Off the Shelf: Fall into a good read

Adding a book to any North Olympic Peninsula outing only increases the ways to enjoy our beautiful space.

Whether that’s an audiobook by the campfire, an engrossing novel (on a waterproof eReader!) while lounging in a floatie on the lake, or chatting about favorite titles with friends on a sunny porch, the peninsula offers a wealth of ways to enjoy books and our setting at the same time.

Even the cold weather provides plenty of opportunities to get lost in a book from your local library: audiobooks during brisk walks or scenic fall drives, or reading while curled up in a blanket with your favorite hot beverage.

Of course, everyone’s opinion on what constitutes the “perfect” type of book to cuddle up with differs. Here are a variety of suggestions; beverage and scene-setting suggestions are entirely optional.

“Death by Cashmere” by Sally Goldenbaum + knitted blanket + cranberry-based drink: Cozy mysteries are an obvious pairing for windy, wet weather.

Add atmosphere with a knitted throw, capturing the protagonist’s day job as yarn store owner. Include a cranberry drink— juice or cocktail, as you prefer— to capture the small-town Massachusetts setting and follow the heroine as she sleuths up and down the Atlantic coast.

“The Fireman” by Joe Hill + weighted blanket + hot coffee: Winter’s early sunsets can have horror fans reaching for books as soon as darkness looms, so try this author’s creepy story about a pandemic set off by global warming.

Keep the curtains open so the darkness permeates the room; employ only a small reading light to heighten the anxiety. Use a weighted or heavy blanket to make you feel just safe enough to keep turning the pages.

The coffee is to keep you awake — you won’t want to sleep until it’s over! No creamer here: keep the coffee dark, just like the fate of humanity.

“The Poppy War” by R.F. Kuang + kakebuton + matcha tea: If the peninsula’s weather has you wishing to be anywhere else, escape this plane with a fantasy novel.

This series starter is based in Japanese history and folklore, so proper tea is nonnegotiable. A duvet is a good substitute for the traditional Japanese silk blanket. This grim military fantasy embeds readers in an East Asian -inspired world of battles, opium, gods, and monsters.

“The Unlikely Adventures of the Shergill Sisters” by Balli Kaur Jaswal + bright cotton print quilt + chai tea: For some, November means the start of holidays, which means families.

If you need an escape — or to compare your family interactions to another’s — travel to India in the summer, where three very different British Indian sisters try to get along long enough to fulfill their mother’s last wish. Authentic chai, deliciously described in the author’s previous book “Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows,” and a blanket made from colorful cotton or silk prints, will help transport you.

For more

To request any of these materials, visit, call 360-683-1161, or email to For more titles you might enjoy, visit The Sequim Library is at 630 N. Sequim Ave.

Sarah Morrison is a librarian with the North Olympic Library System.

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