We meet in the store the
first Thursday of each month at 7pm and the
third Wednesday of each month at
We usually average 8 - 12 participants, no fee, no reservations required.
All are welcome. Call us for any other information you need: 425.775.2789.
See just below for the current book club choices; see the
bottom of the page for books from 2016
and so far in 2017; and see here for a
partial list of books
we have chosen in previous years.
No meeting in December, as usual.
4 & 17, 2018.
The Nix by Nathan Hill.
It’s 2011, and Samuel Andresen-Anderson hasn’t seen his mother, Faye,
in decades—not since she abandoned the family when he was a boy. Now
she’s reappeared, having committed an absurd crime that electrifies the
nightly news and inflames a politically divided country. The media
paints Faye as a radical hippie with a sordid past, but as far as Samuel
knows, his mother was an ordinary girl who married her high-school
sweetheart. Which version of his mother is true? Two facts are certain:
she’s facing some serious charges, and she needs Samuel’s help.
To save her, Samuel will have to embark on his own journey, uncovering
long-buried secrets about the woman he thought he knew, secrets that
stretch across generations and have their origin all the way back in
Norway, home of the mysterious Nix. As he does so, Samuel will confront
not only Faye’s losses but also his own lost love, and will relearn
everything he thought he knew about his mother, and himself.
1 & 21, 2018. Flight Behavior: A Novel
by Barbara Kingsolver.
The extraordinary New York Times bestselling
author of The Lacuna (winner of the Orange
Prize), and The Poisonwood Bible (nominated
for the Pulitzer Prize) returns with a truly stunning and unforgettable
Flight Behavior is a
brilliant and suspenseful novel set in present day Appalachia; a
breathtaking parable of catastrophe and denial that explores how the
complexities we inevitably encounter in life lead us to believe in our
particular chosen truths. The riveting story concerns a young wife and
mother on a failing farm in rural Tennessee who experiences something
she cannot explain, and how her discovery energizes various competing
factions—religious leaders, climate scientists, environmentalists,
politicians—trapping her in the center of the conflict and ultimately
opening up her world.
This is arguably Kingsolver's most thrilling and
accessible novel to date, and like so many other of her acclaimed works,
represents contemporary American fiction at its finest.
1 & 21, 2018. Hero of the Empire: The Boer
War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by
At the age of twenty-four, Winston Churchill was
utterly convinced it was his destiny to become prime minister of
England. He arrived in South Africa in 1899, valet and crates of vintage
wine in tow, to cover the brutal colonial war the British were fighting
with Boer rebels and jumpstart his political career. But just two weeks
later, Churchill was taken prisoner. Remarkably, he pulled off a daring
escape—traversing hundreds of miles of enemy territory, alone, with
nothing but a crumpled wad of cash, four slabs of chocolate, and his
wits to guide him.
Bestselling author Candice Millard spins an epic
story of bravery, savagery, and chance encounters with a cast of
historical characters—including Rudyard Kipling, Lord Kitchener, and
Mohandas Gandhi—with whom Churchill would later share the world stage.
But this is more than an extraordinary adventure story, for the lessons
Churchill took from the Boer War would profoundly affect twentieth
April 5 & 18, 2018.
The Sympathizer: A Novel by
Viet Thanh Nguyen.
Winner of the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction
Winner of the 2016 Edgar Award for Best First Novel
A startling debut novel from a powerful new
voice featuring one of the most remarkable narrators of recent fiction:
a conflicted subversive and idealist working as a double agent in the
aftermath of the Vietnam War.
A profound, startling, and beautifully
crafted debut novel, this is the story of a man of two minds, someone
whose political beliefs clash with his individual loyalties. In dialogue
with but diametrically opposed to the narratives of the Vietnam War that
have preceded it, this novel offers an important and unfamiliar new
perspective on the war: that of a conflicted communist sympathizer
npr interview with the author, here.
NYT book review
Philip Caputo here.
On October 11, 2017,
Viet Thanh Nguyen was named one of the MacArthur Foundation 2017 ‘Genius’
more about all of the grant winners
here in The New York Times.
Viet Thanh Nguyen
will be in Seattle as a part of the
Seattle Arts & Lectures series May 7, 2018. Visit the
SAL website for their entire schedule.
