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Originally published Tuesday, September 4, 2012 at 5:31 AM

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NW Books: Observations and photos along the Pacific Coast Trail

New books by Seattle area authors or of local interest: "Grizzly Bears and Razor Clams," Chris Townsend's account of walking the Pacific Coast Trail; "The Stars Shine Bright," Sibella Giorello's fifth mystery featuring Raleigh Harmon; "Liberty's Christmas," a young adult novel by Randall Platt set in Depression-era Texas.

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New releases

"Grizzly Bears and Razor Clams: Walking America's Pacific Northwest Trail" by Chris Townsend (Sandstone Press, $26.95). Scottish explorer Townsend records his 1,100-plus mile walk along the trail from the Rocky Mountains to the Washington coast, crossing through Glacier, North Cascades and Olympic national parks. The chapters are divided into sections of the trail and start with a map, mileage and the dates walked, then describe what he saw, what he learned, etc. The appendices are filled with interesting specifics on weather, night camping vs. accommodations, supplies and equipment — including the camera and tripod that captured the gorgeous color photographs included on nearly every page.

"The Stars Shine Bright" by Sibella Giorello (Thomas Nelson, $15.99). The fifth book in this series featuring geologist-turned-FBI agent Raleigh Harmon finds her in the Puget Sound area working undercover at Emerald Meadows racetrack, trying to figure out why horses are dying and who's fixing the races. The former journalist and Christy Award-winning author lives in Washington state.

"Liberty's Christmas" by Randall Platt (Texas Tech University Press, $19.95). Ages 12 and up. The Depression-era tale of a Texas farm girl who enlists the efforts of an aging horse, a broken down tractor and a Mexican-American boy to try to deliver the best Christmas tree to the state capitol in order the claim the $500 prize. With "sparkling dialogue and spunky humor ... and a perceptive eye and ear for historical detail, award-winning author Randall Platt takes readers young and old on a spirited adventure," says the publisher. Platt lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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