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Book News Roundup: Elliott Bay Book Company goes to the airport

  • Buried in this South Sound Magazine story about new additions to SeaTac International Airport by Kirsten Abel, there's a piece of news that Seattle Review of Books readers will be especially interested to hear. A ton of local restaurants are opening in SeaTac over the next few years, but SeaTac will also be home to an outpost of the Elliott Bay Book Company. This move has a local precedent, of course: Portland indie bookstore Powell's has an airport outpost, too. I'm incredibly excited to see bookseller-approved selections at SeaTac, rather than the usual Hudson News monotony.

  • Yesterday, I chatted on Facebook Live with Evergrey cofounder Monica Guzman about three spring books I'm looking forward to reading over the next three months.

  • West Seattle Blog's Tracy Record wrote an excellent post about Pulitzer Prizewinning novelist Colson Whitehead's visit to a West Seattle high school.

  • We're very excited to hear that civil rights legend Representative John Lewis has announced a second comics trilogy to pair with his March series. The new trilogy, about his life in politics, is cleverly titled Run.

  • Fuck off forever, Milo.

Book News Roundup: Tacoma park honoring Frank Herbert to open this year

  • We first told you about this seven months ago, and now it's officially a reality: Tacoma has named a new park after the life and works of sci-fi author Frank Herbert. "Dune Peninsula at Point Defiance Park" is an 11-acre park featuring "Frank Herbert Trail." Tacoma Metro Parks commissioner Erik Hanberg told the News Tribune that Herbert's “experiences in Tacoma shaped his appreciation for the delicate balance of nature, so it feels right to attach his name to a park that reclaims toxic land.” The park is set to open by late summer or fall. We'll let you know when it opens, and we'll take a field trip down to check it out.

  • Susan Fried at the South Seattle Emerald writes about how the Somali community in south Seattle got together with Seattle Public Libraries, Seattle Public Schools, and the Seattle Housing Authority to create a children's book that celebrates Somali culture and language. The book will soon be available in libraries and schools around the nation.

  • A stronger man than I would be able to resist the urge to refer to this post as "Poetry in Motion:"

Book News Roundup: Opportunities including Fellowship Awards, a coworking space, and a book club

It is with a heavy heart that I must report THE FAMILIAR has been paused. There’s no denying the intense readership that showed up for this endeavor: bright, ambitious, inspiring, inquisitive, compassionate, rare, energetic, involved, brave, funny too, and most of all beautifully aware. Unfortunately, I must agree with Pantheon that for now the number of readers is not sufficient to justify the cost of continuing. If there is solace, find it with her: Xanther remains our new storm, VEM’s as real as any sky, and Redwood depends on no book by me to harrow this world. Read well and live well, then you will love well. The rest is in the wind. . . . . . . . . . #thefamiliar #seasonone #beahymnforgood #markzdanielewski #houseofleaves #onlyrevolutions #thefiftyyearsword

A post shared by Mark Z. Danielewski (@markzdanielewski) on

Book News Roundup: Support a cartoonist, say goodbye to Zanadu, and read the fast-food Fire and Fury

  • Seattle cartoonist Sarah Glidden launched a Patreon. For just a buck a month, Glidden will give you access to her diary comics. Glidden notes that her personal comics lately have been about her pregnancy and impending motherhood, and "I thought it would be nice to have a little more of an intimate space for posting comics of such a personal nature." Glidden has already produced two books of excellent comics journalism, and these personal strips give her an opportunity to share a different kind of story.

  • Over at Seattle Refined, William Harris mourns the slow passing of downtown comics shop Zanadu Comics. The store closes on January 28th.

  • At City Arts, Margo VanSynghel interviews Seattle author Ijeoma Oluo, whose book So You Want to Talk About Race was published last Tuesday.

  • What happens if you load Fire and Fury and a bunch of fast food advertising copy into an artificial intelligence? You get sentences like: "As the Russia investigation seemed to be a problem for Donald, he told Priebus to get fifty more chocolaty-chip cookies shaped like the White House to try to create confusion over which was the one with the President in it."

