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The neighborhood bookstore for Phinney Ridge and Greenwood
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Thanks to everyone who helped us celebrate our fifth anniversary on Saturday, and everyone who has wished us a happy birthday, and many happy returns, this week. Returns indeed—we hope to celebrate many more with you. (We still have some tiaras left from the party, in case you missed out. The balloons, though, are starting to lose their oomph.)

Last week I reported on our bestsellers over the past year, but I was also curious about our top sellers for all five years we've been open. Of course, the longer a time period you measure, the fewer surprises you get, and the top ten sellers in our history so far, which you can see to the right, turn out to be pretty much what you might expect. In other words, the books that everyone seemed to be reading. (I confess, though, that I've only read four of them! How about you?) Dig a little deeper, and some of our more idiosyncratic favorites start to appear, including the two Australian novels we've loved spreading the word about: Madeleine St. John's The Women in Black at #18 and Joan London's The Golden Age at #21. And you can find local favorites all over the list, starting of course at #1, but also including my own Reader's Book of Days at #11 (thank you!), David B. Williams's Seattle Walks at #12, Ijeoma Oluo's So You Want to Talk About Race at #25, Ijeoma's sister-in-law Lindy West's Shrill at #27, former Greenwood neighor Sara Crow's Even Superheroes Have to Sleep at #29, Maria Semple's Today Will Be Different at #35, Renee Erickson and Jess Thomson's A Boat, a Whale, and a Walrus (still our bestselling cookbook) at #39, all the way down to Robin DiAngelo's White Fragility at #85 and Nicola Griffith's Hild at #87.

Now, as summer kicks in (finally, for Seattle Public Schools students!), our events schedule quiets down quite a bit, and this summer, I think I'm going to quiet down a bit too. Our newsletter will switch to every other week during the summer, so you'll receive our next newsletter in two weeks, on July 10. And in the meantime, please take note that next week we'll take one of our few store holidays too: we'll be closed for Independence Day on Thursday, July 4. Maybe I'll catch up on my reading...

