Winter Gazette 2019

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

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

 

Fall 2019

 

 

Staff Pick Badge
All This Could Be Yours Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9780544824256
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - October 22nd, 2019

Attenberg's novel starts out with a bang when the patriarch Victor Tuchman has a heart attack and proceeds to uncover the damage he has done to his family, all while lying on his deathbed in the hospital. Attenberg's story of the Tuchman family is masterfully told. The heart attack becomes the central unifying metaphor: love, or lack thereof, and how to move forward. All have been adversely affected by the powerful and abusive patriarch, by his life of crime and secrets. Family stories are common, but this is among the best. A powerful, affecting novel of the first order. -Greg


Staff Pick Badge
Dominicana: A Novel Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9781250205933
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Flatiron Books - September 3rd, 2019

Ana Ruiz-Canción does not choose to move to an apartment in Washington Heights from her home in the Dominican Republic, nor to marry a man almost fifteen years her senior who hits her and loves someone else. As a fifteen-year-old immigrant—with no key to her own apartment and not a single friend in the country—there is little room for choice. Or so you would think. Despite her circumstances, Ana chooses to cultivate amusement, joy, and hope, to demand respect and comfort. She moves with grit and grace, refusing to bend. Dominicana is a simultaneously heartbreaking and inspiring coming-of-age. -Emma


Staff Pick Badge
Ducks, Newburyport Cover Image
$22.95
ISBN: 9781771963077
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Biblioasis - September 10th, 2019

There are gifts that keep on giving, there are books that keep on living, and there are those that do both. Lucy Ellmann’s audacious novel, a finalist for this year’s Booker Prize, has been a sensation since landing on bookstore shelves. This epic’s narrator—an Ohio baker, housewife, mother, and cancer survivor—has within her a flow of thought, association, and wonder that comprises life and mind for many. Though imposing in its size and its sentences, this boundless book is an easy-to-read joy. You’ll have trouble knowing when the book stops and life starts—it’s one exuberant, life-force stream. -Rick


Staff Pick Badge
Girl, Woman, Other: A Novel (Booker Prize Winner) Cover Image
$17.00
ISBN: 9780802156983
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grove Press, Black Cat - November 5th, 2019

While one of this year’s Booker Prize winners, Margaret Atwood, was known to most every American, the other, Bernardine Evaristo, was not. The Anglo-Nigerian writer has written seven previous books, none of which have made much noise on these shores. That will change with this wonderful, exuberant, and bracing book featuring the linked voices of a dozen remarkably rendered black, British women. They are varied in age, ambition, class, locale, employment, family, and experiences of love and loss—but all are given voice with vim and vigor. There’s not a song in this book, and yet it sings. -Rick


Staff Pick Badge
Agent Running in the Field: A Novel Cover Image
$29.00
ISBN: 9781984878878
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Viking - October 22nd, 2019

There are three things to know about le Carré’s latest. The master is still at the height of his powers as storyteller and artist. He maintains his uncanny genius for anticipating the hallmark issues of our times—Brexit, Ukraine, Boris Johnson, and “Putin’s shithouse cleaner,” Trump—with a cry of outrage at the senseless vandalism and self-immolation of the masses swallowing the nationalistic bilge of rich, elitist conmen. And, by the time you’re finished—quickly, because it’s hard to put the book down—you’ll know it’s possible to be furious and delighted simultaneously. -Peter


Staff Pick Badge
The Starless Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$28.95
ISBN: 9780385541213
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Doubleday - November 5th, 2019

The Starless Sea is an homage to all those books you loved when you first realized the wonder of reading; it whispers of secret societies and romantic quests (and a kitchen pantry of requirement). As the book creates its own puzzle box of adventures, each story opening into the next like a Calvino-esque nesting doll, the reader finds tests of valor, tales of soulmates lost in time, and literary costume parties. Erin Morgenstern returns after her lush The Night Circus to remind us that magic can be found through a wardrobe, behind an unassuming door, or simply by opening a book. -Elaine 


Staff Pick Badge
The Revisioners Cover Image
$25.00
ISBN: 9781640092587
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Counterpoint LLC - November 5th, 2019

