Novels and Poetry

 

Coming Home From Camp and Other Poems
by Lonny Kaneko

Lonny Kaneko’s poetry expresses the reverberating trauma of his family’s imprisonment in the Minidoka concentration camp during WWII.  Without committing a crime or due process, the Kaneko family was among 120,000 Japanese Americans put in concentration camps in the United States. Kaneko’s illuminating poetry: touching, evocative, reflecting a deep sense of sadness––also reflects in its range, the depth of resilience and the transcendence of the human spirit.

“There’s nothing to see through/the ordinary eyes . . .” says one of the poems in this fine collection, but Lonny Kaneko does not have ordinary eyes or an ordinary sensibility, and he sees a great deal. Hidden in the title of this book is the begged question: “How do we define home?” Here is a remarkable poet who has spent his whole life attempting to do this. Kaneko does not merely bear witness; he works to understand consequences. He is a participant in his life, not a victim of it.
- Samuel Green, Inaugural Poet Laureate, Washington State


"Like the harsh wind scouring the barracks of Minidoka, these poems bring a chill with the first reading.  Kaneko shares the numbing secrets of the internment, stating "the cold is not cold until I admit it."  Against the sand of the past, he reveals the landscape of the present."
- Sharon Hashimoto, author of The Crane Wife

There is "dust rising over all the world" but when it settles, one finds poems like these that quench the thirst and feed the soul. From Minidoka to Seattle and points beyond, I find myself returning to that "leaf in a well of water".
- Alan Chong Lau, Arts Editor, International Examiner




Lonny Kaneko has received both national and local awards for his poetry, fiction, and play––including a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for poetry. Stories, poems and essays appear in anthologies such as An Ear to the Ground, Daily Fare, The Big AIIIEEEEE, Asian American Literature, and The Seattle Review.  He lives on Vashon Island in Washington state.






Once Upon a Two by Four
by Ann Combs


When Ann Combs, her husband Joe and their six children set about re-building a large dilapidated house on Bainbridge Island, their only prior experience in construction was building a toy chest from an instruction kit.

In this classic chronicle of island life, you’ll meet surgeons who look like longshoreman, longshoremen who play Mozart concertos, old Mr. Torgeson, who raises chickens so fat they break their legs leaping off their perches, and Grandma Harriott, who carves historical scenes on cubes of butter.

Told with humor and heartwarming candor, this charming account of the pitfalls and pratfalls of do-it-yourself home remodeling makes high comedy of island idiosyncrasies and domestic travail. Readers are in for a treat!

Ann Combs, a former columnist for the Seattle P-I, is the author of a number of titles for adults including Smith College Never Taught Me How to Salute; We’ll Laugh About This, Someday; and the beloved children’s book How Old is Old. She lives on Bainbridge Island, near Seattle, Washington.





There's No Place Like Nome
by Artis Palmer

When Jack Palmer was offered a job driving a tractor for a mining company in Nome, Alaska, there was no time to waste in deciding. It was the morning of June 15, 1934. He had a lovely wife, Alice, a young daughter, Artis, a lot of debt, and no job in Seattle. Jack stepped on to the gangplank of the SS Victoria at Pier Two that same afternoon. Alice and Artis received a telegram from Jack later that summer telling her to be on the last boat and bring food for eight months.

Artis Palmer, a former freelance writer for Seattle Magazine, in this charming memoir humorously and tenderly chronicles the challenges faced by her family during the Great Depression. Eccentric characters and unexpected adventures are entertainingly bound by the force of place and community. From bootlegging in Seattle to gold mining in Nome, Alaska, There’s No Place Like Nome reveals the courage and resilience of the human spirit in tough times. 



The Weird World Rolls On

The title of this collection of poetry comes from a line in a poem written in 1875 by Rose Hawthorne Lathrop, daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Our collection features contemporary poets such as Ina Whitlock, Roger Davies, Juli Goetz Morser, Catherine Johnson, Eric Horsting, Hunter Davis, Janice Randall, Sue Wiley, Lonny Kaneko and Ann Spiers.

Proceeds from the sale of this book are donated to Vashon Community



The Reinvention of Albert Paugh

Dr. Albert Paugh is flunking retirement. After selling his Vashon Island veterinary practice, he soon finds himself not only lost without his work, but suddenly single.

His efforts to carve out a new life, both as a bachelor and a retiree, only leave him feeling like his golden years are fast becoming years of gloom. His regrets pile up until he moves to Baker’s Beach where he gets to know a very special neighbor, learns that friends are the family you choose, and finds a new sense of purpose. The Reinvention of Albert Paugh is a sweet, funny love story about retirees that will delight readers (and dog lovers) of any age.

