Tag Archives: books

My Five Favorite Books on Washington

Tons of different books, including guidebooks, have been written about Washington State, but I tend to refer back to the page-worn pets on my bookshelf.

Here they are:

The Dog Lover’s Guide to the Pacific Northwest by Val Mallinson – a comprehensive guide about the best places around to take your dog including parks, hotels and restaurants and Val updates it often.

Washington Trivia complied by John Hedtke – a great little paperback to take on trips and quiz your traveling partners with. Did you know that the cartoons on the J.P. Patches Show came out of his hat?

Atomic Marbles and Branding Irons by Harriet Baskas and Adam Woog. Actually anything by Harriet Baskas works as she’s the go-to writer on weird places and things in the area.

Waterfall Lover’s Guide:  Pacific Northwest by Gregory A. Plumb. Using waterfalls as markers on a scenic drive will take you in all kinds of new directions in this area. 

Book Lust to Go by Nancy Pearl. Not a book about Washington, but by a Washington author. The only librarian with her own action figure, Nancy Pearl, writes about books and this one tells you which books to read prior to going to a certain destination to prepare for the culture.


More New Books by Local Authors, Just in Time for Holiday Giving

Please excuse my absence last week and consider this a public service announcement:  Back up your computer files everyday if you want to keep them, because you never know when your computer will decide to present you with a blue screen and nothing more. If you use an online backup service, find one recommended by others who have had to deal with how that service recovers information. I did have an online service and an external hard drive, but I haven’t been able to get back any of my Word files, Excel charts or my photos.

I had promised you more books for middle grade readers and young adult novels from authors in Washington State so here they are.

Middle Grade Novels

Suzanne Williams partners with Joan Holub to write the Goddess Girls’ series. Two new releases are Aphrodite the Beauty and Artemis the Brave. Although the stories may depart from the actual myth portrayed, a kernel of the myth still remains. Artemis the Brave will be available December 7, 2010.

Royce Buckingham used the Eastern Washington town of Richland as the setting for The Dead Boys because he grew up near Hanford, which is close by. Could the giant sycamore tree in Richland, horribly mutated by nuclear waste, somehow take its nourishment from local boys? You’ll have to read the book to find out.

I just finished the delightful Case of the Terrible T.rex by Michele Torrey. In researching the book she actually spent a week in the Montana Badlands digging for fossils and found a T.rex tooth. The book, another in the Doyle and Fossey:  Science Detectives’ series, makes learning science fun and memorable.

Young Adult Books

Recently released Adios, Nirvana, by Conrad Wesselhoeft, tells the story of a teenager who survives the first anniversary of his twin brother’s death with special help from friends, a WWII veteran and a special guitar.

Janet Lee Carey’s seventh novel, The Dragons of Noor, describes what happens when a mysterious Wild Wind begins stealing young children, including lead character’s, Miles and Hannah, little brother. Will they be able to save him?

Karen Kincy used her hometown of Snohomish as a backdrop for Other, which follows a shapeshifter girl named Gwen as she uncovers a mystery.

Waiting on my bookshelf is Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala. Miranda knows her bad-girl sister took a big secret to her grave and she’s intent on finding out what it was. Cupala started writing novels as a teen and to this day writing has become hope for her in times of despair.

Caridad Ferrer retells a new version of the opera Carmen in When the Stars Go Blue.  The author calls on her own experiences in the competitive world of drum and bugle corps to get the story told.

I hope you’ve seen a book or two on this list that would make someone on your gift list smile when he or she unwraps it.


Washington Boasts Fantastic Children’s Book Authors

Our state seems to attract artists of all kinds, but especially writers or at least that’s the art I know the most about. Last night 18 authors and illustrators gathered at Park Place Books in Kirkland to present “The Inside Story” on their newest releases. Each presenter was give 2 ½ minutes to tell the story behind the story of what they’d written and had published. This event was presented by the Western Washington chapter of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators.

Below I’ve revealed some of their insights in case you want to buy and read these books. Some haven’t been released yet, but most have.

I overheard two members of the audience talking about how they would rather read children’s books than some of the books for adults out there because the children’s authors do a better job of engaging the reader. I heartily agree.

Picture Books

A Bedtime for Bear by Bonnie Becker continues the saga of a grumpy bear and a cheerful mouse and the series now comes with a cuddling stuffed toy.

New to Seattle, Maggie Smith has penned Christmas with the Mousekins just in time for the holidays – how does a mouse family prepare for Christmas?

Illustrator Kevan J. Atteberry said drawing monsters in Frankie Stein Starts School by Lola M. Schaefer, makes his job fun and though friends and relatives don’t find Frankie frightening enough, he is his own kind of scary.

Hope for Haiti by Jesse Joshua Watson gives some much-needed realism to the Haitian earthquake disaster so it doesn’t get relegated to a news item that’s forgotten after a couple of days.

While J. Elizabeth Mills was riding a Metro bus in Seattle, the idea for The Spooky Wheels on the Bus was conceived. It started with, “what if the bus was haunted?”

Kathryn Thurman’s sister once brought home a pig for a pet and that sparked the initial idea for A Garden for Pig, which took more than five years to become a published book.

Every time Erik Brooks saw wrapping paper or greeting cards with polar bears and penguins together, he marveled at how inaccurate that was – they didn’t live together. So this Winthrop author finally used the topic as fodder for Polar Opposites.

Early Readers & Chapter Books

When her contractor quit in the middle of building her dream home, illustrator Liz Callen took solace from and immersed herself in the pictures in Wolf Pie – a story about the three Pygg brothers.

While explaining the back story for Zelda and Ivy: The Big Picture, Laura McGee Kvasnosky strummed the ukulele and sang about her own family.

Stay tuned for Middle Grade and Young Adult Novels by local authors.