A Promising Beginning

I’ve been pleasantly surprised in the first few months of this year by the number of books I’ve enjoyed. Last year I was still waiting around in August and September for something to really stand out. I’m talking about the kind of reading experience where in the midst of the story I’m already thinking and talking about how good it is. The prose that does something so artistic with language I have to pause in the middle of a sentence just to read it again. The novel with a plot so immersive I forget everything else I am supposed to be doing just to turn another page and see what happens next.

Here we are, at the barest beginning of March, and I already have a handful of books that have impressed and surprised me, with even more coming out in the next few months I can’t wait to start selling. What literary richness!


Island Books Best of 2021: Nonfiction

We’re starting off 2022 at Island Books with part two of our best of 2021, those titles from the nonfiction side of the aisle. As Cindy so eloquently put it in our last journal entry, choosing the titles we deem to be the “best” of 2021 is a challenging task. It’s not objective. It’s incredibly specific to us, the staff, and our particular reading tastes. We each gravitate towards different interests, and hopefully our top picks reflect that, from poetry to food writing and cookbooks to memoirs and nature writing. We hope you find something to add to your TBR from our favorites below!


Island Books Best of 2021: Fiction

Cindy, our beloved and most venerable bookseller, leads off our Best of 2021 with this to say:

“There is much to love about being a bookseller. Where else can you get an employee discount on an entire mega-verse, centuries in the making and ever evolving??? 

Where else can your boss ask you what you’re doing and you can say “I’m looking for Cloud Cuckoo Land” and still get to keep your job???

The rewards are infinite and satisfying except for one thing: 

At the end of every year amid the proliferation of lists of the best books of the year I am asked to contribute my thoughts on choosing “The Best Books of the Year”. 

It’s hard.  

And I don’t like doing it.   

But after 27 years in bookselling I have finally figured out how to answer the inevitable question of my favorite books of the year: 

My favorite book is the one I’m currently reading and my second favorite is the one I’ll be reading next.



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