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A Double Dose of 50 Years of Island Books: Rachel Linden / Martha Brockenbrough

Rachel Linden is a novelist and international aid worker whose adventures in over fifty countries around the world provide excellent grist for her writing. She is the author of The Magic of Lemon Drop Pie, The Enlightenment of Bees, Becoming the Talbot Sisters, and Ascension of Larks. Currently Rachel lives with her family on a sweet little island near Seattle, WA where she enjoys creating stories about strong women facing big challenges, travel, food, and second chances at love. She promises her readers a happy, or at least very hopeful, ending and infuses each of her stories with a touch of magical realism. Her newest novel, Recipe for a Charmed Life, comes out in early 2024.

Miriam: Welcome, Rachel. Let's start with your first visit to Island Books. Where were you in your career then, and what stood out about the store?

50 Years of Island Books: Laurie Frankel

Laurie Frankel is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of four novels. Her writing has also appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, Publisher’s Weekly, People Magazine, Lit Hub, The Sydney Morning Herald, and other publications. She is the recipient of the Washington State Book Award and the Endeavor Award. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty-five languages and been optioned for film and TV. A former college professor, she now writes full-time in Seattle, Washington where she lives with her family and makes good soup.

Miriam: Let's start with your first visit to Island Books. Where were you in your career then, and what stood out about the store?

Laurie: Which is also the answer to your question, I’m afraid. I can’t remember my first visit to IB which I actually think speaks to what a great bookstore it is: it feels like it’s always been there and always been a part of my world. Island Books is my favorite kind of bookstore which is to say big enough to have a wide selection, small enough that good, smart readers have culled and curated, with booksellers (said good, smart readers) who are warm and welcoming but also give you space to browse and get lost looking for what you want to read next, plus the children’s section of my (and my kid’s) dreams. I also adore a neighborhood bookstore, and IB is the best kind (since your neighborhood is an island). MI is the perfect size — big enough to have everything you need, close enough to get anywhere you need to go, but small enough to be a community — and it seems to me that Island Books mirrors that exactly.

50 Years of Island Books: Ashley Ream and Lee Kravetz

Ashley Ream is a former journalist and the author of two acclaimed novels, The 100 Year Miracle and Losing Clementine. She and her books have appeared in L.A. Weekly, Los Angeles Magazine, Bust Magazine, the Toronto Star, The Seattle Times and the Kansas City Star, among many others. Born and raised in a working-class town near Kansas City, she has since moved all over the country, doing stints in Florida, Texas, Los Angeles and Wisconsin. She currently lives in a small house in the big woods outside of Seattle.

Lee Kravetz is the author of the novel The Last Confessions of Sylvia P., as well as acclaimed nonfiction, Strange Contagion and Supersurvivors.  He has written for print and television, including The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Atlantic, Psychology Today, The Daily Beast, The San Francisco Chronicle, and PBS.  He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Miriam: Ashley and Lee, I'm excited to have you two together on the blog. Our readers and even many of our staff don't know this yet, but Island Books is responsible for a special moment in your lives that I was lucky enough to witness. I can't think of a better anecdote about how bookstores bring people together and create community. I'll let you tell the story, but first, let's start with how you came to Island Books and where you were in your lives and careers when you first made the connection.

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