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Books written by authors from the Seattle area

Whether you’re looking for your next leisure read, a book for the whole family, or a thrilling fictional novel, we’ve got a list of books written by authors who called the Seattle area home.

Books on a lavender shelf with a paper chandelier above

Ada’s Technical Books and Cafe has an airy Capitol Hill location.

Photo courtesy of Ada’s Technical Books

Table of Contents

What’s better than a good book?

No, that wasn’t a rhetorical question — the correct answer is a good book written by your neighbor.

Brew up a batch of your favorite cup of tea or coffee and get ready to meet your next read, because we’re talking about locally written books in Seattle.


  • “Where’d You Go, Bernadette?” by Maria Semple | Release date: Aug. 14, 2012 | Inspired in part by her own difficult transition to Seattle, Semple’s novel follows a family that is slowly (and a bit messily) coming to terms with who they are.
  • “Hollow Kingdom” by Kira Jane Buxton | Release date: Aug. 6, 2019 | A zombie apocalypse tale narrated by a snarky crow? That’s so Seattle.
  • “Middle Passage” by Charles R. Johnson | Release date: Jan. 1, 1990 | UW’s professor emeritus wrote this modern classic about a free Black man in the 1830s who jumps aboard a slave ship to find the members of a long-lost tribe.
  • “Patricia Wants to Cuddle” by Samantha Allen | Release date: June 28, 2022 | We just have four words for you: lesbian Sasquatch horror comedy. Book club’s going to be lit.
  • “Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson | Release date: Sept. 12, 1994 | This award-winning novel intertwines a suspenseful murder case on a Puget Sound island with the complexities of post-World War II trauma.
  • “Remarkably Bright Creatures” by Shelby Van Pelt | Release date: May 3, 2023 | Told from the perspective of an octopus, the imaginative novel was inspired by a real-life Seattle Aquarium animal.
  • “Stories of Your Life and Others” by Ted Chiang | Release date: July 5, 2002 | Former Microsoft worker Chiang rose to fame when a sci-fi novella from this collection became the hit flick “Arrival.”

For the family

  • “Book Crush: For Kids and Teens” by Nancy Pearl | Release date: March 1, 2007 | There may be no better way to get the kiddos excited about reading than with sage advice from this legendary local librarian.
  • “Brendan Buckley’s Universe and Everything In It” by Sundee T. Frazier | Release date: Jan. 1, 2007 | All ages will be delighted by this charming + thought-provoking story centered on a science-loving 10-year-old discovering his roots.
  • “I Am Not a Penguin: A Pangolin’s Lament” by Liz Wong | Release date: Jan. 19, 2021 | A pangolin with an identity crisis attempts to lay down the facts for his animal friends in this uproarious tale.
  • “The Dinosaur Tooth Fairy” by Martha Brokenbrough | Release date: June 25, 2013 | You’ll giggle about a tooth fairy from the Mesazoic era who abandons her museum home to chase after a little girl’s pearly whites.
  • “When You Trap a Tiger” by Tae Keller | Release date: May 2, 2023 | The award-winning middle grade novel involves magical tigers from Korean folk tales and a family’s secret history.
  • “Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea” by Ben Clanton | Release date: Oct. 4, 2016 | Kids will be charmed by the friendship between a narwhal and a no-nonsense jellyfish, which has become a series of endearing tales.
A headshot of author Angela Garbes

Angela Garbes’s latest book is “Essential Labor: Mothering as Social Change.”

