Fall is my favorite season in the Pacific Northwest. Not only do I love the changing colors and the not-uncommon combo of bright blue skies, sunshine and crisp air, I am not-so-secretly happy that when the days do turn gray and drizzly, it’s the perfect excuse to get my cozy on, curled up indoors with a good book. Or truth be told, in my case, stacks of them.
I’ve recently switched over primarily to an e-reader because it’s easier on my eyes after so many Zoom hours, but I also love a real book and sometimes struggle to part with them after I’ve finished. Luckily my neighborhood has a wonderful and friendly used book store (hello Pegasus!) that makes it easier to dispatch my books to an eager new owner, and giddily acquire new titles. The store is in the West Seattle junction, and online at Bookshop.org.
My other favorite Seattle bookstore is the venerable Elliott Bay Book Company, one of the best in the country. Located in the Capitol Hill neighborhood, they offer online sales direct from their website, but if you can get there in person, lucky you. It’s Book Nirvana, with more than 150,000 titles in stock.
Book Larder in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood is another great resource. This store offers a carefully curated selection of cookbooks that can up our skills and expand our culinary horizons. I don’t know about you, but after 8+ months of pandemic quarantine, my regular “go-to” recipes started feeling a bit “has-been.” I needed new inspiration! I’m currently revisiting Seattle chef and instructor Becky Selengut’s How to Taste which is that rare combination of educational while also being funny and entertaining to read.
Cued up in my to-read stack are more than a few PNW authors, including The Death and Life of Aida Hernandez, a Washington State Book Award winner by eastern Washington author Aaron Bobrow-Strain; Like a Mother, an NPR Best Book of 2018 by Seattle author and former food writer Angela Garbes; and Seismic, the new collection of essays by Seattle writers such as Charles Johnson, Claudia Castro Luna, Timothy Egan and Rena Priest, edited by Kristen Millares-Young, that explores Seattle’s status as a UNESCO Creative City/World City of Literature.
A few more books by PNW authors to add to your list:
- The Lines that Make Us by Nathan Vass
- Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jamie Ford
- Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher by Timothy Egan
- The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah
- The Moment of Lift by Melinda Gates
- The Orchardist by Amanda Coplin
- The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving by Jonathan Evison
- The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown
- Dead Wake by Erik Larson
- So You Want to Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
Leaves to stomp, brisk walks to take, coffee to drink and books to read. Happy autumn to all!
Editor’s note: this was written during the pandemic and has been updated to reflect in person shopping options in 2023.