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May 2017 eNewsletter

"What's better than hanging out a bookstore and talking books with people who love books? "

—Lisa Jackson

What an amazing weekend! Big thanks to our local community and the more far-flung Independent Bookstore Day participants who raced through or wandered into our store this past Saturday, April 29th. We had a ton of fun at Island Books, and it was also a spectacular day at our fellow stores all around Puget Sound. Two of our booksellers and more than a few of our frequent customers completed the challenge of visiting 19 bookstores in a single day to become Indie Bookstore Champions. We'll be sharing some of their stories on our blog later in the month, but for now let's just say well done, all!

There's lots more fun coming up in May, starting with our Bookmark Design Contest. You can find a link to all the information about it below, but get cracking--the deadline for submissions is Friday, May 12th. I'm also excited about our author events this month with Curtis Manley, Laurie Frankel, and Ashley Ream. As always, you can click on our monthly calendar to find out everything that's going on, usually more than you'd expect. Like our regular book club meeting, which this month features Jim Lynch himself as a moderator for discussion about his wonderful novel Before the Wind.
As May begins we cannot forget Mother's Day, May 14th. Those who know me are are aware of my love for cards, funny note pads, and paper items. It's been so fun to pick out some really special Mother's day cards and gifts for you to share with the fantastic moms of Mercer Island. I picked out the cards I'm giving early--to my mom, my sisters-in-law, and to great friends. They are all phenomenal women and mothers who inspire me every day and deserve to be celebrated. Last but not least, Miriam, Island Books blogger and our book club host, is about to become a mom again for the fourth time! Motherhood is in the air . . .

Happy May to all,

Daughter, Sister, Wife, and Mother of four
Bookmark Design Contest!

We love our iconic Island Books bookmark, but every now and again it's fun to change it up. So we're launching a bookmark design contest. All ages are welcome to participate, and the winning entry will be printed as a special limited-edition summer bookmark in full color! You have until Friday, May 12th to submit your design, so get hopping, artists. Full details are available in the store or on our website.

An Evening with Authors Laurie Frankel & Ashley Ream

On Tuesday, May 30th at 6:30 p.m., we'll be hosting a stimulating conversation between two novelists who just happen to be the authors of a pair of our favorite books of the season.

Laurie Frankel is the author of This Is How It Always Is, about the secrets a family keeps and how those secrets end up keeping them, and about how the changes children go through end up changing their parents, often for the better.

Ashley Ream is the author of The 100 Year Miracle, the story of a scientist who has just days to unlock the mystery of the small glowing sea creatures that surround a Washington island, creatures who may hold the key to curing debilitating disease, altering lives forever.

Join us for what's sure to be one of the biggest literary events of 2017!

Destination of the Month: Portugal

We usually choose our Destination of the Month based on a combination of factors--geographical balance, time of year for travel, availability of new books about the location, and so on--but this month it seemed to choose itself for us. We've recently had an unexpected spate of requests for travel guides to Portugal. Apparently that's where all of you are clamoring to go right now! And why not, we say? The food, the climate, the history, the music, the port wine ... and don't forget the affordability. Despite its increasing popularity, Portugal remains one of Europe's best bargains. So read up, travelers!

To browse previous destinations of the month, go here.

Counter Intelligence:
James's May Pick

One of the most praised novels of the season is Jeff VanderMeer's Borne, a weird, futuristic, and yet profoundly character-driven story about two people and two creatures. Rachel and Wick are a scavenger and drug dealer respectively, both with too many secrets and fears. Mord and Borne are animal, plant, perhaps company discard, biotech, cruel experiment, dinner, deity ... whatever they are, they will force Rachel and Wick to reflect on their own humanity and their relationship with each other.

See More Staff Picks
Reading-Related Rambles
In April, Miriam revealed how troubles in her own life resonated with the even bigger catastrophes suffered by memoirist Ariel Levy in The Rules Do Not Apply; James took a stroll through the city with a friend and the help of Seattle Walks, a new guidebook from geo-historian David B. Williams; and we previewed the jam-packed agenda for one of the biggest holidays on our calendar, Independent Bookstore Day.

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Upcoming Events

Wed, May 3, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Sat, May 6, 6:00pm: 
PJ Story Time with Meg Lippert

Wed, May 10, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Sat, May 13, 9:00am: 
Open Window School Book Fair at Island Books

Sat, May 13, 4:00pm: 
Curtis Manley, Author of The Crane Girl and Shawn Loves Sharks

Wed, May 17, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner
Cookbook Book Club: Sharon Kramis & Julie Kramis Hearne Edition

Wed, May 24, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Thurs, May 25, 7:30pm: 
Open Book Club: Before the Wind with Special Guest Host, Author Jim Lynch

Mon, May 29, all day:

Tues, May 30, 6:30pm: 
An Evening with Authors Laurie Frankel and Ashley Ream 

Wed, May 31, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Books for Spring Chickens

This is the season of youth and new beginnings--there's a reason people talk about spring chickens, right? Which is why we're thinking about books for our smallest customers, the ones just embarking on a lifetime of literacy. Here's a list of new titles for those new to reading, books that will bring joy and delight this spring, this summer, and beyond.


Open Book Club

We're excited to present a very special open book club in May. Our guest host, acclaimed Northwest author Jim Lynch, will moderate and discuss his latest novel just out in paperback, Before the Wind (read our recent Q&A with him here), a funny, big-hearted story about a gifted and volatile Seattle family.

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.