Book Bites: New Favorites Await!

Is there any better feeling than walking into a bookshop? We do it all the time, and it still gives us a little thrill. There's something about the feeling of possibility, the sense of discovery as you wander down a shelf knowing that the perfect book is waiting for you in plain sight. Of course, we're more than happy to help steer you in the right direction, which is exactly what we've done in choosing our latest staff picks. No matter whether you're looking for a picture book, graphic novel, mystery, poetry, fantasy, romance, or capital-L Literature, there's something for you below. Read on!

Ages 3-7

Norton and the Bear by Gabriel Evans

Norton likes to dress differently. It makes him feel unique. When Bear likes Norton's new sweater and wants one of his own, Norton buys a scarf to keep things different. Each time Norton adds a new item to his outfit, Bear does the same. Ultimately, Norton realizes that wearing the same clothes doesn't matter too much. Though Norton and Bear may look identical, they are still very different. A sweet reminder that what we look like on the outside doesn't mean as much as what we are on the inside.
— Barb

READ because this is a fun, sweet read. Plus, it was shortlisted for the Children's Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year!
PASS if your friend just read it and you don’t want to copy them.
Order your copy

Big Truck Little Island by Chris Van Dusen

A large truck gets stuck on an island roadway, blocking traffic on both sides. Everyone has somewhere they need to go and the kids come up with a great solution. Based on a true story, this is a gentle reminder that cooperation makes the world better!
— Cathy

READ because this is an exciting and engaging tale based on a true story. And it's by Chris Van Dusen!
PASS if you are anti-cooperation.
Order your copy

Ages 8-12

Growing Pangs by Kathryn Ormsbee; illustrated by Molly Brooks

Over the course of four seasons, young Katie discovers that life can be messy. Based on the author's own experiences, we follow our middle schooler (homeschooled) through friendship breakups, new friends, and, most seriously, through OCD. The parents are loving and supportive. This graphic novel helps to show through the pictures the difficulties anyone might have dealing with the buzzing in their head.
— Valerie

READ because this is a thoughtful graphic novel about anxiety and growing up.
PASS if you only read books that have zero depth and no heart at all.
Order your copy

The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton; illustrated Khadijah Khatib 

For hundreds of years, Arcanum Training Institute has educated Marvellers on how to discover and control their true powers. This year, Ella is the first Conjurer to be admitted to Arcanum and the eyes of the magical world are on her. Many classmates instantly distrust her, and Ella must balance that pressure with learning all about Arcanum and the world of the Marvellers. A beautifully realized magical world (and many fun Easter eggs) make this middle grade fantasy a very enjoyable read!
— Cathy

READ if you are a fan of authors like Rick Riordan, Soman Chainani, or Roshani Chokshi.
PASS if characters with magical powers make you jealous and upset.
Order your copy

Ages 14 & Up

Inheritance by Elizabeth Acevedo; illustrated by Andrea Pippins 

Artist Andrea Pippins illustrates Elizabeth Acevedo's most famous spoken-word poem, an ode to the beauty of natural black hair. At once a celebration and a powerful reminder that you cannot fix what was never broken. Simply gorgeous art and prose.
— Cathy

READ because this is a stunning visualization of a poem everyone should know.
PASS if you have decided to never read a book ever again.
Order your copy

The Agathas by Kathleen Glasgow & Liz Lawson

Two high schoolers, one in the cool group and one not, band together to solve the mystery of Brooke Donovan's disappearance in an upscale coastal California community. Alice Ogilvie fashions herself after the great mysteries by Agatha Christie. Iris Adams is in for the money (in order to help her mother to escape a domestic abuse situation). Not for the tender-hearted, but it is funny and as fast-paced as any adult thriller. The group of sleuths is very smart. And they are determined to figure out what happened. In the end, of course, it's not the usual suspects. 
— Valerie

READ because this is a fantastic, fun start to new mystery series. 
PASS because you’re reading all 66 of Agatha Christie’s detective novels so you can catch all the references in this page-turner.
Order your copy

Adult Fiction

Marrying the Ketchups by Jennifer Close

Oh, family drama! The Sullivans own the aptly-named restaurant Sullivan's in Chicago. As the third generation takes on the mantel, many stories ensue. After Bud, the beloved grandfather dies, many of the family return to help in the restaurant, all for their own reasons. This is a generational saga with lots of love, food, drama, and a rebuke to the Trump administration.
— Valerie

READ because this is the perfect balance of laugh-out-loud funny and “I need to cry and hug my dog.”
PASS if you prefer mustard. 
Order your copy
Attend a virtual event with the author on May 3!

Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Nora is a literary agent who is all about work. After Libby notices her hard work, she begs Nora to accompany her on a vacation. The goal is to put the New York City life, including Nora's job, behind and to enjoy each other's company in a new town. Dedicated to making this a memorable trip, Libby puts together a checklist of things to try out before they are forced to return home. However, imagine Nora's surprise when Charlie, an editor she met with months before to discuss a client's book, is spotted in the small town. Seeing as they don't have the best history as co-workers, Nora is hesitant to say anything to Charlie… that is, until they run into one another over and over again. Their banter and jokes are unique and make the enemies-to-lovers relationship one to follow.
— Ayah

READ because indie booksellers across the country are swooning — this was their top pick for the May Indie Next List!
PASS if you need to read Henry’s other novels, People We Meet on Vacation and Beach Read, first.
Order your copy
Attend a virtual event with the author (and Jodi Picoult!) on May 5!

Trust by Hernan Diaz

At its heart, this novel is the story of financial genius and survival of the October 1929 stock market crash. Part historical fiction, part mystery, part egotistical embellishment of the facts, and part detective work, it's a fascinating tale of New York City in the 1920s and 1930s and two wunderkind who became a reclusive couple with secrets about the way they accumulated their wealth. Andrew Bevel came from a wealthy family and added to his financial empire with the help of his wife Mildred. After Mildred's death, a writer published a thinly disguised novel about the Bevels, presented here as the first part of the book. In the late 1930s, Bevel hired a young woman to help him write his autobiography (the second section of the book), and she describes that process in the third part of the book. The structure of the novel and the way the story evolves are what make the novel so compelling. Recommended.
— Alice

READ if you’re looking to get invested in an unpredictable, captivating read.
PASS if you have trust issues.
Order your copy

By the Book by Jasmine Guillory

Jasmine Guillory retells Beauty and the Beast set in the publishing world. Isabelle, an editorial assistant, ends up in California helping Beau write his celebrity memoir. Dive right in and enjoy the sly references to the Disney story while reveling in Guillory's wonderful storytelling.
— Cathy

READ because Jasmine Guillory is an auto-recommendation here at the shop, and we all need to pick up a delightful romance this spring.
PASS if your heart has shriveled into a dusty little fossil.
Order your copy
Attend an in-person event with Jasmine Gullory and Bryan Washington on May 6!

Book of Night by Holly Black

Holly Black has created a world in which shadows can be changed for amusement or appearance’s sake. Meet Charlie Hall, bartender and part time con artist in the world of shadow trading. When someone truly evil from her past reemerges, Charlie’s life explodes and she forces herself to return to the world of shadows and secrets to try to find a future in which she – and those she loves – can survive. Holy cow. So many twists and turns in a world that's at once fantasy and reality. I couldn't put it down!
— Cathy

READ because Holly Black is a master of fantasy writing and Cathy really wants to talk about this book with you. 
PASS if you’re waiting until our event to pick up a signed copy! 
Order your copy
Attend an in-person event with the author on May 10!