Teens Eating Pizza and Reading Books

Nancy and Steve had the opportunity to spend some time with King County Librarian Aarene Storms and a great group of young readers at the Teen Pizza and Books group at the Lake Forest Park Library meeting room. You should drop by. The next one at the Lake Forest Park Library is scheduled for June 7th. 



By the way, there are numerous reading groups for teens offered throughout the King County Library System

 Of course, a quick search for Pizza, Teens and Books brings up similar offerings around the country.  Pizza contributes to literacy. You knew that.

On a separate note, applause for the King County Library locating in the basement of a shopping mall. Great use of space, great notion to bring the books to the people, and what a way to enliven a mall.   Thank you. 

And upstairs you can wander Third Place Books.

Teens, Books and Pizza.

compiled by Aarene Storms

Here is the long and extremely eclectic list of books we talked about on Tuesday.  Links are to the KCLS catalog unless otherwise noted.  Whew!



Pizza and Books @ LFPMay 2016


Lumberjanes v.1,  Beware the Kitten Holy By Stevenson, Noelle (graphic novel) Friendship to the max! At Miss Quinzella Thiskwin Penniquiqul Thistle Crumpet's camp for hardcore lady-types, things are not what they seem. Three-eyed foxes. Secret caves. Anagrams. Luckily, Jo, April, Mal, Molly and Ripley are five rad, butt-kicking best pals determined to have an awesome summer together-- and they're not gonna let a magical quest or an array of supernatural critters get in their way!


The Graveyard Book Volume 1 and Volume 2 By Russell, P. Craig  (graphic novel) Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.  Sadly, this graphic novel isn’t as wonderful as the print novel OR the audiobook.


Saga [Volume One] By Vaughan, Brian K. (graphic novel) When two soldiers from opposite sides of a never-ending galactic war fall in love, they risk everything to bring a fragile new life into a dangerous old universe.


Godspeed: Kurt Cobain graphic novel by Legg, Barnaby  (graphic novel)Writers Barnaby Legg and Jim McCarthy have constructed their story using biographical fact interwoven with references to the singer's tortured self image with vibrant art by Flameboy.  KCLS does not own this book, the link is to Amazon.com


Steve Jobs Insanely Great By Hartland, Jessie (graphic novel) This biography in graphic format presents the story of the ultimate American entrepreneur, who brought us Apple Computer, Pixar, Macs, iPods, iPhones and more, this unique and stylish book is sure to appeal to the legions of readers who live and breathe the techno-centric world Jobs created.


Heavier Than Heaven A Biography of Kurt Cobain By Cross, Charles R. Published on the 10th anniversary of Nirvana's album "Nevermind", this in-depth biography includes new information from over 400 interviews and exclusive access to Cobain's unpublished diaries.  eBook  eAudio  Audio CD 


The Raven King By Stiefvater, Maggie  (book 4 in the series) Blue never thought the warning that she will cause her true love's death would be a problem, but as her life is entangled in the world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. Audio CD


The Pillars of the Earth By Follett, Ken (series) Adventure saga of 12th century England, from a stone mason whose dream is to build a glorious cathedral to a man of God in a web of dangerous political intrigue.  Audio CD  eAudio  DVD  Spanish  French


Unleashed By Korman, Gordon (series) Luthor, a former attack dog, is supposed to be on his best behavior now that he's in the care of Savannah, a girl who's easily a dog's best friend. But every time a certain truck passes by Savannah's house, Luthor goes into attack mode and chaos follows.