We can never really escape the past, even if it’s not our own. With her latest book, Margaret Wilkerson Sexton masterfully demonstrates the echo of legacies throughout history in a way that’s incredibly gripping and made me pause to consider equivalent ripples in the world around me. And even as she explores the powerful bonds between women across generational and situational divides, she doesn’t shy away from the problems that can arise in such relationships. Reading The Revisioners, I was so mesmerized that finishing the book felt like breaking a spell. -Lauren


Staff Pick Badge
Grand Union: Stories Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780525558996
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - October 8th, 2019

In Grand Union, Zadie Smith experiments, taking her reader on a simultaneously playful and dark journey; there are pieces inspired by the current political climate and filled with biting satire as well as smaller, more personal stories peopled with richly imagined characters. Smith’s writing has a tendency to sneak up on you—her characters and their lives may seem ordinary, but each story adds up to more than the sum of its parts. Wide-ranging in topic and genre, Smith’s first short story collection is perfect for anyone who wants a peek into the mind of a writer at the top of her game. -Laura


Staff Pick Badge
Dead Astronauts: A Novel Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374276805
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: MCD - December 3rd, 2019

This is quintessential weird sci-fi in the legacy of 2001: A Space Odyssey. Starting with the narrative of the titular dead astronauts and their doomed battle against the monolithic Corporation, the stories that VanderMeer tells in Dead Astronauts blend and weave subtly together, each illuminating the tales that came before. There’s a lot of substance to chew on in this thought-provoking, mind-bending journey through the twisty inner lives of VanderMeer’s diverse cast of characters. An attentive reader will find themselves well-rewarded and wanting to read it all over again. -Chester


Staff Pick Badge
Rusty Brown (Pantheon Graphic Library) Cover Image
$35.00
ISBN: 9780375424328
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Pantheon - September 24th, 2019

There is a strange warmth to this newest graphic tome from Chris Ware. It's the warmth of recognizable, preteen down-and-outness, a state which brings a pit in your stomach that lingers well into adulthood. Rusty is bullied, nervous, and insular; his dad, teachers, and peers are troubled too. This book is a masterpiece, weaving stories and memories across time and space, covering lunch breaks and entire lifetimes in rich detail and with a vast array of frame sizes and layouts. Ware pushes themes from his book Jimmy Corrigan to a fever pitch in this study of what it is to be a person in America. -Tony


Staff Pick Badge
Nothing to See Here Cover Image
$26.99
ISBN: 9780062913463
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ecco - October 29th, 2019

A woman sleepwalking through her dead-end life stumbles into a whole new world of hope and heartache when she's asked to care for combustible twins. Fighting to keep the children from bursting into flames, she's forced to reckon with her own buried anger. With an edge of darkness, a healthy dash of humor, and a sprinkling of magical realism, Wilson wrestles with class, privilege, and the inescapable bonds of family in this well-crafted read that's fun, but not flimsy and poignant, but not heavy. I devoured the book in a single day—the ideal pick to see you through a long train ride or a cozy weekend. -Lara


Staff Pick Badge
The Great Pretender: The Undercover Mission That Changed Our Understanding of Madness Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781538715284
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Grand Central Publishing - November 5th, 2019

A landmark 1950s experiment radically changed modern psychiatry, closing mental hospitals and altering basic premises and treatments. The Rosenhan study, led by a popular Stanford professor, put volunteers feigning illness into asylums to test institutional conditions and diagnoses. This quest for a definition of sanity piqued the interest of journalist Cahalan, who was once misdiagnosed with schizophrenia. Her investigation of the inexact, volatile science behind mental healthcare and its disturbing history is superb: riveting and enlightening, with a very surprising plot twist along the way. -Erica


Staff Pick Badge
Coventry: Essays Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374126773
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - September 17th, 2019

Fresh off the acclaim of her formally inventive Outline Trilogy comes Rachel Cusk’s new collection of essays and criticism, Coventry. Much of what was to love in those novels—the dazzling and precise diction, the formal openness, the marveling in enigma and complexity—is also found in these essays. Whether addressing the relationship between driving and subjectivity or praising the “absolute clarity amid the veils of time and language” of Natalia Ginzburg’s fiction, Cusk is sharp and erudite. As with her novels, Rachel Cusk proves to be a voice you want by your side in the maelstrom. -Sam W.


