West Seattle, Washington
Got a reader on your holiday gift list – kid, teen, adult? You’ll find a variety of books – and their authors/artists – at the Seattle Urban Book Expo, happening right now at Acts on Stage Theater in White Center (10806 12th SW). We stopped by in the first hour and talked with four of the participants – Sinaya Parrott might be the youngest:
Sinaya’s book “Come Meet the Rabbits” is about her bunnies Sunny and Rooty. She also has a website, pawcastkids.com. We talked with another author whose book is for kids and features animals, La Manda Jeannine Davis:
La Manda explained that her book “Surprise, It’s Just Pee” is a “potty-training” book of sorts, advocating against punishing/shaming pets if they have accidents. She’s also worked on an animation of the story. We also talked with an author/illustrator we’ve introduced you to before, Danitra Hunter:
CJ is an author and artist as well as a singer, rapper, and poet. His work includes the poetry book “Letters to a Blind Man: America, God, Love, And Myself.”
In all, the Seattle Urban Book Expo – first one in White Center, coordinator Jeffrey Cheatham II told us – features more than 20 BIPOC authors and artists. It’s on until 6 pm, free admission, and if you’re there at 5, writer/publisher Marcus Harrison Green is scheduled to speak.
As we wrap up a day in which the main mantra was “shop local,” here are four reasons to “read local” – four books we’ve recently heard about, all the work of West Seattle writers and/or illustrators:
‘POETRY FOR PUPS’: By author Susan Seah and illustrator Morgan Boyle, this book is already an award-winner (Gold Medal from Literary Titan), and a reading for people AND dogs is planned next weekend, 3-5 pm Sunday, December 3, at Realfine Coffee (4480 Fauntleroy Way SW). The author, who plans to bring her “beagle muse” Koa to the reading, writes from this viewpoint: “Embracing the joys of being a dog mom for over two decades, her journey has been enriched with adventures, inspiration, and the unwavering devotion of her fur babies. Beyond her canine companions, Susan wears the hat of a corporate and technology lawyer, a vocation that stands alongside her dedication to empower women as the CEO and Founder of The Koa Club.” Copies of “Poetry for Pups“ will be available for purchase at next weekend’s event.
‘IT’S NOT (ALL) YOUR FAULT’: West Seattle author Sharon Podobnik recently launched her first book, described as …
… a deeply personal nonfiction exposé on the self-help industry from an insider’s perspective. Rather than being a self-help book in the traditional sense, it is a self-conscious self-help book that reveals the tactics that the industry uses while demonstrating exactly how they work. The book is incredibly approachable, while proving that well-being depends on solidarity, not self-optimization.
Sharon is the founder of The Center for Conscious Leadership, “which seeks to co-create a more peaceful, just, and equitable world.” She recently read from “It’s Not (All) Your Fault“ at C & P Coffee (WSB sponsor).
‘BROOMS’: The illustrator of this graphic novel, written by Jasmine Walls, is Teo Duvall, a member of the team at Highland Park Corner Store, which held a launch party earlier this fall. Teo explains that “Brooms“ is about “six young witches of color in an alternate history 1930s Mississippi. In order to raise money for better lives, they participate in illegal backwoods broom racing. It’s a story about friendship, magic and overcoming the odds with lots of joy and love.” You can see an excerpt here. “Brooms” has been acclaimed for a variety of reasons including its inclusion of people living with disabilities.
To buy “Brooms” locally, check Pegasus Book Exchange and (of course) Highland Park Corner Store.
“ALWAYS CARRY YOUR SCYTHE”:
Pip Paisley recently published Always Carry Your Scythe, describing the book as “a humorous, contemporary fantasy set in Seattle (that) features a diverse cast of living and alternative-living beings in all shapes, sizes, colors and orientations.” Pip has been leaving copies of “Always Carry Your Scythe” in (Little) Free Libraries around West Seattle, and whether you encounter the book that way or by buying it, Pip has an offer: “If anyone reads the book and leaves a review on Amazon, drop me a note at email@example.com and I’ll happily send over a Always Carry Your Scythe mug.”
