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Originally published January 27, 2014 at 6:19 AM | Page modified January 27, 2014 at 6:23 AM

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5 author readings of note in Seattle

Nancy Horan’s “Under the Wide and Starry Sky” is a “Today” show book-club pick. In other book news, Ishmael Beah, Ruth Ozeki and other authors are headed to Seattle.

Seattle Times book editor

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Lit Life

Congratulations to Whidbey Island author Nancy Horan, who has hit the ball out of the park when it comes to getting her new novel, “Under the Wide and Starry Sky,” into the hands of readers nationwide. Horan’s book, based on the relationship between Robert Louis Stevenson and his American wife, Fanny Osbourne, has been chosen as the third “Today” show book club pick.

The “Today” show will host a chat via Google Hangout on Feb. 27. Local fans can see Horan earlier, as she is reading at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 at the Queen Anne Book Co.

In a Jan. 19 Seattle Times review of “Under the Wide and Starry Sky,” Ellen Emry Heltzel calls Fanny Osbourne a “fascinating study.”

In other news, loads of fine authors are passing through Seattle this week:

Ishmael Beah: This author’s memoir “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” touched millions with its account of the civil war in Sierra Leone and Beah’s experiences as a child soldier. His new novel, “Radiance of Tomorrow,” is about two friends who return to their African hometown after a devastating civil war. Beah is the featured guest at lunch at 1 p.m. today, Monday Jan. 27, at Ravenna Third Place Books, 6504 20th Ave. N.E., Seattle; $40 includes lunch and book (206-525-2347 or Beah will also appear at 7:30 p.m. Monday Jan. 27 at Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave. Tickets are $5; available at and at the door beginning at 6:30 p.m.

Ruth Ozeki: Ozeki’s novel “A Tale for the Time Being” was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize this year. It’s the multilayered story of a British Columbia writer who finds the diary of a Japanese teenager washed up on a B.C. beach after the tsunami. Seattle Times reviewer Wingate Packard called this book “ a terrific new novel full of breakthroughs both personal and literary.” Ozeki is in town on tour for the paperback edition: You can see her at 7 p.m. Tuesday Jan. 28, at the University Book Store, 4326 University Way N.E., Seattle; free (206-634-3400 or She also appears at 7 p.m. Wednesday Jan. 29, Third Place Books, 17171 Bothell Way N.E., Lake Forest Park; free (206-366-3333 or

Richard Powers: This multitalented novelist and MacArthur “genius” grant winner has a new novel out — “Orfeo,” about an avant-garde composer accused of terrorism. Powers talks about “Orfeo” with Nancy Pearl at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Town Hall Seattle, 1119 Eighth Ave., Seattle; $5 (206-652-4255 or

Bob Shacochis: This Florida-based writer published one of the most disturbing and enthralling books I read last year, “The Woman Who Lost Her Soul,” about Haiti, journalism, political duplicity, murder and other ingredients in the unstable stew of Haitian history. Shacochis returns to Seattle Feb. 7 to speak at Richard Hugo House. At 7 p.m. at Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle. After the lecture, Peter Mountford, author of “A Young Man’s Guide to Late Capitalism,” will conduct a Q&A with Shacochis. General tickets are $10; members, $8. More information at

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or Gwinn appears every Tuesday on TVW’s “Well Read,” discussing books with host Terry Tazioli (go to for archived episodes). On Twitter @gwinnma.

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