The neighborhood bookstore for Madison Park and its environs
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Doesn't that look great? It's nice sometimes to stop and take note of how many great books are within an arm's reach of us whenever we move through the store. A few of the ones in the picture are described more fully below, but it seems a shame not to at least mention some others.

Eat, Pray, Love author Elizabeth Gilbert takes center stage on our new fiction table with her novel City of Girls, a perfect summer yarn that begins unspooling in the golden age of pre-war Manhattan. She's flanked by Dominic Smith, representing the other coast with his much-anticipated follow-up to The Last Painting of Sara De Vos, The Electric Hotel, set in historic Hollywood. 

Across the aisle, the made-up gives way to the true and we find Susan Orlean's The Library Book, which uses the story of a devastating fire to highlight the importance of libraries in our culture, a topic that couldn't relate more strongly to the Link of the Week we've included at the bottom of this newsletter. Nearby is the latest from military historian Rick Atkinson--as present-day Brits prepare to depart Europe, he's given us The British Are Coming, the first in a trilogy of works about the American Revolution. And do we spy Maria Gainza down there in the orchestra pit? We do. She may end up being the star of the whole show, thanks to the marvelous performance she gives in Optic Nerve, a memoir of a woman's life told through her obsession with art.

How to choose among all these treasures? We couldn't do it--that's why we have them all! 

Oh, before we let you go, a reminder about our first author event:
At 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 11, we welcome David Covell, author and illustrator of Run Wild, a New York Times Best Illustrated Book of the year. He'll be reading his own fabulous rhyming ode to summer fun and the great outdoors, along with a few other favorites of his (and ours). Kids, bring your parents and grandparents! If you're into that whole social media thing, RSVP on our Facebook event page. 

Thanks —James, Jeff, Gabi, Cindy, and Paula
New Book of the Week
The Great Eastern
by Howard Rodman
The Great Eastern tells the true story of the SS Great Eastern, a technological marvel of the Victorian Age. Designed and built under the direction of Isambard Kingdom Brunel (yes, his real name), it was, at the time of its 1858 launch and for decades afterward, the biggest ship ever to sail. The details of its construction, the disaster of its launch, and its eventual triumphant role in laying the first transatlantic telegraph cable make for a gripping read. There’s much more to the novel, though. In addition to being a sober historical account, The Great Eastern is also a fanciful tribute to the greatest tales of adventure from the 19th century. Wrapped around the reality of the monumental steamship is a rip-roaring plot that sees the anti-heroes of Moby-Dick and Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea do battle with the fate of civilization at stake. So wait, you’re saying. An obscure English engineer describes his love for metallurgy and manufacturing for pages at a time while Captains Ahab and Nemo make grandiloquent speeches and engage in all manner of creative steampunk-inspired violence? Yes, and it works. Remember how the players in Hamlet said they could perform any kind of drama, discretely or in combination? Author Howard Rodman has taken up their challenge and danced with exquisite grace along the knife edge separating fact and speculation to produce an incomparable tragical-comical-historical-industrial, a brand-new fictional genre of his own devising. He's as fascinating a character himself as the ones in his book, as I found out when I conducted an interview with him via email. You can read our conversation on the Madison Books blog, The Pavilion. —James
New Book of the Week
Siege: Trump Under Fire
by Michael Wolff

He's baaaack. —James
New Book of the Week
Underland: A Deep Time Journey
by Robert Macfarlane

This isn't the first time I've talked about Underland and it won't be the last; while 2019 isn't even halfway done, I'm already sure that this will be one of the very best things I read all year. As I've said before (and will say again): "From book to book, Robert Macfarlane has moved from strength to strength, bettering himself every time out. Now he's reached a new peak by delving deep into the earth, exploring literal and metaphorical underworlds both natural and human-built. Fans of history, science, adventure, travel, sociology, and memoir will all latch onto Macfarlane's accessible brilliance." And get this: Madison Books owner and Phinney Books operator Tom Nissley will be interviewing Robert Macfarlane on Friday, June 14 at Town Hall. Pick up a copy of Underland from us and say hello to Tom next week.  —James
Links of the Week
Yes! Seattle Libraries
We work the retail beat here in our bookstore, but there's an equally important partner in our local literary ecosystem: the library. The 2012 levy that bolstered one of the best library systems in the country and made it thrive is expiring, but there's an extension on the ballot this summer. Approving it will result in extended hours at various branches, the preservation of historic buildings, expanded holdings of books and other media, the elimination of late fees, and much more. The measure goes before the public as part of the August 6th primary election in Seattle, and we're encouraging you to get to the polls (well, these days to your mailboxes) to vote. Visit the Yes! Seattle Libraries site to learn all the details--we think it's an effort you'll want to support.

Madison Books
4118 E Madison Street
Seattle WA 98112

Current Releases
Hardcover and soft-, fiction and non-, our new release tables are overflowing with books you want to read.

Keep You Close
by Karen Cleveland

The Electric Hotel
by Dominic Smith

Spying on the South: An Odyssey Across the American Divide
by Tony Horwitz

Fruit of the Drunken Tree
by Ingrid Rojas Contreras

The Great Believers
by Rebecca Makkai

Orange World and Other Stories
by Karen Russell

The Middleman
by Olen Steinhauer

The Last Pirate of New York: A Ghost Ship, a Killer, and the Birth of a Gangster Nation
by Rich Cohen

Giants of the Monsoon Forest: Living and Working with Elephants
by Jacob Shell
Across Town

See what's happening at our sister store in Greenwood, Phinney Books, via their most recent newsletters.
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