Crack open one of these books where Seattle is the star

You've seen the movie Sleepless In Seattle. You've watched the TV show Frasier. Now check out this reading list of books set in Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.
John reading a book
Photo credit F-Stop McFlashington

If you feel as if you've seen pretty much EVERYTHING there is to see on Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max, Apple TV+, Hulu, and the Game Show Network, maybe it's time to step away from the flat screen and try something different to entertain yourself.

How about a book?

I think during the pandemic a lot of readers gravitate toward books about far-away places, so they can fantasize about the day when once again we can all freely roam the earth -- maybe some Bill Bryson, or the ever-popular Peter Mayle.

But here's an idea: How about staying closer to home, with books whose action happens right here in the Northwest, in and around Seattle?

If that sounds good, I'd start with A Big Seattle Reading List from Seattle Met. This long rundown of PNW-oriented reading will keep you in your easy chair until the next pandemic.

There's fiction: Anything by Tom Robbins is worth a read, but this list suggests you start with Skinny Legs. Raymond Carver's short stories are classics, as in Cathedral. And for a more contemporary take on modern life in Seattle (or at least the Seattle of 2012, which seems like a long time ago now) there's Maria Semple's Where'd You Go, Bernadette. BTW, the book is way better than the movie they made that was based on the book.

On the non-fiction side, I'm a huge fan of Charles Cross, one of Seattle's all-time great music writers, who wrote the definitive Jimi Hendrix biography, Room Full of Mirrors, and two great books about Kurt Cobain and Nirvana: Heavier Than Heaven, and Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain. But you'll find a bunch of books that will reveal new insights into life here in the PNW.

If you like memoirs, and you've spent some time driving way east on Highway 20 through, say, Concrete, This Boy's Life by Tobias Wolfe is a must-read. If you used to read Lindy West in Seattle's Stranger, check out her essay collection, Shrill: Notes From A Loud Woman. Very Seattle/Capitol Hill.

There are even some recommendations for local poetry collections on the list.

Another place to start is A new-to-Seattle reading list: the fiction essentials, a 2017 story in the Seattle Times that suggests getting to know this part of the world a little better by reading everyone from prolific Native American writer Sherman Alexie Olympia's Jim Lynch, and to fully appreciate the dot com boom, which seems like a whole other century, read Waxwings by Jonathan Raban. (This list also recommends classic writers like Raymond Carver and Tom Robbins.)

That's a good start, and who knows? You might find that once a good book sucks you in, you'll be hooked on books -- at least until the next Schitt's Creek or The Queen's Gambit comes along.