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February 2017 eNewsletter

"The only important thing in a book is the meaning that it has for you."
—W. Somerset Maugham

February has come quickly this year. Over the past weekend, James and I attended the 12th annual American Bookseller Association's Winter Institute in Minneapolis. From new booksellers to publishing veterans, the world of independent bookselling comes together every year for roundtables, advanced bookselling education, and a plethora of authors, networking, and special events. It was a rich, educational and moving experience, with inspiring speakers including Roxane Gay, Ann Patchett, Lesley Stahl, and Kim Scott Doles.

I was starstruck after waiting in line for 30 minutes to have Ann Patchett sign my book and congratulate me on buying an independent bookstore, then waltzed over to get my picture taken with Andrew McCarthy (think Pretty in Pink) whose new young adult novel, Just Fly Away, arrives in March, and delighted to bump into Joshilyn Jackson (The Opposite of Everyone) on my way out. It was exciting to hear about all the incredible books coming out this year and we will be sure to have them all on hand for you when they arrive.

The travel time allowed some rare time for reflection. I spent some time thinking about what we need more of, both inside of Island Books and beyond our doors. We have a board in the store where we post a question each month. “What is your favorite quote?” is up for February. Right now my favorite quote is “Kindness Matters!” I don’t know who said it first, but it's important now more than ever and that's what I've been thinking we all need a little more of lately.

It was this time last year when I read an article on gratitude that inspired me to cut out dozens of paper hearts and write special notes for everyone in my family. I left them on their doors every morning and planned to do it every day in February, but somehow my resolve petered out. This year I'm taking up the challenge again and have new notes ready to give it a go again this year. Raisys family, watch out.

In the spirit of community, gratitude, and kindness, we are proud to participate in the 6th annual Mercer Island Youth and Family Services Shop, Dine and Stay Local event. You can shop all day on Wednesday, February 8th and 20% of our profits will be donated to MIYFS. To celebrate we will offer drinks and treats for those shopping after 5pm. I hope you can join us.

Have a happy and love-filled Valentines Day!

Laurie Raisys


Feel-Good Romance

In honor of Valentine's Day, turn off the television, log out of social media, and lose yourself in these well-crafted and satisfying love stories. 


Valentine's Day for Kids

Literacy lasts longer than a sugar rush, so instead of candy, stuff your little love bugs with sweet reads this month.


Destination of the Month: Hawaii

Ours is a wonderful region in which to live, but in chilly February you might need an escape to Hawaii. Whether it's the fiction of Alan Brennert, the entertaining fact of Sarah Vowell, or one of the other titles on our latest reading list, you can at least get there in the pages of a book.

To browse previous destinations of the month, go here.


Counter Intelligence:
James and Miriam's February Pick

James and Miriam both singled out local author Laurie Frankel's This Is How It Always Is as a don't-miss new title. A story about the challenges of parenting, love, and the drive to protect our children from a world beyond our control, this funny and compassionate novel offers up plenty of topics perfect for a book club discussion.

See More Staff Picks

Reading-Related Rambles

In January, we suggested some reading for the new year, announced the return of our short story contest, and asked Will Schwalbe a few questions in anticipation of his store event and our February open book club.

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Upcoming Events

Wed, Feb 1, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Sat, Feb 4, 6:00pm: 
PJ Story Time with Norm Brecke and Nancy Stewart

Wed, Feb 8, 9:00am: 
MIYFS Shop, Dine, and Stay Local

Wed, Feb 8, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Wed, Feb 15, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Wed, Feb 22, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Thurs, Feb 23, 7:30pm: 
Open Book Club: Books for Living by Will Schwalbe

Sun, Feb 26, 2:00pm: 
Local Author Festival

Share Your Story: A Contest

Usually it's us providing fiction to you, but now it's your turn to give it to us. Write a tale of grand adventure, or a story of quiet epiphanies, or anything else your heart desires. Whatever it is, we'll be happy to read it, and you might win a prize while you're at it.


Open Book Club

In February, we'll read and discuss Books for Living by Will Schwalbe, a thought-provoking new book about books. In each chapter he explores how a particular book has helped to shape how he leads his own life and the ways in which it might help to shape ours. 

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.