The Pacific Northwest likes to read, and what better way to get book suggestions than to ask around? In this new monthly feature, we’ll ask prominent Northwest residents what books they’re reading, rereading and recommending — and why.

This month: Seattle Times Executive Editor Michele Matassa Flores shares her picks.

What book are you reading now?

“So You Want to Talk About Race,” by Ijeoma Oluo. Our news staff is reading it as part of a discussion group that focuses on race, gender and other diversity issues, and I’m glad because it had been on my list and I hadn’t gotten to it yet. Wow. Her writing is very personal and accessible, and it packs a punch. It really gets you thinking, not just about society’s failings but about your own missteps and ignorance.

What book have you reread the most?

I’m not big on rereading books because my time for reading is so limited. But last year I did read “To Kill a Mockingbird” again for the first time since high school. It does make a difference, reading something from a different vantage point in your own life and in our cultural evolution.

What book do you recommend other people read and why?

“Becoming,” by Michelle Obama. She’s a wonderful storyteller who imparts a message without sounding preachy. And she sure has lived an interesting life.

Books, books and more books!

After soliciting reader feedback, The Seattle Times has beefed up our books coverage to focus more on local literary tastes. In addition to regular book reviews and Lit Life columns, we’ve added some new local monthly features to our books lineup. Here’s what you can expect monthly: Weekly: What the Pacific Northwest is reading – trends and best-sellers First week: The five most anticipated crime novels coming out this month Second week: An audiobooks feature or roundup Third week: The Plot Thickens – Moira Macdonald’s take on new and old crime books, fiction and nonfiction Fourth week: What prominent locals are reading; and Neighborhood Reads: book selections from your friendly neighborhood librarian or bookstore Love these new features? Hate them? Let us know at As always, we love hearing from you.