From the Grateful Dead to Neil Young to Nirvana and beyond, concert photographer Steve Schneider has photographed a half-century of music history. He’s turned much of it into a “coffee-table book” that he’ll be signing at Easy Street Records this Thursday night (August 17th). Here’s how the book is described in the announcement of its publication:
This $60 hardbound book has 220 pages of concert images with 350 photos from five decades of live music, and is printed on archival acid-free matte paper. The book features images of the Grateful Dead, Neil Young, Nirvana, Soundgarden, Tom Petty, Pearl Jam, the Rolling Stones, and many others. Ten of the concerts featured — including shows by David Bowie, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Neil Young, and Willie Nelson — ones where Schneider was the only photographer with access.
The title comes from some acts’ directive that photographers only shoot the first three songs, but many of the best images in The First Three Songs are from when Schneider pushed around that. A shot of the Grateful Dead at the closing of the legendary San Francisco club Winterland in 1978 was taken at 5:30 in the morning. “This was back in the days of film, and I had saved just a few frames for when they would end,” Schneider recalled. “They started on at midnight, but I saved enough to capture their good-bye early in the morning.” The Grateful Dead liked the image enough that it was used on a CD and DVD of the event, and it ended the film of the event. The band signed a copy of a 1977 New Year’s photo from the same location in Winterland. They also gave Bill Walton a 20” x 30” signed copy of the same photo.
Schneider worked for multiple news services, and created images that the announcement says “have appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines,” adding that “the book also serves as a document of how concert photography is transformed with the development of digital photography, and when bands began to light their stage for video.” Thursday’s signing is set for 6 pm to 8 pm; if somehow you haven’t been to Easy Street, it’s on the northwest corner of California/Alaska in the heart of The Junction. (If you can’t get to the event but would like to buy the book, you can buy it directly from Schneider online.)
P.S. You can read more about Schneider, his book, and his work in this Seattle Now and Then installment by West Seattle journalist/historian/author Clay Eals.
Among the new books released today is a rock ‘n’ roll memoir co-authored by a West Seattle writer who sent us this announcement:
Writer Adem Tepedelen has co-authored a grunge memoir with Mudhoney guitarist Steve Turner. Mud Ride: A Messy Trip Through the Grunge Explosion is being released today in North America via Chronicle Prism.
Mud Ride is a down-and-dirty account that chronicles the birth and evolution of the Seattle grunge scene. It features a foreword by Pearl Jam’s Stone Gossard and more than 100 illustrations and photographs, many that have never been seen before. Tepedelen — a highly respected music magazine journalist, author and former editor of Seattle’s iconic The Rocket — collaborated with Turner to tell the story of grunge’s underground origins in the late ’80s and early ’90s, when Turner and his friends — Seattle skate punks, hardcore kids and assorted misfits — started forming bands in each other’s basements and accidentally created a unique sound that spread far beyond their once-sleepy city.
Mud Ride offers an inside look at the tight-knit grunge scene, the musical influences and experiments that shaped the grunge sound, and the story of Turner’s bands, Green River and Mudhoney, which went from underground flophouse shows to selling out stadiums with Nirvana and Pearl Jam. Including stories about the key moments, musicians, and albums from grunge’s beginnings to its come-down from the highs of global success and stardom, this is the first account of the musical phenomenon that took over the world – from someone who was there for it all.
Tepedelen says you should be able to get the book through West Seattle’s independent bookstores Paper Boat Booksellers and Pegasus. Turner, meantime, has a promotional appearance at 7 pm tomorrow (Wednesday, June 14th) at Elliott Bay Books on Capitol Hill.
Summertime is internship time! West Seattle writer/educator Julia Douthwaite Viglione has an opportunity to share:
This summer a new course will be offered for kids at the South Park Community Center and you can help!
It’s called Write YOUR Story.
Opportunity for two unpaid internships, for 18- to 24-year-old people who seek to learn some aspects of teaching writing and working with children.
Help plan and co-teach “Write YOUR Story” at the South Park Comm. Center on Thursdays, 4:30-5:30 pm, from late June to early September, during summer session 2023 with local writer / professor, founder of WYS.
Volunteer; unpaid but rich in possibilities…
Prerequisites for application: High School juniors or graduates, detail-oriented. Applicants will submit a cover letter and a one-paragraph writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org by June 6, 2023.
That’s Tuesday – so apply fast if interested!