No More Dead Dogs By Korman, Gordon Wallace Wallace is tired of dog stories because the dog always dies. eAudio  Audio CD 


Sunshine By McKinley, Robin The “anti-vampire” book featuring cinnamon rolls as big as your head, no kidding.  Audio CD  eAudio


Divergent By Roth, Veronica (series) 16-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five factions to define her identity for the rest of her life.  Then, she discovers that she is an anomaly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all. KCLS does not own this book in Spanish, however, it is available in Chinese as well as eAudio  eBook  DVD  Audio CD  Player


Charming By James, Elliott (series) John Charming, formerly a member of the modern Knights Templar and sworn to protect mortals from supernatural threats until he was infected by a werewolf, now tends bar under an assumed name in a small Virginia town. When a blonde and a vampire create havoc enter his bar, he is forced to confront his true nature as well as his destiny. eBook


Les Misérables By Hugo, Victor (a good translation, unabridged) The story of Jean Valjean, his unjust imprisonment, and his lifelong flight from a relentless police officer.   eBook unabridged  eBook abridged  DVD


The Princess Bride S. Morgenstern's Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure By Goldman, William  Although the authorial voice claims that this is an “abridged” story, the whole thing is made up entirely (and convincingly) by Mr. Goldman.  I libraried this to verify it.  If you want, you can library it yourself!  And then, you can watch the movie.  DVD


As You Wish Inconceivable Tales From the Making of The Princess Bride By Elwes, Carya first-person account and behind-the-scenes look at the making of the cult classic film filled with never-before-told stories, exclusive photographs, and interviews with costars Robin Wright, Wallace Shawn, Billy Crystal, Christopher Guest, and Mandy Patinkin, as well as author and screenwriter William Goldman, producer Norman Lear, and director Rob Reiner.  The audiobook is great too!  eBook  Audio CD  eAudio 


Bloody Jack Being An Account of the Curious Adventures of Mary "Jacky" Faber, Ship's Boy By Meyer, L. A. (series)   Reduced to begging and thievery in the streets of London, a thirteen-year-old orphan disguises herself as a boy and connives her way onto a British warship set for high sea adventure in search of pirates. Awesome audiobook! eBook  Audio CD  eAudio  Wild Rover No More is the last in the series.


Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell By Clarke, Susanna In the year 1806, with the Napoleonic Wars raging, the reclusive Mr Norrell reveals his powers, and becomes a celebrity overnight. Soon, another magician comes forth: the young, handsome, Jonathan Strange. eBook  Audio CD  eAudio  DVD   ßthere’s a DVD?!?!?


How to Train your Dragon By Cowell, Cressida  (series) Warrior chieftain, awesome sword-fighter, and amateur naturalist, he was known throughout Vikingdom as 'the Dragon Whisperer' on account of his amazing power over these terrifying beasts. TOTALLY DIFFERENT PLOT FROM THE MOVIE.  And the audio is read by David Tennant! Audio CD  eAudio  Player  DVD 


Reckless By Funke, Cornelia Caroline (series) Jacob and Will Reckless have looked out for each other ever since their father disappeared, but when Jacob discovers a magical mirror that transports him to a warring world populated by witches, giants, and ogres, he keeps it to himself until Will follows him one day, with dire consequences. eBook 


Cry Baby By Martinez, Melanie  this link is to the music CD.  The library doesn’t own the picturebook that isn’t for kids—but you can view it on Youtube HERE.


Go the F**k to Sleep By Mansbach, Adam The bedtime book for parents who live in the real world ... profane, affectionate, and radically honest, it captures the familiar, and unspoken, tribulations of putting your little angel down for the night. Samuel L. Jackson reads the audiobook perfectly.  eBook  Audio CD 


The Supernaturalist By Colfer, Eoin  Fourteen-year-old Cosmo Hill escapes from his abusive orphanage and teams up with three other people who share his unusual ability to see supernatural creatures, and together they determine the nature and purpose of the swarming blue Parasites.   eBook  eAudio  Graphic Novel 


Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls By Weingarten, Lynn They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather's shed, but June does not believe it was suicide.  eBook 


Odyssey By Homer  The story of Odysseus' long journey back to his wife and home after the Trojan War.  Audio CD  eBook  eAudio   Graphic Novel  Vietnamese 


Of Mice and Men By Steinbeck, John  George and Lennie, two migrant workers in California during the Great Depression, grasp for their American Dream. eBook  Audio CD  eAudio  DVD


Tess of the D'Urbervilles By Hardy, Thomas  The life of a simple country girl in nineteenth-century England is destroyed by her father's determination to use her in order to regain the family's former social standing.


Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone By Rowling, J. K. (series) Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. eBook  Audio CD  eAudio  Japanese  Spanish  French  Russian  Chinese  German  Latin  Ukrainian  Hebrew  Vietnamese DVD


The Invasion By Applegate, Katherine (series) Endowed by a dying alien with the power to morph into any animal they touch, friends Jake, Rachel, Cassie, Tobias, and Marco investigate the wonders of the world with their Animorph powers.  eBook


Gerbils By Howell, Laura This is a nice book about gerbils.




The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern


Aarene Storms, youth services librarian

Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS   astorms@kcls.org

Do you have SEX in your library?  If not, why not?  Read the SITL book blog:  www.sexinthelibrary.blogspot.com

Sad Books For A Summer Read

Last week we talked about books that make us happy. For balance, we take up books that make a reader sad, that take the reader into the darkest places of the human experience.  Here are some books that are such an emotionally tough read, they might best be read In the sunny days of summer. 

The Bryant Corner Cafe is a warm and cozy place. The sunshine comes streaming the big south facing windows. Steam rises from fresh baked goods and hot off the grill meals. The world looks pretty good.

We had a nice sunny day, hot coffee, iced tea and a plateful of tasty cookies as we discussed murder, rape, mass shootings, imprisonment, genocide and the disintegration of democracy. You can see why we thought these are books that might lend themselves to a summer read. You could look up from the page every once in a while, feel the sun on your face, listen to a few birds sing, watch the leaves rustle in a cooling breeze.  Take a deep breath.  Tell yourself that it isn't all so tragic. It's summer. Then dive back in.


Here are a few of the books we talked about.


Nancy says “The Honorable Schoolboy,” by John Le Carre just broke her heart. She can’t imagine ever picking it up again.



The Book of Lamentations” is a modern novel by Rosario Castellanos, about the Mayan Spanish conflicts.

The Bedside Book of Bastards,” Dorothy M. Johnson and R.T. Turner, a light tone about the terrible things people do to one another.

Democracy For Realists: Why Elections Do Not Produce Responsive Government,” Larry Bartels and Christopher Achen. One reviewer called it brutally depressing.

The novels of Thomas Hardy. His topics are timeless.

“Please Look After Mom,” by Kyung-sook Shin is a novel of Dickensian extremes that had South Korean readers weeping.

King’s Leopold’s Ghost,” by Adam Hochschild.

Spain In Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War 1936-1939,” also by Adam Hochschild. There is a personal connection for Nancy. Her father fought in that war.

To The Power of Three,” by Laura Lippman and “We Need to Talk About Kevin,” by Lionel Shriver. These are two books about school shootings.

My Promised Land The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel” by Ari Shavit.

“Imbeciles: The Supreme Court, American Eugenics, and the Sterilization of Carrie Buck,” by Adam Cohen. A sadly revealing history of Eugenics in America.

The Divide,” by Matt Taibbi, is about the gaping divide between the haves and have-nots in America and how that reality affects health, justice and opportunity for all Americans. 

The Last of the Just,” by Andre Schwarz-Bart

Most books by Elie Wiesel

Find us @thatstack on Twitter, and That Stack of Books with Nancy Pearl and Steve Scher on Facebook.

Books That Make You Happy

We have had some remarkably wonderful spring days here in Seattle. Record April high's in the 80's have put smiles on our faces and have us thinking happy thoughts and reaching for books that make us happy.

We have tasked ourselves, those of us sitting around the table at the Bryant Corner Cafe and those of basking in the weather in our homes, on the bus, secretly listening at work ( oh we know you are. Keep it up.) We are tasked with coming up with a short list of books that make us happy.



