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Originally published Monday, March 26, 2012 at 5:00 AM

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Lit Life

3 must-read new titles and other book news

Seattle Times book editor Mary Ann Gwinn tips you off to spring and summer offerings — including Jim Lynch's "Truth Like the Sun" and Jess Walter's "Beautiful Ruins" — in her weekly Lit Life column.

Seattle Times book editor

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Lit life |

In my line of work, I get advance copies of books months before they show up at the bookseller. Herewith is a peek behind the curtain at three spring and summer titles discerning Seattle readers will want on their radar:

"Truth Like the Sun" by Jim Lynch (Knopf). A new novel by the Olympia-based author of "The Highest Tide" and "Border Songs," "Truth" flips back and forth between the Seattle of the World's Fair and the 2001 Seattle of the dot-com bust. Publication date: April 10.

"Beautiful Ruins" by Jess Walter (Harper). A new novel by Walter, the Spokane author of "Citizen Vince," a love story set on Italy's Ligurian coast in 1962 and contemporary times (more temporal flip-flopping here). Publication date: June.

Fun fact: Lynch and Walter worked together as reporters at the Spokane Spokesman-Review in the early 1990s. "We even sat in the same cubicle," says Lynch. Colleagues here at The Seattle Times who were there tell me that quite the time was had in that incarnation of the Spokane newsroom.

"Bring Up the Bodies" by Hilary Mantel (Henry Holt). The sequel to Mantel's Man Booker prizewinning novel "Wolf Hall," the story of Thomas Cromwell and his prickly (on a good day) relationship with Henry VIII. Publication date: May 22. Two months before its publication date, there are 14 holds on 31 ordered copies of this book at the Seattle Public Library. Get in line, and no, you can't have my copy.

Seattle Reads

This year's "Seattle Reads" book is "The Submission" by Amy Waldman (Picador), a novel about what happens when a jury considering designs for a Sept. 11 memorial picks a Muslim architect named Mohammad Khan. The author will visit Seattle May 3-5 and appear at a number of locations. For a complete schedule go to

Eastern Washington festival

Eastern Washington University's "Get Lit!" Festival takes place the week of April 9-15. A staggering array (staggering for Cheney, Wash., anyway) of name authors will attend the 14th annual incarnation of this festival, including Sherman Alexie, Rick Bass, Ted Kooser, Lois Lowry, Susan Orlean, Colson Whitehead and Isabel Wilkerson (and Jess Walter, an EWU alumnus). For ticketing and program information go to or call 800-325-SEAT.

Sad news

On Jan. 23 I published a column on the book "Horses Never Lie About Love" by Snohomish County author Jana Harris, a memoir/tribute to True Colors, an extraordinarily long-lived brood mare that was Harris' stalwart companion and best friend.

Last week, Harris wrote me that True Colors passed away at age 34 in early March, just after a showering of new snow in the Cascade foothills. Harris will append an epilogue to the paperback version of the book, which comes out in June. "... I thought she would live forever," she writes. "How empty the farm felt. I pulled the huge sliding barn doors closed for the night and held onto this thought: What luck to have owned such a horse."

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or On Twitter @gwinnma.

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