By my unofficial count, Seattle now has more independent neighborhood libraries than it did at the start of the pandemic. This is wonderful good news and a testament to the people of Seattle: They made sure to support their neighborhood booksellers at a time when no one was leaving the house and online commerce was growing exponentially.
But as we transition into the new normal, some local booksellers are reporting a slower-than-usual decline, with lower foot traffic and lower sales numbers due to the pandemic. No one knows exactly why – maybe it’s inflation, maybe it’s recession fears, or it could just be a little complacency.
When it comes to bookstores, Seattle is spoiled for choice. We have more excellent neighborhood bookstores than most American cities, and so it’s easy to take their benefits for granted: author events, book clubs, and—perhaps most importantly—their personalized book recommendations, which no online retailer algorithm can replicate. To prove their unique powers of discovery and organizing, we rounded up 10 holiday gift recommendations from four of the best bookstores in the Seattle area.
Ingrid Miller, The Three Trees Books
Ingrid Miller in Three Tree Books In Burien, he recommends “Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals,” a book that helps explain why libraries are so important in an age of relentless efficiency and ruthless simplification.
In an effort to encourage readers to stop worrying about time management and start worrying about the quality of their time, “Four Thousand Weeks” surveys “all the major philosophers in human history, laid out in accessible writing that helps you think about your life in a bigger way,” he explains. Miller.
The book elaborates on the idea of ”convenience culture and how you literally lose meaning in life when it’s so easy to live,” she says. When technology provides everything you need at any given moment, “that lack of human interaction also takes away all the joy and all the sense.”
Miller was also obsessed with the novel “anomaly“,” A French thriller that blurs genres in a mystery novel about a supernatural accident that befalls a passenger plane. “It’s all things: literary and layered novels that are really readable,” Miller promises. It probably has.”
Michel Beer, Edmunds Library
Michelle Beer Edmonds Library Excited about a cookbook called “Mamacita“,” from a local author named Andrea Pons. “She grew up eating all of her family’s great Mexican dishes, and when faced with deportation, she kept going back to these recipes for solace and hope,” explains Beer.
For those looking for a personalized gift, Edmonds Bookshop will carry autographed copies of “Mamacita” in stock through the holidays. Pons dedicates “proceeds to continuing to help her family, and we’re very proud to help support this effort,” says Beer.
Bear also loves Joanna Quinn’s novelWhale Theatre, “the story of a self-reliant and imaginative young woman” who creates a playhouse out of a whale skeleton with the help of her brother and sister. The story is just as fantastical as its hero, involving espionage, World War II and Dickens children carving fantastic worlds out of ordinary life. “It’s a beautifully told story about the idea of finding your family wherever you are,” says Beer.
Christina Gilbreath, written and music by The Wise Owl
In just 11 months, Tangletown Wise Owl Books and Music It has become a destination for sci-fi fans in the Seattle area. Owner Christina Gilbreth was an early local proponent of Becky Chambers’ sweet philosophical novel.A psalm for the savage“About a monk making tea in an alien world who befriends a curious robot, called the second Monk & Robot book,”Prayers for the shy crown prince“,” Even better than the first – a light and feel-good read. “
Gilbreath also recommends:Ordinary monsters,” by the Vancouver, BC author, who writes under the pseudonym JM Miro. “It’s a kind of Wild West meets X-Men story, with Pinkertons and kids with superpowers,” and she praises the book for its strong female characters.
Another new novel by a local author isLeechPosted by Heron Ennis. It’s about a hive-mind virus, people might not be in it, with a pandemic and all,” Gilbreath admits, “but I thought it was a great read. “
Tom Nesley, Vinnie Books
Tom Nissley and his crew of brilliant booksellers Vinnie wrote They specialized in discovering expertly crafted literature from small presses and lost masterpieces from literary history.
Staff have been calmed down and happier lately by “Shadows on the rock“It’s a charming fall-winter novel with a lovely Christmas scene,” says Nesley. “It’s set in French colonial Quebec at the end of the 17th century after the first wave of explorers settled in. And priests and hunters in the New World a little.”
For readers traumatized by bad news, social media, and stressful political books, Nesley promises, “Shadows on the Rock” is a gentle story in which “nothing bad happens. It’s quietly charming.”
When Nesley announced his favorite novel of the year, Seattle readers learned to sit up and take notice. His current favorite for 2022 is “Movie DiaryBy Neven Govinden, a novel about a director who spends three days at a film festival promoting his latest film. Nesley praises the book for being “so good at getting into one’s head and also exploring the way your head is in relation to other people – especially as a collaborative artist. So it’s just a great book about creativity.”
Govinden’s descriptions “made me want to watch this guy’s movies, even though I know they’re fictional and never existed,” Nesley says, “and it’s a very positive story that really believes in creative action,” convincing readers to believe in the act of creating, collaborating, and building something. greater than you. Like all books recommended by these sellers, it is a story about the intersection of imagination, curiosity, and community.