Capital in the Twenty-First Century: A Reading List

Were you hoping to read Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, but weren’t able to get a copy before we sold out of our first batch?

Capital in the Twenty-First Century

Rest assured, we expect more copies to be in stock as soon as they become available from Harvard University Press, probably around mid-May.




We know waiting is hard…especially for a book that riveting, so, in the meantime, our bookseller Jacob has created a list of recommended titles that are on our shelves now to read while we await the next printing of Thomas Piketty’s knockout debut:


Debt: The First 5,000 Years

Debt: The First 5,000 Years

 by David Graeber

“Anthropologist David Graeber casts a wide net, and this much longer view of human culture uncovers the moral and philosophical assumptions that are so deeply ingrained in our conceptions of debt that they usually remain invisible. By exploring the enormous variety of human relationships, exchanges, and economies throughout history and across cultures, Graeber clears a path toward crucial new possibilities for our future.”—Casey O.


Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis

Utopia or Bust: A Guide to the Present Crisis

by Benjamin Kunkel

From a founding editor of the magazine n+1, and the author of the novel Indecision, comes this exciting new overview of contemporary Marxist thought. Engaging with some of the left’s most demanding thinkers, and distilling their major arguments into clear, readable prose, Benjamin Kunkel provides the kind of introduction to prominent theories of contemporary Marxism we so badly need in these times of renewed interest in Marxist thought.


The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America

 by George Packer

Newly available in paperback, George Packer’s story of a nation in crisis is the 2013 National Book Award winner for nonfiction. Packer searches, in tightly knit detail, and in poignant biographical narratives, through the fraying fibers of post-2008 American society for the story of what, exactly, is happening to us, and what’s bound to follow. An heir to the work of Studs Terkel, or perhaps to David Simon’s celebrated television show The Wire, the Unwinding is as powerful a document of economic and social collapse as any to have come before it.


What Unions No Longer Do

What Unions No Longer Do

by Jake Rosenfeld


Who Stole the American Dream?

Who Stole the American Dream?

by Hedrick Smith

This is a two-for-one, as both Jake Rosenfeld and Hedrick Smith will be speaking at Town Hall Seattle, Monday, April 21, at 6:00 and 7:30 pm, respectively. Jake Rosenfeld, in his book, finds in the declining power and activity of labor unions throughout the second half of the 20th century a primary reason for the growing income inequality others, like Thomas Piketty, have documented. Pulitzer Prize winner Hedrick Smith, in his bestselling Who Stole the American Dream? charts the ways in which developments like rising income inequality, and corporate political influence, among others, are self-reinforcing cycles that only serve to exacerbate and deepen the crises we face.


NLR cover image

New Left Review, no. 85

A venerable, longstanding publication of global history, politics, economics, and philosophy, issue 85 features an interview with Thomas Piketty himself, discussing some of the main arguments found in Capital in the Twenty-First Century. If you can’t have the full text, yet, this will surely whet your appetite in the meantime!



CHRISTOPHER MOORE on Sunday, April 27th at 3 p.m.

MooreCHRISTOPHER MOORE on Sunday, April 27th at 3 p.m. 

Great Sunday afternoon fun is in store as one of the most wonderful, engaging and funny writers at work today, Christopher Moore, makes this welcome return for his newest book The Serpent of Venice (William Morrow). You can guess what this might be about.  “Moore’s imaginative storytelling, bawdy prose, puns aplenty… succeed in transforming two classical tragedies into outrageously farcical entertainment.” – Publishers Weekly. “Shakespeare and Poe might be rolling in their graves, they’re rolling with laughter. Christopher Moore is one of the cleverest, naughtiest writers alive.” – Carl Hiaasen.

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at to request an autographed copy. 


