Parsons Reads

The days are getting shorter, temperatures are dropping, and Fall has wasted no time in making an appearance in the Pacific Northwest — despite our attempts to clutch on to those waning warm days.

And while the Parsons team thoroughly enjoyed the long days of summer, there is something special about that crisp Autumn air. Overcast days in the Pacific Northwest are made for reading, snuggled up under a blanket with a good cup of tea, or coffee, or kombucha. 

We thought we would share a little bit about what we’ve been reading, what we’ve loved reading recently, and what we are looking forward to reading.  


Currently reading

Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do about It, Anna Lappé. Anna Lappé is a thought leader around climate and food systems and this is a huge area of interest for me. 

Current favorite 

Moment of Lift, Melinda Gates. I strongly believe, as does Melinda, that educated women will change the world. 


Current favorites

It’s So Easy and Other Lies, Duff McKagen. Celebrity memoirs aren’t usually my thing, but I really enjoyed “It’s So Easy and Other Lies”by Duff McKagen, Seattle native and base player for Guns n Roses. In a low-key and charming style, he covers the beginnings of the band, their rise to superstardom, heavy drug use and eventually his sobriety and transition to mini-van driving dad and financial advisor for up-and-coming bands. Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line, Michael Gibney. I’m a lousy cook and only go to trendy restaurants when someone else invites me, yet I was fascinated by “Sous Chef: 24 Hours on the Line,” which takes you behind the scenes at an upscale New York restaurant where the stoves and the tempers are hot. A real eye-opener about the life of a professional chef. The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life, John LeCarré. I’m a big fan of spy stories and John LeCarre is one of my favorite authors. I’ve read all of his novels and think he is one of the best in the world. I was very excited when his nonfiction “The Pigeon Tunnel: Stories from My Life” came out in 2016 and wasn’t disappointed when I finally got around to reading it this year. It’s everything you’d expect from LeCarre: great stories, near-perfect prose and memorable characters. 


Currently reading

The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell, Robert Dugoni. Someone recommended The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell because it’s like Educated. It’s about a young boy who was dealt an unfair hand in life and how his story unfolds. 

Current favorite

Educated, Tara Westover. Educated was a page turner for me. I loved reading about a girl’s life lived so differently from mine and her perseverance through such formidable odds. There were moments I couldn’t believe it was a memoir, but I loved her dedication to expanding her mind and seeing the world. 


Currently reading

Leonardo Da Vinci, Walter Isaacson. I wanted to read this book in prep for a trip to Italy. Well I started, but I haven’t finished yet, and my trip to Italy is long over! But I’m taking it slowly and totally fascinated by the life of this creative genius.  

On my TBR pile

Hollow Kingdom, Kira Jane Buxton. This was recommended by a friend who had the chance to read an advanced copy. It’s described as genre-bending, apocalyptic, and both horrifying and hilarious. The protagonist is a pet crow (I love crows) and it’s set in Seattle.  


Currently reading 

Washington Black, Esi Edugyan & The Immortalists, Chloe Benjamin. I’m currently reading Washington Black by Esi Edugyan.  And my book club just picked the Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin. 

Current favorites

Lake City, Thomas Kohnstamm. A hilarious dark comedy that if based in Seattle’s Lake City neighborhood in the early aughts. I loved the descriptions of a very different Seattle and the story line is a page turner.  
The Great Alone, Kristin Hannah. It really makes you appreciate the amenities of modern life.  It is a gripping story that portrays the struggles and strength of people that live in Alaska’s bush. 
Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley, Hannah Tinti. A great story of love and family that was based in a coastal town in Massachusetts which sounded similar to where I grew up and Hannah Tinti lives in Washington so there was also mentions of Seattle which made it a fun to read. 


Current favorite

The Goldfinch, Donna Tartt. My favorite read of 2019 so far has been the Goldfinch, by Donna Tartt. I scored it in the UW Book Store’s bargain fiction section, and it was impossible to put down once I started. Counting down the days until I get to see the movie adaptation!

What about you? What has been your favorite current read for 2019  and what’s in your TBR pile? We’d love to know. 

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