West Seattle, Washington
Three years ago, it was the end of a mini-era in West Seattle literary accomplishments when local writers Susan Rich, Harold Taw, and Katy E. Ellis closed the book on five years of WordsWest Literary Series, monthly readings they co-founded and coordinated. Tomorrow night, the three reunite – and hope to see you too – for a new celebration at WordsWest’s longtime hub, C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor): Rich has just released her fifth poetry collection, “Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Selected Poems,” described as follows:
A Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Selected Poems collects the essential and award-winning poems from Susan Rich’s four books of poetry along with a generous selection of unpublished work. Rich’s poetry spans the last twenty years through a life engaged with human rights, compassion, and questions of travel. As a teacher, wanderer, and former journalist, Rich’s lyric poems work to amplify the beauty we overlook, the nature of home, and the liminal spaces between the personal and global.
The book isn’t the only reason to go to Wednesday night’s 7 pm event at C & P; the poet promises cake (just ordered from the Salvadorean Bakery!). And she says her WordsWest colleagues have new works on the way too – Ellis will release her first full-length prose poetry novel this fall, and Taw is developing a musical. As the event title declares, they’re ““Bringing the Band Back Together Again for a Book Launch” – and inviting you to join them. No admission charge; if you want to buy a book while you’re there, you’ll be able to do that.
Today we’re welcoming one of WSB’s newest sponsors, Tails to Astonish (4850 California SW) – here’s what its proprietors would like you to know about what their shop offers:
Tails to Astonish was opened in 2021 by Shaun and Nicole Duff. We moved to Seattle in 2015, and to West Seattle in 2016, where we fell in LOVE with this part of Seattle.
Our logo features our two cats Kittie (a tuxedo) and Meeps (a red tabby).
Shaun has loved comics since he was a kid. He collected many titles, but especially Amazing Spider-Man and The Infinity Gauntlet (anything with the villain Thanos) Some other favorite titles include Saga, Batman (The Killing Joke & Dark Knight Returns) and The Walking Dead.
Nicole loves the movies and shows, and loves meeting artists and original comic art. In fact, she has a notebook of original art sketches of Kittie & Meeps. Nicole loves books such as “Harley Quinn: The Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour,” “Maneaters,” and “Cat Woman: Lonely City.”
Why come to Tails to Astonish? We are the only store of its kind in West Seattle! We also have a large selection of back issues, graphic novels, and new books. If we don’t have a new title or trade paperback you are looking for, we will order it for you! We carry Marvel, DC, and Independent titles. We even have a few local comic creators’ books in the store.
The great thing about small businesses is the personal touch! If you’ve never read a comic book in your life, but you enjoyed a movie or TV show, Shaun can recommend a book that it might have been based on. We have a great selection of superhero books, Sci-Fi, Fantasy, horror, and more. We can help you find the title you will love! We can also help with suggestions for gifts.
You can find individual issues, graphic novels (which is a collection of full storyline all in one book) If you are following a new book, we can set you up with a subscription so you never miss an issue!
We also buy comic books! If you have books collecting dust, reach out to us! We are happy to set up a time to see them and offer you a fair price for all of them or just one. Even if you don’t know what you have or the value, we will be honest with the value and you don’t have to worry about selling them online or being short-changed.
We have a great section for young readers with books from just .25 and up! We have books for ALL ages from Little Golden Books for the youngest readers. Comics are a great way to get reluctant readers into reading!
Store hours are 11:30 am-7 pm Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 am-2 pm Sundays. P.S. Come on by for Free Comic Book Day 2022 (this Saturday, May 7th)! We have some great titles for all ages. 1 FREE book per person, plus 2 more free, with a $10 purchase. All $1 comics, as well as comic sets, are buy 2 get 1 FREE!
We thank Tails to Astonish for sponsoring independent, community-collaborative neighborhood news via WSB; find our current sponsor team listed in directory format here, and find info on joining the team by going here.