Photo by Elizabeth Rudge

Expand your worldview

  • “A Shiver in the Leaves” by Luther Hughes | Release date: Sept. 27, 2022 | This poetry collection is set among Seattle’s fauna and flora as it uses careful imagery and tender vignettes to piece together a gay Black man’s journey toward achieving personal symbiosis.
  • “Jackson Street After Hours” by Paul de Barros | The former music editor for the Seattle Times gives a comprehensive history of the Central District’s lively jazz scene that stars the likes of Quincy Jones, Little Richard, and others.
  • “Like a Mother” by Angela Garbes | Release date: May 29, 2018 | Angela drew on her own experiences to explore pregnancy and motherhood, busting a few myths along the way.
  • “So You Want to Talk About Race” by Ijeomo Olou | Release date: Jan. 16, 2018 | Embrace some uncomfortable conversations guided by longtime journalist Ijeomo, recently named as one of Seattle’s most influential people.
  • “The Boys in the Boat” by Daniel James Brown | Release date: June 4, 2013 | Roars + oars abound in this story of the UW rowing crew that won Olympic gold in Nazi Germany.
  • “Ten Tomatoes That Changes the World” by William Alexander | Release date: June 7, 2022 | Bainbridge’s nonfiction writer tells a veggie tale that squeezes in conquistadors, mega-greenhouses, and the Mafia.
  • “Beyond Guilt Trips” by Anu Taranath | Release date: June 7, 2019 | Is it possible to be mindful and be a tourist when there’s so much global inequality? A UW professor unpacks the issue.

Part of a series

  • “Parable of the Sower” by Octavia E. Butler | Release date: Oct. 1, 1993 | The gripping first book of the “Earthseed” series is an excellent intro to the late, iconic sci-fi author who once lived in Lake Forest Park.
  • “The Boneshaker” by Cherie Priest | Release date: June 1, 2009 | Steampunk fans will dig this adventure set in Seattle’s early Klondike rush days — it’s one of five books in the “Clockwork Century” series.
  • “The Duke and I: The Bridgertons Book 1" by Julia Quinn | Release date: Jan. 5, 2000 | Yes, that Bridgerton — the one that got Netflix watchers all hot + bothered — was a romance novel first, and a darn good one.
  • “The Glittering Court” by Richelle Mead | Release date: April 5, 2016 | You may know Richelle from her megahit “Vampire Academy,” but her epic, interwoven fantasy of countesses, palaces, and wild forests shouldn’t be overlooked.
A bookstore with people in face masks browsing the shelves

Elliott Bay Book Company is one of Seattle’s larger indie shops.

Photo by Elliott Bay Book Company

Personal stories

  • “Thunder Song: Essays” by Sasha taqwšəblu LaPointe | Release date: March 5, 2024 | This memoir won the 2023 Pacific Northwest Book Award for its razor-sharp exploration of indigenous identity, stereotypes, cultural displacement, and Queerness.
  • “Heart Radical: A Search for Language, Love, and Belonging” by Anne Liu Kellor | Release date: Sept. 7, 2021 | Anne — a Hugo House writing teacher — recounts the years she spent in China reconnecting with her heritage.
  • “I’m in Seattle, Where Are You?” by Mortada Gzar | Release date: April 1, 2021 | Mortada opens up about his life as a gay artist in Iraq and the unlikely love affair with an American soldier that brought him to the US.
  • “Shrill: Notes from a Loud Woman” by Lindy West | Release date: May 17, 2016 | One of Seattle’s sharpest voices takes on fat shaming, gender politics + Internet trolls in this hilarious, no-holds barred memoir.
  • “The Good Rain” by Timothy Egan | Release date: Jan. 1, 1990 | Seattle’s New York Times correspondent mines his own journeys to delve into the fisheries, logging towns + untamed landscapes that form the PNW’s spirit..
  • “Red Paint” by Sasha LaPointe | Release date: March 8, 2022 | The Coast Salish poet influenced by PNW punk rock explores themes of ancestral connections in a candid memoir.
  • “Nothing Good Can Come From This” by Kristi Coulter | Release date: Aug. 7, 2018 | In this book of essays, the Seattle author discusses new sobriety with heart and humor.

Need more recommendations? Stop by Ada’s Technical Books and Cafe, Elliott Bay Book Company, Third Place Books, or Twice Sold Tales to get expert advice from Seattle’s local booksellers.

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