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June 2013 eNewsletter

"Picking five favorite books is like picking the five body parts you’d most like not to lose." —Neil Gaiman

Island Books

Most of you probably know that the books that wash up on the shores of our idyllic forested isle in June started their journey on an island of office towers in the far away land of New York. Like most islands, Manhattan suffers from a little inbreeding. The publishers there who are responsible for planning our spring tide apparently went out for a long Friday lunch and all came back singing that old Monty Python tune "Men, Men, Men...Men, Men, Men...." Right now our bookshelves and tables are groaning with the weight of all the Father's Day flotsam and jetsam that publishers could launch.

An entire years worth of manly books arrived in the last two weeks and there's way too much to absorb. It's hard to pick out the pearls amidst the crashing waves of Dan Brown's Inferno, Baldacci's The Hit, and LeCarre's A Delicate Truth. Wait there's more. James Patterson, Bill O'Reilly, Jeffrey Deaver, Tom Clancy, Ridley Pearson and even Jeffrey Archer are rolling in too.


There is a second set of perhaps more worthy works arriving simultaneously. Here are some highlights in history: Bunker Hill by the reliable Nathaniel Philbrick, Revolutionary Summer by Joseph Ellis, and what will be the best history book of the year, the finale of Rick Atkinson's on WWII trilogy, The Guns at Last Light. For historical fiction, turn to Paris by Edward Rutherford and Jeff Shaara's book on Vicksburg, A Chain of Thunder.


Sports: Eleven Rings by Phil Jackson (how cool is that!); Wherever I Wind Up, a great baseball memoir by knuckleballer R.A. Dickey; American Pastimes, the pure indulgence of Red Smith's sportswriting columns; and of all the Everest books, don't miss The West Ridge by Tom Hornbein.


Fiction: New ones like And the Mountains Echoed from Khaled Hosseini (The Kite Runner), TransAtlantic from Colum McCann (Let the Great World Spin), The Ocean at the End of the Lane from Neil Gaiman (!!!), and All That Is from James Salter (superb). Also check out the unheralded The Son, Truth in Advertising, and A Constellation of Vital Phenomena.


Assorted quirky, great stuff: Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls by David Sedaris, Cooked by Michael Pollan, and The World's Strongest Librarian (better than it sounds). There's of course a group of Unbroken wannabes, but I only have room for one more book, which just might be The Book. The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown is about the University of Washington rowing team's quest for gold in the 1936 Olympics. Great drama, history, and local color. That one just landed on June 4th.


Come! Summer is our season for browsing and beachcombing.


Roger Page
Owner and Bookseller


The Obvious Summer Reads

Here's what everyone and their mother will be reading this summer.




Some Not-So-Obvious Summer Reads

In addition to Roger's list above, here are some additional suggestions if you prefer to stray off the well-beaten summer reading path.






James's June Pick: City of Bohane

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

For example, this month James is excited about City of Bohane by Kevin Berry, which just came out in paperback. Set in the future, this cool work of Irish literature illuminates the hidden workings of a city run by a gang leader. The godfather has much to contend with, including the reappearance of his old nemesis, some overly-ambitious henchmen, and a woman who wants him to give it all up. 

Here, our booksellers share their other June recommendations.

See More Staff Picks


For Graduates and Beyond

Graduation day is a major landmark for anyone, but it isn't the only time to celebrate accomplishments and think about the future. As the following books demonstrate, life's new chapters can begin at any age.




Reading-Related Rambles

Our blog approached from many angles this month, including admiration for the alchemy and skilled linguistics of writer Diego Marani, thoughts on current bestsellers And the Mountains Echoed and The Woman Upstairs, and an introduction to the other Fitzgerald: Penelope.

By the way, did you know you can 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

Sat, June 22, 11:00am: Priscilla Padgett, author of Mercer Island (Images of America)
Tues, June 25, 7:00pm: Ed Harris, author of Fifty Shades of Schwarz
Thurs, June 27, 7:30pm: Open Book Club: Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

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.


Dear Old Dad

Father's Day is Sunday, June 16th. Maybe yours is the rare dad who wants to read a massive modernist classic about the torments of fatherhood. Not likely, though. This is a day to celebrate fathers and give them something they really want.


Open Book Club

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.


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