With Thanksgiving to be more low-key than usual this year, it may just be the perfect holiday weekend to cozy up with a new read. With fewer people to share all the food-coma-inducing leftovers with, you might as well plan on staying put for awhile in your roomiest clothing, book in hand. Here are some reads fitting for the holiday.
Inspired by a project the Minneapolis Star had planned in 2013, the original idea for “Summer Stories” was to run a serialized novel in Sunday’s Today section of The Spokesman-Review. When several local authors started releasing short-story collections around the same time, Carolyn Lamberson, then the features editor, had another idea.
The manifold reboots of “Pride and Prejudice” practically require their own bookstore section these days, so when you pick up a rom-com with lead characters named Darcy and Elle, you might think you know what you’re in for in this book. But Alexandria Bellefleur’s queer romance “Written in the Stars” gives its inspo a mere wink.
Joyce Wilkens is primarily a visual artist specializing in painting and photography, but, in the last decade, she has gradually been integrating poetry into her creative arsenal. Outside a few high school classes on meter, Wilkens’ journey into the world of poetry began while she was compiling a series of anecdotes.
One of the important things that books do is provide windows and mirrors, said Sheri Boggs, youth collection development librarian at the Spokane County Library District. That means readers are able to see into other experiences and cultures in some books, while in others they see reflections of their lives.
Author Deborah Cuyle is an expert on paranormal history in the Pacific Northwest. Her local haunted histories include “Haunted Snohomish,” “Haunted Everett,” “Ghosts of Leavenworth & the Cascade Foothills,” “Ghosts of Coeur d’Alene and the Silver Valley” and, coming soon, "Haunted Spokane," among others.
In 2011, photographer and filmmaker Foster Huntington left his job in New York to live in a van. He began tagging Instagram posts of his new, mobile life with #vanlife. A movement was born. Today, #vanlife has more than 8 million posts. Every image is full of the deepest yearnings for freedom and independence.
When author V.S. Santoni joined Wattpad a few years ago, he was primarily a content consumer. But when the idea for his popular “Gay Wizard” series came to him in 2017, he knew it was time to start posting his own work. “(‘I’m a Gay Wizard’) was the first thing I ever posted, and it pretty much blew up immediately,” Santoni said.
Early in her book about Dolly Parton and how her music influenced generations, author Sarah Smarsh remembers taking her grandmother to see the iconic singer on tour in Kansas City. Smarsh recalls Parton’s showing her virtuosity both musically and as an entertainer during a rousing rendition of “Rocky Top.”
Novelist Jess Walter’s latest book was driven, in part, by the “horror of the inequality in income and wealth in America,” both now and when the story is set, he told the Northwest Passages Book Club Monday.
Book clubs, author events and the like have all gone virtual, but there’s one part of the literary community that always has been, lovingly nicknamed “BookTube.” This subset of YouTubers that discuss all things literature, from informative videos on classic literature to fresh reviews of the newest releases.
Local and No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Jess Walter had always dreamt of becoming a novelist, but journalism came to him first. He couldn’t have asked for a better detour, he said. “It was a great thing for me, to find that sense of curiosity and the deadline chops you get as a writer,” Walter said.
It’s a turbulent time, driven by a stark, ridged divide in wealth. Peaceful protests erupt in the street, disrupted by violent agitators and police brutality. Women struggle to be treated as equals. Those who feel oppressed by the selfishness of injustice want social change now.
Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Queen of memes. Giver of gifs. Inspirer of song. How did the gentlelady representing California, the most senior Black woman in the House, become a social media darling for millennials and beyond?
Spokane Community College’s Hagan Center for the Humanities will host a virtual visit with Washington State poet laureate Claudia Castro Luna on Wednesday. The visit is open to the public and will be livestreamed on SCC’s YouTube channel at 6:30 p.m.
For Jess Walter, his native Spokane inspired his latest novel, "The Cold Millions." New York, Hollywood and Italy were the scenes of some of Walter's prior novels, but the winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award in 2005 for "Citizen Vince" taps into his hometown for "The Cold Millions." The novel commences in 1909 in Peace Valley Park.
Writing novels is a lonely occupation. But Spokane, which lives up to its reputation as a literary hotbed, boasts a number of talented novelists. Some of the wordsmiths, such as Jess Walter and Chris Crutcher, are close friends. The latter, whose novels include "Loser's Bracket" and "Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes," is a vocal fan of Walter.
When you’re the younger brother of a New York Times bestselling author, you tend to get peppered with a lot of questions:
Who says you can't stay home? It's a modification of the Bon Jovi hit, but the bottom line is that Jess Walter has enjoyed a great deal of success as a writer without leaving his hometown of Spokane. Here's a few fun facts about the East Valley High School alumnus.
Spokane native, journalist and award-winning novelist Jess Walter is publishing his seventh novel this month: “The Cold Millions.” This is in addition to a 2013 collection of short stories and his first book, a 1995 retelling of the Ruby Ridge incident, which Walter covered for The Spokesman-Review.
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