DOWNLOAD OUR CURRENT MONTHLY NEWSLETTER: Our monthly newsletter and Facebook posts will keep you updated on what’s new on the shelves and customer happenings. View Newsletter September 22
Coming Soon, the 11th Biennial Poetry Festival!
Thurs-Sun, October 6-9, Skagit River Poetry Festival, all over town! Poets visit our schools, read their work, hold instructive sessions, and join together in Maple Hall for memorable presentations. Learn more and purchase tickets at skagitriverpoetry.org. Make reservations early. The town will be overflowing!
Seaport Books Online Ordering is Up and Running
We are now an active partner of bookshop.org, a website to support Indie bookstores which enables customers to order books online and give a percentage to us. Distributors ship the books directly to you. This gives us an online presence which will be handy for those living outside of our area or those who prefer to order online. You’ll find us here. Thank you, as always, for your continued support!
We’re super jazzed to be included in the ‘Best of Skagit Valley’ list by Erin Benzakein. Globally recognized as one of the nation’s leading “farmer-florists”- Erin is truly inspiring and her books are beautifully done. We carry all of them. 😉Check out her website and other must visit recommendations.
Delighted to be featured in a travel blog by Jaunty Everywhere! Check out some great tips for visiting La Conner and our beautiful Skagit Valley.
PAST EVENTS Held at Seaport Books:
Thursday, June 23, 4:30 PM, The Pacific Crest Trail – Mount Vernon resident, Howard Shapiro, author and editor of Crossing Paths: A Pacific Crest Trailside Reader, has walked his talk. He will entertain you with the triumphs, terrors, and tales of this 2,650 mile hike from Canada to Mexico. He will sign books and answer questions.
Right outside our door in Gilkey Square!
Thursday, May 26, 4:00 PM, New Books by Local Authors – We have invited all of our local authors to gather in Gilkey Square with a table and their books. All sales will be paid directly to the authors. Come browse to your heart’s content. Bring a picnic! There’s no ending time so stay as long as you like.
Table-Top Tree Auction Benefits Library
Seaport Books is participating in the Friends of the La Conner Library Tiny Trees Silent Auction from Monday, Nov. 15 through Sunday, Nov. 21st. Come see these little beauties throughout town, make a winning bid and your holiday decorating is done!
Thursday, September 23 at 4:30 pm. Author Cate Shultz will discuss Soul Primer: Building Blocks of the Soul. Her book is a work of art as well as providing wisdom and helpful tips for living a fulfilling life. Come learn how this book will enhance your day-to- day, one week at a time. She has other books and programs to tell you about as well.
August 26 at 4:30 pm. We welcome home author Cheryle Shutt Coapstick who spent her youth here in La Conner. Her lovely book features her mother and family history in Sitka, Alaska. Mama’s Mama #1: Alaska’s Firy, Tough Times, Tougher People. Cheryle now lives in Mount Vernon and will discuss her book and what inspired her to write it. Her book will make an excellent Book Group discussion.
July 22 at 4:30 pm. We focus on children’s books with two local authors, Barbara Davis-Pyles is the author of three picture books, and Tara Ellis Meyers has several series books for ages 8 to 12. This is an ideal program for a family audience or anyone who has ever thought of writing as part of their life. Both authors have inspiring stories to share.
June 24 at 4:30 pm. Our own Claire Swedberg launches her new book The Medic, a World War II historical account of the experiences of La Conner resident Henry Chamberlain. Now in his 90s, Henry will also be on hand to accept your thanks and congratulations for this fine new history.
May 27 at 4:30 pm, The Right to Vote presented by local author Nicola Pearson and a theatrical group that re-enacts the words and actions of the suffragettes who worked tirelessly from 1848 until 1920 to give women the right to vote in America. Enjoy the period costumes and hear their emotional words. The Right to Vote is still an ongoing battle for many Americans today!
MEET THE AUTHOR April 22 at 4:30 pm, Jack Hartt and Maribeth Crandell. Jack is a retired Washington State Park Ranger with 40 years of experience. His book, Exploring Deception Pass, is the best book ever written on this popular destination state park. Two Hands and a Shovel relates the history of the CCC workers who built this park virtually by hand. Hiking Close to Home, co-authored with Maribeth, will enlarge your hiking options in the very best, well informed, manner.
Come meet Jack and Maribeth and ask them all the hard questions you please!
MEET THE AUTHOR – Thurs March 25, 2021 at 4:30. You are invited to a front row seat outdoors in Gilkey Square to meet Stewart Riley, a courageous man and a good writer. Learn about this adventure, ask him questions and enjoy the complete story in his new book Helena Star which he will autograph for you. It is ‘True Crime’ right here on our doorstep. Wear a mask and keep a distance, but please come and welcome Stewart Riley to La Conner!
