After winning at Jeopardy! In 2010, Tom Nissley quit his job at Amazon and bought a bookstore, where he's been supporting Northwest writers ever since. These books, from local authors and all available at his store Phinney Books, are just a few of his picks for holiday giving.
His first suggestion is the latest by Sherman Alexie, You Don't Have to Say You Love Me, a memoir about Alexie's mom.
"It's an incredibly emotional book," said Nissley.
Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning by Bainbridge Island's Claire Dederer is for any woman facing middle age, and not feelin' it.
"It's a look at her wild youth. And her kind of wild middle age." Nissley said. “It's funny, it's smart, it's deeply honest, and it's one of my favorite books of the year.”
Cooks will savor My Rice Bowl: Korean Cooking Outside the Lines by Rachel Yang - owner of Seattle restaurants Joule and Trove.
And there's Ghosts of Seattle Past, an anthology curated by Jaimee Garbacic and illustrated by Josh Powell. The perfect gift for anyone who misses the Jello Mold Building, and other long gone Seattle spots.
"It's this great hodgepodge of very personal stories - about what Seattle used to be,” Nissley said.
For kids, Where's Halmoni, written and illustrated by Seattle's Julie Kim will transport them into Korean folk tales.
"It's a gorgeously illustrated book."
Nissley said Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Shum is one of the most fun books he’s read this year, because it has a deft touch of the ‘80’s, when it’s set, and it’s inspired by the author's real life: "He dealt poker in Lake Stevens at what he called a dead-end casino and he used that to write his first novel."
And it doesn't more PNW than Nissley’s final pick: Razor Clams: Buried Treasure of the Pacific Northwest -- by David Berger.
"It's the perfect gift to give to the clam digger in your life.” He smiled.
All of these titles are available at Phinney Books in Seattle's Greenwood neighborhood.