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Originally published April 14, 2014 at 3:03 AM | Page modified April 14, 2014 at 9:54 AM

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A new bookstore owner for Greenwood, and a new home for ‘Lit Life’

Mary Ann Gwinn shares some literary news, including that in the print edition of The Seattle Times, the Lit Life column is moving from Mondays to Sundays, and that Jeopardy champion and author Tom Nissley is purchasing Santoro’s Books.

Seattle Times book editor


Lit Life

Your Lit Life correspondent has been out and about gathering some highly digestible news bits. But first, here is a special bulletin for our dedicated readers: This is the last time the Lit Life column will run on a Monday. The next Lit Life column will run on Sunday April 20 in the NWArts & Life section, and Sunday will be its home for the foreseeable future.

I distrust change as much as anyone (and maybe more than most), but this is a good thing. The column’s new home will make it neighbors with the Sunday book review page and will roughly double its readership. Sunday is coveted space in the newspaper. This new perch for Lit Life suggests that The Seattle Times brain trust knows books and reading are important to Seattle-area readers. (And, of course, online readers can relax with the column on the weekend, or find it anytime they like.)

This coming Sunday, look for advance word on books coming out in May and June. In other news:

Seattle author, Jeopardy champion and all-round bibliophile Tom Nissley has bought himself a bookstore. Nissley has agreed to purchase Santoro’s Books, an independent bookstore in Seattle’s Greenwood neighborhood, from current owner Carol Santoro.

Nissley is the author of “A Reader’s Book of Days,” a fabulous day-by-day almanac of information about all things literary, fictional and nonfictional, so he has a significant trove of helpful advice for customers already at hand. A store re-opening is tentatively planned for early June.

Sherman Alexie’s National Book Award-winning novel for young adults, “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian,” has been placed on a “hold” list by trustees of the Meridian, Idaho, School District, according to The Associated Press, which means it won’t show up on school library shelves. Alexie, never at a loss for words, tweeted in response: I just got my biannual royalty check. Thank you, book banners, for making my YA novel so popular.

Meanwhile, on the west side of the Idaho-Washington border, Alexie’s novel “Reservation Blues” has been chosen for Whitman College’s “summer read” program as the book that incoming freshmen will read as part of becoming full-fledged Whitties.

Wednesday, April 23, is World Book Night USA, when volunteers all over the country will give out specially printed books to reluctant or infrequent readers (volunteer “givers” apparently are chosen for their ability to seek these people out).

Several local bookstores plan to participate, including the Elliott Bay Book Co., which at 7 p.m. April 22 will host a “kickoff event” featuring two authors whose books were among the three dozen chosen for the program: Maria Semple, Seattle author of “Where’d You Go Bernadette,” and Jamie Ford, Montana author of the Seattle-based “Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet.” Interesting tidbit division: These two books are the only books being offered in a Large Print edition.

Finally, Humanities Washington is looking for scholars and cultural experts for their Speakers Program. This is a great opportunity for an author or other knowledge-infused personage to travel around the state to speak to audiences at libraries, schools, museums and historical societies, retirement homes, community centers and civic organizations on their chosen subject. Details are at Deadline is April 25.

Mary Ann Gwinn: 206-464-2357 or Gwinn appears every Tuesday on TVW’s “Well Read,” discussing books with host Terry Tazioli (go to for archived episodes). On Twitter @gwinnma.

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