Book Bingo Blackout

Seattle Arts & Lectures (SAL) Summer Book Bingo season is upon us, and this is the first year I am participating! Last year, I helped with recommendations for the kids version. This year I decided to take the challenge very seriously for myself.

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I’ve been talking to my coworkers about wanting to read the unread books on my shelf for quite a while. We all get so caught up in the advanced copies sent to the store, sometimes we forget reading older books is just as important. Sure, people like to read the newest releases, but they and their pocketbooks also enjoy recommendations for books in paperback. Ultimately, people want good books, not necessarily the newest ones. So, the next two months I will be trying to get through a pile of books from my personal bookshelf in order to get a full blackout on Summer Book Bingo ... continued

Pride Month Picks

If you don’t already know, June is LGBTQ+ Pride Month, which means it’s time to celebrate and support our community. Businesses across the Puget Sound area are flying rainbow flags, and Island Books is not missing out! To mark the month, we are going to giveaway two awesome rainbow Lokai bracelets (read to the bottom for more details).

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It is also an excuse to call attention to queer books, an overarching category for any book that features a LGBTQ+ main character, focuses on queer issues, or is written by a queer author. This is one of my favorite genres because literature about queer people normalizes their existence, in the same way it does with racial or religious minorities.

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June 2019 eNewsletter

"To love oneself is the beginning of a life-long romance."
—Oscar Wilde


Summer has arrived to the Pacific Northwest in a flurry of beautiful and temperate weather, and this means it’s a time for celebration. Summer reading, Father’s Day, my oldest’s college graduation, and pride: June has so much to give.

Summertime books are my absolute favorite. Since the time I could read, I’ve devoured books while “laying out” or sitting at the beach to pass time. A typical vacation day includes slathering on sunscreen, hitting the beach with at least two books, taking breaks to talk with my kids, and only stopping for meals and cocktails. Then I read until I fall asleep. Sunshine, beach, and books: perfection. Here is a slew of good ones out right now (or very soon):

Within the celebration theme, we have some fun ideas to start out your summer:

Bingo Cards: Make sure you come get your summer Seattle Arts & Lecture Bingo Cards. Our booksellers have great recommendations to fill up your card. There is a spot for some of the summer reads above, and of course the legendary “independent bookseller recommendation” spot is ideal for our input.

Bookmark Contest: Last month we took in entries for our bookmark contest; this month the voting begins! Next week, check out this link for our online poll or come into the store and cast your ballot. There are two categories: kids and teens/adults. The best of each category gets a limited run of printed, color bookmarks. Voting will last until the end of June.

Author Events: We are taking it a little easier with author events this month, but the ones we are hosting are worth your time. The Rummage Mamma Trunk Show is this Saturday, June 8 from 11:00am to 1:00pm. Deirdre Timmons is coming by on Thursday June 13 to talk about her memoir Brain Candy. And of course, we will have Poetry + Wine (or Verse + Vino) June 25  at Barrell’s.

Where’s Waldo: Remember Where’s Waldo starts July 1st. You can find him all over Mercer Island stores.

Giveaways: Watch our blog this month for giveaways related to the books we are loving.

Dads we love you and love seeing you in the store with your kids, grandkids, etc.

Congratulations to all the graduates, especially Sofija, class of University of Washington 2019. We are so proud of you.
 
Laurie Raisys
Owner
 

Kelleen Tries It: Forest Bathing

imageHello, everyone! I am starting a series of posts where I try new fads, trends, and book crazes so that you, dear reader, do not have to. Today we start with shinrin-yoku, or forest bathing.