Staff Pick Badge
Essays One Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9780374148850
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Farrar, Straus and Giroux - November 12th, 2019

Lydia Davis’s first collection of essays, Essays One, is essential and insightful, gathering together her valuable advice to writers and her generous readings of varied works and authors. Her subjects range widely through the book and the years, but her focus always returns to reading, writing, and the deep study of both. She examines how we can best do each—how the two relate, inform each other, and even intertwine. Essays One collects a superb bounty of Davis's work, and we are lucky that, as she says herself, “to be exact and economical does not necessarily mean to be brief.” -Callie


Staff Pick Badge
One Long River of Song: Notes on Wonder Cover Image
By Brian Doyle, David James Duncan (Introduction by)
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316492898
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Little, Brown and Company - December 3rd, 2019

Portland novelist Brian Doyle was also the author of many essays, poems, and prayers, some of which appear in this posthumously published collection. A frequent visitor to Seattle, he shared his deep connections—to loved ones, the natural world, and the mysteries of life—through writing meant to be contemplated and read aloud. A Catholic writer, he wrote of the twin sides of his church: “one a noun, one a verb” and of “finding ways to walk through the bruises of life with grace and humility.” I can’t imagine a more sympathetic companion for readers on the journey. -Karen


Staff Pick Badge
Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide Cover Image
$30.00
ISBN: 9781101980286
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Penguin Press - May 14th, 2019

In his awkward attempts to retread the antebellum Southern travels of landscape architect-turned-spy Frederick Law Olmsted, Tony Horwitz gets gaslighted by conservative cowboys, drunk on moonshine, muddied in a monster truck, and headbutted into oblivion by a rogue mule—think Anthony Bourdain with less social grace. But while he never totally ingratiates himself with the townsfolk he meets along the way, he perseveres with empathy, wit, and a keen eye for the ways America has changed since the Civil War—and the many ways it hasn't. Horwitz's final work is a requiem for old-school journalism. -Brendan


Staff Pick Badge
How We Fight for Our Lives: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781501132735
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster - October 8th, 2019

This memoir-in-vignettes is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Saeed Jones writes with a beautiful fury, revealing his pain and his joy with raw honesty and unchecked vulnerability. In writing about his experiences growing up black and queer, he also reveals the state-sanctioned violence of poverty and the insidious bigotry underpinning it all. Our backgrounds are different, but he expresses himself so generously that I felt his emotions as strongly as my own. How We Fight for Our Lives is a searingly honest self-portrait that doubles as a mirror. -Lauren


Staff Pick Badge
All Blood Runs Red: The Legendary Life of Eugene Bullard-Boxer, Pilot, Soldier, Spy Cover Image
$27.99
ISBN: 9781335005564
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hanover Square Press - November 5th, 2019

Meet Mr. Eugene Bullard, a highly energetic Francophile who lived big in the early 1900s. He was a boxer, decorated fighter pilot, drummer, and owner of the Paris nightclub L’Escadrille. He was also a black man who escaped the Jim Crow South as a teenager. If you want to read a fascinating account of how an under-reported champion of self-determination immersed himself in many international causes, resisted racism in the U.S. and abroad, and developed deep ties to a myriad of famous artists, soldiers, and activists, then this is your book! His biography is way overdue. -Cody


Staff Pick Badge
Classic Krakauer: Essays on Wilderness and Risk Cover Image
$15.00
ISBN: 9781984897695
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Anchor - October 29th, 2019

When the iron skillet skies of a Pacific Northwest winter have you huddled indoors, Classic Krakauer offers vital refreshment. These ten articles, mostly written in the nineties, explore different facets of wilderness—thought-provoking, sure, but also just darn good fun to read. Krakauer's prose is crisp and clean, and his subjects are thoroughly researched. Whether profiling legendary “dirtbag” Fred Beckey, recreating the final 30-foot wave surfed by Mark Foo, or investigating disturbing teen-therapy wilderness programs, Classic Krakauer provides a reflective jolt to the adrenal gland. -John


Staff Pick Badge
In the Dream House: A Memoir Cover Image
$26.00
ISBN: 9781644450031
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Graywolf Press - November 5th, 2019

