Since the winter months are colder in many parts of the world, often necessitating finding indoor activities to enjoy, they provide the perfect opportunity to cozy up to a fireplace with a good book. Not sure what to read? Why not dive into some historical fiction to experience life through the lenses of the many communities in the Northwest or grab a non-fiction title to learn more about the background of your own town. Whether you are you dreaming of a Pacific Northwest getaway or want to learn more about your own “backyard.” You may even discover more fun and interesting, things to do in Victoria, Seattle and other cities throughout the region. Here are a few books to inspire you and get you in a Northwest state of mind.
1) The Good Rain by Timothy Egan:
A native of the Pacific Northwest himself, Timothy Egan dives deep into the history, culture, geography and flora and fauna of the region. He travels through Washington, Oregon and Victoria on Vancouver Island, exploring salmon fisheries, redwood forests, Okanagan Valley, the Columbia River and the volcanoes of the Cascades. The book contains an abundance of information and is great for lovers of the Pacific and newbies alike.
2) Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey:
Although “Sometimes a Great Notion” is purely fictional, the book provides a look at what life would be like as a logger in the 1950s working in a small lumber town on the Oregon coast. The book is incredibly well written and depicts the rainy season in Oregon perfectly, causing many critics to describe it as “the quintessential Northwest novel.”
3) Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer:
Nature lovers and adventures alike will be drawn into this book as Krakauer retraces the tragic journey of Christopher McCandless through the West in order to determine what caused the young man with such a bright future to give up everything. While Krakauer is unable to provide an answer about McCandless’s demise with absolute certainty, the book serves as an excellent example of what it is like to venture into the northern wilderness and is a good reminder about the power of nature.
4) Skid Road: An Informal Portrait of Seattle by Murray Morgan:
Ever wonder what Seattle was like before grunge, coffee, tech companies and professional sports put it on the map? “Skid Road” provides a narrative history of Seattle’s first 100 years. The book’s compilation of short stories discussing Seattle’s pioneers, towns, landmarks and community, gives you an informative and engaging look at how Seattle developed into the city it is today.
5) The Weather of the Pacific Northwest by Cliff Mass:
Not just for scientifically-oriented (although they are sure to geek out over the graphs and denser sections of this book) this book offers a breakdown of the weather in the Northwest that a layperson can understand. In it, popular radio commentator, blogger and University of Washington Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Mass explains how our geology effects the weather, includes history on sever weather events and even offers tips on how to predict the weather yourself.
6) The Jump Off Creek by Molly Gloss:
While some people may have learned how tough it was to survive as a pioneer playing the computer game “Oregon Trail” from the ‘70s to the ‘90s, this book provides a more in-depth look at what the experience would have been like if you were a women doing it on your own. Such is the story of the fictional Lydia Sanderson, a widow who sells everything in her home town of Pennsylvania to travel to Oregon and homestead on a mountain. Author Molly Gloss draws from pioneer diaries, journals and stories from her own family to exemplify the hard physical conditions and rituals of frontier life.
7) A History of Pacific Northwest Cuisine: Mastodons to Molecular Gastronomy by Marc Hinton:
Those of who live in the Pacific Northwest, and even those who do not, know one thing is for certain – our food Is delicious! Our lush landscape provides an array of tasty edibles from fruit and vegetables, meat, seafood and even wine and beer! In this book, Hinton studies the history of food in Washington and Oregon (from potlatches to five-star restaurants) and how it has shaped our meals today. Of course, there are also delicious recipes thrown in!
8) Natural Grace by William Dietrich:
When people often think of Seattle, Portland and the rest of the Pacific Northwest, they often think of city life and culture. However, animals and nature still play important roles in the Northwest life. Dietrich explores what we can learn from these plants and animals, and encourages others to do the same, in this collection of natural history essays adapted from articles he wrote for Pacific Northwest Magazine.