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December 2019 eNewsletter

"I heard a bird sing in the dark of December. A magical thing. And sweet to remember. We are nearer to Spring than we were in September. I heard a bird sing in the dark of December."
—Oliver Herford
December is here. The days are chilly, and the darkness comes way too quick, but our complimentary Peppermint M&Ms are out on the counter shedding a little light (Thanks, Molly!). Holiday wrap is up and getting used every day. We still have four book fairs to finish out... Needless to say, the years and seasons go by too quickly. It's hard to believe that Christmas and Hanukkah are only a couple weeks away. In preparation, we have stocked the shelves with a variety of great fiction and nonfiction titles, as well as many amazing non-book items, for you or for gifts.

As per tradition, here are my Top Ten Happenings from 2019 here at Island Books. While all events and interactions with our community are equally important, these are just a few that stood out to me.
  1. Hosting William Kent Krueger for his latest book This Tender Land
  2. Taylor Jenkins Reid returning to Island Books for her Daisy Jones and the Six Tour. I got to sit down and talk with her about this fantastic book
  3. Attending the Elton John concert with Victor and some fellow bookstore owners, Suzanne (Liberty Bay) and Janis (Queen Anne Book Company), compliments of Henry Holt Books
  4. Speaking with Covenant Shores Senior Group with Pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos about owning Island Books
  5. Being invited to chat with Lora Poepping on After the Blue Badge Podcast, a Microsoft Aumni Network project
  6. Celebrating 46 years as an independent bookstore on Mercer Island
  7. Being invited to sell books for Seattle Arts & Lectures for Melinda Gates's huge Moment of Lift event
  8. Updating the store with new carpets, shelves, signs
  9. Selling books and attending the Seattle premiere of Garth Stein's The Art of Racing in the Rain
  10. Hosting the candidate forums for the Mercer Island City Council race
We all look forward to seeing you during the holidays and throughout the next year. Your support means everything, as we would not be here without it.

Happy, Merry Everything from all of us to all of you,
Laurie Raisys
Pastor Greg will be celebrating the release of his new poetry book Zuzu's Wonderful Life on December 8 from 3pm-5pm. There will be a reading at 4pm.
Every year we create a list of the fiction that stood out to us over the last twelve months, and every year we learn again that there's no such thing as a definitive list. There are so many good books to choose from, and so many of us with different tastes, that the task is an impossible one. Nonetheless, we persevere. For your amusement and enjoyment, we present our Favorite Works of Fiction for 2019, as seen through our eyes.
We've read the reviews, listened to our customers, and racked our brains to come up with a list of our Favorite Works of Nonfiction for 2019. It was hard work, what with all the excellent choices, but the process was rewarding and so are the results. True story.
Counter Intelligence: Cindy's Pick

This month, Cindy recommends Diamond Doris by Doris Payne.

Growing up during the Depression in the segregated coal town of Slab Fork, West Virginia, Doris Payne was told her dreams were unattainable. Neither racism nor poverty would hold her back; she would get what she wanted. Using her southern charm, quick wit, and fascination with magic as her tools, Payne began to shoplift pieces of jewerly. Over the course of six decades, her talents grew with each heist. Even prison couldn't contain this larger than life woman...

See More Staff Picks
Reading-Related Rambles
imageThis November, Kelleen celebrated the romance genre and her new obsession with audiobooks and Lori published her favorite books of 2019.

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December Events

Sat, Nov 30, 9:00am:
Literary Angel Tree Book Drive: Running until December 23
Tues, Dec 3, 9:00am:
Mercer Island High School Book Fair

Wed, Dec 4, 10:30am:
Storybook Corner

Thurs, Dec 5, 9:00am:
Island Park Book Fair

Fri, Dec 6, 9:00am:
Northwood Elementary Book Fair

Sat, Dec 7, 6:00pm:
PJ Story Time with Nancy Stewart

Sun, Dec 8, 3:00pm:
Pastor Greg Asimakoupoulos, Author of Zuzu's Wonderful Life

Thurs, Dec 12, 9:00am:
Islander Middle School Book Fair

Thurs, Dec 19, 7:00pm:
Open Book Club: The French Exit by Patrick deWitt

Our Favorites of the Year 2019: Kids and Teens

We consulted with both kid testers and young-at-heart-readers to curate a list of our faves for Kids and Teens. These books will open new worlds, make you laugh, and bring you to tears. All will be treasured for years to come.

In December, our Open Book Club will read and discuss French Exit by Patrick deWitt.

Frances Price - tart widow, possessive mother, and Upper East Side force of nature - is in dire straits. Her adult son Malcolm is no help, permanently in arrested development. The family decides to cut their losses and head for the exit. Once they land in their beloved Paris, it serves as a backdrop not for love and romance, but self destruction and economical ruin - to riotous effect. Brimming with pathos, French Exit is a one-of-a-kind 'tragedy of manners.'

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.