The neighborhood bookstore for Phinney Ridge and Greenwood
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How are things moving at Madison Books, you ask? Quickly, I reply: in the past week, our beautiful steel shelves have been installed, and yesterday James, Kim, Laura, and I stopped by to imagine how we'll arrange things from there, now that the space is starting to shape up. Where will the checkout counter go? Should the sections be vertical or—crazy thought!—horizontal? How will we reach those high shelves: ladder? grabber? rope-and-pulley system? I'm not sure we'll have all of that figured out by opening day, but I do know that we'll start shelving books (woo-hoo!) in a week or so, and be ready to open our doors by April 27 (and hopefully a few days earlier). See you soon in Madison Park!

And in the meantime, a reminder that our reading series, the Process, returns to Phinney Books at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 16, with a Poetry Month lineup of three local poets: Meredith Clark, who won Black Warrior Review's nonfiction prize and whose poetry has appeared in Poetry Northwest, Berkeley Poetry Review, and elsewhere; Martha Kreiner, who often writes about her work as an RN with Healthcare for the Homeless; and Rena Priest, a 2019 Jack Straw Writer who is the author of two poetry collections, Sublime Subliminal and Patriarchy Blues. Come join us for fresh poetry and plenty of writing-process discussion.

Thanks—Tom, Laura, Kim, Liz, Haley, Anika, Doree, Nancy, and James
Ridge Readers Book Club: The Age of the Vikings
Our in-house book club, the Ridge Readers, meets next Wednesday, April 17, at 7:30 to discuss Anders Winroth's history, The Age of the Vikings. Next month's book: Sarah Perry's The Essex Serpent, on March 15. Newcomers always welcome!
Afternoon of a Faun
New Book of the Week
Afternoon of a Faun
by James Lasdun
These days, when public discourse seems like so much shouting past each other, the last thing you want to read is a fictionalized he-said/she-said about a #metoo moment. BUT! Not many write as lucidly as Lasdun about how people think, and his narrator—an acquaintance of both the he and the she—recounts what he is told as well as how he processes that information. While we live with the optimism and anxiety caused by a tectonic cultural shift, when masses of received wisdom are breaking up and new standards haven’t quite solidified, it’s crucial to examine not just ideas but the motives and emotions that undergird them. Lasdun’s novella has the plotting and pacing of a thriller, each revelation causing you to reexamine the situation and your own assumptions—even after you finish it! But it’s his sly wit and quietly elegant prose—shot through with images of surprising aptness (he also writes poetry)—that elevate this ripped-from-the-headlines story into a thoroughly satisfying reading experience. —Liz
John Crow's Devil
Old Book of the Week
John Crow's Devil
by Marlon James
The ferocious energy of Marlon James's prose, the first sign of the literary genius that the Booker judges later recognized in A Brief History of Seven Killings, is immediately evident in this debut novel, which summons into being the Jamaican village of Gibbeah, a community put to the scourge by conflict between two rival preachers. With its rich language and biblical cadence, John Crow's Devil is a Miltonic epic of unrelenting spiritual darkness, but with James's ear for dialogue and knack for earthy humor it flashes with light on a human level. Rarely has a writer's career been announced with a trumpet blast this pure and powerful. 
Kids' Book of the Week
Sweep: The Story of a Girl and Her Monster
by Jonathan Auxier
When I heard an interview with Jonathan Auxier talking about how many years of historical research he did when writing Sweep, I couldn't wait to dive into his authentic world of Victorian chimney sweeps. As perfectly as he has constructed this world it is, after all, the story of a girl and her monster, so there is plenty of fantasy mingled with the realistic details. Nan Sparrow is a child chimney sweep, or "climber," who by the age of twelve has become accustomed to being invisible in Victorian London society. The mysterious sweep who raised her simply vanished one day, leaving her with a small piece of coal that always stays warm. As magical events develop, Nan learns to open herself to vulnerability and rely on others. This beautiful, heart-wrenching book deals with friendship, sacrifice, and love. I particularly enjoyed reading a story with a tough and street-smart preteen girl protagonist in a world traditionally dominated by boys. (Ages 8 to 12) —Haley
Links of the Week
Top Translations
Looking for new literature in translation to discover? We know many of our customers are, and two of the most prominent awards for translated lit announced lists of contenders this week: the shortlist for the Man Booker International Prize and the fiction and poetry longlists for the Best Translated Book Award (whose jury includes two of the best-read Seattleites we know, Caitlin Luce Baker and George Carroll). The one name shared by both lists: Poland's Olga Tokarczuk, though for different books (the Booker chose her upcoming novel, Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead, while the BTBA tapped Flights, which won the Booker International last year).
Cover Quiz 139
Cover Crop Quiz #139
One hint: her name is Thomasina.
Last Week's Answer
A few of you were old enough to remember seeing this first edition on your parents' shelves, but many others did indeed follow the clues (calendar days, Marshall Foch) to the answer: Barbara Tuchman's The Guns of August.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
New to Our 100 Club

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine
by Gail Honeyman
(44 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.)

How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy by Jenny Odell
The Road to Unfreedom: Russia, Europe, America by Timothy Snyder
New in the Store

Trust Exercise by Susan Choi
Metropolis (Bernie Gunther #14) by Philip Kerr
Lost Roses by Martha Hall Kelly
Optic Nerve by Maria Gainza

Working: Researching, Interviewing, Writing by Robert Caro
American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley
Women's Work: A Reckoning with Work and Home by Megan K. Stack
Losing Earth: A Recent History by Nathaniel Rich
The Last Stone: A Masterpiece of Criminal Interrogation by Mark Bowden
The National Team: The Inside Story of the Women Who Changed Soccer by Caitlin Murray

Kids and Teens:
Diary of an Awesome Friendly Kid: Rowley Jefferson's Journal by Jeff Kinney
Lucy & Andy Neanderthal: Bad to the Bones by Jeffrey Brown
The Strangers (Greystone Secrets #1) by Margaret Peterson Haddix
The Cyclops Witch and the Heebie-Jeebies by Kyle and Derek Sullivan

Washington Black by Esi Edugyan
Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot
The Road to Unfreedom by Timothy Snyder
Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman
This Week in Franz Kafka's Letters

mid-April 1921
(age 37)
To Max Brod
"You write of a little post you might find for me. That is sweet of you and very comforting to read about, but it is not for me. If I had three wishes (putting aside the dark lusts), I would wish first for approximate recovery. The doctors promise this, but I see no signs of it. How often in the past years I've gone off on a cure and I always feel better than now, after more than three months' cure.... My second wish would be for a foreign land in the south. (It would not have to be Palestine. In my first months here I read the Bible a great deal; that too has stopped.) And third: a modest handicraft. That surely isn't wishing so very much. Not even a wife and children are among the wishes."
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