Love it or hate it, the Highway 99 tunnel is inarguably an “engineering feat,” as photographer/author Catherine Bassetti describes it. She was official photographer for the project and has published a behind-the-scenes book. She is sponsoring WSB to ensure interested readers know about it:
Discover everything about the historic deep-bore tunnel drive that changed the face of Seattle’s waterfront forever. Catherine Bassetti, the official photographer for the SR99 Tunnel project, introduces “Supertunnel – Journey from Light to Light.” This 190-page, hardcover book chronicles the engineering feat that broke records and beat the odds in the global tunneling industry. In a grand tour behind the scenes, the book offers a refreshing perspective on Seattle’s transportation project of the decade with commentary from key participants, civic leaders, and entertaining ‘On the Job Spotlights’ from laborers.
“After five years working above and below ground, photographing the six worksites, all events, and milestones of this giant undertaking, I realized that the public audience was not privy to more than reports of the setbacks and politics surrounding the project. By producing this book, my hope is that readers can sense the magnitude of engineering and dedicated labor that built Seattle’s new tunnel. There was no shortage of opportunity to make the innate come alive in the lens. I met skilled men and women whose energy was unstoppable. This book came to life as they shared their own experiences on the job. This was one of the most surprising, demanding, fulfilling, and thought-provoking assignments of my career.”
In an article for the Seattle Times Traffic Lab, Mike Lindblom, veteran transportation reporter wrote: “The Highway 99 tunnel has generated another milestone: a photo retrospective that’s a hefty three pounds and 190 pages. ‘Supertunnel – Journey from Light to Light,’ by Catherine Bassetti, celebrates the epic feat of building the 53 1/3-foot-diameter tube, two miles from Sodo to South Lake Union.“Photographing the tunnel was grand, even in the smallest detail”, she writes. The pictures will bring back memories for tunneling fans, or anyone explaining the giant tube to visitors. Bassetti underwent safety training and became friends with tunnel forepersons and laborers, gaining access deep inside. Many of them wrote short reflections for pages between the photos. The book provides some fresh images, such as close-ups of workers assembling the concrete rings, beyond areas available to local news media.
In a stunning image, Bassetti leaned off a catwalk over a 120-foot-deep vault, where Bertha’s damaged front end was being repaired and strengthened, to shoot straight down at the cutting disc and new steel teeth, tinged gold by some rare winter sunshine.
Another memorable chapter features construction divers working in four times atmospheric pressure. They replaced the 75-pound steel teeth, then rested for hours in the decompression chamber. “Even though you couldn’t see too far below, you knew it was 60 feet down. When something like a piece of rock fell, you could definitely hear it hit the water. It didn’t feel so high because it was so dark in there,” writes worker Cody Heck.
Control-room operators are pictured, taking pride in their post-repair success. Soil settlement was nearly too minute to measure beneath downtown buildings, the result of accurate steering and soil measurement.
But this book, focused on the dig, isn’t a place to learn about the litigation, nor Seattle’s political arguments about whether to build highway infrastructure during climate change, or the eight years of debate and advisory votes pitting a new viaduct vs. a tunnel vs. a surface road.
“As the machine came to a halt, the elated shouts and whistles of the crew from within the machine marked the end of Bertha’s arduous and triumphant journey,” she writes.
“Supertunnel” is a thorough account of all that went into the two-mile underground highway, including thirty separate topics, and hundreds of original photos and renderings. Rather than a fast read, the book is the type that will linger on the living room table for readers to continue viewing over time.
A Seattle native, Catherine Bassetti grew up in the eastern foothills, overlooking the city and Puget Sound. Her career began in Madrid, Spain, focusing on commercial work and photojournalism for fifteen years. Returning to the Northwest, she opened her business for corporate, public and private clientele. Documenting the tunnel was, in a small way, her own contribution to the city where her family has roots in its early urban growth and development. Catherine’s connection to West Seattle stems from her maternal grandparents, Joe and Marjorie Wilson, who built one of the first homes on Fauntleroy Ave., and her aunt, Jane MacGowan, who was a lifelong resident nearby.
For detailed information on the book and Catherine’s work, visit www.thesupertunnel.com
If you’re tired of online presentations, this month’s Words, Writers, Southwest Stories event has an in-person option. Here’s how to see it this Thursday:
Southwest Seattle Historical Society Presents Words, Writers, Southwest Stories: STEP, STEP, JUMP: Transforming Trauma to Triumph from the 46th Floor
Thursday, March 9, 2023 6 pm
Zoom and In Person
Annabel Quintero’s book “STEP, STEP, JUMP: Transforming Trauma to Triumph from the 46th Floor” is an in-depth, first-person account of escaping the 46th floor of the Tower One of the World Trade Center on 9/11, but it is not only a story of that day.
