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October 2019 eNewsletter

"October, baptize me with leaves! Swaddle me in corduroy and nurse me with split pea soup. October, tuck tiny candy bars in my pockets and carve my smile into a thousand pumpkins. O autumn! O teakettle! O grace!"
—Rainbow Rowell

Happy October! This month our word is pluviophile: a lover of rain, of the sound of rain; someone who finds joy and peace of mind during rainy days -- and we are loving the sporadic showers and full-blown gusts that come with this season. As summer disappears and the holidays ramp up, we want to take this opportunity to re-introduce our bookselling team to you, highlighting preferences and expertise.

- Owner, gift and card buyer
- Lover of beach reads, scintillating historical fiction, and anything by Taylor Jenkins Reid
- This month's picks include Right After the Weather by Carol Anshaw; The Possible World by Liese O'Halloran Schwarz; The Bucket List by Georgia Clark

- Adult book buyer, bookseller
- Passionate about works in translation, literary mind trips, and internationally set stories
- This month's picks include The Corner that Held Them by Sylvia Townsend Warner, translated by Claire Harman; From the Shadows by Juan Jose Millas, translated by Thomas Bunstead and Daniel Hahn; Reinhardt's Garden by Mark Haber; Homesick by Jennifer Croft

- Out of print specialist, bookseller
- Rapid consumer of mysteries, thrillers, and thought-provoking sci-fi
- This month's picks include The Liar by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen; The Testaments by Margaret Atwood; Three Graves Full by Jamie Mason

- Children's book and gift buyer, bookseller
- Exuberant about quirky picture books, smart romances, and engaging novels
- This month's picks include The Bookwanderers by Anna James; Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds; Cog by Greg van Eckhout; I Can Make This Promise by Christine Day

- Gift and card buyer, bookseller
- Keen interest in historical fiction, high fantasy, and books with strong heroines
- This month's picks include Fountains of Silence by Rupta Sepetys; The Giver of Stars by Jojo Moyes


- Games buyer, bookseller
- Expert in a variety of nonfiction, thought-provoking contemporary fiction, and sardonic narratives
- This month's picks include The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates; Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout; The Body: A Guide for Occupants by Bill Bryson

- Events and marketing coordinator, bookseller
- Enthusiastic about magical realism, adorable YA romances, and substantive middle grade novels
- This month's picks includeThe Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake; Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry; Blood Sisters by Kim Yideum, translated Jiyoon Lee

- Open Book Club host
- Ardent for culturally relevant literature and beautifully written prose
- This month's pick is The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein



We cannot wait to see you over the coming weeks!

Laurie Raisys

Featured Events: Conversations with the Candidates
As you know, we consider Island Books to be more than just a bookstore; we consider it a community gathering place and hub for thoughtful discussions on a wide variety of topics. To that end, we'll be hosting all of the the City Council Candidates in a series of Meet and Greet the Candidate events at Island Books on consecutive Sundays in October (beginning this weekend).

Our vision is to offer voters and candidates in our community the opportunity to discuss visions for Mercer Island and views on the key issues for the city in an informal setting (on a series of Sundays). These events will be similar to the author events we frequently host and each candidate will be available for a one hour session. Each candidate will have the opportunity to present, take questions and casually mingle with the attendees. There will be no debate time or moderator - the time will belong to the individual candidates to use as they wish to communicate their vision, positions and thoughts on key issues.

This series will begin this Sunday at 3:45pm and will continue for the following two Sundays. The full schedule is below. We look forward to seeing you and our city council candidates engaging on issues that are important to our community

Sunday, Oct. 6th
3:45 - 4:45pm Craig Reynolds
5:00 - 6:00pm Dave Rosenbaum
6:15 - 7:15pm Wendy Weiker

Sunday, Oct. 13th
3:45 - 4:45pm Lisa Anderl
5:00 - 6:00pm Heather Cartwright
6:15 - 7:15pm Jake Jacobson
7:30 - 8:30pm Jon Hanlon

Sunday, Oct. 20th
3:45 - 4:45pm Patrick Allcorn
5:00 - 6:00pm Debbie Bertlin
6:15 - 7:15pm Daniel Thompson
Counter Intelligence: Kelleen's Pick

This month, Kelleen recommends The Last True Poets of the Sea by Julia Drake.

