We still encourage orders placed online, by phone at 406-587-0166, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, and contactless pick up and in-town delivery options are still available. Please wear a mask for in-store shopping and pick up.
The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association is pleased to present the recipients of the 2021 Pacific Northwest Book Awards as selected by a volunteer committee of independent booksellers from 400 nominated titles published in 2020. Committee comments for the winning titles can be viewed on the 2021 Book Awards page of the PNBA website.
This year PNBA and its member stores will host a free virtual public celebration with the winners of this year's Awards. The Pacific Northwest Book Awards Celebration will be hosted on Wednesday, February 10th at 6pm PT/ 7pm MT. Registration is required.
About the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association PNBA is a non-profit trade association that supports independent bookselling in Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington. Each year since 1965, the Pacific Northwest Book Awards have celebrated exceptional books written by Northwest authors. Visit our NWBookLovers blog promoting the authors and independent bookstores of the Northwest region. The site also hosts the Pacific Northwest Independent Bestseller List, a weekly presentation of the bestselling books in the independent bookstores of our five-state region. The list may be reprinted in any publication. For more information, contact email@example.com.
Hungry Hearts: 13 Tales of Food & Love, edited by Elsie Chapman and Caroline Tung Richmond, is a short story collection that shares the impact delicious food can make on one’s life. Anthologies are usually connected by a theme, but I love that the stories included in Hungry Hearts take place in the same world. While each tale is unique, its connection to other stories in the anthology make the overall collection more meaningful to read. For example, characters who are introduced through small roles in earlier stories are featured in a later tale that may provide their backstory. Additionally, all of the stories take place in Hungry Heart Row, a fictitious town that has restaurants of all varieties on every street, so key locations are carried throughout the book.
I enjoyed reading Hungry Hearts, but three stories particularly stood out to me. In “The Grand Ishq Adventure” by Sandhya Menon, Neha runs a love-related advice column. Despite giving helpful advice to her readers, Neha does not usually have much luck in the love department herself. One day, she decides to take her own advice to become braver: eat alone and try new cuisines. In “Gimme Some Sugar” by Jay Coles, Leo wants to enter a cooking competition to win money to help his mom. His grandmother suggests he cook with one of her recipes. With his grandmother’s support, Leo is able to feel more confident about his cooking in the competition. In "Panadería ~ Pastelería" by Anne-Marie McLemore, Lila wants to tell a childhood friend that she likes him, but does not know how to say it with words. So, she relies on baking.
In each case, the characters are able to learn more about themselves through cuisine. The reader becomes engaged with the inhabitants and stories of Hungry Hearts Row.
Janna’s brother is getting married in a few days and wedding preparations are the only thing on her mind. Well that, and the fact that Nuah, Janna’s crush—who likes her back— is coming home from college for the summer. But things become complicated when Janna meets Haytham, a boy who has an amazing voice, is great at taking care of children, and is good looking. So when Nuah arrives, Janna is surprised that he does not seem to mind her spending time with Haytham. Further complications arise when Janna meets Layth, a mysterious boy who seems to understand her. With the wedding and navigation of new relationships, Janna’s summer becomes busier than she anticipated.
Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali continues the story of Janna from Saints and Misfits. I went into the book without having read Ali’s first book, and while Misfit in Love can be read as a standalone, I was enjoying it so much (I could not put it down) that I wanted to read Saints and Misfits to see where Janna’s story began.
Misfit in Love explores different types of love: romantic, friendly, familial, and self-love. I appreciate that Ali dives deeper than just the possible romances between Janna and her love-interests by including themes of family too. Janna reflects about the change her family experienced when her parents divorced and considers how it will change again when her brother marries. Though at first unwilling to let new members into the family, she begins to open her heart as she gets to know them better. She also realizes the importance of self-love and listening to her heart. Misfit in Love by S.K. Ali is the love story I have been waiting for.
Isa, a ballerina, and Alex, a baseball player, first meet while riding the New York subway. From the moment that they first lock eyes, there is an instant curiosity that passes between them. But all too soon, their ride together comes to an end. Over the course of the following months, Isa and Alex continue to run into each other on the subway. With their continual meetings, the two become friends, bonding over their dedication to athletics, but they both claim they are too busy to date. Unfortunately, this means their meetings are rare, so aspiring-poet Alex starts to leave poems for Isa to find. This brings them closer, so much so, that they decide to try to make a relationship work. However, their relationship becomes complicated when secrets are kept and explanations are not given.
