It has become a little tradition of ours to share with the Yakima Herald Scene readers our Bestsellers at the end of every season. Our fall 2021 list has some great titles in it and many of them have also been read by one or more members of staff. In no particular order, here are the Bestselling books this fall at Inklings:
"Looking at real estate isn't usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage" (pub. marketing). Sue Domis here at Inklings says Anxious People was 'humorous and definitely entertaining'. It is interesting to see and explore how each individual involved deals with the same situation. None of the hostages are quite what they appear to be but all of them need to be rescued in some way.
Jane Godall and Douglas Abram explore the meaning of being human and of having hope.The book is a discussion between Jane and Douglas where Jane makes an argument for hope during difficult times. The book is somewhat a follow up to Abram's book released in 2016, The Book of Joy, which chronicled a conversation between the Dalai Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu- Hope and Joy, two things we all could have a little more of.
In Cloud Cuckoo Land Anthony Doerr masterfully connects the life of five characters over hundreds of years through their relationship to a book. The book, Cloud of Cuckoo Land, tells the story of Aethon, who longs to be turned into a bird so that he can fly to a utopian paradise in the sky. As these five characters get introduced to the reader, we learn how Aethon's story impacted their lives.
In this novel we get to know barista Sage Caplin. Sage has high hopes for her new coffee cart, Ground Rules, until she finds the body of one of her very first customers in front of her cart. There are plenty of suspects, but who committed murder? To makes things worse, one of Sage's own box cutter is discovered as the murder weapon. Mystery lovers and coffee fanatics alike are bound to be enthralled with this story.
The Storyteller is Dave Grohl's self-written memoir. In it he let his love of music show from his childhood and his days in the business, primarily with Scream, Nirvana, and the Foo Fighters to today. The memoir is full of love, humor, and it has a good number of behind the scenes stories to keep the reader engaged and entertained.
This one is for the lovers of dogs, dog shows, and romantic comedy. The book is packed with hilarious scenes involving the main characters and a very untrainable dog. Ruby grew up in the beauty pageant world and left it all behind a long time ago. But when one of the older ladies she cares for asks her to show her Golden Retriever at the upcoming Canine Classic show, she cannot refuse. The dog is hopeless, but when Ruby puts her mind to something nothing can stop her, not even the very handsome and also very infuriating Canine Classic judge, Spencer Wilson.
It is not surprising at all that Dune, a 1965 sci-fi classic, is once again a bestseller. The new movie based on the book released this past October and as we all book lovers know, the book is better! So it has to be read. Dune is the story of the boy Paul Atreides, who moves with his family to the planet Dune and is forced into exile when his father's government is overthrown. "A stunning blend of adventure and mysticism, environmentalism and politics" (pub.marketing)
Cooking Healthy was reviewed by a member of staff at Inklingsa few weeks ago and we have been selling them faster than we can get them!
"Moon must be commended for putting together such a simple yet elegant cookbook. The “Cooking Healthy Cookbook” is perfect for individuals or families looking for a cost-conscious way to eat healthy, delicious food. Yakima is fortunate to have her expertise." JT Menard
These titles have been in our bestseller list since they were released, Rob Phillips first book in 2020, and Charlie McKesy's book in 2019.
If you haven't gotten to it yet, the Luke McCain Mystery series is set in the Cascade Mountains and you will recognize many of its settings. The first book, Cascade Killer, has sold over 1000 copies just here at Inklings. This mystery series is entertaining, fast paced, and therefore a delight to read.
The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse is one of those titles suitable for all ages and that makes a perfect little gift to just about everyone. This little work of wonder offers inspiration and hope in a time much needed.
"Books invite us to explore distant galaxies, face our fears, find meaning in our lives, unlock our imaginations, and slip inside someone else's skin.
When you give someone a book, you're offering them an entire world." - Author Eliot Peper
To get your gift giving started this year we have Tamara Berry, Lucy Gilmore, and Kristin Vayden signing their books for us this December 11th.
Tamara Berry is a cozy mystery writer with a humorous flair. Come for the murder, stay for the laughs. The first book in her Eleanor Wilde Mystery series, Séances are for Suckers, focuses on Ellie, a ghost hunter that does not believe in ghosts. Nicholas Hatford III knows very well Ellie is fake, but to appease his mother and get rid of the “ghost” causing havoc in his life, he flies Ellie to deal with his supposedly haunted family’s estate in England. Before all of that though, Ellie stumbles across a dead body. Now she has 2 mysteries to solve, can she?
