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July 2013 eNewsletter

                                 "The book salesman should be honored because he brings to our attention, as a rule,

                                                the very books we need most and neglect most."  —Confucius

Island Books


While Roger has spent the last several summers taking long solo hikes, I hold down the fort, so to speak. But this year with our 25th wedding anniversary on the horizon and teenagers too busy to join us we seem to be coming back full circle to summer trips we took as a couple long ago, where destinations were remote and days were epic. So while my husband is in our basement measuring little bags of dried food, I appear to be the only owner available to write a letter.

When he suggested that I join him this year, I happily immersed myself  in research about all of the possibilities. We could revisit the Cotswold Way or Tour de Mont Blanc, places so beautifully described in Walking the Distance: Extraordinary Hikes for Ordinary People by the Mannings and The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot by Robert MacFarlane. But with family weddings to attend in the West this summer, we’ve set our sights closer to home, so Teton Crest Trail, Wyoming, here we come. Hadrian’s Wall will have to wait.

I have always needed a good book glowing in the light of my headlamp to keep me company in camp, and all the better if it uses the same setting as my travels. I’m not sure who was being put to the test, but in the early years before getting married, we had some great adventures together and they are all the more vivid because of the stories that I was absorbed in at the time, like Emily Carr’s Klee Wyck, read late at night after long days of kayaking in the remote Queen Charlotte Islands of British Columbia. Then there was Lillian Beckwith’s The Hills Is Lonely (unfortunately out of print), read  after hours spent walking from standing stone to standing stone on the Isles of Harris and Lewis off the west coast of Scotland. After almost 30 years I still associate those places as much with the stories as with my actual memories.

The West has inspired so many kinds of writers that I feel a little overwhelmed with reading options as I try to decide what I want to pack for our trip. Jonathan Evison’s latest, The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving, a humorous road novel, will speak to the many miles that lay ahead between Seattle and Wyoming. But when we’re out there in the vast expanses where one feels like the natives should be rolling up over the high bluffs on horseback at any moment, I just may want to crack open Short Nights of the Shadow Catcher, the biography of Edward Curtis by National Book Award-winning Timothy Egan. Though I do love a good strong women's story like Sudden Country by Karen Fisher or Amy Bloom’s Away. Or perhaps all of those dark nights in the tent with my snoring husband could be nicely passed with a western mystery. Perhaps the new dark twists of The Son by Philipp Meyer or any of Craig Johnson's Wyoming mysteries will do.

Come join me at Island Books and we can help each other pair up some perfect travel stories. It’s one thing to have a book transport you to far off lands and people, but all the better if you read it while living the tale.

Have a great summer!


Nancy Page
Owner and Bookseller



Miriam's June Pick: Sisterland

We read a lot, and despite ourselves, we're guilty of playing favorites.

For example, this month Miriam is excited about Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfeld.  Packaged as a story about grown twins with ESP, this is more a story about family, sisterhood, and the peculiar and distinctive characters of Kate and Vi. Read Miriam's blog post about Sisterland to learn more.

Here, our booksellers share their other June recommendations.

See More Staff Picks



Patriotic Reading

As usual, we're applauding American independence in July. We took our history classes in school, but beyond the textbooks, how much do we really know about how America came to be the country it is today? Let's hit up the history section and find out some good dirt on our endlessly interesting past.




Heating Up the Page

Movies like Dirty Dancing and Grease don't have a monopoly on summer romance, especially because they're far shorter-lived than a good romantic read. You don't have to fall in love in real life this summer to appreciate the highs and lows of developing relationships, marriage proposals, and some happily ever after (at least until the leaves change color).



Scare Yourself Silly

It's scary enough trying to entertain your kids all summer long. So take them into the woods, pitch a tent, build a fire, and spin some scary stories. Then once they go to bed, read some of these spine-chillers in your sleeping bag with a flashlight.




Reading-Related Rambles

This past month, our blog covered island lore about the store, the other June holiday besides Father's Day, and a customer's tribute to author Iain Banks.

By the way, you can also get our Store Journal by email.



Island Books

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

Check back with us in August for upcoming store activities.

Ticket to Read

Ticket to Read

From June 1st to Aug 31st, drop by our childrens' desk and pick up a "Ticket to Read." Each time you purchase a children's or teen title, we stamp your ticket, and when you've purchased 10 books you earn one free children's hardcover of your choice.


Teen Favorites

Summer is when teenagers have the time and freedom to read for fun instead of for school. If they trudged through their English classes resenting the assigned reading, these books will hopefully restore their excitement over picking up a book.


Open Book Club

Our book club is on hiatus in July, but generally Island Books hosts an open book club that meets the last Thursday of each month 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.


Mercer Island Book Clubs

Even though our book club is off this month, there are plenty of others in full swing. Here's what Mercer Island book clubs are reading in July (and the 10% discount still applies).


20% Off Indie Bestsellers

20% Off

Catch up on the titles dominating the indie bestseller lists and save 20% when you order online.




Did you know you can download ebooks from our website and read them instantly? Or that we sell top-notch ereaders and tablets ourselves?

Read more about it. You'll be glad you did.


Island Books | 3014 78th Ave. SE | Mercer Island | WA | USA | 98040