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.

O, Say Can You See . . .

This is a great month for celebrating, with Canada Day at the beginning and Vanuatuan Independence Day at the end. In between, of course, there's the Fourth of July and Bastille Day and the arrival of real summer weather here in the Pacific Northwest. 

While you're out enjoying the long sunny days, don't forget to tuck a book into your pocket or purse (or just carry one electronically on your phone). The laziest of days is well spent reading.

June Is Bustin' Out All Over

A crowd of doubtin' Thomases was predictin' that the summer'd never come, but it's comin', by gum, we can feel it come. Or so say Rodgers and Hammerstein, and they're hardly ever wrong.

We're kicking off June with a pair of visits from old friends of the store. Author Aida Kouyoumjian will be here on the first, and musicians MaryLee and Nancy will be joining us on the second. Dori Jones Yang shares her new novel with us in person in the middle of the month, and Charles Neff will bring a jazz combo with him the following week to celebrate the publication of his latest thiller. Before June ends, we'll also host our first Open Book Club meeting of the summer to discuss Edmund de Waal's The Hare with Amber Eyes.

We have plenty more reading to carry you through the month, too. Browse our June eNewsletter for graduation gifts, summer reads, staff picks, and info on our Ticket to Read program.

Now Is the Month of Maying

Maybe you're looking for a reason to pay Island Books a visit. If so, Jim Lynch's appearance on May 16th gives you an awfully good excuse. He's touring in support of his new novel, Truth Like the Sun, which paints a dual portrait of Seattle, showing it as it was in the 1960s and as it is in our current century. Lynch is a Mercer Island product and a gem among Northwest writers, and this latest book may be his finest yet. 

Give these other a-May-zing books a try, too.

April, Come She Will

Come she has, in fact. Time for spring break, spending time in the garden, and National Poetry Month. In honor of that last one, we're sponsoring a poetry contest open to young and old alike. Be a part of it! Submit your own verses and read those written by your neighbors--the poems will be on display in the store all month long.

April is also a great opportunity to reacquaint yourself with poetry in general. You can start with this list of recently published work if you like. Don't neglect the prose, though. There's a great lineup of fiction and nonfiction on our shelves to choose from, as always.

Spring in Our Steps

It's the season of new growth and rejuvenation, of haggadot and Fran's chocolate eggs. We've got those items on hand if you need them, and we're doing some other things to help celebrate spring, too.

We're commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Space Needle on Wednesday the 21st of March with a not-to-be-missed appearance by the authors of the beautiful and informative history book The Future Remembered.

On Saturday the 24th, we're celebrating a different birthday, that of our esteemed owner/operator, Roger Page. We won't say whether he's older or younger than the Space Needle, but we will say that you're the ones getting a gift. Bring in your special Roger Dollars that day and get a substantial discount on purchases. 

And don't forget to check our events calendar for our usual book club meetings and Saturday Story Times. 


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