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The neighborhood bookstore for Phinney Ridge and Greenwood
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Been thinking about your lifetime top 10 book list? We have! As mentioned last week, we've been inspired by James Mustich's new 1,000 Books to Read Before You Die to put together our own recommendations. (We've also been doing the math about whether we can read 1,000 books before we die. Obviously an important variable in that equation remains unknown, but we know that we'll have to maintain a solid pace—and exercise and eat well and drive safely—to get there.) We've posted our top 10s in the store and have coaxed a few customers to join us so far, and we'd love to have yours too, to get us toward our goal of papering the whole place with top 10s. (We know—we know—it's not easy to pare down a lifetime of reading into just 10 books, so feel free to take a blank list home and ponder it for as long as you need.) One thing we've learned so far: we don't agree! Our seven staff top 10s so far don't share a single book between them. Hmmm—I guess that means there are a lot of good books out there....

Speaking of counting up favorite books, as some of you may have been following—I've heard from a few customers about how much they enjoyed the series—PBS's Great American Read has announced the winner of its poll for America's best-loved novel this week, which should hardly be a surprise: Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, a novel whose moral message is apparently open to such wide interpretation that it was recently used to defend Brett Kavanaugh. Among the runners up were some equally familiar names: Harry Potter, Jane Austen, and the Lord of the Rings, while the fans of Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series were numerous enough to get it to #2. But I was more interested in the very bottom of the rankings of their eclectic list of 100 contenders: at #99, our cover quiz subject from a few weeks back, Colson Whitehead's The Intuitionist, and at #100, one of the books I'd never heard of before the series, Romulo Gallegos's 1929 novel, Doña Bárbara, which I've since learned might be the top contender for the Great Venezuelan Read, were such a poll ever taken. It's the one book I brought in to the store because of the series, and a number of folks have snapped up copies. I'm intrigued myself now!

And with Craig Holt reading here tonight (see below), a note about our next author event. On Wednesday, November 7 at 7 pm (the day after the midterm elections, for better or worse), another friend and neighbor, Beth Jusino, will be visiting to discuss Walking to the End of the World: A Thousand Miles on the Camino de Santiago, a funny and insightful account of the nearly three months that she and her husband Eric spent walking the ancient pilgrimage route through Spain and France.

Lastly, a quick holiday note: with Halloween coming up next week, Steph will be making this Friday her Halloween storytime. There will be themed readings, of course, and costumes are highly encouraged! (I'm not quite sure who Steph will be....) And as always we'll be participating in the madness that is the Phinneywood Hunger Goblin trick-or-treating, from noon to three on Saturday. Fantastic costume-watching to be had, though we warn that parking will be a little harder to find around here that afternoon. Happy haunting!

