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September 2017 eNewsletter

"To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all the miseries of life."

—Somerset Maugham

To the parent of multiple children, the end of summer is always a mixed blessing. When school is out I'm happy for my kids to experience all the free time, but as we inch towards August, I find I'm more excited than they are for the return to school and structure.

Back to school at the store means offering shiny new notebooks, pencils, erasers, lunch boxes, and more to motivate kids to hit the books, as well as big fall releases from bestselling authors like What Happened by Hillary Rodham Clinton, A Column of Fire by Ken Follett, and Turtles All the Way Down by John Green (don't forget to pre-order your signed copy while they last!).

September is full of special events too. We'll welcome several remarkable authors including bestselling writer Joyce Maynard, host a poetry reading featuring some local all-stars, and present our annual Random House reading recommendation night with expert sales reps David Glenn and Katie Mehan. There's also a special event that's near and dear to my heart because of my own cultural heritage. Lithuanian photographer Jonas Kulikauskas, author of Yosemite People, will be at the store on Saturday, September 23rd. We'll display his black-and-white images of those who live and work at Yosemite throughout the afternoon. The photos move from the overwhelming majesty of nature to the intimate moments of human life and we're the only bookstore to host him.

Getting back into the fall swing of things means we're also busy brainstorming new ways to have fun in the store. One of them is starting our own "Mercer Island Reads" program, and we'd love your input. We see this as a way to deepen our engagement in literature through reading and discussion and bring us together as a community. Can you imagine if all of Islanders read the same book at the same time? We welcome your thoughts in person, by email, or through social media

Finally, we'd like to extends our deepest sympathies to the families and communities impacted by the devastating hurricane and floods in Texas and Louisiana, especially our fellow independent bookstores like Becker's BooksKaboom BooksBrazos BookstoreBlue Willow BookshopMurder by the BookRiver Oaks BookstoreThe Lift, and more. You're in our thoughts and hearts.


Laurie Raisys

Staff Reading Shelves

If you haven't been in recently, we've been featuring a rotating shelf of our staff's recommended summer reading. If you missed any of these titles, put them on your autumn wish list.

Marni | Cindy | Lillian | James | Miriam | Lori R.

Adult Categories: 2017 Washington State Book Awards Finalists

The Washington State Book Awards are given for outstanding books published by Washington authors the previous year. Here are this year's finalists in the Fiction, Poetry, Biography and Memoir, and General Nonfiction categories.

The 2017 Washington State Book Awards celebration is Saturday, October 14, at 7 p.m. at the Central Library in downtown Seattle. This event is free and open to all!


Destination of the Month: Canada

Our neighbor to the north sure has a dreamy Prime Minister, doesn't it? Not that that's the only reason to pay Canada a visit, especially if you're a reader. It's a major exporter of multilingual, multicultural, award-winning fiction for young and old alike. And if gap-toothed smiles and Stanley Cups are your thing, the land above the 49th parallel has you covered. If you sit next to Justin Trudeau at the rink, tell him we said hi.

To browse previous destinations of the month, go here.


Counter Intelligence:
Miriam's September Pick

Miriam has been fervently recommending Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo as one of the best books she's read this year.

Yejide and Akin have been married since they met and fell in love at university, but four years into their marriage Yejide is still not pregnant. She assumes she still has time–until their family arrives on their doorstep with a young woman they introduce as Akin’s second wife. Furious, shocked, and livid with jealousy, Yejide knows the only way to save her marriage is to get pregnant. Which, finally, she does–but at a cost far greater than she could have dared to imagine. It is, at once, a gothic parable about pride and betrayal; a thoroughly contemporary portrait of a marriage; and a novel that explores the pull in Nigeria between tradition and modernity.

See More Staff Picks

Reading-Related Rambles

In August, we reminded you to preorder your signed copy of John Green's first novel in five years (since The Fault in Our Stars); previewed Finn Murphy's visit to Island Books to discuss his memoir, The Long Haulfeatured a guest essay from Dick Cluster, one of the authors who appeared in our Cuba Destination of the Month list; and recommended a fat historical family saga set on a lush Caribbean island, The Violins of Saint-Jacques.

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Upcoming Events

Wed, Sept 6, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Thurs, Sept 7, 6:30pm: 
James Crowley, Author of Monsterland

Fri, Sept 8, 5:00pm: 
Mercer Island Art Uncorked

Sat, Sept 9, 6:00pm: 
PJ Story Time with Margaret Read McDonald

Sun, Sept 10, 4:00pm: 
Dori Jones Yang, Author of  The Forbidden Temptation of Baseball

Wed, Sept 13, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Wed, Sept 13, 7:oopm: 
Random House Autumn Showcase

Thurs, Sept 14, 6:30pm: 
Margaret Combs, Author of Hazard

Sat, Sept 16, 6:00pm: 
Joyce Maynard, Author of The Best of Us

Mon, Sept 18, 7:00pm: 
Poets on the Island

Wed, Sept 20, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Sat, Sept 23, 4:00pm: 
Jonas Kulikauskas, Author of Yosemite People

Tues, Sept 26, 6:30pm: 
Charles Neff, Author of Second Growth

Wed, Sept 27, 10:30am: 
Storybook Corner

Thurs, Sept 28, 7:30pm: 
Open Book Club: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

Youth Categories: 2017 Washington State Book Awards Finalists

Here are this year's finalists in the Picture Book, Books for Early Readers (ages 6 to 8), Books for Middle Grade Readers (ages 8 - 12), and Books for Young Adults (ages 13 to 18)categories.


Open Book Club

For our September Open Book Club, we'll be reading Homegoingby Yaa Gyasi, a story of two half-sisters born in in eighteenth-century Ghana and the journeys of their descendants.

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.