A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Bureau of Fearless Ideas students reading from Encyclopedia Greenwoodia at Phinney Books Saturday

April 12th, 2016 by Doree

The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas launched its new book “Encyclopedia Greenwoodia” last Saturday to great acclaim, and will hold another reading at 3 pm. Saturday at Phinney Books, 7405 Greenwood Ave. N.

The book features stories, poems and musings about our neighborhood from 38 BFI students and 15 adults. All profits are going to the Greenwood Relief Fund to help businesses, employees and apartment residents affected by the March 9 natural gas explosion, which also damaged BFI across the street. (They’re currently running all programs out of the Phinney Neighborhood Association until their space is fixed).

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PhinneyWood neighbor publishes new children’s picture book, ‘The Denim Jungle’

February 8th, 2016 by Doree

PhinneyWood resident Angela Taylor Hylland has published her first children’s picture book, “The Denim Jungle,” and is hosting a book launch party from 12-2 p.m. Saturday at Ballard Homestead, 6541 Jones Ave. NW.


She’ll read from the book and talk about what went into making it, along with illustrator Jackie Phillips of LA’s Precious Beast. Children can also make special crafts and there will be special giveaways.

The Denim Jungle began as a seed of an idea 30 years ago, when my husband was a small boy. He mentioned to his mom that he felt like he was living in a Denim Jungle, surrounded by jean-clad adult legs,” Angela explained. “His mom held on to that idea, convinced it would make an imaginative children’s book. Five years ago, she entrusted the idea to me, shortly before dying of breast cancer. I promised her I would make her dream a reality, and I can’t begin to explain the healing and hope that has come from following through on that promise, both for myself and as an example to my kids, her grandchildren.” “The Denim Jungle is about noticing the little things as a child and a parent, but for me, it’s also about discovering the magic of what you can do and see in yourself, if you allow yourself to imagine and explore the possibilities.”

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Greenwood author Rita Wirkala to read from ‘The Encounter’ at Greenwood Library Saturday

February 1st, 2016 by Doree

Greenwood author Rita Wirkala will read from her new book, “The Encounter,” from 12-2 p.m. this Saturday, Feb. 6, at the Greenwood Library, 8016 Greenwood Ave. N.

“The Encounter” is a story of adventure, romance, immigration and the social realities of Latin America that begins with the dumping of toxic waste into the Amazonian jungles of Ecuador. Following Wirkala’s reading will be a Q&A session and book signing.

Wirkala is an Argentine writer and professor of medieval Spanish literature at the University of Washington. She writes novels, poetry, literary essays and textbooks that have been published in both the United States and Europe. Wirkala lives in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood.

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PhinneyWood resident and former city councilman Nick Licata publishes book on becoming a citizen activist

January 6th, 2016 by Doree

PhinneyWood resident and former Seattle City Councilman Nick Licata has published a new book, “Becoming a Citizen Activist – Stories, Strategies and Advice on How to Change Our World.” He’ll be doing his first public reading at Couth Buzzard Books, 8310 Greenwood Ave. N., at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12. The reading is free.


Licata also will discuss his book at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 19, at Town Hall, 1119 8th Ave. Admission is $5. You can RSVP to the Town Hall event online.

Becoming a Citizen Activist is a self-help book for citizens wanting to change the political world around them. Many people want to improve the quality of their life but don’t know how. Some want to be activists; others never have considered it. If they learn to see opportunities for improvements and know what tools are available to them, people can reshape the world they live in. Most importantly, the book shows how to work with others to sustain a democracy that allows its citizens the freedom to create their future, free of prejudice and poverty. Many of the examples Licata uses in Becoming a Citizen Activist, spring from the urban environment he knows so well. His strategies and stories interweave past history and present challenges, and impart a sense of how change occurs on the day-to-day level.

Licata served five terms on the Seattle City Council, including serving as Council president.

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Phinneywood author Mike Attebery releases his fifth book

November 23rd, 2015 by Doree

Neighborhood author Mike Attebery has just released his fifth book, “Rosé in Saint Tropez.” It is currently available on Amazon, but will be available through independent bookstores in about 6-8 weeks.


Here’s the official synopsis:

To millions of fans, he’s a rock star. To his family, he’s a virtual stranger.

After years on the road, Will Baker is joining his relatives for an extended reunion in the South of France. Sunny Saint Tropez may provide a glamorous, rosé-infused change of scenery, but it isn’t long before old family differences bubble to the surface. And the biggest surprise is yet to come, when Will’s older brother arrives with his new girlfriend in tow, a woman who just happens to be Will Baker’s college sweetheart, the one that got away.

With romance, comedy, and sparkling wit, Rosé in Saint Tropez takes readers on a breezy tour of the French Riviera, while reminding them that everyone has regrets, even rock stars. Fortunately, it’s never too late to revise that final verse.

Attebery’s previous books are “Bloody Pulp,” “Seattle On Ice,” “Billionaires, Bullets, Exploding Monkeys” and “On/Off.”

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Annual Seattle7Writers Holiday Bookfest at PNA Nov. 21

November 12th, 2015 by Doree

The 6th annual Seattle7Writers Holiday Bookfest is from 3-5 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 21, at the Phinney Center, 6532 Phinney Ave. N. Admission is free.

Come meet some of your favorite local authors, who will sign their books, which you can purchase there from Secret Garden’s boutique bookstore. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Bureau of Fearless Ideas (formerly 826 Seattle) and the PNA.

