Review & Event Details: Gifts to the Attentive by Marie Marchand

Review by Sue Domis

"Poems are gifts to the attentive."  Paul Celan

Marie Marchand is the current Poet Laureate  of Ellensburg, Washington.  Her newest and second  collection is Gifts to the Attentive.  This collection is divided into three sections: Reverence, Resilience, and finally Reverie.  The beginning poems are about mental illness and the recovery process.  Matchand actually has dedicated the book to those mental health providers who have helped her.  In the second section the poet writes

         "My watershed moment came

           when I changed my mind

            about suicide."      

Back to School Picture Books! A review by Amy Halvorson Miller


Last week I talked with some school-age friends of mine, who every August are asked whether they’re ready for school to start. As usual, there was a range of reactions from hangdog to happy-dance. Let’s celebrate with or reassure our young students with two new back-to-school picture books. It’s a good time for some extra read-aloud snuggles and giggles.

Review: Die Around Sundown by Mark Pryor

Review by Irene Pearcey

I've read quite a number of books this year, but THIS one is by far the best. Everything about this 1st
book in a new mystery series by Mark Pryor is so good. The dialogue is real, the setting (Nazi occupied
Paris 1940) suits my historical fiction addiction and every page has a new and unexpected turn of
Inspector Henri Lefort has been given five days to solve the murder of a German officer whose body was
found inside the Louvre Museum. Lefort has been denied access to the scene of the crime and the
murder weapon but has been given a list of five suspects all of whom are French citizens. Smart, witty,
sarcastic and cynical Lefort and his assistant Nicola begin the impossible task of finding a murderer in
time to save his own life. Henri and Nicola understand the consequences to Henri if he does not solve
this crime in five days.

This Saturday at Inklings!

Inklings will have at least 16 PNW authors outside its doors signing books this Saturday for Bookstore Romance Day. Three of them are from right here in the Valley. 

This week’s review is a little highlight of what each author has to offer. There will be a little bit of everything and a book for just about anyone. From Christian and close door/clean romances, to suspense, contemporary, paranormal, and the more “spicy” titles.

This event has been going on for 4 years now and I confess when I started I had no idea the PNW had so many amazing romance writers. The ones attending are but a fraction of all the talent around here. My list of authors (though obviously not all can attend this month) has about 30 names so far. How exciting is that?

I am going to start with a name that is probably familiar to a lot of our readers, Dalyn Weller. Dalyn lives here in the Valley but you might not know her -yet- from her romances, but from her devotional instead, Rooted and Blooming. Dalyn writes handsome heroes who are brave, wounded, and ready for change; and intelligent, capable women with beauty and character. Her newest title is The Rancher’s Surprise.

Review: Atlas of the Heart by Brene Brown

Review by Tony Hoffart

My lovely wife has a saying: “Be like Nob Hill Road; Always be working on things.”  She’s so funny.  So with her words echoing in my head, one day between novels I cracked open Atlas of the Heart.  I’d gotten the general impression that Brene Brown was a writer to take seriously in the self-help and Psychology world and so I looked past the kitschy name to see what was up.

My verdict?  There are two books that anyone seeking self awareness should read and this is one of them.  Yes.  It’s that good.

Review: Blaine for the Win by Robbie Couch

Review by Samwise McGinn

Robbie Couch is a breakthrough author in the young adult genre, publishing his debut novel in 2021. In 2022, Couch published the novel Blaine for the Win. I am always skeptical about contemporary novels, especially when the story takes place in a high school. However, I was utterly blown away by this story. The writing is humorous, playful, and charming, while still capturing the obnoxiousness that is the high school experience. 

This story follows Blaine, a junior in high school who does not get the best grades but makes up for it with his big heart and passion for art. His (now ex) boyfriend is especially popular, the senior class president, and rich, which Joey explains is why they are incompatible. Blaine is crushed and spends his spring break laying in bed, despairing at the loss of his dream boyfriend who dumped him on their one-year anniversary at the fanciest restaurant in town. 

Review: Immune: A Journey into the Mysterious System That Keeps You Alive by Philipp Dettmer

By JT Menard

There’s a joke about immunology which appeared in an article I read a few years ago. The author of the
article, Ed Yong, credited it to Jessica Metcalf, a professor and researcher at Princeton. To (very) roughly
paraphrase the original joke, “a cardiology and an immunologist are kidnapped. Their captors promise to
spare whichever doctor can prove they’ve made a greater contribution to society. The cardiologist tells
them of his work in creating a life-saving heart drug that has been used by millions. The kidnappers,
impressed, turn to the immunologist, he begins, “well, let me start by saying that immunology is a very
complex field,” to which the cardiologist interjects, “just shoot me now!”

Review: The Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon

Review by Lisette Pietsch

Get ready to be swept off your feet into a fantastical world with dragons and magic; a
world that is split between the East and the West. It has been almost a thousand years
since the Nameless One was defeated but the fear of him and his evil still haunts the
people in this world. In the West, Ead is on a secret mission to protect the Queen,
Sabran. Queen Sabran’s bloodline is said to be the only thing keeping the Nameless
one at bay. In the East, Tane has the ambition to become a dragon rider but risks it all
when she saves a man from the West. The narration switches between 4 characters as
this ensemble cast slowly through many twists and turns find their fates intertwined.
Loyalties are tested, and tragedy awaits yet hope remains.

Review: Tanum: A Story of Bumping Lake and the William O. Douglas Wilderness

By Amy Halvorson Miller

Sixty miles northwest of Yakima, in the heart of the William O. Douglas Wilderness lies Bumping Lake: picture north of Rimrock and east of Mt. Rainier on the map. Artist, biologist, and writer, Susan Summit Cyr’s book Tanum: A Story of Bumping Lake and the William O. Douglas Wilderness, tells the exciting and memorable story of the area’s human and natural history. (The lake was known to native peoples by various names, including Tanum, which means “home.”) Cyr has not only rigorously researched her first book, she spends summers at Normandie, the former Bumping Lake Resort’s lodge built in 1933.