Book of the Month: Why Not Me?

Each month we choose a Book of the Month. Something that one or more of our team loves and think you’ll love too. When I suggested Why Not Me? by the hilarious Mindy Kaling, Nick, our Creative Director said, “Great book! I just finished listening to it.” So we knew we had a winner.

Full of self-deprecating humor about modern life, this book is as relatable as it is side splittingly funny. Just watch the book trailer below, in which Mindy talks herself into a corner.

If you could use more laughs like this, why not pick up Why Not Me?


Make sure to follow us on Twitter, where we’re always suggesting great books like Why Not Me?

Book of the Month: Holidays on Ice

There’s a lot to love about this time of year. Holidays, friends, family, hopefully some time off of work. But there’s a lot to hate. Stress, bad weather.

That’s why we picked Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris as our Book of the Month. Sedaris’s acerbic wit cuts through each essay, while still keeping the underlying sweetness of the season in tact.

Just listen to this clip from the essays “SantaLand Diaries”, a classic in which Sedaris recalls a former job as an elf.

Hooked yet? You’re in luck. We’ve marked down Holidays on Ice 25% all month long.


Sign up for our newsletter to hear more about our Book of the Month picks.

Summer Listens

A good book, cold drink, and warm breeze are the perfect recipe for a summer day.

These audiobooks make the perfect companion for your sunny vacation spot. Whether you’re poolside or couch locked, these captivating novels will transport you to new places, experiences, and lives. The ultimate summer destination is the land of audiobooks and it’s right at your fingertips. So grab your sunscreen, settle into your lawn chair, and enjoy!


Prodigal Summer

Prodigal Summer

By Barbara Kingsolver

Acclaimed author Barbara Kingsolver’s novel Prodigal Summer is described as “a hymn to wildness that celebrates the prodigal spirit of human nature, and of nature itself.” Kingsolver weaves the story of three characters together with a love of nature. The novel captures the essence of summer, the importance of every living thing, and what binds us together as humans. Written in her signature beautiful style, Kingsolver has created a novel that will transport you to the wild country forests of southern Appalachia and the heart of humanity itself.  


Where’d You Go, Bernadette

By Maria Semple

Maria Semple’s novel Where’d You Go, Bernadette will leave you rolling on the floor laughing. When the quirky-yet-endearing Bernadette Fox goes missing, it is up to her daughter Bee to follow her trail of cryptic clues leading her literally to the ends of the earth. Semple’s humor shines with the help of narrator Kathleen Wilhoite who brings the characters to another level entirely. This novel is perfect entertainment for your summer downtime.


Ender's Game

Ender’s Game

By Orson Scott Card

Science fiction is one of the best genres for the summertime, transporting you to new worlds and lives unimaginable in this day and age. Ender’s Game is no exception. In Andrew “Ender” Wiggins’s world, the government breeds child geniuses to be military leaders as a defense against the hostile aliens attacking Earth. Ender is drafted into the rigorous orbiting Battle School for his military training and quickly rises to the top of his class. Ender’s battles, both internal and external, will entrap you in the dystopian world Orson Scott Card has created and with one of the best plot twists in literature, this novel definitely is a lifetime must read.


Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

By Rebecca Wells

A New York Times Bestseller, Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood is a Southern fiction staple to be read over and over again. Funny, outrageous, and wise, this novel captures the lives of four Southern women and their lifetime of friendship. Through these relationships, author Rebecca Wells explores the bonds of female friendship, the ups and downs of mother-daughter relationships, and the power of love and humor. Come fall in love with the Ya-Ya sisters in Wells’s clever and endearing novel.


Beautiful Ruins

By Jess Walter

Our featured Book of the Month, Beautiful Ruins is obviously a Libro favorite, but it’s also a perfect summer read. Partially set on the lovely Italian coast, you will fall in love with the idyllic Porto Vergogna and irresistible characters whose lives intertwine by happenstance. Let Jess Walter take you on a journey through the drama of old hollywood and the picturesque Porto Vergogna in his wonderfully entertaining novel.


