October 2016 News, Reviews, and Events


The Washington Center for the Book at The Seattle Public Library announces the finalists in eight categories for the 2016 Washington State Book Awards for outstanding books published by Washington authors in 2015. Congratulations to our finalists Ana Maria Spagna (Reclaimers; Biography/Memoir) and Ruth Kirk (Ozette; History/General Nonfiction). The winners in each category will be announced at the awards ceremony on October 8, 2016. Emcee for the evening is Frances McCue, twice a UW Press finalist for a WSBA (in 2011 for The Car That Brought You Here Still Runs and in 2015 for Mary Randlett Portraits). The awards celebration is free and open to the public.

University of Washington Press shares in the remembrance of Sarah Reichard, who died suddenly in her sleep on August 29, 2016. Dr. Reichard directed the University of Washington Botanic Gardens, was coeditor of Invasive Species of the Pacific Northwest, and advised UW Press on other projects. Read obituaries and details on the October 13th memorial celebration in the Seattle Times and Offshoots (blog of the UW School of Environmental and Forest Sciences).

Reviews and Interviews

Michael Upchurch reviews Looking for Betty MacDonald by Paula Becker in the Seattle Times: “The Egg and I, The Plague and I and Anybody Can Do Anything practically cavort off the page. How did [Betty MacDonald] do it? Seattle author Paula Becker has some answers in her compact, finely crafted biography.”

Lory Widmer Hess reviews the biography on her Emerald City Book Review blog: “I was delighted to explore MacDonald’s life and work through Paula Becker’s thoughtful, painstakingly researched biography, and even more thrilled to see that University of Washington Press is going to be reprinting three hard-to-find later works by the bestselling author of The Egg and I: Anybody Can Do Anything, The Plague and I, and Onions in the Stew. . . . If you’re not a MacDonald enthusiast, you will be soon. . . . We can be grateful that Becker has preserved it for us in words, and has given us valuable insights into her world, her books, her family, and the writer herself.”

Barbara McMichael reviews in the Kitsap Sun: “The pages zing with unexpected detail and nuggets of lacerating wit. . . If you’re Looking for Betty MacDonald, you need look no further.” Paula’s other book (The Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition) and the MacDonald reissues (The Plague and I, Anybody Can Do Anything, and Onions in the Stew) also get mentions.

Steve Donoghue reviews the books at Open Letters Monthly: “A smart and immensely readable portrait, taking readers through MacDonald’s life. . . . Becker has combed every interview and profile, and her book veritably glows with MacDonald’s recaptured wit. . . . Thanks to Paula Becker’s exhaustive research and the compassionate, standard-setting book she’s shaped out of it, 21st century readers can meet a much fuller and more fascinating version of that complex, challenging, laughing woman. Readers of her books will still want to thank her, but thanks to Looking for Betty MacDonald, they’ll know her much better.” The Plague and I (“improbably funny. . . equally remarkable”) and Anybody Can Do Anything (“again improbably funny”) also get mentions.

Bainbridge Community Broadcasting’s “What’s Up Bainbridge” host Wendy Wallace speaks with Paula Becker about the biography and reissues.

Temple Grove by Scott Elliott and No-No Boy by John Okada are included in a Book Riot list of 100 must-read books about the National Parks by Ashley Bowen-Murphy.

Bill Radke speaks with Tom Reese and Eric Wagner about Once and Future River on KUOW’s “The Record.”

"Building the Golden Gate Bridge" by Harvey SchwartzLaura Paull interviews Building the Golden Gate Bridge and Solidarity Stories author Harvey Schwartz for a “Talking with. . .” Q&A in J Weekly. Longshore & Shipping News feature an excerpt from the interview on their blog. Carl Nolte interviews the author and excerpts from Building the Golden Gate Bridge in a Labor Day feature in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Northwest Public Radio’s “Walking Washington’s History” series around Judy Bentley’s Walking Washington’s History features essays by listeners Clare DeLong Tuminez and her mother Mary DeLong walking Olympia; Fred W. Bateman on walking Vancouver; and Cat Gipe-Stewart and John Steward on walking Yakima.

bulosan-americaGabriel Cardinoza features Carlos Bulosan and America Is in the Heart in a “hometown snapshot” article in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

DeepestRoots_AlcalaKasee Bailey includes Kathleen Alcalá’s University Book Store event (October 19 at 7:30 p.m.) about The Deepest Roots in a fall book events for foodies round-up in Seattle magazine.

