Book Club for Two

A month or so ago two young women came up to the counter, copies of A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas in hand, and I asked, “Oh, are you reading the same book?”

“Yes,” one of them answered. “We heard this is really good. A book club for two!” I smiled (not that you could see it under my mask), agreed that it would be a fun book to read with a friend, and rang them up.

I loved their enthusiasm and how excited they were to read a book together, just the two of them. It’s a different kind of beast, the book club of two, or buddy reading, as I’ve also heard it called. There’s a flexibility inherent in it that traditional book clubs usually can’t accommodate. You only have one other person to consider when you make the rules, so you can say things like, “I didn’t finish, can we push some of it to the next time?” Or, “what the heck is going on here?”

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Short Takes: The Electric Kingdom

For those of you who came into Island Books in January asking for post apocalyptic novels, I’ve likely written this title down on the back of a bookmark, and told you to look for it in early February. The Electric Kingdom came out this Tuesday and I couldn’t be more excited to recommend it! This YA stand alone post apocalyptic story is impeccably crafted to make you immediately start all over again once you’ve reached the mind-blowing finale. The world as we know it has been devastated by a “fly flu” and only remote pockets of human existence survive in tiny found family communities. With one of the main narrators, Nico, we journey through a treacherous landscape of rural New England, on a search for a portal to another time. While the narration is filled with enough action and uncertainly to keep the pages turning quickly, there are also lovely musings on art and story and love that made me pause to read them again. Not to mention a hilarious interchange about Harry Potter amid the shelves of a deserted book store. The Electric Kingdom is deservedly being compared to Emily St John Mandel’s Station Eleven, and anyone who loved that should certainly pick this up. Or get them both for a fantastic book pairing. We currently have signed copies of The Electric Kingdom in the store, and make sure to check out the front of the book for a tantalizing artistic teaser!

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Girls With Bright Futures: A Conversation

You’ll be seeing a book on the Island Books new paperback fiction table February 2nd, if you haven’t already spied it on several most anticipated releases of 2021 lists, including NewsweekRefinery29 and Popsugar. With an eye catching cover, a local setting and an instantly intriguing premise, Girls With Bright Futures is the book everyone is going to be talking about. Taking place in Seattle at the fictional Elliott Bay Academy, and told from three alternating points of view, we get an inside look into the cutthroat world of college admissions and the unrelenting pressure on both the kids applying for college and the parents trying to ensure their success.

I was hooked from the very first page, plunged into the high stakes of vying for the last early admission spot at Stanford, and thankful that my college application days are now in the distant past! Seattle residents and co-authors, Tracy Dobmeier and Wendy Katzman, were kind enough to answer a few of my questions about their book and the writing process. And be sure to check out the details for their book launch at Island Books at the end of the blog!

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