The Reading List - 2018

What books have a buzz in 2018? Members of the American Booksellers Association are talking about the following:

An American Marriage by Tayari Jones (February 6)

Census by Jesse Ball (March 6)

Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala (March 6)

The Hunger by Alma Katsu (March 6)

Varina by Charles Frazier (April 3)

The Female Persuasion by Meg Wolitzer (April 3)

The Emissary by Yoko Tawada (April 24)

You Think It, I'll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld (April 24)(short story collection)

A Lucky Man by Jamel Brinkley (May 1)(short story collection)

Recommended Reading: Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

It's 2016 in Bluebird, Bluebird, a tense and complex novel by Attica Locke. There have been two murders in the east Texas town of Lark, and trouble is brewing. At Geneva Sweet's Sweets, the cafe's regular diners are tense and grim.

"What's going on?" [asked Wendy, a sometime business associate of the cafe's owner, Geneva].
Geneva sighed. "They pulled a body out the bayou this morning."
Wendy looked dumbfounded. "Another one?"
"A white one."
"Aw, shit."
Huxley nodded, pushing his coffee away. "Y'all remember when that white girl got killed down to Corrigan, they hauled in nearly every black man within thirty miles. In and out of every church and juke joint, every black-owned business, hunting for the killer or anybody who fit the bill they had in mind."
Geneva felt something dislodge in her breast, felt the fear she'd been trying to staunch give way, rising till it liked to choke her from the inside out.

Award Winning Books from the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association

Aaaaaand the winners of the 2018 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Book Awards are:

American War: A Novel by Omar El Akkad
The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color by Chandler O'Leary and Jessica Spring
Idaho: A Novel by Emily Ruskovich
Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean by Jonathan White
You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: A Memoir by Sherman Alexie

Welcome 2018!

Happy New Year!

I wrapped up 2017 by staying up late to finish reading Glass Houses, the latest book in the series by Louise Penny featuring Chief Inspector Gamache. In this outing, Gamache is going all in on stopping drug trafficking. Trafficking which, this being a novel, just happens to be reaching an evil climax in his little village of Three Pines. But it's all good for us, the reader, who can enjoy being wrapped up in the web of mystery and suspense being spun by Louise Penny.

Glass Houses was worth staying up late to read; and now I regret that it is over. That is just the kind of book that qualifies as highly recommended reading.


The Friday Photo


Recommended Reading: South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby

South Pole Station by Ashley Shelby is one of the best novels I've read in 2017. It's funny, lively, stressful, aggravating - everything you want in a novel.

The protagonist is thirty-year old Cooper Gosling. Gosling was an art prodigy as a teen, but circumstances changed. Trying to get her life and career back on track, she applies to the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists and Writers Program for a fellowship position at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. I'm not spoiling any surprise by telling you that, yes, she gets the gig, and we are then off with her on an adventure.

The crew at the South Pole falls into two camps, the scientists and the support team. (Cooper and the other artists, appropriately and predictably, are outliers). Author Ashley Shelby zooms in and out on these folks, providing interesting stories about unusual individuals who find that they are well suited to working at the end of the Earth.

There are also a couple of scientific battles u…