors of racism and injustice, for the living, and the dead. Staff recommended author. A great book for a Halloween read.  The New York Times recommends. October 31, 2023.

Bonus: A couple of very special books coming in November

“Iron Flame” by Rebecca Yarros. The sequel to “Fourth Wing.” “The first year is when some of us lose our lives. The second year is when the rest of us lose our humanity.” —Xaden Riorson

We are one of the lucky Independent Bookstores that are receiving a small number of the special limited edition first print runs of book #2 with special fancy edges and end papers. Pre-order right here — first come, first served… we are not sure how many we will be getting… there may also be tote bags.

and more fun news…. We will be hosting a small celebration on the actual publication day, from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 7. More details on our event page: https://edmondsbookshop.indielite.org/event/publication-day-celebration-iron-flame-rebecca-yarros

“The Narrow Road Between Desires” by Patrick Rothfuss. Playful, sweet, and sly as Bast himself, this return to the Kingkiller Chronicle universe explores a previously unseen part of Temerant, and shows a side of Bast we’ve only glimpsed before. Learn more about Bast as he goes against his better judgement and follows his heart’s desire. For after all, what good is wisdom if it keeps you from finding your way to danger and delight? We are receiving a few signed first editions of this lovely new book. Pre-order your copy here to reserve a signed edition. [*no guarantees: first come first served…the publisher will be sending signed copies, but we do not know how many we will receive…] November 14, 2023.

Some great blog posts/lists: 

The New York Times recommends 18 new books coming in October 2023. Our blog here.

The Washington Post chooses 10 noteworthy books for October. Our blog here. 

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times arts critic, recommends a dozen must-reads for fall. On our blog 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 on the home page — under the picture — directly to the weekly bestseller list. It’s usually updated on Wednesdays).

Author, journalist, whiskey-sipper, and friend of the Bookshop, Neal Thompson, has a fantastic blog/newsletter called Blood and Whiskey It’s all about crime fiction and true crime: roundups, reviews, author interviews. Plus cocktails and playlists. Check it out here.

National bestselling authors [and friends of the Bookshop] Marie Bostwick, Rachel Linden, and Katherine Reay host “The 10 Minute Book Talk” and gather with author friends weekly to chat about so many new and wonderful books. Link to the free YouTube Channel is here

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, and Instagram.

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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