The neighborhood bookstore for Phinney Ridge and Greenwood
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As I've said before, as much as I enjoy the literary award season, it's always a little depressing to me when one of the first signs of the approaching fall arrives: the announcement of the longlist for the Booker Prize (not the Man Booker anymore!). The headline news this year is the inclusion of perhaps the most-anticipated book of the fall, The Testaments, former Booker winner Margaret Atwood's sequel to her ever-relevant Handmaid's Tale. Since as far as I know, no early copies of the novel are being distributed before its release in September, this is a good early sign that there might be something behind the hype. Other prominent contenders include former winner Salman Rushdie, for Quichotte, his upcoming retelling of Don Quixote, Jeanette Winterson, for Frankissstein, her upcoming retelling of Frankenstein, Valeria Luiselli, for her timely borderlands novel (her first in English), Lost Children Archive (which I reviewed here), and Oyinkan Braithwaite, for her popular hit and underdog Tournament of Books winner, My Sister, the Serial Killer.

But our excitement here came mainly from the presence on the list of a massive novel I mentioned in this space back in January, as my most exciting find at the Winter Institute booksellers convention: Lucy Ellmann's Ducks, Newburyport. I still have not tackled it myself, but James, intrepidly, has, all 1,040 pages of it, and on learning the news today, he tweeted, "Couldn’t have happened to a nicer ... er, more excoriating, gargantuan, and brilliant book!" Ducks is already out, largely to raves, in the UK; it comes out here, from Biblioasis, one of our favorite small presses, in September. Another recent James small-press favorite, Max Porter's much shorter Lanny, is on the list too—one of only four of the thirteen that's already out in the U.S. (and of course on our shelves), including Braithwaite, John Lanchester's Brexit-ready fable, The Wall, and Chigozie Obiama's An Orchestra of Minorities. The others will mostly arrive here in the fall, with Elif Shafak's 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World not scheduled until the spring (though that may change) and Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo (the only author I hadn't heard of before) not scheduled yet at all for the U.S. (that too will likely change).

