Bookstore Day 2022 (Day 1 of 2)

As usual, my mom and I wouldn’t miss Bookstore Day for the world (see our previous adventures starting in 2015 here) so we were back at it April 30th for the Seattle Independent Bookstore Day passport challenge, which this year consists of going to 24 (24!!) bookstores in 10 days, for which we will be rewarded with one 25% off discount at each of the 24 (24!!) stores. We’re doing it over 2 Saturdays.

The Spreadsheet

The morning of Day 1 started off with a bump as my mom was late picking me up because she hit Stop on her phone instead of Snooze. But then we were off! With my pupdog in tow in the backseat. (He may or may not have enjoyed riding around in the car with us all day, it was kind of hard to tell, but he’s a very patient traveler. The third time I let him out of the van and we were in a third different strange place entirely, however, he charged back and forth down the sidewalk like What. Is. Happening!)

My phone slid down under the car seat where I couldn’t get at it on the way to our first stop (Eagle Harbor Books on Bainbridge Island, as is tradition) so only I could hear Siri, so I filled the role of repeating what the computer said as we made our way up (just like Galaxy Quest). But we were successful in our Day 1 trek to 13 of the 24 (24!!) bookstores.

Day 1 of the Seattle Independent Bookstore Day passport challenge

We did have a little drama getting from Kirkland to Burien by the time Page 2 Books closed at 5 (we made it with 10 minutes to spare, thanks to my mom zigzagging to the freeway lanes of least resistance), but Mom’s excellent parking karma held this year so we were in good shape all day.

And now for the books I got!

The Haul.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus (fiction) I bought because it’s written by a friend of a friend and I’ve been assured that a) I will love it b) I will like the dog and c) there’s rowing in it. (I rowed in high school). First line: “Back in 1961, when women wore shirtwaist dresses and joined garden clubs and drove legions of children around in seatbelt-less cars without giving it a second thought; back before anyone knew there’d be a sixties movement, much less one that its participants would spend the next sixty years chronicling; back when the big wares were over and the secret wars had just begun and people were starting to think fresh and believe everything was possible, the thirty-year-old mother of Madeline Zott rose before dawn every morning and felt certain of just one thing: her life was over.”

Catalog of unabashed gratitude by Ross Gay (poetry), because I’ve read (and loved) a lot of the poems in this but hadn’t gotten myself a copy yet. First lines: “Tumbling through the / city in my / mind without once / looking up / the racket in / the lugwork probably / rehearsing some / stupid thing I / said or did”

Looking for Betty MacDonald by Paula Becker (biography) because I grew up with the Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle books, and really enjoyed reading The Egg and I when I moved back to the Pacific Northwest after grad school and got into a deep NW reading mode. First line: “Was it the house I fell for first?”

The Art of Syntax by Ellen Bryant Voight (writing about writing) because The Art Of series is always excellent and I don’t have this one yet. First line: “The summer I turned nineteen, I had a job in a restaurant known for its “singing waiters and waitresses.””

Everything is Writable by Kelli Russell Agodon & Annette Spaulding-Covey (poetry prompts) because I get the Two Sylvias Press prompts every year in December and April and they’re excellent, and this is a compendium of same. First line: “The Chinese philosopher Lau Tzu said, “As soon as you have a thought, laugh at it.””

Music by the Numbers by Eli Maor (nonfiction) because the concepts of mathematics (but not doing actual mathematics) can be really interesting (just don’t ask me to work out the tip on a split check) and I’m into music, and this sounded like a really interesting combination of the two. First line: “When, at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1900, the nineteenth century turned into the twentieth, the world was in a state of upheaval.”

I also got 2 blind-date-with-a-book books:

“ghosts, gods and flying saucers” turned out to be…

And the book I started reading first when I got home? My other blind-date-with-a-book book, which turned out to be My Mess is a Bit of a Life: Adventures in Anxiety by Georgia Pritchett and which is, as the wrapper promised, hilarious.

2nd Blind-Date-with-a-book book.
A great blind-date-with-a-book book, as it turns out!
First page of My Mess is a Bit of a Life.