Island of the Sequined Love Nun

Island of the Sequined Love Nun

By Christopher Moore

Take a crazy trip with Tucker Chase to The Island of the Sequined Love Nun. Tucker is a hopeless geek who makes a living piloting a cargo plane for Mary Jean Cosmetics Corporation—that is, until he crashes the pink plane and finds himself running for his life from Mary Jane’s henchmen. The only employment he can then find is a sketchy gig piloting on secret missions for an unscrupulous medical missionary in the South Pacific. Christopher Moore is the master of the outrageous and if the title didn’t say enough, get ready, because you’re in for a wild ride.


The-Shoemaker's-Wife

The Shoemaker’s Wife

By Adriana Trigiani

Travel through time with Ciro and Enza, two lovers who part and reunite over the course of their lives until the power of their love changes them forever. This novel is set in the majestic beauty of the Italian Alps at the turn of the 20th century. It will take you on a journey through the Italian countryside, America during the First World War and the star-crossed love of Ciro and Enza. This story, inspired by the author Adriana Trigiani’s own family history, will give you a beautiful and unique look into the lives of characters at the turn of the century.


Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls

By David Sedaris

David Sedaris’s newest book features a collection of essays, each one taking you on a journey that’s sure to make you laugh out loud. You’ll travel on a world tour, from experiences with French dentistry, to the Australian kookaburra, to the toilets of Beijing and eventually the wild country of North Carolina. Sedaris paints the world in a hilarious light as he recounts his absurd and ridiculous tales.


What have you been reading this summer? Let us know in the comments!

A Traveler’s Guide to Listening

The only drawback to being on the road for days at a time is the whole “keeping your sanity” thing.

Trust me, I know the deal. And I can honestly say that audiobooks will alleviate some of that highway-induced crazy. Yesterday we crafted a list of great books for traveling with children. Today we bring you books just for wandering adults.

Here are some humorous, educating, and inspiring titles that are particularly suited to your ramblin’ needs.


Big-Sur

Big Sur

By Jack Kerouac

Big Sur is an inspirational account of Jack Kerouac’s experience living in California while dealing with alcoholism, fame, and the realities of adulthood. This is the sort of narrative of strength and self-discovery that propels us all to our limits and provides hope in carrying on.


I-Am-Malala

I Am Malala

By Malala Yousafzai

I Am Malala details how the young Malala Yousafzai’s incredible fight for equality merited winning the Nobel Peace Prize and took her on a life-changing journey around the world. I Am Malala will teach you that you cannot be prepared for every bump in the road, but that you can learn to respond to life’s ups and downs with grace and courage.


Shantaram

Shantaram

by Gregory David Roberts

Shantaram is the unbelievable epic based on Gregory David Roberts’ own life story. It follows the life of Lin, a well-known convict, who escapes maximum security prison in Australia and makes it to India, going on to spend the next decade dealing in the Black Market and underground slums of Bombay. Roberts’ writing takes on life of its own, and not only will you find yourself immersed in the world he has created, but you will also become more willing to see the adventure in travel, even if it’s not as illegal or far from home.


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The-Happiness-Project

The Happiness Project

By Gretchen Rubin

As a part of her Happiness Project, Gretchen Rubin took a year to focus her energy on living each day to the fullest. Despite the seeming simplicity of her goal, Rubin’s challenge is very universally understood. As you listen to her story, you’ll start to think about what you could start doing in order to maximize your happiness. Who knows, maybe this road trip could be just the thing!


Me-Talk-Pretty-One-Day

Me Talk Pretty One Day

By David Sedaris

Me Talk Pretty One Day includes, among other things, the humorous narrative about the trials and tribulations of David Sedaris as he picks up everything, moves to France, and attempts to fit in there. Sedaris satirizes the stressful realities of travel, including language barriers and culture shocks, ultimately proving to be a comforting and humorous soundtrack to your own trip out of town.


Do you have any travel favorites you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments!

6 Children’s Books for Road Trips

When I glance across traffic into the windows of the minivan idling next to me, odds are the children’s heads bent over their screens.

Their parents have thrust them movies and mind-numbing games to capture their attention and give peace to the otherwise rambunctious group. In my family, whenever we were in the car for an extended period of time, my mother would pop in an audiobook that the whole family could enjoy. As soon as the voice began, the car fell silent, the only noise belonging to the narrator’s vibrant characters and voices. The audiobooks gave us the opportunity to participate in something as a family and also kept us munchkins entertained.

