Book Bites: Replenish That Nightstand!

It’s been weeks since we’ve been able to welcome you into the shop to browse our shelves, and we miss you all like crazy. Things are a little different here than you may remember—the shop has turned into a miniature warehouse. All our tables have turned into packing lines, and we’re setting rows and rows of bags outside for porch pickup. So give us a call or send us an email—we’re here to meet your reading needs, and we’d love to share some of our favorites with you. Below are a few recent picks we’re especially excited about. Read on!

Ages 4-7

Outside In by Deborah Underwood; illustrated by Cindy Derby

In this lovely, quiet picture book, Underwood reflects on the interaction between Outside and Inside and how we experience both on a daily basis. Perfect for the home or the classroom, this is a book to savor.

READ because honestly, what better time is there to reflect on the interaction between inside and out?
PASS if you are a fish. You probably won’t be able to relate.
Order your copy on our website.

Ages 5-9

Baloney and Friends by Greg Pizzoli

Featuring Baloney the Pig, and Baloney's friends Bizz (a bee), Peanut (a horse) and the hilariously grumpy Krabbit (a rabbit), this book will remind readers of their favorite bits from the Frog and Toad series. Greg Pizzoli has created an early reader/comic book mashup full of heart and humor!

READ because Greg Pizzoli is one of the best, and everyone loves Frog and Toad—Baloney and Friends will be no different.
PASS if you’ve got a bit of a Krabbit disposition.
Order your copy on our website.

Ages 9-12

When Stars are Scattered by Victoria Jamieson and Omar Mohamed; illustrated by Victoria Jamieson and Iman Geddy

Graphic novelist Jamieson (Roller Girl) teams up with Somali refugee Mohamed to tell Mohamed's story of growing up in a Kenyan refugee camp before qualifying for resettlement in America. A stunning, poignant memoir that finds the beauty in community and human perseverance. 

READ because Victoria Jamieson is everything, and this is an amazing collaboration.
PASS if… you don’t like books?
Order your copy on our website.

On the Horizon by Lois Lowry

Incredibly, Newbery Award-winning author Lois Lowry, the daughter of an Army dentist, has home movies, taken in 1940, of her 3-year-old self playing on the beach in Waikiki, Hawaii, as the USS ARIZONA steams towards Pearl Harbor on the horizon. At the age of eleven, she and her family joined her father in postwar Tokyo, Japan—imagine what she just have seen, felt, wondered! In this slim, poignant narrative-in-verse, Lowry draws on the stories of real people, both American and Japanese, as well as her own memories. In spare verse, Lowry deftly puts a human face on those who lost their lives and those who survived and leads readers to consider the tragic consequences of war. Beautifully executed.
—Jennifer G.

READ because it’s not every day that we get to fire up our "NEW LOIS LOWRY BOOK" siren. (Every bookstore has one.)
PASS for no circumstance imaginable.
Order your copy on our website.

Adult Fiction

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

Nina Ross is a beautiful grifter with an axe to grind. After years of conning billionaires to let her into their mansions and then robbing them blind, she and her Irish beau go after a really big fish on the shores of Lake Tahoe. Their mark is the Leibling Family who owns a sprawling estate dating back to the 1800's. Their mansion, dubbed Stonehaven, is filled with lovely valuable antiques. But Nina has her sights set on somehow finagling her way into the heart of the family and into the heart of the house where a safe sits that reputedly contains millions and millions of dollars. Nina needs the money to pay for her mother's ongoing hospital bills, but she also wants to make the Leibling family hurt. She has a history with the family and especially with their youngest son, Benny, who was Nina's first real love. The family drove Nina away because she was deemed not good enough for the scion of this powerful family, and now she's back with a fury with revenge on her mind.

READ for a twisty, fun story of two complicated families colliding. 
PASS if the only twisty things you like are pretzels.
Order your copy on our website.

How Much of These Hills Is Gold by C Pam Zhang

In post-Gold Rush California, a Chinese-American family struggles to make money to improve their lives. When bad things get even worse, 10 and 11-year old Lucy and Sam take off on a stolen horse and head east, living off the land. Sam takes off on her own, and Lucy ends up in a town but never feels really at home.  The two sisters meet up again several years later and decide to try to fulfill their mother's dream—traveling to China where they might finally find Home.

With lyrical style that cloaks the narrative of a chain of miserable events in a dream-like quality, Zhang's writing evokes the real sense of alienation that many immigrants and displaced people feel as they search for a place to belong. The writing is beautiful. Recommended.

READ because this is going to be one of the best, most assured debuts of the year. Plus, it has a great cover.
PASS if you like bad books with ugly covers.
Order your copy on our website.

The Love Story of Missy Carmichael by Beth Morrey

Missy Carmichael is so very alone now that her husband is gone, her daughter is estranged, and her beloved son and grandson live in Australia. A park visit gone awry opens up her world to new people. She finds solace and family with Bob, a dog foisted on her, and friends who make up a new family. There's laughter, love, and grief. It's a tearjerker of the best kind.

READ if you like any of Eleanor Oliphant, A Man Called Ove, or dogs.
PASS if you’re the one person on the planet who hates all those things.
Order your copy on our website.

Adult Nonfiction

My Wife Said You May Want to Marry Me by Jason B. Rosenthal

Shortly before her untimely death from ovarian cancer, Amy Krouse Rosenthal wrote a column that appeared in the New York Times Modern Love section. Entitled "You Might Want to Marry My Husband," it detailed her loving marriage with Jason and her wish that he find happiness after she passed. The column went viral and was read more than 5 million times. In this memoir, Jason recalls his marriage to the incomparable Amy, the agony of her death and his journey through grief. Full of candor and encouragement, this offers support to those experiencing their own loss.

READ because this will break your heart, then put it back together again. It’s wonderful.
PASS if you have no heart to break. We recommend that you go to see the wizard at once.
Order your copy on our website.