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March 2020 eNewsletter

"March is the month of expectation..."

—Emily Dickinson

Welcome to March... and man does March Madness now have a whole new meaning!

This is usually the time of year I write about basketball because it's my favorite sports season. John Feinstein has a new book out called The Back Roads to March: The Unsung, Unheralded, and Unknown Heroes of College Basketball. It's on my nightstand, but I haven't touched it yet. I've been too busy looking at Facebook, keeping myself updated on the Coronavirus and how it's impacting our community. Events are being cancelled left and right, people are hesitant to go into public spaces, and many companies and schools have people working remotely. We are afraid and unsettled. It is difficult for us to practice social distancing at the bookstore, as it is our job to present and interact with our community.

That being said, our doors are open as a place of refuge if you need a quiet spot to read and regroup. We are wiping down our surfaces and door knobs every day. In fact, we have a few events still happening this month, including a visit and talk with Mary McCann and Bob Sundstrom from NPR's BirdNote next week Cancelled. Poet Rebecca Bridge will be joining us to read from and celebrate the release of her poetry collection Cancelled. We have three local middle grade authors in conversation, Jody Little, Gabrielle Byrne, and Kristin Thorsness, to celebrate Jody Little's newest book Worse Than Weird. Cancelled. Jake Finifrock from Tru Adventure Travel will be talking to our community about learning languages quickly Cancelled. Our book clubs will be meeting as scheduled (Daytime Open Book Club on Monday the 16th is cancelled), as will our monthly Wine + Poetry series at Barrels Rescheduled to July 28th. Please check our website for updates if things change.

independent-bookstore-day-2020-island-books-seattleWe are also gearing up for Independent Bookstore Day on April 25th! We are taking orders (due on Monday!) for t-shirts and totes with the new independent bookstore day design. Take a look at it here. Email or call us with your size and we will put you on the list!

If you want books and cannot make it in, please give us a call or visit our website. We will deliver anywhere on Mercer Island at no extra charge (shipping books to anywhere in America is free too). You can call us at 206-232-6920 or send us an email at We will help you out as best we can.

Keep calm, wash your hands, and read a book.

Laurie Raisys

P. S.
Happy birthday to Vaiva and Victor! Vaiva is Sweet Sixteen, and it's just another year for Victor ;).
Featured Event: BirdNote Meeting, Featuring Mary McCann and Bob Sundstrom Cancelled

bob sundstrom, birdnote, mary mccann


Come to Island Books for a special evening with the BirdNote team on Tuesday, March 10 at 7:00pm. BirdNote narrator Mary McCann will read selected stories from the book, Chirps, Quirks and 100 Stories from the Popular Public Radio Show. Bob Sunstrom, BirdNote's lead writer, will share his scientific knowledge and behind-the-scenes insights about writing for radio.

In Chirps, Quirks, and 100 Stories..., the best stories about our avian friends from the public radio show BirdNote are shared, each brief essay illuminating the life, habits, or songs of a particular bird. Why do geese fly in a V-formation? Why are worms so good for you, if you're a robin? Which bird calls, "Who cooks for you? Who cooks for you-all?" From wrens that next in cacti to gulls that have a strange red dot on their bills. These digestible and fascinating bird stories are a delightful window into the winged world.

Women's History Month in Kids

born-curious-martha-freeman-island-books-women's-history-month-kidsThis month we are celebrating Women's History. Follow the link to look at some of our favorite, new picks. Find more beloved titles in the store!

Knitting Book Club

place-for-us-fatima-farheen-mirza-island-books-knitting-book-clubIn April, our Knitting Book Club will be reading A Place for Us by Fatima Farheem Mirza. When you purchase the book in the store, you'll get a 10% discount.

As an Indian wedding gathers a family back together, parents Rafiq and Layla must reckon with the choices their children have made. There is Hadia: their headstrong, eldest daughter, whose marriage is a match of love and not tradition. Huda, the middle child, determined to follow in her sister's footsteps. And lastly, their estranged son, Amar, who returns to the family fold for the first time in three years. What secrets and betrayals have caused this close-knit family to fracture?

Counter Intelligence: Lillian's March Pick

new-kid-jerry-craft-newberry-award-island-books-march-staff-pickThis month, Lillian recommends New Kid by Jerry Craft.

Lillian says: The big kid/teen book awards were announced last month, and I have on my nightstand the new Newbery Award Winner, New Kid by Jerry Craft. I wasn't surprised at the win (it was on many Best of the Year lists), but it is a bit of a groundbreaker because it's a Graphic Novel. There have been Graphic Novels in the runner-up position for the Newbery but not in the top slot. Graphic Novels are somewhat controversial because they are often referred to as not "real" books because they're "just comics." Well, I'm about halfway through New Kid and I think it is one of many Graphic Novels that could win over detractors of the format. It follows a 12 year-old boy starting at a new, fancy private school. Not only is the school incredibly different than what he's used to, but he is also one of very few students of color. This story is full of humor and heart and growth and big issues. It would make an excellent book club read for anyone age 10 up through adult.

See More Staff Picks
Post of the Month: February
mercer-island-community-bookstore-island-books-staff"A day late in posting a few of our @island.books team on National Wear Red Day ❤️

#goredforwomen #hearthealth #womeninred"
Reading-Related Rambles
to-be-read-lists-notebooks-island-books-journal-message-in-a-bottleIn February, Lori and Kelleen discussed how they've decided to track books they have read and books they plan on reading.

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Upcoming Events

Sat, Mar 7, 6:00pm:
Saturday Storytelling Series: Margaret MacDonald & Dino O'Dell

Tues, Mar 10, 7:00pm:
BirdNote Meeting featuring Mary McCann & Bob Sundstrom

Wed, Mar 11, 10:30am:
Storybook Corner

Mon, Mar 16, 10:45am:
Daytime Open Book Club: Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg

Mon, Mar 16, 7:00pm:
Rebecca Bridge, Author of A Month's Worth of Instructional Poems


Wed, Mar 18, 10:30am:
Storybook Corner

Mon, Mar 23, 7:00pm:
Jody Little, Author of Worse Than Weird, in Conversation with Gabrielle Byrne & Kristin Thorsness


Tues, Mar 24, 7:00pm:
Jake Finifrock, CEO of Tru Adventure Travel

Wed, Mar 25, 10:30am:
Storybook Corner

Thurs, Mar 26, 7:30pm:
Open Book Club: Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood

Fri, Mar 27, 7:00pm:
OFF SITE: Mercer Island Arts Council - Art on the Water

Tues, Mar 31, 5:00pm:
OFF SITE: Wine + Poetry with Montreux Rotholtz
Rescheduled to July 28th

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

Thurs, Apr 2, 4:30pm:
Knitting Book Club: A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Daytime Open Book Club


The next book for the Daytime Open Book Club will be Feast Your Eyes by Myla Goldberg. In this novel, the reader watches the way the perceptions of artist Lillian Prescott change over time.

Open Book Club

For our March Open Book Club, we'll be reading Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. In The Handmaid's Tale, Margaret Atwood introduces a dystopian future, where few women are fertile. Offred is one of these, stripped of her husband, her daughter, and autonomy.

Don't forget if you purchase your book here in the store you'll always get a 10% discount.

Pre-Order at Island Books!

Want to be first in line for the next hot book? Pre-order some of our favorites below. Get a 10% discount when you pay for it at the store.



20% Off Indie Bestsellers

We always offer a 20% discount in store on the top ten bestsellers in non-fiction and fiction for the week, as reported by independent booksellers across the country.