After spending more than 20 years teaching, first full-time and then substituting, Daniel and Patty Sparks have spent their first few years of retirement on a new project very close to their hearts. “We don't expect to make any money,” Patty Sparks said. “We're just trying to help kids help each other.”
Last week, the copyright on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby” expired, so anyone can now use its characters and particulars to fashion their own version, much as Jean Rhys did in “Wide Sargasso Sea,” based on Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre.” That’s why we just saw the release of “Nick,” by Michael Farris Smith.
Local author Patricia Simpson has been writing paranormal romance for decades. She found success along the traditional publication route early on in her career. But when her writing deadlines started interfering with other areas of her life, Simpson decided to try her luck with independent publishing.
During the seemingly endless hours of coronavirus isolation, many are pursuing new educational experiences – trying out a musical instrument or finally picking up that brush to learn the art of painting. There is something for those with more scientific yearnings and who regret not taking a few courses in college to learn about the physical world.
In his debut novel, “The Prophets,” Robert Jones Jr. ambitiously reimagines a past in the antebellum American South and pre-colonial Africa in which Black queer lives are foregrounded. At the center of “The Prophets” is a love story between two enslaved men, Samuel and Isaiah.
With a year of highlighting local authors behind me, the time seemed right to look back and review the list. In no particular order, here are several of my favorites, plus one I’m looking forward to in the new year. All books listed are – or will be – available for purchase at Auntie’s Bookstore.
Few bestselling books are as big as Stephen King's magnum opus, "The Stand": 823 pages abridged, 1,152 unabridged. However, the latest "Stand" miniseries, which airs on CBS All Access, isn't a blockbuster on the level of what is being streamed on Netflix, Amazon or HBO Max.
Before getting caught up with 2021’s book releases, here are some of the highlights from 2020 that you might have missed. “Latitudes of Longing,” by Shubhangi Swarup – The weaving of interconnected stories between a range of remarkable characters that captures the magic of the world and its inhabitants.
The first memory that came to Dennis Held, as he began taking notes for an essay that he would title “What I’ll Miss,” emerged from his youth: Riding shotgun while a friend drove down a highway, reaching out into the slipstream.
After decades of teaching English, retirement finally offered local author Maury Barr the chance to turn his mind fully back to his own writing. This year, with even more time on his hands than usual, Barr released the first two installments of his Al Gerard detective series, “A Glimpse of Gold” and “Staredown.”
The expectations for the books Michelle and Barack Obama have just signed a deal to write are stratospherically high – considering the often dull literary tradition of books written by former White House occupants. Typically, such memoirs sell well despite being terribly polite and discreet. They're intended as an attempt at cementing one's legacy, not dishing dirt.
In this year of unspeakable loss, it feels uncouth to recommend the story of a loss that is literally unspeakable. But hear me out because Michel Faber’s new novel is a strange delight – particularly if you have a child around to share it with. There has always been an element of innocence in Faber’s work, though it has often felt overwhelmed by horror and suffering.
John Le Carré, who died Dec. 12, was one of those rare writers who transcends his genre. His books were about spies, especially British ones. But his best novels were full-blown masterworks that explored enduring themes like betrayal, illusion and (his favorite) late middle age.
Peter Lewis published his debut children’s book, “The Longest, Darkest Night,” only a few months ago, but work on the project began nearly a decade ago following a rare astronomical event. Illustrated by acclaimed local artist Leslie LePere, “The Longest, Darkest Night” follows a group of forest animals as they experience winter solstice in the wild.
Ness Elementary School fifth-grader Alexi Kearsley finds herself in the company of people much older than she is – the community of published authors. Kearsley, who turned 11 just last week, wrote the book when she was 9 and then spent months trying to find a publisher.
Many people enjoy book clubs, but gathering together to discuss the latest book isn’t much of an option these days. In response to current pandemic restrictions, the Spokane County Library District is preparing to launch a virtual book club with an online discussion forum.
During this holiday season, shoppers can add extra-special meaning to their purchases by not only selecting gifts with thought for loved ones, but also by buying items from local businesses and with Spokane in mind. Here is a list of Spokane-centric holiday gift ideas by The Spokesman-Review's Features staff. If you want to add your gift-giving ideas to our list, keep reading.
If you’re on the hunt for a new paperback, as a holiday gift or just for yourself, here are six fresh ones to suit a multitude of tastes. And remember: Your local independent bookstore very much needs your business this year. If you don’t want to shop in person, check your favorite bookstore’s website or give a call; they’ll have plenty of options to get books to you.
Although best-known for “The Woman Who” series and other western novels, author Carol Crigger frequently ventures into science fiction, mystery and detective dramas. But, regardless of genre, Crigger makes a habit of setting her stories close to home here in the Inland Northwest.
Nothing encapsulates holiday romance more than cozying up indoors with the dormant, outside world in view of a frosty window. Add a steaming beverage, an enchanting book and a fireplace to that, and you’re well on your way to conjuring some holiday spirit. If you need a suggestion for an inspiring Christmastime read, here are a few to try.
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Specialized procedure: Seattle patient travels to Spokane for robotic heart surgery at Sacred Heart
When a lifelong heart condition became worse, Donny Jones, who lives near Seattle, knew by last June that he’d be heading to Spokane.