We’ll be back in Seattle next Saturday for the rest of the challenge — can’t wait!

And last but not least, Mom’s books:

Mom’s Haul.

Anticipation! Seattle Independent Bookstore Day 2019 is Saturday, April 27th

Seattle Independent Bookstore Day, Saturday April 27, 2019

Independent Bookstore Day is just around the corner! My mother and I will be spending the entire day reveling in Seattle’s bookstore treasures, OF COURSE!*

*(You can read about our previous Independent Bookstore Day adventures in 2018, 2017, 2016, and the one that started it all, 2015.)

We’re mixing it up this year, however, and skipping the full 21-store challenge in favor of visiting fewer stores but spending longer enjoying each. And having time to stop and have a cappuccino perhaps!*

Continue reading “Anticipation! Seattle Independent Bookstore Day 2019 is Saturday, April 27th”


My brother sent me some pictures from his family’s visit to the California Raptor Center yesterday which reminded me of both the excellence memoir H is for Hawk and of the collection of poems Raptor, both of which I’ve written about before and am reposting here as a reminder of just how memorable both are. I still highly recommend them both!

Continue reading “Raptors”

#SEABookstoreDay 2018

Weather which ranged from craptastic to middling in no way made 2018’s Seattle Independent Bookstore Day challenge anything less than its usual shiny and glorious adventure!

“Failure is not an option” declared my mother during our prep conversations about provisions and timing, and we, I’m happy to say, did not fail. Per tradition, (4 years in a row now), we got to all 19 stores and earned ourselves Champion titles (and 25% off cards) and we found books we were looking for and books that were looking for us.

championship card

Continue reading “#SEABookstoreDay 2018”

Bookstore Day! Bookstore Day! Bookstore Day!

It’s April, which means it’s Poetry Month, but it also means Independent Bookstore Day is nigh! Saturday, April 28th, to be exact. Mark. Your. Calendars.

You can get all the details for this year in Seattle here

And read about our past three years of adventures here, here, and here.

All you lovely 19 independent and fabulously unique bookstores you, get ready…my mom and I are doing the challenge again (OF COURSE WE ARE!)

26 CB Mom DoneAtElliottBay IBD2016

One Sky, Two Poems, and a Book Bingo Card

This round, a quick turn away from the climate change sadnesses of the world to look at a few lovely things.

I love this project (h/t Austin Kleon’s newsletter) — 88 artists all over the world looked up all at 12:00pm Eastern Standard and drew the sky. One Sky.

Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 12.25.33 PM.png

Two poems I thoroughly enjoyed: “Truck Carrying Live Eels Overturns on Highway 101” from Rattle’s Poets Respond project, and “Page One” by Joannie Stangeland.

And in case you were wondering, here’s how my Summer Book Bingo played out. Continue reading “One Sky, Two Poems, and a Book Bingo Card”

Poetry and More Poetry for #BookBingoNW2017


It’s Summer Book Bingo* time!!! And though Poetry is but one square, that doesn’t mean you don’t have Poetry options for just about all the rest of the squares too.

So here is a list of poetry collections which will satisfy 2017’s Bingo squares, curated with the generous help of Billie Swift, Kym Littlefield and Alexander Moyasenko of Open Books: A Poem Emporium, and Seattle poets Susan Rich, J.W. Marshall, and Joannie Stangeland (thank you!)

*One of my favorite annual Seattle events. (Here are the details for those unfamiliar with the general idea, and also a pdf of the bingo card if you want to get started before you make it to a library branch).

Let’s begin with the most subjective and random (which is to say pulled at random off my own bookshelf), CHOOSE A BOOK BY ITS COVER. And this post ends with the longest, (thanks to Billie Swift!), WASHINGTON STATE AUTHOR. Some of these categories obviously are a very few suggestions for what could be impossibly long lists (LGBTQIA AUTHOR, BY AN AUTHOR OF COLOR, anyone?!), but are at least a place to start.

Happy (POETRY) reading this summer!

Continue reading “Poetry and More Poetry for #BookBingoNW2017”