“Word got back to Alfred A. Knopf about how much I loved Richard Flanagan’s novel The Narrow Road to the Deep North (still my favorite book of the year so far), and . . . Phinney Books had the honor of a visit from Mr. Flanagan before his reading . . . at Elliott Bay Books (on the same day he learned at 3 a.m. that he was on the Booker Prize shortlist). I stocked up a bit ahead of time, so we have (for us) a sizable stack of signed copies of his novel now.
“Speaking of the Booker, the surprise is that rest of the shortlist doesn’t include David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, but it does have two Americans (the prize was opened up to the U.S. for the first time this year), Karen Joy Fowler for We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (a big customer favorite here) and Joshua Ferris for To Rise Again at a Decent Hour, as well as three novels that haven’t been published Stateside yet: Neel Mukherjee’s The Lives of Others (coming Oct. 1), Howard Jacobson’s J (Oct. 14), and Ali Smith’s How to Be Both (Dec. 2, unless they move it up). My money remains on Mr. Flanagan.”
Tom Nissley is the owner of Phinney Books in Seattle, WA. This is excerpted from the store’s weekly e-newsletter.