Kelleen says: "This novel completely took me by surprise! Lori Robinson recommended it to me last month, and when I picked it up last week I finished it in a day. I love this young adult novel because the main character isn't perfect, in fact very flawed. Violet is a completely realistic and relatable seventeen year old, attempting to process her brother's mental health crises, her parents' pressure on her to grow up, and her summer displacement to a tiny coastal town in Maine. Her self-discovery and self-forgiveness as she moves forward in the plot is beautifully potrayed by Drake's eloquent and succinct language. Not to mention that throughout all of the self-contemplation, there is a shipwreck to be discovered! I cannot recommend this book enough; it will definitely be in my top ten for the year."

See More Staff Picks
So Many Book Clubs!

Island Books has become chock-full of book clubs and monthly meet-ups. Here is what is happening this month so you don't miss out!
  • Daytime Open Book Club: On October 21, Caitlin will lead the Daytime Open Book Club in a discussion about The Wind that Lays Waste. Check out the side panel for a summary of this complicated tale.
  • Game Night!: Not a book club, but what we plan to be monthly occurrence. Nancy our games specialist will be hosting a night of games and snacks featuring "Planet" and "Beagle or Bagel?"on October 17. Please RSVP here.
  • Knitting Book Club: Our inaugural meeting led by Lori is on October 10. Bring your current knitting project and a brainstorming attitude as we decide on our first few titles.
  • Open Book Club: On October 24, our Open Book Club led by Miriam is meeting to discuss the store favorite, The Art of Racing in the Rain. Check out the side panel for more information on this great read.
  • Silent Book Club: The book club for those of who love to hang out in our store and read. We are gathering in our separate nooks with our separate books on October 22.
Reading-Related Rambles
This past Semptember, Kelleen and Lori reflected on their Summer Book Bingo cards, Lori introduced her knitting book club, and Kelleen interviewed Clare H. Meeker, author of Growing Up Gorilla.

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


Upcoming Events


Sat, Oct 5, 6:00pm:
William Kent Krueger, Author of This Tender Land

Sun, Oct 6, 3:45pm:
A Conversation with the Candidate: Craig Reynolds, Dave Rosenbaum, and Wendy Weiker

Tues, Oct 8, 6:30pm
Paula Becker Author of A House on Stilts

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

Tues, Oct 10, 4:00pm:
Knitting Book Club: Introductory Meeting

Sat, Oct 12, 6:00pm:
PJ Story Time with Nancy Stewart

Sun, Oct 13, 1:00pm:
Kristin Thorsness, Author of The Wicked Tree

Sun, Oct 13, 3:45pm:
A Conversation with the Candidate: Lisa Anderl, Heather Jordan Cartwright, Jake Jacobson, and Jon Hanlon

Tues, Oct 15, 6:00pm
Doug Margeson, Author of Gazing at the Distant Lights

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

Thurs, Oct 17, 7:00pm:
Game Night! RSVP here!

Sun, Oct 20, 3:45pm:
A Conversation with the Candidate: Patrick Allcorn, Debbie Bertlin, and Daniel Thompson

Mon, Oct 21, 10:30am:
Daytime Open Book Club: The Wind that Lays Waste by Selva Almada

Tues, Oct 22, 7:00pm:
Silent Book Club

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

Wed, Oct 23, 7:00pm:
Jonathan Mooney, Author of Normal Sucks at SJCC

Thurs, Oct 24, 7:00pm:
Open Book Club: The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

Sun, Oct 27, 5:00pm:
Pumpkin Walk at Luther Burbank Park

Tues, Oct 29, 5:00pm:
Poetry +Wine: Sierra Golden at Barrels Wine Bar

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

Spooky Reads!

Hallows Eve is near... get your  reader ready with our spooktacular selection of books for kids, tweens, and teens.


In October, our Open Book Club will read and discuss The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein.

The Art of Racing in the Rain's Enzo knows he is different from other dogs. On the eve of his death, Enzo takes stock of his life, recalling all that he and his family have been through. In the end, despite what he sees as his limitations, Enzo is heroic for the Swift family. A heart-wrenching but deeply funny and ultimately uplifting story about family, love, loyalty, and hope.

Don't forget if you purchase your book here in the store you'll always get a 10% discount.

Daytime Open Book Club

In October, our Daytime Open Book Club will read and discuss The Wind that Lays Waste by Selva Almada, translated Chris Andrews.

The Wind that Lays Waste begins in the great pause before a storm. As a long day passes, an unexpected intimacy forms between four people: one man who believes in God and his own righteousness, another who's only experienced moral relativism and apathy, a quietly earnest mechanic's assistant, and a restless skeptic. As tensions between these characters ebb and flow, beliefs are questions and allegiances are tested, until finally the storm breaks over the plains.

Don't forget if you purchase your book in 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.