This Train is Being Held by Ismée Willimas is a lyrical story about two passionate teenagers. Williams' descriptions are beautiful and create vivid and detailed images in the reader’s mind. Both Isa and Alex have Latin American heritage, and throughout the story, the reader is exposed to experiences that the characters go through because of stereotypes that are placed on them. However, they do not let this stop them from enjoying life. Isa and Alex have so much heart; they care deeply about their family and for each other. Their story of love and being willing to fight for it is moving, as well. In addition, Williams’ discussions of family expectations and making choices to pursue one’s passion—even when it is a different path that what is expected of you—resonates with the reader. This Train is Being Held by Ismée Willimas is a beautiful and powerful love story.
Danyal has had a crush on Kaval for the longest time, but despite his good looks, Danyal is not the smartest person, and therefore, not the most appealing marriage prospect. The Renaissance Man, an annual competition held at Danyal’s school for selected bright students, is just around the corner. Unexpectedly, Danyal is chosen to be one of the representatives. Thinking that this is his chance to impress Kaval and her parents, Danyal knows that he has to win. To help him with his speech, he works with Bisma, one of the girls his parents had him meet, but strictly as friends. However, as they work together, Danyal realizes that he enjoys spending time with Bisma, and maybe his feelings toward Kaval have changed.
More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood is a wholesome, feel-good story. In the beginning, Danyal seems like your typical good-looking teenage boy (kind of full of himself), but as the book continues, he becomes more aware and interested in the world. Learning more about himself allows him to realize what is actually important to him. He becomes more compassionate, as well, which warmed my heart. Bisma is kind, evident in her choosing to help Danyal with his speech. And she is strong for putting on a brave face despite the criticism that she faces from her family. Complete with lovable characters, delicious food, and unexpected friendship, More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood is an enjoyable read.
Felix Love, a passionate artist, is a transgender teen attending a summer art program to work on his college portfolio. But Felix is struggling to find inspiration. To make matters worse, one of his peers puts up a gallery of photos of him before he transitioned—outing him to the whole school. Following this spectacle, he receives hateful, transphobic messages that make Felix start to question his identity. While Felix has always wanted to be in love, these messages make him wonder if anyone could ever love him. One day, his art teacher encourages him to try painting self portraits. Through his portraits, Felix is able to express himself as he sees himself, not as other people see him. In addition to the progress on his portfolio, Felix learns that he may be lovable after all, and perhaps, he just needed to know where to look.
I LOVE Felix Ever After by Kacen Callender, and I am so glad to have read Felix’s story. Through Felix, I was able to expand my perspective to have a greater understanding and appreciation for trans people. His story opened my eyes to the many identities a trans person may have, and his story made me aware that it is okay to question your identity until you have found the one that makes you feel like you.
In addition, Felix is a character who you cannot help but love. He faces many trials, but he does not allow them to stop him from realizing his dreams. Furthermore, Felix is relatable. Throughout the book, he opens up and shares his honest feelings regarding love. His humility makes him seem real and genuine. Despite his insecurities, Felix truly is a strong, admirable character. Felix’s story is heartwarming.
Star student and clarinetist Liz Lighty cannot wait to attend college in the fall as she will be attending her dream school—the same school her mother attended. Liz is looking forward to following her mother’s footsteps, but she is most excited about the select music ensemble she auditioned for. However, when she receives the news she did not make it, Liz is heartbroken—especially because she will not receive the scholarship she needed to attend the school. Liz is losing hope when she remembers that the prom queen and king both receive a full scholarship to the school of their choice. Never having considered participating in prom before, Liz is suddenly determined to make the prom court, and most importantly, win prom queen. But to complicate matters, Liz finds that she may be falling in love with one of the other prom queen contestants.
You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson is an inspirational story that reminds us to believe in our true selves. Liz is such a likable character, and I found myself immediately cheering for her. I love how she completely applies herself to her passions, and I especially love how she cares deeply about the people closest to her; she is willing to drop everything she is doing to give them the support they need. The elements of family, friendship, romance, and self-love that are included in the story made my heart feel full. And I especially enjoyed watching the relationships between Amanda, Jordan, and Robbie grow as the story progressed. You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson is an uplifting story that will make you smile.