Lucy Gilmore writes fun and super funny romance books full of puppies and heartfelt stories.I Hate You More will have you laughing, that is just a fact. And if you love dogs? Even better. Ruby grew up in the beauty pageant world and left it all behind a long time ago. But when one of the older ladies she cares for asks her to show her Golden Retriever at the upcoming Canine Classic show, she cannot refuse. The dog is hopeless, but when Ruby puts her mind to something nothing can stop her, not even the very handsome and also very infuriating Canine Classic judge, Spencer Wilson.
Kristin Vayden has 5 children to chaice but somehow finds time to write historical romance masterpieces. Fortune favors the Dukeis as beautiful as it is sad. Quinn Errington becomes the Duke of Wesley solely because of a tragic accident that took his brother's life, and now he has to leave the life he loves in Cambridge behind and move to London to manage things. Catherine lost her fiancé (Quin's brother) and we find her grieving at the beginning of the book. She slowly comes out of her shell and it turns out she has a very strong and present personality. Through grief and healing (and some other challenges along the way) they find happiness again.
See you on the 11th! And if you can't come, just order online. All orders placed before the event will be signed.
Can I let you in on a secret? All of us have experienced trauma in one form or another. Everyone may not speak about it and you may have no idea, but I guarantee that those you love will deal with it at one point in their lives. Many of you reading this have your own story and battle the events that changed your world in an instant. It could be childhood abuse, the sudden death of a loved one, a crippling health diagnosis, a bad car accident, the loss of a job, the effects of addiction, racism, and those are just to name a few. So why is there not more conversation about what is happening to us? Why aren't there more answers, more support, or better solutions being given?
Paul Conti writes so clearly on this issue in his book Trauma: The Invisible Epidemic. Paul has a message to share with the world and it is one that many desperately need to hear. Thankfully the stigma around mental health is beginning to change but there still is a long way to go. So many of us are living our lives being led by the traumatic events that happened and have no idea. We don’t understand why we can’t overcome our struggles but we do know that we don’t want to continue in these toxic cycles. If you want to know how to be better for yourself and those you love, this book will bless you with the gift of understanding.
I would recommend this book to everyone in your life because we all have things that we need to heal from. Paul will help you pull back the layers of trauma, identify it, and start your journey to becoming a better you. I am grateful for authors like Paul because they are sharing their knowledge with the world to help create a better future for those to come. I really hope that you take a chance and pick up this book, because I think there is something within these pages for all of us. Happy reading friends!
Last spring, many of us, myself included, went a little overboard with their houseplant shopping. Spring may be long over, but now we need to keep those babies alive or risk having to buy them all over again next spring. So what better than a coffee table book on houseplants for that friend and/or family member that got a new hobby this year as a Christmas gift? This book has over 130 plant profiles with detailed plant care information, tips and tricks to keep them healthy, and it is absolutely stunning!
Do you have a dog lover in your life? Or just an animal lover? This is the book for them.
Seth Casteel is an award-winning photographer and the author of the national Bestsellers Underwater Dogs (I have an awesome puzzle made of 4 pictures from that book), and Underwater Puppies. His photographs have been featured everywhere!
Big Dog, Little Dog is, as the title suggests, a wonderful collection of expertly timed photographs, each featuring two dogs, one big, one small. Through photographs, the book explores the diversity in dog sizes and their relationships to each other.
If you're looking for a fun way to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon, this easy to learn watercolor book is for you! I love that it can be shared between the beginner and the advanced painter. Emma Block provides clear instructions on how to paint your own masterpieces, all while giving you encouragement to see the beauty in the ordinary. From flowers, to objects, to people, you’ll be seeing the world through joyful colors as you paint the world around you. Who knows what inspiring art lies within your heart! This book would be a great addition to your book collection or a thoughtful gift to those you love this holiday season. Happy art making to you!
Everything about this book is inspiring; from the stories of triumph contained within its pages to the stunning artwork displayed for the readers to see. Being seen, heard and known is vital to human existence. So many of these powerful women of color had to stand firm in the face of oppression and not give up when the world around them didn’t support their dreams. Because of their courage to fight back, they paved the way for others to experience a better life. Misty Copeland honors those that came before her in a very special way that everyone should read. It is a beautiful tribute to the sacrifices endured and the victories gained from these talented, hardworking, and dedicated women. As you read their stories I hope that it will bring new understandings to your heart and light a fire in you to follow your dreams.