Six of the authors will read from their books, and several will perform music as The Rejections and the Trailing Spouses. The authors are even bringing home-baked goods for patrons to nibble on.

The 27 authors are: Daniel James Brown, Garth Stein, Elizabeth George, Nancy Horan, Kevin O’Brien, Jim Lynch, Lynn Brunnell, Deb Caletti, Boyd Morrison, Megan Chance, Sean Beaudoin, Bridget Foley, Stephanie Kallos, Peter Mountford, Tara Austen Weaver, Thor Hanson, Lyanada Lynn Haupt, Dori Hillestad Butler, Waverly Fitzgerald, William Deietrich, Bharti Kirchner, Clare Meeker, David Laskin, Donna Miscolta, David Lasky, Ed Skoog, and David Williams. Authors Laurie Frankel, Erica Bauermeister and Jennie Shortridge will also be there, running the show.

Reading & performance schedule:

  • 3 p.m.: Music by The Rejections and the Trailing Spouses
  • 3:30 p.m.: Lynn Brunelle
  • 3:45 p.m.: Thor Hanson
  • 4 p.m.: Dori Hillestad Butler
  • 4:15 p.m.: David Williams
  • 4:30 p.m.: Lyanda Lynn Haupt
  • 4:45 p.m.: Bharti Kirchner

Also, they’ll be collecting gently-used books for pocket library programs. If you bring three or more books, you’ll get a reusable Seattle7Writers bag.

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Greenwood author Dennis Ortblad publishes thriller about Nazi gold trains

September 16th, 2015 by Doree

Greenwood author Dennis Ortblad has just published “The Berlin-Breslau Affair,” a thriller about an American diplomat’s pursuit of an international ring that is smuggling Nazi gold and art treasures excavated in Poland.

It’s fortuitous timing, after recent news that a Nazi gold train may have been discovered in a tunnel complex in southern Poland. Ortblad tells me some key scenes in his novel take place in that exact spot, a Nazi tunnel near Walbrzych in Poland, code named ‘Riese’ by the Nazis.


Ortblad has lived in Greenwood for the last five years after retiring from the State Department as a Foreign Service officer.

“In my thriller, I drew on my familiarity with the workings of an embassy and the conflicts surrounding the work of a diplomat,” he told me by email. “Of course, my descriptions of contemporary Germany and Poland rely on impressions during my work in those countries.

The Berlin-Breslau Affair, is set in contemporary Central Europe, where a U.S. diplomat finds that an influential Berlin think tank is using Nazi wealth to shift political opinion in Germany.

Targeting readers who enjoy continental settings that still bear the marks of WWII, the story swiftly moves from Dresden’s Elbe River promenade, along Berlin-Mitte’s Unter den Linden, to the Hitler bunker hidden beneath Furstenstein Castle in Poland’s Sudety mountains. While treading the terrain of a political thriller, the novel also authentically depicts the atmosphere and working of a large U.S. embassy. Its setting in Germany and Poland closely hews to historical places and events.

The murder of an African-American Fulbright scholar in Dresden leads David Ames, a political officer at the embassy in Berlin, into the shifting allegiances of intelligence services, including the CIA. He uncovers a plot by German nationalists to regain lands lost to Poland after WWII. They finance their conspiracy with the sale of art and gold stolen by the Nazis and long hidden in tunnels built near Breslau (the city of Wroclaw in today’s Poland).

The book is available at both our neighborhood bookstores, Couth Buzzard and Phinney Books, and as an e-book from Amazon.

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Phinney Ridge author Kari Aguila set to publish second book

September 3rd, 2015 by Doree

KariAguila-resizedAward-winning Phinney Ridge author Kari Aguila is ready to publish her second book, “Run Ragged,” the sequel to “Women’s Work,” which won an IndieReader Discovery Award. Her books look at gender stereotypes and relationships in a “dystopic future.”

She has a Kickstarter campaign to help get it published.

Fifteen years after the Last War devastated families and infrastructure, women have taken over under the banner of peace and equality. Only too late do they realize it’s a slippery slope to oppression. In RUN Ragged, Rhia, a strong and independent sea captain finds herself trapped in The Center, a re-education facility designed to help people fit into the rules of the new matriarchal society. The warden claims to be guiding those in her care, but Rhia quickly sees the cracks in the system. Faced with the terrifying torture and brainwashing the warden inflicts, those cracks become gaping holes that threaten to pull Rhia down into the depths of despair. Can she resist this slow subversion and become the reluctant hero the inmates need?

RUN RAGGED-resized

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Greenwood illustrator, graphic designer Frida Clements publishing new book, ‘Have a Little Pun’

July 2nd, 2015 by Doree

Greenwood illustrator and graphic designer Frida Clements will publish her new book, “Have a Little Pun: An Illustrated Play on Words,” on Aug. 11.


Clements’ work is well known in the local music scene, having been commissioned to produce artwork for local events like Sasquatch! and the Northwest Folklife Festival, and also designing posters for major touring acts like Sleater-Kinney, Modest Mouse, Wilco, Iron + Wine, Andrew Bird and others.

Chronicle Books will also release a line of 16 note cards featuring some of Clements’ illustrations from the book.

The book will be available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Chronicle Books.

Clements is having a book launch party from 6-9 p.m. on Aug. 12 at 1927 Events, 222 Mercer St. Free tickets must be reserved here.

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