Classic YA: The Witch of Blackbird Pond

As I tried to reclaim a reading life leading up to and right after the birth of my twins, a friend recommended I stick to reading young adult fiction. Perhaps in an attempt to regress to my own childhood, I picked up a book I remembered fondly: The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare.

The New England witch hunts endure as a fascinating piece of history, and before I graduated to The CrucibleThe Witch of Blackbird Pond whet my appetite for fiction about the era. Set in the late 1800s, this coming-of-age story follows the orphan Kit from her home in Barbados to a Puritan community in Connecticut. The death of her beloved father and a distasteful suitor have forced her to go to America, and Kit is grudgingly taken into her aunt’s family as something of a Cinderella. Although her aunt and one of the sisters are kind to Kit, her fiery uncle and other competitive cousin make her life particularly difficult. Kit’s loneliness prompts her into a friendship with an older widow, Hannah Tupper, who the community believes to be a witch....Read more

(Our store journal keeps you posted on books we're excited about, our literary musings, and other reading-related rambles. Remember, you can sign up to receive our posts by email.) 

RISE UP Seattle

Island Books is supporting an important event this Valentine's Day.

Womens' Network for a Sustainable Future, Business Ending Slavery and Trafficking, and Bainbridge Graduate Institute will join with activists around the world for ONE BILLION RISING, the largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.
During a special event, producer Jane Charles will introduce her new film, SOLD, to be released this spring. Also on the agenda will be a variety of art forms that celebrate the women and men who resist violence:

  • University of Washington Dancers
  • Claire Hosterman singing
  • Amazing dancer Chris Daigre of Ewajo Center, leading participants in a dance of solidarity
And informational presentations about non-profit organizations that benefit women worldwide.
February 14th, 2013 5:30-7:30

@ HUB Seattle 220 2nd Ave South, Seattle, WA 98104

http://wnsf-pacificnw.org/

A Dance to the Music of Time: A Question of Upbringing

We're launching our new online book discussion group with A Question of Upbringing, the first installment of Anthony Powell's epic A Dance to the Music of Time. Even if you haven't started reading yet, it's not too late to get on board.

The book introduces us to narrator Nicholas Jenkins and a handful of his friends and relations. We meet Stringham and Templer, his roommates at school, and then their officious headmaster Le Bas, who becomes the subject of a prank orchestrated by Stringham. As the young men leave school and head into adulthood, they start to move in different directions, with the cynical Templer taking a finance job in the City. Jenkins summers in France, where he dabbles in unrequited romance and re-encounters another fellow student, the dogged but inelegant Widmerpool....Read more

(Our store journal keeps you posted on books we're excited about, our literary musings, and other reading-related rambles. Remember, you can sign up to receive our posts by email.) 

 

Books and YouTube Can Lead to Carnegie Hall

Whether you’re a fan of John Green or not, I suggest you peruse this New York Times piece from January 16th. It’s startling to discover that authors are taking over more than just the internet. They’re taking over Carnegie Hall. As in, the Carnegie Hall that serves as legendary concert venue to artists such as Yo-Yo Ma and Joshua Bell. A new era for writers has arrived, and I’m not talking about the age of ebooks....Read more

(Our store journal keeps you posted on books we're excited about, our literary musings, and other reading-related rambles. Remember, you can sign up to receive our posts by email.) 

 

American Stories

The twentieth century will be American. American thought will dominate it. American progress will give it color and direction. American deeds will make it illustrious.

—Senator Albert Beveridge (1862-1927)

The quotation above comes from a toast made to ring in the then-new century. Strong stuff—patriotism shading over into jingoism. And prescient, as history shows. John Dos Passos cites the remark in the opening pages of his epic U.S.A. trilogy, probably the greatest literature produced by the Lost Generation. Yes, better than Hemingway, Fitzgerald, et al.,  though that’s a subject for another time...Read more

(Our store journal keeps you posted on books we're excited about, our literary musings, and other reading-related rambles. Remember, you can sign up to receive our posts by email.) 

Heavy Hitters Returning in May

Even if you’re not much of a reader, chances are you’ve heard of The Da Vinci Code and The Kite Runner. They were movies too, after all. But it's been a few years. No one’s been talking about Dan Brown or Khaled Hosseini in a long time, despite the fact that Brown has sold over two hundred million copies of his six novels and Hosseini has sold thirty-eight million copies of his two books. Well, let the whispering and speculation begin, because these guys are back with new novels in 2013.....Read more

(Our store journal keeps you posted on books we're excited about, our literary musings, and other reading-related rambles. Remember, you can sign up to receive our posts by email.) 

 

The Century's Reached Its Teens

Welcome to a new year and a new era. The 21st Century has reached its teeange years, and we hope that means 2013 will be characterized by personal growth and vivacity, not bad posture and social awkwardness. Either way, many months are about to unfurl from the new calendars on our walls, and the best way to fill them is with reading. Our local paper recently informed us that our community has one of the highest national percentages of readers who buy at least twelve books a year. Sounds like a minimum to us--we think a book a week sounds more reasonable. We're biased, of course. Whatever number you're shooting for, these titles are a good starting point.

Let It Snow, Let It Snow

In the violent world of George R.R. Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series,  the phrase "winter is coming" is a dreaded warning. Here on Mercer Island, though, it's music to our ears. If the inhabitants of Westeros spent more time in their libraries instead of swinging swords around, they'd appreciate how pleasant the season can be. Books to give, books to receive, and most importantly, books to read!

We know you have a lot of holiday shopping to do, so we've front-loaded our events calendar this month. The first part of December is full of visiting authors and other personalities, but the rest of the month is wide open for drop-ins. And if you can't come in yourself, we're happy to have you shop with us virtually. By phone or on the web, we're always ready to take your order. Remember that we have ebooks and ereaders, too. Don't get left to the devices of others!

Pages

Subscribe to Island Books RSS