Blogs

Exclusive Excerpt: THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE

The night I became the youngest person—and the only female ever—to win the Austin Fire Department’s Valor Award, I got propositioned by my partner.

Propositioned.

At the ceremony. In the ballroom. During dinner.

By my partner.

Read the first two chapters of Katherine Center's forthcoming novel, Things You Save in a Fire! Then, pre-order a signed, personalized copy as part of our special offer.

Book Bites: Beach Reads, Ocean (Vuong), & More

In a reading rut? We’ve all been there. You pick up a book, get a few chapters in, and just… run out of steam. We’re here to say that we’ve discovered the cure: More books! This week, we have a literary twist on the old hair-of-the-dog concept—seven books that are guaranteed to break you out of even the toughest reading rut and get you back into bookish bliss. So, what will it be? Fantasy? Romance? Interesting family dynamics? Read our recommendations below and take your pick. (Doctor’s orders.)

Book Bites: Romance! Mystery! Bravery! Spaceships!

New books, new books! Summer reading is officially upon us, friends, and the brand new releases hitting our shelves do not disappoint. Great debuts? Check. Classic beach reads? We’ve got ‘em. Dazzling thrillers? Science fiction? Biography? Memoir? Stop reading this silly intro and check out our list of recent favorites. No matter what kind of book you’re after, you’re sure to find something to love. Read on!

Bestselling Author Sarah Dessen on Her New Book, Dreamy Love Interests, and What's Next

Few authors are more synonymous with summer reading than Sarah Dessen. Since the publication of That Summer over 20 years ago, Sarah's books have been a fixture of many a nightstand, backpack, beach bag, or carry-on. We're so excited to share the latest from this #1 New York Times bestselling author with you next month—it's called The Rest of the Story, and it's exactly as big-hearted and magical as you'd expect. Sarah's coming to visit us on June 5th as she kicks off an epic book tour. Come join us to talk books and get your book autographed! In the meantime, check out our exclusive Q&A with the author. We asked Sarah all about the new book, the love interest, and her favorite summer getaway.

A Q&A with Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison, Author and Illustrator of HAIR LOVE

Friends, have you seen the charming new picture book gracing our display this week? It's called Hair Love. Adapted from the animated short film of the same name, the book is a celebration of fathers and daughters—and an ode to loving your natural hair.

It's a sweet and empowering story, and we can't wait to share it with you. What's more, we're absolutely thrilled to welcome the author, Matthew A. Cherry, to the shop on May 21! You may remember Matthew from his time as a wide receiver in the NFL. Nowadays, he's an author and filmmaker—and was named to Paste Magazine's list of Directors to Watch in 2016. Matthew will be joined by our friend (and Bookworm Festival 2019 alum) Vashti Harrison, who illustrated the book and provided character art for the short film.

Check out our Q&A with the creators, then be sure to head to our events calendar for the details—we're looking forward to seeing you!

Book Bites: Running the Gamut

We pride ourselves on balance here at the store. Half of our space is devoted to kids’ books, half is for adults, and each one of our merry band of booksellers is wholly committed to fostering a love of books in readers of any age. Just check out our list of recent favorites below—we’ve got everything from a great read aloud for young families to a terrific book about Egypt and the Arab spring by longtime New Yorker staff writer Peter Hessler. Welcome, all readers!

Mac Barnett on Margaret Wise Brown

If you've known us for a little while, you probably know that we're just a little bit fond of Mac Barnett. From his laugh-out-loud school visits to engaging in-store events, it's clear that Mac has a knack for engaging with young readers and getting kids excited about books. His latest project pays tribute to another such author: The often imitated, rarely equalled Margaret Wise Brown. A gorgeous picture book biography, The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown has picked up rave reviews from just about everyone in the industry ahead of its May 21 release.

We're pleased to offer an exclusive pre-order campaign to support this wonderful book—if you reserve your copy of The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown on our website before May 16, we'll send you a first edition that's signed and personalized by Mac and signed by illustrator Sarah Jacoby. Check out our Q&A with Mac, then scroll to the bottom of the page to learn more about our pre-order offer. 

Book Bites: Histories and Mysteries

Have you noticed? There’s been a terrific wave of historical fiction washing over our shelves this spring. Below, we highlight three of the best, spanning over 100 years. Read them in chronological order for some Blue Willow Brownie points. We’ve got mysteries, too—from a British boarding school for tweens to intrigue and murder on the streets of Houston. If that’s not your thing, Alice just finished a fascinating novel packed with insightful social commentary. Plus, we share our thoughts on the new novel by Sally Rooney—if you haven’t already, put her on your list of names to know. Read on!

An Important Interview with Sarah Jacoby

Friends, every now and then a book comes along that we believe should be on every shelf. The most recent entrant into that rarefied category is The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown. Written by our dear friend Mac Barnett and illustrated by rising star Sarah Jacoby, it's simply sublime. In 42 gorgeous pages—one for each year of Margaret Wise Brown's extraordinary life—Barnett and Jacoby create a moving, empowering portrait of a fascinating woman who forever changed the landscape of children's literature. The lovely text and stunning illustrations combine to create one of the most beautiful and—yes—important picture books we've ever seen.

We're offering a special preorder campaign to support the book—when you preorder a copy of The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown before May 16, we'll send you a first edition that's signed by Sarah and signed and personalized by Mac. Check out our Q&A with Sarah, then scroll to the bottom of the post to learn more about our exclusive offer. And stay tuned for an interview with Mac, coming soon! 

Book Bites: Kate, Kwame, Kadir, Kip, and More!

Kate DiCamillo! Kwame Alexander! Kadir Nelson! Our shelves have been hit by a winning influx of Ks over the last few weeks, and we couldn’t be more excited. From the legendary Kate DiCamillo, we have a wonderful new picture book that serves as a prequel to the early-reader Mercy Watson series. Elsewhere in picture books, Kwame Alexander and Kadir Nelson have teamed up for a stunningly beautiful US history lesson for any young reader. Plus, there’s an incredible debut YA novel by Kip Wilson to check out (from Kwame’s Versify imprint, no less). Believe by Robert Sabuda doesn’t have a single K to its name… but it will knock you over with its innovation and beauty. (We tried.)

Moving over to the adult side of the store, we have two novels and a book of essays you’ll want to add to your list. Up first, The Book of Dreams marks the return of Little Paris Bookshop author Nina George. Stay Up With Hugo Best is a timely, witty debut full of sharp social commentary. And Helen Ellis’ hilarious Southern Lady Code is a rowdy romp through life and womanhood below the Mason-Dixon.

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