Did the Pandemic Help Save Independent Bookstores?

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For many of us, the forced downtime at home during the pandemic has heightened our need for books. Bookstores are here to stay, maybe.

Avatar: Richard Hugo’s Murky Murder Mystery about the Detective who Wanted to be a...

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The hero of Hugo’s one and only mystery is Al “Mush Heart” Barnes, a 40-year-old former Seattle cop who quits the SPD after three near-fatal gunshot wounds and lights out for the Rocky Mountains.

Jonathan Franzen’s New Novel and the Unsuspected Down-Turning of the 1970s

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It is, in retrospect, as if we came to a crossroads in our nation’s life. One way leads to life as we had known it. Another way is marked “Here be Dragons.”

How Boeing went from “Making 20th Century Cathedrals” to being Driven by the Bottom...

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If airplanes are complex, so are human relationships.  The 787 program outsourced chunks of the 787 to “partners,” thereby rupturing much of the web of relationships central to the culture of safety.

Three Books Out of COVID

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I am thinking about some books I've read that use the pandemic as a main character

New Book Argues that our Approach to Homelessness Won’t Work

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The book is at its best detailing the success stories of other cities. Shellenberger holds up Amsterdam, Lisbon, New York City, and Miami as cities to consider as much better models than the failed west-coast models.

Former Chief Carmen Best’s Book: Why I Quit

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Best asks, "l couldn't help thinking: Are they dismissing me because I am a Black woman or is the city council refusing to include me because they don't want to be seen as working with the police?" 

There at the Beginning: Tom Alberg on How Seattle Became a Tech Dynamo

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One way or another, I’ve worked for or brushed shoulders with most of our leading companies. I’ve represented, advised, and invested in Boeing, McCaw Cellular, Amazon, Immunex, Alaska Airlines, and many smaller tech companies.

Old News: Robert Hitchman, Armchair Historian

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Hitchman's cherished overview was a 360-degree sighting of whatever emerged from the presses holding content about the Pacific Northwest.  And like a perched crow, he intended to see and describe whatever caught his sharp eye.

The “Year of Wise Fools”: Nick Licata and the Rise of Campus Activism

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Licata argues that the student power movement, too often packaged along with civil rights and anti-Vietnam War actions, deserves to stand as a separate entity. The movement involved more than just gaining student rights at individual schools. It fostered social justice beyond the campus.

America’s Guidebooks: The Way We Were

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The guidebooks themselves provided a unique survey of Americans at a pivotal point in their history – a state-by-state, town-by-town glimpse of a growing nation that was emerging from the Great Depression, and about to plunge into a world war that promised to change everything. 

Some History Lessons for Today’s Polarized Politics

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There is a tide in American politics where things jump forward in a sweeping way, rather like "punctuated equilibrium" in evolution. We may be in such a moment now, as the Biden team seems to believe, even with its slim majorities. Jayapal's Moment?

How America Survived the ‘Peril’ of an Enraged Donald Trump

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One little-noticed incident in the book describes what Seattle Rep. Adam Smith heard from the insurrectionists on the plane returning to SeaTac. Scary, anti-Semitic stuff.

What Happens When Your College Uncovers the Deep Dark History of its Namesake?

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When we lack a story or theological world-view that allows us to see ourselves, and our forebears, more clearly and honestly, we tend to fall back on self-justification, pointing to our record of achievement and service.

On a Tour with a Cartooning Librarian

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Equipped with her trusty pencil (maybe a pen now) she irreverently cartoons everything she spots during her strolls across the city: from vintage fire hydrants (would you believe we have 18,000?) to company logos stamped on the bricks that paved Seattle streets.

How a Dogged Miami Reporter Bagged Her Big Story on Jeffrey Epstein

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Without Julie Brown's reporting and without her painstaking reexamination of justice gone astray, Jeffrey Epstein might still be flying high, consorting with the elite, and abusing young women.

The Case Against the Climate Change Consensus

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In addition to providing a detailed critique of the climate science “consensus,” the book offers a fascinating and detailed technical explanation of how climate science actually works -- its limits, possibilities, and what this science really tells us about the future of our planet.

Beneath the Surface: New Book Explores the Hidden World of Puget Sound

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"The most important animals in Puget Sound, as in the oceans at large, are neither the most obvious nor the most beloved."

The Efficiency Trap

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Rendering yourself more efficient — either by implementing various productivity techniques or by driving yourself harder — won’t generally result in the feeling of having ‘enough time,’ because all else being equal, the demands will increase to offset the benefits.

Beyond Comfort: The Impacts of Air Conditioning

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"When AC became available, it was concentrated in large commercial spaces where you had to spend money to stay cool. Consequently, movie theaters or shopping malls received air conditioning, while there were far fewer public spaces providing shelter from the heat. Libraries are the major exception to this."

Three Books: The Final Days of Trump

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Michael Wolff: “The nature of the Trump chaos is that, beyond its immediate desires and pronouncements, there was no ability – or structure, or chain of command, or procedures or expertise, or actual person to call – to make anything happen.”

Two Thrillers About Reinventing Yourself

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Both Jessie Walters’ Citizen Vince and Carolyn Kepnes’ You Love Me are categorized as thrillers, but although crimes are committed and blood is spilled, neither one really is.

Four Americas: George Packer Breaks it Down

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Where does Packer see this all heading? He doesn’t see a hot civil war or secession, but quite possibly an on-going “cold” civil war. He thinks that if we are to make progress on our big challenges, patriotism cannot be neglected.

Me and the News: Chris Matthews’ Loud Proud Memoir

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Matthews has written quality books, notably the perceptive "Kennedy & Nixon: The Rivalry that Shaped Postwar America." In this case, however, the author has come too close to the sun – himself. ”My Country” is laden with high press socializing with himself as central figure.

Post Alley Excerpt: Seattle Author Eric Redman’s New Mystery “Bones of Hilo”

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Kawika Wong, the young Hawaiian detective who is the focus of Eric Redman’s newly published mystery “Bones of Hilo,” encounters players whose strange or extreme behavior at once creates suspicion and distractions.

Amy Klobuchar: Why we need new Anti-Monopoly Laws (and to enforce them)

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She describes how she happened to write the book, beginning with a phone call that arrived shortly after she was sworn in as a new U.S. senator in 2008. A pharmacist at Children's Hospital in Minneapolis called asking for help: the price of a life-saving drug used to treat premature babies had suddenly increased astronomically in price.

Eric Redman’s New Mystery Explores Fault-Lines of Hawaiian Identity

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“Bones of Hilo” brings out the personal and group conflicts arising between the preservation of Hawaiian culture and the overwhelming forces of development and tourism.

Elizabeth Warren’s New Book: Her Persistent Assault on Corruption

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Warren's core insight: Big money has corrupted the republic. In her words: “This corruption has delivered untold profits to a handful of billionaires and corporations – and it may cost us our future . . . Corruption stands in the way of every single policy that would help us build a more just America. Corruption is a cancer that is eating away at our democracy.”

Facing the Mountain: Excerpt from the New Dan Brown Book

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The man’s eyes had filled with tears. Dahlquist fell silent. Apparently, this was the first time he fully realized the magnitude of the price the Nisei had paid to rescue the Texans.

Humiliation to Triumph: The Japanese-American Heroes of WWII

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Having put them behind guard towers, the U.S. government asked the young Japanese-American men to volunteer and fight for the country. They debated, most enlisted, and many proved to be superlative soldiers.