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Book Club.
We meet in the store the first Thursday of each month at 7pm and the third Wednesday of each month at 9am. 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.

 


 

 

 

cover: The NixJanuary 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.

 

 


 

cover: Flight BehaviorFebruary 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 work.

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.

 

 


 

cover: Hero of the EmpireMarch 1 & 21, 2018. Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill by Candice Millard.

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 century history.

 

 


 

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

cover: SympathizerA 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

An npr interview with the author, here.

A NYT book review by Philip Caputo here.

 

On October 11, 2017, Viet Thanh Nguyen was named one of the MacArthur Foundation 2017 ‘Genius’ Grant Winners.
Read 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 Page.

 


 

 

May 3 & 16, 2018. Moonglow: A Novel by Michael Chabon.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author delivers another literary masterpiece: a novel of truth and lies, familycover: Moonglow legends, and existential adventure—and the forces that work to destroy us.
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.

     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 imagination.
    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 Eowyn Ivey.

cover: To the Bright Edge of the WorldAn 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 awaits him.

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 they're gone--forever.

 






 

Books we discussed in 2017:


November 2017. The Immortal Irishman: The Irish Revolutionary Who Became an American Hero by Timothy Egan.
October 2017. Commonwealth: A Novel by Ann Patchett.
September 2017. Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi.
August 2017. Lab Girl by Hope Jahren
July 2017. The Translation of Love by Lynne Kutsukake.
June 2017. Just Mercy: A Story of Justice and Redemption by Bryan Stevenson.
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 David Gessner.
February 2017.
The Plover: A Novel by Brian Doyle.
January 2017. Last Bus to Wisdom: A Novel by Ivan Doig.

 

 


 

Books we discussed in 2016:

November 2016. Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson.
October 2016. We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler.
September 2016. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman.
August 2016. Binocular Vision: Short Stories by Edith Pearlman.
July 2016. The Wright Brothers by David McCullough.
June 2016. The Sea Runners by Ivan Doig.
May 2016. West with the Night by Beryl Markham.
April 2016. Unnecessary Woman by Rabih Alameddine.
March 2016. Crossing to Safety by Wallace Stegner.
February 2016. Euphoria by Lily King.
January 2016.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

 



See here for a list of even more books our book club has chosen to discuss over the past several years.

 


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