I devoured In the Dream House like a child lost in the woods come upon a candy cottage; I read greedily and did not heed the witch. Using a trove of tropes to frame each chapter—dream house as haunted mansion, dream house as star-crossed lovers—Machado examines domestic abuse from all angles, giving voice and sharp edges to a reality often swept under the rug. As she did in Her Body and Other Parties, Machado exhibits her skill at manipulating form, at weaving a story that both astonishes and terrifies. But this time the story is her life, the hall of mirrors her home, the monster her partner. -Emma
 


Staff Pick Badge
The Best Coast: A Road Trip Atlas: Illustrated Adventures along the West Coast's Historic Highways Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9781632171740
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sasquatch Books - April 9th, 2019

This is the ideal guide for the armchair (or passenger seat) traveler. O’Leary’s whimsical illustrations are perfectly suited to her subject: the road trip. Two coastal trips are outlined—one along Highway 101 and the other slightly more inland on Old 99—along with some exceptional side trips, including drives through the Gorge and to Crater Lake. Filled with all the great kitsch of roadside attractions (think the Mystery Spot in Santa Cruz) and not-to-be-missed area highlights (such as Washington’s island jewels), this is a book to dream and plan with. Get two copies so you can keep one in the car and at the ready! -Holly


Staff Pick Badge
Nothing Fancy: Unfussy Food for Having People Over Cover Image
$32.50
ISBN: 9780451497017
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Clarkson Potter - October 22nd, 2019

Alison Roman had me hooked when she confessed her abiding love for the anchovy. This is the perfect cookbook for gathering friends in a convivial atmosphere, indulging a love for food in what Roman characterizes as an “unfussy” way. She rejects the term “entertaining” as too formal; pleasure is the objective. Roman covers it all in this book: snacks, salads, sides, mains, and, of course, after dinner—which is more than just dessert. All her recipes are so doable, unique, “unfussy,” and mouthwatering that you’ll want to throw on an apron and invite some friends over for food, camaraderie, and glorious fun. -Greg


Staff Pick Badge
Movies (And Other Things) Cover Image
By Shea Serrano, Arturo Torres (Illustrator)
$25.00
ISBN: 9781538730195
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Twelve - October 8th, 2019

Movies feels like those rambling late-night discussions you have with your best friends that veer just as easily toward irreverence as profundity. I'd love to hang out with Shea Serrano, whether to watch the latest The Fast and the Furious movie or to debate the top ten DeNiro gangster scenes. This book is the next best thing though, where Serrano asks a series of movie-related questions and answers them with wit, wisdom, and an impressive breadth of film knowledge. Where else could you find a comparison of Finding Nemo and Face/Off or a countdown of the Action Movie Kills Hall of Fame? -Elaine


Staff Pick Badge
Year of the Monkey Cover Image
$24.95
ISBN: 9780525657682
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Knopf - September 24th, 2019

Beautifully inhabiting the hinterland between dreams and the waking day, Year of the Monkey finds Patti Smith reflecting on a most challenging year: 2016. For Smith, this was not only a year of social and political upheaval, but also a year defined by the sudden loss of a close friend and mentor—a reckoning with mortality. Year of the Monkey invites the reader into a lush and dreamy world where the line between memory and fact has been obliterated—a world where we find one of our greatest memoirists exploring uncharted territory and the great unknown in a way that only she can. -Jacob


Staff Pick Badge
The Witches Are Coming Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780316449885
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Hachette Books - November 5th, 2019

Lindy West is back, and she’s not taking any prisoners. In The Witches Are Coming, West balances tone as only she can, nimbly jumping from a political rallying cry to a takedown of Adam Sandler movies with brash humor. Her writing is immensely readable, even when she’s describing the agonies of modern political life. Which is not to say she sugar coats things; West is completely unwilling to compromise on her politics, but she is always, always funny. And it’s that combination that makes her as delightful and energizing to read as ever. -Laura


Staff Pick Badge
Erosion: Essays of Undoing Cover Image
$27.00
ISBN: 9780374280062
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Sarah Crichton Books - October 8th, 2019

As we continue to reckon with the ghastly effects of climate change, this collection could not be more relevant. Terry Tempest Williams brings a haunting beauty to the conversation, with essays that are filled with equal parts hope and despair. Among other things, she writes about the Endangered Species Act, our devastating reliance on fossil fuels, and the corruption of public lands. The theme of erosion runs throughout this collection as a force that both destroys and reveals something new. Or as she puts it, “Our undoing is also our becoming.” -Lauren