“This is a heartening book, a chronicle of renewal and hope that’s sparkling with humor!”
- Rayna Holtz, King County Library System Librarian, ret.

“You’ll be cheering for Al as he figures out how not to flunk retirement!”
- Connie Burns, School Library Journal reviewer,

“Warm as a woodstove, fun as a ferry ride, polished as beach glass …a joyful portrait of a close-knit community... Al Paugh encounters the irksome challenges and tender graces of growing older, as well as new possibilities and renewed purpose among cherished friends, human and canine alike.”
- Laurie Stewart and Nancy Katica, Vashon Island Bookshop

“refreshingly realistic...a thoroughly satisfying story.”
- Ann Combs, Eagle Harbor Books, author of Once Upon a Two by Four





Walter's Muse
by Jean Davies Okimoto


“A joy to read!”
- Rayna Holtz, Librarian, KING COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM, ret.

 
“Brimming with wit and wisdom...a delightful celebration of mature love, sure to enchant fans of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand!”
- Juli Morser, BOOKS BY THE WAY

 
“Readers will connect with this warm story of two lonely people finding each other late in life.”
- LIBRARY JOURNAL

It’s the first summer of her retirement and librarian Maggie Lewis is relishing the unfolding of sweet summer days on Vashon Island: walking on the beach, reading the classics, and kayaking. But in June when a sudden storm hits the island, Maggie’s summer becomes about as peaceful as navigating whitewater. Not only does her wealthy sister arrive uninvited with a startling announcement, but Maggie finds herself entangled with her new Baker’s Beach neighbor, Walter Hathaway. A famous children’s author and recovering alcoholic, Walter has a history with Maggie they would each like to forget.

Delightfully told with humor and insight, Walter’s Muse is a page turner for romantics, writers, and the young at heart at any age.

Available on:
  • Vashon Book Shop
  • Indiebound
  • Amazon
  • Barnes and Noble
Retailers and Libraries:
  • Partners West
  • Ingram (800-937-8000 • orders@ingrambook.com)
  • Baker & Taylor (800-775-1800 • btinfo@btol.com)
  • Follett Library Resources  (800-852-5458 • www.titlewave.com)
  • Brodart (800-474-9816 • www.titlequeue.com)





Recommended by the King County Library System Staff!
 
The Love Ceiling
ISBN 978-0-9823167-3-3
 
 
Available on:
  • IndieBound
  • Amazon | ebook
  • Barnes and Noble | ebook
  • Smashwords
Retailers Only:
  • Baker & Taylor (800-775-1800 • btinfo@btol.com)
  • Partners West (800-563-2385)

Recommended by the King County Library System Staff!
The Love Ceiling was recommended by the King County Library System staff as a 2009 seasonal read.
 
USA Book News National Best Books 2009 Award
The Love Ceiling is a woman's fiction finalist for the USA Book News National Best Book award.
 
 
Rave reviews for The Love Ceiling
"rich with life experiences... rendered with compassion and insight.”
— Nancy Livingstone, US Review of Books

The Love Ceiling will ring true with many women.”
The Midwest Book Review
 
“...an intriguing, absorbing, and unusual novel.” 
— Mary Gergen, The Positive Aging Newsletter
 
“...wonderful, touching, funny. Jean Davies Okimoto writes with literary perfect pitch.”
— Christiane Northrup, MD author and host of PBS television special Mother-Daughter Wisdom
 
“A lovely book, full of wisdom and compassion. With keen insight, the author examines the problems of achieving fulfillment as both a woman and an artist.”
— Barbara G. Walker author of The Woman’s Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets
 
“A fine painting of words by a true artist....so compelling that once you begin you cannot put it down.”
 — Chizuko Judy Sugita de Queiroz artist and author of Camp Days 1942-1945
 
“Any woman who has ever wrestled with a difficult father will find inspiration and solace in these lucid pages.”
 — Leza Lowitz former Tokyo correspondent for Art in America
 
"In this courageous journey, Okimoto gives us a model for any woman yearning to claim her truth, to be seen for who she is in her deepest heart. I was inspired by The Love Ceiling and recommend it for any woman seeking greater self-expression." 
— Lisa Dale Norton, Author of Hawk Flies Above: Journey to the Heart of the Sandhills, and Shimmering Images: A Handy Little Guide to Writing Memoir