 
Thanks—Tom, Laura, Kim, Liz, Haley, Anika, Doree, Nancy, and James
Tonight at the Store: Craig Holt
A last reminder that tonight, at 7 pm, our multitalented friend and neighbor Craig Holt, who has managed to build a writing career while traveling the world as the founder of Atlas Coffee, will be reading from his debut novel, Hard Dog to Kill, a darkly comic adventure story about an American mercenary who discovers he may not be the good guy he always told himself he was. Come join us!
Heavy
New Book of the Week
Heavy: An American Memoir
by Kiese Laymon
Heavy is a book unsatisfied with itself, by a writer unsatisfied with himself, and with us. He begins by saying he "wanted to write a lie," a happier, less messy memoir, but he couldn't. Instead, he wrote an almost unbearably intimate book, framed as a letter to his mother, who has been his champion, his protector, his abuser. Reading it, you may at first focus on the pain he reveals, but what becomes even more overwhelming is the tenderness he feels toward even his tormentors. There is plenty of theory behind Laymon's thinking about living as a black person in Mississippi and in the United States—as he says, and as his professor mother made sure, he has read everything—but you will rarely read a book so fully weighted in a body and all its messy, destructive, tender desires, or one that argues so convincingly that bodies are where thinking—and change—must begin. —Tom
Updated Books of the Week
DK Eyewitness Travel Guides
Stocking a Travel section in a small store is always a challenge: there's no way to cover all the destinations and all the guidebook lines in a single shelf or so. We've tended to feature the popular Lonely Planet and Rick Steves guides for a representative range of countries and cities. But in my own rarer-than-I'd-like travels, the first guide I usually pick up is the DK Eyewitness Guide. Why? They aren't as packed with restaurants and hotels, or other no-doubt useful information. What they are is beautiful: full of pictures and of illustrated maps that give an almost three-dimensional sense of the places you're likely to visit. And now that DK has launched a thorough redesign of their guides (using lighter paper, for one thing, which makes the guides a little less brick-like to carry around), I thought I'd bring in a sampling. Take a look when you're planning your next trip. —Tom
Mix-a-Mutt
Kids' Book of the Week
Mix-a-Mutt
by Sara Ball
We're all getting used to seeing labradoodles and puggles, but this new oversized board book takes the canine combos a step further. Three sets of flip pages let you concoct your own new breeds: how about a dachshund-shar pei-komondor, or a greyhound-Yorkshire terrier-Dalmatian? The wittily drawn dogs add to the good humor, and the useful descriptions of breed characteristics makes it surprisingly edifying too. (2 and up) —Tom
Heavy
Link of the Week
A Mother's Reply
It's an inevitable reaction to reading a book like Heavy (see above) to want to hear what the woman to whom it was written—Kiese Laymon's mother—had to say in response to a message of such pain, love, and shared struggle. She did indeed have a response; Laymon has posted it on his blog, and it's a match for his in its beauty and vulnerability. If you've read Heavy, you will certainly want to read it. If you haven't yet, you will get a flavor of a remarkable woman and a remarkable relationship that are at the heart of his book.
Other Link of the Week
Anthea Bell, 1936-2018
It's possible you have Anthea Bell's name on many books on your shelves, though in smaller type and perhaps not even on the cover. In her versatile and prolific career, she translated from both French and German, and worked on books for both kids and adults, bringing authors from Stefan Zweig to Cornelia Funke into English. She's best known for the rare one-two punch of being the longtime English voice of Asterix and for working with W.G. Sebald to translate his last novel, Austerlitz, but perhaps her most enviable and artful claim to fame was realizing the perfect English equivalent for the French name of Asterix's dog, Idéfix: Dogmatix. Kudos, Ms. Bell.
Cover Crop Quiz #118
This is from the cover, not the opening page, of a debut novel from 1970. (The cover is only text, with two long paragraphs from the opening of the book. How's that for launching a new voice?)
Last Week's Answer
The 1950 US edition of Thor Heyerdahl's blockbuster adventure memoir, Kon-Tiki.



Phinney Books
7405 Greenwood Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103
206.297.2665
www.phinneybooks.com
info@phinneybooks.com
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New on Our Resist List
(See this week's full list.
20% of sales go to the ACLU.)


We Can't Breathe: On Black Lives, White Lies, and the Art of Survival by Jabari Asim
The Trials of Nina McCall: Sex, Surveillance, and the Decades-Long Government Plan to Imprison "Promiscuous" Women by Scott W. Stern
New in the Store


Fiction:
Friday Black by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah
Everything Under by Daisy Johnson
Red Moon by Kim Stanley Robinson
Night Train: New and Selected Stories by Thom Jones


Nonfiction:
Seattleness: A Cultural Atlas by Tera Hatfield, Jenny Kempson, and Natalie Ross
Cook Like a Pro by Ina Garten
Everyday Dorie by Dorie Greenspan
Thanks a Lot Mr. Kibblewhite: My Story by Roger Daltrey
Mad, Bad, Dangerous to Know: The Fathers of Wilde, Yeats and Joyce by Colm Toíbín


Kids and Teens:
The Epic Adventures of Huggie and Stick by Drew Daywalt and David Spencer
Lu (Track #4) by Jason Reynolds
Kingdom of Ash (Throne of Glass #7) by Sarah J. Maas
The Land of Stories: The Ultimate Book Hugger's Guide by Chris Colfer


Paperback:
Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday
Iron Gold by Pierce Brown
Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon S. Wood
The Punch by Noah Hawley
This Week in Flaubert in Egypt


Thursday, October 25, 1849
(age 27, on leaving his mother to travel to Egypt)
"The next day, Thursday—atrocious day, the worst I have ever spent.... Endless strolls with my mother in the little garden.... Finally I got away. My mother was sitting in an armchair beside the fire, and in the midst of caressing her and talking with her I suddenly kissed her on the forehead, rushed from the room, seized my hat, and ran out of the house. How she screamed when I closed the door of the living-room behind me! ... At one in the morning [after arriving in Paris], after hours of sobbing and anguish such as no other separation ever caused me, I wrote a letter....
   "'Never again will I see my mother or my country! [he exclaimed to his friend Maxime du Camp while prostrate in on his apartment floor] This journey is too long, too distant; it is tempting fate! What madness! Why are we going?'"
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