Reading The Pacific Northwest

20130602opart-m-630x571.jpgExpanding upon my Oregon reads, I thought I would dedicate to The Great Northwest as a whole. It’s vast and natural splendor is astounding and I love literature that captures it’s spirit, grit, and enchanting beauty.
I’ll of course throw in a few well-known coffee roasters that are sure to impress.


Here are the books that I feel really showcase the quality of the NW:

The Orchardist
by Amanda Coplin

At the turn of the twentieth century, in a rural stretch of the Pacific Northwest, a reclusive orchardist, William Talmadge, tends to apples and apricots as if they were loved ones. A gentle man, he’s found solace in the sweetness of the fruit he grows and the quiet, beating heart of the land he cultivates. One day, two teenage girls appear and steal his fruit at the market; they later return to the outskirts of his orchard to see the man who gave them no chase.

Rated 4.0 on amazon.com

download
C
oava

on Hawthorne
Our espresso bar is about community.

locations_02

The gorgeous shop expands on the simplicity of Coava’s signature menu with direct-trade Cocanu mochas, house-made Madagascar vanilla, and elegant teas from Portland’s Jasmine Pearl Tea. We always offer two origins for espresso based drinks alongside our rotating black coffees. Our pastries are crafted locally by the incredible folks at Little T American Baker. We always have fresh bags of our current coffee offerings. Whether for a gift, a special occasion, or just daily drinking, we can help find the perfect one for you.

The Boys in The Boat
by Daniel James Brown

It was an unlikely quest from the start. With a team composed of the sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the University of Washington’s eight-oar crew team was never expected to defeat the elite teams of the East Coast and Great Britain, yet they did, going on to shock the world by defeating the German team rowing for Adolf Hitler. The emotional heart of the tale lies with Joe Rantz, a teenager without family or prospects, who rows not only to regain his shattered self-regard but also to find a real place for himself in the world

Rated 4.8 on amazon.com (out of almost 20k reviews!)

logoVictrola Coffee Roasters
Seattle, Washington
Victrola Coffee Roasters We source premium coffees, roast them to highlight the natural beauty in bean and prepare them with care and intention as we tell the global story of coffee.
From the beginning, Victrola, named for the popular home phonograph of the 1920’s, victrolaseattle_612embraced the liveliness, exuberance and fun of the Jazz era. In our popular imagination the roaring 20’s represent excess, prohibition, flappers, and speakeasies. The era’s fingerprints mark much of what we do, from our passion for live vintage jazz to our cafes unique architectural charm.

The Good Rain:
Across Time and Terrain in The Pacific Northwest

by Timothy Egan

Timothy Egan describes his journeys in the Pacific Northwest through visits to salmon fisheries, redwood forests and the manicured English gardens of Vancouver. Here is a blend of history, anthropology and politics.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

download (1)Ritual Roasters
San Fransisco, CA
Forty years ago, a cup of coffee was nothing more than a caffeine delivery vehicle. It didn’t really matter how it tasted, it just had to slap you awake in the morning or prop you up through a long afternoon. 470555875_cb228d4481But in the last decade or so, things have changed. A lot. A few people scattered across the country discovered how amazing a cup of coffee can be when you source the beans directly from farmers you know. When you roast the beans yourself in such a way that nothing intrinsic to the coffee is removed. When you brew the coffee with down-to-the-second precision.

Snow Falling on Cedars
by David Guterson

On San Piedro, an island of rugged, spectacular beauty in Puget Sound, home to salmon fishermen and strawberry farmers, a Japanese-American fisherman stands trial, charged with coldblooded murder. The year is 1954, and the shadow of WWII, with its brutality abroad and internment of Japanese Americans at home, hangs over the courtroom. Ishmael Chambers, who lost an arm in the Pacific war and now runs the island newspaper, is among the journalists covering the trial – a trial that brings him close, once again, to Hatsue Miyomoto, the wife of the accused man and Ishmael’s never-forgotten boyhood love.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

vivace-logoEspresso Vivace
Our charter is to research, develop, and prepare caffe espresso as a new culinary art. “Espresso Vivace” translates loosely as great enthusiasm and excitement for espresso, the new world coffee.
Vivace is a partnership founded by David Schomer and Geneva Sullivan in 1988. espresso-vivace-roasteriaSince 1992 we have been roasting in the Northern Italian style: searching the world for the mildest arabicas and bringing each bean in our blends to the fragrant peak of caramelized sugar content. Celebrity chef Emeril Lagasse has described Vivace espresso as the best coffee in the US, if not the world. Check out their Professional Barista Course as well.

The Absolutely True Diary
of a Part-Time Indian

by Sherman Alexie

This award winning book tells the story of Junior, a budding cartoonist growing up on the Spokane Indian Reservation. Determined to take his future into his own hands, Junior leaves his troubled school on the rez to attend an all-white farm town high school where the only other Indian is the school mascot. Heartbreaking, funny, and beautifully written; this story is based on the author’s own experiences, coupled with poignant drawings by Ellen Forney that reflect the character’s art, chronicles the contemporary adolescence of one Native American boy as he attempts to break away from the life he was destined to live.