It’s the time of year when gardens are just starting to show their color, from spring blossoms to foliage. Observing, celebrating, and being artistically inspired by what’s growing around us is the subject of West Seattle writer/artist/gardener Lorene Edwards Forkner‘s new book “Color In and Out of the Garden.” You can talk with her about it right now at Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor). She’s there until 2 pm today, signing books and answering questions. (Click! asked her a few for this preview.) Do some Mother’s Day shopping while you’re there!
While you’re in The Junction on Sunday for the West Seattle Farmers’ Market, take a side trip into Click! Design That Fits (4540 California SW; WSB sponsor) for the first event there in many months – a book launch for West Seattle artist/gardener/author Lorene Edwards Forkner. 10 am-2 pm on Sunday (May 1st), she’ll be at the shop to sign her book “Color In and Out of the Garden” and “chat color and gardens,” as Click! describes the opportunity. The shop’s event preview quotes the author as explaining that her book “is a memoir in plants and color. It’s about looking out and looking in,” sparked by a daily practice in observation. She hopes “that readers will be inspired to look closely with great heart at the world around them.”
Here are our ways your dollars can go further by helping local schools:
BOOK FAIR FOR BOREN STEM K-8: Today through Sunday, shop at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW) and mention Louisa Boren STEM K-8 at checkout – part of the proceeds will benefit the school. Organizers note, “Paper Boat has a great selection to choose from in stock, and any special orders you make for out-of-stock items can also benefit the school if they are pre-paid during this week.” Store hours are 10 am-6 pm Tuesdays-Saturdays, 11 am-5 pm Sunday.
FLOWERS & MORE FOR ROXHILL ELEMENTARY: This one’s for gardeners:
Friends of Roxhill Elementary says, “We are partnering again with Flower Power Fundraising to sell flower bulbs, kitchen garden herbs, sprouts, seeds and more to bring some joy to your home garden or window sill this spring.” Go here to shop. You can support a specific Roxhill student by writing their name in “Give Credit for This Sale to” at checkout. Friends of Roxhill Elementary gets 50% of the profits from every order; deadline is May 15th. Questions? firstname.lastname@example.org
MISSION CANTINA DINE-OUT FOR MADISON MS: This Wednesday (March 23rd), dine in at, get take-out from, or buy a gift card for Mission Cantina (2325 California SW) and part of the proceeds will benefit Madison Middle School – details and links here. Mission Cantina will be open 4 pm-10 pm that day.
MARINATION MA KAI DINE-OUT FOR ALKI CO-OP PRESCHOOL: Here are the details on this benefit:
The wonderful folks at Marination ma kai are hosting a Dine Out to support Alki Co-Op Preschool on Tuesday, March 29th! Come say aloha and enjoy some delicious tacos or kimchi fried rice for lunch and/or dinner (11 am – 8 pm) and Marination will donate a percentage of the day’s total sales to the school. There are food options for the kiddos too. Gift cards and take-away orders also count, but let’s hope for some sun to enjoy a cocktail on the big outdoor patio. Marination ma kai is located at 1660 Harbor Avenue SW.
Got a school or nonprofit fundraiser to share with the community? Let us know – thanks!
Happening now at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation (7141 California SW), West Seattle author Elise Hooper is introducing a hometown crowd to her fourth book, “Angels of the Pacific.” It’s a novel, but it will also educate you about World War II history, “set in the Philippines and inspired by the extraordinary true stories of World War II’s American Army and Navy nurses famously known as the Angels of Bataan and the unsung contributions of Filipinas of the resistance.”
At the event, Hooper is talking about the book, and you can also buy your copy from event hosts Paper Boat Booksellers. (If you don’t get to tonight’s celebration, you can still get signed copies at Paper Boat’s Morgan Junction store as well as at Pegasus Book Exchange in The Junction.) This is the fourth work of historical fiction authored by Hooper – you can find out about her other books on her website.