Now this is a topic that lends itself to wide interpretation. Google it. You will see.

And just what is happiness anyway. It's all so personal.

Nevertheless, we made a start at it.

How about adding to our list? You can write us on Twitter @thatstack, post on Facebook, or write us at thatstackofbooks@gmail.com.

What books make you happy? 



Here is the list of books we shared on this episode.


A shout out first, though.  One of Nancy’s favorite books this year, The Sympathizer by Viet Thanh Nguyen, just won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction.


Nancy brought in two books that make her happy.

The Remarkable Trees of the World, Thomas Pakenham


When Wanderers Cease to Roam: A Travelers Journal of Staying Put, by Vivian Swift


Here are some of the other books we talked about today.


Phi: A Voyage from the Brain to the Soul , by Giulio Tononi

The Encounter, by Rita Wirkala


No Biking in the House Without a Helmet,  by Melissa Fay Greene. It's been called a brilliant book about a household full of kids, reminiscent of Erma Bombeck or Jean Kerr.



Praying for Sheetrock , Melissa Fay Greene's 1991 National Book Award Finalist that Coretta Scott King called, "An inspiring and absorbing account of the struggle for human dignity and racial equality" 


We Could Almost Eat Outside: An Appreciation of Life's Small Pleasures, Philipe Delerm


The Neapolitan Novels by Elena Ferrante. Shortlisted this year for the Man Booker Prize.  Here is a nice interview she gave about the books.

The Black Count, by Tom Reiss, a compelling history of the man who served as the model for The Count of Monte Cristo.


 And if you like history books that focus on little known figures, Nancy also recommends Dancing to the Precipice by Caroline Moorehead




Steve always gets happy when he reads one of James Thurber’s short stories or when he looks at his cartoons.  Check out The Thurber Carnival for some laughs. 




Toure: What is it Like to Be Black In America Now?



Toure, the writer, TV commentator and social critic, was the Signature Speaker at the University of Washington lecture series on Equity and Difference .

Steve spoke to Toure about his work, including his book, "Who is Afraid of Post-Blackness: What it is Like to Be Black In America Now."

Here is a short excerpt from the interview. For the entire conversation-from Trump to Fox news, go to At Length with Steve Scher.

Toure had a  reality TV show from 2008-2011. You can find it on YouTube. In "I'll Try Anything Once," Toure is introduced to a variety of sports and activities and has to master them. 

The program illustrates the message of his book. We are all unique, made up of our ancestry, our ethnicity, our race, our experience. But any one of us can do anything we want. There is no right way of being. Just be. 

Nancy Pearl and Steve Scher will be back with at the Bryant Corner Cafe this Tuesday , April 19th, 2016, at 3 pm to talk about books that make us happy.

What the book that makes you happy? 

Love to have you join us at the table, get a cup of coffee and a half price cookie and tell us about that book.. 

Who was Rasputin? (Audio- author interview extra)

Why do we know the name of an early 20th century Russian mystic? Why is it that the story of Rasputin has become a mini-industry of myth and folklore, well into the 21st century?

Here is a That Stack of Books Extra, an author interview about a forthcoming book. Steve Scher talked to historian Douglas Smith at Folio, the new independent library and cultural center in downtown Seattle. 



So why do we know the name Rasputin?

Oh, right, it may have something to do with the story that he had to be poisoned, stabbed and shot and dumped into a freezing river by his murderers before he would die. Or that he had a momentous appetite for food and wine and women. 

Turns out, these stories are part of the apocryphal tales that arose about the monk. They were usually spread by his court enemies. 

Russian scholar Douglas Smith has a new book coming out in the fall. It may well be the definitive history of the man and the myth. Smith's previous books include "Former People: The Final Days of the Russian Aristocracy," and "The Pearl: A True Tale of Forbidden Love in Catharine the Great's Russia."

For his work on Rasputin, he was given access to Russian archives as well as the papers of some of Rasputin's contemporaries.

