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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Boling receives NW Book Award

Dan Webster

Former Spokesman-Review sportswriter Dave Boling’s novel “Guernica” was one of five books given a 2009 Pacific Northwest Book Award.

The annual awards by independent booksellers from Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Montana and Idaho honor the best books by regional authors published in 2008.

Boling, a sports columnist for the Tacoma News Tribune, wrote his epic novel in hotel rooms, in airports and on airplanes while covering the Seattle Seahawks and other sports teams.

“Guernica” tells the story of the Spanish Civil War, keying on the infamous 1937 bombing of the northern Republican stronghold.

According to the judges, Boling “has written the kind of rich, compelling and utterly unforgettable novel all too rarely attempted and even more rarely realized.”

Other winners are: “The Art of Racing in the Rain” by Seattle writer Garth Stein; “Selected Poems 1970-2005” by Portland poet Floyd Skloot; “American Buffalo” by Alaska nonfiction writer Steven Rinella; and “Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge 1867-1957” by Portland writer-editors John Laursen and Terry Toedtemeier.

Seattle-based Alexandra Day, creator of the popular “Good Dog, Carl” children’s-book series, earned a special lifetime achievement award.

You can read about the PNBA at

Hearing literature

If you haven’t yet started listening to John Keeble read from his story collection “Nocturnal America,” there’s still time.

Keeble’s readings are broadcast at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday on Spokane Public Radio, KPBX-FM, 91.1 on your radio dial.

Since we’re talking about short stories, you can still catch on without having lost too much. And anyway, according to KPBX engineer/producer Patrick Klausen, Keeble is looking for a deal to release the book in audio format.

You can read more about Keeble, a longtime member of Eastern Washington University’s creative-writing department, at

Life’s a real comic

John Waite, owner of Merlyn’s, the fantasy, sci-fi and games store at 19 W. Main Ave., says he’ll be carrying copies of “Amazing Spider-Man” No. 583, which pairs the webslinger with President-elect Barack Obama.

“We will get the majority of our order Wednesday, the day after his inauguration,” he says.

Also, the Nike shoe company shot an advertising spot at the store recently.

“Nike snowboarder Justin Bennee jumped off the roof of Merlyn’s, across the alley, over the fence, and landed in the parking lot opposite us,” Waite says. “This was all filmed from a ‘black helicopter’ hovering above.”

For photos of the ad shoot, go online at

To see the jump on video, go online at

Donations welcome

If you’ve already read those books you received as Christmas presents, then you may be wondering what to do with them next. Consider donating them to Spokane Public Library.

According to its January-February newsletter, in 2008 the library took in more than $41,000 worth of donated materials – and that doesn’t include the last two weeks of the year.

The library welcomes “gently used” donation of various types (books, CDs, DVDs). It will not accept textbooks, magazines, encyclopedias or “damaged materials” of any type.

For more information, call (509) 444-5307 or (509) 444-5321.

Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public.

Book talk

•Dark City Mystery Book Group (“Open and Shut,” by David Rosenfelt), 7 p.m. Monday, Auntie’s Bookstore, Main and Washington. Call (509) 838-0206.

•On Sacred Grounds Readers’ Club (“Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace … One School at a Time,” by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin), 1 p.m. Wednesday, On Sacred Grounds, 12212 E. Palouse Highway, Valleyford, Wash. Call (509) 747-6294.

•Inland NW Writers Guild, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

The reader board

•Laura Lee Mistycah, Ronnie Rennae Foster (“Got Ghosts? The Bizarre Tales and Unearthly Adventures of the Ghostbuster Gals”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

•LeAnne Hathaway (“A Faith Destroyed: One Woman’s Journey to Reclaim Her Faith and Her Life”), reading, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Auntie’s Bookstore.

Dan Webster can be reached at (509) 459-5483 or by e-mail at
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