West Seattle author Elise Hooper‘s new novel “Angels of the Pacific” has just been published, and you can help her celebrate at a launch party this Friday night. Paper Boat Booksellers – where you can buy the book – is hosting the event at Westside Unitarian Universalist Congregation (7141 California SW), starting at 7 pm. From the announcement:
This novel is set in the Philippines and inspired by the extraordinary true stories of World War II’s American Army and Navy nurses famously known as the Angels of Bataan and the unsung contributions of Filipinas of the resistance. It’s a story that transports readers to a remarkable era of hope, bravery, perseverance, and ultimately — victory.
Elise will give a brief talk about behind-the-scenes research and the writing process, take questions from the audience, and sign books. This is a free, kid-friendly public event.
Book sales will be provided on site that evening by Paper Boat Booksellers.
Signed copies also are available at Paper Boat (6040 California SW) and Pegasus Book Exchange (4553 California SW). “Angels of the Pacific” is Hooper’s fourth book; you can read about her and her work here.
Love hats? Or, got someone on your gift list who does? West Seattle author Mark Elliott has just published “The Brim and the Crown: A Field Guide to Custom Hatters and Hat Shops in the US and Abroad.” Here’s what he tells us about it:
Amazon just published the 144-page softcover ($18.95) this past week.
* The book divides the US into six regions (36 states), each with profiles, websites, and online ordering info for the best custom hat makers for classic fedoras or cowboy hats.
* An entire chapter identifying custom hat makers in 19 countries.
* A separate chapter where to order a custom hat of your favorite film noir or Western film hero.
* Another chapter describing the women-owned hat businesses in the US.
* How and where to get 1930s newsboy caps, Ecuadorian Panamas, top hats, Indiana Jones fedoras, Godfather homburgs, Amish flat hats, and coonskin and Civil War caps, etc.
This book is for someone who loves hats. Someone who doesn’t leave home without one come rain or shine; who follows the seasons for felt and straw; who can tell you their hat size in inches and centimeters; and who knows how to crease a hat and wear it with confidence.
Mark adds, “I spent most of this year researching, interviewing, and writing. It’s the first time all this info has been collated and published.”
What you probably don’t know about the Vietnam War, you can learn Thursday with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society‘s next online presentation. If you haven’t already seen it in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar, here’s the announcement:
‘Words, Writers & Southwest Stories,’ a speaker series of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, is excited to announce that it is hosting Dr. Julie Pham for a live Zoom presentation on Thursday, December 9 at 6:00 PM. Pham will deliver a presentation titled “Hidden Histories: The South Vietnamese Side of the Vietnam War.” Registration is required. Please register HERE.
The Vietnam War is seen by much of the Western world as being fought between the Americans and North Vietnamese Communists, with the South Vietnamese largely absent. Yet many Vietnamese refugees who came to America after the war served in the South Vietnamese military, and there is little recognition and understanding of their contributions and role in the war. In fact, in American and Vietnamese Communist histories, the South Vietnamese are painted as corrupt, apathetic sidekicks to the Americans.
How did the South Vietnamese military really experience the Vietnam War? Historian Julie Pham draws from interviews she conducted with 40 South Vietnamese military veterans in the United States, and illuminates how people can remember historical events differently.
Julie Pham (she/her) is the CEO of CuriosityBased, a consulting practice focused on fostering curiosity in the workplace. Her family owns Northwest Vietnamese News. She published “Their War: The Perspectives of the South Vietnamese Military in the Words of Veteran-Emigres“ in 2019. She earned her Ph.D. in history from the University of Cambridge as a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Pham lives in Seattle.
The ‘Words, Writers, and Southwest Stories’ speaker series is a program of the Southwest Seattle Historical Society in partnership with Seattle Public Library. This presentation is part of the Humanities Washington Speakers Bureau The Historical Society is grateful to Humanities Washington for their support.
