Holly has worked full time as a bookseller since 1980. She has served on the board of Northwest Bookfest and the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association. Her favorite books are children's books (the kind with pictures) and cookbooks (the kind with pictures) and she is a devoted fan of Ray Bradbury and Kate DiCamillo.
In the hundred years since the Great Disruption, when the continents were thrown into different time periods, cartologers have learned much about the world. Thirteen-year-old Sophia Tims’s parents, renowned cartologers, went missing when she was just a child, and Sophia has been raised by her uncle Shadrack. As Shadrack begins to teach Sophia the art of map reading, he is kidnapped. Can Sophia use her training to find both her uncle and her parents? This wholly original book will mesmerize readers with its fantastic, detailed world and beguiling characters, both good and evil.
Let’s be a little fearless and talk about death. Katy Butler’s heart-wrenching personal story of her own parents’ declining health and inevitable deaths is an unenviable lesson to us all. When do we say enough is enough to Western medicine? How can we have a reasonable conversation not only about health care and the quality of life, but the quality of death? This is a very important book—let’s talk about it.
When I was a young adult, there was no such thing as “Young Adult,” so we had to nick what we could from the grownups. The Other, by Thomas Tryon, swept like a flu virus among my peers when it was new. I was 12, and the book has haunted me since. Rereading it as an adult, I was struck anew by the author’s skillful style and the book’s eerie sense of foreboding. I can still see my best friend’s face as she read the final pages and the shaking plot twist revealed itself. Nearly forty years later it is still a masterful tale of family secrets.
This is what you need to read after Bossypants. This book is hysterically funny. It will make you laugh—the deep, hard kind of laugh where you think you might be choking or that you've ruptured your spleen. Quality sh*t.
Sloths! Huggable! Smiling! Absolutely adorable! (And fascinating, too.) Highly recommended!
Ah, the nightly story hour; fraught with pleading one more! one more! For every parent who has memorized a child’s beloved book from countless re-readings -- this bedtime story is for you.
The perfect companion to Michael Pollen’s Cooked, Michael Moss’s Salt Sugar Fat discloses the perils of processed food. It is truly obscene how the “food industry” has manipulated both consumers and their products. Anyone who hopes to change how food is bought and sold needs to read this.
Do you have cats?
Cats sure are keen
They fill your life
... But only if you obey. FUNNY STUFF!
Kathleen Flinn manages to convey the political food message in such a personal way. Along with nine volunteer chefs—each with varying degrees of skill and food needs—she creates a basic cooking curriculum which gives them the knowledge and more importantly the confidence to feed themselves well. This is the perfect gift for newlyweds, newly graduated, or new homeowners (or anyone who wants to break the processed/fast food lifestyle)...A real treasure.
My new go-to cookbook (already spattered and crusty from time spent in the kitchen): Good Fish. Everything I have made so far has been delicious, and not just the fish, quinoa cakes and nettle gnocchi (yum). And the suggested wine pairings are wonderful (because they are not all white and not all wine)! The on-line video tutorials are pure manna for learning new techniques. It's all good!
This is the feel good book of the year I wish everyone would read and it's not another teen rock-n-roll book. High school senior Piper Vaughn would be voted "Least Likely to Manage a Rock Band" by her classmates—not because Piper is deaf, but because she is the antithesis of rock; staid, safe, practically invisible. So when a bet goes wrong, landing her as manger for the school band, Dumb, Piper is faced with a myriad of challenges—the least of which is her hearing. In the process she learns much about friendship and family and inner strength. Sooo good!
What would you do if the closet door really did open to an enchanted land? Would your life be changed if you found out magic was real—would it be complete or would you still yearn for greener pastures? The Magicians is a simply brilliant metaphor for the human condition. Escape today. Be transported.
Welcome to the Derby. Know it. Live it. I’m picking my Rollergirl name. Either Death D’mona or Die Thagoras. Don’t try to skate around me!
Vulgar! Vulgar! Vulgar! Also, hysterically funny. A blessedly atypical memoir of addiction which does not end all puppies and rainbows (oh, alright, there is a cat). Ab Fab. Really.
I read about Urban Pantry in Edible Seattle and knew I had to have it. I am such a fan of books that teach me how to store and keep all the delicious seasonal bounty. Now I know what to do with all my plums!
The companion to Savvy (set 9 years later) we meet a whole new branch of the Beaumont clan as thirteen year old Ledger Kale tries to handle his own new savvy during a family festivity. Of course, mayhem and adventure ensue. Scumble is pure delight (even if you’re not a kid) with language that just must be read aloud.