This book is a fascinating examination of the American-Immigrant experience, a study of spirituality in a secular world, a look at divine intervention, and an exploration of empathy against the backdrop of the financial and societal forces that shape the globe. A rich source of inspiration for others who want to drive radical positive change in their own lives.
Quintero, a West Seattle author and resident, is a Speaking coach, DEI strategist, and is a Husky who holds a Master’s in Education Policy & Organizational Leadership. She is inviting the community to in-depth discussion – read the book or listen now to the audiobook beforehand.
The presentation will be via Zoom and in person at the Log House Museum (3003 61stAve SW in West Seattle).
Thursday, March 9 2023 at 6 pm
Space is limited at the museum, requiring an advance reservation.
Register online at loghousemuseum.org
West Seattle author Ari B. Cofer is publishing a new collection of poetry and prose, “Unfold,” on Tuesday (February 7th). Her book is described as “a poetic, aching, and hopeful retelling of realizations made while on the journey to healing from both loss of love and loss of self. Through poetry and short essays, ‘Unfold’ shows that true growth comes from being unafraid to face what’s hidden inside, to be vulnerable, and to be unashamed of what we find when we finally open up.” Cofer shares more about it here. Her previous book, also a collection of poetry and prose, is last year’s “Paper Girl and the Knives That Made Her.” Her new book is available through Central Avenue Publishing, and you are also invited to the “Unfold” launch event – it’s happening next Friday (February 10th) at Elliott Bay Book Company on Capitol Hill, starting at 7 pm.
They call themselves the Silent Book Club – but they’re a roaring success. Last month almost 200 readers gathered in five West Seattle locations on Silent Book Club night – just to sit and read for an hour, followed by an optional chat time if you want to. “The ideal introvert happy hour” is how organizers describe it. Tomorrow’s the next Silent Book Club West Seattle night, and this time they’re meeting in six locations:
The Nook (2206 California SW)
Otter on the Rocks (4210 SW Admiral Way)
Good Society Brewing (California/Lander)
Easy Street Records (California/Alaska)
C & P Coffee (5612 California SW)
Beveridge Place Pub (6413 California SW)
As noted in our calendar listing, you can show up as early as 7, read from 7:30 to 8:30, then chat if you feel like it (or keep reading).
On a soggy day like today, in a usually damp city like ours, it may be hard to imagine a world without water. But that’s what West Seattle author Susan Whiting Kemp did for her new novel “The Climate Machine.” Pre-orders are being accepted now for the e-book, officially publishing February 4th. Her announcement says the movel is about “a botched effort to combat climate change.” Here’s the synopsis:
No one seems to know why the waters are vanishing from the Northwestern United States. In the greater Seattle area — an area of over three million people — crime and chaos reign as society collapses.
Marella Wells, a young employee at a worldwide chemical company, thinks she may have discovered what is happening to the water. But there is no way to alert authorities and no time to spare.
With her mentor-boss and a displaced college student, Marella travels through the depleted regions of the Pacific Ocean to stop the run-away Climate Machine.
Along the way, the small band of unlikely warriors must battle for survival through unprecedented droughts, storms, and fires. To make matters worse, a violent religious doomsday cult is at their heels. If Marella and her companions fail in their mission, all life on Earth will perish.
This is the author’s first novel; she is one of three short-story writers who contributed to “We Grew Tales,” published in paperback and e-book formats. Options for “The Climate Machine” pre-orders can be found here and here.
You’ve seen their glow all around the city – neon signs past and present. Many have backstories. You’ll get to see and hear some of them during the first “Words, Writers, & Southwest Stories” presentation of 2023 – online on January 12th. Here’s the announcement:
Join us for a colorful presentation of “Words, Writers, & Southwest Stories” as Matt Hucke, photographer and bestselling author, shares the brightest sights in the area from his new book, “Seattle Neon: Signs of the Emerald City.”
Sponsored by the Southwest Seattle Historical Society, this first-of-the-year event will be available, the second Thursday of the new year, on January 12th, 2023, at 6:00 PM via Zoom.
Author and photographer Matt Hucke is drawn to disappearing and endangered historic places and artifacts, some of them hiding in plain sight. His first book, Graveyards of Chicago (with Ursula Bielski), explored the history and personalities behind (and beneath) Chicago’s best cemetery monuments. Now in Seattle, he’s brought this same idea to a newer form of historic art: vintage neon signs.