We will be back at the Bryant Corner Cafe soon with more conversations about books. 

Check for more information about Folio membership and upcoming events.

Folio is another institution created by Seattle's David Brewster. He is the man behind Crosscut, Town Hall Seattle and The Seattle Weekly. 

Where Were You When Mount St. Helens Blew?

When Mount St. Helens erupted on May 18th, 1980, 57 people were killed. What were they still doing in harm's way on the mountain, after months of warnings by scientists and rumblings from the volcano? Steve Olson has gone back to tell their stories in his new book, "Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount St. Helens." We spoke at Town Hall, in Seattle.

If you haven't been to the mountain in a while, it is well worth a visit. The recovery of nature is an incredible sight. 

Check out these resources before you head out.

Mount St. Helens National Monument

Mount St. Helens Institute

Senator Maria Cantwell opposes mining near the Monument.

New Books From Northwest Writers.

Steve had the chance to talk to a few Northwest based writers who have new books on the way. That prompted Nancy to share a few new books by Northwesterners that she is reading right now too.

“Lovecraft Country,” by Matt Ruff. Nancy says Ruff takes the thriller into new and surprising territory. This story begins as a very realistic novel, set in 1954, when a young black man is stopped by a white policeman and told to leave town. But soon enough we are sucked into a story of horror, power and racism.  Nancy says Ruff does amazing things with his novels. Check out his earlier novel, “The Mirage.”


The Immortal Irishmen: the Irish Revolutionary Who Became American Hero,” is best selling writer Tim Egan’s engrossing story of the 19th century Irish-American leader Thomas F. Meager. It too is a story with modern echoes. Here is the nativism of the anti-Irish movement. It will remind many readers of today’s anti-immigrant hysteria.


“The Eruption: The Untold Story of Mount. St. Helens.” Is Steve Olson’s fascinating book that takes another look at the 1980 eruption. Steve Scher has a conversation with Steve Olson on stage at Town Hall March 7th at 7:30.


Jim Lynch is another Northwest author with a new book coming out. Nancy admires the author and expects “Before the Wind,” will be a high point of her spring reading.


Happy reading folks!


Find us on twitter @thatstack. Find us on Facebook. Write us a review and subscribe at Itunes. Listen also on Stitcher, Tune-in Radio and of course at our homepage, That Stack of Books.


The rigors of the mystery test our panel. We debate authors, series, and definitions. And we have quite a list. 


Before we got started on our mysteries,

Nancy Decided to add to our stack of sad books.


“The Velveteen Rabbit,” by Margery Williams

“The House of Mirth,” Edith Warton

Charlotte’s Web,” by E.B. White

“When Breathe Becomes Air,” by Paul Kalanithi. This book is an account of the death of the author, a surgeon who wrote about his late stage cancer. Nancy says the writing is magnificent.


This book belongs with the other recent great books on dying, “ Being Mortal,” by Atul Gawande and “How We Die,” by Sherwin Nuland.





Throughout this show we debate the difference between thriller and mystery and crime novels and end up suggesting, like always, that maybe we should stop categorizing every thing. But, really, how can we stop. It is what we humans do. Well actually there are two categories of humans, ones who make categories and ones who don’t.


Nancy tells us she is looking for a new favorite mystery author.  Maybe she will find one in this list of books we brought up this episode.



Gaudy Night,” by Dorothy L Sayers, who our special guest, dance writer and broadcaster Marcie Sillman calls the first great feminist mystery writer. Her books are full of romance and suspense.


Marcie has been enjoying what she says is the page turning series by Julia Spencer Fleming, the Clare Fergusson and Russ Van Alstyne series.  Nancy and Marcie say these books have to read in order to really appreciate.


Carolyn Heilbrun (writing as Amanda Cross) created an erudite and literary series featuring Kate Fansler.  The first, and Nancy’s favorite is “In The Last Analysis.”

After a while they become more about academia with lots of upper-class repartee.