  • This, via AbeBooks, is simply stunning:

Book News Roundup: Dune Night redux, Seattle Public Library gets nerdy, and more

  • If you follow comics in Seattle, you probably know about Dune Night, the comics jam that happened regularly at Cafe Racer. Since the future of Cafe Racer is in doubt, Dune Night has been on hiatus. But there's no room for a hiatus in our hearts! Tomorrow night, the Leary Traveler in Ballard presents an art show of some of the best Dune Night pieces from 6 to 9. Expect many Duners (Duniacs? Dunes and Dunettes? Artists who have created work at Dune Night?) to be in attendance. The show will be up at Leary Traveler for at least a month.

  • Shelf Talk, the Seattle Public Library's blog, interviewed new Seattle City Councilmember Teresa Mosqueda about the book that has been most influential in her career.

  • Emerald City Comicon is teaming up with the Seattle Public Library to bring comics education-themed programming to the library on Thursday, March 1st, including a number of panels on how to incorporate comics into literacy programs. ECCC says "An ECCC Professional Badge is required to attend ECCC at The Seattle Public Library. Pro Badges are free of charge to educators and librarians."

  • Bookselling Without Borders is now providing a scholarship to "send booksellers on all-expenses-paid trips to the world’s premier book fairs, including the Turin Book Fair, the Frankfurt Book Fair, and the Guadalajara International Book Fair." They are accepting scholarship applications between now and February 28th. If you're a bookseller and you'd like to connect to the larger international bookselling community, you should apply.

Book News Roundup: A King of Joy, a book bunker, and a chance to win a Washington State Book Award

  • Congratulations to You Private Person author Richard Chiem, whose debut novel, King of Joy, has been bought by Soft Skull Press. According to the press info, it's "a story of survival and revenge, which follows a woman whose grief for her dead husband leads her to a pronographers underground studio in the woods."

  • On their site today, Capitol Hill Seattle blog highlights newly reopened used bookstore Horizon Books. Tonight from 5 to 9, Horizon is featuring a spoken word reading with music and art from Rani Laik. CHS reports that Horizon's goal is to build "the most strange & unique book bunkers in all of Seattle."

  • If you're a Washington state author who published a book in the year 2017, you should submit your book right now to the Washington State Book Awards. The deadline is February 1st, so get down to it.

Book News Roundup: A new Seattle-area magazine! A new book from Ellen Forney! The same terrible old president!

  • It's not very often that a new media outlet debuts in Seattle, so let's pay attention to Unite Seattle, which went live today. They publish coverage of arts and news in Seattle with an eye toward LGBTQ issues — and they have a dedicated books page!

  • The president of the United States of America is still whining about how he should be able to ban a book because he doesn't like it.

Our current libel laws are a sham and a disgrace and do not represent American values or American fairness so we’re going to take a strong look at that... We are going to take a strong look at our country’s libel laws so that when somebody says something that is false and defamatory about someone, that person will have meaningful recourse in our courts.
  • The year 2018 is not entirely a loss, friends. Seattle cartoonist Ellen Forney is publishing a book in May! From her Instagram, we get a sneak peek at the mockup of the cover:

Book News Roundup: Restaurant suggestions from David Sedaris

PageBoy Magazine is now accepting submissions for our upcoming (tenth!) issue. We are following our Writers on Writers issue with an issue devoted exclusively to 17 word poems, or "17s" ... Please send 5-10 of your best works in prose or poetry - as long as each is exactly and only 17 words short - to by March 15, 2018. We are open to any style, any voice, as long as it "works," so do whatever you like with the form. We're curious to see what you come up with!
  • The submission request goes on to explain that "17s are an old form, invented at Harry's Bar on 15th Ave E in Seattle during the fall of 2016." They "consist simply of 17 words, that is their ONLY constraint." I can't wait to see this issue.

  • The South Seattle Emerald interviews Alvin “LA” Horn, a self-described "grown and sexy" novelist from South Seattle who's reading at Third Place Books Seward Park on January 15th.

  • If you have a high tolerance for internet slideshows, the Seattle PI has a slideshow of the Seattle Public Library's most checked-out books of 2017 and it's very interesting.