The conventional wisdom is that home cooking is far healthier than eating out or consuming overly processed foods. I think this is generally true, but one thing left out of this assumption is the fact that many cookbooks contain recipes that are overladen with calories and unhealthy ingredients. Evidently the secret to most tasty recipes is sugar and butter, so much butter. If recipes are not unhealthy, they may require an abundance of obscure ingredients or be incredibly time intensive.
Fortunately for the impatient and health-conscious cooks among us, author Elaina Moon’s new cookbook “Cooking Healthy with Elaina Moon” is full of—as you might have guess from the title—healthy recipes that are inexpensive, simple to make, and don’t take long to prep. Moon is a certified health coach and holds a Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Central Washington University. Since 2015, she has owned and operated Healthy Eats Nutrition Services in Yakima, where she offers individual health coaching services and leads popular community cooking classes multiple times a month. I attended one of Moon’s cooking classes a few months back and was impressed enough to snag a copy of her newly released cookbook when copies arrived at Inklings Bookshop.
The cookbook contains 78 recipes divided into breakfasts, soups & salads, quick meals, easy sides, comfort foods, everyday sauces, and desserts. All the recipes are plant-based, but most can be easily modified to add the meat of your choice, if that’s your preference. Each recipe contains nutritional information, detailing the number of calories and the amount of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, fiber, and sodium contained per serving. Perfect for someone who prefers to count their calories or macros.
Thus far my favorite recipe in the book is the Indian Red Lentil Soup. The ingredients cost me less than $10 dollars at the grocery store (minus the spices, which will run you more but will also last for many meals), and it took me less than an hour to chop up the vegetables and cook the soup. The result was a warm and tasty soup which complimented the rainy Yakima weather. Best yet, enough leftovers remained to make several more meals.
Moon must be commended for putting together such a simple, yet elegant cookbook. “Cooking Healthy with Elaina Moon” is perfect for individuals or families looking for a cost-conscious way to eat healthy, delicious food. Yakima is fortunate to have her expertise.
The children’s picture book, Little Witch Hazel: A Year in the Forest, is a delightful and cozy book to cuddle with your kid this winter. The art is what initially drew me into this book; the colorful illustrations are simple, yet striking. It seems reminiscent of Beatrix Potter’s tales and art. If you love the outdoors, living off the land, and anything to do with nature and living in a cottage in the woods away from the hustle and bustle of modern life, you will absolutely adore this book.
The protagonist, Hazel, is a small witch with a bright red, cone-shaped hat who lives in a forest and tends to herself, the land, and her neighbors. Our story carries us through all the seasons, but starts in spring. The forest is refreshing and the flowers are blooming when she finds a large egg and decides to hatch it within her own home. It hatches into an owlet and she helps raise it, soon finding the bird leaving her home.
Summer comes a time for her to realize that relaxing and taking time to care for yourself is just as important as getting chores done. Enjoying a raft on the river and the racket of being around friends late into the night. Sometimes when life is getting in the way of us doing things we want done, we need to take a step back and give it sometime before starting at it again.
When autumn arrives, a strange noise is heard throughout the forest. Many of Hazel’s friends have outlandish ideas of what is causing such a ruckus, which makes the forest folk a little scared as they follow Hazel to the noise. The noise turns out to be a new, lonely neighbor. The friends decide to have a nice evening with their new neighbor and share a soup dinner.
Hazel starts to tend her neighbors’ and friends' health, being a stand-in doctor for them. As she finishes up helping others, it starts to snow. Believing that she can make it through the storm to home, she makes the trekk. As she is starting to feel lonely and lost, a visit from an old friend helps her make it home.
The heart of this story is a simplistic, community-oriented life, filled with little adages for everyday life and living. People of all ages will find this book charming and heart-warming. A perfect gift for the person who loves rustic beauty for this holiday season.