Books featuring the character Martin Beck and really all the mysteries written by the Swedish couple, Maj Sjöwall & Per Wahlöö. Back in the 60’s and 70’s.


Alan Bradley’s series about the very young detective, Flavia de Luce. (https://www.facebook.com/Alan-Bradley-165276310190997/ )

Marcie just discovered Peter May’s Lewis Trilogy set on the Outer Hebrides. (@authorpetermay)

Charles Todd’s Inspector Rutledge mysteries set after World War One.

Sara Paretsky’s V.I. Warshawsky(@saraparetsky)

Craig Johnson’s Longmire

Robert Crais

Elizabeth George


“Norwegian By Night,” by Derek B. Miller

“I Am Pilgrim,” by Terry Hayes

Neanderthal,” by John Darden

Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich

The Rabbi Small series by Harry Kemelman

The Decker and Lazarus series by Faye Kellerman

Sneaky Pie series by Rita Mae Brown

Spenser series by Robert Parker

Graham Greene

John Banville writing as Benjamin Black

Richard Price, “Lush Life” and “The Whites.”

The Easy Rawlins series and the Leonid McGill series by Walter Mosley.

Sue Grafton, the Kinsey Millhone series.


A few mystery writers living in Puget Sound and Washington State.


G.M.Ford, “Who the Hell is Wanda Fuca?”

Earl Emerson’s various series of books

“Oxygen,” by Carol Casella, plus the next two in the series.

“Animal, Vegetable, Murder,” and “Forget You Ever Knew Me,” by Judith Dailey


Back in the wider world,


“Bridge of Spies,” by Olen Steinhauer and the rest of his books in that series and his new series too.

Ross MacDonald’s books who Nancy argues has a unique voice and a vision for a better world.


And when Nancy goes back to reread books, she goes back to her old Rex Stout series of Nero Wolfe paperbacks. Lot’s of people agree.

“Nerve,” “Odds Against,” “Reflex” just a few of the best by the great Dick Francis.

“Gorky Park,” and more by Martin Cruz Smith


Various books by Stuart Kaminsky

The Kemal Kayankaya series by German author Jakob Arjouni

The author Robert Crais, who Marcie says, like Ross MacDonald, features a detective who wants there to be good in the world.


Good Reading!



This Is The Love Story List You Need For Real Romance.

What is the difference between a love story and a romance?

Which do you prefer? 

We sat down at the Bryant Corner Café to talk about love. Valentines Day had everyone thinking about it, but we got into a pretty substantive discussion about the difference between love stories and romances.  Finally, different kinds of love, between different people emerge as our main theme.



Nancy started out, however, by calling our attention to a recently published novel she found remarkable by an author she follows.

“A God In Every Stone,” by Kamila Shamsie, is the story of a young English woman who goes on an archeological dig in what would become Pakistan just before WW1 just breaks out. Nancy says, “What we get in this wonderful, wonderful novel is a perspective on WW1 from the Indian soldiers who went to fight for the British and died in great numbers.”  It is also a story of the beginnings of the fight for independence on the sub-continent.  She says it opens up a period of history as only fiction can, bringing new insights and revealing the roots of our present turmoil in the struggles of the past.  It is a challenging book for the way the story is told and for the subject matter, but she says it fabulous.


Here are the books we talked about. Some are romances. Most are love stories.

What do you think, what is the difference?


“Gone With The Wind,” by Margaret Mitchell

“Romeo and Juliet,” by William Shakespeare

“Soulless” by Gail Carriger, a romance about a young woman who is rudely attacked by a vampire. Nancy loved it.


“Astrid and Veronika,” by Linda Olson.  Sharon says two women, one young, one old, share a love, but not a sexual love.

“Me Before You,” by JoJo Moyes. A young woman takes care of a wheel-chair bound man.  Nancy loved it because JoJo Moyes doesn’t give into the easy way out andturned what mighthave beenaromance into a love story.

“Plainsong,” by Ken Haruf a love story between two old men and the young girl they care for.