Registration is required. Registered participants will be emailed a link to the presentation on the date of the event.
Please register for this event by CLICKING HERE.
Now that it’s Thursday, the Mariners‘ next playoff game is just hours away (12:37 pm our time at Houston). And we have two related notes:
NEW FERRY NAMES: Washington State Ferries says it’s temporarily renaming all the boats in its fleet for as long as the M’s are in the playoffs, as directed by this proclamation. The new names are mostly M’s players. The two currently on the Fauntleroy-Vashon-Southworth run, for example, M/V Sealth and M/V Kittitas, are temporarily M/V Robbie Ray and M/V Mitch Haniger. See the full list here.
BOOKSTORE DEAL: Also for as long as the M’s remain in the playoffs, West Seattle independent bookstore Paper Boat Booksellers (6040 California SW) is offering a deal – buy one hardcover book and get another of equal/lesser value for 30 percent off. In-store only; hardcovers only. And no, the books don’t have to be baseball-related!
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Like to read? Like to eat pie? There’s one place to be this Wednesday night, when the trio of writers who long produced the WordsWest Literary Series “re-reunite” to celebrate the newest books by two of them.
Katy E. Ellis is launching her first full-length prose-poetry novel “Home Water, Home Land.” Susan Rich recently published “Gallery of Postcards and Maps: New and Selected Poems,” her fifth poetry collection. They’ll be joined Wednesday by their longtime WordsWest collaborator Harold Taw, who’s currently co-writing a “steampunk musical.” The event starts at 7 pm Wednesday (September 28th) at WordsWest’s longtime hub for happenings, C & P Coffee (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor).
That’s where we sat down with Ellis and Rich recently to talk about their books and the challenges of being a writer at this moment in time:
Not watching the Seahawks-Broncos game? Here’s an option – award-winning West Seattle authors Lyanda Lynn Haupt (seated) and Donna Sandstrom are reading and signing their books at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) right now, until about 8:30 pm. It’s in celebration of both having been chosen as finalists for this year’s Washington State Book Awards, as noted in the event announcement. This is the first of three author events in West Seattle this week, as previewed here.
You have four chances to celebrate local authors and booksellers in the next six days! In case you haven’t seen these already in the WSB West Seattle Event Calendar:
PAPER BOAT BOOKSELLERS ANNIVERSARY WEEKEND: Tomorrow and Sunday, the independent bookstore at 6040 California SW celebrates three years in business. On Saturday (open 10 am-6 pm), Paper Boat is having a sidewalk sale; on Sunday (open 11 am-5 pm), they’re celebrating with treats and drinks. Both days, you get 10% off your purchase (excluding gift cards and sale items).
BOOK AWARDS FINALISTS @ C & P: As noted here last month, West Seattle authors Lyanda Lynn Haupt and Donna Sandstrom have books on the finalist list for this year’s Washington State Book Awards. Monday (September 12th) they’ll both be at C & P Coffee Company (5612 California SW; WSB sponsor) to read from their acclaimed books (“Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit” by Haupt and “Orca Rescue! The true story of an orphaned orca named Springer” by Sandstrom), 6-8 pm. They’ll also be signing their books, which you can buy from Paper Boat while at the event.
‘AT HOME ON AN UNRULY PLANET’ AUTHOR @ C & P: The next night – Tuesday (September 13th) – West Seattle journalist and author Madeline Ostrander will be at C & P Coffee for a conversation about her new book “At Home on an Unruly Planet” with KNKX environment reporter Bellamy Pailthorp, 5:30-7 pm. (We featured Ostrander and her book in this recent story.)
‘RUN WITH IT’ AUTHOR @ WEST SEATTLE RUNNER: We’ve reported on Joe Drake, a local marathon runner living with Parkinson’s. He’s also now an author, and at 6 pm Thursday (September 15th) he’ll be at West Seattle Runner (2743 California SW; WSB sponsor) for a reading and signing of his book “Run With It: A True Story of Parkinson’s, Marathons, the Pandemic, and Love.” (He’ll be just back from his Blue Ridge Relay adventure by then.)