Wednesday, March 4, 2020 at 11:00 am. MEET THE AUTHOR – Meet local author Naomi Wark. Naomi’s novel, Wildflowers in Winter: Aging with Alzheimer’s, is filled with new beginnings, new love, new family definitions, and experiences. It is a compassionate and interesting view of one family’s endurance and flexibility. Come meet Naomi Wark at Seaport Books.
MEET THE AUTHOR – Thursday, February 20, 4:30 pm. Meet author Cate Schultz who was born and raised in Stanwood and now lives in Shelter Bay. Her book, Soul Primer: Building Blocks of the Soul, is accessible, important and revolutionary.
MEET THE AUTHOR Thursday, January 16, 4:30 pm. Author Iona Whishaw. Her Lane Winslow series of six Pacific Northwest mysteries are a delightful addition to this most popular genre. Set in a small town in British Columbia her first novel, A Killer in King’s Cove, is reminiscent of the Maisie Dobbs stories. It is even better since it deals with the effects of WW II and is right here in our neighborhood. Come meet Iona as we welcome her to Seaport Books. Of course, we have her books in stock.
Thursday, December 5, 5:00-6:30 pm. Community Tree Lighting and Santa’s arrival. This traditional event includes caroling, the mayor’s arrival and the lighting of the large fir tree in Gilkey Square. Santa arrives on the historic white fire engine and listens to the many children lined up to talk to him. Everyone enjoys some warm cider and the decorated cookies provided by La Conner High School students. Seaport Books has a lovely decorated tree in their shop window and welcomes shoppers for as long as they care to linger. It is what our small town has done for many years.
Saturday, December 7, 6:00-7:30. Lighted Boat Parade on Swinomish Channel. Gilkey Square is the ideal viewing platform as well as any place on the Channel Passage walkway. Sponsored by local yacht clubs, the competition is fierce to be selected as the best decorated boat this year. This gala event is another good reason for visitors to come to La Conner for a bit of fun. Seaport Books will remain open until 8:00 pm.
We are happy to be a part of the annual Art’s Alive! celebration in La Conner. This fun four day event includes activities throughout the town showcasing our wonderful Skagit Valley artists.We will have author, Claire Swedberg, at our store to read excerpts from her book, In the Valley of Mystic Light, on Saturday from 4:00 – 5:30.
Event runs Friday, November 8 through Monday, November 11. Visit the Arts Alive! 2019 website for details on all the festivities.
MEET THE AUTHOR. Thursday, October 17, 4:30 PM. Meet author Mike Rostron. Mike has written a chilling mystery set in the misty fjords of Southeast Alaska. The title is Cape Decision: Revenge and Remorse in the Alaskan Wilderness. Mike has spent twenty-five years in Alaska and uses every bit of the natural setting to spin a fine yarn that readers from all areas will enjoy. Come meet Mike, an author, playwright, musician, and sailor, who is hard at work on his next Conrad Slocum mystery novel.
MEET THE AUTHOR. Thursday, September 19, 4:30 PM. Meet author Eric Finke. Eric lives in Bellingham, is a chemical engineer who worked for the federal government for 35 years, and has now turned to writing fiction. At least we hope it is fiction. His first novel, The Sweet Bounty, is a mystery which explores the ramifications of poisoning our earth and the communities such actions may impact. Fiction or fact? Come meet Eric and ask your questions!
Thursday, July 18, 2019, 4:30 PM. A Community Climate Conversation. Meet our new neighbor, Jamie Joy a Climate Reality Leader, who brings us a global perspective on climate change. Jamie seeks to gather local talent to inspire meaningful actions and real solutions. She will discuss Ecosystem Restoration Camps and other promising initiatives. Bring your questions, your curiosity, and leave inspired for action.
MEET THE AUTHOR – Thursday, May 16, 4:30 PM. Candace Wellman, the author of Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast through Cross-Cultural Marriages, now has a second history to tell us about. Interwoven Lives: Indigenous Mothers of Salish Coast Communities published in March by WSU Press and is every bit as informative and revealing as her first book. In this volume she tells us of four more Native American women who impacted our culture and history including Fort Bellingham Commander George W. Pickett’s wife. Candace has more interesting stories to share with us.
Friday, April 26, All Day! YAY! We’re heading into our THIRD YEAR! Come into Seaport Books and enjoy Marion Melville’s fine homemade cookies as we celebrate our Second Birthday. We are happy to be here and would like to thank you for your support.