826 Seattle presents DAVE EGGERS & MARIA SEMPLE at Town Hall Seattle on Wednesday, April 23rd at 7:00 p.m.


826 Seattle presents DAVE EGGERS & MARIA SEMPLE at Town Hall Seattle on Wednesday, April 23rd at 7:00 p.m.

EggersPlease join our friends at 826 Seattle for this special evening recently added to our schedule. On hand tonight will be 826 co-founder Dave Eggers, whose most recent books include the National Book Award finalist A Hologram for the King and this past year’s acclaimed novel The Circle (new in paperback on Tuesday from Vintage), and Seattle author Maria Semple, Semplewhose beloved Where’d You Go Bernadette (Back Bay) has held a spot on the New York Times besteller list for over a year. The two authors will be in conversation for this one special night only. This should be a most fun and engaging evening. Tickets are $20, and are available (along with additional information) at or This evening benefits 826 Seattle’s good and vital work.  

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at to request an autographed copy. 

Spring! Into Terror!

It’s that time of year again. Our rain and snow have been viciously dried up and our precious blanket of comforting grey clouds has been mercilessly burned away by a fiery ball of gas that hangs ominously in the vastness of space.

Soon the wind will come, blowing the alluring smell of flowered fields (in which to frolic and be attacked by insects). Or the sound of the constantly pounding surf may be heard, calling us all to light-drenched beaches only to eventually be forced to dig relentless sand out of our various crevasses.


But we need not heed those calls.


Go back inside, pull your shades down tight, and prepare to nourish your cells with a little Vitamin Dread.


Black Moon

Kenneth Calhoun

The entire world has begun to suffer from insomnia. Within days, the structures that govern our world fall to pieces as madness, anger, and delusion consume the world and the few remaining people who can still sleep cower in fear of those who cannot.

This is a fantastic, disturbing-as-hell novel that keeps you up late reading it and then makes you worry that you’ve stayed up too late reading it and now you won’t be able to fall asleep and what happens if suddenly you can’t ever fall asleep again and you turn into a murderous rage-monster who will stop at nothing for a just a few seconds of peaceful sleep!!

But that certainly isn’t going to happen now so you might as well read a few more paragraphs and then…..



Tim Lebbon

Amazing things are happening at Coldbrook, a top secret laboratory buried deep in the Appalachian Mountains  A doorway to another world — a parallel Earth — has been opened and a team of scientists are eager to be the first ones through to explore this strange, new world. But then something on the other side decides to come through first….

This is top-notch zombie storytelling at its finest. Sympathetic, believable characters. Horrifying, blood-thirsty zombies that are actually called zombies and not “walkers” or “roamers” or anything like that. A neat sci-fi twist with a plot that jumps between a post-apocalyptic wasteland of a world and a currently-apocalyptic soon-to-be-wasteland of a world, this is a fantastic addition to the growing horde of undead literature.


Lovecraft’s Monsters

Edited by Ellen Datlow


Nobody did monsters like Lovecraft. Werewolves, vampires, and even my beloved zombies, have got nothing on the shambling, tentacled masses of terror that lurk in the spaces between realities. Lovecraft knew what scared you and wasn’t afraid to hit you full in the face with it.

And neither are the authors in this collection. Neil Gaiman, Thomas Ligotti, and Joe R. Lansdale are just a few of the authors in this anthology of crawling, creeping creatures that only consider humanity to be, at best, a light snack.


Bunnies and Kitties

Cate Holly


I’m serious. You shouldn’t spend all day cooped up in the dark reading scary stories. You have to pace yourself and the best way to do this is to step outside every few minutes and look at awesomely adorable pictures of kittens and bunnies frolicking and being super-cute.

Once you’ve recharged and read a few silly captions and laughed at nuzzling bundles of fur you can go back inside and subject yourself to some more….



Joe Simon and Jack Kirby


In the age before the Comics Code Authority, comics were a lurid place filled with rotting corpses and unsettling monsters. It was awesome.

Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, who had already made a name for themselves with superheroes and crime stories, teamed up to write some of the most sophisticated and harrowing tales of terror to ever grace a funny-book stand. This collection of short, sharp stories represent some of the best horror comic writing ever and should be on the shelves of every dusty, grime-laden crypt in the underworld.



