My Favorite Books About Seattle

March 19, 2010 in About Edy and the Team

The city of Seattle, it’s a unique place on the globe, and it’s where we live!  Whether you live here or are getting ready to, or perhaps even deciding if you’re going to move here or not!  Often clients ask me what the best books are to get a good orientation to the area .  Here are some of my favorites which I want to share with you.

Can’t really claim these are the “Top 10” books on Seattle and environs as I have not done that sort of ranking, but these are some of the best, and my personal list of the very most useful.

Top 17 Picks by Edy

1.  Seattle Mini Rough Guide  (I still carry this in my purse and it’s always fun to read if I’m taking a momentary break after previewing a home or dropping in at a neighborhood coffee house with wifi to check my email and caffinate.)  It’s small and keeps it kind of focused, but is all the better for that.  I’d probably recommend you read this one first, it won’t take long but you’ll have a long list you want to pursue from reading it.

2.  Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to and Living in Seattle (including Bellevue, Redmond, Everett and Tacoma.  I highly recommend this to all my clients who are relocating or considering it!)  This book is so extensive and readable at the same time that it is like a bible for discovering the city and environs.  And somehow the decernment is so real that once you’ve read about a neighborhood in here it really starts to make sense.

3.  Top 10 Seattle   “Your guide to the 10 best of everything.”  Sounds simplistic but is actually extremely useable and gets you a lot of information fast, plus it’s  really well done.   A book of lists, and somehow it makes me like lists!  This is a very useful and fun book to use.

4.  NFT, Not for Tourists Guide to Seattle   “You’ll find each and every one of Seattle’s neighborhoods represented within, mapped out in full detail and carefully evaluated for both leisurely pursuits and essential services.”  One of the very most useful books I have read on Seattle.  This one is thoughtful and personality filled, a real pleasure.

5.  Hidden Seattle   “Where vacations meet adventures.”  Like joy?  You’ll like this book.  There is a sense of fun and excitement throughout which makes you keep going back year after year for a new dose of the bright vision it brings to the adventure of discovering the city.

6.  Lonely Planet Seattle City Guide   Don’t you think Lonely Planet guides are  like an extra satisfying conversation with a best friend in a very good mood?  I’ve always thought so and this one is no exception.

7.  Seattle SURVIVAL Guide  This is again on Seattle, but extra informative and again, very useful.  I would read this one farther into my explorations as it will broaden your understandings and clarity a lot of the basics, taking them up another level!

8.  Access Seattle  “Leads you street by street into the Heart of the City.”  Seattle streets are labled kind of strangely.  It is a city worth taking the time to understand in terms of those little letters behind all the street names.  For example if you see “NW” behind a street name, it’s in Ballard.  “SW” is West Seattle.  “W” is Magnolia or Queen Anne.  “NE” means somewhere east of I-5 and north of downtown.  “E” is Madison Valley or Montlake.  Etc. etc.  It will really help when you start being aware of this, however, when you venture to the East Side it starts all over again and you’ll have to learn the system anew!

9.  The Seattle Mama’s Handbook   When I first moved to Seattle my welcoming neighbor, who was a Seattle Mama herself with two little ones,  gave me a copy of this book and I loved it.  It is a single source for all the kid info you may need, including recreation, schools, classes, etc. etc.

10.  Out & About with Kids in Seattle  is billed as “the ultimate family guide for fun and learning.”  It still gives me many great ideas and information even after my then-four-year old is now nine!

11.  Crave Seattle; the Urban Girl’s Manifesto  “the ultimate guide to the places that women crave in Seattle”  Spending a couple hours curled up with this book is almost as good as a Girl’s Night Out, and then you get to actually go out and do the fun stuff you’ve read about, you will not be able to resist some of it!

12.  Quick Escapes in the Pacific Northwest  A great “tripping” guide that contains over 40 semi-local adventures to take off for a weekend or a week and get away from our busy-laid back city.

13.  Walking Seattle  is another great choice.  It contains details on Seattle including sections on parks, downtown, neighborhoods, UW, as well as the suburbs, which are filled with great resources.  And don’t ignore the appendicies, they are quite useful in and of themselves.

14.  Urban Walks  A walking guide which contains 23 walks through Seattle’s neighborhoods and parks.  Once you read Walking Seattle you might want to this one next as it has  fuller information on the parks.)

15.  Rains All the Time  “A connoisseur’s history of weather in the Pacific Northwest.”  This one was really fun, like sitting around in a coffee shop with a long-time Seattle resident and listening to stories and philosophy.  By the time you’ve had three mochas and listened for a few hours you emerge a distinctly different person from the one that went in.

16.  Seattle Past to Present  “An interpretaion of the history of the foremost city in the Pacific Northwest.”  There are a lot of facinating books about various aspects of the history of the city, but if you start here you will enjoy the journey and probably be motivated to keep going once you finish it.

17.  Savor Greater Seattle Cookbook  “Greater Seattle’s Finest Restaurants, their recipes & their histories.”  Seattle is well known as a restaurant city, having it’s own unique flavors and wonderful variety, so this book is kind of a restaurant bible for me and many others!  Not only do people discuss the restaurants and food in great detail, but they are inspired cooks as well, and the recipies in this book will make you want to try them.

If you don’t mind, we’d love to hear back what you thought about any of these, favorite features, or others that were really useful.

Seattle  has been called the “best educated city in America” as it has the most advanced degrees per capita.  It’s known as a great book town, with independent and used booksellers with longstanding reputations.  Our blog pages wouldtherefore not be complete without a discussion of the best books about our eclectic and very special town.  Of course, these are just a start.

Edy Kizaki, Realtor
Broker, eXp Realty Seattle
206-249-2914 (cell)