browsers bookstore olympia wa
Browsers changes out quotes that greet customers as they enter the store. | Photo credit: Spencer Spotts

hen the skies turn grey and the rain keeps drizzling, a lot of us start to spend more time indoors than we do during the summer or fall. With all of that extra time indoors, you might be looking for a new book that’ll keep you gripped from cover to cover. The first in our Backed by Browsers series, Browsers Bookshop owner Andrea Griffith has her top five recommended reads to check out this season:


Urban Trails: Olympia by Craig Romano


You might be familiar with other works about trails in the Pacific Northwest by Craig Romano, but this recent release focuses on the greater Olympia area. Full of great photos and fascinating adventures, Romano launched the book at Browsers back in October to a standing-room only crowd.

“I’ve lived here for seven years and there were trails I knew about but also a lot of trails I didn’t know about,” commented Andrea. “This would be a great for 2018 goal setting – to try and do all the trails in this book.”


American War by Omar El Akkad


A winner of a 2018 Pacific Northwest Book Association Award, a paperback version of the gripping novel was just released last week. El Akkad’s debut novel examines the possibilities of “what might happen if America were to turn its most devastating policies and deadly weapons upon itself.”

“It’s a post-apocalyptic setting, and it’s really well done and very relevant for today,” said Andrea.



Sherman Alexie’s new memoir examines the complex relationship between beloved Seattle-based Alexie and his mother. Readers embark on an intimate journey of addiction, tenderness, contradictions and love in what was rated one of the most anticipated books of 2017 by Entertainment Weekly and Bustle.

“His mother was a quilt-maker, so the book resembles a quilt,” added Andrea. “It’s layered with poetry and true stories, but it packs a huge emotional pull. It was definitely one of my favorite books of 2017.”


A Sideways Look at Clouds by Maria Mudd Ruth


While many of us take clouds for granted, this new scientific exploration of clouds will have you looking at the sky in brilliant and unexpected ways. Maria Mudd Ruth is a local author based in Olympia and Browsers Bookshop even has signed copies of the book available.

“Maria is very entertaining and she takes the definition of a cloud and breaks it down into the chapter structure,” said Andrea. “You’re learning and you’re enjoying yourself when you’re reading this book.”


Love by Matt De La Pena and illustrated by Loren Long

For children

If you’re looking for a poetic and beautiful new children’s book, look no further than Love. The tastefully illustrated book explores and celebrates the many different ways we all experience the sensation of love. A moving reflection on the many different ways love manifests throughout our lives.

“This would be the perfect Valentine’s Day present for a child in your life,” commented Andrea. “It’s a very seasonally appropriate.”


Andrea’s Honorable Mentions

Winter by Ali Smith
winter ali smithFiction
The follow up to Ali Smith’s Autumn (which was Andrea’s favorite book last year), Winter is part of Smith’s quartet of novels following the structure of Earth’s seasons. Mystery awaits readers in what is being called the first “Brexit novel.”

Pachinko by Min Jin Lee
Fictionpachinko min jin lee
You can catch this novel as part of Browsers Book Club in April where local readers will share their thoughts on this compelling struggle of sacrifice and loyalty. Pachinko follows the journey of a Korean immigrant family across generations and was one of New York Time’s Top Ten Books of 2017.

The Book of Mistakes by Corinna Luyken
For children (and others)book of mistakes local author
Another brilliant local author in Olympia, Corinna Luyken’s first picture book will make the perfect gift night-time read for a young one or a wonderful graduation gift. Luyken gracefully explores a universal lesson on what it means to make to a mistake and how to turn a mistake into something beautiful. Signed copies of this book are currently available or you can have your copy signed on March 10 when Browsers Bookshop presents Luyken with her 2018 Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award.


Visit Browsers Bookshop

Make sure to check out Browsers Bookshop on Facebook and visit them downtown between 4th Ave and State.

Browsers Bookshop
107 Capitol Way N.
Olympia, WA 98501
Monday-Saturday: 10am-7pm
Sunday: 11am-5pm

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