Rated 4.6 on amazon.com

Sherman Alexie is Also the Author of 2 other great NW novels:
His first book “Reservation Blues” (winner of the American Book Award and The Murray Morgan Prize,) and “The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fish Fight in Heaven” and many many others.

reserve-logo
Starbucks Reserve

Roastery and Tasting Room

OUR LOVE AFFAIR WITH COFFEE KNOWS NO BOUNDS.

Starbucks_Reserve_Roastery_and_Tasting_Room_03_galleryIntroducing a one-of-a kind coffee shrine in our hometown that captures the past, present and future of Starbucks.

This is our Roastery, a place we had to create. The Siren called. We listened.

A Building as unique as the coffee.

Wild
by Cheryl Strayed

At twenty-two, Cheryl thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

Caffe_Vita_Logo_2013Caffe Vita
We’ve been roasting coffee in Seattle since 1995.
We are an independent, locally-owned company.  From our beginnings at the base of Seattle’s Queen Anne neighborhood, Caffe Vita now operates nine cafes in the Pacific Northwest, a caffe-vita-LES-NYC-outside-1200x887roasteria cafe in New York City, and a cafe in Los Angeles.
We are pioneers of the Farm Direct movement, meticulously sourcing the best coffee available while developing long-term, mutually fruitful relationships with coffee growers in more than 11 countries.

PBS_0They also have the Public Brewing School A complimentary class that delves into the world of understanding and brewing better coffee at home. PBS focuses on manual brewing methods but is also an open forum to talk all things coffee!

Trout Fishing in America
by Richard Brautigan

Brautigan was a literary idol of the 1960s and 1970s whose comic genius and iconoclastic vision of American life caught the imagination of young people everywhere. He came of age during the Haight-Ashbury period and has been called “the last of the Beats.” His early books became required reading for the hip generation, and on its publication Trout Fishing in America became an international bestseller. An indescribable romp, the novel is best summed up in one word: mayonnaise.

Rated 4.3 on amazon.com

download (2).pngheart.
The motivation behind our coffee is simple: uncompromising quality. We are a specialty coffee roasting company aiming to bring people a focused and an exceptional coffee experience.

We begin with some of the best green coffee from mainly Central America, South America, and Africa.
487f096a0a008c5539f41f4542016f65We roast our coffee to the ideal degree, while fully developing complex flavors, and bringing out delicate clarity. The coffee is then cupped in the lab and must pass the standard of excellence before reaching our customers.
We believe that starting with quality green coffee enables us to put the care into the roasted coffee we serve—from the source to the final cup. We love what we do and want to share it with you.

Take a seat, let it cool a little, and enjoy the difference in heart coffee.

Tibetan Peach Pie
by Tom Robbins

Internationally bestselling novelist and American icon Tom Robbins delivers the long awaited tale of his wild life and times, both at home and around the globe. His warm, wise, and wonderfully weird novels—including Still Life With Woodpecker, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates—provide an entryway into the frontier of his singular imagination. Madcap but sincere, pulsating with strong social and philosophical undercurrents, his irreverent classics have introduced countless readers to natural born hitchhiking cowgirls, born-again monkeys, a philosophizing can of beans, exiled royalty, and problematic redheads.

Rated 4.4 on amazon.com

fb-og-image-default-b0bce82fbf6759deaa8fb9b4b848783f6108edc78c42af454c1f82e7e999e093Blue Bottle Coffee
In the early 2000s, in Oakland, California, a slightly disaffected freelance musician and coffee lunatic, weary of the commercial coffee enterprise and stale, overly roasted beans, decided to open a roaster for people who were clamoring for the actual taste of fresh coffee.
Blue Bottle BrooklynUsing a minuscule six-pound batch roaster, he made a historic vow: “I will only sell coffee less than 48 hours out of the roaster to my guests, so they may enjoy coffee at peak flavor. I will only use the finest, most delicious, and responsibly sourced beans.”
In honor of Kolshitsky’s heroics
(see story here), he named his business Blue Bottle Coffee and began another chapter in the history of superlative coffee.

Winterkill
by Craig Lesley

Winner of the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association Award: a deeply moving and evocative novel of fathers and sons. Danny Kachiah is a Native American fighting not to become a casualty. His father, Red Shirt, is dead; his wife, Loxie, has left him, and his career as a rodeo cowboy is flagging. But when Loxie dies in a car wreck, leaving him with his son, Jack, whom he hardly knows, Danny uses the magnificent stories of Red Shirt to guide him toward true fatherhood. Together, Danny and Jack begin to make a life from the dreams of yesterday and the ruins of today’s northwestern reservations.