MICHAEL RUHLMAN on Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m.


Michael Ruhlman joins us in the bookstore on Tuesday, April 8 at 7:00 p.m. to discuss his new book Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient.

Eggs Benedict, Egg Flower Soup, Shirred Eggs Florentine and Seafood Roulade are but a few of the recipes in Michael Ruhlman’s new book Egg: A Culinary Exploration of the World’s Most Versatile Ingredient.Egg In this book, he explains why the egg is essential to the craft of cooking and shares specific techniques that bring out the best in both sweet and savory dishes. Michael Ruhlman’s many books include Ratio, The Elements of Cooking, Ruhlman’s Twenty, The Book of Schmaltz, and many more.

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at to request an autographed copy. 

Pack Your Bags: We’re Going to France!

I suffer from chronic wanderlust. Unfortunately my passport sports a sad (small) number of stamps. The best balm for unrequited travel love is reading about your preferred destinations! Our Travel section is highlighting France for the month, and in that spirit, I thought I’d start a new series here spotlighting some great reading lists for different foreign locales! Let’s commence with the Cité d’Amour: Paris!

Metronome: A History of Paris from the Underground Up

by Lorant Deutsch

A look at the history of Paris from pre-Roman times through present day oriented by the stops of the French Metro. Did I mention the author is a well-loved French comedian? Yeah this is the best way to suck up Parisian history.

Les Petits Macarons: Colorful French Confections to Make at Home

by Kathryn Gordon and Anne E. McBride

Vacations are half sightseeing and half gorging yourself on er… sampling the local cuisine. I’m still trying to master making these traditional French delicacies at home, and this is the best cookbook I’ve ever found for them!

The French Cat

by Rachael Hale

Even if you’re not a cat person, which I absolutely am, you can’t help but fall in love with the dreamy light, French locales, and hopelessly French swagger of these felines. The story of Hale’s relocation to France is also told alongside these lovely photographs.

Entre Nous: A Woman’s Guide to Finding Her Inner French Girl

by Debra Ollivier

There are countless books focusing on the inherent chicness of French women and the ways we clumsy and brash Americans can emulate their style. I prefer this one because it illuminates the fact that there is not a cookie cutter type of French woman.

Sixty Million Frenchmen Can’t Be Wrong: Why We Love France but Not the French

by Jean-Benoit Nadeau and Julie Barlow

Why do we dream about kissing our true love atop the Eiffel Tower or shopping on the Left Bank after spending a morning exploring the Louvre but continue to malign the snotty, spineless Frenchman in our comedy? Read this insightful cultural study and find out!

Stuff Parisians Like: Discovering the Quoi in the Je Ne Sais Quoi

by Olivier Magny

This tongue-in-cheek guide is spot on. Equal parts laugh-out-loud and envy-inducing.

How the French Invented Love: Nine Hundred Years of Passion and Romance

by Marilyn Yalom

I picked this book up earlier this year and couldn’t put it down. Fascinating study on why we associate the ultimate wooing with the French.

A few other notable titles:

- Brandi

JIMMY CARTER Book Signing on Monday, March 31 at 12 Noon


The Elliott Bay Company will host a SPECIAL IN-STORE BOOK SIGNING by President Jimmy Carter on Monday, March 31 at 12 noon.

President Carter will be signing copies of his new book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence and Power.

Tickets to join the signing line for the event will be given out with a purchase of A Call to Action from the Elliott Bay Book Company. The book Jimmy1goes on sale Tuesday, March 25 and advance purchases may be made online, at the bookstore, or by calling 206-624-6600. This Book-Signing is President Carter’s only Seattle appearance. Due to time constraints we will not be able to accommodate personalized book requests or posed pictures. We will open at 10 a.m. Please call the store at (206) 624-6600 with any questions.

Please check our website often for updates and/or changes to this event. 

If you are unable to attend an author event you can call us at (206) 624-6600 or email us at to request an autographed copy.