Whether you know Shakespeare's tragedy of filial affection gone awry or not, you will adore Moore's impertinent and bawdy retelling of King Lear. Sharp, clever, laugh-out-loud and inspiringly wicked. Enjoy! Enjoy! Enjoy!
"What traitors books can be! You think they're backing you up, and they turn on you. Others can use, too, and there you are, lost in the middle of the moor, in a great welter of nouns and verbs and adjectives." -from the book.
This sumptuously illustrated edition won't betray you.
This is one of those books that sort of defies description. If I tell you it's about 12 year old Miranda and her friend Sal, or Miranda's mother's upcoming appearance on The $20,000 Pyramid, or the crazy guy on the corner, or the appearance of the mysterious notes, I would really be missing the point. The point is for you to read and discover. Truly wonderous.
Much has been written in recent years about the economic effect of discount stores; but where did this perception come from? Atlantic correspondent Ellen Ruppel Shell chronicles our initial distrust of cheap to its current popularity. From food, to clothing and furniture this comprehensive volume analyzes the real price of cheap.
A book is so much more than its story or characters, it is the reader's experience of it as well. And the experience of reading Mudbound is immense. Narrated by six alternating voices, set in the post World War II delta, Mudbound is a hard story in a hard place yet it has honor and love and hope. Mudbound is one of the most difficult books I have ever read and also one of the most redeeming.
Mark Doty is a poet—you can tell by the tender care he takes with the words of his narrative. Dog Years is about loss and grief—the death of his partner, the death of his dog, and it is heartwrenching. You will cry but like me you will be so grateful that someone is able (and brave enough) to articulate the astonishing weight of love and loss.
I just loved children's picture books, but I never understood why I would react to some illustrations and not others. Then I read Picture This by Molly Bang and it completely opened my eyes. This is a really terrific introduction to the power of shapes and colors and how to make powerful pictures. Brilliant!!
You could devote a lifetime—nay—two to discovering the author of the timeless and brilliant plays. OR you could be greatly entertained and equally informed by Bill Bryson in his succinct biography. (Then you could tell all those Oxfordians that they are full of old air.)
While I was looking at The Tillamook Cheese Cookbook everyone looking over my shoulder said "I love cheese" and this cookbook is packed with mouth-watering hunger inducing recipes—check out Cheddar Crisps and the entire section on mac and cheese. Brilliant!
Everything you wanted to know about traffic but were afraid to ask.... Are traffic circles effective? Do freeway on-ramp signals work? What is the most efficient way to find a parking spot? Is it better to merge early or late? Fascinating!
This is truly one of the best edge-of-your-seat fantastic sorcery-filled adventures EVER ! A great read aloud for the whole family (or try the audio book for your road trip). Book 2, The Sorceress , is also available. Highly recommended!
As a once devoted—nay—evangelical baseball fan (the strike of '94 really soured me greatly to "Professional Athletics") I loved David Halberstam's Summer of '49.
The author captures that sense of naïve devotion in the context of the magical season between the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. But it is so much more than a baseball story as Halberstam examines the tempo and tone of post-war America. You will get chills at the prophetic words of Ellis Kinder as he predicts the day when pro-ballplayers will be payed millions. Truly magnificent.
Mosca Mye is my favorite character ever! Fly By Night has the same sophistication as The Golden Compass, but not as serious. Really terrific and highly recommended!
If you enjoyed Alan Lightman's Einstein's Dreams, The Man Who Turned Into Himself is right up your alley. Think of it as string-theory in novel form.
I know you feel like you've been burned by memoirs—embellished? Selective memory?—but that's the beauty of Steve Martin's Born Standing Up—we were all there for his rise to fame, we were all a part of the story even if we didn't know all the details. It really is like remembering with a friend.
I realize my interest in Julia Child dances close to obsession, but I want to live in her world! My Life in France chronicles, (in her own delightful, personable style) the years she and husband Paul lived in France. She talks with frankness about Paul's frustration working for the U.S. government, and with ernestness about her developing palate and interest in food. Without a doubt this is the best escape I have had in years.
The Scavenger's Guide to Haute Cuisine is laugh aloud great. Rinella is a hunter (so stuff dies) but he is intellegent and thoughtful (as well as crudely amusing) and deeply appreciative of family, friends, and food. A great antidote for us "serious" foodies.
