Books from Mercer Island authors

An urban fantasy novel, cookbook and unique collection of Chinese proverbs are among the latest collection of books written by Islanders.

An urban fantasy novel, cookbook and unique collection of Chinese proverbs are among the latest collection of books written by Islanders.

‘Treats From The Porch’

Eight years in the making, Mary Anne Earls’ collection of recipes stemmed from housing construction in her neighborhood. Every Friday morning for two years, she baked treats for the foreman and crew, and got their feedback. She made note of their favorites and decided to compile them into a book, which includes recipes from her grandmother, family and friends for breads, cakes, cookies and other desserts, ranging from eggnog snickerdoodles and oatmeal coconut cookies to cream cheese pumpkin pie, poppy seed cake and zucchini bread. Many recipes date back to 1908, the year of Earls’ great-grandmother’s recipe book, which included the preface:

“She may live without Dickens or Ruskin or Roe

She may live without Caesar or Pliny or Poe,

She may live without Browning, at poetry ne’er look,

But a civilized woman must have a cook book.”

Earls can be contacted at

‘Bloody Foundations’

Urban fantasy is the genre behind Grady J. Gratt’s “Bloody Foundations.” It is a tale of monsters and magic, and heroes Grace and Poppy — two janitors who must stop the “golem” Emma, a monster made of clay and ashes, after she kills their friends, bent on reclaiming belongings stolen from Holocaust victims.

Gratt graduated from Mercer Island High School and went on to earn a degree in communications from Western Washington University. Island Books will host a reading with Gratt at 3 p.m. on Saturday, May 22. The book is available for purchase from and For more information, go to

‘Everything I Understand About America I Learned In Chinese Proverbs’

Wendy Liu’s new book is a weaving of immortal Chinese proverbs and her own perception of their wisdom as a first-generation immigrant. Not only does Liu dissect dozens of proverbs covering topics as wide ranging as politics and good manners, but she narrates a personal story of American identity.

Originally from Xi’an, China, Liu now calls Mercer Island home. But the author has not forgotten where she comes from. With insight and balance, Liu compares and analyzes the two cultures she has lived with. She discusses family values, social norms and politics. Using the proverbs of China, she gently opens the American reader’s eyes to an understanding that can bridge both nations.

Liu has a bachelor’s degree in English from the Xi’an Foreign Languages Institute and a master’s in technology and science policy from Georgia Institute of Technology. In the 20 years she has lived in America, Liu has worked as an independent China business consultant, translator and writer for the Seattle Times, Northwest Asian Weekly, Chinese American Forum, American Chronicle and Global Times in Beijing, China.

Liu has written one book before, “Connecting Washington and China-The Story of the Washington State China Relations Council.”

Both of her books can be purchased at