Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Having a difficult time finding a parking spot at Jefferson Square in the busy holiday rush? Remember, parking in the lot underneath the store is FREE on weekends and after 4 p.m. on weekdays. The elevator near the West Seattle Animal Hospital can take you right up to our store.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

New Staff Picks on Square1books.com

We just loaded up some new staff recommendations over at Square1books.com.
One of them could be your next favorite!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Tis the Season!

Every child deserves a good book.

Purchase any children's book from us Dec. 1-2 for 15 percent off and we will donate the book to West Side Baby. The books will be distributed to families in need in December.

Keep an out for us at the 2007 Hometown Holidays "Light Up the Junction" celebration on Dec. 1. We'll be out in our "satellite" booth in the Junction with plenty of our Holiday catalogs and samples of the must have books of the season.

Thanks for your years of support, for again voting our store as "The Best Bookstore in West Seattle" and for making our 20th year in the community a special one.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Happy Birthday to Us!

whoo heeee yipppeeee!

It's our birthday again..... 20 years in West Seattle!

Every year we celebrate by having a SALE! For our 20th - that means everything is 20% off for three days - November 8-10.

Come have fun with us as we kick off another great year!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Enrique's Journey

Thursday, October 11
(second Thursday)
Enrique's Journey by Sonia Nazario

In this astonishing true story, award-winning journalist Sonia Nazario recounts the unforgettable odyssey of a Honduran boy who braves unimaginable hardship and peril to reach his mother in the United States.When Enrique is five years old, his mother, Lourdes, too poor to feed her children, leaves Honduras to work in the United States.

Lourdes promises Enrique she will return quickly. But she struggles in America. After eleven years apart, he decides he will go find her. Enrique sets off alone from Tegucigalpa, with little more than a slip of paper bearing his mother’s North Carolina telephone number. Without money, he will make the dangerous and illegal trek up the length of Mexico the only way he can–clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains.

Having just come back from Central America, I'm looking forward to this discussion... see ou all Thursday.

Friday, September 28, 2007

November book club book change decided

Hi Everyone,

For the November 1st book club, we will be discussing Sarah Dunant's "In the Company of the Courtesan," a wonderful historical novel set in 16th century Venice. Thanks to everyone who provided suggestions. We will read "Restless" by William Boyd for the December 6th discussion. We will have more copies of "Restless" available in the store in a few weeks.

Just a reminder that we will not be meeting next Thursday. We will meet on Thursday, October 11th.

See you soon,

Gretchen & Matthew

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Neeed suggestions for bookclub book

Hi Everyone,

"Restless," our book club pick for November, has suddenly gone completely out of stock at the publisher and all of our distributors. We will not be able to get any for a few weeks, so we'll just make it the choice for December.

Anyway, I'm looking for suggestions of books you might like to read for November. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know right away, as I'll need to order the books by this Thursday.

Hope to hear from you,


Sunday, September 16, 2007

One last reminder: Words from the Westside - TODAY!

WORDS FROM THE WESTSIDE: West Seattle Authors Speak Sunday, September 16, 1-5:30 p.m.

This is an opportunity to join your community in meeting and supporting local authors. The following West Seattle authors will be talking about their most recent works:

1 PM: Clay Eals and his book: STEVE GOODMAN: FACING THE MUSIC.

2:15: Carmela & Steven D'Amico, the creators of the ELLA THE ELEGANT ELEPHANT SERIES.



This is a terrific example of a community pulling together: a non-profit theater, an independent bookstore, four sets of authors and a community of people coming to enjoy the presentations. The line-up offers something for every age and interest group. So come out and support local authors and see what the buzz about West Seattle writers is all about!

ArtsWest Theatre is hosting the event and is located at: 4711 California Avenue SW. For any questions, please call Square One Books at 935-5764.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Update: Words From the WestSide: West Seattle Authors Speak

I wanted to point out that West Seattle author, Clay Eals, is featured in a nationally syndicated Associated Press story about his recent book.

It was printed in today’s Seattle Times - here.

Clay is one of the West Seattle authors who will be appearing at Square One Books upcoming Words from the West Side: West Seattle Authors Speak event at Arts West. (see blog entry below)

Monday, August 13, 2007

Words From the WestSide: West Seattle Authors Speak

We thought you might be interested in an upcoming event we are planning to celebrate local West Seattle authors. The date and time are firmed up as is the list of authors. We’ll have more details soon…

Square One Books Special Author Event:

Words From the WestSide: West Seattle Authors Speak

Clay Eals: Steve Goodman: Facing the Music

Carmela and Steven D’Amico: Ella the Elegant Elephant series

Beth Whitman: Wanderlust and Lipstick

Judy Pigott and Dr. John W. Gibson: Personal Safety Nets

At Arts West, Sunday, September 16th beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Books will be available for purchase, and the authors will be on hand to sign them. Stay tuned for more details!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Upcoming Interview with Author Matt Ruff - You Can Participate

Many of you may remember Seattle writer, Matt Ruff from when he joined us for a discussion of his novel and bookstore favorite, Set This House in Order.

