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December 2015 eNewsletter

"A bookstore is one of the few places where all the cantankerous, 
conflicting, alluring voices of the world co-exist in peace and order."
Jane Smiley

Island Books

A tiny customer recently wobbled into Island Books with his mom in tow. They were on the hunt for a gift for a very young friend, and at least one of them had a very fixed idea of what they wanted. "It has to be a hedgehog," we were told, and there's no sense trying to thwart a toddler's will. Not only did we have the perfect book to give, they also found a darling stuffed animal to match. They were pleased with the gift and positively delighted to hear that we could wrap the present for them. You know what else? We even had hedgehog wrapping paper to use. When the mom heard that, she turned to her kid and said, tongue only partly in cheek, "You see, son? This is a magical place where dreams come true."

Maybe that's a hyperbolic sentiment, but we like to think it's accurateeven if it only refers to small dreams. Despite how busy we get as the holidays approach, there is nothing more satisfying than putting a token of happiness in a bag and watching a customer walk out, armed and ready to spread cheer and love to friends and family. We consider ourselves fortunate to be part of that process, which is sometimes even more fun for the giver than the recipient.

Since we pride ourselves on our personal recommendations, this newsletter is full of them. They're not generated by a computer algorithm; these are truly our handpicked favorites. Browse around here for lists of our most treasured merchandise from 2015, including novels, nonfiction, children's and teen books, and gifts. If you come in to the store, we're more than happy to go a step beyond these lists and tailor our suggestions to something even more specificsomething perfectly suited to you or your loved ones. Maybe something like a hedgehog?

Best wishes from all of us–Laurie, Cindy, Kay, Marni, James, Miriam, Lillian, Lori, Marilyn, Roger, and Nancy–as we begin yet another magical holiday season


Satisfying Stories

In December we like to share our personal picks from the past year. Reading, stocking, recommending, and discussing the many titles that come through our door gives us plenty of opportunities to play favorites.



Our Best of the Year: NonfictionOur Best of the Year: Nonfiction

Facts and Real Events

Here are our top nonfiction picks from 2015.



Best of the Year: Children's and TeensOur Best of the Year: Children's and Teens

Captivating Young Readers

These were our favorite books in 2015 to place in the hands of the younger set.




Kay's December Pick

Lately Kay has been directing customers towards Patti Smith's new memoir, M Train, an exquisite meditation on Smith's adult years with personal accounts of her travels, artistic obsessions, and inspirations. Everyone seems to greatly enjoy this book from the legendary musician, poet and photographer.

See More Staff Picks


Reading-Related Rambles

In November we talked about some new books from Mary Gaitskill, Isabel Allende, and John Irving, explored Kay's island connections, and pondered the difference between commercial and literary fiction.

To keep up with our newest posts, sign up to get our Store Journal by email. 



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

Dec 1, 6:00pm:  Islander Middle School Book Fair  
Wed, Dec 2, 10:30am: Storybook Corner 
Thurs, Dec 3, 10am-12pm; 4:30pm-6:30pm:  SJCC Early Childhood School Book Fair 
Thurs, Dec 3, 7:30pm: 
Open Book Club: Sweetland by Michael Crummey
Sat, Dec 5, 6:30pm:         PJ Story Time with Nancy Stewart

Our Best of the Year: Gifts

Our Best of the Year: Gifts

Yes we're a bookstore, but did you know we also pride ourselves on stocking a unique handpicked selection of gifts for all ages? Here are our personal favorites this season. And yes, we're guilty of using our employee discounts to gift them to our own loved ones.


Open Book Club

Open Book Club

Our regular book club is cancelled at the end of December due to the holidays, but the November meeting is this Thursday Dec. 3rd 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

20% Off Indie Bestsellers

We always offer a 20% discount on the top ten bestsellers in non-fiction and fiction for the week, as reported by independent booksellers across the country.