Justyce, one of a few black teens who attends a private school is Georgia, has encountered racism on a daily basis. One day, Justyce is walking when he notices his ex-girlfriend is trying to drive home while intoxicated. Doing the right thing, Justyce decides to drive her home. Before he can, a police officer stops him and puts him into handcuffs thinking Justyce was robbing this girl. In a few hours, the situation has been cleared up, but Justyce can still feel the handcuffs around his wrists. As Justyce reflects on the evening, he begins writing letters to Martin Luther King asking him what he would do in Justyce’s situation. As Justyce continues to experience racism at school, he researches more about King’s methods and works to apply them to his own life.
Dear Martin by Nic Stone is moving. Her story discusses white privilege and the misguided impressions white people have towards the country’s equality through conversations in Justyce’s societal evolution class. Many of the discussions the class has are the same conversations that are being talked about nationally. She seamlessly debunks these misconceptions through classroom debates. Stone also addresses police brutality and the often biased trials that determine the officer’s guilt when one of Martin’s friends is shot by an off-duty police officer. Stone succeeds in acknowledging the problems we are facing right now and provides perspective for us who are looking to understand both what and how we need to change as people and as a nation. Dear Martin by Nic Stone is a powerful story that captures the racism of our country and educates us about national issues. It is a must-read.
The holiday shopping season is flying by! This weekend is the deadline to place your order to arrive in time for the Christmas holiday. Of course 2020 is different in many ways, and that includes the time it takes to receive shipments from our suppliers and for our staff to process them -- orders are taking much longer than ever before.
Orders received after Sunday 12/13 may have a chance of arriving in time for the holiday, but the likelihood will be significantly diminished. Our staff are working extra hard to help with all your gift-giving needs, so send us your orders as soon as possible!
See it now, buy it now! If you see something you like, don’t wait, as it might not be available later. Publishers are running out of books much faster than usual, and some books just won't be back in stock again until after the New Year. This also goes for our nonbook merchandise like puzzles, cards, calendars, and other gift items -- most of which are not on our website, but with an email or a phone call we can help you shop these items from a distance. We are doing our best to keep in-demand titles and items well stocked, but we are approaching the event horizon of printing shortages and longer shipping times, so much of this is out of our control.
All the major shipping companies are working extra hard while having an extra heavy load, and this will likely only get worse the closer we get to Christmas, so plan your shipping early. But hey, there's nothing wrong with getting a gift for New Year's, right?
And as a reminder - Country Bookshelf may be large, but we still must limit our capacity for everyone’s safety. Our first priority is people: customers and staff. Shopping online is a great way to avoid crowds. If you decide to come in person, we recommend bundling up in case you have to wait outside for a few minutes when we are at capacity. We promise it will be worth it! Thank you and Happy Holidays!
Exclusive Virtual Event With Meateater host Steven Rinella
Join Steven Rinella, the host of the Meateater podcast and Netflix series, and author Michael Punke to discuss Rinella's new book The Meateater's Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival.
Books in Common NW welcomes podcaster, television host, and author Steven Rinella to share his hard-earned experience and wilderness wisdom conveniently bound in his newest book The Meateater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival. Rinella will be joined by the bestselling author of The Revenant, Michael Punke.
Your ticket includes a signed copy of The Meateater's Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival.
An indispensable guide to surviving everything from an extended wilderness exploration to a day-long boat trip, with hard-earned advice from the host of the show Meateater, as seen on Netflix.
For anyone planning to spend time outside, The Meateater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival is the perfect antidote to the sensationalism of the modern survival genre. Informed by the real-life experiences of renowned outdoorsman Steven Rinella, its pages are packed with tried-and-true tips, techniques, and gear recommendations.
Among other skills, readers will learn about old-school navigation and essential satellite tools, how to build a basic first-aid kit and apply tourniquets, and how to effectively purify water using everything from ancient methods to cutting-edge technologies. This essential guide delivers hard-won insights and know-how garnered from Rinella's own experiences and mistakes and from his trusted crew of expert hunters, anglers, emergency-room doctors, climbers, paddlers, and wilderness guides--with the goal of making any reader feel comfortable and competent while out in the wild.
Can't Make the Event?
Pre-order your copy of Steven Rinella's newest book from Country Bookshelf.
is the author of four books including The Revenant, #1 New York Times bestseller and basis for the Academy Award-winning film. In his diverse professional career, Punke has served as the US ambassador to the World Trade Organization in Geneva, history correspondent for the Montana Quarterly, and an adjunct professor at the University of Montana. As a high school and college student, he worked summers as a "living history interpreter" at Fort Laramie National Historic Site in Wyoming. He lives with his family in Montana and is an avid outdoorsman.
Check out Michael's Books Here!
Visit our website to choose your favorite Michael Punke title today.