August 2020 eNewsletter

"When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in. That’s what this storm’s all about."

— Haruki Murakami


“Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.”
― Lao Tzu

“This is a new year. A new beginning. And things will change.”
― Taylor Swift

Given the world we live in today, it is hard not to think about the topic of change. Recently, I’ve been thinking a lot about the recent transformations of daily life in our world. With the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic crisis that has followed, all of us have experienced change in some way.

Like everyone else, our family has experienced change. Each member of my family has lost something they love and something of value in this crisis. At the same time, each person in my family has also gained something during this crisis. I think it’s important to focus on the opportunities that this change has created rather than wishing for things to go back to the way they were. For me personally, I’m thankful for the time I’ve been able to spend with all of my children as they’ve moved back home; the current crisis has given us the gift of family time - long family dinners with great food and conversation, family movie nights, family yard work parties and memories that I’ll treasure for the rest of my life.

It's Hard to Say Goodbye...

I’m sitting at the front desk of the bookstore (at the corner computer where you can usually find me) and struggling to write. I have been putting off this particular task for about a week and haven’t found the motivation to put my feelings into words. I am leaving Island Books, and this will be my last journal.

Today is my final day at the bookstore, and I am trying to soak up every second of it. There is so much joy to be had during my closing shifts, sitting with the quiet and taking in the rustle of a patron flipping through pages and the geometrical pleasantness of so many colorful rectangular book covers. Something I have recognized lately is that I can’t smell the smell of the books anymore, and it’s not just because I am wearing a mask. The smell has settled in my brain, and I can’t differentiate it from the smell of general life... continued.

Summer Reading in YA

Readers, we’re well into the second half of July. The sun is finally shining. At Island Books we’re turning on the fans, stocking the fridge in the break room with La Croix, and turning off as many lights as we can get away with while still being able to read titles on book spines. We’re all, of course, wearing our masks.

Customers are in the mood for summer reads, so here are several titles from the Young Adult section of the store that I’m excited about!

A Song Below Water by Bethany C. Morrow

This summer a highly anticipated title is the YA debut by the author of the adult title Mem. Morrow sets her story in a contemporary alternative world where portions of the population have various mythical abilities and identities. Inherent in these identities are built in assumptions and prejudices, the most heightened of which are towards “sirens”, always Black females. Tavia is a siren in hiding, trying to pretend she’s a normal teenager, terrified that anyone will discover her secret. Effie is her best friend and a “mermaid” at the annual Renaissance Faire, struggling to understand who and what she is. Morrow’s backdrop is Portland, and the unfolding events are eerily prescient of the current BLM protests and reactions in Portland and other cities. She paints a illuminating picture of the fear Black women live with every day and the bias they fight to overcome. I was captivated. I don’t know what to compare it to because I haven’t read anything like it before. The demand has been high for this book but we have finally gotten more copies!

continued...

Historical Fiction as a Mirror to the Present: Elise Hooper’s Fast Girls

 

You may have noticed that over the past year you have heard the name Elise Hooper on this blog or in the store. There’s a reason for that.

Elise Hooper is a writer living in West Seattle whose book The Other Alcott was championed by our booksellers. As we worked with Elise on events, we realized that we also wanted to champion her as a person. She is funny, kind, and always game to support and promote local bookstores. On a personal note, Elise was one of the first authors I interviewed over 2019 for her previous release Learning to See. Her kindness and openness allowed me to ask to edit part of her newest release Fast Girls for my editing certificate. She also has joined our knitting book club when she is able and has been a great friend of the store... continued.

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