The best books about Washington state 📚

Browse the best books on Washington state as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington

The Widow Washington: The Life of Mary Washington

By Martha Saxton

Why this book?

Until Martha Saxton came along, Mary Ball Washington was much maligned by historians--but she’s no Mary Washington apologist. Saxton wrote the first comprehensive book on the first President’s mother with her eyes wide open and no one, not mother or son, gets away with anything.

From the list:

The best books about or around George Washington

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Book cover of And Then It's Spring

And Then It's Spring

By Julie Fogliano, Erin E. Stead

Why this book?

Told in one long sentence, this is the story of a child and their dog who plant seeds after winter and wait and wait and wait for the brown ground to–finally–become green. The ongoing sentence resonates with waiting for hopeful signs that spring is on the way. 

From the list:

The best books about growing things

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Book cover of The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

The Remarkable Journey of Coyote Sunrise

By Dan Gemeinhart

Why this book?

One of the best children’s books I’ve read in the past few years, this book takes the reader on a remarkable journey along with the finely-drawn characters. I’m a big fan of books that include misfit travelers who become family, and this novel has a great cast of them. The main character Coyote learns that going home can be a grueling journey after the grief of losing a loved one, but that it can be a worthwhile and healing trip.

In my own life experiences: my dad and stepmom Annette built a fairy-tale log cabin with their own hands, and…

From the list:

The best children’s books about grief

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Book cover of This Boy's Life: A Memoir

This Boy's Life: A Memoir

By Tobias Wolff

Why this book?

I admire this book because the teen character is deeply honest with how he describes the difficult, contentious world around him, and the world within him. He gets it, and he uses the language in a plain prose style that lets the voice, the action, the images, and the drama hit home inside the reader. Once you enter this book, and are captured by the beauty and authenticity, then you can’t put it down because it holds a mirror up to your own interior life.

From the list:

The best books about what drives us to survive and tell the story that keeps another soul alive

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Book cover of From the Desk of Zoe Washington

From the Desk of Zoe Washington

By Janae Marks

Why this book?

A fan of reality baking shows, I was first drawn to this book because the protagonist Zoe dreams of becoming a star baker and wants to audition for the Food Network’s Kids Bake Challenge. Once I learned that the author was inspired by true stories of wrongful convictions, it went to the top of my TBR pile and became my favorite 2020 read. This middle-grade contemporary meets mystery follows Zoe who’s determined to uncover if her father—who she’s never met because he’s been in prison—is innocent of the crime. For those looking for an engaging, heartwarming story tackling the…

From the list:

The best kidlit books starring spunky (aka determined and courageous) girls

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Book cover of Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington

Lincoln on the Verge: Thirteen Days to Washington

By Ted Widmer

Why this book?

This book rocked my world. Imagine this: Congress is meeting to ratify the election of a new president. But half the country doesn't want the new guy; in fact, there are armed thugs wandering around the streets of Washington, making noise about insurrection. The rumors of violence are so disturbing that the police force is put on high alert, and the Vice President, carrying the election paperwork, is assigned extra security. Sound familiar? This was the situation in 1861, as Abraham Lincoln was readying himself for his trip to the Capitol to take office. The book follows his train ride…

From the list:

The best nonfiction books that read like a novel

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