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December 2017 eNewsletter

"The real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking."

—Christopher Morley

"Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes / Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear / Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes / How do you measure, measure a year? " 
As I drove up to Steven's Pass last month, I couldn't get the song "Seasons of Love" from Rentout of my head. Where has 2017 gone? I was making a list and checking it twice–my list of Top 10 favorite Island Books-related moments this year. Here they are:

10) Throwing an Independent Bookstore Day champion party

9)  Reading Anthony Doerr’s Four Seasons in Rome and then being in Rome to finish the book

8) Parking a ridiculously big truck in front of the store to feature Finn Murphy, author of The Long Haul

7) Joining up with other local businesses for the Where’s Waldo competition

6) Hosting local legend Nancy Pearl to discuss her first novel, George and Lizzie

5) Paying it forward on our second annual Book Fairies mission around Mercer Island

4) Sponsoring the Mercer Island Farmer’s Market and guest performer Caspar Babypants 

3) Welcoming author Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of one of my favorite novels of the year, The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

2) Celebrating the anniversary of our 500th blog post

1)  Most of all, feeling the community support we received to win the Best of Western Washington award. I feel like a broken record but you know I’m so grateful! 

There was so much to relish and appreciate in this last year. We’ve hosted some fabulous author events, weekly story times, open book and cookbook book clubs, and our quarterly local author festival. The store has been reworked and revitalized in small special ways and we’re so happy to see each of you come through the door as often or as little as you can. We welcomed a handful of brand new itty-bitty baby customers this year and we lost some dear ones as well. (Bruce, Saturday morning just isn’t the same without a hug and a kiss from you.) It truly has been a season of love.

May the new year bring you all peace, love, and lots of joy. Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, and may it be a Happy New Year in 2018. 

Laurie Raisys


Our Best of the Year: Fiction

From literary rhapsody to page-turning mystery to emotional drama, we have a little of everything on this year's list of our favorite fiction. From past, present, to future, from the most grittily real settings to the most imaginative fantasy worlds, these books will take you wherever you want to go. Hopefully including Island Books.


Our Best of the Year: Nonfiction 

We didn't plan it this way, but there are a lot of local connections on this year's list of our favorite nonfiction. The majority of books that made the cut were written by authors who either live in our state, have visited our store, or both. As a result, some might say that our interests are parochial, but we think it's because everyone else is finally catching up to the way we think around here. Feel proud, fellow Washingtonians!


Destination of the Month: Germany

There's regular holiday shopping, and then there's a traditional Bavarian holiday market. We can't provide a snowy evening in a cobblestone square surmounted by a medieval cathedral, but we can offer the next best thing. Let us take you away to a land of history and fairy-tale castles, a place brimming with writers both classic and modern. Raise a stein of beer with us in honor of our latest Destination of the Month, Germany. Prost!

To browse previous destinations of the month, go here.


Counter Intelligence:
Cindy's December Pick

Cindy's December recommendation is The Power by Naomi Alderman. In this thought-provoking work of speculative fiction, teenage girls now have immense physical power; they can cause agonizing pain and even death. And, with this small twist of nature, the world drastically resets.

See More Staff Picks

Reading-Related Rambles

In December, we paid it forwardaround Mercer Island, found out we won Best of Western Washington, and discussed The Last of the Light by Peter Davidson with guest blogger Matthew Fleagle.

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Upcoming Events

Wed, Dec 6, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Thurs, Dec 21, 7:30pm: 
Open Book Club: Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give by Ada Calhoun (note it's a week earlier this month)

Sun, Dec 24, 4:00pm: 
Closing Early on Christmas Eve

Mon, Dec 25: 
Closed for Christmas Day

Tues, Dec 26: 
Closed for Boxing Day

Sun, Dec 31, 4:00pm: 
Closing Early on New Year's Eve

Our Best of the Year: Kids and Teens

2017 was a fabulous year in Children and Teens. From picture books that made us laugh to kids' literature that made us cry--how can we possibly decide on the Top Ten for such a variety of books? Well, we make up a formula and force ourselves to stick to it. We decide on a Top Ten list for each of the 5 main categories, then take the top two from each of those and that's the Top Ten overall.


Open Book Club

For our December Open Book Club, we'll be reading Wedding Toasts I'll Never Give by Ada Calhoun. We'll make some toasts of our own as we discuss this funny, poignant collection of personal essays exploring the bedrooms of modern coupledom that should lead to a nuanced discussion of infidelity, existential anxiety, and the many other obstacles to staying together.

Please note this month's meeting is a week earlier than usual due to the holidays.

Don't forget if you purchase your book here in the store you'll always get a 10% discount.


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.