Bookseller at Lake Forest Park
Katelynn (spelled with 2 n’s and not like Kaitlin, Caitlin, Caitlyn, Katelin, or Kaytlan) is a terrible speller, a very amature gardner, one of seven siblings, and a lover of weird nature documentaries. As for reading, she enjoys almost anything concerning the environment, lyrical prose, quirky families, or whatever someone else can passionately recommend.
I wanted to hug these characters and never let go; live out my life on these salty shores, in the tiny shops; claim the metaphors as my own, never thinking of happy moments as anything other than pebbles on my own beach. Julia Drake expertly captures the precious and painful experiences of family, friendship, and love in a net of small town lore, diverse journeys toward mental health, and some of the most beautifully poetic lines I've ever read. Simply put, The Last True Poets of the Sea made me ache for an understanding I didn’t know I needed.
Although it’s been awhile since this collection was recommended to me, I can’t get these creation stories out of my head. During a time of erasure, they were shared by some NW indigenous communities with the goal of preservation because “These stories are valuable.” Tribe members have performed them for generations; Mourning Dove (Quintasket) spent much of her life trying to record them; New audiences might want to hear another culture’s representation of a certain creature and the history of the land. Even in this adapted form, some of the legends here are violent and abrupt, others humorous and hopeful, many of them either surprising or somehow familiar, but they all double as a captivating and complex example of morals and aspects of tradition.
Is it absurd to use a domesticated crow and his blood hound sidekick to tell the story of a zombie apocalypse? Or just absurd that no one has ever thought to create such a hilariously profane avian hero, in the midst of an identity crisis and spurred on by a love for Cheetos? Either way, "Hollow Kingdom" is a glorious Seattle receptacle where “Zombieland”,“Happy Feet”, and “The Truth About Animals” are tossed together with the anthropomorphized voices of the urban animal kingdom. Now, my only hope is that this clever cast of characters will rescue my cat when I succumb to the pull of my phone and the audiobook read in the many voices of Robert Petkoff.
With my own cozy reading chair and judgmental cat, I spent most of this book believing Abbi Waxman had probed my brain while I was sleeping. Frankly, I’d be surprised if other bookish folks, general nerds, or organization enthusiasts didn’t feel the same way. It’s a perfectly weird combination of rampant thoughts, happy places, and anxious social encounters; the frustration and comfort of a crazy family; a thoughtful love letter to booksellers and bookstore patrons. Add the sassy narrator, scents of pine and flavors of ice cream, and sickeningly cute romance--and I'm sure it’d pair well with summer itself.
With suggestive humor and a bit of orneriness, Cooke clears up crazy misconceptions about some of the world’s more mysterious and underappreciated species. Throughout, she dissects these past theories for signs of human superiority, a binary physical understanding, and a little too much of the woodsy musk from a beaver's “gonads.” What’s left: Hyenas are avid feminists, Eels keep their coitus quiet, and Sloths are pretty much the ultimate survivalists. You can devour this all at once or savor each chapter as an individual essay, but you will be amazed by the truth (and bestiary sketches) either way.
This book is a local wanderlust machine! Caroline (a passionate Alaskan biologist) expertly catalogs her post-grad coming of age as she undertakes a human-powered trip to the Arctic Circle with her husband Pat (a self-taught builder from Bellingham). In the midst of decisions about family, work, and one's place in the natural world, there are raging rapids and cold winds, whales and chickadees, snow and sunlight. Hopefully it will teach you something new about the PNW, and comfort you with the knowledge that it's okay to change course.
I’ve been struggling with how to describe this novel, other than it’s often pensive and irregularly balanced for a “dystopian” story. Finally, I came to the conclusion (after 3 pages of notes) that it needs to be read because of the struggle it shows and invokes in us. That may not be very helpful, but as stubborn and intellectual Cedar says at the start, “...maybe you’ll understand. Or not. I’ll write this anyway…” I mean...what do you record for a possible life in a world unknown to you?