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NEW AND NOTABLE BOOKS
TODAY WILL BE DIFFERENT, by Maria Semple (Little, Brown, $27.00) Eleanor Flood is a mess. She's erratic, scattered, and constantly getting things wrong (dates, names, times). She resorts to calling everything "amazing" because the right word always seems to be just out of reach. But all that's about to change, because today, Eleanor vows, will be different. Today she will be her best self. She sets the bar at a comfortable level: low. But then life happens, and her modest plan gets derailed... With all the heart, mad artistry, and inspired plotting that made Where'd You Go, Bernadette so beloved, Today Will Be Different is an electric novel for our times - and it's set (at least in part) in Seattle!
BORN TO RUN, by Bruce Springsteen (Simon & Schuster, $32.50), Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band perfomed at the Super Bowl half-time show. Springtseen found the experience so exhilerating that he decided to write about it. And so, this extraordinary autobiography began. For the next seven years, Springsteen privately devoted himself to writing the story of his life, bringing to this book the same honesty, humor, and originality found in his songs. Born to Run will be a revelation fo anyone who has ever enjoyed his music, but it's much more than a legendary rock star's memoir. This is a book for workers and dreamers, parents and children, lovers and loners, artists, freaks, or anyone who has ever wanted to be baptized in the holy river of rock 'n' roll.
NEWS OF THE WORLD, by Paulette Jiles (Morrow, $22.99) In the aftermath of the Civil War, Captain Jefferson Kyle Kidd drifts through northern Texas, performing live readings from newspapers to paying audiences hungry for news of the world. At seventy-one, Kidd enjoys the freedom of the road, even if his body aches and money is scarce. At a stop in Wichita Falls, he is offered a fifty-dollar gold piece to deliver a 10-year-old girl, orphaned by Kiowa raiders, to her relatives near San Antonio. Out of combined sense of duty and compassion, Kidd accepts, though he knows the journey will be long and dangerous. Addding to the difficulties, his charge, Johanna, who has been raised for the previous four years as a Kiowa, refuses to act "civilized." Yet as the miles pass, the girl grows closer to the man she calls "Kep-dun" and a bond develops between them. In San Antonio, however, one final hurdle awaits, and Kidd is forced to make a terrible choice that will determine Johanna's fate - and his own. A 2016 National Book Award Finalist!
MY OLD MAN AND THE MOUNTAIN, by Leif Whittaker (The Mountaineers, $24.95) In 1963, the nation watched as Jim Whittaker became the first American to summit Mount Everest. He returned a hero, celebrated from the streets of his hometown of Seattle to the halls of the White House. In this engaging and humorous memoir, Jim's youngest son, Leif (now a Bellingham resident), explores what it was like to "grow up Whittaker" - how he learned to survive in a family of climbers, to respond to the constantly asked question of whether he will climb Everest, and to find his own way out of the shadow of one of the world's most famous mountaineers.