This novel is nothing less than a stubborn, joyful, life-saving journey from the author of the fabulous Mink River. (The protagonist here, Declan, was glimpsed in that novel.) I did not want to leave this book at the last page. Magical realism with characters that sing to your heart! ~ Victoria
Full disclosure: Heather Vogel Frederick spent a weekend at Eagle Harbor Books researching bookstore life for this engaging story of a 12-year-old and her friends, who solve the mystery of a missing book and an undelivered letter. But more than simply pride in our small part, we absolutely love Absolutely Truly! A bit of Harriet the Spy, a dash of the kids in Hoot— Frederick has delivered a great story for middle readers! Ages 8-12. ~ Victoria
“In giant schools, their brilliant lights / Illuminate the darkest nights.” And so does this fabulous book of poetry from the incomparable Jack Prelutsky. Carin Berger provides the amusing illustrations for this book, which also includes delightful poems about creatures including Jollyfish, Sobcats, and Braindeer. Ages 4-8. ~ Victoria
Three characters, connected by happenstance, form the backbone of this simple but rich story. Filtered through the tough lens of modern America’s most stubborn problems—hanging onto the bottom rungs of the economic ladder, staying atop of health care bills, and fighting the familial crises that can tatter the lives of decent folks living on the edge—Vlautin shows how they try to cope with their stark and sometimes desperate situations. Beneath the grit are strength and beauty and kindness.
Carol Cassella has done it again! I could not put down this taut medical mystery with bittersweet love stories at the core. When a Jane Doe hit-and-run victim, found by the side of the road on the Olympic Peninsula, is flown to a Seattle hospital after suffering a stroke in surgery, ICU physician Charlotte tries to figure out what went wrong, and why no one has come forward to claim the gravely injured woman. Her efforts are twinned with the back story, having a twist, on how the woman ended up there. The resolution, both sad and hopeful, felt just right. Bravo!
ans of Jamie Ford’s Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet can come gladly to this latest novel. Once again set in Seattle, it explores both the rich and sometimes tangled history of the Chinese American community, and the effects of the Depression on the still young city. I recognized many stories from my father’s own tales of growing up here in
those times: The wonder of the movie theaters, the unrest on the streets, the discrimination toward Americans of Asian descent, and the fragility of families during those difficult
days. Despite the sadness, there are also the moments of joy and wonder. A great read! ~ Victoria
What a joy to dive once more into the Montana of yore with Ivan Doig! We again meet Morrie Morgan as he takes on the big guns of Anaconda Copper in Butte, along with a wonderful cast of salty and delightful characters. It’s hard to find a wordsmith who delves into the history of the American West with such sweet prose and storytelling. I love to read Doig out loud just to capture the full impact of his deliciously evocative descriptions and character studies. Sweet Thunder booms with triumph! ~ Victoria
Egan has done it again: taken a time and place in history and unlocked new insights and revelations from material we thought we already knew. He takes us to those early, hurly burly days in Seattle when Edward Curtis, a hard-strapped young man, follows his dream to become a prominent and brilliant photographer. Through Egan’s lucid, beautiful prose, we watch as Curtis hits the pinnacle, sought by presidents and millionaires, and as he takes off on a project that will ultimately consume and destroy him—photographing and describing in writing and early recording the languages, cultures, and customs of Native Americans across the continent. And yet this project will leave a vast legacy that has enriched both Native Americans and our current nation to this day. Bravo to Egan for bringing this story into the light! ~ Victoria
Bainbridge writer Dylan Tomine gets his hands dirty, but his mind cleared and life focused in this impassioned yet charming memoir about a year teaching his two young children to live close to the glorious riches of our delicate planet. Tomine’s family of four experience wisdom, heartache, and great joy as they plant, forage, and play in their garden, in the woods, and on the beaches and waters of Puget Sound. His deft writing makes even chapters on firewood poetic! Tomine’s generous love and respect for the natural world, whether out on his boat fishing or at home making mouth-watering meals, exemplifies a deep understanding of what stewardship of our planet should be, and has me wistful for a do-over of my own kids’ younger days! ~ Victoria
I love nature, particularly birds. But this treasure by Thor Hanson goes way beyond field guide descriptions of one of nature’s most perfect inventions. He wonderfully describes our love affair with feathers—from religious symbol to pragmatic and fantastic attire to the inspiration feathers give us in everything from art to science. ~ Victoria
This is a a beautiful, magical story that had me from the first crook of its finger. All the secrets and sadness spilled off the page, and left me breathless, but happy at a tale well-told. ~ Victoria
I’m a sucker for cookbooks, and own too many. But there are a handful I pull from the shelf regularly for inspiration and recipes. This book, brimming with the flavors of Southeast Asia, clearly is in that category. Arokiasamy wins me over with her simple goal: Let’s make American tables more tasty and healthy through the use of spices! This book is well written and informative, and the recipes are generally accessible; one of my favorites is the Stir-Fried Chicken with Cashews, page 124. (Editor’s note: The Thai Shrimp and Pineapple Curry, page 157, is heavenly!) ~ Victoria
This finely etched and sometimes tart novel about a group of four New York friends is for all those moms who decided to stay at home when their children came along. The main characters face midlife somewhat lost and somewhat flawed, yet admirable. Wolitzer has a keen ear for the inner dialogue of graduate degree mothers on break from their careers. Where was she eavesdropping? You will smile at those very recognizable "mother moments."
A real-life Lassie-come-home story with a twist! Toutonghi deftly tells the tale of Gonker, a loveable golden retriever who disappeared on the Appalachian Trail in October 1998. His family conducted a massive search, while Gonker’s human “grandmother” Virginia set up a pre-social media command center at home to spread the word, garnering world attention. Virginia and Gonker form the heart of the story, showing both human resilience in the face of cruelty, and the deep, imponderable bond between humans and canines.
I couldn’t put down this tightly wired tale of a plane crash, two survivors, and the searing take the media can put on a story. Scott Burroughs, a painter, is offered a ride to NYC from Martha’s Vineyard on a media mogul’s jet. A former competitive swimmer, Burroughs makes it to Long Island carrying the young son of the family. At first considered a hero, he is besieged by the media, the rich, and the FBI as each tries to figure out what happened. Hawley rivets readers with the backstory of all the passengers, keeping the cause of the crash just out of sight until the end. Fascinating!
A new edition of the 1983 classic, still going strong! This magical mystery tour of riparian habitats and hearts beating fast and slow stands up to the test of time. We follow fishing prodigy Gus Orviston as he seeks to move beyond his crazy combustible family by fleeing to a river on the Oregon Coast and living a perfect life of fishing, eating, surviving. Gus doesn’t reckon on the warp to his woof caused by a dead fisherman, and a fisherwoman named Eddy. A breathtaking glimpse of thinkers and mystics from an incredible slice of human geology, this book is just plain fun, funny, and worth your time.
Another Erik Larson triumph, this book tells the story of the last voyage of the Lusitania, one of the great transatlantic “greyhounds” of the Cunard line, thought to be too fast for German submarines as WWI dawned. The riveting route Larson traces takes an old story and makes it immediate, filled with new knowledge, and incredibly vivid. His rich mining of information about the ship, the crew and passengers, the submarine hunting them, and the politics of the day muster both poignancy and outrage. Once again, Larson rewards us with top-notch historical writing.