Staff Pick Badge
Turn Around Time: A Walking Poem for the Pacific Northwest Cover Image
By David Guterson, Justin Gibbens (Illustrator)
$21.95
ISBN: 9781680512656
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Mountaineers Books - September 1st, 2019

Anyone who has ever taken a hike will recognize themselves in Guterson’s latest, Turn Around Time. From the outset, the poem plunges into the simple delight of being outside; but this is no mere bucolic. In a steady rhythm that emulates boots on a trail, the narrator’s thoughts range from the names of trees to the uncomfortable places our minds go when we lack distractions to keep us from ourselves. Subtitled A Walking Poem, this book does indeed invite readers to slip a copy into their pocket and take it for a stroll. It is a love poem to the very act of walking in the woods. -Liz


Staff Pick Badge
Sofia Valdez, Future Prez (The Questioneers) Cover Image
By Andrea Beaty, David Roberts (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781419737046
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Harry N. Abrams - November 5th, 2019

While out volunteering, Sofia's abuelo takes a tumble on a mountain of trash. Distressed, Sofia enlists the neighborhood to tackle the problem. She takes their idea of transforming the trash into a park to City Hall, where she encounters a different kind of mountain. But Sofia gets the attention of the bureaucrats and, along with the neighborhood, gets the job done, proving that anyone can make a difference. The latest in the Questioneers series, which so brilliantly spotlights the talents and abilities of kids, is sure to inspire the young activist! -Holly


Staff Pick Badge
Pokko and the Drum Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781481480390
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books - October 1st, 2019

After many disastrous gifts, Pokko's parents give her a drum. The constant noise quickly draws their ire, but once she is off in the world, drumming a steady beat, the mood gives way to the collective joy of all those she meets. Much of the book's hilarity comes from Forsythe's cast of animal characters and some wonderfully subtle over-your-kid's-head humor for grown-ups. From a designer of the series Adventure Time, this gorgeous tale of persistence and the rewards of being yourself is a true gem. -Tony


Staff Pick Badge
The Wonders of Nature Cover Image
$19.99
ISBN: 9781465485366
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: DK Children - September 3rd, 2019

This delightful book introduces readers to an artfully curated smattering of species, from the microscopic water bear, which can survive outside a spacecraft, to the Arctic poppy, a flower that blooms amidst ice. Some of these species are nature’s rockstars, but many are likely unknown to the average citizen. I enjoyed the up-close photography and quirky details of each featured creature, both of which reaffirmed for me that we live on a stunning planet that deserves our care! -Cody


Staff Pick Badge
Who Put This Song On? Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780525707516
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Delacorte Press - September 24th, 2019

I could not contain my giggles while reading this book! It opens during Morgan’s “Bummer Summer,” which is what she calls the summer after she attempts suicide, and follows her as she figures out how to build a life she actually wants to live in a world that constantly tells her she doesn’t fit. Through keen observation, killer song references, and characters you want to cheer for, acclaimed poet Morgan Parker brings us a substantial novel about a black girl’s mental health that feels strikingly buoyant. -Ellis


Staff Pick Badge
Stargazing Cover Image
By Jen Wang, Jen Wang (Illustrator)
$12.99
ISBN: 9781250183880
Availability: Out of Stock - Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - September 10th, 2019

Brash and imaginative Moon, who dreams of returning to her home in the stars, and quiet perfectionist Christine, who struggles to live up to her family's high expectations, strike up an unlikely friendship to challenge them both. Wang's tender linework and spot-on dialogue tackle the universal joys and horrors of middle school while delivering a nuanced portrait of a second-generation immigrant experience. This book is honest and charming and takes its young readers seriously; I already picked up a copy for my favorite eleven-year-old! -Lara


Staff Pick Badge
How to Read a Book Cover Image
By Kwame Alexander, Melissa Sweet (Illustrator)
$17.99
ISBN: 9780062307811
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: HarperCollins - June 18th, 2019

As someone for whom reading is part of the job, this book did the invaluable service of reminding me just how magical, creative, and transcendent the act of reading can be. Melissa Sweet’s beautifully chaotic collage illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to Kwame Alexander’s paean to the relationships between text, image, and the imagination of each individual reader. Perfect for emerging bookworms and seasoned book devourers alike. -Jacob