Entangled Life / Knowing the Trees / Salmon, Cedar, Rock & Rain

Review by Rachel Fowler

As the weather gets colder, my favorite activity is to curl up with a good book. I love fiction, but I have a special affinity for nonfiction, especially nature books.

Recently I’ve read three that were particularly enjoyable. They range from the world of fungi to a beautifully illustrated book about trees and end with the wonder and majesty of the Olympic Peninsula. These books encompass a wide array of knowledge of the natural world and are perfect gifts for fans of the outdoors.

Entangled Life: The Illustrated Edition: How Fungi Make Our Worlds by Merlin Sheldrake, is an incredible book about mushrooms. Sheldrake's original bestselling edition explains how prevalent and important fungi are in our lives.

 

Yellowface by R. F. Kuang

Review by Cheyanne Stice

Yellowface by R.F. Kuang shares a little bit about what it is like in the publishing business and how far someone might go to get the recognition and fame they feel that they deserve.

Characters June Hayward and Athena Liu are both authors that have known each other since college. June is the author of a book that never got released in paperback nor had enough sales for another reprint and has no idea what her next project will be. Athena is the author of multiple published books and was working on another before her untimely death.

Champion of Fate by Kendare Blake

Review by Elisabeth Martin Rogers

Kendare Blake’s stories always have exhilarating concepts. You may have heard of her other novels; Anna Dressed in Blood and the Three Dark Crowns series. I thoroughly enjoyed them so when I saw this new release I was so excited for what she came up with this time! Champion of Fate kicks off the Heromaker series with the story of Reed, a tall lanky girl who stumbles into the lives of two immortal Aristene warriors of The Order. Reed learns quickly what The Order is fated to do, but the question is…can she fulfill her destiny? Will she follow the path fated to her? Blake tells a fast paced story that keeps you on your toes. There are characters you will adore, and others you will be thoroughly annoyed with but are endearing nonetheless.

The Witching Year by Diane Helmuth

Review by Tony Hoffart

A year into COVID lockdown, Diana Helmuth wants something more. She is skeptical of religion, both organized and disorganized but she wants to believe in something. So she decides to dive into the world of modern paganism and witchcraft and document her journey.  

During this journey, Diana wrestles with the issue of belief and skepticism in magic. Despite this, she fully commits to spell work in nearly all of its various forms. And she describes her experiences with it with the sort of earnest honesty that it can’t come off as anything but authentic. She discusses whether authenticity comes from having a historical lineage of customs and rituals or if such a thing is necessary in modern witchcraft. She explores the cultural appropriation issue of should a white American witch practice Brujeria or Voodoo? She also explores the authentic pleasure in going to Scotland and experiencing a pagan celebration that is rooted in her own ethnicity.

This Week's Review - Dark Water Daughter by H.M. Long

Review by Jules Galgan

Dark Water Daughter” is a stunner for anyone who loves a good pirate adventure story. Think of it as “Pirates of the Caribbean” with a mystic flare.

The story follows two main characters: Mary, a stormsinger whose unique powers allow her to cause hurricanes and quiet the seas with her voice; and an ex-naval officer turned pirate, Samuel, who has the ability to travel through the spirit world. Both characters must face the evil pirate lord, Silvanus Lirr, as he pursues Mary with reasons unknown.

Misfit: Growing up Awkward in the ‘80s By Gary Gulman

Review by Luanne Clark

Gary Gulman has long been one of my favorite stand-up comedians. He is witty and insightful. If you are not familiar with his work, I urge you to take a minute and check him out. What if there had been a committee assigned to create the two letter abbreviations for each state? Just Google: Gary Gulman State Abbreviations. I promise you it will be worth your while. I’ll wait…….………………………………………………………….. Was I right? I thought it was pretty hilarious.

Book Review: Shark Heart by Emily Habeck

Review by Alicia McClintic

@rev.alicia.reads

When we talk about “the humanities,” we’re talking about areas of study like literature, art, music, and philosophy that deal with what it means to be human– what is essential to the human experience, what do humans need and what do they value, what is unique about the human spirit? Exploring these questions is one of the primary reasons I love to read, especially when a book can offer me a new kind of window into the depth and complexity of humanity.
Shark Heart by Emily Habeck offers such a unique and poignant reflection on what it means to be human with a touch of magical realism, a kaleidoscopic structure of vignettes, a multifaceted study of love and loss over multiple generations. But, brace yourself, because it is a weird little book. Yet it feels so deeply human in every scene, and I would love to see more people pick it up and discuss it.

Review: Immortal Longings by Chloe Gong

Review by Bridget Keller

The novel, Immortal Longings, written by Chloe Gong is the first in the soon to be trilogy, Flesh and False Gods. This is the young author’s first official adult fantasy novel! 

The book has a very Hunger-Games-esque type of vibe adding a slow-burn romance and a dash of spice.

Review by Luanne Clark and the Kids of Yakima - The Inkwell Chronicles

 

The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet by JD Peabody

Review by Luanne Clark and the Kids of Yakima!

 

A  Pacific Northwest author, JD Peabody from Federal Way, WA, has written an intriguing fantasy/mystery for readers aged 9-12. It takes place in post-WWII England where a widowed father is raising his 2 children. Everett and Bea are thrown into the mystery when their father is kidnapped and they set out to rescue him, aided by members of the original group of English authors of that time known as the Inklings.

Well, Inklings Bookshop couldn’t pass up a fortuitous coincidence like that! This summer we presented an opportunity to our middle grades readers and they responded enthusiastically. Any young readers who read the book and replied with a short written review were entered into a drawing for a free copy of the second book of Everett and Bea’s adventures, which comes out this month: The Inkwell Chronicles: Race to Krakatoa. Also, some of the reviews were to be published in the Yakima Herald Republic–and here they are!

 

  My Thoughts About the Inkwell Chronicles

By Abby

 

In the book, The Inkwell Chronicles: The Ink of Elspet, the author did a great job of introducing the characters and setting the scene in the first chapter. I like how the author said in the first chapter, ”It’s far more meaningful to be interestED than to try to be interestING”. I also like how the author said, “You have greater influence than you know.”  The middle had so much suspense and adventure I couldn’t stop reading it! The end was so breathtaking it was awesome! I like the part when Everett didn’t think he was courageous but then, after all he went through trying to find his dad, he was, in fact, courageous like Max Courageous in the comic books his dad wrote. The author did a great job detailing the whole book! I felt like I was in every scene! How cool would it be to hold that pen and find an inkwell? I am super excited to read the second book!

Abby–I’m also excited for the second book! And I also loved the part where Everett recognized his courage. You wrote a great review! Adding quotations from a book really helps to bring it to life–and you picked great quotations that are very

Review: A Wild Promise, Illustrated and written by Allen Crawford, introduction by Terry Tempest Williams

Review by Sue Domis

 The Endangered Species Act was signed into law by President Richard M. Nixon on December 28, 1973. Nixon wrote that the act provided the Federal government with the needed authority to "protect an irreplaceable part of our natural heritage--threatened wildlife.  And, nothing is more worthy of preservation than the rich array of animal life with which our country has been blessed."                                                                                                                

     It has been 50 years since the Endangered Species Act's inception and there has been a gradual erosion of the act.  Just a few examples are: In 1970 the tiny perch known as the Snail Darter took on the Tennessee Valley Authority's construction of the Tellico Dam., and in the 1990's the Pacific Northwest's wholesale clearcuts versus the Spotted Owl.  The rights of the federal government versus the rights of private land owners sometimes conflict, for example the Bundy standoff at the Matheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2014.   But, the Act of 1973 still endures.

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