A selection of new titles by Washington authors, or of local interest.

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“People of the River: Native Arts of the Oregon Territory”

by Bill Mercer (Portland Art Museum/University of Washington Press, $49.95). A sumptuous coffee-table book looks at the basketry, beadwork and sculpture of the Native American tribes of the Columbia River region.

“Classic Hikes of the World: 23 Breathtaking Treks”

by Peter Potterfield (Norton, $39.95). A photo essay by a Seattle writer-adventurer (“In the Zone”), covering territory ranging from Chilean Patagonia to New Zealand’s South Island to Washington’s own Wonderland Trail.

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by C.J. Cherryh (DAW, $24.95). The Spokane science-fiction writer launches the latest segment of her “Foreigner” series.

“The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2004,”

edited by Dave Eggers (Houghton Mifflin, $14). I’m late in catching up with this, but fans of Olympia-area short-story writer Thom Jones will want to know he has a terrific story in this anthology, “Night Train.” Its seemingly innocuous topic — a boy acquires a (very reluctant) pet dog — is given some twists that will whet readers’ appetites for Jones’ next collection.

” ‘Wicked’ Women 101″
by Susanna Carr (Kensington, $14). A trio of novellas by a Seattle writer about the “escapades” of three former sorority sisters.

“Lesbian Couples: A Guide to Creating Healthy Relationships, 4th edition”
by D. Merilee Clunis and G. Dorsey Green (Seal Press, $16.95). Updated guide by two Seattle psychologists who specialize in working with lesbian couples.

“The Dream: Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Speech That Inspired a Nation”
by Drew D. Hansen (Ecco, $13.95). Paperback reprint of a Seattle lawyer’s book on the civil-rights leader’s famous “I have a dream” speech. Former Seattle Times staffer J. Patrick Coolican said the book draws from a number of sources to offer “a close historical and textual analysis of the speech as sermon and prophecy.”

“Mary: A Flesh-and-Blood Biography of the Virgin Mother”

by Lesley Hazleton (Bloomsbury, $14.95). Paperback edition of the Seattle author’s biography about the mother of Jesus. Times reviewer Wingate Packard admired the way Hazleton “draws on a wealth of information about the societies, cultures and religions of the Middle East of 2,000 years ago” to create a sense of the life that Mary might have lived.

Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times book critic