Shop sandylew Today to Support SAL!

Up for a SAL shopping spree? Now you can support SAL and have fun getting dressed by joining us at sandylew today, Thursday, September 7, from 6-8 PM—enjoy light bites, bubbles, and fashionable clothes and accessories to jazz up your fall wardrobe. Exclusive items and looks will be unveiled, and Sandy will generously donate 25% of the evening’s sales to support SAL’s ongoing work!

In anticipation of this evening’s festivities, Sandy has also given Sonder readers a book recommendation to end their summer reading on a romantic note—Paris: A Love Story by Kati Marton. This New York Times bestselling memoir is for anyone who has ever fallen in love with Paris, detailing the NPR and ABC news correspondent’s path down widowhood in the City of Lights following the death of her husband, diplomatic prodigy Richard Holbrooke.

“When I read and was moved by this lovely memoir,” Sandy told us, “I had not an inkling it would resonate with me and remind me to be sturdy all these years later.”

 

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This is what Sandy had to say about how she’s felt this expansive memoir’s presence in her life:

I am saving this book to re-read it at summer’s end. I am saving it the way some people save dessert for last. I am saving it because it will make my heart ache and know that I am in the company of many women who understand loss. I am saving it because I know it will remind me to keep loving on my new path.

Kati loves Paris. Kati feels joy in Paris. And I love my work. I feel joy in my little shop.

Read more…

Summer Book Bingo: Six Summer Reads from Savitha Reddy Pathi

Summer Book Bingo is designed to provide free summer reading fun for both adults and kids. Last summer, participants read a total of 8717 books, and we received a whopping 248 blackout cards and 227 bingo cards—let’s do it again! There’s still time to swing by one of SAL’s partner bookstores this year to grab an Adult or Kid Bingo Card or download it here and wrap up the summer of ’17 reading great books. 

In this post, Savitha Reddy Pathi, the Development Director at Climate Solutions and Board member of the Wing Luke Museum and Mize Family Foundation, let us peek into her backpack as she journeyed across the world on a recent sabbatical. Read on to find out Savitha’s picks for the summer (plus her pro-tip for how to travel with Ron Chernow’s massive 817-page Hamilton biography) . . .


Read more…

Summer Book Bingo: Ross Baker’s Pick

Summer Book Bingo is designed to provide free summer reading fun for both adults and kids. Last summer, participants read a total of 8717 books, and we received a whopping 248 blackout cards and 227 bingo cards—let’s do it again! Swing by one of SAL’s partner bookstores this year to grab an Adult or Kid Bingo Card or download it here and spend the summer of ’17 reading great books.


Ross Baker, the Public Policy Director for Virginia Mason and the Board President for the Seattle Public Library Foundation, has shared with us one of his top bingo picks this summer—the collection The Moth: 50 Tales Told Live, fifty excellent selections from The Moth’s storytelling archive—and what he finds inspiring about the summer reading program.

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Adult Summer Book Bingo has opened up my typical reading experience to some  intriguing new genres, introduced wonderful authors who were unknown to me and sparked some great book discussions with friends and with librarians at the Seattle, King County and Timberland libraries, as well as many friendly, knowledgeable, well-read independent booksellers!


Thanks, Ross!

 

Summer Book Bingo: Recommended by an Independent Bookseller (Part 2)

Summer Book Bingo is designed to provide free summer reading fun for both adults and kids. Last summer, participants read a total of 8717 books, and we received a whopping 248 blackout cards and 227 bingo cards—let’s do it again! Swing by one of SAL’s partner bookstores this year to grab an Adult or Kid Bingo Card or download it here and spend the summer of ’17 reading great books.

Still need your “recommended by an independent bookstore square”? As with Part 1 of our bookseller series, SAL spoke with many of our independent bookstore partners around town to ask them for their summer favorites. In this installment, we hear from the dedicated book-lovers that make Edmonds Bookshop, Elliott Bay Book Company, University Book Store, Island Books, and Queen Anne Book Company possible.


Mary Kay Sneeringer, Owner, Edmonds Bookshop

813iRIOpkrL.jpgWar of the Foxes by Richard Siken

War of the Foxes is especially fun to read aloud. My husband and I took turns, thinking we’d share one or two, but ended up reading the whole book in one evening.

 

 

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Americanah
by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

This main character, Ifemelu, doesn’t look like me. An eye-opening look at the U.S. through the experiences of a young Nigerian woman. I especially enjoyed the protagonist’s blog entries.

 

 

canada_cover-680.jpgBefore the Wind by Jim Lynch

A tight-knit family of sailors comes unraveled as the children grow up and scatter to the four winds; the father hopes to entice them all back to Seattle for one last boat race. This novel with serious themes will make you laugh out loud.

