A selection of new titles by Washington authors, or of local interest.
“Birds of Washington: Status and Distribution”
edited by Terence R. Wahl, Bill Tweit and Steven G. Mlodinow (Oregon State University Press, $65). Billed as “the first complete reference work on Washington’s birds to be published in more than fifty years,” this hefty volume offers methodical entries on our local avian life, including clear range maps and occasional black-and-white drawings of the birds.
“Shadow Boxers: Sweat, Sacrifice and the Will to Survive in American Boxing Gyms”
by Jim Lommasson and others (Stone Creek Publications, $39.95). A Portland photographer collaborates with Northwest writers Katherine Dunn, Timothy Taylor, Lucius Shepard and others, in a rich look at boxing-gym culture. (The boxing ring at the Lucky Eagle Casino in Rochester, Wash., rates an impressive three-photo sequence.) Lommasson and Dunn won the 2004 Dorothea Lange-Paul Taylor Prize from Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies for their collaboration on the book.
by David C. Lai (Mark Batty Publisher, $24.95, www.markbattypublisher.com). A Gig Harbor doctor with “a passion for anesthesiology” reproduces the very strange 1954-1968 picture postcard campaign by Abbott Pharmaceutical Company, touting the merits of pentothal to doctors, nurses, hospitals and public health officials around the world. Among the offbeat subjects depicted on the front of the cards: Andorra’s House of Parliament and the Police Force Fanfare Trumpeters of Fiji.
“The Cemetery of Chua Village and Other Stories”
by Doan Le, translated by Rosemary Nguyen with Duong Tuong and Wayne Karlin (Curbstone, $14.95). Vietnamese short stories with a fantastical edge and some startling twists and turns. Translator Rosemary Nguyen lives in Renton.
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“Last Flag Flying”
by Darryl Ponicsan (Wright Press, $12.95). The part-time Seattle-area novelist-screenwriter (“Cinderella Liberty”) writes a sequel to his 1970 novel “The Last Detail” (later made into a film with Jack Nicholson). The new book looks at how “Detail’s” characters are dealing with middle age and post-9/11 American life. “The Last Detail” also has been reissued by Wright Press ($12.95).
“Longshot: The Story of the Buchan Bakers”
by Robin Buchan and Bruce Kitts (Classic Day, $19.95). Two Seattle-area authors recount the history of the team that became Seattle’s first national basketball champions in 1956. The Bakers were also the first American basketball team to compete behind the Iron Curtain. With a foreword by Bob Houbregs, former center for the University of Washington.
Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times book critic