Blogs

Book Bites: Fall Medley

This week, we've rounded up a bit of everything for our fellow book lovers. We have old-school mystery and contemporary romance; we include a great new book about a cook (by Houston's own literary superstar Bryan Washington!) as well as a great new cookbook. Throw in a fun new picture book that dabbles in math and music, and you've got a classic book soup. Serving suggestion: Curled up in your favorite chair, next to a fire, with a furry friend by your side. Happy reading, friends! 

New in YA: November Picks from Our Teen Advisory Board

We are extremely grateful for our dedicated and talented Teen Advisory Board this month and every month. After reading many books, the board has put together an excellent list of YA November releases sure to please any reader. Look for thrilling mysteries, captivating romances, and new twists on well-known tales below. One of their picks, These Violent Delights, has been selected by the board as the official November pick in Blue Willow's YA First Editions Club subscription program.  (A little hint for you all: subscriptions make great birthday and holiday gifts.wink ) Enjoy, friends! 

Book Bites: From Sweet to Spooky

Was that a bit of autumn air we felt last week? It came just in time—we've taken a close look at our favorite new releases and pulled a few seasonally spooky reads for those of you who are looking for some extra thrill, mystery, and magic for your October. You can find them below, alongside a variety of other fantastic year-round options for those uneager for the unnerving. So no matter what you're looking for, you'll easily... fall... for a title or two below. Happy (haunting?) reading, friends! 

Bryan Washington on MEMORIAL, Houston, and What He’s Reading

We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Bryan Washington, Houston literary superstar and author of Lot, returns with a new novel on October 27. It’s called Memorial, and it’s a touching and funny story about two young, gay Houston men: Mike, a Japanese American chef, and Benson, a Black day care teacher. Through their stories, Washington explores universal themes of family and what it means to be human—parent, child, lover, friend. The book is just sublime, and we couldn’t be happier for this Houston author. 

We’re extremely excited to host a special, virtual launch event for Bryan Washington and Memorial on October 26, and to offer signed, personalized copies to attendees. You can learn more about that event and register here. In the meantime, enjoy our Q&A with the author below. 

Dear Rick, Love Cathy

A note from Blue Willow Events Coordinator Cathy Berner on the enduring magic of "Uncle" Rick Riordan, whose final book in the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles is out October 6.

Fifteen years ago, Valerie handed me a book called The Lightning Thief and asked me to read it. I had just started working at the shop on a very part time basis—my kids were in preschool and kindergarten. I can still remember the silver cover with a gorgon, a minotaur, and a three-headed dog. And I vividly remember how I felt when I read the first few pages—I knew I was holding something special. 

The Best Books of 2020

2020 has been a unique year, to say the least. Through all the uncertainty, we've been so grateful for you, our friends and neighbors, and your wonderful support of our local bookstore. With the holidays just around the corner, we can't wait to help you discover the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. To that end, our merry band of booksellers is very proud to present our annual "Best Books" list—a selection of titles we especially loved this year, and think you will, too. 

Happy reading, friends. And from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your continued love and support.

New in YA: October Picks from Our Teen Advisory Board

Our amazing (and busy) Teen Advisory Board reads and reviews a lot of books every month. This works out well for us, because they have truly great taste—from thrillers to rom-coms and everything in between, this group of voracious readers is helping to make our YA section one of the most exciting places in the shop. Here, take a look at some of the October releases they're most excited to share with you. One of the books, Foreshadow, has even been selected by the board as the second book in our YA First Editions Club subscription program. Subscribers reecive a new book every month, with a bookplate signed by the author, exclusive bookmark, invitation to a Zoom hangout with the author(s), and a note explaining why the Teen Advisory Board loved the book. Did we mention that subscriptions make a great birthday or holiday gift? wink Happy reading! 

Book Bites: Required Reading

This week, we put together a list of must-reads for y'all. Some books are returns from beloved, well-known authors (Sophie Blackall! Jacqueline Woodson! Garth Nix! Graham Swift!), while others are by staff faves or soon-to-be-well-known (so hop on board first!) writers like KA Holt and Tracy Deonn. We made it easy: Just keep this list of books in your back pocket and add 'em all to your to-be-read list. Happy reading! (Good luck deciding which one to start with.)

Book Bites: Gold Mine!

September is the start of the big fall publishing season, and there are lots and lots of big, exciting books heading towards our shelves—including the ones in this post! Our best advice: Treat yourself to a nice, large stack to keep you entertained as it slowly starts to get darker earlier and we find ourselves spending even more time indoors. We've sifted through tons of titles to find some real gold—whatever your age or interests, your To-Be-Read pile is about to get a lot more exciting. Happy reading, friends, and may your next read always be ready!

Tracy Deonn on Magic, Secrets, and LEGENDBORN

YA pre-order alert! Folks, there’s a new can’t-miss book on its way to our shelves. It’s called Legendborn, and it’s the debut YA novel from author Tracy Deonn. Legendborn is a bewitching blend of fantasy and contemporary YA, full of Arthurian legend and Black Girl Magic. If you like books about myth and magic—if you’re into Kiersten White or Tomi Adeyemi or Victoria Schwab or Dhonielle Clayton—you’re going to love Legendborn. Blue Willow staffer Caroline Roberts is certainly a fan, and we can vouch for her excellent taste! Enjoy this Q&A between Caroline and Tracy, then be sure to pre-order your copy of Legendborn, which comes out on September 15. Be warned: There are a few *spoilers* within... so if you need to bookmark this one and come back once you’ve read the book, be sure to do that! 

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