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As we settle back into the rhythms of a new year of book reading (and selling), I want to remind everyone, especially the newish parents and grandparents among you, of one of our everyday (or, rather, every week) treasures: Steph Luckerath, our Friday storytime reader. Every Friday morning, just like she did for Santoro's Books for nine years before us, Steph arrives, tells me about her week (her day job, which she was born to do, is selling toys at Kids Club in the U Village), updates me about any new tattoos, and picks out ten picture books to read aloud, starting at 11 am sharp. She has many favorites but also has an eye for great new books (she's the one who tipped me off to this week's pick, Harold Loves His Woolly Hat, among many others), and she concocts a lively new voice for just about every character in every story while, most impressively to me (who gets to hear her every week), remembering all the voices she's used before, even for a book she hasn't read for months. And once in a while she does me a favor and reads my favorite: Chicken Butt.

If you are in charge of a small person from the ages of zero to five, stop by on a Friday and settle in for a half-hour of expert, enjoyable storytime.

Thanks—Tom, Laura, Kim, Liz, Haley, Anika, Doree, Nancy, and James
Ridge Readers Book Club: Code Girls
Our in-house book club, the Ridge Readers, returns to action tonight at 7:30, discussing Liza Mundy's Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II. Next month (on February 20) it's their semi-annual Picks Night, when they choose their next six months of reading. Either night is an excellent one for newcomers to join.
New Book of the Week
Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love
by Dani Shapiro
I’ve read and loved all of Dani Shapiro’s memoirs, so I brought high expectations to Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity and Love. Shapiro has a firecracker of a storyline: when she whimsically submits her DNA for analysis, she finds out her deceased father is not actually her genetic father. But it’s not the plotline that had me racing through this memoir. It’s Shapiro’s skill at weaving beautiful, descriptive sentences while sharing hard-won insights with the reader. Like this line about her deceased (but not genetic!) dad: “He smiles the hard-earned smile of a wounded man who lives for pockets of joy and is still able to feel them.” Another sentence reads “Every syllable, deliberate.” Ah, yes, that’s why I read Shapiro’s memoirs. Every syllable in this book seems deliberate, and the journey she takes me on blows insight into my own life. Which is why I read Inheritance in just a few sittings, folding pages over and underlining text again and again. Readers hungry for thoughtful deliberation in memoir form, this one is for you. —Nancy
Lake City
New Book of the Week
Lake City
by Thomas Kohnstamm
It's a few months after 9/11, and Lane Bueche, who has long fancied himself the Bill Clinton of Lake City Way, headed from the nowhere of north Seattle toward an upscale, intellectual life of NGOs and Economist editorials, is right back where he started, slicing turkey at the Fred Meyer deli and drinking Rainier tallboys at his mom's, just off the endless strip of car dealerships and bikini-barista huts. Kohnstamm's debut novel is a love letter of sorts to his old (and current) neighborhood in all its unambitious ugliness, and Lane is the colossal screw-up at its center. It's a messy farce with a sloppy heart, a kind of underbelly, Lesser Seattle companion to Where'd You Go, Bernadette, and pretty much required reading for anyone who cares about where Seattle has been, and is headed. —Tom
Harold Loves His Woolly Hat
Kids' Book of the Week
Phinney by Post Kids Book #37
Harold Loves His Woolly Hat
by Vern Kousky
Harold's woolly hat is indeed special. Made up of nine strokes of Vern Kousky's paintbrush, five red and four yellow, plus a little dab of blue at the teetering-over top, it's the kind of deliciously beautiful object that seems to have a life of its own, the kind that makes your own life more vivid just by having a place in it. The question becomes (after a crow snatches his hat away): what is Harold's life like without it? Is it still special? Is he still special? His story presents a sweet and mildly surprising answer, but really, the true delight of the book is that hat, bright and teetering on nearly every page. You can hardly blame the crow. (Ages 1 to 5) —Tom
Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom
Links of the Week
Plath New and Old
At the Paris Review, Elisa Gabbert goes back and (re?)reads Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar and jumps ahead and reads her unpublished short story, Mary Ventura and the Ninth Kingdom, which is comes out in a standalone volume next month. (Verdicts: the former is still a classic, the latter "lifeless, lukewarm.") And more from Gabbert: her annual wrap-up of her year in reading, always one of my favorites for its honest idiosyncrasy.
Cover Quiz 127
Cover Crop Quiz #127
Not a particular iconic first-edition cover from 1933, but perhaps you can suss out this well-known memoir from the shadowy figures therein.
Last Week's Answer
I wasn't surprised that the stadium name led to a few guesses of Doris Kearns Goodwin's Wait Till Next Year, but this was the other famous book about the Brooklyn Dodgers, Roger Kahn's The Boys of Summer, from 1972.
New to Our 100 Club

by Kurt Vonnegut
(781 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.)

Thick by Tressie McMillan Cottom
Good Trouble: Lessons from the Civil Rights Playbook by Christopher Noxon
New in the Store

Hark by Sam Lipsyte
You Know You Want This by Kristen Roupenian
Dreamers by Karen Thompson Walker
The Orphan of Salt Winds by Elizabeth Brooks
Big Bang by David Bowman

Women Rowing North: Navigating Life's Currents and Flourishing as We Age by Mary Pipher
Silence: A Social History of One of the Least Understood Elements of Our Lives by Jane Brox
Diderot and the Art of Thinking Freely by Andrew S. Curran
Banished Immortal: A Life of Li Ba by Ha Jin
On Thomas Merton by Mary Gordon

Kids and Teens:
Miss Mink: Life Lessons for a Cat Countess by Janet Hill
Dragon Pearl by Yoon Ha Lee
Max and the Midnights by Lincoln Peirce
The Gilded Wolves by Roshani Chokshi
The Field Guide to the North American Teenager by Ben Philippe

No Time to Spare by Ursula K. Le Guin
The Recovering by Leslie Jamieson
Enlightenment Now by Steven Pinker
Craeft by Alexander Langlands
Love and Ruin by Paula McLain
This Month in Mozart's Letters

January 31, 1778
(age 22; to his mother)
"Dearest Madam, darling Mummy,
Spread the word round: butter's yummy.
Lift your hearts and praise the Lord
For giving us our just reward!
Still, our travels aren't so funny
'Cos we've got so little money.
But we're well: no sound of mucus
Or of head colds to rebuke us
For our lifestyle; though catarrh
Affects some other folk, so far
We both have managed to avoid it.
Gas builds up and others void it.
Herr Wendling will be cross, his four
Quartets are not yet in full score.
But once I'm back across the Rhine
I'll knuckle down, step into line
And write his works, for I don't fancy
Being called an idle nancy."
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