"NOW A MAJOR MOTION PICTURE directed by Denis Villeneuve, starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Oscar Isaac, Josh Brolin, Stellan Skarsgård, Dave Bautista, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Chang Chen,Charlotte Rampling, and Javier Bardem. Frank Herbert’s classic masterpiece—a triumph of the imagination and one of the bestselling science fiction novels of all time." - pub. marketing
"The creator of the hit podcast series Tides of History and Fall of Rome explores the four explosive decades between 1490 and 1530, bringing to life the dramatic and deeply human story of how the West was reborn." - pub. marketing
"With its entrepreneurial, 20-something protagonist, focus on a hipster-run food truck pod in Portland, Oregon, and real-world issues involving homelessness and gentrification, Fresh Brewed Murder is a trendy, updated cozy mystery that offers strong appeal to Millennial and Gen Z readers. Master barista Sage Caplin is opening a new coffee cart in Portland, Oregon, but a killer is brewing up a world of trouble..." - pub. marketing
"From the New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & the Six—an entrancing and “wildly addictive journey of a reclusive Hollywood starlet” (PopSugar) as she reflects on her relentless rise to the top and the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine." - pub. marketing
"From New York Times bestselling author Jay Kristoff comes Empire of the Vampire, the first illustrated volume of an astonishing new dark fantasy saga." - pub. marketing
"Simply put, Empire of the Vampire is an impressively built beast, bursting with supernatural lore and promise. With plenty of detail and twists to keep the reader intrigued, we’re predicting this to be a new favorite of the genre." —The Nerd Daily
Can you imagine how different, interesting, and captivating it would be to meet your soulmate through genetics? No more online dating, bar hopping, and guessing. DNA based matchmaking could potentially change the whole dating scene. That is in inessence, the premise of The Soulmate Equation. Christina and Lauren did a great job at explaining, defining, and exploring that world.
Jess is a data and statistics analyst, she understands numbers. That being said, no amount of number crunching can convince her to get back into the dating world. Her and her daughter are just fine alone. Jess has been left behind too often to trust anyone again so easily. She is smart, kind, and a fighter. It is not easy to make in this world as a single mum but she sure tries her best. Any mother will recognize her morning struggles with her kid. All that being said, it can be hard being alone and doing everything alone all the time.
When Jess hears about GeneticAlly, this new company doing matchmaking using DNA analysis, she doesn't trust it, but, she does understand it at least. After all, if there is one thing Jess understands is numbers. Except in her case the numbers must be wrong. Her test results show an unheard-of 98% compatibility with one of the founders of GeneticAlly, Dr. River Pena. River is cold, robotic, distant, rude... how on earth could he be that compatible with her?
Although this is a ridiculous idea the compatibility score is uncaratelistically high and GeneticAlly has a proposition for Jess: Get to know River and we'll pay you. Jess, who is barely making ends meet, is in no position to turn this offer down. As Jess and River are dragged from one event to the next and get to know each other better, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the cold scientist than she first thought.
The concept was great, the initial hate to lovers interactions were interesting, and even the way they are almost forced to get to know each other was well written and kept you engaged.
Shame is a powerful silencer. It slowly creeps its way into our lives and chokes out our voice. When it comes to intimate partner abuse there is an overwhelming amount of confusion, fear, and the inability to trust your own judgement. The classic question, “why didn’t you just leave?”, forces everyone into the same box of assumptions. The answer to that question isn’t simple, and Stephanie’s memoir “Maid” gives us a raw, unfiltered dose of what it’s truly like to be in her shoes. I think it’s important to read stories like hers because it breaks the cycle of shame around this very real reality. The hard truth is that all of us either know someone or are in the very situation Stephanie was in. Our daughters, sons, sisters, brothers, mothers, and fathers need us to step up and stand tall in the face of injustice.
Stephanie addresses the obstacles she faced and the wall of challenges in front of her that stood between her and freedom. One of them was her support system. In the book she talks about how she didn’t have anyone in her life that could help her. Her family was stuck in a cycle of toxic behaviors, she didn’t have friends to help her, or a mentor to guide her. Stephanie had to navigate all of these unknowns by herself. Leaving an abusive situation is extremely difficult to do when you are in isolation.
Another obstacle she talks about is the challenges surrounding poverty. Once she left the abusive situation she didn’t have any money to start over. She couldn’t find shelter, food, or childcare without government assistance. The process to receive any help was exhausting and long. Even though she was working, it wasn’t enough to provide basic needs. Financial security can impact the decision to stay or leave.
The other obstacle she talks about is navigating the trauma. There isn’t time to address the consequences of abuse because she must focus on survival. She doesn’t have the luxury to process years of trauma because she must focus on finding shelter, providing food for her daughter, and fighting legal action.
There are many other issues she speaks on in her book, and it’s important that we listen to her story. This book will open your eyes to the struggles people face when it comes to abuse. It will challenge you to confront your own biases, areas where you can extend help and give empathy to others. I hope her story will open a conversation and help us all to find solutions in a dark area. I believe there is power in our stories, and Stephanie has something bold to say that all of us need to hear. Happy reading friends!