Award-winning West Seattle author Cat Rambo is about to publish another book. Tuesday is the official launch date for “You Sexy Thing.” Rambo summarizes it as “the story of a band of former mercenaries who’ve opened a restaurant on a space station and are doing well, so well a critic may be about to bestow a coveted Nikkelin Orb on the restaurant. But then a mysterious package arrives, things start exploding, and they have to steal a ship to escape. But that ship’s intelligent, and it’s not so sure it wants to be stolen.” The author also notes, “It’s not my first published novel, but it’s my first one with a major publisher, Tor Macmillan.” Rambo has five online appearances in six days next week to publicize and talk about the book. starting Monday night, and including a Tuesday night “virtual reading” – they’re all listed and linked here. Rambo’s accomplishments include receiving the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America‘s prestigious Nebula Award last year and serving two terms as that organization’s president.
One of West Seattle’s literary luminaries has won two major awards.
E.J. Koh is the winner of the 2021 Washington State Book Award for her memoir, “The Magical Language of Others.” The book is described on the publisher’s website as “a powerful and aching love story in letters, from mother to daughter,” letters written after Koh’s parents returned to South Korea for work after more than a decade in the U.S., leaving the then-15-year-old author and her brother in California. “The Magical Language of Others” has also won the Pacific Northwest Book Award and was longlisted for the PEN Open Book Award.
You’ve probably heard a lot this year about 30th anniversaries of Seattle grunge milestones. In some cases, that evokes the question, “Where are they now?” You’ll find some answers in a new book – published today – by West Seattle photographer/author Mike Hipple, “Lived Through That: 90s Musicians Today.” Hipple, who lives in Arbor Heights, explains, “It’s a portrait-heavy exploration of some of my favorite musical artists from the ’90s and what they’re up to these days. I wanted to see where these people are today, what their stories are, how their lives have changed since their 90s heyday and introduce readers to some bands they maybe haven’t heard of. I traveled all over the United States and Britain tracking down the artists, photographing them, and hearing their stories and I’m excited to share them. There are quite a few Seattle folks in there as well.” Including one from right here in our back yard – Chris Ballew (aka Caspar Babypants):
Hipple’s book is available through Paper Boat Booksellers, where you can meet him and get your copy signed this Saturday (October 23) at 1 pm. This is his second book; three years ago he published “‘80s Redux,” focusing on music from that decade.
Visit C&P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) and you can help The Whale Trail‘s founder Donna Sandstrom celebrate publication of her book “Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer.” The youth-geared book recounts a memorable chapter in Pacific Northwest history, when a Northern Resident Orca got lost in Puget Sound and was successfully rescued and returned to home waters, where she thrives today. You can buy the book and get it signed while you’re there; the event’s on until 5 pm, in the C&P backyard.
The West Seattleite who founded The Whale Trail, Donna Sandstrom, has just published a book for young readers telling the story of the event that immersed her in orca activism, the rescue of Springer the wayward whale. You’re invited to a launch event in West Seattle this Sunday. Here’s the announcement:
Whale Trail founder and local author Donna Sandstrom’s book “Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer“ was published this month by Kids Can Press.
The middle grade nonfiction book tells the riveting story of how a young orca was discovered in Puget Sound – lost, alone and 300 miles away from home. Six months later, the 2-year-old orca was rescued, rehabilitated, and returned to her family on the north end of Vancouver Island.
It’s the first and so far only successful orca reunion in history. Almost twenty years later, Springer is thriving, tending her two calves. And on the day the book was published, Oceanwise announced that she is expecting again!
The story is told as it happened, from Donna’s perspective as a community organizer on the project. Many of the events described in the book happened here, including Springer’s initial discovery by researcher Mark Sears, and a pivotal town meeting at The Hall at Fauntleroy.
The book is beautifully illustrated. Fact spreads are interspersed with the narrative, and learning resources include maps, matrilines,and a glossary. The book recently received a starred review in Kirkus Review, and is a selected pick by the Junior Library Guild.
