How is it Day 10 already? Here’s Jane Kirkpatrick, who has a huge fan base in the NW for her historical women’s fiction and a new contemporary novel that shows off her sharp wit. Kirkpatrick shops at Sunriver Books and Music; the Book Stop and Waucoma Books both in Hood River; Time Enough Books in Ilwaco; St. Helen’s Bookshop, King’s English (Salt Lake City); and Paulina Springs Books in Sisters and Redmond, OR, which is where we’re linking her books. She chooses Paulina Springs because the store sponsored her first book signing in 1991 and then her first novel signing in 1995. “I know they have hand-sold my books through the years,” she writes. “A huge thank you to them.”
Here’s her list, with five books for five people in her life:
The Cold Dish by Craig Johnson. Every year it seems I introduce a friend or relative to Craig Johnson. This one is signed and will stay close to home as I discovered that the couple who helped us build our homestead years ago had never heard of Craig! Terrible! They love mysteries, strong characters and a western landscape. This book will get them hooked on Craig.
Llama Llama Home with Mama by Anna Dewdney. This book will go to a three year old whom I don’t even know. It’s one of the “ornament” gifts the First Presbyterian Church of Bend offers for people to buy a gift and create a child’s Christmas pleasure. Homes where parents are unemployed, have a sick parent or are otherwise strapped rarely have extras for books for kids. As a child growing up, books were everywhere and my mom even saved several childhood books I still treasure. Literacy is greatly improved when kids have access to books at a young age—which is why I love libraries, too. This title is especially heartwarming because when you’re a kid and sick, what’s better than to have a comforting mom there to help you get better? A book isn’t mom . . . but it’s a close second.
The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss. I’ve read this novel three times and given away dozens, yes, even in hardcover but thankfully, now it’s in soft cover! It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read and you don’t need to like horses to find within it warmth, healing, and the beauty of a well-told story. This year it goes to my great niece who is old enough to appreciate all of those things as she makes her way between being a child and a nurturing young woman but it could go to anyone on my list who hasn’t already received it!
The Armchair Book of Gardens: A Miscellany by Jane Billinghurst. Almost a coffee-table book, this treasure is full of poems, essay selections, quotations short and sweet, all about gardens. It’ll be sent to a woman who has become a friend as she helped me research my spring release that is all about a woman and her garden and how she touched the world with beauty and generosity.
Old World Murder and The Heirloom Murders, both by Kathleen Ernst. These contemporary mysteries are part of the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series written by an award-winning author from Wisconsin, my home state. Wisconsin had the largest mix of immigrants in the 1840s and the state has created a living museum where visitors tour German, Norwegian, Finnish, Irish—you name it—settlements and step back in time. These mysteries blend intrigue, humor and ethnic histories with award-winning writing. A friend in Wisconsin will get both of these books because once you read one, you’ll want to read the next one. You don’t need to live in Wisconsin to enjoy these stories but it’s great fun to send them to someone who does and who I know will go visit the Old World Museum after she’s read them.