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!

Over the River and Through the Woods

November already? Daylight Saving Time is at an end, so it must be. Time for warmer coats, heartier meals, and some great events that are worth braving the weather. We're hosting our usual book club meetings for the young and young at heart, and we have several authors stopping by to entertain and enlighten us. It's also the month when we give back to the community with your help. We're hosting a full slate of book fairs in support of our local schools--you shop and we share the proceeds, to the tune of tens of thousands. Last year we raised over $14,000 together. Let's see if we can beat that in 2012! Check our November schedule for all the dates and details.

You can reward yourself for your altruism with the best present of all, a good book.

October Country

The equinox is behind us and we're rolling into the last quarter of the year. Harvest and Halloween--the nights are coming sooner and they're darker when they come. There's no better time to curl up in front of the hearth with a book and share a story with your family, or just with your own imagination.

We're celebrating story-telling this month in myriad ways. We have tale-tellers for the kids, and kids' tales for grownups. Our regular book club is exploring the endless permutations of The Marriage Plot, and we're inviting the whole community to join us on Tuesday, October 30th for a very special event. We've refurbished our legendary typewriter collection and we're letting you use those newly-shined machines to relate your bookstore anecdotes and memories. Bring in a favorite short quote or epic saga and stamp it onto a page the good old-fashioned way.

September Song

"[T]he days grow short when you reach September / When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame / One hasn't got time for the waiting game."

--lyric by Kurt Weill from "September Song"

The days are a little bit shorter, sure, but the leaves are still pretty green in these parts, and we don't mind the waiting game as long as we have a good book in hand. This is a great time to find one, as our shelves are groaning with new fall releases, including the titles below. Now that the kids are back in school, you might be able to read one or two.

Speaking of kids, we have some activities on tap this month for the young and the young at heart. We're launching a new in-store book club for adults who love kid fiction--our first meeting is on Thursday, September 13th. YA author Kimberly Foster will be here on Sunday, September 30th to read from and sign her new novel, The Clover Tree. And our Story Time series has resumed, so keep the first Saturday of each month free from here on out.

The View from the Top of the Wheel

"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning."

--Natalie Babbit, Tuck Everlasting

The weeks that come after aren't half-bad either. August is a great month for just about anything, but especially for our favorite vice, reading. There's no better time to indulge in a good book--as Sam Keen put it, "Deep summer is when laziness finds respectability." The long dog days of August afford ample opportunity to earn the respect of family and friends by settling down to turn a page or two (or more). This might be the only time of year when you have full permission to indulge your whims. No assignments, no "you must read this," just pick up something fun and set your mind in motion. Everything else can catch up later.


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