Join Donna and other team members to celebrate the book’s publication, and Springer’s continued success. Books will be available to purchase on site from Paper Boat Booksellers. The family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Please bring proof of vaccination and wear a mask. We look forward to celebrating with you!
What: “Orca Rescue! The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer” Book launch and signing featuring members of Springer’s team
When: Sunday October 17, 3 to 5 PM.
Where: C&P Coffee, 5612 California Ave SW
Event will be held outside, weather permitting.
National Poetry Series winner Teresa K. Miller, who has deep West Seattle roots, has an online reading coming up Thursday (October 7th) and wants to let the community know. Miller is a graduate of Tilden School and while she now lives in the Portland area, her mother still lives in West Seattle. Miller was chosen last year as a winner of the National Poetry Series for her second full-length collection, “Borderline Fortune,” which will be released by Penguin this Tuesday. She will be launching the book Thursday via a virtual event hosted by Seattle’s Elliott Bay Book Company. The announcement says Miller’s new book “explores the ancestral legacy of the climate crisis,” and that the poet “seeks through these beautifully crafted poems to awaken from the intergenerational trance and bear witness to our current moment with clarity and attention, refusing the mind’s limits.” Thursday’s online event is at 6 pm; you can register here.
Author/illustrator Danitra Hunter‘s “Purrdie Burrdie” character is meant to inspire you to love and believe in yourself. The publication of her first book is a manifestation of what that belief can help you accomplish. She is at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW) all afternoon during the independent bookstore’s second-anniversary celebration – and tells us this is her first official event launching her book! She has coloring sheets for kids, too:
We first told you about Danitra and “Purrdie Burrdie” last year, when she was crowdfunding to get her book published. The campaign was a success – “I did it!” she enthused when we saw her today – and now her book’s available for purchase at Paper Boat, which is also a success, marking two years in business:
Co-proprietor Desirae Judy is there as are Paper Boat fans:
The shop is open today until 6 pm.
Independent bookstore Paper Boat Booksellers in Morgan Junction (6040 California SW) will celebrate its second anniversary on Saturday and invites you to the party. Here’s the announcement from proprietors Desirae and Eric Judy:
The last year and half have taken everybody by storm – we’ve done so many things we never thought we’d have to do, yet it seems like we’ve done nothing but try to survive! But we did it…and we are grateful and excited to be celebrating our 2nd year anniversary with our community, right where we belong.
We hope you’ll join us on Saturday, September 11th, from 10 am-6 pm as we ring in year 2 with a special 20% discount on purchases over $50, a raffle with prizes including signed books by local author Susanna Ryan (Seattle Walk Report, Secret Seattle), a book launch and signing with Danitra Hunter, author of Purrdie Burrdie (the cutest children’s book around), and we will be handing out ice cream from Full Tilt while supplies last. It’s going to be a fun day, so come on down and join us – we can’t wait to see you!
Danitra will be joining us at 12:00 and will be set up just as you enter the store. We will have copies of her book Purrdie Burddie: I Love Myself, Can You See? available for purchase and signed copies will be at the shop after the the event.
(We featured Danitra and Purrdie Burrdie here last year.)
This is perfect weather for hiking – and with the help of a West Seattle author’s newly revised book, you can not only enjoy trails’ beauty, but also explore their history. Writer/historian Judy Bentley‘s “Hiking Washington’s History” is now out in a second edition. She tells WSB:
The second edition of Hiking Washington’s History, with co-author and prolific guide book writer Craig Romano, has been published this month by the University of Washington Press, which also published the first edition in 2010.
The second edition includes 12 new historic hikes, including a trail in the West Duwamish Greenbelt. The second edition has many photographs and maps, a timeline of trails, sidebars, and detailed hike narratives. I will be giving a talk with the Southwest Seattle Historical Society in September.