Thursday, April 18, 4:30 PM. A Fireside Chat about the history of tulips in our valley and the historic La Conner Tulip Show with Janna Gage. Beginning in 1947 the La Conner Civic Garden Club ladies set up a massive floral display in the high school gym. It was open only one weekend but thousands of visitors came to town. Traffic was gridlocked on our narrow country roads and the entire valley was covered in tulips. Come join the discussion and learn how it all got started.
MEET THE AUTHOR – Thursday, March 21, 4:30 PM. Mary Trimble lives on Camano Island and has written six books to date. Her work ranges from non-fiction accounts of time in the Peace Corps and cruising the South Pacific with husband, Bruce, to contemporary novels for adults and younger readers. She has also written over 400 magazine and newspaper articles and keeps a weekly blog of interesting reads on her website: marytrimblebooks.com. In addition to all of this, Mary is a gregarious and interesting person to meet in any social context. You will enjoy every moment you spend with her!
MEET THE AUTHOR – February 21, 4:30 PM. Shelter Bay resident, Doug Vandegraft, presents his non-fiction Guide to the Notorious Bars of Alaska. As a career US Fish and Wildlife employee Doug traveled all over Alaska and became intrigued with its history and the number of memorable bars he discovered. If you are a former resident of Alaska, or going on a trip this summer, or just have an interest in Alaska, come meet Doug and hear the stories behind the stories of this interesting look at Alaskan history.
MEET THE AUTHOR – January 17, 4:30 pm. Skagit County author, Nicola Pearson, launches a new novel, The Gift. This book is about animal care and caring animals and the magic that happens when the two intersect. Nicola will be accompanied by Dr. Timothy O’Rourke, a small animal veterinarian, who asked Nicola to write such a book. We welcome your dog if you wish to bring one to this event.
MEET THE AUTHOR – October 18, Thursday, 4:30. Come welcome author, Catherine Johnson who lives on Vashon Island. She has a farm there and a busy, active, productive life – but it hasn’t come easily. In her book, Finding Mercy in This World, she tells her story and explains her journey inside and out. We all have mountains to climb, moments and experiences to handle, traumas to overcome. How do we do that and learn to live a whole life? One way is to share another’s experience, in person or in print, or both. We have the memoir on our shelves and are eager to share this wonderful read.
October 7, Sunday afternoon, Maple Hall. WOW! Sy Montgomery is coming to La Conner! Seaport Books is honored to be the bookseller at this outstanding event brought here through the efforts of Joy Neil, Director, La Conner Regional Library, the Anacortes Library, the La Conner Library Foundation, and Skagit Reads. Sy Montgomery’s Soul of an Octopus, has set records for its bestseller status, charm, and for its broadening of the boundaries of consciousness. She has written twenty books of non-fiction and has received lifetime achievement awards. We will bring you more details of her visit as they become available. Meantime, mark your calendar and read our review of Soul of an Octopus on our Staff Picks page.
MEET THE AUTHOR – September 20, Thursday, 4:30. You may have noticed several beautiful stone bookends in our store. The artist who made them, Gary McWilliams, is also the author of three books, Wanderlusting, The Anchor and the Pick, and A Different Window. Each book focuses on a time in his life and the stones, fossils, and experiences he found there. Gary is an excellent student of life and has stories of all types to share. Each stone has a story, as does each author, particularly Gary McWilliams. Come enjoy a rocking good time.
MEET THE AUTHOR – August 16, Thursday, 4:30. Homicide: The View from Inside the Yellow Tape, is one of our best selling books. It is written by retired Seattle police officer, and current employee of the Washington State Attorney General’s office, Cloyd Steiger. His investigative skills have been referenced in several true crime books and broadcasts. Cloyd Steiger is our guest at this rare author event. Don’t miss hearing his stories and what led up to his writing this riveting book.
MEET THE AUTHOR – July 19, Thursday, 4:30. Rosalind Olson Spitzer of Custer has written an historical novel titled Anna’s Home which features her great-grandparents, Rev. G. A. Anderson and his wife Anna. Rev. Anderson was the first minister at the Swedish Lutheran Church on Pleasant Ridge where they lived from 1903-1916. Rosalind will also bring old photographs to show us. Join us for this intimate and insightful look at the life of early settlers.
MEET THE AUTHOR – June 21, Thursday, 4:30 – Mount Rainier’s Historic Inns and Lodges. Authors, Sonja and Jeff Anderson, visit to talk about how they came to write this informative and interesting book and why they chose the “Images of America” format. They’ll also be signing copies. We look forward to welcoming this Seattle couple and learning what they discovered while exploring this beloved region. All ages welcome.
