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May 2018 eNewsletter

"You may have tangible wealth untold; caskets of jewels and coffers of gold. Richer than I you can never be—I had a mother who read to me."
—Strickland Gillilan

Mother’s Day makes me mushy inside. I love picking out the cards, buying the gifts, and sending surprises to my mom and mom friends. It’s a special month.

As a teenager I was never ashamed to kiss my mom or dad in public. We are fortunate to have children who still want to be around us (most of the time) and will kiss us in public, even if it is on the head.

My mom was there for me and my brothers growing up. She came to every single one of my swim meets from middle school through high school until I could drive myself. Mom taught me how to make peanut butter cookies, grits, sausage biscuits, and corn bread stuffing. She also helped me discover my love of books.

My mom was always working on three books at any given time. There was one in her purse, another next to her bed, and one in the living room. I could never figure out how she kept all the characters from each novel in line, but she did and could talk to anyone about each book at great length.

As I got older we would share books back and forth and when I bought the bookstore, she was thrilled. If Sue Swift lived on Mercer Island she would be a fixture in the store.

A few summers ago, I captured a picture of my kids on vacation all sitting and reading, with no cellphones to be seen and their eyes fixed on the books in their hands. My heart melted. We’d done something good.

As we come off the high of celebrating Independent Bookstore Day and all the hundreds of people that stopped in Island Books, I am grateful for many reasons. One of them is to be a mom who has kids that will consciously pick up a book and read, not because they have to, but because they want to.

I'm lucky to be the owner of a bookstore that has an incredible community who supports and loves us each and every day, not just on Indie Bookstore Day. While I don’t always carry a book in my purse, I have a stack next to my bed and on my desk. Like my mom, I always read three books at a time.

To all the moms who have carried books in their purses, read the bedtime stories over and over again, never said no when their kids asked for books, and stayed up until 2:00am because they had to read just one more chapter: you are my people. Like my mom, you taught a love of books that will hopefully carry on and on.

Happy Mothers Day. May you get the book you were hoping for this year.

Laurie Raisys

May Featured Event:
Peter Donahue, Author of Three Sides Water

Join us on Saturday, May 19th at 6pm when we have the great pleasure of welcoming Peter Donahue, who over the course of a long career has produced an inimitable fictional chronicle of our Northwest region.

His books include the award-winning novels Madison House and Clara and Merritt, and (as editor) the acclaimed anthology Reading Seattle: The City in Prose.

His latest work is Three Sides Water, portraying the lives of three young people who seek meaning in an often violent, insensible world. Donahue distills the raw and vivid world of the Olympic Peninsula into a stunning work that challenges what it means—in three distinct eras—to live life with purpose and integrity.


Treat Your Mom

Consider this: books are the can't-fail Mother's Day gift choice. It doesn't matter if your mother is an obsessive bookworm or just likes to flip through beautiful photos or recipes. There's a book out there for every type of mom to love--almost as much as she loves you.


Counter Intelligence: James's May Pick

James recommends Lost Empress by Sergio De La Pava, the acclaimed PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize-winning author of A Naked Singularity. From Paterson, New Jersey, to Rikers Island to the streets of New York City, this shockingly hilarious novel is a protest against America's mass incarceration, an underdog sports odyssey, and a tender portrait of lives going to seed in suburbia.

See More Staff Picks

Reading-Related Rambles

In April, we discussed National Book Award-winning novelist Richard Powers's latest remarkable book about trees, The Overstorycelebrated Shakespeare's birthday with some new recommended reading, and shared our excitement over Jonathan Evison's upcoming visit by recalling the last time he was at the store.

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Upcoming Events

Wed, May 2, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Thurs, May 3, 6:30pm: 
Jonathan Evison, author of Lawn Boy

Fri, May 4, 9:00am: 
Mercer Island High School Band Fundraiser at Island Books

Sat, May 5, 6:00pm: 
PJ Story Time with Nancy Stewart

Tues, May 8, 6:30pm: 
Jennifer Worick, author of What's Your M.O.?

Wed, May 9, 6:30pm: 
Heidi Seaborn, author of Finding My Way Home 

Wed, May 9, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Wed, May 16, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Fri, May 18, 7:15pm: 
Ehud Barak: My Country My Life at the SJCC

Sat, May 19, 6:00pm: 
Peter Donahue, author of Three Sides Water

Sat, May 19, 9:00am: 
Open Window School Book Fair at Island Books

Sun, May 20, 2:00pm: 
Local Author Festival

Wed, May 23, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

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

Thurs, May 30, 7:30pm: 
Open Book Club: The Mothers by Brit Bennett

New Children's Books By Favorite Authors

Build your collection of books by authors your kids already love. Here are the newest releases from Kwame Alexander, Katharine Applegate, and more.


Open Book Club

For our May Open Book Club, we'll be reading The Mothers by Brit Bennett. Set within a black community in Southern California, this debut novel is an emotionally perceptive story about community, love, and ambition.

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.