Seattle Books

WAY back in August, I posted about what I like to read when I'm traveling. In that post I said I'd be back the following week with my favorite books about Seattle. Oops. It's been a little longer than a week. But here you go! Regardless of whether you live in Seattle or not, I'd recommend all of these reads.

A Homemade Life and Delancy 

Both memoirs sprinkled with recipes that will make you feel like you're catching up with a dear friend.

Where to read: Either in your own kitchen while you're wildly inspired to make all the recipes from the books OR at one of Molly and her husband's restaurants in Seattle (Delancy, Essex and Dino's Tomato Pie)

Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet 

This is historical fiction, based on the real lives of the Asian Americans living in what is now Seattle's International District during WWII. This book has it all, the sweetest story of young love and the bitter truth of racism driven by fear and how Japanese were mistreated during the war.

Where to read: The Panama Hotel, the actual hotel referenced in the title where many Japanese Americans left their possessions before being shipped off to interment camps during WWII. Sadly, many people never made it back to clam their things and you can actually peek through a window in the floor to see some of the things that were stored in the basement in the 1940's.

Seriously, even if you're reading another book, this is a great spot to sit with a book and a cup of tea.

The Boys in the Boat 

This is the true story of the University of Washington's crew team and the amazing path they took to make it all the way to the 1936 Olympics in Berlin, competing for America in front of Hitler. 

Where to read: UW's Suzzallo Library or in the spring, down in Montlake, where you can watch UW's crew team practice and tour the crew house which includes the historic shell the team used in 1936. 

Where'd You Go Bernadette 

This is a story of an eccentric Seattle transplant, fictional but it relies on observations of Seattle from the author, Maria Semple's real life experience moving here from LA. The result is a  hilarious take on Seattle culture, and I have to say, while it's one sided, it's pretty accurate. I know these people, I nannied for kids who went to schools very similar to Bernadette's daughter's, etc. 

Where to read: Well, if you want to be like Bernadette, don't leave your home, ever! Order in takeout and have a comfy chair delivered to read in. Or if you want to see the Seattle she's trying to escape, I'd suggest you plant yourself in a coffeeshop or restaurant in South Lake Union during the lunch rush and enjoy reading while being swarmed by Microsoft and Amazon employees. 

Anyone else have Seattle book recommendations? 

Image above, Seattle's Panama Hotel back in the day.

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