Winter Gazette 2018

Handpicked new releases, brought to you by the staff of Elliott Bay.
 

Audiobooks available for select titles through our friends at Libro.fm.

 

Fall Booknotes 2018 

Staff Pick Logo
My Sister, the Serial Killer: A Novel Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9780385544238
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - November 20th, 2018

A deliciously dark and occasionally funny look at the ways love gets tangled up with duty and blurred with blood. Korede is a violently repressed neat freak who hurries after her seductive little sister’s murderous footsteps with a bucket of bleach, until the day Korede must choose between the ties that bind and the strings that tug the heart. This Nigerian thriller is a surefire pick for a long plane ride or a cozy afternoon, offering page-turning suspense alongside well-rendered relationships and pressing questions about what it takes to save ourselves from the ones we love. -Lara


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Little: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525534327
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Riverhead Books - October 23rd, 2018

"The extraordinary life and historic adventures of a servant called Little," so begins this fanciful imagining of the 18th century story of Marie Tussaud, founder of London's wax museum. A small, homely orphan, she eagerly learns the craft of wax sculpting from her eccentric master. In Paris, their talents are sought by the artists, royals, rogues, and revolutionaries of the day. Heads, some unattached to their celebrated person, are carefully modeled by Little on her journey from subservience to self-reliance. Embellished with ghostly pencil drawings, Carey's carefully researched novel is enchanting and delightfully macabre. -Erica


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Virgil Wander Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780802128782
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press - October 2nd, 2018

Leif Enger, author of Peace Like a River, is back after ten years with Virgil Wander, a Midwestern folktale of a film projectionist whose life gets a jolt when his car veers off a bridge into icy Lake Superior. The ensuing pages charm with language that has as much delightful zing as the small-town characters who shape their memories into the stuff of big fish legends. Enger doesn’t deny the darkness that lurks in our hearts, nor that of the Midwest winters, but his revelatory meandering shows us with patient grace the value in challenging what we may believe to be immutable. -Elaine


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Scribe: A Novel Cover Image
$16.00
ISBN: 9781555978181
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - October 2nd, 2018

The written word serves as a peculiar currency in the dark world of Scribe, a slim novel rich with folklore and suspense. In the wake of a brutal civil war, a society lives in fear of an authoritarian state and a plague that wiped out its population. The protagonist feels guilty and insecure, both in herself and her surroundings, yet she has a gift that makes her an asset to her community. Eager as I was to uncover more about this place and this woman, both haunted by a mysterious suffering, I was enchanted by Hagy’s dreamy language, and took my time on each page. -Riley


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How Long 'til Black Future Month?: Stories Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780316491341
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Orbit - November 27th, 2018

N. K. Jemisin is our greatest living fantasist. She's also the first black woman to win a Hugo Award, and the first person ever to win three consecutive Hugos, for her masterful Broken Earth trilogy. This new and fierce collection is full of history, prejudice, digital wildernesses, and powerful, stubborn women. You'll hear the most buzz about "The City Born Great," the story her next fantasy novel is based on. But for my money, she's at her best when writing science fiction. In her hands, the future is as messy, strange, vibrant, and atrocity-ridden as our past and present. Come see what all the fuss is about. -Lauren


Staff Pick Logo
The Books of Earthsea: The Complete Illustrated Edition (Earthsea Cycle) Cover Image
By Ursula K. Le Guin, Charles Vess (Illustrator)
$59.99
ISBN: 9781481465588
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Saga Press - October 30th, 2018

The Earthsea Cycle is iconic, and now is the perfect time to return to it. The series is delicious escapism and a powerful antidote to the forces of greed, corruption, and hatred. Sparrowhawk and his companions aren't heroes because of their powers, they're heroes because of their decency, humility, and perseverance in the face of despair. While Ursula K. Le Guin is always political, Earthsea might be her most scathing critique of misogyny, and one of her most resolutely nonviolent stories. This gorgeous 50th anniversary edition is perfect for wise and idealistic readers of all ages. -Lauren


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The Feral Detective: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062859068
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - November 6th, 2018

