Book Clubs & Choice Reads

At Seaport Books we believe everyone is entitled to their own likes and dislikes when it comes to authors. In other words, we don’t judge a reader by her/his cover. Here are a few of the diverse titles and genres picked by our team. We’ve also included local book club choices and titles suggested by our beloved customers. Happy Reading!


The Second Monday Book Group will meet in the open air of Gilkey Square at 10 AM on Monday, October 12 to discuss The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. Please wear a mask and prepare to distance yourself.

Cate Schultz author of Soul Primer: Building Blocks of the Soul is now offering a discussion group on Zoom that meets every Tuesday evening from 5:45 to 6:30. Give her a call at 425-870-6335 or email her at to sign in and take part.


The Salmon Sisters: Feasting, Fishing and Living in Alaska by Emma Laukitis and Claire Neaton has arrived and it is great! Beautiful color photography, stories of the Aleutians and 50 salmon recipes, super priced at $24.95!

Murder Unrehearsed is set in a mountain community reminiscent of Lake Chelan. The only witness to a murder is a young woman from Seattle. It is a good story all wrapped up by San Juan Island resident author Roxanne Dunn.


William Dietrich writes eloquently about our Pacific Northwest world and reminds us all why we live here. We recommend two: The North Cascades: Finding Beauty and Renewal in the Wild Nearby, and Natural Grace: The Charms, Wonder and Lessons of Pacific Northwest Animals and Plants.

By the Shore: Explore the Pacific Northwest Coast like a Native, Nancy Blakey, which includes British Columbia. A seasonal guide to our bountiful beaches.

The Salish Sea, Jewel of the Pacific Northwest, Benedict and Gaylor.

Alaska’s Inside Passage: Nature, History, Native Culture, Industry, Dale Pihlman, with 500 color photographs. The best we’ve seen on SE Alaska!

Challenge of the North Cascades, Fred Beckey, memoir. This book is a must have for every mountaineering enthusiast. Beckey spent three decades climbing more peaks than any other North American climber. We are proud to have it in our store. Enjoy it yourself and pass it on as a gift to the best hiker you know!

Of Men and Mountains, William O. Douglas, is a lovely account of the peace and deep solitude people find in the grandeur of nature. We owe much to this capable, generous man who saved many wild areas of our country for us all to experience.

Illustrated Maps and Guide to all Northwest Lighthouses, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, includes history and stories, museum information and addresses. All in a foldout map form. Well worth the $7.95 bargain price1

i-read-The right book can bring us new adventures and guide us out into nature. Books give us new ways of looking at the world and at our place in it. We have gardening books, biography and fiction that lets us see ourselves from the outside as other see us, and gives us a good look at the inside of others.


The Art of Hearing Heartbeats by Jan-Philipp Sandker. The Girl Who Wrote in Silk by Kelly Estes. Reading Seattle: The City in ProseThree Sides WaterClara and Merritt all authored by Peter Donahue. The Broken Earth Series (fantasy) by N. K. Jemison, So You Want to Talk about Race? by Ijeoma Oluo (Seattle author), Inevitable: The 12 Technological Forces by Kevin Kelly.


Prairie-KeepersThe Prairie Keepers, Secrets of the Zumwalt by Marcy Cottrell Houle. Isn’t it amazing how a book can pick you up and transport you (and any worries you’re carrying) to a new place? If you weren’t a fan after her Wings for My Flight (see below), you will be with this read. Once again, the author faces daunting challenges. This time we journey back to 1979 and her first assignment in the Zumwalt Prairie. Poetic descriptions of wild lupine and Indian paintbrush appear alongside the frustrations and fears (including a hair raising episode of being chased by a bull). Skeptical townsfolk, too many chiefs, assorted male egos, ranchers seemingly against the prairie and any efforts to preserve the buteo hawks … what’s a young female biologist to do? There’s humor and heartache as well as triumph.  You’ll close this book feeling enlightened, inspired and more understanding of Mother Nature and the importance of caring for her creatures. Well done, Marcy and thanks for the ride! Read more about this award winning Northwest author.