Whether you are headed to the cabin for the weekend, or embarking on an epic cross-country road trip to see the world’s biggest ball of yarn, these audiobooks will definitely keep the whole family engaged. Here are some of our staff’s favorite children’s audiobooks that are sure to captivate you and your little ones for hours on end.


Frog-and-Toad

Frog and Toad Audio Collection

By Arnold Lobel (Ages 3-5)

Generations of children love the award-winning stories of Frog and Toad. Their many adventures are sure to teach listeners of all ages a little something about love, friendship, and kindness. This audio collection includes all four Frog and Toad books and is read with wit and charm by their author Arnold Lobel.


Runny-Babbit

Runny Babbit

By Shel Silverstein (Ages 3-5)

From the legendary author of Where the Sidewalk Ends, A Light in the Attic, Falling Up, and The Giving Tree comes an unforgettable new character in children’s literature your children are bound to love. Follow Runny Babbit and his many friends who speak a topsy-turvy language all their own in Shel Silverstein’s latest book Runny Babbit. Laugh along with Runny and his mixed-up words, this is a children’s book sure to tickle everyone’s funny bone.


lion-the-witch-and-the-wardrobe

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

By C.S. Lewis (Ages 7 and up)

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the first novel in C.S. Lewis’s masterful Chronicles of Narnia. Dive into the magical world of Narnia with Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter on their journey to defeat the White Witch who has cast the land in an eternal winter. This epic adventure is a classic tale of good vs. evil and one that the whole family will love.


How-to-Train-Your-Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon

By Cressida Cowell (Ages 8 and up)

Introducing Hiccup Horrendous Haddock III, an unlikely hero who has a knack for adventure (or maybe misadventure) as he clumsily tries to win the approval of his Viking clan, the Tribe of the Hairy Hooligans. Discover where the story of How to Train Your Dragon began with the first instillment of this hilarious series. Loved by kids and parents alike, this book is sure to keep everyone laughing.


The-Cabinet-of-Wonders

The Cabinet of Wonders

By Marie Rutkoski (Ages 9 and up)

When the Prince of Bohemia commissions Petra’s father to build the finest astronomical clock, the Prince steals her father’s eyes, enhances them, and wears them as his own. It is up to Petra to reclaim her father’s eyes and in doing so, finds that people in the castle are not as they seem and everyone’s hiding something up their sleeve. Marie Rutkoski’s startling debut novel, about the risks we take to protect those we love, brims with magic, political intrigue, and heroism. This book will take your family on an amazing adventure they won’t  forget.


Walk-Two-Moons

Walk Two Moons

By Sharon Creech (Ages 10 and up)

In her Newbery award-winning novel, Sharon Creech intricately weaves together two tales, one funny, one bittersweet, to create a compelling, and utterly moving story of love, loss, and the complexity of human emotion. A heartwarming tale following the journey of a young girl as she rediscovers her past, and a family classic that any young teen would enjoy.


What’s your family listening to this summer? Let us know in the comments!

Indie Picks: July 2015

From the moment you enter Village Books in Bellingham, WA, you feel their love of books. They very carefully curate their selections, and understand the wants and needs of their community. They are such booklovers, that when co-owner Chuck Robinson recently set off on an epic cross-country bicycle journey, he specially rigged his helmet to listen to audiobooks. Unfortunately, his homemade system couldn’t beat out the roar of the wind whipping by, but he reports that he’s looking forward to listening to his selection of books from Libro.fm on his drive back. We’re excited to follow his journey, and even more excited that indie stores like Village Books are not just surviving, they are thriving.

So what better choice than Village Books to give us advice on what books to listen to this month? Here’s what booksellers Hayden, Hana, and Claire recommend.


village-books-cover
Village Books

Bellingham, WA

Warm-Bodies

Warm Bodies

By Isaac Marion

This is my favorite book! Marion has crafted a blatantly hopeful examination of what it is to be human and how we connect with one another using the most gruesome setting and narrator. Our undead hero R is dissatisfied with his existence as a zombie until he makes the unusual decision to save Julie and the two form an unlikely bond. Through this bond R explores love, family, friendship, the struggle to survive, and all the little things that makes life worth living. A funny, poetic, and powerful testament to storytelling.

