Books

‘SlaughterTown’: Ghosts of a traumatized NW landscape

Can landscapes become imbued with historic trauma? And if so, can they pass it along? Is there an example here in Puget Sound country? Those…

A big win for a tiny local publisher: The Pulitzer

When the staff at Seattle poetry press Wave Books learned they had won a Pulitzer Prize on Monday for the book Olio, by Tyehimba Jess,…

Rachel Dolezal: A lesson or a sideshow?

In her new memoir, In Full Color: Finding My Place in a Black and White World [282 pp. BenBella Books], Rachel Dolezal wastes little time…

Want to connect with Seattle? Get journaling

No one wants a “better city” more than Seattleites. Much of our civic discourse is about how to live up to our ideals, to be…

The best Northwest nonfiction of 2016

Here’s my mossy list of the year’s best reads in Northwest nonfiction, with an emphasis on, surprise, history. Looking for Betty MacDonald by Paula Becker…

How animals have shaped Seattle. And still do.

Animals have played enormous roles in shaping of modern cities, though few of us stop to think about it. Take Boston, which was developed around…

Time for a ‘tectonic shift’ in policing, says former Seattle chief

Imagine a peaceful day in Ferguson, Missouri, two years ago this summer. Officer Darren Wilson stops 18-year-old Michael Brown and politely points out that walking…

Asia McClain, alibi in ‘Serial’ case, tells her story

In January 1999, when Asia McClain Chapman was waiting in the library of her high school in Baltimore County, she remembers talking briefly with popular…

Think you’re not a racist? Think again

Lola Peters' most recent book jumps into my mind almost every day. I’m trying to figure out or practice her provocative lessons about skin color,…

For white hires, OK is good enough.

Editor’s note: This is a slightly revised excerpt from the author’s 2015 book, The Truth About White People. Let’s start a discussion of racism in…

Could South Park murder have been averted?

Seattle has been home to some of the country’s ablest writers of true crime; the late Ann Rule, whose book about Ted Bundy, The Stranger Beside…

FDR’s mixed legacy for NW environment

“There is no such thing as an ex-conservationist,” Franklin Roosevelt said. Conservation was the through-line of FDR’s public legacy, a narrative given new life in…

Facing the humanity of our mentally ill

This article originally appeared in South Seattle Emerald.  Since I finished reading Eli Sanders’ recent book "While the City Slept: A Love Lost to Violence…

The ‘Battle in Seattle’ revisited

I recently wrote a story for another publication in which I passingly referred to WTO and got an editor’s note back. Young and new to…

Smartypants guide to Civic Cocktail: Nancy Pearl and the women of the Seattle Council

What books are a must-read in 2016? How will Seattle change with a new majority of women on the city council? Book nerds and political…

Black Lives Matter: A local prosecutor’s lesson from the ’70s

In 1971, 32-year-old King County Prosecutor Christopher T. Bayley visited my high school to encourage my class to consider careers in law and public service.…

Lost in the Amazon: E-retailer’s new store turns magic into mundane

With Amazon Prime, I ordered a personal Amazon drone to deliver me speedily to the new Amazon Bookstore. Amazon Books is the only bookstore of…

Cheryl Strayed talks about her new book of quotes, and what’s next after ‘Wild’

A few years ago, working as a restaurant hostess, unsure about where I was going in life, I started reading Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection…

Smartypants guide to the Seattle Lit Crawl

A pub crawl meets literature with more than 80 readers and artists at this year's Seattle Lit Crawl on Thursday. You'll wander from bar to bar,…

10 books from Seattle’s first reading list

Seattle is a city where one of our librarians, Nancy Pearl, has become a national celebrity, worthy of an action figure and a best-selling book…

Sasquatch meets the citizen science movement

Acclaimed Seattle science writer David George Gordon is intrigued by tales of the legendary Sasquatch that have fueled the lore of the Pacific Northwest for…

A new “community of the book” begins in Seattle

Seattle often is touted for its literary bona fides. We frequently top the list of America’s “most literate” cities (we’re currently number 3, following Washington,…

Book City: Gov. Jay Inslee talks reading

Jay Inslee is a home-grown governor. His Dad was a biology teacher at Garfield and Sealth high schools, and Inslee’s first foray into public service…

Book City: Exploring David Brewster’s reading habits

David Brewster has been a teacher, journalist and publisher. He remains a civic starter-upper. Since moving to Seattle in 1965 to teach English at the…

Podcast: Tony Angell’s “House of Owls”

Owls have captivated us for thousands of years, appearing in our art, informing our environmental understanding and living in our forests (even if we rarely…