My Mother, the Reader

I told my mom I was going to be writing about how much she fostered my own love of reading. She said, “You know, it all started in the library, when I had one of my first jobs as a page.” Back in the sixties, my mom was a teenager in the little desert town of Lancaster, California. I pictured my mom in her A-line dresses, pushing a library cart around to re-shelve books in the evenings. She said she got very distracted reading the titles of the books as she was alphabetizing them. Sounds like someone else I know, who also gets distracted reading the backs of interesting books that customers bring up to the register.

With Twice the Love, Dessie Mei: A Conversation with Justina Chen

Island Books is delighted to host our longtime friend and author, Justina Chen, for the release of her brand-new middle grade novel, With Twice the Love, Dessie Mei, on Tuesday, May 7th at 6:30pm. Not only is this inspirational and heartfelt book set in Seattle, but it's also filled with characters that bring home the issues of our times.

I loved this book from start to finish. Dessie Mei has always known she's adopted from China. When her family has to move to Seattle to help a grandparent with memory issues transition into assisted living, she is uprooted in the middle of the school year to a new school. Hopeful that making a new friend in 6th grade won't be too hard, imagine Dessie Mei's surprise when she walks into her first classroom and finds a girl who looks EXACTLY like her. Donna is also adopted, and the two form an immediate bond. They look so much alike that they can't help but wonder... are they twins?

With that intriguing start I was completely hooked, and I’m so glad Justina Chen was able to take the time to sit down with me and talk about her wonderful new book!

Book Notes: Funny Story

A new book from Emily Henry is the perfect way to finish up the month of April, and this is definitely one of those times when the bookseller perk of getting to read Funny Story early was a wonderful treat!

Daphne Vincent thought all the pieces of her life were falling into place. She’s engaged to a wonderful man, moved to his hometown of Waning Bay, Michigan, and landed her dream job as a children’s librarian. The wedding is only months away and Daphne is settling into her future when Peter comes home after his bachelor party and tells Daphne he’s leaving her. For his childhood best friend, Petra. Suddenly Daphne has a week to move out of the house that she thought she’d grow old in, but only has his name on the papers. And she’s trapped in Waning Bay until the end of the summer because of the Library Read-a-Thon, a fundraiser she’s been planning since she started her job. After that she can leave and never look back. Her ex’s new girlfriend not only participated in breaking up Daphne’s engagement, but she’s left her own boyfriend, Miles, behind to be with Peter. Daphne needs somewhere to stay, and Miles needs someone to cover the rent Petra is no longer paying. They say misery loves company and who better to be miserable with than the person in the same position you are?


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