Fans of Motherless Brooklyn rejoice, Jonathan Lethem has given us another detective novel! Leaving the brownstones of Williamsburg behind, Lethem explores the hazy outskirts of East L.A., where Phoebe Siegler has come in search of her friend’s missing daughter, Arabella. It's here that she enlists the help of Charles Heist, a shambolic P.I. in the mold of Pynchon's Doc Sportello. As the two attempt to track down Arabella, they quickly find themselves immersed in a fringe desert-world of incredible danger and violence. Haunting and hallucinatory, The Feral Detective is genre fiction at its best. -Jacob


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CIRCE (#1 New York Times bestseller) Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316556347
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - April 10th, 2018

You need not have read The Odyssey to enjoy this book whose titular character, I'm told, plays a small role in the epic poem; Circe, the witch who turns men into pigs, is a character worth knowing whether you're interested in mythology or not. Spanning thousands of years, Circe manages to be both musing and action-packed, illustrating the life of a witch-goddess coming into her power and ultimately wielding it with strength and skill. Miller's lush and lyrical prose makes this a book you'll want to sink into for hours. When I finished it the first time, I immediately began to read it again. -Emma


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The Lonesome Bodybuilder: Stories Cover Image
By Yukiko Motoya, Asa Yoneda (Translator)
$16.95
ISBN: 9781593766788
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Soft Skull Press - November 6th, 2018

My favorite short story writers test the waters of strangeness. In The Lonesome Bodybuilder, Yukiko Motoya forgoes dipping a toe in, opting instead for a splash-contest cannonball into the bizarre. Tiny musical instruments spill from the mouth of a man made of straw, a fighting villainess cries tears of blood, mountain peonies bloom from discarded underwear. It's not just weird for weirdness's sake. Somehow, Motoya's fantastical scenarios elucidate the most universal challenges: relationships, loneliness, and human connection. It's Kafka, with Flannery O’Connor’s empathy. -Shawn


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All the Lives We Never Lived: A Novel Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781982100513
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria Books - November 27th, 2018

In All the Lives We Never Lived, Myshkin, a boy growing up in a small town in 1930s India, must adapt to the disappearance of his mother, Gayatri, who has escaped a loveless marriage by traveling to Dutch-occupied Bali with a pair of exiled artists. This captivating historical novel poses deep questions about the cost of freedom, both for nations and for individuals, and particularly for women. Anuradha Roy’s characters, whether historical or of her own creation, struggle with the consequences of pursuing their passions and remind us that some choices are never simple. -Karen


Staff Pick Logo
Fox 8: A Story Cover Image
By George Saunders, Chelsea Cardinal (Illustrator)
$17.00
ISBN: 9781984818027
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - November 13th, 2018

Fox 8 is a clever autodidact, ever curious. He has learned to "rite" and speak "Yuman,"  in hope that the humans might better understand foxes. Saunders's short story fable is both charming and serious in capturing Fox 8's voice and his desire to save his fellow foxes. The "yumans" have destroyed the woods for a "maul," leaving Fox 8 to attempt to save his friends from certain death. A fable for adults and children alike, with simple illustrations that complement the story beautifully. It doesn't succumb to the easy happy ending; instead we are left with the ambiguity of a question hanging in the air. -Greg


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Once Upon a River: A Novel Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780743298070
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Atria/Emily Bestler Books - December 4th, 2018

If you're looking for a spellbinding story to devour in the cold winter months, look no further than Once Upon a River. Setterfield is an incredible storyteller and this novel is unlike any I've read before. From the first page, readers feel drawn into the story, as if we too are cozy beside a roaring fireplace, tucked safely out of the endless rain, captivated by the tale of a girl who was dead and then not. The damp melancholy of the village seeps into one's bones, swelling to a flood of anxious desperation, until at last, our questions are answered. Trust me, reader: it's worth the wait. -Liz


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Split Tooth Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780670070091
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - September 25th, 2018

Carrying within it such extremes of light and dark as are known in the polar regions, internationally renowned Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq brings us a devastating, beautiful chronicle of life in the far north. This book spins coming-of-age stories in a small Indigenous community—stories that meld the poverty, tedium, and difficulties that living in such a place can pose—with haunting, spirited encounters of a larger-than-human world. Ice, sky, light, dark, and the presence of animals, seen and unseen, are all invoked with numinous power and grace. -Rick


