Blogs

Bingo Fodder

Are you ready to play? Summer reading bingo is back at Blue Willow, and we've already lost count of how many cards we've passed out. Don't have yours just yet? Don't worry. You can download our cards for kids and adults—and get caught up on all of our other summer programming—on this page. Then, check out our latest staff picks below and start filling in your squares. Happy reading!

Read With Pride: Queer Favorites From the Blue Willow Team

It’s Pride Month, y’all, and we’re ready to celebrate the best way we know how: Giddily pressing books into your hands whenever you come visit us. Here, we’ve compiled a list of some of the recent and recent-ish titles we most highly recommend for this month, plus a pair of picks from our friend Mandy Giles, founder of local social impact business Parents of Trans Youth. We’ve got great queer authors, great queer stories, and great stories with queer characters, for readers of all ages and interests. Dive in!

A Buzzy Dozen

Summer reading is upon us! If you don't believe us, just check out our latest round of staff picks. (Or just check the thermostat. There's certainly no arguing with that!) We have stories of summer camp, twisty mysteries, juicy romance, family sagas, and gripping historical fiction on offer  this week. Any one of these books would go down great on a beach, or in a comfortable chair under the ceiling fan. Grab your sunglasses and floppiest hat and dig in.

Travel-Ready Picks For Every Kind of Summer Reader

What says “summer reading” to you? It could be the soon-to-be-sandy paperback at the bottom of your beach bag. Maybe it’s a stack of travel books to help you plan your next getaway. Or perhaps something fizzy that pairs well with a glass of prosecco?

We’ve put the question to our booksellers—a crack team, if we say so ourselves—and they came up with a delightfully varied list of titles that runs the gamut from informational to lighthearted to… Erik Larson, for goodness’ sake! So if you’re looking for something to read in an armchair, or in an airplane, or on a beach, or before an adventure this summer, look no further. You’re sure to find something that sounds like “summer” below.

Sweet Sixteen

It's a good thing our bookstore is expanding, y'all. We had so many boxes of new releases stacked in the back room last week that there was barely any room to stand, let alone wrap books or place orders. The good news is that those boxes were full of some absolute gems, which we're excited to share with you now. It doesn't matter what kind of reader you are. This week, we've got something for everyone—sixteen titles in all! Picture books. Middle grade. YA. Rom-coms. Genre fiction. Literary heavyweights. Better get reading!

So Many Books, So Little Shelf Space

One of the best parts of working at Blue Willow is getting to read so many wonderful books before their official release dates. There's a flip side of that coin, though—it can be so difficult not having anyone to talk to about our new favorites for months! This week, we're sharing a longer-than-usual list of recommended new releases, some of which we've been buzzing about since last year. We've got new efforts from all-time greats like Doreen Cronin, Lois Lowry, and Erik Larson. We've got staff favorites like Brendan Wenzel and Emily Henry. We've got gripping nonfiction that's paced as well as any novel. And we've got an early contender for the staff's most-agreed-on book of the year — hello, Colton Gentry! Dig in, y'all.

Great Reads for Warmer Days

Books about travel, books about baseball, a beach read or two... spring is definitely here at Blue Willow, and the evidence is all over our shelves. Dip into our latest batch of staff picks and add a few books to your list of things to read as the days get longer and the sun shines brighter. Whether you need a great read-aloud for the kids, big-hearted middle grade, some fantastic twists, or a dose of history, you'll find something to savor below. Read on!

Our Favorite Bookstores We've Visited

We really, really, really love what we do here at Blue Willow. So it’s not surprising that our staff seeks out our fellow indie bookstores whenever we travel. Each summer, the team's group text lights up with pictures of fabulous bookstores near and far—often accompanied by an excited, “I told them I work at Blue Willow in Houston. They’ve heard of us!” With the summer months and their promise of planes, trains, and automobiles just around the corner, we’ve been chatting about some of our favorite bookshops we’ve encountered in our travels. Scroll down to see our picks—sixteen wonderful indie bookstores that we hope you get the chance to explore. When you visit, tell them we say hello!

Table for Thirteen

Have we got a treat for you on our shelves. Or treats, rather — our latest round of staff picks is full of favorite authors and fizzy delights. Stick around to read about the latest from folks like Gillian McDunn, Jamie Sumner, Abby Jimenez, Amor Towles, and Leif Unger... or head straight to the store to stuff this baker's dozen into your sturdiest tote bag. We've even tossed in a topical baseball book just in time for the start of the Astros season. Play ball!

Books in Bloom

Can you believe all the pollen this year, friends? It's enough to make us stay inside and read all day. Which, yes, doesn't take much. But who can blame us when you see some of the exciting new releases coming into our store? Here, we've collected all of the staff's newest favorites, including picture books, middle grade, and half a dozen wonderful new novels. Make some space on your shelf and come see us — we need someone to talk with these about!

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