Thanks—Tom, Laura, Kim, Liz, Haley, Anika, Doree, and Nancy
The Salt Path
New Book of the Week
The Salt Path
by Raynor Winn
A bad investment causes fifty-year-old Raynor Winn and her husband Moth to lose their family farm and livelihood. Around the same time, Moth is diagnosed with a terminal degenerative illness that leaves him depressed and in constant pain. Homeless and hopeless, the couple decides to embark on the 630-mile South West Coast Path along the English coast with no preparations and hardly any gear besides a cheap tent and thin sleeping bags. The long walk tests everything they have, including their 32-year relationship, but ultimately changes their lives in ways they never could have expected when they took that first step. Along the way, strangers they meet demonstrate the best and worst qualities in humanity. This uplifting memoir is a great summer read for anyone dreaming of far-off travel adventures. —Haley
Haunts of the Black Masseur
Old Book of the Week
Phinney by Post Book #56
Haunts of the Black Masseur: The Swimmer as Hero
by Charles Sprawson
This wonderful and strange book may have launched the sub-genre known awkwardly as the "swimoir," but there is much more swimming than memoir here. You hardly learn more about the author than you do from the thrillingly terse biography at the back of the book: "Charles Sprawson lives in London. He recently swam the Hellespont," but it is clear that Sprawson, a throwback English colonial eccentric, is obsessed with swimming, and his survey of its history is full of off-handedly learned and deliciously surprising tidbits (who knew that Jane Austen loved sea bathing, or that Victorians learned their breaststroke form from frogs kept in tubs?). He is drawn to the beauty of swimming (and swimmers), to its dangers (the title is an allusion to a bizarrely masochistic Tennessee Williams story), and to its immersive otherworldliness, and you will likely want to put it aside and take a summertime plunge yourself. —Tom
Sock Story
Kids' Book of the Week
Phinney by Post Kids #44
Sock Story
by C.K. Smouha and Eleonora Marton
Do friends have to stay exactly the same to stay friends? Smouha and Marton take the old lost-sock gag for a new spin (sorry) and wring (sorry!) a surprisingly subtle tale out of a sock who gets separated from his beloved pal and returns a little changed by his journey. The bright, wash-resistant colors (sorry!!) of Marton's illustrations are a lovely bonus. (Ages 0 to 5) —Tom
Non-Book of the Week
Slow Loris Octoboat
Our latest t-shirt shipment from our friends at Slow Loris has arrived, and it's one of their classic designs: the tentacle-tastic Octoboat. Available while they last in a variety of sizes!
Links of the Week
Michael Seidenberg, 1954-2019
You always hear about the perfect things too late. The perfect bookstore, it seems, was Brazenhead Books, for the eight years or so that Michael Seidenberg ran it, illegally and semi-secretly, out of his rent-controlled apartment on Manhattan's Upper East Side. Commerce was secondary there to book love, and tertiary to talk of all kinds: if you were in the know enough to stop by, you brought your own whiskey or pot and planned to settle in, to talk and browse, for hours. Many people, understandably, sent me links to Seidenberg's NYT obituary after he died this month, but you can also read appreciations from visitors Helena FitzgeraldMolly Crabapple, and three writers at N+1 and earlier reports (it wasn't really much of a secret, which led to its demise) in the New Yorker and the NYT, and watch a beautiful tiny video shot of Seidenberg (those books!) in the fabled apartment.
Cover Quiz 152
Cover Crop Quiz #152
Is this giving too much away? Probably not. Is it giving too much away to say it's a first edition from 1979? The font probably told you that already...
Last Week's Answer
One correspondent pointed out the surprising resemblance to this kids' astronomy guide, but the one we had in mind was Peter Heller's The Dog Stars.
New to Our 100 Club

Supernova (Amulet #8)
by Kazu Kibuishi
(43 weeks to reach 100)
New to Our 100 Club

Rules of Civility
by Amor Towles
(364 weeks to reach 100)

Phinney Books
7405 Greenwood Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103
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New on Our Resist List
(See this week's full list.
20% of sales go to the ACLU.)

The Making of a Justice: Reflections on My First 94 Years by John Paul Stevens
White Flights: Race, Fiction, and the American Imagination by Jess Row
New in the Store

The Nickel Boys by Colson Whitehead
Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman
The Dairy Queen of Minnesota by J. Ryan Stradel
The Chain by Adrian McKinty
Turbulence by David Szalay

Three Women by Lisa Taddeo
Stronghold: One Man's Quest to Save the World's Wild Salmon by Tucker Malarkey
American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump by Tim Alberta
Because Internet: Understanding the New Rules of Language by Gretchen McCullogh

Kids and Teens:
Peek-a-Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins
Minecraft: The Lost Journals by Mur Lafferty
Changeling (Oddmire #1) by William Ritter
Clever Little Witch by Muon Thi Van and Hyewon Yum
An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Planet Funny: How Comedy Ruined Everything by Ken Jennings
Diary of a Bookseller by Shaun Blythell
The Seas by Samantha Hunt
The Mere Wife by Maria Dahvana Headley
The Storyteller Essays by Walter Benjamin
This Week in Werner Klemperer's I Will Bear Witness

Wednesday, July 27, 1938
(age 56)
"Rock-bottom days. It is absurd to go on hoping for a change. They are so firmly in the saddle, in Germany people are content, abroad they're keeping their heads down. Now England is intervening in Czechoslovakia on behalf of the Sudeten Germans. Today the Stürmer carries the headline: 'Synagogues are dens of thieves.' Underneath: 'The Shame of Nürnberg' and a picture of the synagogue there. 1938 in the middle of Europe. In the course of the last few days racial theory and anti-Semitism have been officially instituted in Italy as well."
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