Book Bites: Late-Breaking Favorites
The year in publishing is winding down, the holidays are creeping up, and we’ve been busy at the shop ordering books for next spring. But good books can come along at any time, evidenced by our latest roundup of staff picks. Don’t let these titles get lost in the end-of-year shuffle — there are great options below for just about every type of reader. So clear some space on your TBR and plan to come see us sometime soon!
Our Table by Peter H Reynolds
A perfect book for Thanksgiving and the whole year. Violet notices that her family no longer sits at the table. They are all in separate rooms on their own devices. She discovers that the table gets smaller and smaller until it fits in her palm. Wise girl that she is, she recruits her family to rebuild a table where they can all sit and be with each other. Lovely.
READ this lovely seasonal book to help illustrate what holiday gatherings are all about.
PASS if you prefer to spend the holidays alone in a cave.
The 1619 Project: Born on the Water by Nikole Hannah-Jones, Renée Watson, Nikkolas Smith
Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones and honor-winning author Renée Watson collaborate on a picture book that depicts the Black history of the people who were enslaved in Africa and brought to America in 1619. Adults and children alike will be changed by this gorgeous book.
READ because this is a powerful book by a dream team of creative collaborators.
PASS this one along to a friend or two when you’re done.
Ages 14 & Up
Roxy by Neal & Jarrod Shusterman
In this story that combines reality and fantasy, the opioid crisis is on full display. Narcotics have human names and a real purpose. Roxy (Oxicodine) wants to bring someone to the party and to the leader, Hiro (heroin). Addison (Adderall) wants to bring someone as well. Isaac, a high school soccer star, finds Roxy when he takes his grandmother's pain pills after an injury threatens to sideline him. Ivy, his sister, needs to concentrate in order to graduate. Her psychiatrist prescribes Adderall. This clever, clever take on how drugs can infiltrate your mind is an engaging morality tale.
READ because the Shuster-men have delivered another tense and engaging hit!
PASS if you’re looking for a happier kind of literary escapism.
All the Feels by Olivia Dade
When actor Alex Woodroe gets into trouble one time too many, his producer assigns him a minder to keep an eye on him until the show's final season is released. Alex and Lauren appear to be total opposites, but they have great chemistry and more things in common than not. This story has some of the best banter I've read in a while, and the emotional depth that comes from discussions of body positivity, abuse and mental health issues elevate this steamy romance into something very special. Do not miss this rom-com!
READ because this is a clever, irresistible rom-com with multiple starred reviews.
PASS if you’re one of those rom-com-avoiders we sometimes hear about. (Maybe give it a try sometime, though!)
Attend our virtual event with Olivia Dade and Julie Murphy on November 14!
Just Haven't Met You Yet by Sophie Cousens
Laura has high standards for love: her parents had the most romantic love story of all time — or so she thought. As a journalist specializing in love, interviewing couples to share their meet cute stories, Laura decides to travel to Jersey Island where her parents met and to research their story based on old pictures and the story of a coin she wears as a necklace. Her luggage gets mixed up with a man that she has decided is her soulmate based on what is inside his suitcase. Will she follow her heart or follow the objects that make her think she has found true love? In the meantime, she learns a few details about her parents that her mom forgot to tell her. A book that will make you smile from beginning to end!
READ if you have Sophie Kinsella or Josie Silver in pride of place on your bookshelf.
PASS if cozying up with a great romance novel somehow isn’t in your fall/winter plans.
Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King
Lily King's narrative skill shines in this her first short story collection. The ten stories visit ten characters of assorted ages who respond to the challenges of daily life and learn a lot about love in the process: a naive teenage babysitter who is assaulted by her charges' older brother; a widowed shop owner who finds himself drawn to one of his employees; a mother-daughter on a vacation that starts out badly; a young boy who recounts his adventures with two college minders when his parents go to France. The credible voices and appealing characters make each piece a fully developed and emotionally satisfying story of love in its many forms. It's a good offering to those who claim to dislike short stories.
READ this one even if you don’t usually go for short stories! Alice said so, so you have to do it.
PASS and feel the wrath of a vengeful Alice.
Being Texan by Editors of Texas Monthly
The Editors of Texas Monthly have compiled a book of essays and recipes that offer a master class in the state of Texas. Covering history, personalities, art, flora, fauna and food, this book is for native Texans as well as those newcomers seeking to understand the state. As someone who's called Texas home for 20 years, Being Texan reminds me why I love this state in all its bold, grand, complicated glory.
READ because this is a loving ode to Texas that knows better than to pull its punches.
PASS … if you’re not interested in Texas? What are you even doing on our website?