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The Lonely Polygamist: A Novel
Brady Udall

Golden Richards is a husband and father whose four wives and 28 children make demands on his time while he tries to make a living as a builder. Without vilifying the polygamist lifestyle, Brady Udall sets a very ordinary man into an overwhelming family situation. This is a family at a crossroads, and through them we glimpse of the joys, sorrows, faith, doubt and love that encompass all modern families. Beautifully sad and hopefully lonely, this engrossing epic holds up a mirror to anyone who has been a father, mother, sister, brother, son or daughter. —PNBA Awards Committee

W.W. Norton, 9780393062625, $26.95

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Matterhorn: A Novel of the Vietnam War
Karl Marlantes

Gritty, intense, and captivating from the first page, Matterhorn is a masterpiece, shedding light on the complexities of the U.S. Marine combat experience in Vietnam. The riveting narrative takes the reader up and down the chain of command, creating empathy with nearly every character. Marlantes demonstrates the ripple effect that small decisions can have, often to the detriment of those they were meant to help. This book may alter your perspective on military service and why soldiers might choose to return to brutal combat conditions when otherwise given the opportunity to return home. —PNBA Awards Committee

Atlantic Monthly Press, 9780802119285, $24.95

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Memory Wall
Anthony Doerr

Six stories, so beautifully and completely crafted, each leaving the reader to want more. Doerr writes likes he’s lived all over the world, revealing the human spirit, in as many different ways as there are places. Lithuania, China, South Africa, WWII Germany, and our own Midwest, each presented in perfect prose. There is no letdown in this collection. You will anticipate it, but each story is as good as the one before it, containing some thread of memory, which becomes a path, leading to truths we wouldn’t otherwise know. —PNBA Awards Committee

Scribner, 9781439182802, $24.00

Winner's Essay at Northwest Book Lovers

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River House: A Memoir
Sarahlee Lawrence

The storyline is intriguing and you find yourself caring about the people you meet, but it is this young author’s ability to paint pictures with words that make River House worthy of an award. Lawrence can cover a couple months' time within a short chapter, and leave the reader feeling in possession of intimate knowledge of how each day played out—not through a barrage of details, but rather the artful mix of capturing the moment while never losing touch with the overall experience. The writing is gritty, honest, and continually engaging.
—PNBA Awards Committee

Tin House Books, 9780982569139, $16.95

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Lifetime Achievement Award

Nancy Pearl

for her Book Lust series

First as a librarian, then as a writer, reviewer, lecturer and radio and television personality, Nancy Pearl has spent her adult life championing, not just reading, but reading the very best books. It is entirely possible that no one has put more good books into the hands of more grateful American readers, all the while reminding and educating them of the necessity of books, booksellers, and the public library as vital institutions in our democracy and our lives. In recognition of these monumental efforts, her indefatigable enthusiasm, and ongoing and very public commitment to what is best in the Northwest, we gratefully acknowledge her very special place on our bookshelves and in our hearts. —PNBA Awards Committee

Sasquatch Books, Seattle, WA

The Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) is a non-profit association of independent bookstores in five Northwest states; Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska. The Association produces educational and promotional events and materials for its members, and offers literacy, free speech and author promotional vehicles through its member stores. One of our oldest and most popular programs is our annual Pacific Northwest Book Awards, which have been presented to such luminary figures in Northwest literature as Ivan Doig, Ursula LeGuin, David James Duncan, David Guterson, Jon Krakauer, Chuck Palahniuk, and Sherman Alexie. In most cases, these writers were recognized before gaining national attention. More information about past winners of PNBA Awards can be found HERE, on PNBA's website.

PNBA's Awards Committee is made up of nine volunteer booksellers from member stores throughout the region. The Committee members considered more than 200 titles nominated for a 2011 award, for work published by a Northwest author in 2010.

Booksellers: 2011 Display Shelftalkers, full set

Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association

2011 Book Awards