Nicole Dieker returns to read from the second volume of The Biographies of Ordinary People, which follows the three Gruber sisters as they leave their rural Midwestern hometown and try to make their way in the larger world. Meredith is determined to pursue a career in the theater. Natalie begins sorting and filing for an insurance company. Jackie ... well, Jackie still wants to sing, and if the classical music world isn’t interested in what she can do, she’ll figure out how to do it on her own. Set against the Great Recession, Presidents Obama and Trump, and a growing sense of national unrest, this final volume explores Meredith’s question: is it possible for ordinary people to make art? It also takes us into the close emotional connections between mothers and daughters, sisters and friends, and the people we choose to love as adults.
Our Dock Street Salon reading series welcomes two local writers whose storytelling crosses many media lines.
Lisa Nicholas-Ritscher is a writer raised in rural Washington State and now works as a copy writer in Seattle, where she is also a fiction editor for Pacifica Literary Review. She was recipient of the University of Washington's Milliman Scholarship and the David Guterson Prize for fiction and has work published for radio via The Furnace Reading Series and for print in Pacifica Literary Review and DIAGRAM. She plays the clarinet, and like everybody, plays the fool, sometimes.
Kate Berwanger is a creator of zines, short tales, and concise oddities. She organizes literary events throughout Seattle, with a focus on finding new blood. Her passion lies in tactile and tangible storytelling. She is the founder of Assembly, a literary open mic night that takes place in Belltown at Screwdriver Bar, on the first Wednesday of each month. Kate’s work can be found at www.thecoyhyena.com, and can be yours at the click of a button, in the space of a heartbeat.
We welcome two debut authors and one local friend: Julia Dixon Evans, whose novel, How to Set Yourself on Fire, tells the story of a woman adrift in her thirties who becomes obsessed with a cache of love letters written to her grandmother, and Matt Young, whose unfiltered (and when I say unfiltered I mean it) military memoir, Eat the Apple, has gotten rave reviews, will be joined by our friend (and theirs) Jarret Middleton, who read so entertainingly from Darkansas at our store last fall.
In honor of Bike Everywhere Month, Bill Thorness will lead a treasure-hunt ride through Northwest Seattle, starting and ending at Phinney Books. We'll leave at 10 and be back at the store around noon, in time for our friends and neighbors from G&O Family Cyclery to demo their electric cargo bikes, which make a cycle lifestyle all the more practical. And then at one, Bill will give a slide-show talk about bike camping and his recent guidebook, Cycling the Pacific Coast: The Complete Guide from Canada to Mexico. And until the end of May, if you used your bike to get to Phinney Books, let us know and we'll take 10% off your purchase!
Our in-house book club, the Ridge Readers, holds their semi-annual discussion and vote to select the books they'll read for their next six months of third-Wednesdays-of-the-month. Come join them: their meetings are open to all, and Picks Night is a great time to start.
In the middle of her work on the sequel to Hild, Nicola Griffith became possessed by another tale she had to tell, and we are thrilled to be hosting her to read from and talk about the result: So Lucky, the story of a driven, confident woman whose life, as the book's cover puts it, is "turned inside out like a sock" when her wife leaves her and she is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Nicola's both an internationally beloved writer and a neighbor, and we're proud that she considers us her local shop and that she's debuting her exciting new novel here. Come join us for what will surely be a crowded event. (And yes, don't worry, she's back to working on Hild 2.)
For the fourth year, independent bookstores across the country will be celebrating the holiday we invented for ourselves: Independent Bookstore Day. We'll be featuring activities, contests, and exclusive Bookstore Day items all day long, and, as usual, we're teaming together with eighteen other Seattle-area indies for the Passport Challenge. Get your Bookstore Day passport map stamped at three or more stores that day and we'll give you a 30% coupon, good for one time at any participating store. Visit all 19 stores in the day (which, astoundingly, 320 intrepid readers did last year!), and you'll become a Grand Champion, with a crown and a 25% off discount card, good at all participating stores for the following year. Find out more at our Facebook page and at seattlebookstoreday.com. It's one of our favorite days of the year!
As regular salonistes know, our Dock Street Salon reading series often features writers reading works in progress, so it is a true delight to have two local writers who have read at Dock Street come back to read from their debut novels: Anca L. Szilagyi from Daughters of the Air (which came out in December), the story of a Brooklyn childhood haunted by Argentina's Dirty War, and Ross McMeekin from The Hummingbirds (which was released in February), a noirish Los Angeles tale of lust, betrayal, and corruption updated for modern Hollywood.
Our Dock Street Salon reading series returns to welcome two local longtime writers who, we're delighted to say, have their first novels coming out this season. Anna Quinn is the owner of The Writer's Workshoppe and Imprint Books in Port Townsend (a fellow bookseller!), and her new novel is The Night Child, the story of a Seattle woman visited by a vision from her past that Garth Stein has called a "must read" and Booklist calls "an exhilarating debut." And Jennifer Haupt is a well-traveled journalist and essayist whose debut, In the Shadow of 10,000 Hills, which comes out on April 1, was inspired by her family's history in the Jewish Holocaust and her reporting from the Rwandan genocide.
For the eighth year, the Seattle7 Writers are hosting their Holiday Bookfest at the Phinney Neighborhood Association, and for the second year, we'll be selling books there. It's a fun, two-hour frenzy of book signing, readings, music, and refreshments, and the perfect place to get an early start on your holiday gift shopping. This year's lineup of 29 local authors selling and signing their books includes Andrea Dunlop, Bharti Kirchner, Boyd Morrison, Brent Hartinger, Bridget Foley, Clare Meeker, Claudia Rowe, Dave Boling, David Laskin, David B. Williams, Deb Caletti, Donna Miscolta, Dori Hillestad Butler, Elizabeth George, Garth Stein, Jarret Middleton, Kathleen Alcala, Kevin Emerson, Kevin O’Brien, Laurie Frankel, Linda Johns, Lyanda Lynn Haupt, Lynn Brunelle, Megan Chance, Robert Dugoni, Robin Oliveira, Sean Beaudoin, Suzanne Selfors, and Waverly Fitzgerald.