New Books

The Deepest Roots: Finding Food and Community on a Pacific Northwest Island
By Kathleen Alcalá

This charming and timely book combines memoir, historical records, and powerful interviews to use Bainbridge Island as a case study for thinking about our relationships with the land and each other. Readers meet Japanese Americans imprisoned during World War II, and learn the unique histories of the blended Filipino and Native American community, the fishing practices of the descendants of Croatian immigrants, and Suquamish elders who share the food legacy of the island itself.

Read a Q&A with the author.

Watch the book trailer:
Up Here: The North at the Center of the World
Edited by Julie Decker and Kirsten J. Anderson
Published with Anchorage Museum

Up Here connects art, science, and environment at a time when unprecedented climate change requires unprecedented innovation. The contributors explore the ideas of “wilderness” and “remoteness,” the lessons to be learned from cold places and indigenous knowledge, and how the Arctic is a signal for global change.

The Tao of Raven: An Alaska Native Memoir
By Ernestine Hayes

Using the story of Raven and the Box of Daylight (and relating it to Sun Tzu’s Art of War) to deepen her narration and reflection, Tlingit elder Hayes expresses an ongoing frustration and anger at the obstacles and prejudices still facing Alaska Natives in their own land, but also recounts her own story of attending and completing college in her fifties and becoming a professor and a writer. This powerful follow-up to her previous memoir Blonde Indian asks: what happens when an Alaska Native returns home?

The City Is More Than Human: An Animal History of Seattle
By Frederick L. Brown
Foreword by Paul S. Sutter

Animals have played a vital role in shaping the city from its founding amid existing indigenous towns in the mid-nineteenth century to the livestock-friendly town of the late nineteenth century to the pet-friendly, livestock-averse modern city. Frederick Brown explores the dynamic, troubled relationship humans have with animals. In so doing he challenges us to acknowledge the role of animals of all sorts in the making and remaking of cities.

Distributed for Seattle Audubon Society

Birding in Seattle and King County: Site Guide and Annotated List
By Eugene S. Hunn

Amphibians of the Pacific Northwest
Edited by Lawrence L. C. Jones, William P. Leonard, and Deanna H. Olson

Reptiles of Washington and Oregon
Edited by Robert M. Storm and William P. Leonard

Distributed for LM Publishers

A Passion for the Arctic: The Hans van Berkel Collection
Edited by Cunera Buijs and Bernadette Driscoll Engelstad

In 2015, the Dutch collector Hans van Berkel donated his Inuit (and Chukchi) art and handicraft collection to the National Museum of Ethnology, now National Museum of World Cultures. Starting in the early 1970s, Mr. van Berkel built up the most important private Inuit-related collection in the Netherlands. He became inspired by the lives and work of Inuit hunters and carvers because of close contact with Leo Mol, a renowned sculptor in Winnipeg, Canada.

Distributed for Lynx House Press

Unfinished Figures
By Dave Nielsen

Dave Nielsen’s award winning first collection radiates empathy and good will while, at the same time, offering startling, image-based examinations of the physical world that dive lightning-like into the spiritual and back again.




October 1 at 2 p.m., Tom Reese and Eric Wagner, Once and Future River, King County Library System-Burien Library, Burien, WA

October 2 at 3 p.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Eagle Harbor Books, Bainbridge Island, WA

October 5 at 7 p.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Ravenna Third Place Books

October 6 at 4 p.m., Linda Rabben, Sanctuary and Asylum, Freedom of Movement – A Human Right?, University of Washington, CMU 120 (Latin American and Caribbean Studies, UW Center for Human Rights, Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies, and UW Graduate School)

October 6 at 7 p.m., Frederick L. Brown, The City is More Than Human, University Book Store

October 8 from 10:30 a.m. – noon, David B. Williams, Too High and Too Steep, Field Trip Society, Urban Geology “Walk and Talk” series: Stories in Stone, rain or shine (Registration required; starting at $40)

October 8 at 7 p.m., 2016 Washington State Book Awards Celebration with Ruth Kirk (Ozette; History/General Nonfiction) and Ana Maria Spagna (Reclaimers; Biography/Memoir), Seattle Public Library, Central Library

October 9 at 2 p.m., David B. Williams, Too High and Too Steep, Eastside Heritage Center

