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March 2013 eNewsletter

        "If a novel was a map of a country, a story was the bright silver pin that marked the crossroads." —Ann Patchett

Island Books

Island Books

Despite that we are nearing the store's watershed anniversary of forty years, reaching an age that's usually characterized by ossification of opinion,  Island Books is becoming known as a tastemaker and trendsetter.

First there was Eragon, then the garden gnomes (remember?), followed by the worldwide newsflash about our penguin adoption, the local buzz about our House Girl reading, Kendama Madness, and finally the New York Times tailing us on the short story trend. Soon after we announced the launch of our short story contest, the Times ran a big feature article touting short stories as a "Good Fit for Today's Screens."

While I welcome their support and enthusiasm, I have my doubts about their reasoning. I think this is about the message, not about the medium. Yes, there is a flood of fabulous collections out right now: George Saunders' bestselling Tenth of December, Karen Russell's Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and the masterful Alice Munro's Dear Life, but our house has books by all three authors that we read years before it became trendy to squint at a glowing phone. These days you have to be careful not to get lost in the thicket of Kindle Singles and internet fanfic, or disappear into the cloudy, airless layers of the blogosphere.
Instead buy a copy of Lorrie Moore, Junot Diaz, or Chuck Palahniuk if you want the Now. Or just before bed read Ray Bradbury, Italo Calvino, Stephen King, or Joyce Carol Oates and see what your dreams made of. Learn from Carver, Cheever, and Trevor. Stop the world from spinning with Chekhov, Singer, and Isaac Babel. That's sort of the point of short stories and has been their strength since the days of gaslights and parlors. They are tiny perfections, narrative gems. You can sit down some evening after work, crack open a story, and be gone in a single line, or a paragraph, or a page. I find it works best in the bathtub. And it sure beats checking email or that other stuff. Try it tonight.

Roger Page
Owner and Bookseller


March Madness Sale

Saturday March 23rd is the day we at Island Books celebrate the birthday of our boss, Roger Page. This year we're doing it in grand style by taking money out of his pocket and giving it to you!



Short and Sweet

Even if you don't have time to read an entire book, you can still escape to other worlds with these stirring short story collections.




From the In-House Infants

Miriam's little boy and girl are already demanding more books, and at five months, they want color and rhyme. Here's what we're reading to them.



Fiction and Nonfiction Pairs

A good novel often piques interest that extends past its back cover, like when a war novel inspires you to pick up a history book. We think you'll want to read these pairs together.




Reading-Related Rambles

Catch up on our abundance of recent blog posts, including a look at books that inspired the 2013 Best Picture nominees, thoughts on how old stories blend with the new digital age, a look at tales of revenge, and new questions about the character of Richard III.

By the way, did you know you can get our Store Journal by email?





Cindy's March Pick: Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles

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

For example, this month Cindy's excited about Flimsy Little Plastic Miracles by Ron Currie. The protagonist has a problem---or rather, several of them. He's a writer whose latest book was destroyed in a fire. He's mourning the death of his father, and he's in love with a woman whose allure is matched only by her talent for eluding him.

Here, our booksellers share their other March recommendations.

See More Staff Picks


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

Sat, March 23, all day: March Madness Sale
Sun, March 24, 2pm: Patty Lazarus, author of March Into My Heart
Thu, Mar 28, 7:30pm: Open Book Club: Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron

Downton Withdrawal?

Here's how fans of the hit Masterpiece Classic series Downton Abbey can survive the break between seasons.


The Short Version

The Short Version

Enter our short story contest! The details: There are prizes! The deadline is March 17, 2013. Stories should be 1000 words or fewer. That’s basically it.

Drop them off in person at Island Books, or email them to us with the subject line THE SHORT VERSION.


Open Book Club

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

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