1) American Romances by Rebecca Brown (2009)
Reading this book of essays by Rebecca Brown is like going on a road trip through American culture with someone who insists she knows where she’s going. The resulting conversations are so lively.
2) Before Seattle Rocked by Kurt E. Armbruster (2011)
The importance and contribution of Seattle musicians have been unnoticed in historical accounts of the city. Kurt Armbruster fills that gap in this far-reaching and entertaining panorama of Seattle music.
3) The Book of Difficult Fruit by Kate Lebo (2021)
Inspired by twenty-six fruits, the essayist, poet, and pie lady Kate Lebo expertly blends natural, culinary, medical, and personal history. Kate Lebo’s unquenchable curiosity promises adventure: intimate, sensuous, ranging, bitter, challenging, rotten, ripe.
4) Shrill by Lindy West (2016)
Notes from a Loud Woman is a 2016 non-fiction book by American writer Lindy West. She details her journey in breaking free from these expectations as a successful stand-up comic, internet writer, and fat woman.
5) Jackson Street After Hours by Paul de Barros (1993)
The phrase definitive account gets trotted out an awful lot to describe history books. But, for Paul de Barros to look at the incredible jazz scene in Seattle, which peaked in the 1940s and 1950s, such language is unavoidable.
It is evocative and richly researched the marquee names that helped form the scene: Ernestine Anderson, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles.