Category Archives: Staff Picks

A Few Hidden Gems: Pacific Northwest Fiction

By Jennifer K. The Pacific Northwest is home to many brilliant and bestselling authors: Macomber, Alexie, Hannah, Le Guin, Stephenson … If you’re interested in the regional literary scene, you probably already know all about those. I’d like to introduce you to a few Pacific Northwest reads you might not have heard of.

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Looking Behind the Curtain, 30 Years Later

by Denise D. Secrecy Late summer finds me thinking about the Cold War and the Iron Curtain. It started with the HBO show Chernobyl which flung me back to April 1986, my friend, Chris, racing into my college dorm room to shout about a nuclear accident in the Soviet Union. Chris and I had bonded […]

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Movies That Should Have Won Best Picture

by Craig B. I shouldn’t let petty things get stuck in my craw, but every time I watch Apocalypse Now, I’m somewhat perplexed that it didn’t win Best Picture; It’s one of my favorite flicks. Its primeval mass pulls you down the Nung River and deposits you in the jungle like a fragment of Kurtz’s […]

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Crossing Borders

By Kristi S. I’ve written before about the power of fiction to both educate and entertain. Obviously, nonfiction is incredibly important, giving voice to real experiences, but fiction adds extra emotion for me. For that reason, I turn to fiction when I am looking to take a deep dive into current events. I want to be […]

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Beyond Bestsellers: If You Like The Goldfinch

By Jennifer K. The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt was one of 2013’s big bestsellers. A new movie based on the book, starring Ansel Elgort and Nicole Kidman, is coming out this month. It’s about Theo Decker, whose life changed explosively one morning when he was thirteen. Theo now has a huge secret, the possession of […]

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Stars! They’re (Kinda) Just Like Us!

By Julie T. Less tabloid, more tell-all! Celebrity memoirs are a dish best devoured audiobook-style. Up close and personal with your speakers or headphones, you’ll often feel connected with these performers in a way that transcends print. It’s like they’re sharing their childhood foibles and adulting struggles with you over a cup of coffee. Jane […]

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You Might be a Word Nerd if…

by Melleny T. Have you looked up a word in the dictionary just to learn its etymology? Are you entertained by anagrams, pangrams, lipograms, isograms, and especially ambigrams? Do you have a strong opinion about the Oxford comma? I hate to tell you, but you might be a word nerd. It’s okay though – you’re […]

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Infernal Adaptations

by Lois H. Every summer, I look forward to packing a perfect picnic and settling in to enjoy some Shakespeare in the park. Recently, I attended performances of the three plays in the Island Shakespeare Festival’s tenth anniversary season. I cried through The Winter’s Tale. Cried with laughter through A Midsummer Night’s Dream. On the […]

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Eating Weeds

by Karen A. Sometimes I miss the big, beautiful views when I am out hiking because I am looking down at the ground.  Why, you ask?  Because even when I am hiking I am thinking about food, and I don’t want to walk right over something tasty!  There is something deeply rewarding in the process […]

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Great Worldbuilding

By Jennifer K. One of the things I love about science fiction and fantasy is the worldbuilding. It’s hard to explain what good worldbuilding is, but you know bad worldbuilding when you read it. What if the world is exactly like our world, except everyone has magic powers? Then it wouldn’t be exactly like our world […]

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Working (and Volunteering) Like a Dog

by Marina M. Somebody recently told me I don’t write nearly enough posts about dogs. I think they were being sarcastic but since it was in an email I chose to take it seriously. Because I can. If you don’t know by now, I have a couple of dogs. A poodle mix and a pitbull […]

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