Bentley is a longtime West Seattle resident, South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) instructor, and past president of SWSHS. She says you can get her book at Paper Boat Booksellers in Morgan Junction (6040 California SW).
Thanks to Clay Eals for that video from “typewriter poet” Sean Petrie‘s event at the Log House Museum this afternoon (which was on our “West Seattle Saturday” preview list). You have two more chances to catch him in West Seattle tomorrow – 10:30 am-1:30 pm, he’ll be at the West Seattle Farmers’ Market in The Junction, creating typewritten poems, and then at Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW) at 2 pm, typing and promoting his award-winning book “Listen to the Trees: A Poetic Snapshot of West Seattle, Then and Now.”
Back in April we told you about a book release from a Morgan Junction author who publishes romance novels under the pseudonym Cara Maxwell. If you’re thinking about riding out the heat wave sitting under a tree reading, her next one is out – “A Love Match for the Marquess,” continuing her “Hesitant Husbands” series. Maxwell says, “If you enjoy romances in the style of Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, or Christi Caldwell, then you will enjoy this series.” This is her third book, and she says she’s moving into full-time writing now after a decade in education. Find out more about her and her books at caramaxwellromance.com. Her new novel is available there as an e-book or in paperback.
That wasn’t just a beach picnic at Lincoln Park on Sunday – it was a publication celebration! Back in February, we reported on a call for contributions to a zine to be published by West Seattleite Lauren Grosskopf‘s Pleasure Boat Studio. Now the 100-page zine, Kids for Kids, is out and the publisher invited contributors and their families to an informal gathering at the beach. She printed 100 copies of the zine, which features art, stories, poetry, and comics – with contributors getting them free – and while about half are spoken for, the rest are available for purchase at $15 by going here (where you can also download a PDF version free).
Two reminders for tonight:
WEST SEATTLE ART WALK: Celebrate spring, art, and local businesses by joining in tonight’s Art Walk! The official preview has been updated and expanded since we mentioned it last weekend, with a full list of who’s participating this month. Here’s a quick list of who’s open with in-person artist receptions – all over the peninsula from Admiral to Arbor Heights:
West Seattle Grounds (5-8 pm)
West Seattle Runner (5-7 pm)
Wend Jewelry (4-8 pm)
Fogue Gallery (5-8 pm)
Mystery Made (5 pm “till late”)
Verity Credit Union (5-8 pm)
Capers (5-7 pm)
Wild Rose’s (6-8:30 pm)
Snip Its (5-8;30 pm)
Brookdale West Seattle (3-5 pm)
Canna West Seattle (6-7 pm)
Viscon Cellars (5-8 pm)
Resolve Chiropractic (5-8 pm)
Brace Point Gallery (5-8 pm)
Multiple restaurants/bars have food and drink specials, too! For locations, artist details, links, maps, go to the official Art Walk preview.
WORDS, WRITERS, SOUTHWEST STORIES: If you’d rather cozy up with an online author presentation, this monthly series presented by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society is happening tonight too. At 6 pm, hear from author David Williams about jhis book “Homewaters: A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound.” Free but you have to register to get the link – go here.
Award-winning West Seattle author Lyanda Lynn Haupt has specialized in a subject close to our heart – the intertwining of wildlife and human life, even in the city. We first spoke with her back in 2009, after her third book, “Crow Planet,” was published. Four years later, “The Urban Bestiary” was published; “Mozart’s Starling” followed in 2017; and now, after another four-year interval, tomorrow is the official publication date for “Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit.” On her website, Haupt describes it as “a book about interconnection, healing, and creating a life of reciprocity with all beings,” and notes that she finished it after the onset of the pandemic. No reading or signing events planned on the peninsula so far (here’s one online), but she tells WSB there’s an incentive for you to buy her book through one of West Seattle’s independent bookstores: “I am happy to personalize books for people through Pegasus and Paper Boat.” Three of Haupt’s previous books have won major awards, including two Washington State Book Awards.