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Originally published Monday, February 8, 2010 at 7:01 PM

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Local books: nature poems, becoming a carnivore and a 'stand-up economist'

A last volume of verse by Seattle poet Crysta Casey tops this week's list of books of local interest.

New releases

"Green Cammie" by Crysta Casey (Floating Bridge, $12). A posthumous volume of poems by a Seattle poet who died in 2008. Casey draws on her years in the U.S. Marine Corps and her bouts with mental illness in her verse. Friends of Casey read her work at 3 p.m. Sunday, Open Books, 2414 N. 45th St., Seattle; free (206-633-0811 or www.openpoetrybooks.com).

"Jews of the Pacific Coast: Reinventing Community on America's Edge" by Ellen Eisenberg, Ava F. Kahn and William Toll (University of Washington Press, $50). A community history, using personal anecdotes and archival records to "examine the distinctive roles that Jews played in the Pacific West, especially the innovative roles of women." Seattle is a focus of the book, along with Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles and an array of smaller West Coast towns.

"Shaking the Tree: New and Selected Poems" by Jeanne Lohmann (Fithian Press, $14). A retrospective of an Olympia poet's work contemplating nature, gardens ("with weeds"), animals, mountains, the sea, the seasons and "what it means to be human."

"Venus Guy Trap" by Shannon McKelden (Tor, $13.99). A novel about a bookstore owner in her 30s who's looking for love. One of her new employees, who claims to be "Venus, the Goddess of Love," says she can help her. McKelden lives in Puyallup.

"The Cartoon Introduction to Economics, Volume One: Microeconomics" by Grady Klein and Yoram Bauman (Hill & Wang, $17.95). Bauman, a professor of environmental economics at the University of Washington who bills himself as "the world's first and only stand-up economist," joins forces with cartoonist Klein in an effort "to take the dismal out of the dismal science."

"The Butcher and the Vegetarian: One Woman's Romp through a World of Men, Meat, and Moral Crisis" by Tara Austen Weaver (Rodale, $23.99). The author of the food blog "Tea & Cookies," who was raised in a vegetarian family, recounts how, under doctor's orders, she added meat to her diet — a change that prompted her, with a butcher's help, to investigate where the meat was coming from. Weaver splits her time between Seattle and San Francisco.

Seattle Times staff

For possible listing in "Local Books," send a finished copy of the book, with price and publication date, to Local Books, Seattle Times, 1120 John St., Seattle, WA 98109. No self-published or vanity-published titles, please.

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