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Originally published Monday, June 7, 2010 at 7:04 PM

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Local books: Western women, a woman in wartime and a woman embroiled in mystery

Children's books by Seattle-area authors and illustrators dominate this week's roundup of titles of local interest.

New releases

"Home Lands: How Women Made the West" by Virginia Scharff and Carolyn Brucken (University of California Press/Autry National Center, $24.95). This study of Western American "home and habitations brought into being by the women who lived there" includes a long chapter on the Puget Sound region.

"The Nightingale of Mosul: A Nurse's Journey of Service, Struggle, and War" by Susan Luz with Marcus Brotherton (Kaplan, $25.95). Washington writer Brotherton helps Rhode Island's Col. Susan Luz get her story down on paper. At age 56, Luz shipped out to Iraq, where she was awarded the Bronze Star for her service in the 399th Combat Support Hospital.

"Season of Suffering: Coming of Age in Occupied France, 1940-1945" by Nicole H. Taflinger (Washington State University Press, $22.95). A Pullman-area author recalls her teenage years in Nazi-occupied France.

"Bones of Contention" by Jean Matthews (Poisoned Pen, $24.95). This Renton author's debut mystery is set in Australia's Northern Territory and features a heroine who's "a wannabe anthropologist with a passion for mythology" in a tale about a fatally ill uncle and some family secrets.

"This One Is Mine" by Maria Semple (Back Bay, $14.99). New in paperback: Hollywood satire by a former television writer who now lives in Seattle. Seattle Times reviewer Mark Lindquist wrote, "With Joan Didion's eye for the bleak, Nathanael West's ear for the desperate and her own taste for the comic, Semple has penned a scathing vision of show business in a repellent La-La Land."

"SteamPotVille" by Steve Ouch (Running Press, $15.95). A picture book for children ages 4-8 about a town of teapot-dwelling animals who get their signals badly crossed one "discombobulated" night. Ouch lives in Seattle.

"Cat Diaries: Secret Writings of the MEOW Society" by Betsy Byars, Betsy Duffey and Laurie Myers, illustrated by Erik Brooks (Holt, $15.99). A tale for readers ages 7-10 about cats who "convene to share their stories and those of their ancestors." Illustrator Brooks lives in the Methow Valley.

"Dancing Feet" by Lindsey Craig, illustrated by Marc Brown (Knopf, $16.99). All sorts of creatures try out some moves in this Bainbridge Island author's picture book for preschoolers.

"Guinea Dog" by Patrick Jennings (Egmont, $15.99). A local writer's novel for readers ages 8-12, about a guinea pig who thinks she's a dog.

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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