Book Buzz: See What I Have Done

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt

See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt As the days get shorter and chillier and the specter of Halloween looms, creepy thrillers have seasonal reading appeal. In See What I Have Done, Australian novelist Sarah Schmidt presents a deeply disturbing retelling of a classic true crime story that fits the bill. Remember the gruesome rhyme “Lizzie … Read more

Book Buzz: The Library Book

The Library Book by Susan Orlean

The Library Book by Susan Orlean Susan Orlean loves libraries, but she didn’t set out to write a book about them. In fact, the bestselling nonfiction author and staff writer for The New Yorker had decided that she was done writing books entirely. “Working on them felt like a slow-motion wrestling match,” she declares, “and I wasn’t in … Read more

Book Buzz: The Golden State

The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling

The Golden State by Lydia Kiesling After the forest fires that raged across California recently, it’s hard to imagine the scenery of the high desert as brown and grassy but not charred and smoldering. However, in her new novel The Golden State, author Lydia Kiesling skillfully evokes a scorching summer in fictional Altavista, California, that will have … Read more

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