  • There are a handful of tickets available to see David Sedaris read at Broadway Performance Hall tonight and tomorrow.

  • Speaking of Sedaris: earlier this week, he visited Poppy, a very good restaurant on Capitol Hill. They posted his suggestion card, which is packed with good advice. The real question is: why doesn't David Sedaris run a restaurant?

Book News Roundup: Join the Push/Pull book club, apply for sweet gigs at Hugo House, and submit to Spartan

  • Push/Pull, the art gallery and comics shop in Ballard, is launching the 2018 edition of their book club tomorrow at 11 am. Their first book club selection, Everfair, culminated in an art show with an appearance by Seattle author (and SRoB contributor) Nisi Shawl. This year's selection is Nick Joaquin's The Woman Who Had Two Navels & Tales of the Tropical Gothic, and the book club will again conclude in an art show in May. The book club will meet twice a month through March and there will also be an online component for people who can't make it to every meeting. Find more information and sign up for the book club on Push/Pull's site.

  • I asked Maxx, the director at Push/Pull, how she selected that particular book for the book club, and she said she encountered Joaquin through this New York Times article last year. "It's a book that has changed the way that I see the world and I'm eager to discuss it with other people," she writes. I'd never heard about this book before, but it sounds fascinating.

  • The Hugo House has a pair of opportunities that you should know about. They're now accepting applications for their Made at Hugo House Fellowships, which is a fantastic support program for emerging young Seattle writers. And they're also looking for their next prose Writer in Residence. Applications for both these opportunities are due on March 31st. Don't procrastinate, okay?

  • Spartan, a very good local literary magazine, is now accepting submissions for its spring issue. I shouldn't have to say this, but please read an issue or two before you submit; Spartan is a free magazine so there's really no reason for you not to do your research.

Book News Roundup: While you were on holiday break...

  • Over at the South Seattle Emerald, librarian Maggie Block published a spectacular roundup of radical books for young readers. You should read all three parts.

  • Aside from the sad news of Sue Grafton's passing, the biggest book news of last week was the publication of editorial notes for Milo Yiannopoulos's book. An increasingly exhausted editor from Simon & Schuster left a series of increasingly angry notes on a draft of Yiannopoulos's book, and now that whole document has been entered into the public record. (Simon & Schuster dropped the book after several of Yiannopoulos's pro-pedophilia comments came to light; the author is now suing the publisher because he is a massive bore.) The editorial comments are funny and satisfying to read, but you must remember that at the heart of it all, what the editor was trying to do was to make a racist shitbag palatable to as wide an audience as possible. I read the editorial comments as their own separate narrative: that of a man who hired a monster and then slowly realized exactly how monstrous the monster was.

  • Barack Obama released his list of favorite books from 2017 on Facebook, and it's great. I especially love that President Obama agreed with me about Janesville, which is one of the most underappreciated books of the year. Obama also read Evicted, which wowed the Reading Through It Book Club about five months ago.

  • Marvel Comics released an official fanfiction creation service, but the restrictions are so dumb that nobody will ever use the thing.

Marvel Create Your Own reserves the right to revoke access to the service for any content including — to name a few — “Content that could frighten or upset young children or the parents of young children,” “contraceptives,” “bare midriffs,” “noises related to bodily functions,” “misleading language,” “double entendres,” amusement parks other than Disney parks, movie studios not affiliated with Marvel, animated movies not made by Disney or Marvel and depictions of tobacco, nudity, gambling, obscenity and “proxies” for obscenity such as the comic book shorthand of bursts of punctuation instead of curse words.
  • In Canada, the works of Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker entered the public domain yesterday. In America, we continued our shameful public domain drought. The public domain needs to be continually refreshed with new works, because the creepy Ayn Randian ideal of an artist who makes everything up in her head is a fiction. Without a wellspring of ideas to inspire new artists, the collective creative unconscious will wither and die. Copyright control is creation control.

Book News Roundup: Big money

  • Congratulations to Seattle poet Jane Wong, who won the 2017 James W. Ray Distinguished Artist Award. The award is $50,000 — one of the biggest available to writers in the area — and Wong will have the opportunity to present her work at the Frye Art Museum. We'll have more news about that exhibit when it gets closer to happening.