Staff Pick Logo
One Person, No Vote: How Voter Suppression Is Destroying Our Democracy Cover Image
By Carol Anderson, Dick Durbin (Foreword by), Dick Durbin (Introduction by)
$27.00
ISBN: 9781635571370
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bloomsbury Publishing - September 11th, 2018

The award-winning author of White Rage returns with a clear explanation of why our democracy seems to be breaking down: under the guise of protecting democracy from so-called voter fraud, the GOP is undermining it with terrifying tactics like racist ID laws, gerrymandering, and voter roll purges—specifically targeting minority voters. Anderson's book is thoroughly researched—36% of it is just notes and citations—and thoroughly infuriating. After turning the last page, non-voters may find themselves registering and voters may find themselves searching for ways to fight back. -Emma


Staff Pick Logo
Insomnia Cover Image
$18.95
ISBN: 9781948226059
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Catapult - November 13th, 2018

Benjamin's book is the perfect company for a single long evening, or for keeping by your bedside for whenever sleep eludes you. Her rumination on insomnia strays wonderfully between personal memoir and a restless interrogation of sleep and sleeplessness, inviting us into her late night thoughts on the many things that keep us awake. Benjamin uses these late hours to meditate on sleep and wakefulness, darkness and dreams, moving between experience and metaphor to paint a deeply inquisitive and compassionate portrait of the lonely hours between dusk and dawn. -Callie


Staff Pick Logo
The White Darkness Cover Image
$20.00
ISBN: 9780385544573
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - October 30th, 2018

This tiny but enormously impactful book tells multiple stories of super-human daring, recounting an Ernest Shackleton fanatic's three attempts to recreate his hero's Antarctic expedition. Frostbite, crevasses, snow blindness, and waning sanity ensure a more than thrilling read, but this story is anchored by its two incredible protagonists, Shackleton and Henry Worsley, whose respective personal dramas in (and out of) extreme circumstances are extremely touching. Even against a canvas of five and a half million square miles of frozen dread, Grann paints these two men as larger than life. -Wes


Staff Pick Logo
Seattleness: A Cultural Atlas Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781632171276
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sasquatch Books - October 23rd, 2018

A beautifully made book about the city of Seattle by distinguished geographers. Here, you can find interesting details and facts about a plethora of topics, from the different industry booms the city has lived through, to the history of the totem that graces Pioneer Square, and even the history of local jazz. Most of the pages are filled with graphs that visualize the data in ways that make learning about Seattle a fun exercise. A worthwhile read for all ages. -Alberto


Staff Pick Logo
What If This Were Enough?: Essays Cover Image
$25.95
ISBN: 9780385542883
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - October 2nd, 2018

Heather Havrilesky returns with a compelling collection that interrogates the pursuit of the shiny, the new, and even happiness itself as it’s currently packaged and sold. This is the type of whip-smart book I found myself dog-earring every few pages, pausing to read whole paragraphs out loud, and furiously firing off snippets to my friends via text. Whether she’s likening being a woman to being inside a haunted house or discussing Fifty Shades as a late capitalist fairytale, Havrilesky urges us to question what we’re being told and sold when, in fact, what we already have might be enough. -Alex


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Brief Answers to the Big Questions Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781984819192
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Bantam - October 16th, 2018

Stephen Hawking was one of the world’s greatest thinkers; he was also truly humble and had a delightful sense of humor. This collection of essays ranges from the cosmological (“is there intelligent life in the universe” or “what is inside of a black hole”) to the deeply personal (“is there a God” or “will the earth survive”) and just about everywhere in between. Most remarkable is the author’s ability to take these heady ideas (while leaving out a bit of the math) and parse them into digestible, often winsome thoughts. Whether you are a budding cosmologist or not, there is much to be gained from exploring with this great mind. -Holly


Staff Pick Logo
These Truths: A History of the United States Cover Image
$39.95
ISBN: 9780393635249
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: W. W. Norton & Company - September 18th, 2018