Hayden


Bossypants

Bossypants

By Tina Fey

Tina Fey is just the sort of woman you want to run off into the sunset with (and by that I mean sit on the couch in sweatpants, eating cheese puffs, and watching Friends reruns with). Her hilarity coupled with her honestly about growing up, being successful, and trying to be an adult makes for a humorous page turner you’ll want to read again.

Hayden


An-Object-of-Beauty

An Object of Beauty

By Steve Martin

One of the things that I love about reading Steve Martin’s books is that in my head, as I’m reading, I hear his voice telling the story. The other, is how incredibly smart the writing is. This one tackles the world of high art, complete with color reproductions throughout. It’s a great story, very imaginative and smoothly written. How could it not be? It’s Steve Martin, after all.

Claire


Glory-OBriens-History-of-the-Future

Glory O’Brien’s History of the Future

By A. S. King

What if you could see snippets of the future? If you started piecing together horrific events that have yet to happen? Events like women’s rights being obliterated, or another civil war. All of this Glory sees when she makes eye contact with someone. She sees their descendents, and puts together a horrific history of the future. But is the future fixed? Or does she even have a place in it at all?

Hana


Bloomability

Bloomability

By Sharon Creech

Oh my goodness, I think every preteen should read at least one book by Sharon Creech. She has a wonderful way of portraying growing up and how hard it can be simply to figure out who you are, let alone how to be comfortable with that knowledge. Her book Bloomability is particularly close to my heart. It explores the importance of travel, of seeing and experiencing beyond your own borders, and taking advantage of all the “bloomabilities” (or possibilities, if you will) life offers you, no matter how disguised they may be. Another Creech favorite of mine is titled Ruby Holler.

Hana


Do you have a favorite local indie bookstore? Let us know in the comments.

How Would You Describe Where’d You Go Bernadette?

Maria Semple discovers the importance in phrasing in her book trailer for Where’d You Go Bernadette. Semple travels to Seattle’s literary hubs in search of the perfect description for her quirky and comical novel set in the Emerald City itself.


How would you describe Where’d You Go Bernadette? Let us know in the comments!

Narrator Kathleen Wilhoite on the Best and Worst Parts of Making an Audiobook

It’s strange to call someone on the phone—someone you’ve never met—after listening to them speak for ten hours. It’s even stranger when that person turns out to be as wry as the main character in the book they narrated.

I spoke with Kathleen Wilhoite, a singer and actress who played Liz on Gilmore Girls and Chloe on ER among other roles, about narrating Where’d You Go, Bernadette, how she met Maria Semple, and whether or not she’ll narrate any more audiobooks.

[Judy Oldfield]: What’s it like to record an audiobook? Can you tell us about the process?

[Kathleen Wilhoite]: I’ll tell you about a regular day. I have an elliptical trainer in my bedroom. So I would wake up, go on the elliptical, and read what I was going to read that day, to get an idea of the characters that I wanted to do and how I was going to do it. And get an overall spec of the arc of each chapter—study it a little bit. Then I’d finish my workout, shower, and drive to work with traffic, which I never do, because I’m an actress. I rarely drive with the flow of regular working-people traffic. So that was jarring. I can’t believe people drive in that kind of traffic every single day. That was weird.

I’d show up to work at nine o’clock and we’d start. I’d get a cup of coffee and start reading until lunchtime. Time flew because I was so focused. So much of my brain—the left side and the right side—was engaged. Maria is a great writer, and her book is great and engaging. Thank God it wasn’t dry or boring.

All of the sudden I had hunger pains in my stomach and BOOM it’s lunch. The time just flew. We’d have an hour of lunch and they always had delicious food.

The people I worked with were all young too, pipsqueaks, probably younger than thirty which was alarming, and they were really smart and great. And super talented, the engineer was talented, the director was talented, fantastic. The atmosphere had great vibes, and was super creative.

Then after lunch we would tackle the next half of the day. It was the same type of thing. Focused. I couldn’t boggle the sentence; I had to be crystal clear. We had to create, like I said, the arcs, the characters, and the scenes. It was really great fun, engaging work.