wings-for-my-flightWings for My Flight: The Peregrine Falcons of Chimney Rock by Marcy Cottrell Houle. Even if you know nothing about falcons, Chimney Rock, the Forest Service or the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service – you are going to be in awe of the author. What this 21-year old, fresh out of college female (in a field dominated by men), encountered and endured in the summer of ‘75 reads like an adventure novel. We’re talking hostile townsfolk, sweltering heat, stark living conditions, accidents, a scary dentist (creepiest part for me), criminal activity and even the F.B.I. The author shares her experiences in such an honest, unassuming way – you’re rooting for her right from the start. Marcy’s obvious love and devotion to the mission behind her work and the admiration she gains through her diligence and fortitude is inspiring and heartwarming. I think you’ll agree – the peregrines aren’t the only stars of this book. Enjoy! Read more about Marcy and her other books in our Meet the Author segment.

download“When we heal ourselves, we heal the world. For as the body is only as healthy as its individual cells, the world is only as healthy as its individual souls.” That’s just one of the hundreds of entries  that you’ll be tagging to reflect back upon. Welcome to the 20th Anniversary of The Book of Awakening: Having the Life You Want by Living the Life You Have. Mark Nepo’s #1 York Times Bestseller holds a treasure map for anyone thirsty to explore this human experience. Written in the format of guidance for each day of the year, Nepo – a beloved teacher, poet and spiritual guide – also presents a simple exercise to coincide with that day’s wisdom. Honoring all faiths and traditions, his words embrace the heart and light within rather than dogma. It is a book that will comfort, encourage and help strengthen readers at any stage of life. And one that you will come back to over and over again.        Suggested by Jane.

OF NOTE:  Be sure to add local author, Cate Schultz’s book Soul Primer to your list. Beautifully written and illustrated and a wonderful guide for those on the path to happiness – one lesson at a time. As mentioned at the top of this page, Cate is now offering a discussion group on Zoom that meets every Tuesday evening from 5:45 to 6:30. Give her a call at 425-870-6335 or email her at to sign in and take part.

PhotoGrid_1580493863469You don’t have to be a rower to be absolutely blown away by this book. A Pearl in the Storm, Tori McClure’s true story of her solo journey across the Atlantic in a rowboat, is written so boldly and beautifully you will find it hard to put down and hard to leave behind. Faced with unimaginable odds, the author conquers one life threatening moment after the next. Hurricanes, rotted food, injuries, flooding … and the constant wrestling with emotions both past and present. This is a mesmerizing, epic tale told in very human and real terms. You will cry and cheer more than once. “In the end, I know I rowed across the Atlantic to find my heart, but in the beginning, I wasn’t aware that it was missing.”           Suggested by Jane

download“Maybe insanity will not change to wisdom and a focus on the common good anytime soon, but I can bring less hate to the pot of stone soup, the common well, less of my unbaked cake batter. More rosemary, more carrots.” What’s not to love about Anne Lamott? In Almost Everything – Notes on Hope, the bestselling author shares more of her musings on life, love, grief and the wisdom within us. From the children in her writing class to the aging of friends, Lamott brings her nuggets of discovery up to the surface to share with us. Everyone, every situation can be a teacher. The devastating fires in California. A friend’s suicide. Political chaos. The sharp criticism of parents still ringing in our ears. Life is not easy and, in fact, can feel overwhelmingly difficult and harsh. Arriving at the core of our starry selves, however, we find the truth needed to carry on. Empathy, acceptance, grace. Thank you, Anne, for providing a contemporary, gentle reminder that love is always the answer.    Suggested by Jane.

content (1)Tides: The Science and Spirit of the Ocean by Jonathan White

Now a resident of the San Juan Islands, Jonathan White has given us an awe-inspiring non-fiction literary classic. Tides is a blending of science, history, and storytelling. He captures the spirit of the ocean and its tides by sailing, surfing, diving, and meticulous study, throughout his life. Every boater, every person who lives near saltwater, every person who ever stood on an ocean beach will love this masterful work. It is simply unparalleled. We are very proud to call Jonathan White a local author.

contentThe Music Shop by Rachel Joyce.