More information on our Booknews
May 3 & 16, 2018.
Moonglow: A Novel by Michael
The Pulitzer Prize-winning author delivers
another literary masterpiece: a novel of truth and lies, family
legends, and existential adventure—and the forces that work to destroy
In 1989, fresh from the publication of his first novel,
Michael Chabon traveled to his mother’s home in
Oakland, California, to visit his terminally ill grandfather. Tongue
loosened by powerful painkillers, memory stirred by the imminence of
death, Chabon’s grandfather shared recollections
and told stories the younger man had never heard before, uncovering bits
and pieces of a history long buried and forgotten. That dreamlike week
of revelations forms the basis for the novel
Moonglow unfolds as the deathbed confession of a man the narrator
refers to only as “my grandfather.” It is a tale of madness, of war and
adventure, of sex and marriage and desire, of existential doubt and
model rocketry, of the shining aspirations and demonic underpinnings of
American technological accomplishment at midcentury, and, above all, of
the destructive impact—and the creative power—of keeping secrets and
telling lies. It is a portrait of the difficult but passionate love
between the narrator’s grandfather and his grandmother, an enigmatic
woman broken by her experience growing up in war-torn France. It is also
a tour de force of speculative autobiography in which
Chabon devises and reveals a secret history of his own
From the Jewish slums of prewar South
Philadelphia to the invasion of Germany, from a Florida retirement
village to the penal utopia of New York’s Wallkill prison, from the
heyday of the space program to the twilight of the “American Century,”
the novel revisits an entire era through a single life and collapses a
lifetime into a single week. A lie that tells the truth, a work of
fictional nonfiction, an autobiography wrapped in a novel disguised as a
memoir, Moonglow is Chabon
at his most moving and inventive.
June 7 & 20, 2018.
To the Bright Edge of the World: A Novel by
atmospheric, transporting tale of adventure, love, and survival from the
bestselling author of The Snow Child,
finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.
In the winter of 1885, decorated war hero
Colonel Allen Forrester leads a small band of men on an expedition that
has been deemed impossible: to venture up the Wolverine River and pierce
the vast, untamed Alaska Territory. Leaving behind Sophie, his newly
pregnant wife, Colonel Forrester records his extraordinary experiences
in hopes that his journal will reach her if he doesn't return--once he
passes beyond the edge of the known world, there's no telling what
The Wolverine River Valley is not only breathtaking
and forbidding but also terrifying in ways that the colonel and his men
never could have imagined. As they map the territory and gather
information on the native tribes, whose understanding of the natural
world is unlike anything they have ever encountered, Forrester and his
men discover the blurred lines between human and wild animal, the living
and the dead. And while the men knew they would face starvation and
danger, they cannot escape the sense that some greater, mysterious force
threatens their lives.
Meanwhile, on her own at Vancouver
Barracks, Sophie chafes under the social restrictions and yearns to
travel alongside her husband. She does not know that the winter will
require as much of her as it does her husband, that both her courage and
faith will be tested to the breaking point. Can her exploration of
nature through the new art of photography help her to rediscover her
sense of beauty and wonder?
The truths that Allen and
Sophie discover over the course of that fateful year change both of
their lives--and the lives of those who hear their stories long after
Books we discussed in 2017:
The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary
Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan.
Commonwealth: A Novel by Ann Patchett.
Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
July 2017. The Translation of Love by
June 2017. Just
Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by
May 2017. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven
by Chris Cleave.
April 2017. Go Set a Watchman: A
Novel by Harper Lee.
March 2017. All The Wild That
Remains: Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner, and the American West by
The Plover: A Novel by Brian Doyle.
Last Bus to Wisdom: A Novel by Ivan Doig.
Books we discussed in 2016:
Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by
October 2016. We
Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by
Binocular Vision: Short Stories by Edith
July 2016. The
Wright Brothers by David McCullough.
June 2016. The Sea Runners
by Ivan Doig.
May 2016. West with the Night by
April 2016. Unnecessary Woman by
March 2016. Crossing to Safety by
Euphoria by Lily King.
2016. Americanah by
See here for a list of even more books
our book club has chosen to discuss over the past several years.