Matt has a fantastic new book, Bad Monkeys, coming out this week on July 24.

Matt has agreed to participate in an interview/ discussion with our readers, right here on the Square One Books Online Book Club. I'll be collecting questions from this blog and forwarding them all together to Matt.

Click on the comments button below to submit a question about Matt, his previous books or his forthcoming novel, Bad Monkeys.

In the interim, while you are waiting for the new book to arrive on Tuesday, July 24, you can read up on Matt and visit the super-secret Bad Monkeys web site.

We look forward to seeing your questions.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen

As a young man, Jacob Jankowski was tossed by fate onto a rickety train that was home to the Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth. It was the early part of the great Depression, and for Jacob, now ninety, the circus world he remembers was both his salvation and a living hell. A veterinary student just shy of a degree, he was put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. It was there that he met Marlena, the beautiful equestrian star married to August, the charismatic but twisted animal trainer. And he met Rosie, an untrainable elephant who was the great gray hope for this third-rate traveling show. The bond that grew among this unlikely trio was one of love and trust, and, ultimately, it was their only hope for survival.

I'm very excited about discussing this fascinating and moving story - but maybe not as excited as Mia, who emailed me her comments to post to the blog. Check out what she has to say about the story by hitting the Comments button below...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

This One is Going to Be Huge in the Fall

In his first novel since winning the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction for Empire Falls, Richard Russo is ready to take you on another superb story filled with engaging characters, a compelling story line and his unique sense of humor in his newest book, Bridge of Sighs.

I've just about finished an advanced copy of this book and can only say, "Wow." This book, due to be released September 25, 2007 will satisfy your craving for Russo's unparalleled style and substance.

Once again set in an upstate New York, both the town and a majority of the residents have seen better days. With both sweet and bitter nostalgia this novel follows the past and present of one of the town's focal citizens as he prepares for a new phase in his life.

Keep your eye out for this book - and place it on the top of your list for September!

Monday, May 7, 2007

Suite Francaise by Irene Nemirovsky

By the early l940s, when Ukrainian-born Irène Némirovsky began working on what would become Suite Française she was already a highly successful writer living in Paris. But she was also a Jew, and in 1942 she was arrested and deported to Auschwitz: a month later she was dead at the age of thirty-nine. Two years earlier, living in a small village in central France—where she, her husband, and their two small daughters had fled in a vain attempt to elude the Nazis—she’d begun her novel, a luminous portrayal of a human drama in which she herself would become a victim. When she was arrested, she had completed two parts of the epic, the handwritten manuscripts of which were hidden in a suitcase that her daughters would take with them into hiding and eventually into freedom. Sixty-four years later, at long last, we can read Némirovsky’s literary masterpiece.

If the story within this book is even half as compelling as the story surrounding the book, we are in for a truly amazing experience.

For a sneak peek at what the book club descussion may look like, take a look at the New York Times Book Review for Suite Francaise - http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/09/books/review/09gray.html?ei=5088&en=efa79839c42f4089&ex=1302235200&partner=rssnyt&emc=rss&pagewanted=print.

Any early readers out there care to comment?

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin

In THREE CUPS OF TEA: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time, Greg Mortenson, and acclaimed journalist David Oliver Relin, recount the unlikely journey that led Mortenson from a failed attempt to climb Pakistan’s K2, the world’s second highest mountain, to successfully building schools in some of the most remote regions of Afghanistan and Pakistan. By replacing guns with pencils, rhetoric with reading, Mortenson combines his unique background with his intimate knowledge of the third-world to fight terrorism with books, not bombs, and successfully bring education and hope to remote villages in central Asia. THREE CUPS OF TEA is at once an unforgettable adventure and the inspiring true story of how one man really is changing the world—one school at a time.

I'm still working my way through this book in preparation for our group discussion on Thursday. Thus far it has proven to be a miraculous and inspiring tale of an individual's singular desire to make a difference.

The characters and dynamics are colorfully rendered and descriptions of the settings are dramatic. Stylistically, co-author David Oliver Relin's journalistic experience flavors the book, and at times it can read like an extended article in your Sunday paper (albeit a truly compelling article).

Overall, the message and actions of Greg and his compatriots speak volumes. We can only hope that they can continue to inspire people to continue to make a difference in this often neglected part of the world.