 


Karen Maeda Allman, celebrating her 18th year of bookselling at the 44-year-old Elliott Bay Book Company

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Inheritance from Mother 
by Minae Mizumura

Changing roles and opportunities for Japanese women in this era and as they age are at the heart of this novel, which is set in one woman’s tumultuous midlife “annus horribilis.” So refreshingly blunt.

 

Read more…

Summer Book Bingo: The Expatriate Packing List

Summer Book Bingo is designed to provide free summer reading fun for both adults and kids. Last summer, participants read a total of 8717 books, and we received a whopping 248 blackout cards and 227 bingo cards—let’s do it again! Swing by one of SAL’s partner bookstores this year to grab an Adult or Kid Bingo Card or download it here and spend the summer of ’17 reading great books.

In this guest post from Julia Cook, local writer and long-time bingo savant, she encourages us to pack our bags and head to another country—mentally, at least—with five recommendations for your “Set in Another Country” square. Julia told us: “All of them either made me cry or think, ‘This writer’s a genius.’ I’ll let you guess which was which”. . .


By Julia Cook

No one sees you clearer than a stranger in a strange land. That’s the hope, at least, when a writer packs his bags, secures the visa, and memorizes a new set of metro stations. It’s the hope that among others one can come closer to his or her truest self. Each of these novels follows an expatriate who’s embraced the unfamiliar, for better or for worse, and shared a little that they’ve learned. With the Set in Another Country square, you too can cross boundaries without ever checking Google Flights. Just make sure you’ve packed an open mind.

 

716031.jpgThe American by Henry James

Decades before Fitzgeralds and Hemingways buzzed along the Riviera, Henry James was watching his country embarrass herself from across the pond. Financial panic, Manifest Destiny, and one ill-fated conquest of Cuba all passed through his periphery, unfolding on the page in characters designed to draw empathy, even as they gravely failed themselves. Christopher Newman is a textbook Yankee: a strapping, successful businessman, somewhat aloof to politics, he tours Europe thinking he might as well find some culture, since he has everything else already. He drifts in and out of museums, not sure what he wants to find, until he meets a woman who shatters all perceptions. As he stumbles through hoops to earn her hand, Newman will discover that respect cannot be owed or earned, it must be freely given.

 

Read more…

Summer Book Bingo: Recommended by an Independent Bookseller (Part 1)

Summer Book Bingo is designed to provide free summer reading fun for both adults and kids. Last summer, participants read a total of 8717 books, and we received a whopping 248 blackout cards and 227 bingo cards—let’s do it again! Swing by one of SAL’s partner bookstores this year to grab an Adult or Kid Bingo Card or download it here and spend the summer of ’17 reading great books.

Still need your “recommended by an independent bookstore square”? SAL spoke with many of our independent bookstore partners around town to ask them for their summer favorites. In this installment, we hear from the wonderful booksellers, owners, and staff of Third Place Books, BookTree Bookstore, Phinney Books, and Magnolia’s Bookstore . . .


Zak Nelson, Events & Marketing Manager at Third Place Books

the-moon-and-the-other-9781481481441_hr.jpgThe Moon and The Other by John Kessel

This science fiction/dystopian novel is written by one of the most visionary writers in the field. He has created a rich matriarchal utopia, set in the near future on the moon, a society flawed by love and sex, and on the brink of a destructive civil war.

 

61pksIOoD7L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Changeling by Victor LaValle

The Changeling is a mystery/horror tale set in New York, in which a father is the protagonist in his own grim fairy tale; surviving is perhaps the worst thing that could have happened to him. Anthony Doerr wrote: “If the literary gods mixed together Haruki Murakami and Ralph Ellison, the result would be Victor LaValle.”


Kalani Kapahua, Event Coordinator & Consignment Buyer from Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park

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Thousand Star Hotel by Bao Phi

A beautiful collection of passionate poems that explores the deep-seated trauma and discrimination in an Asian-American life.

 

21535475.jpgJillian by Halle Butler

An awkwardly funny novel about two medical office co-workers that hate each other. These very different women find their own separate paths to self-destruction. It takes a writer of great talent to make these unlikable characters so compelling to read.

 

51rSLyzmB7L._SX363_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Best We Could Do by Thi Bui

This illustrated memoir tells the story of a family that is forced to flee their home country in the midst of the Vietnam War. Debut author Thi Bui intimately shares her unique point of view as a second-generation Vietnamese-American in simple but beautiful illustrations. This is simply a must-read to better understand the perspective of refugees and the many obstacles they face.