The Ridge Readers Book Club discusses Jane Jacobs's urban-theory classic, The Death and Life of Great American Cities.
You likely know Greg Vandy's voice from KEXP, where he has hosted the Wednesday night blues and roots specialty show, The Roadhouse, for so long the station was called KCMU when he started. He joins us at our November Dock Street Salon to discuss his first book, 26 Songs in 30 Days: Woody Guthrie's Columbia River Songs and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest, a wonderfully illustrated window into the great American troubadour's Northwest sojourn as a hired balladeer for the Bonneville Power Administration. Come join us!
Our Dock Street Salon welcomes a trio of poets: Jodie Hollander, visiting from Colorado, along with two Seattle poets, Martha Silano and Montreux Rotholtz. Hollander has twice appeared in Best Australian Poetry and her first full-length collection, My Dark Horses, was just published by Liverpool University Press. Silano has published four collections, most recently Reckless Lovely, has appeared in Best American Poetry, and is the poetry editor of Crab Creek Review. Rotholtz has published in Boston Review, Fence, and elsewhere, and her first collection, Unmark, was selected by Mary Szybist as the winner of the 2015 Burnside Review Press Book Award and will be published this fall. We think it will be a great night!
Jarret Middleton was born in Boston and lives in Seattle, where he has long been known as a founder and editor of Dark Coast Press and Pharos Editions, but his debut novel, Darkansas, is a vicious little bit of Ozark Gothic, tapping into the murky, murderous history of a family of Arkansas musicians. We're delighted to have him here, reading from and discussing Darkansas.
Our Greenwood neighbor David Neiwert returns to Phinney Books to discuss his new book, Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump, on a very different subject than his previous one (Of Orcas and Men), but one closer to the work he's been doing for decades. As a long-time investigative journalist specializing in the radical right, he's in a perfect position to understand the political ecosystem that has nurtured a fringe movement that suddenly has access to the heart of American power.
Our Dock Street Salon reading series welcomes two Northwest fiction writers, Seattle's Laurie Blauner and Camano Island's Rich Ives. Laurie has published seven books of poetry, four novels, and a novella, and her latest novel, The Solace of Monsters, was recently named as a finalist for the Washington State Book Award for fiction (alongside Annie Proulx, Matt Ruff, Ted Chiang, and Shawn Vestal). Rich's latest book is the uncategorizable Tunneling to the Moon: A Psychological Gardener's Book of Days; he's also written The Balloon Containing the Water Containing the Narrative Begins Leaking (stories), Light from a Small Brown Bird (poems), and A Dirty Little Book About Writing the Truth (essays). Come join us!
Our Ridge Readers Book Club meets at the store for their semiannual "Picks Night," in which their next six months of book selections are suggested, debated, and voted on. It's a fun night, and a great time to visit for the first time, if you'd like to join.
Celebrate a year of Poetry Northwest with us and our PNW friends, featuring readings from recent and future contributors Alan Lau, Jessica Johnson, Quenton Baker, and Christine Robbins.
For our Dock Street Salon reading series, we're delighted to welcome two fiction writers: Juan Carlos Reyes, who was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and whose first book, A Summer's Lynching, won the Quarterly West novella prize, and Zachary Schomburg, who has published four books of poetry, and whose first novel, Mammother, comes out in September with Featherproof Books. Reyes lives in Seattle and teaches creative writing at Seattle University, while Schomburg is visiting us from Portland, Oregon, where he is the publisher of Octopus Books. Join us for fresh new fiction!
We're delighted to make a late addition to our summer schedule: Finn Murphy, author of one of our favorite books of the year, The Long Haul: A Trucker's Tale of Life on the Road, will be driving his semi up on Phinney Ridge to spend an evening talking about his book at our store. (We just have to figure out where he can park the rig!) Murphy's specialty—long-distance executive moves—has given him a unique window into America from top to bottom, and his memoir is both thoroughly entertaining and as sharp an analysis of our class system as you'll find. It's hilarious, smart, insightful, brash, and sweet, and we'll be pouring "Dr. Colas" (Murphy's road beverage of choice) at the store to welcome him. Please join us!
Our friend Langdon Cook returns to Phinney Books to talk about his new book, Upstream: Searching for Wild Salmon, from River to Table, an immersion in the history, politics, nature, and personalities of the great Northwest fishery that's every bit as entertaining and informative as his previous book, The Mushroom Hunters. And anyone who knows Lang, or who saw him talk about The Mushroom Hunters here, knows, he talks as well as he writes, and it should be an excellent evening. Or, as Lang would say, "Good action."
We had the good fortune to have Claire Dederer read (twice!) from her second memoir while it was still a work in progress, and now she's returning when it's a book: Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning. And a very good book it is, funny and fearlessly frank about what it was—and is—like to desire, and to be desired. Claire is funny and fearlessly frank in person too, and she'll talk about the book with Phinney Books's less fearless Tom Nissley. Come join us!
We welcome three writers from the other side of the state to a special Saturday night edition of our Dock Street Salon reading series, featuring Leyna Krow reading from her new collection of stories, I'm Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking, which Shawn Vestal has called a "wildly imagined debut." She'll be joined by two poets (and fellow Spokanites), Tim Greenup, author of Without Warning, and Ben Cartwright, author of After Our Departure. We're looking forward to it—come join us!