  • Former Gawker writers are now running a Kickstarter campaign to bring Gawker back as a nonprofit. They need half a million bucks to get the site going again. This is a big deal, because Gawker was a very important website, when it wasn't busy being a very bad website. For me, the good far outweighed the bad. You should do your own math, and if it works out in the positive, you should donate what you can.

  • A paper manufacturer named Northern Pulp convinced a Nova Scotia bookstore to uninvite an author of a book that's critical of Northern Pulp. Pretty fucking sketchy.

  • A good short story by Kristen Roupenian in the New Yorker has gone viral. The story, titled "Cat Person," caused a stir on Twitter over the weekend. It seems that people — men, to be clear — love to judge the protagonist, a young woman who has sex with an older man. Plenty of men online are accusing the protagonist of being manipulative, without realizing that they're maybe telegraphing some of their deeper-seated neuroses about women for all the world to see. The Twitter account "Men React to 'Cat Person'" is one of the most delightful single-serving social media accounts I've seen in a long time. Megan Garber at The Atlantic sums up the situation quite well:

So many of American culture’s creaky misogynies have a way of leaking into fiction. There’s the wearying, and longstanding, mandate for writers to create female characters who are likable. (Claire Messud: “If you’re reading to find friends, you’re in deep trouble.”) And the common tendency to dismiss the literary products of women writing about women’s lives as “chick lit.”
  • Happy Hanukkah to all! Here's a delightful celebration of the holiday:

Book News Roundup: Wrath can be fun!

  • Town Hall Seattle is looking for artists and scholars in residence. But because Town Hall (the building) is being renovated this year and Town Hall (the organization) is branching out into other neighborhoods, they're doing something a little different. Each of the four neighborhoods that Town Hall is using as home bases during their Inside/Out Program — Phinney/Greenwood; University District/Ravenna; Capitol Hill/Central District; Columbia City/Hillman City — will have its own artist in residence. Those residents will then program Town Hall events within their communities, in exchange for a $5000 stipdend. This is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of thing. Submit to Town Hall by December 10th, okay?

  • Penguin childrens' book designer Giusseppe Castellano left the publisher under a cloud after being accused of harassing comedian Charlene Yi, who was pitching projects to the publisher. Castellano then released a statement claiming that Yi's complaints were "false." But Yi brought receipts:

  • Related: if you have experienced harassment in childrens' book publishing, here's a survey that's intended to help "get a handle on the scope of the problem."

  • Don't fuck with Joan Didion, because she will murder you with two words.

  • And Eileen Myles is taking none of your bullshit, either:

Book News Roundup: Head to Redmond for an animated poem this weekend

  • This Saturday, December 2nd, Redmond Poet Laureate Shin Yu Pai will be presenting new work at the Redmond Lights holiday festival. Pai has written a special poem for the occasion recounting Redmond's logging history and celebrating the city's attempts to regrow its gorgeous tree canopy. Additionally, Seattle designer Michael Barakat has animated the poem, and it will be projected on the side of City Hall as part of the festivities. Pai is an estimable talent who always gives her all to every project, and this looks to be a capstone on her incredibly fruitful tenure as Poet Laureate of Redmond. (And if you're into holiday festivities, the full itinerary of Redmond Lights looks like a lot of winter-themed fun, with popcorn and facepainting and a city walk and a tree lighting and ice carving.)

  • You should read David Lasky's first blog post about the Georgetown Steam Plant comic that he and Mairead Case have been commissioned by the city to create. The post really highlights how wonderful it is to live in a city that takes art seriously, and I also learned something cool about finches while reading it so, you know, it's a win-win.

  • You probably saw that our idiot president was a big racist in front of some heroic Native American veterans of World War II earlier this week. If you'd like to honor those veterans by learning more about their heroism and sacrifice, you should consider purchasing this comic book history of the Code Talkers. If I told you Donald Trump didn't want you to read this comic book, would you be more likely to buy it?

