"If a novel was a map of a country, a story was the bright silver pin that marked the crossroads." —Ann Patchett
that we are nearing the store's watershed anniversary of forty years,
reaching an age that's usually characterized by ossification of
opinion, Island Books is becoming known as a tastemaker and trendsetter.
First there was Eragon, then the garden gnomes (remember?), followed by the worldwide newsflash about our penguin adoption, the local buzz about our House Girl reading, Kendama Madness, and finally the New York Times tailing us on the short story trend. Soon after we announced the launch of our short story contest, the Times ran a big feature article touting short stories as a "Good Fit for Today's Screens."While I welcome their support and enthusiasm, I have my doubts about their reasoning. I think this is about the message, not about the medium. Yes, there is a flood of fabulous collections out right now: George Saunders' bestselling Tenth of December, Karen Russell's Vampires in the Lemon Grove, and the masterful Alice Munro's Dear Life, but our house has books by all three authors that we read years before it became trendy to squint at a glowing phone. These days you have to be careful not to get lost in the thicket of Kindle Singles and internet fanfic, or disappear into the cloudy, airless layers of the blogosphere.
Instead buy a copy of Lorrie Moore, Junot Diaz, or Chuck Palahniuk if you want the Now. Or just before bed read Ray Bradbury, Italo Calvino, Stephen King, or Joyce Carol Oates and see what your dreams made of. Learn from Carver, Cheever, and Trevor. Stop the world from spinning with Chekhov, Singer, and Isaac Babel. That's sort of the point of short stories and has been their strength since the days of gaslights and parlors. They are tiny perfections, narrative gems. You can sit down some evening after work, crack open a story, and be gone in a single line, or a paragraph, or a page. I find it works best in the bathtub. And it sure beats checking email or that other stuff. Try it tonight.
Sat, March 23, all day: March Madness Sale
Sun, March 24, 2pm: Patty Lazarus, author of March Into My Heart
Thu, Mar 28, 7:30pm: Open Book Club: Running the Rift by Naomi Benaron
Here's how fans of the hit Masterpiece Classic series Downton Abbey can survive the break between seasons.
Enter our short story contest! The details: There are prizes! The deadline is March 17, 2013. Stories should be 1000 words or fewer. That’s basically it.
Drop them off in person at Island Books, or email them to us with the subject line THE SHORT VERSION.
Island Books hosts an open book club that meets the last Thursday of each month at 7:30pm. All are welcome to attend, and if you purchase your book here in the store you'll always get a 10% discount.
Catch up on the titles dominating the indie bestseller lists and save 20% when you order online.
Did you know you can download ebooks from our website and read them instantly? Or that we sell top-notch ereaders and tablets ourselves?
Read more about it. You'll be glad you did.
Island Books | 3014 78th Ave. SE | Mercer Island | WA | USA | 98040