612yB1t2-LL.jpgSuch Small Hands by Andrés Barba

It’s Annie meets Lord of the Flies in this haunting story of a young orphan girl who becomes alienated from the other girls in her foster home. While it is a quick read, it is terrifyingly memorable and beautifully translated, and every sentence is truly worth the price.

 


Anje Monte Calvo, Bookseller from Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park Read more…

Summer Book Bingo: A Recommendation from Intiman Theatre’s Phillip Chavira

Summer Book Bingo is designed to provide free summer reading fun for both adults and kids. Last summer, participants read a total of 8717 books, and we received a whopping 248 blackout cards and 227 bingo cards—let’s do it again! Swing by one of SAL’s partner bookstores this year to grab an Adult or Kid Bingo Card or download it here and spend the summer of ’17 reading great books.

In this guest post from Phillip Chavira, the new Executive Director of Intiman Theatre, we learn why he picked Disgraced, the 2013 Pulitzer Prize-winning play, as this summer’s bingo recommendation. (Pro-tip: it might be a perfect answer to your “genre that is new to you,” “by an author of color,” or “finish in a day” square. . .)


By Phillip Chavira, Executive Director of Intiman Theatre

Ayad Akhtar’s Disgraced was the third most produced play in the U.S. in 2016, and after reading the script, I understand why.

Pakistani American Amir lives a privileged life as a successful lawyer with an American Anglo wife. His Muslim heritage is challenged by the media, his family, colleagues, and friends, and drives him to ultimately question his progress as an American. Akhtar opens discussions of religious fragility and how our community can tie us to norms, when in fact, we as unique and thoughtful humans can make radical choices. This gripping drama will test your limits on faith, romance, and gender disparities. Read more…

Summer Book Bingo: Two Recommendations from Katharine Wright

Summer Book Bingo is designed to provide free summer reading fun for both adults and kids. Last summer, participants read a total of 8717 books, and we received a whopping 248 blackout cards and 227 bingo cards—let’s do it again! Swing by one of SAL’s partner bookstores this year to grab an Adult or Kid Bingo Card or download it here and spend the summer of ’17 reading great books.

Time to play “Would You Rather”! If you had to choose, would you rather travel to the International Space Station, or back in time to London punk scene in the 1970s? In this guest post, Katharine Wright – friend and patron of SAL – tells us how to go to both places with these two recommendations from her bingo board. . . 


By Katharine Wright

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth: What Going to Space Taught Me About Ingenuity, Determination, and Being Prepared for Anything by Col. Chris Hadfield falls into a few categories on my bingo card; “choose a book by its cover,” “genre new to me” (self-help/business), and “biography/memoir.” I haven’t quite decided which category it will fill just yet.

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When I picked up the book, I was so busy looking at the image on the cover and giggling over the title that I didn’t realize it was labeled as self-help/business. If I had paid attention and seen that, the book might’ve stayed on the table at the bookstore and not come home with me. That being said, Col. Hadfield’s lessons did resonate and gave me a few things to think about as I move through my own daily life: Read more…

Why I Love Book Bingo

By Libby Lewis, SAL Photographer


If you’ve met me—and I don’t mean if we’re friends, I mean if you’ve met me at all: mailman, in line at the store, next to me on the train—you know that I love book bingo. I’ll strike up a conversation about it with anyone—mostly because I’m obsessing about it, not only during the summer, but year-round.

During the summer, my conversations take on a more nuanced form. As I puzzle over specific categories that remain unfilled on my card, I’ll ask my dental hygienist if by chance she reads memoirs or poetry. During the rest of the year, my questions are more general, along the lines of what are you reading? or what’s your favorite book? but might veer towards questions about categories that have been on past cards and have proven challenging for me. For example, that notorious category, “set someplace you’ve always wanted to visit,” which felt so important I didn’t want to botch it. That category in particular has led to some pretty wild conversations in which I try to ensnare unwitting participants to delve deeper into the idea: what if where you’ve always wanted to visit was outer space or medieval England? (I went with Maine one year, West Virginia the next).

I’ve thought a lot about why I love book bingo and the reasons are varied.

I love it for the structure. I’m a lifelong reader, but in my 30s, I flagged. I wanted to read important books, books people were talking about, books you wanted to think about. But starting and growing my own business left me drained. I’d try to get back into reading but travel narratives devolved into magazine reading devolved into romances devolved into nothingness. Bingo gave me rules. It gave me a plan, a challenge, a goal. I’m never going to win the prize, and as the SAL photographer I work all of the events anyhow, but it gave me a personal path to accomplishment. Read more…