One night in second grade, Katie read Martin the Warrior by Brian Jacques for two hours while sitting on the stairs in her childhood home. Born and raised in Minnesota, she holds a deep appreciation for Prairie Home Companion and the varied skyline of the Puget Sound area. These days Katie enjoys reading fiction, essays, hiking guides, and history. She hopes all readers find a book that is so good they would read it sitting on a set of stairs.

Reviews & Recommendations

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Tell Me How It Ends: An Essay in 40 Questions Cover Image
By Valeria Luiselli, Jon Lee Anderson (Introduction by)
ISBN: 9781566894951
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Coffee House Press - April 4th, 2017

Using the form of the forty questions she translated while working as an interpreter in the New York federal immigration courts, Luiselli deftly exposes the cracks in American immigration policy and brings forward the voices of child migrants in this short, exquisite book. It absolutely blew me away.

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Slouching Towards Bethlehem: Essays (FSG Classics) Cover Image
ISBN: 9780374531386
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar Straus Giroux - October 28th, 2008

Read everything by Joan Didion, but start here. I am obsessed with this book of essays. I return to it nearly every year to regain a sense of the first time I read it—of the world opening up through a writer who is in absolute control of her craft. Then read its companion collection, The White Album, which is equally dazzling.

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Grief Is the Thing with Feathers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781555977412
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - June 7th, 2016

This is an astounding debut by the editorial director at Granta Press. Told by two little boys, their scruffy academic father who is grieving the loss of his wife, and a crow who is there to provoke and protect them, it weaves compassionate truths and dark comedy to brilliant effect. When I finished the last page, I flipped to the beginning to start over.

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Where Rivers Change Direction Cover Image
ISBN: 9781573228251
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - August 1st, 2000

With precise and sweeping prose, Spragg describes coming of age in the mountains of Wyoming’s Continental Divide. This is some of the best nature writing out there - a book to be savored and passed along to those who yearn for mountains and language that does them justice.

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Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More Cover Image
ISBN: 9781419718632
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - January 12th, 2016

This charming book weaves philosophical reflections on minimalism with practical wisdom and gorgeous photos. I loved Boyle’s focus on beauty, utility, and longevity when considering new and used additions to her (tiny) apartment.

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The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America's Great Migration Cover Image
ISBN: 9780679763888
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - October 4th, 2011

For her masterpiece on the Great Migration, Isabel Wilkerson interviewed more than twelve hundred African American migrants to find three whose lives we follow closely. Robert, Ida Mae, and George persevere through the terrors of the Jim Crow south, the hard journey of leaving home, and the challenges of establishing roots in northern American cities with racist housing policies. Their dreams, strength, and hope give this book its wings, while Wilkerson's rigorous research grounds the stories of their lives in a history of twentieth century America that has been routinely overlooked. A deeply moving epic, full of grace and humanity, I've never read a nonfiction book better than The Warmth of Other Suns. I want to clutch my copy close to my heart and also give it to every American I know.