Day 21. Chelsea Cain is the author of The New York Times bestselling thrillers Heartsick, Sweetheart, Evil at Heart, and The Night Season. Her Portland-based thrillers, described by The New York Times as “steamy and perverse,” have been published in over 30 languages, recommended on “The Today Show,” appeared in episodes of HBO’s “True Blood” and ABC’s “Castle,” named among Stephen King’s top ten favorite books of the year, and included in NPR’s list of the top 100 thrillers ever written. Her next book, Kill You Twice, comes out in August 2012.
Cain says her favorite NW indie is Village Books in Bellingham. “My mom had a garden nursery next door, so I pretty much grew up there,” she says. “They let me read books without buying them. If you bought a book at Village Books in the 1980s, it probably has my fingerprints on it.” Read Cain’s interview with Village Books’ staffer Lindsey McGuirk here.
Here’s her list:
The Sliding Glass Door by Scott Poole (Colonus Publishing). This is poetry for smart people who have very dry senses of humor. My Uncle Phil is a big fan of Calvin Trillin, another smart/funny poet. (Phil used to wear bowties, un-ironically.) I think he will really like this book. Also, I got Scott to autograph it, so it gives me a chance to look impressive in front of the family when Phil opens it. “Why, yes, I do know the poet.”
Birds of Paradise by Diana Abu-Jaber. I am giving this book to my aunt Colleen, my aunt Patricia, and my stepmother, Susan. (Please don’t tell them that they are all getting the same present—that would be awkward.) This book is wonderful, really lyrical and bursting with evocative writing. I think a lot of people think it’s going to be sad (it’s about a woman who’s teenage daughter is missing and doesn’t want to be found), but it’s actually life-affirming. Plus, it takes place in Miami and everyone can use some sun this time of year, except people who actually live in Miami.
The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch. Man, I love this book. I’m giving it to my cousin Cecily, who is one of the people I love most in the world. Lidia’s memoir is so rich with poetry and heart and beauty. I just want to read it again and again. It makes me want to be a better writer. Shit, it makes me want to be a better person. Plus, I wrote the introduction, so I can self-promote while giving selflessly.
Damned by Chuck Palahniuk. I get Chuck to sign a book for my brother-in-law every year. Damned is the story of Madison, a precocious 13- year-old who goes to hell. Literally. This will make a nice addition to Ryan’s CP collection, which I’m pretty sure he uses to get girls back to his room. “Hey, baby, want to see my Chuck Palahniuk books?” Girls love themselves some Fight Club.
The Retribution by Val McDermid. This is the new book in the Tony Hill/Carol Jordan thriller series from the UK. If you have read the first books in the series, you just peed your pants a little from excitement. I have already read the galley, but I’m totally getting the hardback for myself to add to my collection as soon as it comes out in January. (It’s SO GOOD. Oh. My. God.) I like to have a nice little stack of Val’s books in the guest room for overnight guests who ask for something to read. This ensures that they won’t do any sleeping, which makes them easier to handle in the morning.