  • Today in "But You Knew I Was a Snake When You Picked Me Up" news: GoodReads, the bookish social network purchased by Amazon a while back, is now charging authors for the right to run book giveaways on their own pages. The "standard" giveaway price is $119, and the "premium" price is $599. If you took the news that Amazon bought GoodReads in stride, this is your wakeup call: Time to find another way to talk about books online! This is just the first step toward a new pay-to-play GoodReads model; Amazon is going to choke authors and publishers for every cent they can, starting right now.

  • Yesterday, Bleeding Cool broke the news that incoming Marvel Comics Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski once freelanced for the company under the name Akira Yoshida. This is problematic on several levels. First of all, Cebulski, who is white, portrayed himself as a Japanese comics writer, even giving an interview in character to a comics news outlet and generating interest in his work based on the supposed cultural identity of "Yoshida." (He created Japanese-inflected comics for Marvel under the pseudonym.) Second of all, Cebulski was employed on the editorial staff of Marvel at the time and was not supposed to work as a freelancer. Many Marvel staffers claim to not have known about the Yoshida ruse, but that does raise some interesting questions: I've done a lot of freelance work in my day, and I always have to supply some proof of identity. How did Cebulski convince Marvel of "Yoshida's" authenticity? Seems like this story has some more layers to it that will be unpeeled in coming days.

  • Just so you don't think that things are only terrible in America: 10 libraries in the UK will be permanently closed down by December 20th due to a serious budget crunch.

Book News Roundup: Apply now to be Redmond's Poet Laureate

Book News Roundup: Amazon has too much money to spend

  • Congratulations to Tim Lennon, who was announced as the Executive Director of LANGSTON, a new Seattle nonprofit that will "guide programming intended to strengthen and advance community through Black arts and culture." I worked with Lennon at Elliott Bay Book Company right after he moved to town in 2001 and we've been friends ever since, so I can't claim any objectivity, but his career in the years since — at One Reel, heading up Vera Project, working at the Office of Arts & Culture — demonstrates that he'll be excellent at this. I look forward to seeing what LANGSTON contributes to Seattle's arts and literary communities. Lennon starts in January of next year. And if this post didn't have enough conflict-of-interest in it for you already, the best account in local media of Lennon's new job is from my old associate Brendan Kiley at the Seattle Times.

  • Kirkus interviewed Chin Music Press editor Cali Kopczick about the trends she's spotted in publishing, what manuscripts she'd never like to see again, and what's unique about Seattle's Chin Music.

  • Yesterday, Amazon's television division paid a crazy amount of money to make a Lord of the Rings prequel TV show. There's not much information about this, but the deal is so huge that it seems to be tempting fate:

In its quest to launch a hit fantasy series of the Game of Thrones caliber, Amazon has closed a massive deal — said to be close to $250 million — to acquire global TV rights to The Lord of the Rings, based on the fantasy novels by J.R.R. Tolkien. The streaming service has given a multi-season commitment to a LOTR series in the pact, which also includes a potential spinoff series.
  • I dunno about you, but when I see a quarter-of-a-billion deal with multi-season franchise commitments, I think of the recent collapse of Universal's awful "Dark Universe" megafranchise, and then I think of an old cliche about counting baby chicks before they hatch. And then I think of all the people living under bridges in this city and I start to feel queasy.

  • The comics industry is going through its own sexual harassment crisis, and Heidi MacDonald at the Beat has been keeping good track of it all. Hopefully when we get to the other side of all this and the predators have been shaken out, we'll see a more inclusive, less white-male-centric comics industry.

  • And if you think the children's book industry is free from sexual harassment, you should read this thread:

Book News Roundup: Don't forget to vote

My second novel, The Bird King, has been sold to Grove/Atlantic. You’ll be hearing a lot more about it from me in the coming months, so for now I’ll just say this: it’s set in 15th century Spain and those of you who’ve been pining for more genies ought to be pleased.
  • This is pretty cool: Hugo House and the Poetry Foundation are joining forces with poet Natalie Diaz to put on a series called "Poetry Across the Nations, a new community outreach program facilitated by Native women, on December 6–8." The series will eventually move to South Dakota and Arizona, but it starts here first. Events include poetry workshops for the Squamish community and indigenous writers, as well as a reading of indigenous writers at FRED Wildlife Refuge on Thursday, December 7th. We'll have more information about the series in the coming weeks.

