A Year Right Here

Adventures with Food and Family in the Great Nearby

Jess Thomson
Illustrated by Hannah Viano

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  • $28.95 hardcover (9780295741543) Add to Cart
  • Published: April 2017
  • Subject Listing: Literature / Creative Nonfiction; Food; Pacific Northwest
  • Bibliographic information: 320 pp., 19 illus., 5.5 x 8.5 in.
  • Territorial rights: North American rights only
  • Contents

Armed with "The Here List" and a Type-A personality, Seattle-based writer and cookbook author Jess Thomson sets out to spend a year exploring the food of the Pacific Northwest with her family. Planning to revel in the culinary riches of the region and hoping to break her son, Graham, of his childhood pickiness, the adventures into the great nearby include building a backyard chicken coop, truffle hunting in Oregon, and razor clamming on the Washington coast. Her plans to spend "a year right here" are complicated by efforts to help Graham overcome some of the mobility limitations of cerebral palsy, and thwarted further by her own limitations that come to the fore when she attempts the "Gourmet Century," a hilly one-hundred-kilometer bike ride with gourmet food stops along the way.

With touching, funny, sometimes devastating stories that we all can relate to, Jess pulls the reader in as she abandons "The Here List" and learns that letting go can be just as important as holding on.
Jess Thomson is a freelance writer and the author of Dishing Up Washington, Pike Place Market Recipes, and Top Pot Hand-Forged Doughnuts; and coauthor of A Boat, a Whale, and a Walrus.

"Jess is a smart, funny, straight-shooting writer with a great sense for food, and her A Year Right Here is no exception."
-Molly Wizenberg, author of A Homemade Life and Delancey

"A Year Right Here weaves together sharp observation, emotional candor, and strong characterization. In telling the story of her year at home, Jess Thomson illuminates our corner of the world."
-Claire Dederer, author of Poser: My Life in Twenty-Three Yoga Poses

"A book about parenting, food, and letting go, Jess Thomson's writing is full of emotion, wit and truth. This book strikes me to the core as I see myself reflected in the incongruence and beauty of daily life and our obsession with food and cooking."
-Aran Goyoaga, author of Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family's Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking and creator of Cannelle et Vanille

"Expertly weaving the trials and travails of daily life-one filled with alternating bouts of triumph and struggle-with her yearlong exploration of the Pacific Northwest's edible gems, Thomson invites the reader into her imperfect, thoroughly genuine world. Her writing is never indulgent, never treacly, always honest. She makes the quotidian both remarkable and universal, garnishing each beautifully-crafted phrase with a dose of unsentimental realism."
-Cheryl Sternman Rule, author of Yogurt Culture and Ripe

Introduction: Staying Put

1. January
-The House That Jack Built
-The Rarest Breed

2. February
-Digging Deep

3. March
-You've Got to Be Kidding

4. April

5. May
-On Parking-Lot Barbecue

6. June
-The Other Western Wine Country

7. July
-The Gourmet Century

8. August
-The Manhattan Project
-Trial by Fire
-The Opposite of Ilwaco

9. September

10. October
-What Would Jesus Brew?

11. November
-Chronicles of a Coffee Lover
-Slow Dog Noodle

12. December
-To Market, to Market

13. January, Again
-Found in Translation

Epilogue: A Year Right Here
Index of Recipes

"Reads like a five-course meal for the mind. . . . A Year Right Here is a genuine pleasure to read, as refreshing in its localism and eclecticism as it is in its universal soul-searching and earnest attempt to redefine one's relationship with home."
-Scott Neuffer, Foreword Reviews (5 Hearts)

"We all know what happens to the list you make at the start of the year. But if everything had gone according to plan, Thomson's book would be as straightforward as her original list. The twists and turns are what makes it - that and a solid recipe for fried chicken."
-Max Watman, New York Times Book Review

"While readers have front row seats to razor clamming on the Washington coast, truffle hunting in Oregon and a winery tour in British Columbia, it's the way Thomson's preparations are thwarted that make this book an interesting read."
-Nancy Schatz Alton, ParentMap