Greg Mortenson with Khanday community school students, Hushe Valley, Karakoram mountains, Pakistan December 2006. Image courtesy Greg Mortenson, Central Asia Institute.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Boomsday by Christopher Buckley

In BOOMSDAY, Buckley hilariously envisions the nation's next great brouhaha-generational warfare between profligate Baby Boomers and younger Americans who don't want to be stuck paying the bill.

Cassandra Devine, a 29 year-old PR maven and blogger, incites massive generational war when, outraged by mounting Social Security debt, she suggests that Baby Boomers be given government incentives to kill themselves. Her proposal catches fire with millions of outraged citizens and a senator who tries to ride the issue to the White House.

Wow. Is Buckley the new Twain or Heller?

Buckley is definitely a student of these masters of satire, and even references Swift's absurd masterpiece, "A Modest Proposal" in this book.

The most frightening element of this book is when you realize that even the most absurdist PR tactics, flaming blog entries and conniving and underhanded political ploys all have a kernel of truth in them.

As one character in the book remarks, "My, my, my... how very different are the workings of government from what we all read about in books as children. I wonder, do the Founders weep in heaven?"

This is a fantastically absurd book that succeeds in illuminating some of the confusion and tactics employed by individuals who attempt to subvert an agenda for their own means.

Anyone else read (or seen) another of his works, "Thank You for Smoking?" How did that one strike you?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

God Bless You, Mr. Vonnegut

One of my literary heroes, Kurt Vonnegut, died yesterday at the age of 84. In that ubiquitous question, “In all of history, what five people would you like to assemble for dinner,” Kurt Vonnegut would be at my table, with Voltaire and Swift and others. But between Voltaire’s French and Swift’s “ye olde(ish) English,” Vonnegut would be the only person I could actually speak with… and that would suit me just fine.

I remember the first time I read “Breakfast of Champions.” I still recall the sense of amazement I had, thinking, “I didn’t even know that books could be written this way!”

From that book, to “Cat’s Cradle,” “Slaughterhouse Five,” “God Bless You Mr. Rosewater,” and “Hocus Pocus” all the way through to “A Man Without a Country,” I thought that every time I read Vonnegut’s work.

I read a quote from him in an Associated Press obituary printed in today’s paper: “(My goal is to) catch people before they become generals and senators and presidents" and "poison their minds with humanity. Encourage them to make a better world.”

I know that he made my world a better place.

It’s always a little strange trying to figure out how you mourn an individual whom you have never met. It’s difficult enough when it is someone close to you. For now, I think I’ll pick up my tattered copy of “Breakfast of Champions,” read a little, and try a little harder to make a better world.


Wednesday, April 11, 2007

The Brooklyn Follies by Paul Auster

Nathan Glass, a curmudgeonly fifty-nine-year-old retired insurance salesman in recovery from lung cancer, returns to Brooklyn looking for a place to die. The dark premise of Paul Auster’s The Brooklyn Follies belies the humor and surprising mirth Nathan finds upon moving back to his birthplace. Along with his literature-loving, cab-driving nephew Tom and a cast of characters including flamboyant ex-cons, married beauties, a silent nine-year-old, and a lip syncing drag queen, Nathan shows us the joys of modern urban life, the city as a refuge for lost souls, and the rescue a lonely man can feel when he embraces community.

I'm a huge fan of Paul Auster's and was really looking forward to this book. I had just finished an advanced copy of his newest book, "Travels in the Scriptorium," and was amazed as ever. Auster is truly one of the more unique and talented authors writing today.

From what I had heard, this book was going to be the most widely accessable in Auster's catalogue. Our book group verified this assumption as everyone involved enjoyed this book immensely. I'll write more on this discussion soon... in the meantime, what did you think of the book?

One interesting thing I once read about Paul Auster: apparently his books are the second most likely to be stolen from bookstores. I can't find where I read that, I'm still trying to verify it...

And the most frequently stolen author...?

Charles Bukowski.

Welcome to our online book club!

Welcome to our online book club.

We wanted to provide a forum for our customers in West Seattle and friends from around the world to discuss the books that are relevant today or matter to us.

For those of you who are unable to meet with us in person, this forum is for you.

In our book club, we alternate between fiction and nonfiction. We want to push the envelope of what you might normally read. Reading and discussing books is all about exploration, we hope to share that journey with you.

In order for this to be a truly interactive discussion, we need your comments. There are no wrong answers here. Books affect each of us individually. Through this forum, your perceptions and comments may help another person achieve greater understanding.

In addition to this forum, please feel free to visit our Website at http://square1books.com/, or if you are ever in West Seattle, feel free to come by the store.

Also, if you have a book you would like to see discussed here please feel to email us.