Inklings guest reviewer this week is not an employee but a Friend of Inklings. Linda C. Brown taught at Davis High School for more than 33 years!
Old English teachers, like me, hope former students find their way, that the ragtag roots that students are given in high school miraculously become polished in college or by life. Clearly, Patrick Wyman, who graduated from A.C. Davis High School in 2003, meets that criteria and beyond. Wyman, having earned a doctorate from the University of Southern California, has developed and produced podcasts called “Tides of History” and “The Fall of Rome” that capture and shape hundreds of amazing adventures into history-rich stories from all over the world. I would have discovered this sooner had I been able to figure out how to download podcasts.
Wyman, son of Yakima’s Kathy O’Meara-Wyman and Tom Wyman, has now added a new achievement: his first book. “The Verge: Reformation, Renaissance, and Forty Years that Shook the World (1490-1530)” takes nine events in history and makes them come alive.
Admittedly, I am a recalcitrant reader of history because often it was presented to me as lists of names and dates that had to be committed to memory, and I couldn’t become immersed in the events because the stories conveyed a bunch of facts, but thank you, Dr. Wyman, for breathing life into what lies in the past and continues to influence the present.
The events covered aren’t surprises. They cover a 40-year segment of history that each of us has some knowledge of, like the explorations of Christopher Columbus, the arrival of Martin Luther and the printing press and the Ottoman Empire as well as Charles V. All of these will remind you of what you studied in high school and beyond; however, here they come alive through the details of daily life that we rarely were told.
Readers will notice immediately the rich sensory sounds, smells, sights, the sense of touch that make “The Verge” vivid and compelling. The stories are painted with incredible detail. In Rome, bells toll, “an incessant pealing” breaking “an otherwise still and silent dawn” with “carts rattling and scraping down the darkened streets”. Boots tramp, swords scrape against steel breastplates, leather scabbards slap, and all the men are “lean and dirty”. You, the reader are there! Thousands of Romans barely awake head to the walls. Martin Luther, who lusts after the rich holdings of the papacy, attacks. Germans, Spaniards, mercenaries raise their ladders against the walls and a battle to redistribute wealth ensues. The Duke of Bourbon (Charles V) wearing a “white coat” (what mother would let that happen?) is the first to scale the walls as the fog is rising from the Tiber. You can hear the sounds, smell the gunpowder exploding from the arquebuses and see the Duke raising his ladder. We feel the dampness from the fog and watch as “a violent shade of red” spreads across that white coat.
It is that real. I promise you that if you are a history lover, this book is definitely for you. But, if you are more like me, a resistant reader of history, it is even more compelling, because history no longer lies limply on the page.
A video produced by Powell’s Books in Portland introduces Wyman and a cohort, Mike Duncan, discussing “The Verge” as well as their shared interests in history. Duncan asks Wyman: Who are you writing for? And Wyman, without hesitation, answers, “I write for an audience of one: my dad, who is the most prolific reader of history I know. He wants history books that are not slow, not dry.” The elder Wyman prefers books that entertain, but the academics have to be there as well and there has to be a compelling story. That’s what “The Verge” brings to the reader.
In the interview, Duncan confesses that he loves the book, but had no interest in a character named Jakob Fugger (pronounced foog-uhr, although yes, for many years it was pronounced like a familiar curse word) until Duncan says that even he has been captured by Fugger’s story. That presents me with a challenge, and I must admit that Fugger has won my attention as well. It turns out that the Fuggers in the early 1500s were bankers and traded textiles with Italy; they were one of the wealthiest families in the world for over a century and their wealth and influence in the 16th century and beyond are astounding. According to Wikipedia, Fugger, in his day, accumulated $160 billion in wealth, which today, with an adjustment for inflation, would be valued at $400 billion. That grabs one’s attention, right?
Today, in Augsburg remain historical buildings from the 16th century like the Fuggerei built by Jakob Fugger the Younger, which had 52 houses at the time for poor, homeless Catholics. It continues today with each apartment having a direct link to the street, but the entire housing unit is apparently contained by a wall and the gate is locked at 10 o’clock each night. Since Fugger made much of his money from manufacturing linen and money lending, I wonder if the fear of being called a “usurer” inspired his generosity or rather his devotion to Catholicism. That’s another question for the next time I see Dr. Wyman.
I’ve more to read, but I promise you that all readers will embrace this book. It’s that good. Did I mention that I was one of his teachers?