Established in 1980, Village Books is an indie bookstore icon located in the historic Fairhaven district of Bellingham, Washington. Check out their blog, their Staff Recs, their Reading Groups and their Chuckanut Radio Hour. We asked four staff members to share recent recommendations with NWBL.
Sheri Toomey, a bookseller at Village Books for three years, has a bike, a kayak and gratefully accepts rides from friends who often pick her up when
they see her waiting at the bus stop.
The Circumference of Home: One Man’s Yearlong Quest for a Radically Local
Life by Kurt Hoelting
Da Capo Press, May 2010
The Circumference of Home gracefully shows how a man begins to reevaluate and appreciate his world close to home. Vowing to travel only by foot, kayak,
bike or public transportation after learning that his carbon footprint is
twice the national average, Hoelting rediscovers the land close to home and
in the process feels the whole pace of his life slowing down. In a world
where it takes a considerable effort to step out of the fast lane, I found
this book a welcome invitation to take the sidewalk.
Jory M. Mickelson is a poet and writer masquerading as a bookseller in Bellingham, Washington. Visit his blog.
McPoems by Billeh Nickerson
Arsenal Pulp Press, Nov 2009
McPoems is poetry for anyone who ever worked in food service. Nickerson’s
smart, tight writing had me nodding my head from the first page. Whether
describing oddball customers, the breakneck paced job or his perspective
from behind the counter, the writing is glaring and accurate.
Winter Wheat by Mildred Walker
This coming of age story follows the life of a young woman raised on a wheat
farm against the backdrop of WWII. First published in 1944, Walker’s masterful
writing continues to prove itself nearly 70 years later. Vivid details immerse
the reader in the landscape and rural life of central Montana. I read this
book at least once every year.
Cindi Williamson is in her 5th year working at VB. Inspired by store co-owner Dee Robinson, she challenges everyone she knows to read 100 books a year.
Lit by Mary Karr
HarperCollins, Nov 2009
Mary Karr writes poetic prose in the form of a gritty
memoir about her alcoholism and recovery. Her writing is so lovely that I
would read paragraphs over and over, just to enjoy the prose. I’m eagerly
waiting for her next book.
Homer & Langley by E.L. Doctorow
Random House, Sept. 2009
I don’t know why I love to read about wacky characters, but I do. These two brothers are about as weird and comical as Ignatius in Confederacy of Dunces. There is something painfully tender about eccentricity, and these two men will remain vivid memories long after you’ve finished the book.
Lindsey McGuirk is the Digital Marketing & Publishing Manager for Village Books. You can most often find her laughing loudly at jokes that aren’t even funny.
The Unnamed by Joshua Ferris
Reagan Arthur Books, 2010
There is something so unnerving about this book–almost as though there is
a darkness that surrounds it. Joshua Ferris does a tremendous job making
a far-fetched illness–the sudden onset of having to walk until your body
lets you stop–believable. It’s a book containing sad and unforgivable actions,
and it left me unable to truly explain how amazing it is.
The Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
Little, Brown, 2010, young adult
I didn’t read The Shadow of the Wind, even though I’ve had many people tell me I need to. After reading The Prince of Mist, though, it may be time I do. With some truly terrifying scenes and clever, chilling details, this book is begging to be made into a movie. Read it before it is!