Whatcom Magazine

Northwest books: Recent titles of note for Whatcom readers

Cecil Jentges compiled historic photographs of early Bellingham for the “Images of America” book series.
Cecil Jentges compiled historic photographs of early Bellingham for the “Images of America” book series. The Bellingham Herald

A slew of new books by local authors and on local topics await avid Whatcom readers.


▪ “How to Steal from Mom; A Wake-Up Call for Seniors,” by George F. Edward, $14.99. Edward developed a program at Whatcom Educational Credit Union to detect financial exploitation of senior citizens, often by family members. In his book, he describes examples of such fraud, and offers advice on how to prevent it, and how to respond if fraud is discovered.

▪ “Images of America: Bellingham,” by Cecil Jentges, $21.99. A martial arts instructor and president of The Historic Fairhaven Association, Jentges compiled photographs of early life in Bellingham. Subjects include prominent citizens, pioneer industries and landmark buildings, plus famous criminals, the anti-Hindu riot of 1907, and the once-flourishing Ku Klux Klan in Whatcom County.

▪ “Hiking Washington: A Guide to the State’s Greatest Hiking Adventures,” by Oliver Lazenby, $21.95. Lazenby grew up in Snoqualmie Valley and now lives in Bellingham. His guidebook details hikes throughout the state, ranging from short walks to long treks, and includes stories about the region’s characters and history.

▪ “Called: My Journey to C. S. Lewis’s House and Back Again,” by Ryan Pemberton, $14.99. The Whatcom County native recounts his experience studying theology at Oxford University in England, where Christian writer C.S. Lewis lived, taught and wrote. Pemberton became president of Oxford’s C. S. Lewis Society, and was a guide at, and a resident of, Lewis’s home, which is now a museum and research center.

▪ “It Takes a Village Books: Thirty-Five Years of Building Community, One Book at a Time,” by Chuck Robinson, $14.95. The co-owner of Village Books in Fairhaven updates the story of the landmark business he started with his wife, Dee.

▪ “Mountain Climbing in Washington State,” by Donald Tjossem, $22.99. A former Bellingham resident and member of Bellingham Mountain Rescue Council compiles more than 140 color photos and captions about the state’s mountain climbing history, with nearly 50 photos from northern Washington and the Mount Baker area.

▪ “Geology Underfoot in Western Washington,” by Dave Tucker, $24. Written by a Bellingham geologist and Mount Baker expert, the book details the geology of 22 easily accessible sites west of the Cascades. Several are close to Bellingham: the Kulshan caldera and Table Mountain at Artist Point, the Western Washington University geology museum with the giant fossil bird track found near Kendall, and Larrabee Park’s honeycombed sandstone shoreline.

▪ “Prepare to Come About,” by Christine C. Wallace, $17.99. The former first mate on the Bellingham-based tall ship Zodiac, Wallace recounts her adventures as an award-winning CEO and as first mate on the largest wooden schooner on the West Coast. While her business career flourished, her family’s well-being floundered. Then her family’s lifeline appeared in the form of a tall ship named Zodiac.

▪ “Murder in the Fourth Corner,” by Todd Warger, $16.95. The Bellingham historian recounts a dozen early homicides in Whatcom County, from 1880 to 1933, and adds a 13th story from fellow historian Candace Wellman. It’s a brisk mix of mayhem and local history, backed by research into prison and court records and other archival materials.


▪ “A Dangerous Descent,” by Marian Exall, $9.95. In the second novel in the Sara McKinney mystery series, the lead character travels to rural France to help her mentor find her estranged daughter. Once there, McKinney uncovers a troubled history that parallels her own. To rescue the woman she has come to find, McKinney must confront danger as well as her own demons. Exall lives in Bellingham.

▪ “The Great Symmetry,” by James Wells, $13.95. The Bellingham writer sets his story in 2304 on an asteroid where Evan McElroy made a discovery about a long-departed alien race. His corporate sponsors realize they can reap huge gains if the new finding is kept secret, so step one in their plan is to kill the research team, starting with McElroy.