Then, I would get in my car and drive with the flow of traffic—working-people, bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way home. I cannot believe people work like this! That they drive in traffic like this, day in and day out. It was so bizarre to be a part of the regular world. I’m an actress and a writer. I’m rarely with regular, working-people traffic. I will avoid that traffic at all costs, even auditions. If they want an audition at nine o’clock, I’m like, “Yeah . . . can’t do it, I’ll be there at eleven.”

So then when I’d get home, I would make dinner for my kids because they’d say, “We’re hungry!” I’d been working all day and my brain is fried but you’ve got to feed your kids! It gave me tremendous respect for working people because that is a lot. And then by the time my husband got home (he’s a producer for television), he’d say “Hey Baby,” and I’d say “Goodnight!” I was out. And I did that for two and a half weeks.

[JO] Wow, two-and-a-half weeks.

[KW] But what was so cool about that process is how much my brain was engaged. I just don’t utilize my brain like that—that consistently—for that long of a period of time. Just think of how you focus when you read, right? How engaged you are. So if you’re reading out loud it’s absolutely not boring, but is totally exhausting.

[JO]: And you have to do so many different character voices, and get the nuances for each character right.

[KW]: I’ve been reading stories to my kids for years and that’s fun for me. I know it doesn’t feel like there’s a difference between acting and reading material but there’s a real subtle difference and I think it’s important to make a distinction. Because Maria Semple wrote her book to be read. It’s more like reading stories to your kids.

[JO]: Was it ever hard not to laugh?

[KW]: Oh we cracked up. We cracked up with tears in our eyes laughing when I had to do a New Zealand accent. My New Zealand accent is so bad, it was hilarious. The closest thing I can get is Australia, eh? And every time I would miss a line, I’d look in the booth and the kids were like, “Ahhhahahaha!” I was like, “You’re laughing at me because I’m sucking so hard!” We had a lot of fun.

[JO]: When it came time to sing, did you have to stop and warm up your voice before you sang the few lines of “Holy Night”?

[KW]: “No, I’m a singer and performer. I’ve made a couple records, and I sing at a nightclub. I felt like that part of the book had a lot of momentum. And I just blasted right through there. There was no stopping in that section.

It was about being in the moment. I told the production team before we did it, “You guys know that I actually sing? I made a couple records. So when I get to this point, I’m just going to freakin’ sing.”

At that point I felt like we were in a really special flow place. It just felt natural and then the singing came in. The pacing in Where’d You Go, Bernadette is really good. Maria Semple comes from television and her stuff is very easy to visualize. The rhythm of the words and the cadence of the sentences she chose fit nicely with me. That’s why I think she wanted me to read it. It was a good fit.

[JO]: So she asked you personally to narrate the audiobook?

[KW]: Yeah, I’ve never narrated a book before. In fact, if you hear of anything let me know, because I think I was pretty darn good at it.

[JO]: I keep seeing bloggers say that this is a book that is even better on audio. I was really surprised to see that this was your first and only audiobook. Do you think you’ll do any more?

[KW]: Yeah, in fact I’m debating—you know I’ve written a couple books myself.

I’m debating whether or not I should do an audiobook for my own novels. I have two of them. Well, I’m working on them. That’s where I met Maria—in writing class.

The answer is, if you hear of anything, I could use the dough. And I thought I was sufficient at it, and this makes me feel fantastic that you’re saying this about people enjoying my reading. I appreciate that very much.

[JO]: Yes, I’ve heard so many people say that. One last question: what’s your favorite moment in the book?

[KW]: When Bee finally sees her mom. It’s so beautiful. It’s such a relief. When I was reading it out loud I was crying. I thought that was beautiful.

I really like the characters. And I love my friend Maria, so it was nice to read her stuff. It was a very good experience for me. All together very positive, so I’m very grateful to her for choosing me.

To find out more about Kathleen Wilhoite, visit kathleenwilhoite.com


It sounds like Kathleen is up for more work in audiobooks. What book do you think would be a perfect fit for her?

9 Things That Bernadette Has Right About Seattle

Bernadette Fox, the central character in Maria Semple’s hilarious Where’d You Go, Bernadette, sulks in her house, becoming more and more reclusive, rather than facing reality. Bernadette’s hate for her adopted city is so great, that she hires an online personal assistant so she doesn’t have to leave her house.