June 23, Saturday luncheon, 11:30-2:30 – A NOVEL AFFAIR at Maple Hall. Guest speaker, Nancy Pearl, has been called “America’s Librarian” and can always be counted on to entertain and enchant audiences. It’s a live auction, a silent auction and a full meal, all to raise funds for the La Conner Library Foundation and our new library. We need to meet those matching funds that the state has so generously offered! Admission is just $30 for the whole deal. Tickets may be purchased at the La Conner Library. Click here for more information. See you there!
LA CONNER LIVE SUMMER CONCERT SERIES is back! One of our favorite things about being located in the historic Seaport Landing building is having Gilkey Square right outside our door. The perfect place to gather for a picnic, enjoy a view of the channel AND hear great local music all summer long. Check the La Conner Chamber of Commerce website for the summer line up of bands playing every Sunday afternoon (1 to 4) FREE.
May 17-20 – Skagit River Poetry Festival
This year we celebrate the 10th Biennial Festival held in La Conner. It is a delight to rub elbows with over 25 nationally and internationally known poets and to attend their readings and workshops. Visit their website now and visit with the poets when they arrive! We will be featuring their books on our shelves throughout the festival.
MEET THE AUTHOR May 10 – 4:30 pm.
Author and speaker Mary Lou Sanelli presents a program especially for mothers and daughters. Mary Lou has published several books and has inspired people across our country with her delightful and informative programs. We are proud to have this prominent author at Seaport Books.
May 11-13 – Second Annual Guitar Festival – We plan to have guitar music
in our store and welcome all visitors as they enjoy this interesting event and
make their way to Seaport Books.
April 26 – HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, SEAPORT BOOKS!
Yay! We made it! Celebrate our 1 YEAR Anniversary with special treats and fun at the store all day. Click on the Event Calendar link above for more details.
April 12 – 1:00 pm – Life is sweet in Skagit Valley during tulip blossom time!
Herman Lanier of Lanier’s Fine Candies, presents a FREE CANDY TASTING of his handmade nut brittles. Seaport Books regularly provides two of his delicious varieties of candy but this is an opportunity to taste all ten, free, and open to all!
March 22 – 4:30 pm – Celebrate National Women’s History Month with us as we honor four local authors. On our panel of honorees are Candace Wellman, Peace Weavers, Woodinville author, Kelli Estes, The Girl Who Wrote in Silk, and Gail Noble-Sanderson of Mount Vernon who wrote The Lavender House in Meuse and The Passage Home to Meuse. This evening’s moderator is Claire Swedberg, In the Valley of Mystic Light, who is also working on a historical novel. Many aspects of telling history through the eyes and voices of female characters will be explored and discussed. As always, come ask questions of all of our distinguished guests. Download our event flyer: Women’s History Month
“EVENING READ ALOUD” – 2nd Thursdays – 6:30 pm
Many readers also enjoy listening to a well written story or essay. You are invited to read anything you like aloud or just be among the listeners. This group will meet every month on the second Thursday through March 8.
March 6 – 7:30 pm – La Conner Library Foundation event at the Lincoln Theatre with Seattle based author Jamie Ford. Seaport Books will be on hand with his books for sale including his latest novel, Love and Other Consolation Prizes. GET YOUR TICKETS!
March 8 – 6:30 pm – Our final Reading Aloud meeting for the season. The daffodils are out. The tulips are on their way. All is well in our corner of the world. Thank you for being part of our Reading Aloud group. We will resume in October.
February 15 – 6:00 pm – Twilight Zone Appreciation Night and Viewing Party.
Share your memories of this unforgettable television series created by Rod Serling. Learn the history of the show and up-to-date news. Enjoy free snacks and view episodes from three time periods. See a unique collectibles display and a variety of Twilight Zone books. We guarantee an entertaining evening complete with excellent door prizes – all brought to you by Seaport Books and our astute staff member Matt May.
MEET THE AUTHOR – January 18 – 4:30 pm
Janet Oakley, who you will remember from the History Museum where she was Education Director, introduces her third historical novel, Mist-Chi-Mas: A Novel of Captivity, set in the Pacific Northwest. Her writing has been recognized with a 2013 Bellingham Mayor’s Arts Award, the 2013 Chanticleer Grand Prize, the 2014 First Place Chaucer Award, the 2015 WILLA Silver Award and 2016 Goethe Award for historical fiction. When not writing, she demonstrates 19th century folkways.
CANDY TASTING! – December 30 – 1:00 pm
Herman Lanier of Lanier’s Fine Candies in Seattle, returns for another free Candy Tasting of the many varieties of fine candies he makes. We have his delicious peanut brittle for sale at the store but he’ll be tasting other chocolate and nut candies as well. YUM!!
