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November 2018 eNewsletter

"A book is a dream you hold in your hands."
—Neil Gaiman

Hi. Cindy here. I’ve been working at Island Books since 1994, for more than half of the store’s duration. I am the most senior member of the Island Books staff. I know where the bodies are buried (there are none). I am proud to be a small part of a wholly benevolent institution that has lasted this long. Who would have thought we could survive, profit, and flourish for 45 years? That feels like a success story to me.

You might wonder, is this an anniversary or a birthday? It is certainly an anniversary for the staff past and present--this bookstore our common bond.

For me it started with Roger Page, the owner at that time, who hired me in 1994 and entrusted me with a key to his beautiful store on my very first day. Nancy, his wife, came on board years later to curate our growing gift selection. Meb was the children’s book buyer back then, Terri, also in the kids' section, taught me the value of changing shoes over the course of the day. Lalo, who moderated our open book clubs for years, Wendy, who I can never say enough good things about, Poo Putsch who painted the playhouse and those fantastic signs that still hang back in the kids section, and Elinor MacDonald, who custom cut cardboard so the books wouldn’t have to sit on the rough cedar shelves. Fastidious Sally Kennedy, bookkeeper for many years and  Marilyn Brody (who freed us from the petty oppression  of counting the coins in the till at close). Mark K. and Lori Mitchell, my 18-years-sister-in-bookselling who ditched us for a library in Vermont. Garry Jarman a kind of brother and zen father figure to us all. The writers MJ Beaufrand for a while and Christine Widman for a bit and Tami Szerlip, who dressed our front window way back when, and Julie who moved to Boston at some point and Kay Wilson who was already packing reuseable canvas totes way before it became de rigueur du jour, now saving the world from her house on Lummi Island, and Nancy Shawn way back then and now (yay!) Nancy Shawn again, and Tonya for not long enough and Marni Gittinger, dog whisperer-in-residence who somehow always knew everything in the news, pop culture, and books, and James Crossley, a literary gentleman and Renaissance man who along with former ballerina and New York editor, Miriam, created our  website and a flurry of writing that every week makes us all look good, and of course Lillian, our Children’s Books buyer who knows a great story when she sees one and can tell a great story too. Lori, or LRob as we call her, who transformed from a mild-mannered South End Barista to a kickass North End Bookista. Recently we’ve welcomed to staff Kelleen, who is a total reading and proofreading machine, and Jinny's great part-time help. I don’t know if this is feeling celebratory or maudlin and long-winded, but thankers gotta thank, writers gotta write and readers ... can always stop reading.

One last thing. Throughout all of my time here, there was always, always, always, the Legend of Lola Deane. The mother of it all. She who instigated this operation in 1973 with a host of help and other owners who all predated me—Fam Bayliss, Marge Wilkins, Elinor MacDonald, Julia Olsen, Andrea Lorig, Lissa Wells. Forgive me if I missed a name somewhere along the way.

When Roger passed the torch to Laurie and Victor Raisys, he knew and we knew they would keep the flame alive and thriving. These past three years under their leadership, Island Books has continued in a long tradition of yearly donations to local schools, causes, and organizations, from Alzheimer's to NPR to Seattle Arts and Lectures. We've hosted more and more events with authors, speakers, storytellers, and musicians. And Island Books continues on in the same spirit.

But most importantly, this is also our 45th anniversary with you--a uniquely supportive and always evolving community that keeps appreciating what we do. We hope you know how very incredibly much your ongoing support has drastically mattered to our duration these past 45 years. 

We hope you can come to our official celebration this Saturday, November 3rd at 4pm. We’ll be offering up drinks and delicious cake from our new neighbor Convivial Café. If you’re moved to bring a treat to share, that would be great, and please drop us an RSVP so we know how many revelers we must needs prepare for.

So here’s to us for keepin’ on, and here’s to you for keepin’ on too. It’s our 45th anniversary! Happy anniversary to us all. 

Cindy Corujo

November Featured Event:
Cookbook Book Club with Kate McDermott

It's been awhile since our last meeting, but the Island Books Cookbook Book Club is back! If you're new to this special group, we meet regularly to explore different cuisines and cookbooks and taste the dishes we've made. A festive potluck meal, in other words, and we'll supply the drinks.