This book is many things at once. Covering hundreds of years, it provides a sweeping view of American society while remaining grounded in the human details, with compassionate and various accounts of the individual lives, chance encounters, and small accidents that become history. It's a work of love and awe, but it pulls no punches in accounting for the moral lapses and outright crimes that facilitated the nation’s emergence as a global power. To top it off, it's beautifully written, with prose that shifts between exposition and dreamy, poetic digressions with remarkable ease. -Wes
 


Staff Pick Logo
All Over the Map: A Cartographic Odyssey Cover Image
$50.00
ISBN: 9781426219726
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: National Geographic - October 30th, 2018

This new coffee table book from National Geographic is a cartophile's dream. Divided into nine categories ranging from "Waterways" to "Art and Imagination," All Over the Map showcases the earth's natural and human histories through the perspective of its explorers, researchers, and artists: the mapmakers. From the beautiful (Ramón y Cajal's mapping of the human brain) to the grim (a depiction of the movements of millions of refugees), this collection spans time, place, and occasionally realities (the schematics of the Death Star). A perfect gift for your dearest map nerd. -Shawn


Staff Pick Logo
Ottolenghi Simple: A Cookbook Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781607749165
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - October 16th, 2018

This cookbook has all the Mediterranean zest one has come to expect from Ottolenghi. It is his most "simple" and accessible cookbook: each recipe uses ten ingredients or fewer, ranging from familiar staples to your newest pantry mainstays. Unlike his earlier books, the recipes here are unintimidating, but they still offer a complexity of flavors that will delight you. Great food in less time, with vegetables always taking a leading role. Ottolenghi's book will add to your repertoire and surprise your family and friends. This is a keeper for the everyday cook. -Greg


Staff Pick Logo
Daemon Voices: On Stories and Storytelling Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780525521174
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - September 18th, 2018

This collection of essays, lovingly edited and curated by Simon Mason, is something I never knew I wanted from Philip Pullman. Despite covering wide-ranging topics (one essay might examine Milton’s Paradise Lost, while the next dives into a Stephen Hawking lecture), the common thread of storytelling ties everything neatly together. Pullman’s own comfortable style and humor prevents these daunting subjects from becoming overwhelming, even to an inexperienced essay-reader such as myself—and of course, frequent insights into Pullman’s own His Dark Materials trilogy thrill my inner child. -Chester


Staff Pick Logo
Everything's Trash, But It's Okay Cover Image
By Phoebe Robinson, Ilana Glazer (Foreword by)
$26.00
ISBN: 9780525534143
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Plume - October 16th, 2018

Reading Phoebe Robinson’s second collection of essays really does feel like sitting down and having a chat with a funny, caring, straight-talking friend. Robinson’s writing is vivid and honest, and she’s not afraid of real talk and what are often thought to be taboo topics. She tackles money, beauty standards, politics, and much more, all with her signature humor and wit. Robinson’s book reminded me that we’ve got plenty of work to do, but that doesn’t mean we can’t have some fun while doing it. Fans of Samantha Irby and Jenny Lawson will find much to enjoy in these pages. -Alex


Staff Pick Logo
Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9780399590504
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Random House - February 20th, 2018

It’s easy to forget Educated is a memoir. Westover’s story of growing up in a paranoiac, Mormon, survivalist home where neglect, injury, and abuse are the norm is equal parts infuriating, inspiring, and heartbreaking. Enrolling in college despite lacking formal education rescues Westover from this life. She writes with such nuance and care that you are able to understand why she cannot hate her brutal, deluded, outrageous family. Sure to resonate with those who have chosen their own path despite opposition and grappled with seeing unchanged people through changing eyes, Educated is a must-read. -Ellis


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The Hidden Life of Trees: The Illustrated Edition Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9781771643481
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Greystone Books - September 25th, 2018

Peter Wohlleben began his career as a forester in the Eifel Mountains of Germany’s Rhineland-Palatinate. In the course of his daily work he developed an intimate understanding of the ecology and management of deciduous forests, which seem to “plan their own futures,” and of coniferous forests, which are “planted for commercial gain.” Readers in the Pacific Northwest will appreciate Wohlleben’s keen observations of the life of a forest as they walk amongst our remaining stands of old-growth Douglas fir. Photographs in this new, abridged edition of The Hidden Life of Trees complement Wohlleben’s text. -Graham


