Book Buzz: Hope Never Dies

Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer

Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer Joe Biden in retirement is not a pretty picture: grouting bathroom tile, napping and watching Barack’s globetrotting adventures with the likes of Bradley Cooper and Justin Trudeau on cable television. Barack has yet to call him and he feels the sting as would a jilted lover. “No late-night texting. Not … Read more

Book Buzz: Jar of Hearts

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier Twenty-five years ago, Canadian serial killer Karla Homolka struck a plea deal with prosecutors in return for her testimony that her husband, Paul Bernardo, raped and murdered at least three minors in a series of grisly deaths that began with Homolka’s younger sister Tammy. Convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to … Read more

Book Buzz: The Great Believers

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai

The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai Rebecca Makkai’s The Great Believers is a spot-on portrayal of the devastation and heartbreak of the AIDS crisis and the lasting legacy of those who survived it. In it, Makkai deftly weaves together two stories told in alternating chapters; one focusing on a group of friends in Chicago’s Boystown in the 1980s, … Read more

Book Buzz: There There

There There by Tommy Orange

There There by Tommy Orange Tommy Orange did not grow up around books or aspire to be a writer. A recent graduate from the MFA program at the Institute of American Indian Arts, this debut novelist who came to writing late in life is making quite a splash with his first book, There There, a polyphonic story … Read more

Book Buzz: Lawn Boy

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison

Lawn Boy by Jonathan Evison When Bainbridge Island author Jonathan Evison visited Whatcom County in 2017 as part of the Whatcom READS program, we met a gregarious, intelligent, self-destructive and endearing writer who loves to talk about books and drink beer—a lot of beer. He presents himself as a bit of a sad sack, an Everyman, … Read more

Book Buzz: The Ensemble

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel

The Ensemble by Aja Gabel I If you need a little extra inspiration before shelling out for tickets to one or more of the many performances taking place at the Bellingham Festival of Music next month, check out a copy of Aja Gabel’s The Ensemble from your nearest public library.  The Bellingham Festival of Music is … Read more

Book Buzz: Educated

Educated by Tara Westover

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover In her time studying at Harvard and Cambridge, Tara Westover often discovered profound gaps in her knowledge. Teachers would refer to specific events or places that she’d never heard of; other students would make cultural references she didn’t understand. These discoveries sometimes upended Westover’s worldview, sending her scurrying to … Read more

Book Buzz: Crazy, Rich Asians

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

Crazy, Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan In library school (yes, there’s such a thing, it’s a master’s program in Library and Information Science that trains professional librarians) students learn Rosenberg’s First Law of Reading: “Never apologize for your reading taste.” So there’s no need to feel embarrassed if you occasionally (or regularly) get sucked into … Read more

Book Buzz: The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah

The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah by Adam Valen Levinson

The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah: Fear and Love in the Modern Middle East by Adam Valen Levinson With the recent news that Saudi Arabia will soon be offering tourist visas, the publication of Adam Valen Levinson’s new memoir/travelogue, The Abu Dhabi Bar Mitzvah: Fear and Love in the Modern Middle East, is perfectly timed. More than … Read more