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April 2013 eNewsletter

                                             "To have great poets there must be great audiences too."Walt Whitman

Island Books

Island Books

April is Poetry Month. I had some swell "Roger and Nancy" stories to write, about a kayak expedition in the far north, a tent, and a few recited Mary Oliver poems, but the editorial board of the newsletter said that we'd gone to that well enough for now with my recent coconut story. "We're not sure everyone can relate," they said. Well, it's your loss. Instead I'm going to tell about a favorite poetry book that maybe five other people will be interested in.


If you work at Island Books day after day, surrounded by the weight and mass of fifty idle, old, black typewriters, it may occur to you that they have personalities, stories, and lives of their own. It may occur to you that some mysterious chatter might happen amongst them at night in the store when no one's about. This sort of unattended consequence must have been on the mind of Don Marquis, a newspaper columnist at the Sun Dial when he "collected" a book of poems called Archy and Mehitabel in 1916. Archy, the office cockroach, who in a previous life was a free verse poet, writes by throwing himself headfirst onto each key at night. He can't operate the shift key to make capital letters, but he manages to capture after-hours life with Mehitabel the cat (in her ninth life) and other press room visitors. Archy's a philosopher who lives on stale paste and sees "things from the underside now." The book is still in print and I recommend it often to anyone who will listen.


Take a moment to enjoy Archy's "the lesson of the moth." It begins like this:


i was talking to a moth

the other evening

he was trying to break into

an electric light bulb

and fry himself on the wires


You can (and should) read the rest of it here. There's lots more where this came from on our poetry shelves.

Roger Page
Owner and Bookseller


Decorate Our Poetry Pole

For those who don't already know, the Poetry Pole is a functional piece of art that's proudly displayed in our store and inspired by a similar project undertaken by a Yakima small press publisher named Jim Bodeen. Help it flower by attaching your pages of verse to its now-bare trunk. Use the words of a favorite author or write something of your own. What better way to celebrate verse?



April in Paris

Allez-Vous Célébrer Avec Nous?

We can't stop singing it: April in Paris, chestnuts in blossom / Holiday tables under the trees / April in Paris, this is a feeling / No one can ever reprise...

Come and celebrate all things French with us on Friday, April 26th at 7pm. 20% of ALL sales to benefit the Mercer Island Sister City Association scholarship fund.




Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Can you hear it? The crack of ash on horsehide, that is. Can you smell the fresh-cut grass, the hot dogs roasting at the concession stands, and the neatsfoot oil being used to limber up new gloves? There's no surer sign that spring has sprung than the beginning of baseball season. Get in the spirit of our most timeless American sport with this collection of baseball books both old and new.



Indie Next

Curated Reads From the Pros

Independent booksellers are and have always been discoverers of the next big thing, the next great read, the next bestseller, and the next undiscovered gem. Drawn from bookseller-recommended favorite handsells, The Indie Next list epitomizes the heart and soul of passionate bookselling. If you haven't browsed it before, take the time to get acquainted.




Reading-Related Rambles

There's much to talk about on our blog this month, including thoughts on Sheryl Sandberg's new book, Lean In, a step beyond American writing with the Best Translated Book Awards, engaging discussion on Book Two of Anthony Powell’s Dance to the Music of Time, and further discussion on interesting book club pairings.

By the way, did you know you can get our Store Journal by email?




Nancy's April Pick: The Burgess Boys

We read a lot, and despite ourselves, we're guilty of playing favorites.

For example, this month Nancy's excited about The Burgess Boys by Elizabeth Strout. Haunted by the freak accident that killed their father when they were children, Jim and Bob Burgess escaped from their Maine hometown as soon as they could. When their sister Susan calls them home after her son gets himself into trouble, the Burgess brothers return to the landscape of their childhood, where the long-buried tensions in their relationship begin to surface in ways that will change them forever.

Here, our booksellers share their other March recommendations.

See More Staff Picks


Island Books

3014 78th Ave. SE

MI, WA 98040

(206) 232-6920

Store Hours

Mon-Wed: 9:30 - 7:00

Thurs: 9:30 - 8:00

Fri: 9:30 - 7:00

Sat: 9:30 - 6:00

Sun: 11:00 - 5:00


Island Books

Sat, April 6, 6:30pm: PJ Story Time with Pat Peterson
Wed, April 10, 2pm: Susan Cain, author of Quiet @MIHS
Sat, April 13 , 10am: Earth Day / Leap for Green @MI Community Center
Mon, April 15, 7pm: Jack Perkins, author of Finding Moosewood, Finding God
Sun, April 21, 12pm: Earl Bell, author of Winning in Baseball and Business
Thu, April 25, 7:30pm: Open Book Club: The Barbarian Nurseries by Hector Tobar
Fri, April 26, 7pm: April in Paris at Island Books
Sun, April 28, 2pm: Charles Fox, author of Killing Me Softly @SJCC

Short Story Contest Winners!

The Short Version

We're excited to announce the winners of this year's short story contest! Thanks to everyone who submitted. We appreciate the time, effort, and intelligence you put into your stories, and we’re honored that you shared them with us.

Adult: Steve Workman's Hazel Lassoes the Hoover

Teen: Cecelia Rosenman's All People Want In

Kids: Lauren Novak's The Runaway Hat


Leap for Green

On Saturday, April 13th at 10am, it's time for the Leap For Green Family Fair. Come see what we have in our own back yard: green, healthy, sustainable, and fun living! Island Books will be on hand to share some of the wonderful printed resources available to people who want to explore their community.


Open Book Club

Island Books hosts an open book club that meets the last Thursday of each month at 7:30pm. All are welcome to attend, and if you purchase your book here in the store you'll always get a 10% discount.


20% Off Indie Bestsellers

Catch up on the titles dominating the indie bestseller lists and save 20% when you order online.




Did you know you can download ebooks from our website and read them instantly? Or that we sell top-notch ereaders and tablets ourselves?

Read more about it. You'll be glad you did.


Island Books | 3014 78th Ave. SE | Mercer Island | WA | USA | 98040