October 10 at 7 p.m., Linda Rabben, Sanctuary and Asylum, Faith Justice Meeting on Immigration, St. Joseph Parish (732 18th Ave. East), Seattle, WA

October 13 at 7:30 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, Eagle Harbor Book Co., Bainbridge Island, WA

October 13 at 6:30 p.m., Margaret Willson, Seawomen of Iceland, Writers Workshoppe/Imprint Books, Port Townsend, WA

October 14 at 3:30 p.m., Andrew M. Watsky, Chigusa and the Art of Tea, University of Washington, sponsored by UW Japan Studies Program in partnership with Seattle Art Museum Gardner Center for Asian Art and Ideas, Savery Hall (SAV) 130

October 15 at 9:30-11:00 a.m., Andrew M. Watsky, Chigusa and the Art of Tea, Seattle Asian Art Museum (Saturday University series)

October 18 at 7 p.m., Linda Rabben, Sanctuary and Asylum, Barnes & Noble at The Catholic University of America, Washington, DC

October 19 at 6:30 p.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, MOHAI History Café (sponsored by MOHAI, HistoryLink.org, KCTS-9),

October 19 at 4:30 p.m., Alister Inglis, The Drunken Man’s Talk, Simmons College, 300 Fenway, Boston, MA

October 19 at 7 p.m., David B. Williams, Too High and Too Steep, King County Library System-Skyway, Seattle, WA (Registration requested.)

October 19 at 7:30 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, University Book Store

October 20 at 7 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, Third Place Books-Lake Forest Park

October 20 from 5-8 p.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Edmonds Bookshop (Third Thursday Artwalk; signing and presentation at 7 p.m.)

October 21 from 10:30 a.m. – noon, David B. Williams, Too High and Too Steep, Field Trip Society, Urban Geology “Walk and Talk” series, The International District Regrades, rain or shine (Registration required; starting at $40)

October 21 at noon, Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Women’s Century Club (Dearborn House, 1117 Minor Avenue, with light luncheon provided; free to members, $10 donation suggested for luncheon)

October 21 from 5 – 9 p.m. / October 22 from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Philip Hu and Rhiannon Paget, Conflicts of Interest (Published with Saint Louis Art Museum), Saint Louis Art Museum Symposium, St. Louis, MO ($45 General admission/$35 Museum members/$15 students. Registration required.)

October 22 at 11 a.m., Paula Becker, Looking for Betty MacDonald, Lynnwood Senior Center (19000 44th Ave W, Lynnwood; sponsored by Alderwood Manor Heritage Association)

October 22 at 11:30 a.m., Linda Rabben, Sanctuary and Asylum, Riverside Church, Sojourners Retreat (411 MLK, 490 Riverside Drive, New York, NY, 10027)

October 23 at 10:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., Linda Rabben, Sanctuary and Asylum, Reformed Church of Highland Park (19-21 S. 2nd Ave.), Highland Park, NJ

October 24 at 6:30 p.m., Tom Reese and Eric Wagner, Once and Future River, King County Library System-Des Moines Library, Des Moines, WA

October 24 at 7 p.m., Moon-Ho Jung, The Rising Tide of Color, King County Library System—Renton Library, Renton, WA

October 25 at 7:30 p.m., Tom Reese, Eric Wagner, and James Rasmussen, Once and Future River, Seward Park Audubon Center’s Urban Naturalist Series at The Royal Room (5000 Rainier Ave S., Seattle, WA). Free but advanced sale tickets required.

October 27 at 7 p.m., Kathleen Alcalá, The Deepest Roots, Hispanic Roundtable of South Sound at South Puget Sound Community College, Latino Youth Summit, Olympia, WA

October 27 at 4:30 p.m, Linda Rabben, Sanctuary and Asylum, Stockton University, Criminal Justice Program, Galloway, NJ

October 28 at 2 p.m., Linda Rabben, Sanctuary and Asylum, Temple University (107 Gladfelter Hall), Philadelphia, PA

October 28 from 7 – 10 p.m., Philip Hu and Rhiannon Paget, Conflicts of Interest (Published with Saint Louis Art Museum), SLAM Underground, St. Louis, MO

October 28, time TBD, Linda Rabben, Sanctuary and Asylum, Bindlestiff Books, Philadelphia, PA

October 28, time TBD, Ernestine Hayes, The Tao of Raven, Alaska Humanities Forum, Anchorage, AK

October 29, time TBD, Ernestine Hayes, The Tao of Raven, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, AK