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Movies, dining and things to do / Spokane and North Idaho

Sherman Alexie old and new together

Spokane has a few treasures. The river that runs through it. A number of comfortable city parks. The surrounding landscape. A restaurant scene that improves by the day. Four relatively distinct seasons (not so sure about spring). The list goes on and on.

Among its literary teasures, you'll find Sherman Alexie. Sure, Alexie now lives in Seattle. But he hails from Wellpinit, graduated from Reardan High School, attended Gonzaga University, graduated from WSU and earned his initial success while still a Spokane resident (many of us still remember his first readings at the old Auntie's Bookstore location).

Alexie has a new book out. Titled "Blasphemy" - a naked stab at making the banned-book list as I have ever seen - the book is a collection of stories both new and published in previous collections, including “This is What it Means to Say Phoenix, Arizona,” which was the basis for the film "Smoke Signals."

You can find the book most anywhere. But by buying it at Auntie's Bookstore, which is where the above photo was taken, you'll be supporting one of Spokane's more obvious treasures.