 
Thanks—Tom, Laura, Kim, Liz, Haley, Anika, Doree, and Nancy
The Darwin Affair
New Book of the Week
The Darwin Affair
by Tim Mason
What begins as a story about attempted assassination—Queen Victoria is shot at during an 1860 coach ride through London—quickly becomes a knotty but witty mystery involving Charles Darwin’s recently publicized theory of evolution, high-level political conspiracies, and an elusive, diabolically brutal killer. Responsible for defusing these volatile elements is Scotland Yard Inspector Charles Field, the oft-impetuous inspiration for Charles Dickens’ Inspector Bucket in Bleak House (as Field is so often reminded). Supported both by his resourceful spouse and by Victoria’s science-minded husband, Prince Albert, Field must confront Karl Marx and other historical luminaries as he struggles to figure out who’s behind efforts to suppress the democratizing potential of Darwin’s postulations. This may be Mason’s first novel, but it bears the polish of greater experience. —Jeff (via the Madison Books newsletter)
Parable of the Sower
Old Book of the Week
Parable of the Sower
by Octavia E. Butler
Published in 1993—decades before YA dystopias became so popular and ubiquitous—Parable of the Sower tells the story of 18-year-old Lauren Olamina, who is surviving in the year 2024. Octavia Butler’s imagining of the mid-2020s feels remarkably contemporary. Via Lauren’s diary entries, we learn that she lives with her family inside a gated community in southern California, while outside society is disintegrating into anarchy as a result of economic, environmental, and social crisis. Despite Lauren’s relative security, she anticipates things will change for the worse, and she’s better prepared than most when disaster strikes. Except for one thing: Lauren has a condition called hyperempathy, a supernatural ability to feel the pain (and pleasure) of others, which complicates the plot in interesting ways. Butler’s narrator is thoughtful and pragmatic, her cast of characters diverse and vibrant, and her prose clear and cutting. While the near-future Butler details is horrifyingly bleak and upsettingly fathomable, this story is infused with so much empathy and optimism that I find myself feeling hopeful about what comes next, both in the Parable of the Talents and in real life. —Anika
This Was Our Pact
Kids' Book of the Week
This Was Our Pact
by Ryan Andrews
Everyone always says that the lanterns they set off during the annual Autumn Equinox Festival eventually turn into stars. This year Ben and a group of friends, accompanied by unwanted tag-along Nathaniel, make a pact to follow the lanterns down the river further than anyone has before to find out if it's true. Only Ben and Nathaniel keep their word to "never look back" and together they embark on an enchanting adventure that is both funny and heartwarming. This Was Our Pact is a beautifully illustrated graphic novel for anyone who loves the quiet kind of magic you can typically find only in a Ghibli movie. (Ages 10 to 14) —Gabi (also via the Madison Books newsletter)
Non-Book of the Week
Our Real Top Seller
I should mention that when I pull the numbers for our bestselling items since our opening, the actual top seller, ahead of The Boys in the Boat and Becoming, ahead of Blackwing pencils and Theo chocolates, is Sad Shop greeting cards, made by our friend Katie Davis. You can, happily, find her distinctively witty red cards in many, many places now, but you can always find them here too. Thanks, Katie!
Fierce Attachments
Link of the Week
NYT's 50 Best Memoirs of the Last 50 Years
Before I clicked on the NYT's latest literary click-bait list, today's "Best 50 Memoirs of the Last 50 Years," I said, if Fierce Attachments isn't on there, the list is worthless," so seeing Vivian Gornick's great book (our first Phinney by Post selection, back in 2014) right at the top of the list was an excellent sign, and there are many, many other personal favorites there (Wolff, Judt, Laymon, Didion, Finnegan, Macdonald, Eighner, Bechdel). There are always books left off (John Hull's Touching the Rock, Kao Kalia Yang's The Latehomecomer, Hope Jahren's Lab Girl, to take a quick look at our shelves), but the thing I like best about such lists is the light they shine on lesser-remembered books. If this can bring Harry Crews's Childhood back into paperback, that will be worth it alone.
Cover Quiz 150
Cover Crop Quiz #150
Fellow children of the '70s, please identify this mega-seller from 1976.
Last Week's Answer
The #14 bestselling book in the five years of Phinney Books: Richard Flanagan's 2014 Booker Prize winner, The Narrow Road to the Deep North.
New to Our 100 Club

Milkman
by Anna Burns
(only 29 weeks to reach 100!)



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.)


Broken Places and Outer Spaces: Finding Creativity in the Unexpected by Nnedi Okorafor
The Ice at the End of the World: An Epic Journey into Greenland's Buried Past and Our Perilous Future by Jon Gertner
New in the Store


Fiction:
Big Sky by Kate Atkinson
The Daughters of Temperance Hobbs by Katherine Howe
Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes
A Nearly Normal Family by M.T. Evardsson
Malina by Ingeborg Bachmann


Nonfiction:
Roughhouse Friday by Jaed Coffin
The Not Good Enough Mother by Sharon Lamb
Eyes in the Sky: The Secret Rise of Gorgon Stare and How It Will Watch Us All by Michael Arthur Holland
Shapeshifters: A History by John B. Kachuba


Kids and Teens:
The Bad Guys in the Big Bad Wolf (Bad Guys #9) by Aaron Blabey
Queen of the Sea by Dylan Maconis
Unicorn Day by Diana Murray and Luke Flowers


Paperback:
My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh
Kingdom of the Blind by Louise Penny
Cherry by Nico Walker
Conan Doyle for the Defense by Margalit Fox
Ball Lightning by Cixin Liu
This Week in George Gissing's Diaries


June 23-28, 1890
(age 32)
"Mond. June 23. In morning all but dark for half an hour. Wretched day. Did 2pp., but must write them again.
"Tuesd. June 24. Feeling stupid. Did 3pp. however, having destroyed yesterday's.... Have no confidence in this novel of mine, but must finish it, because I am all but penniless.
"Wed. June 25. Dark and much rain. Miserable weather. Did 3pp., in poor spirits.
"Thursd. June 26. Dull, heavy, misty. Headache. Did 3pp.
"Frid. June 27. Furious wind, but sunshine. Did 3pp., finishing Chap. V.
Sat. June 28. Dull, as usual.... Did my 3pp., with very little pleasure."
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