  • The Seattle Office of Emergency Management has a book club! Tomorrow night, they're meeting at the Rainier Beach library to discuss Sheri Fink's excellent account of a hospital during Hurricane Katrina, Five Days at Memorial. You can RSVP for the book club right here.

  • For god's sake, people: vote! Get your ballot to a mailbox or a drop box today. If you need guidance on the issues, here's a great meta-cheat-sheet that incorporates all of the local endorsements.

Book News Roundup: The Georgetown Steam Plant has its official cartoonist biographers

Book News Roundup: Three tweets

Tweet #1: Here's the beginning of an important thread about why libraries matter now more than ever:

Tweet #2: Here's a fantastic little artifact from Seattle comics history:

Tweet #3: I don't know if it's real or not, but this book cover is 12th-dimensional-chess levels of bad.

Book News Roundup: Third Place Books will donate 20 percent of sales on Saturday to Puerto Rico relief

  • Got a press release from Third Place Books yesterday that deserves a signal boost. Here are the opening paragraphs:

This Saturday (10/21/17), Third Place Books will donate 20 percent of sales at all three of its store locations (Laker Forest Park, Ravenna, and Seward Park) to relief efforts in Puerto Rico, which has been devastated by Hurricane Maria.

Proceeds will go to Unidos Disaster Relief Fund, sponsored by the Hispanic Federation, an organization that Consumer Reports says “has been reviewed and received high ratings from two of the watchdogs, Charity Navigator and BBB Wise Giving Alliance.”

  • Related to bookstores providing relief in natural disasters: bookstores in California are providing shelter to wildfire refugees.

  • Of all the reasons to pull a book from a school, "It makes people uncomfortable" is maybe the worst. The book? To Kill a Mockingbird. The school? It's in Biloxi, Mississippi.

  • This Wall Street Journal story about the decline of e-book sales and the smartening-up of physical book publishers is a feel-good story for people who love physical books. But it's important to remember that everything is not hunky-dory in booksville. Chain retailers are disappearing. Publishers are merging and re-merging and swallowing each other up to the point where we might have a corporate publishing monopoly in the next decade or so. I hate to rain on the parade, but now is not the time for a victory lap. Now is the time to be vigilant.

Book News Roundup: Media news, festival lineups, a scam, and something beautiful

  • Seattle Media news, part one: Capitol Hill Seattle blog, which went on a hiatus last year, is now up and running again, with a staff and everything! (Joining CHS founder Justin Carder are photographer Alex Garland and great Seattle reporter Kelsey Hamlin.) CHS is looking for 2000 subscribers to put a few dollars a month into their Patreon account to pay for the work they do.

  • Seattle Media news, part two: Ana Sofia Knauf, formerly neighborhood reporter at The Stranger, is now at Seattle-area newsletter The Evergrey.

  • The full Lit Crawl lineup just became available on their website. Highlights include EILEEN MYLES. And a lot more that we'll talk about in the coming days and weeks. But, really: EILEEN MYLES.

  • The full lineup of this year's Short Run Comix & Arts Festival has been released. Aside from the always-amazing convention floor show, highlights include panels featuring cartoonist Julia Wertz, Bitch Planet author Kelly Sue DeConnick, and a conversation between Emil Ferris (My Favorite Thing is Monsters) and Leela Corman (We All Wish For Deadly Force), moderated by me. The big show happens on Saturday, November 4th in Seattle Center.

  • Bad news: if you're a freelancer who was recently approached by an editor at The Atlantic, the odds are good that you're the victim of a scam:

Across the last few months, individuals posing as our editors and senior leaders have sent fraudulent job offers to unwitting freelancers or jobseekers looking to work with The Atlantic. The impostors have created numerous misleading email accounts, including gmail addresses in the names of editors, gmail addresses that include the Atlantic’s name (e.g.,, and addresses employing fake domains (e.g., The aim of the scam is to obtain personal information such as social security numbers, addresses, and bank account information from the intended victims.
  • But here's something good and pure: