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What to read? Here's a list | Fresh Reads


Last updated 11/21/2017 at Noon

This new monthly column in the Edmonds Beacon highlights recent arrivals and staff favorites from Edmonds Bookshop, the longtime indie store on Fifth Avenue South.

Saturday, Nov. 25, is Indies First/Small Business Saturday, a great day to start your local holiday shopping.

Many of the books here are in the annual Holiday Books catalog, which was delivered in a recent edition of the Beacon, and is available at the bookshop.

Local interest

“Razor Clams: Buried Treasure of the Pacific Northwest,” David Berger, University of Washington Press. $26.95.

This is an excellent introduction to one of our favorite shellfish: razor clams. Includes solid research on the history and economic and recreational benefits of razor clamming, along with Berger’s tips on digging, cleaning and cooking this local delicacy.

“Colors of the West: An Artist’s Guide to Nature’s Palette,” Molly Hashimoto, Mountaineers Books. $24.95.

Renowned artist Hashimoto teaches us to observe and paint our wild places in all their glory, en plein air (in other words, outside in a natural setting). Let “Colors of the West” guide your appreciation of the natural world.


“Grant,” Ron Chernow, Penguin Random House. $40.

“Leonardo da Vinci,” Walter Isaacson, Simon & Schuster. $35.

Ron Chernow and Walter Isaacson – two of our most prominent biographers – now turn their talents for deep historical research and compelling narrative to Ulysses Grant and Leonardo da Vinci, respectively. Chernow’s extensive study of the Civil War hero and 18th president takes the reader through all the trials and triumphs Grant experienced during his long life. And Isaacson dissects the da Vinci’s notebooks and a great deal of other material to connect the art with the science.


“Complete Stories,” Kurt Vonnegut, Seven Stories Press. $40.

Collected in one volume for the first time, Kurt Vonnegut’s “Complete Stories” describe the full career of one of our most imaginative and influential American authors. There are five previously unpublished stories to pique your interest.

“Artemis: A Novel by Andy Weir,” Crown Publishing Group. $27.

From Andy Weir, the author of “The Martian,” comes an inventive and provocative story of life on Artemis, the first city on the moon.


Mysteries and thrillers are meat and potato for some readers, and this trio of new entries in long-running series really delivers.

“The Midnight Line,” by Lee Child, Delacorte Press. $28.99.

So many readers will follow Child’s manly hero Jack Reacher wherever he goes, and this time we’re in Wyoming, confronting some very topical issues. Reacher supplies the fisticuffs, as usual, but also something rarer: heart.

“Two Kinds of Truth: A Harry Bosch Novel,” Michael Connelly, Little, Brown and Company. $29.

Harry Bosch certainly has as many followers as Reacher, and in the latest entry in this series Bosch becomes entangled in two distinct cases that gradually tighten their grip around him, and us.

“Hardcore Twenty-Four: A Stephanie Plum Novel,” by Janet Evanovich, G.P. Putnam's Sons. $28.

Speaking of series, Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum thrillers have reached their 24th episode, and this time the New Jersey bounty hunter is confronted with recurring characters and headless corpses.


“Pie & Whiskey: Writers Under the Influence of Butter & Booze,” edited by Kate Lebo and Samuel Ligon, Sasquatch Books. $19.95.

“Pie & Whiskey” is a surprisingly moving anthology of stories and poems that emerged from a monthly reading (and eating and drinking) series in Spokane; a good gift for a literary foodie, recipes included.

“Field Roast: 101 Artisan Vegan Meat Recipes to Cook, Share and Savor,” Tommy McDonald, DaCapo Press. $30.

“Field Roast” offers recipes for all occasions, using vegan meat techniques and ingredients, based on the work of Seattle’s Field Roast Grain Co.

“My Rice Bowl: Korean Cooking Outside the Lines,” Rachel Yang and Jess Thomsen, Sasquatch Books. $35.

If you’re fond of her and her partner’s three Seattle restaurants, Joule, Revel or Trove, then you know of Rachel Yang’s outstanding takes on Korean-inspired cooking.


“Where the Animals Go: Tracking Wildlife with Technology in 50 Maps & Graphics,”

James Cheshire and Oliver Uberti, Norton. $39.95.

“Where the Animals Go” is a beautifully designed book that combines nature and technology to present detailed accounts of how all kinds of creatures navigate the world.

“The Inner Life of Animals: Love, Grief, and Compassion – Surprising Observations of a Hidden World,” Peter Wohlleben, Greystone Books. $24.95.

“The Inner Life of Animals” brings a sophisticated and enlightened approach to understanding animal interactions and motives.

Children’s books

“On the Night of the Shooting Star,” Amy Hest, illustrated by Jenni Desmond, Penguin Random House. $16.99.

In Hest’s story and Desmond’s evocative illustrations, Bunny and Dog overcome their reticence and start being friends when something extraordinary happens.

“The Purloining of Prince Oleomargarine,” Mark Twain and Philip C. Stead, illustrated by Erin Stead, Doubleday, $24.99.

Imagine you’re Mark Twain’s daughters and he’s making up stories for you at bedtime. Twain’s notes and sketches of his storytime efforts comprise the bones of this book, which Caldecott winners Philip and Erin Stead have reanimated into a delightful and fanciful tale.


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