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October 2017 eNewsletter

"In my whole life, I have known no wise people (over a broad subject matter area) who didn't read all the timenone. zero ... My children laugh at me. They think I'm a book with a couple of legs sticking out."

—Charles T. Munger

Fall is here and with that comes the annual Best of Western Washington extravaganza. We always appreciate your vote, and if you can take the time to click through we would be grateful for the support.

That plug aside, there are so many compelling, diverse, and notable books coming out this season. I have a stack next to my bed that I vow to finish by Halloween. I call it my October Challenge (see the picture). I thought I was all revved up to tackle the pile, but then the 1st arrived and with it came so much sad news.

One of my dear friends just lost her mother to a 16-year battle with breast cancer. I had never met this remarkable woman, but I knew how much she meant to my friend and how she cherished taking care of her. Their bond was like the kind you read about in novels. 

My friend shared her mom’s "Rules for Living" at her memorial service. They touched me and I haven’t stopped thinking about them, so much that it feels right to print them here:

1) Read: Books, newspapers, magazine articles, recipes, or blogposts. Just read.

2) Travel: As much as you can, whenever you can, save your pennies and travel. 

3) Love Your Family: Those near and far, they are the best friends you have in life.

4) Laugh: It makes almost everything better.

5) Be Kind: You don't know everyone's full back story, and it never hurts to just be kind.

These aren’t new rules for any of us. We’ve known them our whole lives. My friend lost her mom and my heart hurts for her and her family. My heart also aches for all the losses each of us experience individually, and for the terrible losses that just took place in Las Vegas.

Life is short. A book can be long. Read (we have lots of options--new and old), Travel (books can take you there or advise you where to go), Love (oh, how many stories about that have been written!), Laugh (books can help you do that too), and Be Kind (you can find plenty of good examples on our shelves). 


Laurie Raisys

Make Us the Best

Voting is open for Best of Western Washington until October 29th. Vote for Island Books as Best Bookstore!


The 2017 Man Booker Prize Finalists

The Man Booker Prize is the leading literary award in the English speaking world, and has brought recognition, reward and readership to outstanding fiction for over four decades. Each year, the prize is awarded to what is, in the opinion of the judges, the best novel of the year written in English and published in the UK. It is a prize that transforms the winner’s career.

This year's winner will be announced on October 17th. Here are the top contenders.


Destination of the Month: The Balkans

The Balkan Peninsula has for centuries been a crossroad between continents and cultures. The parade of sights you'll see there, from the fortified old town of Dubrovnik on the Croation coast to the gracefully arched Mostar Bridge in Bosnia & Herzegovina to the Bulgarian capital of Sofia, is unlike any other,. The books we list here serve as only the briefest of introductions to an endlessly fascinating place.

To browse previous destinations of the month, go here.


Counter Intelligence:
James's October Pick

Both in person and on our blog, James has been championing Solar Bones, a novel by Irish writer Mike McCormack that was longlisted for this year’s Man Booker Prize. Alone in his kitchen on All Souls’ Day, Marcus Conway ponders everything from his pained family history to his physical surroundings to local politics to an unspeakable health crisis that hits home. Over the course of one intoxicating, book-length sentence, Conway analyses how things come to be, and how they end. 

See More Staff Picks

Reading-Related Rambles

In September, Miriam suggested one novel, one cookbook, and one memoirall newto put on your must-read list for the month; James discussed the latest John McPhee book, Draft No. 4: On the Writing Process, with writer Matthew Fleagle; and he also added his two cents about what you won't want to miss in the new release pile.

To keep up with our newest posts,
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Upcoming Events

Wed, Oct 4, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Sat, Oct 7, 4:00pm: 
Ilona Bray, Author of Mossby's Magic Carpet Handbook

Sun, Oct 8, 4:00pm: 
Stella Parks, Author of BraveTart

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

Sat, Oct 14, 6:00pm: 
PJ Story Time with Nancy Stewart

Sun, Oct 15, 3:00pm:
Sarah Law, Author of Pittsburgh's Point Breeze

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

Wed, Oct 18, 6:30pm: 
John Clauson, Author of Missileman

Sun, Oct 22, 2:00pm: 
Local Author Festival

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

Thurs, Sept 28, 7:30pm: 
Open Book Club: Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Lillian's PTSA Picks for Kids

Here is a list of new fall reads for kids that Lillian (our children's department expert) created for the PTSA at Maple Elementary School in Southeast Seattle. The latest trend in library science focuses on supplementing academics, so this list balances that goal with new and fun books to get kids into reading.


Open Book Club

For our October Open Book Club, we'll be reading Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson, an unforgettable account of an idealistic, gifted young lawyer’s coming of age, a moving window into the lives of those he has defended, and an inspiring argument for compassion in the pursuit of true justice.

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.