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Originally published November 18, 2013 at 5:05 AM | Page modified November 18, 2013 at 10:49 AM

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Busy authors, busy bookstores in Seattle-area literary news

Seattle Times book editor

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Lit Life

Authors, bookstores, books: Here’s a punch list of notable news as we come off one of Seattle’s busiest fall literary seasons.


Island Books, a vibrant independent bookstore on Mercer Island, celebrated its 40th anniversary this month (Nov. 3). If you haven’t been, drop in and chat with one of its knowledgeable booksellers. The kids’ section alone is worth the visit. More information at

Page 2 Books, a bookstore in Burien, has new owners and a new location. It’s at 457 S.W. 152nd St. (206-248-7248 or Its forthcoming author readings include a Nov. 23 appearance by wine expert and “Wine Wars” author Mike Veseth, whose new book is “Extreme Wine.” Page 2 Books offers used books and some new books — its new owners are Jenny Cole and Bill Virgin. Cole will be the store manager; Virgin is a former Seattle Post-Intelligencer journalist.

Small Business Saturday

Never at a loss for ideas, Sherman Alexi e wrote a letter to fellow authors this fall, calling on them to support independent bookstores on Nov. 30, Small Business Saturday, by helping to sell books. “Now is the time to be a superhero for independent bookstores,” Alexie wrote in his letter “ ... The most important thing is that we’ll all be helping independent bookstores, and God knows they’ve helped us over the years.”

The idea has caught on. On Nov. 30, notable authors will sell books all over Seattle. A sample: Alexie, children’s author Bonny Becker and others atSecret Garden Bookshop. Alexie, Ryan Boudinot, Jonathan Evison, Kathleen Flenniken, Kathleen Flinn, Tom Nissley, Maria Semple, Jennie Shortridge and Garth Stein at the Elliott Bay Book Co. Kristin Kittscher, Stephanie Kallos, Ken Jennings, Garth Stein, and ... Sherman Alexie at Third Place Books (prayers for whoever gets Alexie to these appointments). Consult your favorite store for appearance times.


Seattle writer Laurie Frankel has won the Endeavour Award for her novel “Goodbye For Now” (Doubleday). The award honors a distinguished science-fiction or fantasy book, novel or a single-author collection by a writer living in the Pacific Northwest. “Goodbye for Now” tells the story of a brilliant software genius who invents an algorithm that resurrects the image, voice and words of his grieving girlfriend’s dead grandmother.

Seattle author Bharti Kirchner’s story “Promised Tulips” was the only Seattle-based selection in the new collection “USA Noir: Best of the Akashic Noir Series.” Kirchner keeps company in this volume with Michael Connelly, Lee Child and Laura Lippman, among others. Kirchner’s story has since morphed into a book: “Tulip Season: A Mitra Basu Mystery.”

Amanda Coplin lives in Portland, but she grew up near Wenatchee and set her gorgeously written novel, “The Orchardist,” in Washington’s apple-growing country. Coplin has won a coveted Whiting Writers’ Award. Given to writers of “exceptional talent and promise in early career,” it carries a cash prize of $50,000. She plans to use the money to research and write her second novel.

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or On Twitter @gwinnma.

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