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November 2016 eNewsletter

"So often, a visit to a bookshop has cheered me and reminded me that there are good things in the world."
—Vincent Van Gogh

I'm taking a deep breath as November kicks into gear, because this month is going to be a busy one. ‘Tis the season of our annual book fairs. Parents and their kids arrive in droves to show their support, and we love the spirit in the air as everyone bustles around, greeting friends and classmates and finding gifts.

Raising four kids on the island myself, I know the importance of our local schools and have been a long-time shopper at these events.  The community comes together over such a great cause. There will be chatty lines at the front counter, tempting tables of food and drink, parents greeting other parents and exchanging anecdotes about their kids’ reading habits, and the kids themselves, playing in the playhouse and eagerly pulling books off the shelves. The best kind of bookstore scene. 

We recently hosted The Letter Farmer at Island Books. It was a fun day and inspired a few dozen people to sit down and write a letter to someone. Sending and receiving cards has always been very special to me and I penned a few that day as well. One of the themes was gratitude. As we head towards Thanksgiving, gratitude is a common topic of conversation.

Today as I sat on the floor in the middle of the store talking with my friend Abby about life, kids, and what lotion to buy for her friend, my heart was so happy and thankful. Being the owner of Island Books has brought me so much joy. Everyday I receive hugs from friends stopping in to shop, or a warm hello from regular customer, or a greeting from a first time visitor who can't believe what a wonderful place they've just stumbled upon. My husband might stop by to bring food or fix something in the store and my kids frequently pop their heads in. And hugs! I get so many hugs. This bookstore has given me so much to be thankful for. We are truly a community gathering place, brimming with gratitude.

And speaking of community, how about Joel McHale? The hometown kid comes back and treats the crowd to a show. It was one of the highlights of my time here in the store, and one more thing to be grateful for.

Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at Island Books! 


Laurie Raisys

It's Book Fair Season!

Every fall since 1986, we’ve hosted book fairs to raise money for our local schools. At these events you can get your holiday shopping done, meet other parents and friends, and maybe have a glass of wine and some appetizers. Best of all, we’ll donate 20% of our sales directly to the schools. In 2015, we were proud to donate over $13,000. The more you buy, the more we give.  


Caldecott and Newbery Contenders

The Caldecott and Newbery Medals are the most prestigious American children's book awards, and customers are always asking us to predict next year's candidates. Here are  some of the books we think will go far.


Caldecott picks / Newbery picks

National Book Award Finalists

The National Book Foundation gives out annual awards for the best fiction and nonfiction, and this year's will be handed out on November 16th.

The National Book Awards are consistently surprising and one of our favorite benchmarks for quality reading. Check out the list of 2016 nominees in advance of this month's award ceremony.


Audiobooks Now Available

We're happy to announce our new partnership with, the best way to purchase audiobooks from independent bookstores.

Now Island Books can help you listen to great stories anytime, anywhere.


Destination of the Month: Japan

Boy, it's getting dark out there. With the days growing shorter by the minute, what better time to visit the Land of the Rising Sun? Japanese culture is both ancient and modern, and no matter which aspect of it interests you, we have the right book to read. Fiction, fashion, food--whatever your pleasure, once you've perused the titles on our latest Destination of the Month list, you'll be saying domo arigato!

To browse previous destinations of the month, go here.


Counter Intelligence:
Laurie's November Pick

A powerful moral dilemma is at the center of Laurie's staff pick this month; Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. When an African-American labor and delivery nurse steps in during a hospital emergency to save a white supremacist's baby, the consequences lead to a trial that raises questions about racism, privilege, and power. 

See More Staff Picks

Reading-Related Rambles

In October, we scratched our headsover Bob Dylan receiving the Nobel Prize in Literature, recommendedTana French's new psychological thriller The Trespasser, and cracked ourselves up reading #TrumpBookReport tweets.

To keep up with our newest posts,
sign up to get our Store Journal by email.


Upcoming Events

Tues, Nov 1, 9:15am: 
Island Park Elementary Book Fair at Island Books

Wed, Nov 2, 9:30am: 
Pixie Hill Preschool Book Fair at Island Books

Thurs, Nov 3, 9:30am: 
Lakeridge Elementary School Book Fair at Island Books

Fri, Nov 4, 6:00pm: 
Learning Lab Book Fair at Island Books

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

Tues, Nov 8, 5:00pm: 
Mercer Island High School Book Fair at Island Books

Wed, Nov 9, 9:00am: 
Patti's Play Center Book Fair at Island Books

Thurs, Nov 10, 9:00am: 
Northwood Elementary School Book Fair at Island Books

Sun, Nov 13, 10:00am: 
St. Monica School Book Fair at Island Books

Tues, Nov 15, 9:00am: 
Emmanuel Day School Book Fair at Island Books

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

Wed, Nov 16, 7:00pm: 
Cookbook Book Club: Recipes by Ina Garten

Thurs, Nov 17, 10:00am: 
West Mercer Elementary School Book Fair at Island Books

Thurs, Nov 17, 7:30pm: 
Open Book Club:The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall

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

Sat, Nov 26, 9:00am: 
Small Business Saturday / Indies First

Tues, Nov 29, 7:00pm: 
Walter Harp, author of Into the Funhouse

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

Thurs, Dec 1, 9:00am: 
SJCC Early Childhood School Book Fair at Island Books

Sat, Dec 3, 5:00pm: 
Maria Semple, author of Today Will Be Different

Open Book Club

Our November book club takes place a week earlier than usual due to Thanksgiving, and we will discuss The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint by Brady Udall. This high-spirited, novel will charm readers with characters as outsized as the landscape of the American West.

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.