In November, our host is James Beard nominee Kate McDermott, author of Home Cooking with Kate McDermott and Art of the Pie. She has been named "Food Rock Star" and "Pie Whisperer", and has received high praise for her work from Dorie Greenspan, Ruth Reichl, Ken Haedrich, David Leite, and many others. Kate lives on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, where she writes, tends her gardens, cooks, and bakes.

If you're planning to attend, it would be great if you would RSVP at so we can plan for crowd size. See you there!


Gifts Galore

Some say our full name should be Island Books and Gifts Galore. Did you know our shelves are overflowing with handpicked unique gifts we personally love? Some of our most popular items include games, handcrafted jewelry and scarves, pottery, children's puzzles and toys, and of course the locally made Island Treats, which we can't seem to stop eating behind the counter.

Oh, and did we mention the free gift wrap?


Hanukkah Books to Light Up the House

Hanukkah comes early this year (on December 2nd!) so it's not too early to plan for 8 nights of related reading. Children will brighten up over these titles, and reading them together will give you a good reason to cuddle up and share a few quiet holiday moments.


Counter Intelligence: Cindy's November Pick

Cindy recommends Gone So Longby Andre Dubus III, a devastating novel that explores how the wounds of the past afflict the people we become and probes the limits of recovery and absolution.

See More Staff Picks

Reading-Related Rambles

In October, we welcomed beloved staff member Lori Robinson as a regular contributor to our blog and she shared some recommendations, we pondered some aspects of the Kavanaugh hearings through a fictional lens, and featured guest blogger John Hamer discussing Paulette Jiles's News of the World, a book that recently captivated him.

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


Upcoming Events

Fri, Nov 2, 9:00am: 
Learning Lab Book Fair at Island Books

Sat, Nov 3, 4:00pm:
Our 45th Anniversary Party!

Sat, Nov 3, 6:00pm: 
PJ Story Time with Meg Lippert and Nancy Stewart

Sun, Nov 4, 4:00pm:
Galen Goodwin Longstreth and Alec Longstreth, Author and Illustrator of Night is Nigh

Mon, Nov 5, 9:00am: 
Pixie Hill Preschool Book Fair at Island Books

Wed, Nov 7, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Thurs, Nov 8, 9:00am: 
Patti's Play Center Book Fair at Island Books

Sat, Nov 10, 4:00pm: 
52 Seattle Adventures with Kids with Alayne Sulkin and Elisa Murray from ParentMap

Sun, Nov 11, 4:00pm: 
Cookbook Book Club with Kate McDermott

Tues, Nov 13, 9:00am: 
St. Monica School Book Fair at Island Books

Wed, Nov 14, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Wed, Nov 14, 6:00pm: 
Joel Gamoran, Author of Cooking Scrappy

Thurs, Nov 15, 9:00am: 
Lakeridge Elementary Book Fair at Island Books

Fri, Nov 16, 9:00am: 
Northwood Elementary Book Fair at Island Books

Sat, Nov 24, 9:00am: 
Small Business Saturday / Indies First

Wed, Nov 28, 9:00am: 
Island Park Elementary Book Fair at Island Books

Wed, Nov 28, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Thurs, Nov 28, 9:00am: 
West Mercer Elementary Book Fair at Island Books

Thurs, Nov 29, 7:30pm: 
Open Book Club: Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo

Fri, Nov 30, 9:00am: 
SJCC Early Childhood School Book Fair at Island Books

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 and we’ll donate 20% of our sales directly to the schools. The more you buy, the more we give. In 2017 we donated over $17,000. 


Open Book Club

For our November Open Book Club, we'll be reading Stay with Me by Ayobami Adebayo, a celebrated, unforgettable first novel ("A bright, big-hearted demonstration of female spirit." -The Guardian), shortlisted for the prestigious Women's Prize for Fiction and set in Nigeria, gives voice to both husband and wife as they tell the story of their marriage--and the forces that threaten to tear it apart.

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.