The neighborhood bookstore for Phinney Ridge and Greenwood
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Sometimes you plan something for a while and start to forget that the thing you are planning is actually going to happen. Well, on Monday, after saying for months that we'd be opening the doors (actually, there's just one door) of Madison Books in December, we did, in fact, open the door! And people came in! And bought books! We had some early visitors from Phinney, and met many folks from our new neighborhood (both of whom are represented in the photo to the right). James is open full hours there (10-7 every day, 12-5 on Sundays) through Christmas Eve, and he has a well-chosen selection of books on hand and, like us, can order many more and get them in a few days. If you feel like adventuring down to the shores of Lake Washington, I'm sure he'd love to say hi. (I hope to get back there soon myself!)

This is the time of year I like to remind folks of something that's on my mind all year: our Phinney by Post and Phinney by Post Kids subscription programs. In each one, you (or the lucky person you subscribe) receive a carefully selected book every month (or every other month), either in the mail or wrapped up for pickup at our store (you may have seen them stacked behind the counter). For the grown-up plan, we specialize in older books, ones we think our readers don't know about but will be delighted to discover. As I've said many times, those are my favorite books to find, and my favorites to recommend, so choosing the books for Phinney by Post (and for Phinney by Post Kids, which features picture books, usually new ones) is the (self-assigned) task I love the best. I hope you don't mind my saying that I think both subscriptions make superb gifts for the readers, either near or far, in your life. (You can find out more about them on our website.)

And one last note before I shut down newslettering for the season to focus on the store (rather, stores!). Our New Book of the Week below is one many of you have been asking about, ever since the Seattle Times featured it a month or so ago. It's finally available and we just got a couple of boxes, some of which are already spoken for—they'll likely be the last ones we can get this season, so if you have it in mind as a gift, act soon. And there's one more special local book we've been asked about: Lines That Make Us: Stories from Nathan's Bus, by Nathan Vass. Do you know who Nathan is? If you ride the 5, you might: he's an extremely thoughtful and friendly Metro bus driver who keeps a wonderful blog that I've long hoped he'd turn into a book. Now he has, and he'll be dropping a couple dozen copies off here soon, hopefully in time for gift-giving too.

See you back in newsletter-land in January, and in the store in the meantime. (Our slightly extended holiday hours are below.)

Thanks—Tom, Laura, Kim, Liz, Haley, Anika, Doree, Nancy, and James
New Book of the Week
Seattle Now and Then: The Historical Hundred
by Paul Dorpat and Jean Sherrard
For almost forty decades, and over 1,800 installments, Paul Dorpat's Seattle Now and Then series, pairing a historical city photo with a current one and a short essay, has been one of the most beloved features in the Seattle Times's Sunday magazine, and now Dorpat and photographer Jean Sherrard have chosen 100 of their favorite pairs for what will certainly be one of the definitive Seattle history books on local coffee tables. Think our city's been transformed entirely in the last five or ten years? How about the last fifty or a hundred? You'll find remarkable changes in our urban landscape, and some surprising continuities: I was drawn to a 1953 photo of pedestrians celebrating the opening of the Alaskan Way Viaduct, a celebration set to be repeated at its closing next month. —Tom
The Dog of the South
Old Book of the Week
Phinney by Post Book #48
The Dog of the South
by Charles Portis
I hardly ever truly laugh out loud when I'm reading. But I make a racket when reading Portis, especially this novel, the third of the merely five he has written in fifty years. I could describe the plot, which—barely—consists of the hero's pursuit of his runaway wife through the south, Mexico, and a long, aimless sojourn in Belize City, or I could try to explain why Portis is so damn funny (I think it's partly from his exquisite taste for human oddity but mostly from his surprisingly tender understanding of the ways human hubris and humility can operate side-by-side, in the very same human). But really the best recommendation I could give is to request that you read the opening few pages of The Dog of the South, which begin, "My wife Norma had run off with Guy Dupree and I was waiting around for the credit card billings to come in so I could see where they had gone. I was biding my time," and go on from there. My eyes are tearing up just reading them over again. —Tom
Got to Get to Bear's
Kids' Book of the Week
Phinney by Post Kids #36
Got to Get to Bear's
by Brian Lies
Got to Get to Bear's is a sweet and simply constructed tale of friendship ("If Bear asks, you gotta go!"), cooperation, and surprise, but what makes it special are Lies's illustrations, which evoke the special, adventurous thrill of a big winter snow and make you feel like you too are along for the ride, carried through the storm by this band of friends. It's delightful. (Ages 0 to 5) —Tom
Cover Quiz 125
Cover Crop Quiz #125
Okay: how about the bestselling novel in the U.S. in 1970?
Last Week's Answer
I think it's safe to say that Shel Silverstein's The Giving Tree was a gimme.
New to Our 100 Club

by Min Jin Lee
(56 weeks to reach 100)
New to Our 100 Club

Dog Man: A Tale of Two Kitties
by Dav Pilkey
(67 weeks to reach 100)
State of Wonder
New to Our 100 Club

State of Wonder
by Ann Patchett
(345 weeks to reach 100)
New to Our 100 Club

by Raina Telgemeier
(405 weeks to reach 100)

Phinney Books
7405 Greenwood Ave. N
Seattle, WA 98103
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Our Holiday Hours

Saturday, December 15
10 to 6
Sunday, December 16
11 to 5
Monday, December 17
10 to 7
Tuesday, December 18
10 to 7
Wednesday, December 19
10 to 7
Thursday, December 20
10 to 8
Friday, December 21
10 to 8
Saturday, December 22
10 to 8
Sunday, December 23
10 to 8
Monday, December 24
10 to 5
Tuesday, December 25
Wednesday, December 26
Thursday, December 27
10 to 8 (back to regular hours)
Tuesday, January 1
New on Our Resist List
(See this week's full list.
20% of sales go to the ACLU.)

Alt-America: The Rise of the Radical Right in the Age of Trump by David Neiwert
New in the Store

In Our Mad and Furious City by Guy Gunaratne
Seasonal Associate by Heike Geissler
The Dakota Winters by Tom Barbash

An African American and Latinx History of the United States by Paul Ortiz

Kids and Teens:
Harold Loves His Woolly Hat by Vern Kousky
Parents' Day (Lumberjanes #10) by Shannon Watters et al.

Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi
Debriefing: Collected Stories by Susan Sontag
Improv Nation by Sam Wasson
This Week in Virginia Woolf's Diaries

Saturday, December 13, 1924
(age 42)
"I am now galloping over Mrs Dalloway, re-typing it entirely from the start, which is more or less what I did with the V[oyage] O[out,] a good method, I believe, as thus one works with a wet brush over the whole, & joins parts separately composed & gone dry. Really & honestly I think it the most satisfactory of my novels (but have not read it coldbloodedly yet). The reviewers will say that it is disjointed because of the mad scenes not connecting with the Dalloway scenes. And I suppose there is some superficial glittery writing. But is it 'unreal'? Is it mere accomplishment? I think not. And as I think I said before, it seems to leave me plunged deep in the richest strata of my mind. I can write & write & write now: the happiest feeling in the world."
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