Book Bites: Daisy, Nikki, Monkey, Cake

Here's one thing about working at a bookstore: You'll never see the top of your nightstand again. Between all of the recommendations and advance copies, each member of our staff has a "to be read" list that's dozens—hundreds?—of titles long, along with a hefty stack of books waiting to be picked up. We've been reading, reading, reading our way through our lists, and we have to say: It's been a great season for new releases. In the last few weeks, we've welcomed a pair of fantastic picture books, a delightful middle grade debut, some great novels for teens and adults, and (despite the chilly temperatures) the first wave of books that could make for fantastic summer reading. Heard the hype about Daisy Jones & The Six? It's real, friends. Clear some space on your shelves and give us a visit—we'll send you home happy.

Ages 4-8

What Is Inside THIS Box? by Drew Daywalt; illustrated by Olivier Tallec

Monkey and Cake are best friends. One day, Monkey shows Cake a box which he claims has a cat in it. Cake does not believe Monkey because the cat disappears as soon as the box opens. Who's correct? Read this one until the end to find out the truth. A very funny new early reader series.

READ this delightful series starter if you like other duos like Elephant and Piggie or Frog and Toad.
PASS if the whole Schrödinger thing gives you a headache.
Order your copy on our website. 

Another by Christian Robinson

A young girl and her cat suddenly wake up one night and follow an identical cat through a portal into another world. Once through the portal, the world turns upside down and sideways and everyone has a duplicate to play with. Robinson plays with direction and perspective and encourages readers to do the same. The book becomes an object that will entertain readers of all ages!

READ this for the imaginative format and magical sense of adventure.
PASS it around—it’s a fun, interactive story that’s meant to be handled and shared.
Order your copy on our website. 

Ages 8-12

Nikki on the Line by Barbara Roberts

Thirteen year old Nikki is thrilled to make an elite travel basketball team, but the stress that comes along with it can be hard to deal with. How she handles that stress and how she becomes more of the Nikki she  is meant to be is what makes this book truly wonderful, along with an authentic voice and a wonderfully diverse group of family and friends. A pitch-perfect middle grade novel for all to love! Best for grades 5 and up.

READ this Spring 2019 Indies Introduce pick for its sweet story about a young girl becoming herself.
PASS the ball—we’re open!
Order your copy on our website. 

Ages 12 & Up

Superman: Dawnbreaker by Matt de la Peña

Clark Kent has always been stronger and faster than everyone else. He can hear and see things no one else can. He's chosen to downplay these gifts, to fly under the radar. He stumbles across classmate  Gloria Alvarez crying and discovers that people are disappearing from Smallville. As Clark works to solve the mystery with his friend Lana Lang, he learns more about himself and that Smallville may not be what it seems. De la Peña sets Superman's origin story in the Midwest, incorporating urban renewal, migrant farming and immigration with a deft touch. A thoughtful, enjoyable read for grades 7 and up.

READ this latest installment of the acclaimed DC Icons series because… come on, it’s Matt de la Peña!
PASS if reading is your Kryptonite. Matter of fact, you may want to steer clear of the store if that’s the case.
Order your copy on our website. 

Adult Fiction

The River by Peter Heller

What Heller's latest novel lacks in length at only 184 pages, it more than makes up for in intensity. Two college friends are ending their summer as outdoor guides in a long canoe trip in the lakes and rivers between the US and Canada. With his vivid descriptions of the natural world—both the beautiful and the grim—Heller captures the world of the outdoorsman. Those of us who are not outdoorsmen can still appreciate his descriptions of fishing, and all readers will be mesmerized by his descriptions of forest fires and canoeing through rapids. But it's not all about nature, unless one includes human nature, also both the beautiful and the grim. As Jack and Wynn realize that a forest fire is heading their direction, they try to warn two other sets of boaters. A man stumbles on their campsite, claiming that his wife has disappeared, and the two boys decide to go back and look for her. When they succeed in finding her badly injured, Jack suspects her husband of assault, and the boys' canoe trip takes on a dangerous tone.

READ if you liked Celine or Deliverance
PASS if your idea of an outdoor adventure is taking a glass of wine and a book out to the patio.
Order your copy on our website. 

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Fronted by brothers Billy and Graham Dunne, The Six is a hard-working ‘70s rock band on the cusp of national stardom. They’re looking for something extra to push them to the top of the charts when they come into the orbit of Daisy Jones, a magnetic singer with equal measures of ambition and self-doubt. The record company throws the two together into a spotlight no one is prepared for, lifting the band to new artistic highs as it pushes them to personal lows. 

The book’s greatest strength is its well-drawn characters—a nifty feat considering its unique narrative form. It’s written entirely in dialogue, taken from fictional tell-all interviews with members of the band, producers, and music critics. These interviews are woven into a narrative that simultaneously charts the growth, rise, and fall of the band from many perspectives. It’s almost like reading a script—which somehow makes the whole thing feel more real. Your only regret at the end of the book will be that you can’t listen to the classic Daisy Jones & The Six albums the author describes. Recommended.

READ because this is the top pick on the March Indie Next List, Reese Witherspoon picked it for her book club, she’s also turning it into a TV series, and the buzz goes on!
PASS if you think that rock music is the tool of the devil.
Order your copy on our website.