Rated 4.1 on amazon.com

thundermuck-logoColumbia River Coffee Roaster
Coffee That Floats the arts
On the Coast, where we’ve been roasting fresh beans to order since 1992. We are ever-mindful of presenting a lovely cup of coffee to accompany our varied and ever-changing lives.
Joshua Bessex - Daily Astorian - Jan 5, 2015 - AR-150109903Our ongoing work includes a journey to expand our offering of direct-trade, organic, shade-grown, sustainably-harvested coffees, which also benefits the growers and their family of workers.

Our roasting facility makes its home below the Megler Bridge in the historic Uniontown District of Astoria, Oregon

The Curve of Time
The Classic Memoir of a Woman and Her Children Who Explored the Coastal Waters of the Pacific Northwest
by Wyle Blanchet

The fascinating true adventure of widowed Muriel Wylie Blanchet who packed her five children onto a 25-foot boat at the end of the 1920s, and acting as skipper, navigator, engineer and mother, took her family into the coastal waters of Vancouver Island, summer after summer, charting a world they made their own, encountering storms, fogs, rough seas, cougars and bears with the high spirits, the courage and the respect for native cultures and the natural world of a bona fida pioneer.

Rated 4.7 on amazon.com

Cave-near-Mt-JeffersonI am a proud Pacific Northwesterner and I hope these books give a, if not complete, at least true illustration of it’s dazzling allure, strength, & character.

Advertisements

Noteworthy Non-Fiction

I love reading great non-fiction books. I enjoy reading about historical events and people. I love memoirs and biographies of interesting and diverse characters. I also will read an occasional self-help book, if it’s applicable and not too overly cliche.

Here are some great noteworthy non-fiction books:
(Click any photo or title for more info.)
 If you haven’t already read this book I highly recommend it. This girl wrote so well in her journal, and told her story so exceptionally. – semi-spoiler alert! – For her to be able to tell her story in the midst of such hardship and have it survive in her place, is beautiful. It’s a bit haunting knowing that she wrote this leading up to what was likely a very horrendous end. I felt a bit of a knot in my core that was hard to shake. I tend to get very attached to the lives and stories of protagonist in books, and
it’s always very difficult when bad
things happen. The eeriness with this book was that I couldn’t tell myself
(it’s just a book.)
Diary of a Young Girl
Rated: 4.6 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Simple Tea
You may not feel like spoiling yourself with anything decadent while reading about such hardship.
On a much lighter note there is this delightful book about the real life happenings of one Ellen Degeneres. Now, I am a fan of Ellen’s, I love the style of her humor and wit. So I am quiet a bit biased going into this little mini review. This book is a breath of fresh air. It is pure Ellen genius, and I sped right through it. At the end I was sad it was over, the light-hearted gentle humor was such an endorphin rush. I don’t know if other people will feel as I did reading it,
but I sure hope so. 🙂
The Funny Thing Is
Rated: a shocking 3.9 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Alppuchino
I know I’m not Ellen, I need to drink more Iced Green Tea.
This is a fantastic book. I purchased it because it was inviting and looked really interesting. It is about chief Quanah Parker and the rise and fall of the Comanche tribe. Being of Native American heritage myself, I am drawn to historical books such as this. What I love about this book is that it reads like a novel. The story is so engrossing and interesting. It was well written, informative, and entertaining as well. If you are interested in Native American Culture and/or History (or even if you’re not) this is a must read.
Empire of The Summer Moon
Rated: 4.5 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Trail Mix Mocha Latte
Espresso with steamed milk, flavored with chocolate, almond extract, and cherry. Keep it natural for a better more earthy flavor.
 I know, another book about the Holocaust, but it is such an exceptional book. This particular book is written by Victor Frankl an Austrian Neurologist and Psychologist. He writes about the events that took place from a different point of view than other books I’ve read, which I really liked. He would break down the why’s and woes of each person’s action/reaction, and I  found that fascinating. This book is part Holocaust experience story, part “what I’ve discovered because of it.” It’s like getting a mini-documentary and a self-help book all in one.
Man’s Search For Meaning
Rated: 4.7 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Plain Brewed Coffee
Again you won’t feel like indulging while reading this painful memoir.
And to end with another light-hearted note. Lucile Ball, the comic legend and genius. This autobiography was discovered randomly after her death. Again I am probably a bit biased here, because I ADORE Lucy. I Love Lucy was iconic. I grew up watching it, and to this day it is my favorite! Lucille ball and Ricky Ricardo are a match made in heaven (on screen at least.) I love the behind the scene detail, and the great pictures that accompany this book. I am so happy that this gem was discovered so that we could enjoy her legacy.
Screen-shot-2012-04-30-at-9.46.00-AMLove, Lucy
Rated: 4.8 on amazon.com
Book Bean: Vitameatavegamin!
But seeing as it’s so hard to find, how about a mouthful of
Truffle Cocoa, to get in the Lucy spirit 🙂

 

I know there are so many other lovely books that I’m leaving out. Books that I just haven’t read yet, or wasn’t thinking of. However, these are the ones that stood out to me. 🙂

What non-fictions book/s stand out to you?