MEET THE AUTHOR – December 21 – 4:30 pm
La Conner author, Wayne Johnston, who taught at La Conner High School, reads from his most recent novel, North Fork, and meets and greets his many young fans who are home from college for the holidays. Come share the good vibrations with a delightful man.
MEET THE AUTHOR – December 7 – 4:30 to 6:30 pm
Local author, Christen Mattix, joins us and reads from her newest book, Skein: The Heartbreaks and Triumphs of a Long Distance Knitter. Told with honesty and humor, Skein is an intimate glimpse into Christen’s psyche and a sparkling account of a neighborhood with its joys and sorrows.
MEET THE AUTHOR – November 16 – 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Local author, Claire Swedberg comes to Seaport Books to share her latest non-fiction, In The Valley of Mystic Light. (Art lovers will know immediately she’s talking about the one and only Skagit Valley.) Meet Claire and learn about the remarkable spirit that weaves together writers, artists and the earth that inspires us all.
SKAGIT RIVER POETRY FOUNDATION EVENT – November 18 – 6:00 pm – Maple Hall
On the agenda are Tom Robbins, Sam Green, Poet Laureate Todd Marshall, as well as other popular writers. Seaport Books will be on hand to provide copies of books by the featured poets.
ARTS ALIVE SPECIAL!
Saturday, Nov 4 – 1:00-3:00 pm: Carole Schaefer, children’s book author, discusses the challenges of writing and publishing for children and reads from her books. Carole’s most recent book is A Children’s Garden from Sasquatch Press. This is an ideal opportunity for children to meet an author.
Sunday, Nov 5 – 1:00-4:00 pm: Marion Melville of Stonelace Jewelry demonstrates making eyeglass holders from semi-precious stones, such as lapis, amethyst, turquoise, jasper, labradorite, agate, and citrine.
PLUS: SAVE 20% ON SELECT ORIGINAL WALL ART Nov 3, 4 & 5!
HEALING CHILDHOOD TRAUMA – October 19 – 4:30 pm
Marcia and Phil La Bossiere, grandparents of the little girl in their book, Where is My Daddy Now?, teach us all a method for dealing with childhood trauma. This lovely story is told in both English and Spanish and is understood by young children. PTSD is with us all at some point in our lives. Here is real help in an award winning book from a lovely local couple.
CANDY TASTING! – October 7 – 1:00 pm
Herman Lanier of Lanier’s Fine Candies in Seattle, visits Seaport Books to host a free Candy Tasting of the many varieties of fine candies he makes. We have his delicious peanut brittle for sale at the store but he’ll be tasting other chocolate and nut candies as well. YUM!!
BANNED BOOK WEEK EVENT – September 30 – 1:00 pm
Ruger, the Search and Rescue dog, is coming to Seaport Books to sniff out the banned books in our collection! At 1:00 pm he’ll begin his search in Gilkey Square and then come into the store and see what he can find there. Ruger’s handler, Bob Calkins, has books about search dogs for all ages that he will talk about and sign with Ruger. Bring the family, meet Ruger and enjoy the fun!
SPECIAL PROGRAM – SEPTEMBER 14TH – 4:30 pm
Cave Art Pressof Anacortes presentsPathway to Publishing, a program about publishing local books. They have published a variety of books and maps includingCigarette Diaries, Exploring the Salish Sea, Beyond Cape Horn, and most recently, Common Dragonflies and Damselflies of the Pacific Coast.
MEET THE AUTHOR – AUGUST 17th – 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Join us at Seaport Books to meet researcher and historian, Candace Wellman and learn about the fascinating hidden lives documented in her recently published, Peace Weavers: Uniting the Salish Coast Through Cross-Cultural Marriages.
BOOK LAUNCH – JULY 27th – 4:30 to 6:00 pm
Acclaimed local author and award winning playwright, Nicola Pearson, will be at Seaport Books to introduce her fourth novel, Borrowed Ground. The book is a sequel to her highly rated first novel, How to Make A Pot in 14 Easy Lessons.
Our thanks to everyone who made this day so much fun! Can’t wait til next year. SATURDAY APRIL 29 – Join us for a day of fun happenings at our new store as we celebrate this annual tradition. In just 4 years, IBD has grown to include over 400 participating bookstores across the country. That’s a LOT of community minded individuals. Come be a part of the festivities. Special discounts and surprises. PLUS every customer gets a free goodie bag and a chance to win a $25 gift certificate.
Check back again for upcoming events including readings, workshops and art exhibits.
Have an event you’d like to host at Seaport Books? Contact us to discuss the possibilities. Look forward to seeing you soon!