Book Bites: The Bee’s Knees

We have a bee in our bonnet about books around here—can’t stop reading them, can’t stop talking about them. So this week, we’re bringing you a range of buzzed-about recommendations that we just know you’re going to love. Below, you’ll find a stunning new picture book that encourages readers to stop and appreciate nature, a beekeeping novel, a sweet-as-honey rom com that’s perfect for the beach, an ode to the hummingbird, and much more. Give us a buzz and schedule your shopping appointment—there’s reading to be done!

Ages 3-5

Have You Ever Seen a Flower? by Shawn Harris

In this gorgeous picture book, his first as an author and an illustrator, creator Shawn Harris asks the child in all of us if we've ever really seen a flower? An ode to the human connection to nature, this is not to be missed.  

— Cathy

READ for its thought-provoking themes and jaw-dropping illustrations.
PASS if you never want to look at a single flower ever again.
Order your copy
Pre-Order before May 4 to receive a signed bookplate, an art print, and a branded seed packet while supplies last!

Adult Fiction

The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave 

Hannah is a woodturner with a thriving business. She has recently married Owen, a top coder for a San Francisco start up. They live on a houseboat in Sausalito with Owen's teenage daughter Bailey. That's the backstory. The story starts on page one, when Hannah answers the door to a young girl from the school with a note from her husband. It says, "Protect her." Things go from bad to worse when she picks Bailey up from play practice. The radio news is announcing that Owen's firm has been raided and the CEO carted off to jail. Owen is not answering his phone. And Bailey jumps in the car with a backpack that has over $500,000 in it. What is going on? In this fast-paced page-turner, no one is to be believed. Hannah must figure out who Owen really is and how Bailey fits into the story. They travel to Austin to find out (maybe).

— Valerie 

READ because this is a gripping mystery with plenty of buzz.
PASS if the only twists you like are pretzels.
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Great Circle by Maggie Shipstead

Do you enjoy rich, complex stories of strong women? Try this one. Beginning in the early 1900s, Marian Graves longs to become a pilot at any cost. Her ultimate goal is to circumnavigate the globe across the North and South Poles. Her dream takes her from navigating Prohibition in the wilds of Montana to participating in the war effort of WWII Europe and beyond. In present day, a lost young actress is offered the chance to play Marian in the Hollywood screen adaptation of her biography. While there are central male characters in both of their lives, the focus remains on the women and the roles they play. Both storylines converge and diverge as the characters explore desire and hope and longing for sense of self and place. Once I started reading, I could not put it down. At nearly 600 pages, that is no small thing.

— Jennifer K

READ if you enjoy rich, complex stories of strong women.
PASS if you’re a misogynist. And keep walkin’, pal.
Order your copy

The Girl with Stars in Her Eyes by Xio Axelrod

Toni Bennette has become a successful studio musician in Philadelphia and has her future all planned out. When she's asked to audition for an up-and-coming band, that all changes as she comes face-to-face with the boy who left her all those years ago. So begins a very fun behind-the-scenes look at the music industry that will have you ready for the next book in this new series.

— Cathy 

READ if you’re a fan of Abbi Waxman or Jasmine Guillory.
PASS if your ex holds the keys to the indie music scene you’re trying to break into.
Order your copy
Attend our virtual event with the author on May 13!

The Music of Bees by Eileen Garvin

Heartwarming and life affirming, this is the gentle story of how three very different people bond over the raising of bees. Alice Holtzmann is a beekeeper in Oregon. She is a widow but likes her privacy and quietness. When she finds Jake, a wheelchair bound teenager by the side of the road, Jake proves to be a great listener and learner. Jake comes to live with her and help with the bees. Enter another hapless bumbler, Harry, an ex-felon with anxiety. The town bonds over saving the bees from the big pesticide company. 

— Valerie

READ if you’re looking for the next Eleanor Oliphant.
PASS if you’re looking for something heartchilling and life-denying.
Order your copy

Adult Nonfiction 

Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner

This is the story of how writer and musician Michelle Zauner lost her mother, and of how the transformative power of her grief brought her closer to herself. Studded with wry observations and warmly-rendered memories of her Korean American upbringing, Zauner explores the intricate links between food and identity, as well as the tangled web of love, sadness, loyalty, conflict, and laughter that characterizes the parent-child relationship. A frank and affecting coming-of-age memoir, brimming with compassion. It’s also some of the most powerful food writing you’re apt to read. Recommended. 


READ because this is full of honest, moving writing… and will also have you picking up Korean food for dinner tonight.
PASS if you’d rather wait until after Mother’s Day to tackle this one.
Order your copy

The Hummingbird’s Gift by Sy Montgomery

Hummingbirds are tiny, delicate, arguably magical creatures. Brenda Sherburn has the specialized training and skill to rehabilitate abandoned or injured hummingbirds before reintroducing them to the wild. In this true story, we follow as she nurtures two tiny abandoned hummingbird chicks from their earliest days through their struggles to eat, keep clean, learn to fly and fend for themselves in the wide world. The detailed facts about hummingbirds included in the book are sure to amaze and impress. At less than 100 pages, this book makes a lovely gift for the bird-lover in your life, particularly for anyone who loves hummingbirds. 

— Jennifer K

READ because Sy Montgomery is an utter master, and this is a quick, engrossing read.
PASS if you’re the one person in the world who doesn’t smile at the sight of a hummingbird.
Order your copy