Local books: prizewinning essays, paranormal romance

"Listening Against the Stone: Selected Essays" by Brenda Miller (Skinner House, $14). An essay collection, six of which have won a Pushcart Prize. The essays "tell the story of a single woman making her way, stumbling but always seeking out touchstones — a dog, a friend, a painting, a tree — to help her gain her true bearings," says the publisher. Miller, a professor of English at Western Washington University, is editor-in-chief of the Bellingham Review.