Forest Bathing: How Trees Can Help You Find Health and Happiness, which has been out for a few years. It is a beautiful book full of gorgeous photos and small amounts of text so as not to overwhelm the reader. The beginning gives a background to the Japanese cultural significance of the forest and the practice of shinrin-yoku. Trees have always held a spiritual importance for the Japanese people. A class of samurai in the Edo period specifically protected trees in the Akasawa Forest. If a person cut down a tree, the samurai would cut off their head ... continued

 

A Celebration of Picture Books

Last week, my family happily introduced my cousin Charlotte to the world. Her birth, alongside hanging out with her two-year-old brother Grant for a couple days, has got me thinking a lot about kids and kids books. As you know, we have an extensive kids section at Island Books. I love working back there, seeing the little ones run straight to the house to play and screech with delight when they make it up the stairs and are as tall as their parents. I love that part of my job is to read through picture books in order to help out parents, friends, and teachers. Our customers are as passionate as we are about children’s literacy and the power of reading to kids. Giving recommendations is easy when I know they will be as excited about books with creative story lines and memorable characters as me ... continued

 

(Re)Discover Dorothy Dunnett

Since working at Island Books I’ve often recommended Dorothy Dunnett and The Game of Kings to people looking for high quality historical fiction, so I was excited to find out that the whole series is being reissued this month. We have a special treat for our customers, a complete set to raffle! Some lucky person will get to experience the whole series, courtesy of Island Books and Penguin Random House (details below).

Nothing was better in college than opening up my little PO box to find a card saying “You have a package!” I went to college in Massachusetts so often my mom sent care packages filled with treats to share with my hall mates. Sometime in the fall of my first year she included a book in the box. The Game of Kings, by Dorothy Dunnett, volume one of the Lymond Chronicles.

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May 2019 eNewsletter

"There was only—spring itself; the throb of it, the light restlessness, the vital essence of it everywhere: in the sky, in the swift clouds, in the pale sunshine, and in the warm, high wind—rising suddenly, sinking suddenly, impulsive and playful like a big puppy that pawed you and then lay down to be petted."
—Willa Cather



May is one of our favorite months... the sun comes out, the store can open its door, and people come in to browse for summer reads. And though spring can be rejuvenating, we are hitting the ground running. April ended with our fifth annual Independent Bookstore Day, which crowned 636 champions who traveled all day to visit 21 bookstores. May began this past weekend at the Crosscut Festival, with two days of amazing authors on the Seattle University campus. Best of all, it ended with meeting and selling books for Valerie Jarrett. We were thrilled to be a part of it and to see so many of our customers attending, as well as stopping by to say hello!

If you haven’t heard yet, or read our recent blog by Kelleen, we’re excited to be selling books on Thursday, May 9th for the Seattle Arts and Lectures event featuring Melinda Gates and her new release The Moment of Lift. This book made me want to stand up and cheer, brought me to tears, and lifted me up. We can’t wait to hear what she has to say and hope you think to put this one on your to be read shelf.
 
While many of our events are happening offsite, we still have quite a few in the store including our new daytime book club, Brad Holden talking about Seattle Prohibition, Megan Griswold offering wisdom through her new memoir, Steve Toutonghi discussing Seattle in his newest sci-fi novel, and another Wine + Poetry reading with Savannah Slone and Jed Myers at Barrels Wine Bar. We can't wait to see you there.
 
It seems fitting that right before Mother’s Day is Teacher Appreciation Week because my mom was a teacher for 30 years. Hearing her classroom antics always made me laugh, but I know she worked very hard all those years. My kids have been fortunate enough to have had incredible teachers through preschool, elementary, middle, and high school (and now college!). We always have tried to instill in them a love of learning and are thankful to all the educators who inspire them. To celebrate the teachers on Mercer Island, we will have a special 20% off sale for you this coming Friday, May 10th along with a happy hour starting at 4pm. All Mercer Island educators are welcome.
 
I’ve been blessed with all the mothers in my life: an amazing mom, a truly wonderful mother-in-law, and so many friends who are incredible moms as well. You encourage me and help me find peace, humor, and sanity when I need it the most. Here's to the moms in my community...

