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A few reading resolutions | Fresh Reads


January 16, 2020

As we continue the new year and the next chapter of our shared lives, we again dare (and dread) to make our resolutions to change, improve, seek hope and peace and otherwise survive.

Being mindful of this ritual, the staff of Edmonds Bookshop has developed our own set of reading resolutions, driven by various desires to expand our perceptions, challenge our assumptions, and even assuage our guilt for missing out on one of everyone’s favorite books.

While there are plenty of books to be published in the coming months that we’re excited to sell, we focus here on what we want to read, or re-read.

But, just to pique your interest, here are a handful of favorite authors whose newest work comes in 2020: Elizabeth Acevedo, Isabel Allende, Julia Alvarez, Suzanne Collins, Louise Erdrich, Elena Ferrante, William Gibson, Garth Greenwell, Yaa Gyasi, Steve Inskeep, Samantha Irby, Erik Larson, James McBride, Colum McCann, Hilary Mantel, and many more.

Of course we’ll be reading these as they arrive, the better able to comment on and recommend.

Mary Kay has a goal of finishing Rebecca West’s classic “Black Lamb and Grey Falcon,” a door-stop of a book about West’s travels to the Balkans in 1937, when Yugoslavia faced imminent invasion by Germany as the region moved toward WWII.

Mary Kay also intends to keep up on advance readers editions of forthcoming books, in order to contribute comments to the Indiebound program that highlights books to independent booksellers across the country.

Michelle will focus on books by authors scheduled to make appearances in the store, for example, “The Magical Language of Others” by E.J. Koh, who visits the store Feb. 20. She also likes to quiz customers and friends about the books they’ve re-read, to explore the changes in perspective on formative reading experiences 15 or 20 years later.

Michelle recently re-read “Power” by Linda Hogan, a novel about a young member of the Taiga tribe torn between the traditions of her native family and the Westernized ambitions of her mother. Coming back to this book many years later, Michelle says she picked up different things than her younger self did.

Susan wants to continue exploring different categories and topics outside her favorite genres, in fiction and nonfiction, and find good selections for the book club. She’s also eager to read a number of forthcoming books.

Elaine’s general reading resolution for the year mostly revolves around watching less TV, replacing those hours with more reading. And one of her specific resolutions is, as with others, to read something outside her comfort zone.

She is going to start with the graphic novel/memoir category (a section that continues to sell well) – maybe trying “Persepolis” by Marjane Satrapi, or the “March Trilogy” about the Civil Rights movement, or Roz Chast’s moving memoir “Can't We Talk about Something More Pleasant?”

On the other hand, she expects “Green River Killer: A True Detective Story” by Jeff Jensen and Joanthan Case will appeal to her darker side.

Pat’s sons are both big fans of fantasy novels, and he wants to see what all the fuss is about. He’s choosing “Red Rising” by Pierce Brown, “The Name of the Wind” by Patrick Rothfuss and “The Lies of Locke Lamora” by Scott Lynch.

David’s resolutions include one or more autobiographies/profiles of potential presidential candidates; reading more deeply into important issues such as climate change and immigration; catching up on the recent works of a couple of beloved mystery/thriller writers; more poetry; and a recent classic/store favorite that he hasn't actually read, such as (embarrassing to say) “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles.

Of course, the staff always likes to hear what promises our customers have made to themselves when it comes to new books and old favorites.

Upcoming book events

Edmonds Bookshop already has several author appearances and book club meetings set up for the new year. For Third Thursday Art Walk Jan. 16, we feature first-time author Dena Taylor with her memoir “I Don't Wanna Be Pink,” about her experience with breast cancer and developing the manuscript of her memoir.

On Jan. 18 from noon to 1 p.m. will se Kate Alice Marshall and her new YA novel, “Rules for Vanishing.” And on Jan. 19 at 1 p.m., the store will have a special Children's Story & Activity Hour with Laura McGee Kvasnosky and Kate Harvey McGee, sharing their new book “Squeak.” Their earlier book, “Little Wolf's First Howling,” has been a customer favorite.


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