The Spokesman-Review launched Northwest Passages a year ago as a book club and community forum with a mission to get people reading – and talking. If anything, we underestimated the passion of our readers, as crowds packed venues to hear writers including Craig Johnson, creator of the Longmire mysteries; Jess Walter, the best-selling Spokane novelist; and Tara Westover, author of a celebrated memoir about growing up off the grid in Idaho.
Rick Steves has been guiding Americans through Europe for so many years, it’s like an old friend leading us along the ancient cobbled streets. His book, “Travel as a Political Act” urges Americans to go beyond tourist attractions and dig deeper in their travels.
Sometimes it can be hard to tell where author Craig Johnson ends and his signature creation, Sheriff Walt Longmire, begins. Both live in small-town, rural Wyoming, drive battered old trucks, wear big cowboy hats and are known for their decency and generosity of spirit.
A river defines a city like nothing else. Think of London and the Thames, Paris and the Seine, New York and the Hudson. Spokane, of course, has the Spokane River, which is getting its due in a collection, “The Spokane River.”
Tara Westover was raised without a birth certificate, medical care or a formal education. “Educated,” the gripping story of Westover’s self-invention after a brutally hard upbringing, is winning acclaim across the literary world, riding high on nonfiction best-seller lists.