After I finished Julie and Julia, Julie Powell's funny and daring account of her yearlong quest to cook everything for Mastering the Art of French Cooking I really wanted to know more about Julia Child. Appetite for Life introduced me to the fascinating life of this beloved figure. She worked in Asia for the OSS where she met the love of her life, husband Paul Child. It was Paul who introduced Julia to the world of food. At nearly forty, she entered Le Cordon Bleu and began the career path that would lead to the publication of her masterpiece cookbooks and the PBS series The French Chef. Her comfortable manner and passion for her topic made her a national treasure, and my personal hero.
This comedy of errors is wicked and delicious fun that will have you laughing aloud! And the fun doesn't have to end, the sequel, Amazing Disgrace is also available!
Heat is such a terrific read whether you are a culinary professional or a dedicated home cook. Buford is wise (and wisecracking) and genuinely taken in by food. How else could he dedicate so many pages to making perfect polenta?
In 25 or 30 years, when our children are reading aloud to their children about pirates, princes, and little women, they will also be reading from battered and cherished copies of "The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane". This is a timeless, amazing book with all the beauty and heartache of the human condition stuffed into a rabbit named Edward Tulane.
Sisters Dora and Claire Williamson, wealthy British heiresses, took a detour of their 1911 world tour to undergo treatment from Dr. Linda Hazzard—a "fasting speacialist". It was a catastophic starvation diet, which lead to Claire's death—not the first victim of this quack or her sinister legal manipulations. What Erik Larson did for Chicago in Devil in the White City, Gregg Olsen does for the tiny Pacific Northwest town of Olalla in this gruesome and fascinating true crime expose!
This book was the best escape I had all year. I simply HATED to close the book at night, and couldn't wait to "Return" to San Casciano. The author and her husband moved there into a converted barn after living in Venice. DeBlasi's descriptions of the landscape and the people brought the village to life. But what really transported me was the food - how they gathered and chose it, how they cooked it and savored it, and how they used it to forge friendships.
I'm not sure I'm a freak (the possibility exists) but I know Candyfreak made me laugh my candy*ss off! Read on page 33 "Mistakes Were Made" (and I happen to LOVE Peeps) for a tiny taste of the author's extraordinary humor--very highly recommended!!!
This is an impressively ambitious first novel. A murderer is terrorizing post-Civil War Boston and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, Oliver Wendell Holmes and James Russell Lowell realize the murders mirror the vivid sense of torment in their current collaborative work of translation, Dante's Inferno. This is a finely crafted literary mystery and an Elliott Bay Maiden Voyage Selection in hardcover.
The way I see it everybody needs three copies of this book. One stays on your person so you always have the perfect little book to dip into while waiting at the bank or the dentist. #2 is prominently displayed in your home for guests to peruse and strike up a conversation. Then you magnanimously offer said guest YOUR copy (because you know you have a third.
The year is 1896, and Helga Estby, mother of eight, has decided to accept a $10,000 wager to walk from Spokane, Washington to New York City. To her, the prize will allow her and her family to keep her homestead in Eastern Washington. This is an absolutely engrossing account of a grand escape and a wonderful glimpse of history from a determined woman's eyes—excellent reading.
Paul Collins is my hero--not because he writes with genuine emotion about his wife and young baby; not because his wry humor leaks all over his narration; not because he is a keen observer of the charming and the quirky, but because he loves, reveres, and reads books. Very highly recommended.
Last Breath is just great reading. (If you've got teen sons who sort of shrug at books, try this on 'em.) Entertaining and fascinating.
I won't even attempt in this small space to try to convey the poignancy, gentle wit, and luscious prose of this amazing first novel, but after finishing a book this good I always feel like I have been waiting for it all my life. Highly recommended!
Benjamin Percy’s essays on writing are filled with aha moments as thrilling as Toto pulling back the curtain on the Wizard. Citing passages from many sources, he elucidates the subtle principles behind arresting storytelling: the importance of place in fiction, how to use images in writing, why characters should have jobs, and so much more. He examines (and exalts) the writings of Cormac McCarthy, Flannery O’Connor, James Baldwin, Donna Tartt, and Michael Chabon so that we can see behind the curtain to that which makes them the masters they are. Whether this book makes you a better writer or not, it will make you a better reader.
This stellar illustrated debut has so many layers beyond its simple rhyming text. A child, a dog, a fish, a mouse, and various others all see the cat as it walks through the world. But what exactly does each of them see? The child sees a smiling striped feline wearing a red bell; the dog sees mostly the bell; the fish sees huge eyes; the mouse sees a toothy nightmare. Each one sees the cat from a unique perspective. A brilliant mix of artistic styles mirrors the idea of varying points of view in this clever look at observation.