Not only for music lovers, but all music lovers will find a place in their heart and memory for this music shop. Rachel Joyce brings each character to life – they are simply unforgettable. Frank has the uncanny ability to prescribe just the music you need. This story is contemporary, funny, and tender. You just might recognize Frank’s neighborhood and wish to move there. I know I did. The Music Shop is a lovely story. Rachel Joyce also wrote The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry.    Suggested by Marion.

images (1)Seaport Books is pleased to introduce you to By the Shore: Explore the Pacific Northwest Coast Like a Local by author Nancy Blakey. Just published by Sasquatch Press this book is a keeper. It is a guide book, a cookbook, a camping manual, chock full of excellent ideas. What a good housewarming gift it will make. Warning: You better buy two so you can keep one! This book is not a picture of nature. It is a gentle guide into experiencing all of the wonders of our beautiful Salish Sea.

The Wood for the TreesThe Wood for the Trees: The Long View of Nature from a Small Wood by Richard Fortey

Journey to Oxfordshire, England and explore the wonders of wooded Chiltren Hills. Magical, inspiring, surprising and educational – Fortey takes you month by month through the trails and timbers of his four acres of forest. I love how the author traces the grand history of the land alongside the minute details of resident beetles, ferns, moths and fungi. Don’t let the fact that Fortey is an award winning scientist and retired senior paleontologist at the Natural History Museum in London scare you. He writes with a soft sense of humor and a humble respect for nature and all its gifts. Speaking of gifts, the beautifully embossed cover makes this a perfect gift choice that friends will love to display. Suggested by Jane.

51YCzUi5OJL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

This is an exceptionally GOOD STORY – from beginning to the very end. The book is well written with superb character development and poignant insight into human nature. To me, it was delicious! It spans 30 years in the Metropol Hotel after the Bolshevik revolution; with spy vs. spy, irresistible friendships, wisdom, romance and humor.                       Suggested by Marion. 


51511615Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult

This is the story of racism in America especially as it effects the court system. Picoult exposes many shades of racism though her characters in this novel. The main character, a 44 year old Labor and Delivery nurse, is charged with murdering the newborn son of a neo-Nazi couple. It is a courtroom drama unlike any I have ever experienced through reading. This book will fire an excellent discussion at book clubs across the country if given a chance. And isn’t this the reason we read literature — to experience life that is beyond us? The title is taken from Martin Luther King Junior’s quote: “If I cannot do great things, I can do small great things.” It is being made into a movie with Julia Roberts, but then what isn’t?  Suggested by Janna.


The Book of Joy: Lasting Happiness in a Changing World. Through the loving efforts of author Douglas Abrams who acts as co-author, guide and interviewer, we get up close and personal with Archbishop Tutu and the Dalai Lama as they meet and spend a week together. Knowing that this may very well be their last time together (the trip had to be postponed several times due to ill health), their conversations feel even more a privilege to share in. Just how do these two icons find peace in an increasingly troubled world? What message of hope can they give to us? The answers will inspire and delight and expand your heart. Yes. These are incredibly brave, intelligent and respected leaders but they are also human beings with flaws and needs. Their candor and humor will bring tears to your eyes and laughter to your soul. A truly enriching treasure of a read.                                 Suggested by Jane.

ob hpWestern Washington University has selected Octavia’s Brood: Science Fiction Stories from Social Justice Movements as the Western Reads book for the 2018-2019 academic year. The book is a compilation of short stories written by a diverse group of activists, artists, poets, and organizers involved in building movements for social change. Edited by Walidah Imarisha and Adrienne Maree Brown. Read more about the current book choice. Or click here to read about their  2017-18 book selectionTulalip, From My Heart: An Autobiographical Account of a Reservation Community by Harriette Shelton Dover.

