Book Bites: Yorick and Books

We continue to be closed to the public—the storefront has turned into one big shipping warehouse—and as the weeks roll by, we find ourselves missing you more than ever. Even though we know it’s the right thing to do, it has been hard. We miss seeing your faces, and talking about books and life and how the two reflect one another and intertwine. We’re tentatively looking at early June for a quiet, socially distant reopening of some kind. Stay tuned for details. Until then, we know just what will lift your spirits and ours—a classic all-ages, all-interests recommendation fest featuring some of our very favorite new books. Buckle up and read on… no matter what you’re looking for, you can find it on our shelves.

Ages 4-8

Federico and the Wolf by Rebecca J. Gomez; illustrated by Elisa Chavarri

Frederico heads to the marketplace for ingredients to make salsa with his abuelo. As he bikes through the park to Abuelo's shop, a wolf stops him, but Frederico pedals on. And so begins this retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. Gorgeous illustrations, bright colors and clever text make this a fun addition. For all ages.

READ because this fresh retelling adds exciting new layers to a familiar favorite story.
PASS if you’re in the belly of a wolf. (Too dark to read!)
Order your copy on our website.

What About Worms!? by Ryan T. Higgins

Tiger is not afraid of anything. Except worms. He loves flowers but there might be dirt in the flower pot and the dirt might contain worms. What's a Tiger to do? An engaging, funny book that will have readers clamoring for more.

READ because it's Ryan Higgins! What could be better? Answer: Not much at all.
PASS if you’re afraid there might be an actual, literal bookworm waiting to terrorize you once you flip open the pages.
Order your copy on our website.

Ages 8-12

Yorick and Bones by Jeremy Tankard and Hermione Tankard

A fortuitous crash between a hot dog vendor and a witch allows her potion to seep into the ground, awakening poor Yorick—yes, Shakepeare's Yorick—in his grave. Alas, poor Yorick seeks friendship—no small feat when one is a skeleton—leading to hilarious encounters. Iambic pentameter has never been so accessible or laugh-out-loud funny. Here's hoping this is not the last of Shakespeare's graphic novels for 8-80 year-olds!
—Jennifer G.

READ because this quirky comedy is the start of our favorite new series.
PASS if you hate hilarity and despise delight.
Order your copy on our website.

Ages 10 & Up

Tornado Brain by Cat Patrick

Your heart will go out to Frankie and her twin sister Tess. Frankie narrates this poignant story in which a classmate (and former best friend) Colette disappears. With acute perception, Frankie begins to solve the mystery. The seaside town of Long Beach, Washington is a cinematic backdrop for this story of family, friends, loss, and growing up.

READ because in addition to being beautifully-written and engaging, this book is important. 
PASS if you think truly unforgettable characters just grow on trees.
Order your copy on our website.

Ages 14 & Up

Date Me, Bryson Keller by Kevin van Whye

Each week, Bryson Keller must date someone new—the first person to ask him out on Monday morning. Everything changes when Kai asks him out and, in doing so, comes out to Bryson. This is a story of self discovery, of coming out, and of hard won love from family, both blood and chosen. It's pure joy.

READ this wonderful #ownvoices book if you dig Simon Vs. or To All the Boys.
PASS if your heart’s an empty hole. 
Order your copy on our website.

Adult Fiction

Keep Saying Their Names by Simon Stranger

Simon Stranger does a beautiful job blending fiction and fact in this prize-winning story that started out as an investigation into his wife Rikke's great-grandfather, a Jewish shop owner named Hirsch Komissar, who was executed during World War II in Trondheim, Norway. As he researches the lives of his wife's ancestors, Stranger is drawn to the story of Henry Oliver Rinnan, a young Norwegian who became a notorious collaborator with the Germans who occupied Norway during the war. Rinnan and his gang set up a jail and interrogation center in a suburban Trondheim house. After the war, the house was empty until Rikke's mother and grandparents moved in, lucky to have found a house so inexpensive. This is an intense read as Stranger goes back and forth among the characters' stories. He imagines Hirsch's ordeal as a prisoner; he explores Rinnan's experiences as a disaffected youth looking for respect; he recounts the unhappiness of Rikke's grandparents living in the Rinnan house in the decade after the war. And he tells of his interviews with survivors and his research into the national archives. The writing is both blunt and lyrical and the format grabs one's attention. Recommended.

READ because this haunting novel definitely deserves a spot on your WWII shelf.
PASS if you’re looking for some light-hearted fun.
Order your copy on our website.

The End of October by Lawrence Wright

World-famous epidemiologist Henry Parsons works for the CDC, leading teams to far flung corners of the earth to track and index patients of emerging diseases. A World Health Organization team of scientists has been dispatched to an insurgent camp in Kongoli, Indonesia, where a raging hemorrhagic fever has been reported and the scientists have been non-communicative for several days. Henry and his driver arrive at the camp to a scene of utter devastation. Henry dismisses the driver and begins his investigation. A day later, the driver is headed to Mecca on a personal religious Haj, a life-time goal about to be achieved. As millions of devout Muslims gather in Saudia Arabia for the annual pilgrimage, the driver comes in contact with thousands of fellow believers, unknowingly spreading the deadly contagion. Thus begins a fast-paced, well-written account of how an epidemic could easily and believably become a pandemic. This book reads like a thriller and was hard to put down. Recommended for any germ-nerds, science lovers, or those who like Tom Clancy. 

READ because this eerily-timed book will appeal in the same way that made everyone watch Contagion in the last few weeks.
PASS if this one’s going to hit a little too close to home right now.
Order your copy on our website.

Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld

This is a fictionalized story of the early years of Bill and Hillary (Rodham) Clinton’s romance, when they were in law school, and subsequently graduated and moved to NW Arkansas. The story deviates from reality when they part ways, rather than marrying. They both go on to have high profile political careers. This is the story of what might have been… Recommended for political junkies and those interested in the Clinton family.

READ because this is a funny, sharp, and surprising book with cathartic feminist themes.
PASS…. Look, you can decide for yourself whether you’re interested in reading this one.
Order your copy on our website.