More titles were mentioned in the 2020 Pacific Northwest Book Awards preview. Readers have found many treasures from Pacific Northwest authors in the last year!
All the Better Part of Me was suggested by Stephanie from Books Around the Corner. The store’s all-female Fiction Addiction book club discussed it and loved it. The book comes with a playlist of ’80s music.
Alexa Butler from Beach Books (the committee chair) mentioned that a title that is a favorite with committee members who couldn’t be present is the nonfiction book Aloha Rodeo. She also wanted to make sure we all knew about a book that has brought so much joy: The Field Guide to Dumb Birds of North America.
The Lady’s Guide to Celestial Mechanics was recommended– a great queer romance.
The committee is excited to read Exhalation by Ted Chang but hadn’t gotten their copies yet.
Steller’s Orchid was recommended as a “sleeper classic of Alaskan literature.”
The Phone Booth in Mr. Hirota’s Garden is a beautiful and moving picture book about a village that is grieving victims of a recent tsunami.
Ariana of Country Bookshelf is listening to Survival Math, which was nominated, but initial research seemed to indicate that the author might not be regional; the committee will look into it and discuss. This led to the question of the eligibility of an audience favorite, the YA novel Slay; author Brittney Morris lived in Seattle while writing the book but has since moved to Philadelphia.
Markie of Liberty Bay Books in Bremerton recommended Professor Renoir’s Collection of Oddities, Curiosities, and Delights. She loves that the book stresses that being different is important, but not being the different that others want you to be.
Ghost Cat by Kevan Atteberry was mentioned by fans from Brick and Mortar Bookstore in Redmond. They love this beautiful and moving story about grief.
Charlotte of Parnassus Books touted Learning to See as a great novel that is reminiscent of Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher in that it shows devotion to the art form of photography. It is about the WPA and photographer Dorothea Lang, but even though it is set during the Great Depression, it feels timely and should resonate with working mothers especially. She also mentioned The Fighter in Velvet Gloves about Elizabeth Peratrovich, the civil rights activist in Alaska who is commemorated on the $1 coin.
Queen of the Sea was a title of note shared by Hana of Village Books—“a graphic novel with a lot of text, kind of a hybrid.” It is an alternate history in which Queen Mary exiles her sister Elizabeth to an island. The gorgeous art, in illumination style, was mentioned.
Kim Hooyboer of Third Place Books Seward Park pointed out some great queer titles on the nomination list: Kings, Queens, and In Betweens, which makes gender exploration an easily accessible topic for readers and Sketchtacy about Boston and the AIDS crisis.
James from Third Place Books Ravenna brought up Tools and Weapons, a book by Brad Smith, president of Microsoft, that pleasantly surprised readers. It tackles political issues from the tech perspective, including the housing crisis in Seattle and rural broadband. He also wanted to make sure others knew about Raised in Captivity, which him impressed him because the “stories are unique and some function almost as thought experiments.”
The committee is also all excited about Think Black, so their recently-arrived copies are at the top of their to-be-read piles.