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The Wondrous Workings of Planet Earth: Understanding Our World and Its Ecosystems Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9780399580413
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ten Speed Press - September 18th, 2018

Ignotofsky reveals the worlds within worlds that support every form of life, from the teeniest cyanobacteria floating in a drop of water to the most majestic sea beast cruising the wide ocean. Clear, fact-packed prose and stunning illustrations encourage readers of all ages to trace the fragile threads from microcosm to macrocosm and from reef to tundra. This beautiful book illuminates how every crumb, canyon, and creature is inextricably intertwined, and it calls upon humankind to preserve and celebrate this delicate, wondrous web of life. -Lara


Staff Pick Logo
The Boy and the Giant Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9781419733185
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Abrams Books for Young Readers - November 6th, 2018

Should we alienate the kindest guy in town just because he is humongous? Not a very sound reason! David Litchfield's whimsical new picture book tells kids to appreciate those who are different from us, as a young boy seeks out a giant whose good deeds have colored his town for some time, despite his reclusive nature. Fans of Litchfield's previous books, including The Bear and the Piano, will recognize his wondrous backgrounds, which feel as if they themselves are living, breathing beings. -Tony


Staff Pick Logo
The Lost Words Cover Image
By Robert MacFarlane, Jackie Morris (Illustrator)
$35.00
ISBN: 9781487005382
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anansi International - October 2nd, 2018

The most recent edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary removed around forty words describing the natural world in favor of words such as “voice-mail” and “blog” to reflect the changing vocabulary of children. In poems that are a delight to read aloud and watercolors that inspire wonder, Macfarlane and Morris bring to life twenty of these “lost words,” such as acorn and conkle, heather and heron, magpie, raven, and wren. The Lost Words is so exquisite that it’s sure to conjure these words back into the imaginations and voices of children and adults alike. -Ellis


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Found Cover Image
By Jeff Newman, Larry Day (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534410060
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - November 20th, 2018

A book without words leaves the storytelling in the hands of the reader. Found begins with a small child looking out a window at a wet dog on the street below. The artful panels that follow show this child has recently lost a beloved dog, and is reluctant to become attached to, or show affection for, a new dog. But the discovery of a poster near a pet store alerts the youngster that the dog already has a home. This many-layered book, with its expressive use of line and color, is so much more than a simple story of the bond between people and pets. -Holly


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Aquicorn Cove Cover Image
By Katie O'Neill, Katie O'Neill (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781620105290
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Oni Press - October 16th, 2018

I cannot gush about this book enough! Katie O'Neill's enchanting new graphic novel transports readers to a charming seaside town where residents are rebuilding after a devastating storm, and, refreshingly, all the characters are people of color. The illustrations are adorable and cheerful. Magical ocean creatures, a heartwarming queer love story, and lessons on how to be good stewards of our environment are all present in this gentle fantasy rooted in real issues. I hope it inspires readers to be more compassionate. -Liz


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The Tales of Beedle the Bard: The Illustrated Edition (Harry Potter) Cover Image
$34.99
ISBN: 9781338262186
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - October 9th, 2018

The magical world of Harry Potter grows richer and more complete in this new illustrated edition of The Tales of Beedle the Bard. It contains five stories often told to young witches and wizards, paired with beautifully understated illustrations and followed by notes from Albus Dumbledore himself. My favorite story is "The Tale of Three Brothers," which readers may recall from the original Harry Potter series.This book begs to be read aloud! It makes a beautiful gift for children of all ages, especially fans of the Brothers Grimm. -Liz
 


Staff Pick Logo
Bridge of Clay Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781984830159
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf Books for Young Readers - October 9th, 2018

The ten-year gap between the release of The Book Thief and Bridge of Clay has proven well worth the wait. This new novel is a far-reaching family epic filled with love and heartbreak. At the core are the Dunbar boys, a disparate group of brothers who swing between violence and tenderness, their menagerie of unconventional companion animals, and their all-too-human parents. There is such depth of affection, cruelty, and loss, all intertwined with well-drawn, elaborate histories. Prepare to be wholly and completely transported. -Holly