“Dancing Alone Without Music” by Larry Gildersleeve, who is a friend of Jenny’s. She says it’s an evolution of different loves.

Diana Galbadon’s long and involved books.


Life After Life” by Kate Atkinson. Judy says it is about love within a family.

“Boys In The Boat,” by Daniel James Brown.  Judy said that what amazed her was the love of Mr. Pocock for the boats themselves and the young men in the boat.


So now, when defined so broadly, what book isn’t a love story?


“Angle of Repose,” by Wallace Stegner, in which Nancy asks, who loves whom? ( well, she said “who loves who,” but you know how autocorrect can be.)  Another love story by this definition can be Stegner’s “Crossing to Safety.”

“Still Alice,” by Lisa Genova

Cocoon of Cancer” An Invitation to Love Deeply,” by Abbe Rolnick with Jim Wiggins

“Chocolat,” by Joanne Harris is Roz’s choice. That prompts Nancy to plug her other books, which she says don’t get the attention they deserve. She recommends “Gentlemen and Players.”

“Like Water For Chocolate,” by Laura Esquivel

“Bettyville,” by George Hodgman is the story of a son who leaves his life to take care of his 90 year old mother.  Susie says it is funny and delightful.

“Cold Mountain,” by Charles Fraser

“Atonement,” by Ian McEwan

“Love In The Time of Cholera,” by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

“Love Again,” by Doris Lessing. Not about romantic or erotic love,  but about the trembling between them says Elwyn. He also loves the episode in Tom Sawyer where he explores his passion of Becky Thatcher.

“Infinity in the Palm of Her Hand,” by Giaconda Belli

“Middlemarch,” by George Eliot

Wrapping, we had shout outs for Louise Penny’s Inspector Gamache mysteries, Dorothy Sayers’ romance between Peter Wimsey and Harriet Vane and to get into the western genre, “Shane,” by Jack Shaefer about the love of a young boy for his father and the man who rides in to help.

“Bridges of Madison County,” by Robert Waller, or “Fanny Hill,” by John Cleland, but now we are getting pretty far afield from love or even romance. These are but insubstantial flings, aren’t they?  

2016 New Novels

Back from a trip to India, Nancy Pearl brought out a list of new novels coming out early in 2016 that she is pretty excited about. 

Here are a few of the novels we discussed in this episode.


“My Name is Lucy Barton,” the new novel by Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer-prize winner for “Olive Kitteridge.”


“The Portable Veblen” by Elizabeth McKenzie


Why We Came To The City,” by Kristopher Jansma.

(Nancy choice was inspired in part by “Then We Came to The End,” by Joshua Ferris)


The Arrangement,” by Ashley Warlick, a fictional account of the life of M.F.K Fisher


“The Ancient Minstrel,” by Jim Harrison is a collection of three novellas.


The Year of the Runaways,” by Sunjeev Sahota


“ Innocence and Others,” by Dana Spiotta

“Travelers”, by Chris Pavone. Nancy really likes his novels. They are thrillers.


“The City of Mirrors” (Book Three of the Passage Trilogy ) by Justin Cronin

TSOB Extra- Author Interview with Nick Licata

Nick Licata set out to be a citizen activist long before he took his politics into the Seattle City Council. He continues the work now that he is retired, writing, raising alarms and encouraging the next generation of activists.

Licata believes you can fight city hall, and you can join it. Elected politicians respond to citizens who organize, rally and compromise. Licata fought and lost a lot of battles during his 5 terms on the council but his voice shaped many debates and policies. He wants more people to step up and enter the battle and to that end he has written  “Becoming A Citizen Activist: Stories, Strategies and Advice for Changing Our World.” We sat down to talk at the Greenlake coffee shop, Revolutions Espresso.

Nick Licata’s book, published by Sasquatch Press, is available online and at bookstores. He is taking the stage at Town Hall January 19th to talk about his book and through stories, inspire to get involved.