octopusThe Soul of an Octopus by Sy Montgomery

“Here is an animal that has venom like a snake, a beak like a parrot, and ink like an old-fashioned pen. It can weigh as much as a man and stretch as long as a car, yet can pour its baggy, boneless body through an opening the size of an orange.” Treat yourself to this best seller and fall in love, as the author did, with one of the planet’s most amazing creatures. You may not have 3 hearts as the octopus does, but yours will certainly be expanded by meeting Athena, Kali and Octavia. I love this book! Makes a perfect gift, too.  Suggested by Jane.  Read how a book reviewer discovered our store and fell in love with this book!

bookMr. Penumbra’s 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan. Everything it says on the back cover is true! Robin Sloan has written a fascinating, warm, intelligent, suspenseful, fun story.  I sincerely hope you finish this book well after midnight on some weeknight and say the same. Suggested by Janna.


book coverGoing to Pieces – The Dismantling of the United States of America by Elaine Devery Willman. Any bookstore worth its salt is going to offer titles that stimulate conversation even when the topic is a controversial one. And here’s a book that has been stirring up heated debates since its debut. Originally written as a documentary companion to the author’s tribal land road trip in 2005; the content wasn’t made available to the general public until 2011.  If you are a landowner, live near a casino, rent on tribal land or are curious as to what all the fuss is about; Willman presents a view that you may want to explore. Given recent hearings and headlines, the issue isn’t going away anytime soon.

dogsTherapy Dogs and The Stories They Tell by Diana Lee. A certified counselor and NW resident, Ms. Lee shares heartwarming and often surprising stories surrounding therapy dogs and their ability to aid in her work with clients. For the past fourteen years, the author has created a private practice using Brussels Griffons as therapy dogs. The emotional effect these dogs have on her clients will bring you laughter as well as tears. The stories demonstrate how dogs can bring us joy and help us to move forward in our lives. I invite you to read this delightful book.    Suggested by Joanna.

erik larsonDevil in the White City by Erik Larson. This Seattle master of historic nonfiction can do no wrong in my eyes. I love all his work but my being a native Chicagoan gives this 2003 entry a slight edge. Larson paints history with such an entertaining brush the reader is truly along for the ride. This time it’s dual portraits of a city preparing for the 1893 World’s Fair with its feats of architectural wonders alongside the methodical plotting and doings of the country’s first serial killer. Talk about a dynamic combination. Best enjoyed with deep dish Chicago style pizza stuffed with broccoli, walnuts and cheese.

Coming Relatively Soon To A Theater Near You: It appears the movie version will make it to the big screen after all. The rights were purchased by Leonardo DiCaprio in 2010 and production finally starts this year. Martin Scorsese to direct. Fingers crossed that they don’t dim the lights by playing up the gore factor.  Suggested by Jane.


july 25 2010At the age of 82, Arnold Ebneter set an aviation world record when he flew across the country in a plane he designed and built himself. Tomorrow marks the 7th Anniversary of that flight. In The Propeller Under The Bed, author, aviator and engineer, Eileen Bjorkman, shares the story of her father’s dream and what it was like for her growing up in a flying family. Thanks to our friend Jeromie from Seattle for recommending this read. A passionate pilot himself who flies out of the same air field in Snohomish, Jeromie reports that Arnold is a great guy to chat with and is still teaching people to fly. The book is on our shelves now. Here’s to dreams coming true at any age!

51V7cwOLvwL._SX326_BO1,204,203,200_We love it when Seaport fans suggest books for us to carry like this “what if” from Portland authors Hays and McFall. Bonnie and Clyde: Resurrection Road has been getting great reviews since its debut. It’s a wild ride of historic facts, fantasy and fun. Suggested by Pete from Shreveport, LA – just a few stops away from the Bonnie & Clyde Ambush Museum. Thanks, Pete!