And this city she hates? Seattle. And Seattle happens to be my city too. I went to the University of Washington (Go Dawgs!), and have lived in and around Seattle my whole life. Now, you might think that I’d rush to defend my fair town, but you know what? There’s a lot that Bernadette’ got right about old Sea-Town.


Greetings from sunny Seattle, where women are ‘gals,’ people are ‘folks,’ a little bit is a ‘skosh,’ if you’re tired you’re ‘logy,’ if something is slightly off it’s ‘hinky,’ you can’t sit Indian-style but you can sit ‘crisscross applesauce,’ when the sun comes out it’s never called ‘sun’ but always ‘sunshine,’ boyfriends and girlfriends are ‘partners,’ nobody swears but someone occasionally might ‘drop the f-bomb,’ you’re allowed to cough but only into your elbow, and any request, reasonable or unreasonable, is met with ‘no worries.’ Have I mentioned how much I hate it here?”

I don’t know about skosh or logy, but teachers really do instruct kids to sit “crisscross applesauce” and my wife and I tell our daughters to cough into their elbows. I don’t want them sneezing into their palms and spreading their germs everywhere! It’s just common sense.


. . . this dreary upper lefthand corner or the Lower Forty-eight.”

I prefer “Lower Alaska” myself. Unlike the East Coast, in which major cities are a short train ride away, the closest big cities to Seattle are Vancouver, B.C. and Portland, OR—a three- or four-hour car ride away. Try driving down to San Francisco and it’ll take a good 12 hours. But I kind of like this. It means that it takes a special kind of person to commit to living here. We Seattleites tell people the weather here is terrible in order to dissuade them from moving (though this doesn’t seem to be working).


Everything else is Craftsman. Turn-of-the-century Craftsman, beautifully restored Craftsman, reinterpretation of Craftsman, needs-some-love Craftsman, modern take on Craftsman. Its like a hypnotist put everyone from Seattle into a collective trance. You are getting sleepy, when you wake up you will want to live only in a Craftsman house, the year won’t matter to you, all that will matter is that the walls will be thick, the windows tiny, the rooms dark, the ceilings low, and it will be poorly situated on the lot.”

Head to Queen Anne, where Bernadette lives, or anywhere north of Lake Union, and it’s true that you’ll see row after row of craftsman bungalows, mostly built in the 1920s (one of our team members admits hers was built in 1926). But Bernadette hasn’t left her house in years, let alone her neighborhood. If she had, she might notice that there’s actually a lot of other cool architecture going on. So I guess you can say I “kinda” agree on this one.


Why does every beggar have a pit bull?”

Bernadette rants about the number of homeless people who own dogs in Seattle. It might seem like something made up as a metaphor for the state of something or other, but no. It’s 100% true. I used to work in downtown Seattle right by Westlake Center, and I have seen countless homeless people with dogs. Seattle is crazy about dogs. We have dog sitters, dog walkers, dog bakeries, and dog shampoo specialists. About once a year someone tries to ban pit bulls from the city, but that will never happen. The dog lovers (who are pretty much everyone) will never stand for it.


I’ve created logos, websites, and other design work for a lot of private schools in and around Seattle. The way Semple satirizes their grading system and mentality, trying to encourage children rather than challenge them, is spot-on. And at the end of that long slog towards high-school graduation? Ivy league. Only the best for our unique little snowflakes! (Though UW is a pretty good choice, if I do say so myself).


Take five-way intersections. The first time Bernadette commented on the abundance of of five-way intersections in Seattle, it seemed perfectly relevant. I hadn’t noticed it myself, but indeed there were many intersections with an extra street jutting out, and which required you to wait through an extra traffic light cycle.”

Not only are five-way intersections (of which Seattle has many) annoying, but if you’re easily distracted like me, they’re dangerous. Once when I was about 18-years old, I got into an accident on one near the University of Washington campus. I decline to say just what distracted me, but you can probably guess (hint: it rhymes with whirls).


Blessing, and help yourself to some chard.”

Rain for nine months out of the year, and drier than Tucson the other three, PNW gardeners face a challenge. But measly problems such as weather or latitude don’t seem to stop anyone. What grows particularly well—in abundance, in fact—are leafy greens. So much so that nobody knows what to do with all of it, and they have to push it off on others. But hey, at least its organic. And to a true Seattleite, that’s all that matters.