This year’s list of finalists for the Washington State Book Awards is out, and we recognize two West Seattle authors on the list. Lyanda Lynn Haupt is a finalist in Creative Nonfiction for “Rooted: Life at the Crossroads of Science, Nature, and Spirit,” which the author described to us last year as “a book about interconnection, healing, and creating a life of reciprocity with all beings.” She is a two-time WSBA winner already. Also making the finalist list, Donna Sandstrom – founder of The Whale Trail – in the Books for Young Readers category, for “Orca Rescue: The True Story of an Orphaned Orca Named Springer” (illustrated by Sarah Burwash). See the full list of finalists in all the categories here; winners – one per category – will be announced September 13th.
By Tracy Record
West Seattle Blog editor
Madeline Ostrander wants you to know her newly published first book is not a work of “doom.”
If the subject of climate change makes you uncomfortable, that might be an important distinction.
Ostrander, a longtime science journalist, says “At Home on an Unruly Planet” is the result of about a decade of work – particularly the past three years, since she signed a contract for it. Now it’s in bookstores and online (as audio), and she’ll be talking about it at an event downtown tomorrow night (Friday, August 5). More on that later. First, about the book.
The second word in the title, “home,” is key. (Hers is on Pigeon Point, where she sets this scene: “In the distance, the groaning undersong of the highway and the port nearby and its sounds, a train whistle, metal shipping containers cracking loudly against one another in the distance, the moan of a cargo boat, the roar of a jet plane above.”) In her book, Ostrander tells the story of four communities facing change because of the climate crisis – again, not in the “impending doom” sense, but in what they’re doing, how they’re reacting, how they’re talking about it.
One of those communities – Richmond, California, in the San Francisco Bay Area – is seen in the context of conversations about how to evolve from being a community built around an oil refinery. Talking to environmental-justice activists there gave her the idea for the book. The other three communities span the country from Alaska to Florida. The sense of “home” she addresses isn’t simply about geography, but about the way you feel when and where you’re at home. – and the way you feel when things change, things out of your control. It’s addressed in “At Home on an Unruly Planet” as “solastalgia,” which Ostrander observes is evoked by this: “Even if we stay, we experience a kind of homesickness because (home) changes … (it) helps to name this kind of feeling. That can be really powerful, (such as) collective anger, like the BLM movement, struggle and loss and anger …. if people come together and talk about it.”
She hopes that she’s helping people talk about climate change in a fresh way. “The way it’s often talked about is not that empowering,” including “when we talk about, ‘what can you do’,” too often it’s just “push back against politicians.” Or else potential action is described at the “very micro-individual level,” recycle one more can, burn one less gallon of gas. “That’s still not very empowering” – it doesn’t get to the question of “how do we protect the places that we care about?” That’s something you can address on a neighborhood level, she says. “It just seemed much more real to me, a much more useful way of talking about climate change. It’s being talked about as this big global existential crisis – which it is – but talking about it in this way helps people feel” less hopeless.
That also brings inspiration for others. “Sometimes I feel like what I see in small communities (is that) the whole discussion isn’t so siloed off … that’s kind of powerful.” Big cities – ours included – have more money for adaptation; smaller communities have harder choices to make. “You can see it in the book when I compare St. Augustine, Florida … with centuries of history … they’re going to be more impacted … to Miami (where they have) a budget to lift streets.”
A different crisis presented a challenge after Ostrander got the contract to finish and publish her book: The pandemic. She had gone to Alaska in fall of 2019, but in 2020 and 2021, travel was not always an option. Ostrander said she managed to arrange a few trips “when it was possible to take enough safety precautions.” The featured community she mentions the most is St. Augustine, Florida, where “lessons from the past (frame its) longterm future … we need to think about that and not always look away.”
History is referenced elsewhere in her book, even the century-long history of her Pigeon Point home. The prologue and epilogue of “At Home on an Unruly Planet” reference her own home. She notes toward the end of the book, “And while many of the problems we face are global, some of the most imaginative, powerful, passionate solutions come from home.”
Ostrander doesn’t have any promotional events scheduled in West Seattle yet, but says she’s working on it. Meantime, if you happen to be – or can get to – downtown tomorrow, her book launch/signing event is at 7 pm, outdoors at The Collective (400 Dexter Ave. N.) with KUOW’s John Ryan, presented by the Northwest Science Writers Association. She also has an event 7 pm August 12 at Brick & Mortar Books in Redmond, in conversation with former broadcast meteorologist Jeff Renner.
Besides looking for the book at your favorite local bookstore, it’s also available online as audio – go here. If you want to read an excerpt first, here’s one published by The Atlantic, and another published by High Country News.
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? email@example.com
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.