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As I have mentioned, Liz has, for a variety of reasons, been reading Russia nonstop, from Turgenev to Masha Gessen and seemingly everything in between. And now, with Halloween over, we've replaced the book-built pumpkin in our window with an all-Russia display, with lots of good stuff from the 19th-century literary greats to hundredth-anniversary histories of the revolution to Putin-era journalism that continues to be alarmingly relevant. Many riches from that large and complicated country!

We've enjoyed our busy week of events here at the store, and are now looking forward to our next one, another Dock Street Salon on Friday, November 10, at 7 pm. We'll be hosting Greg Vandy, whose name and voice you may know from his Wednesday-night roots-music show on KEXP, "The Roadhouse." His first book, 26 Songs in 30 Days: Woody Guthrie's Columbia River Songs and the Planned Promised Land in the Pacific Northwest, was a big hit at the store when it came out last year, and we're delighted to have him here to talk about that legendary troubadour's cameo role in Northwest history. I'll be asking him some official questions as part of the show, but there will be plenty of chance for you to ask some too. Please join us!

 
Thanks—Tom, Laura, Kim, Liz, Haley, Lauren, and Molly
Queen of Spades
New Book of the Week
Queen of Spades
by Michael Shou-Yung Shum
Why is this novel so absurdly entertaining? Shum, who was a casino dealer in Lake Stevens before getting his English PhD, loosely bases his story on an old gambling tale by Pushkin, but it has a seemingly effortless liveliness all of its own (I say "seemingly" because that kind of effortlessness takes a lot of work to pull off). The book wears everything lightly: the fateful turns of cards, the odd presence of magic, the setting in Snoqualmie in the aerobicized '80s, and a cast of characters who each spring immediately from the page into life. It reminds me of another enjoyable and strangely compelling favorite, The Queen's Gambit (about a different royal game). What a surprising treat! —Tom
Sister Carrie
Old Book of the Week
Sister Carrie
by Theodore Dreiser
No one ever accused Theodore Dreiser of being an elegant writer, but nearly every sentence in this book howls with things that elegance alone can't provide: desire, drive, hunger, power, exhaustion, and—always—the counting and clinking of money. Dreiser's great characters—the driven, desirable, desiring Carrie, the doomed Hurstwood—are the crossroads for these forces, and at times may seem almost impersonally so, but they are fully inhabited, and you may find yourself inhabited by them in turn, as I still am twenty years after I last read this novel. It's a period piece that feels as modern as ever. —Tom
Where's Halmoni?
Kids' Book of the Week
Where's Halmoni?
by Julie Kim
A mysterious new doorway in their grandmother's room and some equally mysterious paw prints lead Joon and Noona into a land of mischievous and snack-loving animals, and into the world of the traditional Korean folk tales Seattle's Julie Kim heard as a child. Her retellings (and her exquisitely beautiful illustrations) combine the magic and mischief of those stories with a modern goofiness that fits their mood perfectly (in my favorite image, a giant dokkebi goblin happily sips from Joon's tiny juice box). I hope that wily, unassuming grandma (or Halmoni, in Korean) has some more tales up her sleeve. (3 and up) —Tom
We Were Liars
Non-Book of the Week
Jabberwocky Diagrammed
What better way to demonstrate the pleasures (yes, fellow nerds—the pleasures) of diagramming sentences than by using that sensible tool on total nonsense: Lewis Carroll's "Jabberwocky"? We rarely bring posters into the shop to sell (we can never figure out where to display them), but this item from Washington's own Paper Hammer we could not resist.
Seattle City of Literature
Link of the Week
It's Official: We're Literary
I'm not sure what it means, but after a process kicked off five years ago by novelist Ryan Boudinot (who did not survive, institutionally, to see the promised land), UNESCO (yes, the same UNESCO the US just pulled out of) has named Seattle one of 20 or so world "Cities of Literature." Is it a boondoggle? A lovely honor? A useful development that will lead to international cultural exchanges, better storytelling, and more recognition for our fabulous storytellers. I have no idea, but people are excited and have worked hard for this, so congratulations!
Cover Quiz #8
Cover Crop Quiz #72
The folks at Liveright Publishing are celebrating the 100th birthday of their imprint, so I'll celebrate by cropping my favorite of their books, which sold very few copies when it was published with this cover in 1933. (One further hint: a different edition has already been a crop quiz subject.)
Cover Quiz Answer #72
Last Week's Answer
Michael Ondaatje's The English Patient, which shared the 1992 Booker Prize with Barry Unsworth's Sacred Hunger. (By the way, Ondaatje has a new novel, his first in seven years, coming out in May!)



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.)


The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell
Mean by Myriam Gurba
Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump by David Neiwert
The U.S. Constitution: Explained by Ray Raphael
New in the Store


Fiction:
The King Is Always Above the People by Daniel Alarcon
In the Midst of Winter by Isabel Allende
The Deal of a Lifetime by Fredrik Backman
Two Kinds of Truth by Michael Connelly
Hiddensee: A Tale of the Once and Future Nutcracker by Gregory Maguire


Nonfiction:
Kitchen Smarts by America's Test Kitchen
Friends Divided: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson by Gordon S. Wood
Calder: The Conquest of Time: The Early Years by Jed Perl
Stalin: Waiting for Hitler, 1929-1941 by Stephen Kotkin
True Stories: And Other Essays by Francis Spufford
Cycling the Pacific Coast by Bill Thorness


Kids and Teens:
Thelma the Unicorn by Aaron Blabey
The Most Dangerous Book: An Illustrated Introduction to Archery by Daniel Nayeri
The Wildwood Bakery (Owl Diaries #7) by Rebecca Elliott


Paperback:
The Glass Universe: How the Ladies of the Harvard Observatory Took the Measure of the Stars by Dava Sobel
100 Songs by Bob Dylan
Hitler: Ascent by Volker Ullrich
Eastern Shore by Ward Just
This Week in The Letters of Sylvia Plath


Thursday, November 6, 1952
(age 20, to her mother)
"Well, I only hope you're happy with McCarthy and appropriations, Jenner and Rules and Civil Rights, Taft and Foreign Policy, and our noble war hero and his absurd plan to fly to Korea like a white dove with a laurel leaf in his mouth.... As I said, though, it wasn't Eisenhower I was against, but all the other little horrors in the Trojan Horse he rode in on.... I am crazy with work... I don't give a damn about dates or any more extra-curricular activities. A good friend of mine got the head of Junior Prom, and I have never been so happy I resigned from anything in my life. I would hate myself for wasting half a year when I could be under the guidance of the best men in the department in the college."
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