Dive into our 2023-2024  Bushwick Bestiary Season! We can’t wait for you to embark on this adventure with us. Every title this season features a strong connection to the Animal Kingdom. Scroll down for an overview of all the selections, including content heads-up so you can choose to experience the book (or not!) with confidence. If we missed something, please send us a message and we’ll look into addressing it as soon as we can.

You can purchase a season venue subscription for our Bushwick Book Club performances with our season partners Town Hall Seattle and The Rabbit box Theatre | Season Subscription coming soon!

Please consider buying your Bushwick choices with a local bookstore.

Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White

September 23 | 7:30pm | Town Hall Seattle

Ever since E.B. White spun this classic tale in 1952, readers have been captured by its barnyard magic. Wilbur the pig and Charlotte the spider, through subtle meditations on death and change, illustrate better than any human what it means to be humane. Some book.

“As a piece of work it is just about perfect, and just about magical in the way it is done.” – Eudora Welty

Heads up: readers must bid farewell to a beloved character, who reaches a gentle and natural end by the novel’s close.

Check it out: SPL

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

October 14 | 7:30pm | The Rabbit Box Theatre

Set in the North Carolina marshes of the mid-20th century, this literary smash blends the time-tested coming-of-age and murder mystery genres into a captivating cocktail all its own. Want our advice? Read the book. Watch the movie. See the concert.

“Outstanding…Readers should set aside daily tasks, turn off cell phones, forget about laundry and possibly even eating once they start this story.” – New York Journal of Books

Heads up: a lot goes down in this bestselling novel – get ready for alcoholism, abuse and neglect, hateful speech, and murder.

Check it out: SPL

Glory by NoViolet Bulawayo

November 18 | 7:30pm | Town Hall Seattle

For her second book, Zimbabwean author NoViolet Bulawayo tried to write nonfiction about the 2017 coup of Robert Mugabe—what came out instead was the Booker Prize-nominated novel Glory, a bombastic satire in the riotous spirit of Orwell’s Animal Farm. Buckle up.

“By aiming the long, piercing gaze of this metaphor at the aftereffects of European imperialism in Africa, Bulawayo is really out-Orwelling Orwell. This is a satire with sharper teeth, angrier, and also very, very funny.” – New York Times Book Review

Heads up: with its target on political corruption and hypocrisies, this novel features plenty of toxic masculinity and power run amok.

Check it out: SPL

InkAloud (Tanya Holtland, E Briskin, Justine Chan)

December 9 | 7:30pm | The Rabbit Box Theatre

Story: Get down with the loudest ink in town! Three local authors—co-curation with Seattle poet Shin Yu Pai—inspire three musicians apiece, a gift of nine new songs in this one-night-only celebration of creativity and collaboration.

Featured authors/books:

  • E Briskin, author of Orange
  • Justine Chan, author of Should You Lose All Reason(s)
  • Tanya Holtland, author of Requisite

Themes: TBD
Heads-up: TBD

Aesop’s Fables by Aesop

January 13 | 7:30pm | Town Hall Seattle

The collected fables of Aesop, a Greek slave and storyteller, have endured for over two millennia. From The Boy Who Cried Wolf to The Fox and the Grape and many more beyond, this sprawling collection continues to enchant readers with its timeless wisdom and humor.

“Ultimately the fables represent one of the oldest characteristics of human life: storytelling. […] The stories served as a code by which the weak and powerless could speak out against the strong and powerful.” – World History Encyclopedia

Heads up: most of these stories are harmless, but those who explore more of the hundred-plus fables attributed to Aesop might find some death, racial insensitivity, and other trappings of cautionary tales from bygone eras.

Check it out: SPL

Dogman by Dav Pilkey

February 10 | 6pm | Fremont Abbey

From the mind that brought you Captain Underpants, Bainbridge Island native Dav Pilkey’s ongoing saga of a dog-headed cop with a heart of gold (and the breath of an outhouse) digs much deeper than its oddball premise suggests—down, perhaps, to the meaning of life itself.

“High-intensity, heartwarming, and, above all, hysterically funny…Whether through nifty Star Wars references, time-honored slapstick, self-aware wordplay, or plain old wackiness, Pilkey’s comic genius is out in full force.” – Kirkus (starred review)

Heads up: brace yourself for farts, peril, villainous scheming, and more farts – plus some surprising and tender meditations on family that might hit hard for some readers.

Check it out: SPL

I Sing the Salmon Home edited by Rena Priest

March 16 | 7:30pm | Town Hall Seattle

To cap off her storied term as Washington’s sixth State Poet Laureate, Lummi tribal member Rena Priest gathered poems from more than 150 Washington poets—ranging from first graders to tribal elders—to celebrate the Northwest’s signature swimmers in this singular anthology.

“At long last salmon—the soul of the Pacific Northwest—have been given words to match the ongoing miracle of their existence.” – Timothy Egan, author of The Good Rain

Heads up: reading this collection may cause you to buy fishing gear, get a boat, and never leave the Northwest.

Check it out: SPL

When the Elephants Dance by Tess Uriza Holthe

May 11 | 7:30pm | The Rabbit Box Theatre

In this mesmerizing twist on historical fiction, untamed tales of wartime Philippines converge with the captivating allure of folklore, culminating in a profound celebration of human resilience and boundless love amid the chaos of war.

“Lush, arresting, and fiercely beautiful, When The Elephants Dance unfolds like a shadowy fugue, a waltz between light and dark, between frailty and strength. Holthe has created a gripping portrait of the Philippines and its struggle for self-determination.” – Linda Watanabe McFerrin, author of Hand of Buddha

Heads up: this spellbinding novel is upfront about wartime traumas, including death, torture, and assault.

Check it out: SPL

Moby Dick by Herman Melville

June 8 | 7:30pm | Town Hall Seattle

Melville’s legendary seafaring tome about a maniacal captain’s obsessive quest for a mystical leviathan, famously name-checked in Bob Dylan’s 2017 Nobel Prize acceptance speech, unveils the raw essence of human madness. There are classics, and then there is Moby-Dick.

“It is precisely Moby-Dick’s forbidding reputation that has inspired artists, writers, performers and film-makers from Frank Stella to Jackson Pollock, Led Zeppelin to Laurie Anderson, Orson Welles, Sylvia Plath, Stanley Kubrick and Lynne Ramsay, as well as the makers of Tom and Jerry, and even The Simpsons…Once you do read it, it’s hard to let it go.” – The Guardian

Heads up: though this 172-year-old novel features men in love – with each other! – zero women are in sight. Oh, and the finale may (or may not) feature violence directed toward a (certain) whale.

Check it out: SPL