I needed to talk to Bernadette about her blackberry bushes, which are growing down her hill, under my fence, and invading my garden. I was forced to hire a specialist who said Bernadette’s blackberries are going to destroy the foundation of my house.”

Added to the extreme weather patterns, gardeners face another challenge: blackberries. These beasts are prickly, fast-growing, tangled webs of destruction. Like zombies, they are next to impossible to kill, and they just come back. If you’re into urban foraging, they’re pretty tasty come September though!


People are born here, they grow up here, they go to the University of Washington, they work here. Nobody has any desire to leave. You ask them ‘What is it again that you love so much about Seattle?’ and they answer, ‘We have everything. The mountains and the water.’ This is their explanation, the mountains and the water.”

Bernadette gets sick of people saying that Seattle doesn’t need anything more than what it already has: mountains and water. But it’s true! Seattle is perfect because it is beautiful. Once again, it takes a special kind of person to live here.

Honestly, these were just a few of the things that Bernadette gets right. The list could go on and on, including Subarus, gray hair, Microsoft acronyms, bicycles, parking downtown, the coconut pie from Lola, Dale Chihuly, the Seattle Freeze, North Face, Cliff Mass, and more. But I’ll leave you to discover those gems on your own. I’m off to go spend some time outdoors. Because that’s what we do here.


Find more to love and hate about Seattle in Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette

Summer Sales for Summer Reading

Whether you’re going on a long run in the sun or a long road trip from coast to coast, whether you’re digging in the garden or prepping for a big family barbecue, audiobooks are a great companion for summer activities. To help you out, we discounted a few for the month of June. And don’t forget to check out our Book of the Month, Where’d You Go Bernadette.


Showtime

Showtime

By Jeff Pearlman

In Showtime, Pearlman relates the facts, figures, and behind-the-scenes accounts of one of the most-loved (and some might say the most-hated) teams ever: The 1980s L.A. Lakers. Great for those who closely followed the Lakers at the time as well as those who know them by reputation only.


Kill-Switch

Kill Switch

By Neal Baer & Jonathan Greene

Before writing Kill Switch, Baer and Greene produced the wildly popular television show Law & Order. In using a novel format, they are able to tell a longer, more involved story. Claire, a forensic psychiatrist, faces dangerous killers; one is locked up, but the other has been following her for some time.


The-Beautiful-Ashes

The Beautiful Ashes

By Jeaniene Frost

The things Ivy has always seen, the things she has always thought of as hallucinations, are real. When her sister is taken, she teams up with Adrian to find her. Adrian has secrets he’s keeping from Ivy, but they’ll have to face them eventually. But those secrets could lead to a war that would doom them all.


Brothers-Rivals-Victors

Brothers, Rivals, Victors

By Jonathan W. Jordan

In Brothers, Rivals, Victors Jordan tells the story of Generals Eisenhower, Patton, and Bradley, whose teamwork, friendship, and leadership led to victory in World War II. Jordan uses the Generals’ own accounts to tell this story as you’ve never heard it before.


Masters-of-the-Air

Masters of the Air

By Donald L. Miller

Masters of the Air is a long but engrossing nonfiction account of the American bomber boys in World War II. With the style and flair of a gifted storyteller, Miller recounts the real turbulence the bomber boys faced in and out of the air.


The-Mission-The-Men-and-Me

The Mission, the Men, and Me

By Pete Blaber

Pete Blaber has used his extensive military training both in and out of combat. In The Mission, the Men, and Me, he recounts stories of survival and teamwork from dangerous war zones to the everyday experiences of modern life.


Dan-Gets-a-Minivan

Dan Gets a Minivan

By Dan Zevin

Marriage, dog, kids, minivan . . . that’s the path that Dan Zevin finds himself on in his memoir Dan Gets a Minivan. His hilarious take on his own life makes for laugh-out-loud fun, and his ease creates a relatability that parents and nonparents alike can connect with.


The-Extraordinary-Dad

The Extraordinary Dad

By Made for Success

It’s often said that children don’t come with an instruction manual. But if you want to raise your children well, this is about as close as it gets. The Extraordinary Dad lays out easy steps for parental success.


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