The neighborhood bookstore for Phinney Ridge and Greenwood
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Along with the usual bad news, I woke up this morning to the announcement of the shortlists for the five National Book Award categories. Some of the books I would have considered the favorites after the longlists were revealed last month (Tommy Orange's There There in fiction, Natasha Trethewey's Monument in poetry) have fallen by the wayside, but others remain. We have most of the nominees in stock, and for the time being we have all five fiction contenders laid out next to each other on our New in Fiction table. On that list, Rebecca Makkai's The Great Believers is the most traditionally award-winning (big ambitious novel with fabulous reviews) among them, while Lauren Groff, with the story collection Florida, is the best-known name. Two of the others, Jamal Brinkley's debut book of stories, A Lucky Man, and Sigrid Nunez's novel The Friend, have been on my own reading list for months, based both on excellent reviews and reports from fellow readers I know, but it's the least-heralded (so far) of the five, Brandon Hobson's Where the Dead Sit Talking, a novel of a 15-year-old Cherokee boy in foster care in Oklahoma, that's the most intriguing to me, in part because it has flown so far under the radar until now. The winners are announced on November 14.

And just a mention of an upcoming event we're involved in outside the store (but not too far away). Dylan Thuras, one of the founders of the wildly popular website Atlas Obscura and one of the authors of the equally wildly popular book by the same name, will be appearing on Saturday, October 20, at the Phinney Neighborhood Center to talk about his new book, the Atlas Obscura Explorer's Guide for the World's Most Adventurous Kid. It's part of Town Hall's Inside Out series, and we'll be selling books there, and it's at the family-friendly time of 3 pm. Come join us to hear about some of the crazy places on our planet they've found (including the strange-but-true Bike Tree on Vashon Island!).

And another kids event: every Friday here at 11 am the fabulous Steph reads a selection of books to assembled youngsters and their chaperones, and each time it's an event worthy of note. But this week, I'd like to mention that for the first time she will be reading the surprise Internet sensation, The Wonky Donkey. (If you haven't watched the video, treat yourself.) Will she read it in a delightful Scottish brogue? Or (more likely) will she make up her own distinctive voice for this one? For those of you who'd like to try it at home yourselves, we have a new batch of Wonky Donkeys, just arrived.

Thanks—Tom, Laura, Kim, Liz, Haley, Anika, Doree, and Nancy
The Process Reading Series: Jennifer Fliss, John Englehardt
A reminder that next Tuesday, October 16, at 7 pm, The Process reading series (the new version of our Dock Street Salons, focusing on works in progress and the craft of writing) will debut with two local fiction writers, Jennifer Fliss, whose stories and essays have been published in the Rumpus, PANK, the Washington Post, and elsewhere, and John Englehardt, teaches at Hugo House and whose work has appeared in Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Sycamore Review, the Stranger, and the Seattle Review of Books. Join us for readings, writing shop-talk, and, most likely, treats. Trust the process!
The Fifth Risk
New Book of the Week
The Fifth Risk
by Michael Lewis
What happens when you put people with contempt for government in charge of the government? Lewis takes his eye for the untold story into the unglamorous—but, as he demonstrates, desperately necessary—reaches of the federal Energy, Agriculture, and Commerce departments to show just how indifferent the Trump administration has been to the everyday tasks of governing: predicting the weather, protecting us from nuclear waste, ensuring food safety. And in these bureaucratic thickets he finds some of his usual Michael Lewis heroes: brilliant analysts and unsung heroes of the everyday. His style is breezy, but his horror—and theirs—is palpable: no one shows up to do the work, and then when they do, it's only to open the door for looting. —Tom
Gorilla, My Love
Old Book of the Week
Phinney by Post Book #46
Gorilla, My Love
by Toni Cade Bambara
Just read the first two pages—the "Sort of Preface" to this 1972 story collection—and see if you can resist going further. That sly confidence, that voice: lively, boastful, affectionate, exasperated! And when the stories begin, the voice is still there, often representing a young girl full of bravado but sensitive to a slight, knocking around in the three dimensions of a fully felt social world. There are old men too, and career women, and widows who will dance close at a party no matter what their children think. They are so good at talking it can almost seem like singing. —Tom
Kids' Book of the Week
Phinney by Post Kids #34
My Big Wimmelbook: Animals Around the World
by Stefan Lohr
There's no Waldo in this big book, but it seems like just about everything else has been squeezed into its crowded pages. Wimmelbooks like this ("wimmel" means teeming or swarming) have been huge hits in Europe, and the first four in this series of oversized board books have been flying off our shelves too. There's no specific story to follow, but hundreds there for the finding for a wide age range of young readers. Is that a pirate selling ice cream on the beach? Why is that bird carrying a letter in its beak? You tell me... (Ages 1 to 6) —Tom
Non-Book of the Week
Go Far, Travel Deep Family Travel Journal
New on our shelves: a handsome, illustrated travel journal for planning, recording, and reflecting on your next family trip, published right here in Seattle by a local family. We're the first store to have them!
Cover Quiz 116
Cover Crop Quiz #116
Many of you may have had this unlikely 1983 bestseller on your shelf at some point. Whether you read the whole thing is another matter.
Last Week's Answer
Colson Whitehead's 1999 debut novel, The Intuitionist, which concerns that old dramatic standby, rival factions of elevator inspectors.
Still Life
New to Our 100 Club

Still Life
by Louise Penny
(363 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 Future Is Female: 25 Classic Science Fiction Stories by Women by Lisa Yaszek
The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis
New in the Store

The Witch Elm by Tana French
Killing Commendatore by Haruki Murakami
Virgil Wander (signed copies!) by Leif Enger
Bitter Orange by Claire Fuller
Wrecked (IQ #3) by Joe Ide
Samuel Johnson's Eternal Return by Martin Riker

Dare to Lead by Brené Brown
The Corrosion of Conservatism: Why I Left the Right by Max Boot
Invisible: The Forgotten Story of the Black Woman Lawyer Who Took Down America's Most Powerful Mobster by Stephen L. Carter
Led Zeppelin by Led Zeppelin

Kids and Teens:
Bridge of Clay (signed copies!) by Markus Zusak
The Tales of Beedle the Bard: Illustrated Edition by J.K. Rowling
I Lost My Tooth (Unlimited Squirrels) by Mo Willems
The Lady's Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzi Lee

The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks
From Here to Eternity by Caitlin Doughty
Mrs. Osmond by John Banville
Ghosts of the Tsunami by Richard Lloyd Parry
The Man on the Train by Bill James and Rachel McCarthy James
This Week in Werner Herzog's Conquest of the Useless: Reflections from the Making of Fitzcarraldo

Santa Maria de Nieva, October 14, 1979
(age 37)
"Seen from the air, the jungle below looked like kinky hair, seemingly peaceful, but that's deceptive, because in its inner being nature's never peaceful. Even when it's denatured, when it's tamed, it strikes back at its tamers and reduces them to pets, rosy pigs, which then melt like fat in a skillet. This brings to mind the image, the great metaphor, of the pig in Palermo, which I heard had fallen into a sewer shaft: it lived down there for two years, and continued to grow, surviving on the garbage that people threw down the shaft, and when they hauled the pig out, after it had completely blocked the shaft, it was almost white, enormously fat, and had taken on the form of the shaft. It had turned into a kind of monumental, whitish grub, rectangular, cubic, and wobbly, an immense hunk of fat, which could move only its mouth to eat, while its legs had shrunk and retracted into the body fat."
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