Book Bites: Romance! Mystery! Bravery! Spaceships!

New books, new books! Summer reading is officially upon us, friends, and the brand new releases hitting our shelves do not disappoint. Great debuts? Check. Classic beach reads? We’ve got ‘em. Dazzling thrillers? Science fiction? Biography? Memoir? Stop reading this silly intro and check out our list of recent favorites below. No matter what kind of book you’re after, you’re sure to find something to love. Read on!

Ages 14 & Up

I Wish You All the Best by Mason Deaver

When Ben comes out as non-binary, their parents throw them out of the house, in spite of the fact that it's 30 degrees outside—and Ben doesn't have shoes on. With nowhere else to go, they call their sister Hannah, who takes them into her home. Ben transfers to a new high school and must begin again in the second semester of their senior year. This debut novel addresses a number of serious issues surrounding gender identity in a gentle, charming way and readers will delight to see Ben blossom as they move forward. For grades 9 and up.

READ if you’re into Becky Albertalli, Adib Khorram, or Adam Silvera.
PASS if you’re into intolerance or bigotry.
Order your copy on our website. 

Don’t Date Rosa Santos by Nina Moreno

If you're a guy with a boat, don't date Rosa Santos. Both her grandfather and her father died at sea, so she is supposed to stay close to home and away from that water. But that's tough when you live in Port Coral, Florida! Of course, while organizing a fundraiser to save the community, Rosa meets a boy who feels pulled to the ocean. What's she to do? This debut novel is pitch perfect in tone and voice, with characters who are as real as your own friends and family. For grades 8 and up.

READ because this is Jenny Han-esque in the best way—full of diverse characters, interesting family dynamics, and swoony moments.
PASS if you’re looking for something really bleak and depressing for your summer reading.
Order your copy on our website. 

Adult Fiction

Vessel by Lisa A. Nichols

Colonel Catherine Wells is the only surviving member of the exploration team that passes through a wormhole. All at NASA believe the entire crew to be dead for more than 7 years. Somehow Catherine is able to return but with no memories of "the event" which caused the others to be left behind. Upon returning to Earth, Catherine struggles with black outs and memory loss as she tries to re-establish her family life and regain the memories of the lost time in space. She attempts to help NASA with the second mission to the same area of space in the search for habitable planets but some do not believe she is credible any longer.

READ if you went to go see Interstellar or Gravity in theaters. You’ll like this one.
PASS if you think character-driven page-turners are just too boring.
Order your copy on our website. 

The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin, while her sister, Ami, wins at everything. Ami has financed her entire wedding by winning contest after contest, covering everything from the bridal gown to the honeymoon to the seafood buffet. The seafood buffet turns out to be a problem, though, as all of the wedding guests and the wedding party are beset by a hideous case of food poisoning—except for Olive and Ethan, best man to the groom and nemesis to Olive. With a free trip to Hawaii suddenly up for grabs, Olive and Ethan call a truce and head to Maui for a 10 day un-honeymoon. A funny, entertaining beach read.

READ because this delightful book got three starred reviews! It’s perfect for fans of Jasmine Guillory or Helen Hoang, too.
PASS if your heart shrunk three sizes today.
Order your copy on our website.

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

The isolated Kamchatka peninsula, reaching out into the Bering Sea on the easternmost point of Russia, is the setting for this evocatively written and richly layered story of a community and its response to the disappearances of two young girls. The novel takes place over the period of a year and knits together in individual chapters the separate stories of different women who are in some way connected to the missing girls. So much more than a missing persons case, it's an intelligently-written portrait of present day Kamchatka seen in the lives of its women: their flaws, their family relationships (often dysfunctional), their ethnic distinctions and prejudices, their sometimes nostalgic views of the post-Soviet social structures, and the ways they feel about their community. I came away amazed at how well Phillips is able to communicate the complexities of place and culture in a part of the world so foreign to me. Recommended for readers who enjoy the novels of Tana French and Anthony Marra.

READ because who doesn’t enjoy a thoughtful thrillride? Everyone from Cosmopolitan to The New York Times is raving about this one.
PASS if you habitually read books that only get terrible reviews.
Order your copy on our website.

Adult Nonfiction

Spying on the South by Tony Horwitz

Horwitz brings us along on his latest project—tracing the steps of Frederick Law Olmsted, who traveled from his home in the northeastern United States to explore the South in 1850. It took Olmsted until his early 40s to settle on a career as a landscape architect. Earlier, he was an ardent anti-slavery advocate and dilettante who, with his tubercular brother, made the challenging trip down the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers to New Orleans, then headed west to Texas and Mexico, sending back dispatches about his experiences to newspapers in the east. One hundred sixty-six years later, Horwitz followed Olmsted's route, hitching a ride on a coal barge down the Ohio, then a cushy cabin on a Mississippi steamboat, and a rental car across Louisiana and Texas. The biographical information about Olmsted is informative, but the best part of the book is the brilliant reporting of Horwitz's interviews with the local folks he meets along the way, from the coal barge roughnecks, to the Cajun mudders, to the bartenders of small Texas towns, and Mexican Americans living along the Rio Grande. Horwtiz lives the advice of Olmsted who advised anyone who travels to be open to the unexpected. Highly recommended.

READ because this is a fantastic travel book / biography that takes a good, hard look at America’s past and present.
PASS if you only read books set above the Mason-Dixon line. (We might not be the store for you.)
Order your copy on our website. 

Sea Stories by Admiral William H. McRaven

Retired Admiral William McRaven knows the value of a good story and he shares a number of them in his newest book. As someone who has been involved in some of the most famous special operations missions in recent history, he provides a unique perspective on the capture of Saddam Hussein, the rescue of Captain Richard Phillips and the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden. Through it all, he pays tribute to all who support the mission, from enlisted men to officers to his wife Georgeann. A collection of tales full of bravery and heroism, this is not to be missed.

READ because this is an engaging, well-written book full of daring adventures—it’s a great choice for Father’s Day, too.
PASS, for now, if you forgot to make your bed this morning. Gotta do the little things before settling in to read.
Order your copy on our website. 
Better yet, attend our event with the author on June 2.