*PaulaHall*StephanieFerguson*RasaRaisys*BethPicardo**SarahCox*JillSwaya*
*CharleneSteinhauer*GinnyPietila*AnnPeterson*LisaCaruccio*MonicaFieber*JoanFoley*
*MelissaRalph*AshleyWinnie*ChristineSwift*DaliaCorkrum*AmyBurton*AmyBray*
*DollyGibbons*TheresaCedergreen*LeslieSarale*IrenaBlekys*OnaSpaniola*
*RutaKulbis*TaylorJenkinsReid*EliseHooper*HeatherKelley*SallyFouche*
*JillDeasey*MarilynBrody*NancyShawn*LillianWelch*LaurieGivan*
*MariaAlberto*DeniseThomas*JuliaHokanson*PauletteDenman*JeanneSchreuder*
*MollyNielson*StephanieKornblum*AnnMcGovern*JaimieShea*ErikaBrown*
*JaymeWitman*MaureenSwift*BetsyO’Connell*LoriCoe*HollyDillon*LolaDeane*
*JackieBrandabur*MeghanBanta*PaulaBoos*AmyWhite*AmyAnderson*PamelaShavey*
*JessikaMazure*MaryMazure*AndreaChatalis*CarolynPirack*SandraLevin*NicoleDawson*
*EmilyWion*ShellyShay*KimChen*KimComstock**AllisonStovall*DebbieHanson*
*JillSeidel*AngieChatalas*TheresaMagnuson*PiperSangston*MelissaBoucher*
*LoriSimpson*LisaVanderspek*JeannieHarrington*UrsulaPantiogtou*BridgetOlsen*
*LeslieMorris*LizB*BobbieStern*LoriOttoPunke*MeganBrodsky*JessikaMazure*
*BarbHovsepian*UlrikaNoren*EllenBaker*TracySamuels*SaraPeshkin*MiriamLandis*
*MichelleGalvin*JenHeadrick*JodiMcCarthy*AnnWoodley*MargaretPetrie*
*RuthAnnBiggers*JulieGarrett*KelseyJoyce*JenSadlier*JaneTiscornia*
*AnnHadley*BethLarsonLoken*PatD*LisiWolf*

...and the list goes on.

Have a wonderful Mothers Day!

Laurie Raisys
Owner

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Feminism Gone Global: Melinda Gates' The Moment of Lift

Melinda Gates’ new book The Moment of Lift is one of my new go-to recommendations. We are partnering with Seattle Arts & Lectures to sell books at her event at McCaw Hall, so I picked it up to find out what I’d be hearing. A few chapters in, I was thankful I did. Melinda’s book is well written and inspiring, honest and uplifting, heartbreaking and brutal.

Melinda writes how empowering women improves the quality of life of societies and cultures worldwide. Her point is that when women rise, everyone in a society is happier and more productive. She takes an anthropological approach, sharing anecdotes about women she has met in her numerous trips for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and personal accounts of the impact these trips made on herself ... continued

Seattle Bookstore Day 2019!

Seattle Bookstore Day is in its 5th year running, and we couldn’t be more excited! Island Books plans on celebrating all of April 27th with a schedule of activities (listed below). If you don’t know much about this wonderful holiday, Independent Bookstore Day was started in Northern California by independent booksellers and their communities in 2014. The next year, most of the independent bookstores in America joined in on the fun. Stores across the nation have parties, celebrating the people that keep independent bookstores thriving and the books that we love. There are exclusive t-shirts, stickers, totes, and other fun merchandise. The day is ultimately one big party.

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On Writing Poetry

I’ve been writing poetry, or something resembling that, consistently since I was eleven years old. I’ve always liked words, the energy, the power, and the meanings that all vary. Unlike prose writing, poetry offers up a canvas of possibility in its negative space. I found I was always attracted to its delicacy and ebullience, and how the cadence was always especially important. In college, I completed the creative writing poetry track, which doesn’t mean much at all except that I can tell you that I am a poet. I more or less know what my voice sounds like when I write. I more or less know how to get a poem out of myself. And these are just some of the many steps it takes to attempt to think of yourself as a poet ... continued

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