We're Planning Something Special for Indies First Saturday: Notes from Valerie's Messy Desk

It's a long letter this time. This morning was the first time back in the gym for me after I fractured my foot in May. I think I will be feeling the pain in the morning! But it's not like I haven’t lifted pounds and pounds of books recently—we've hosted several authors recently who like heavy books with lots of pictures. (Did you get a chance to meet Ree Drummond? She was wonderful.)

We had a delightful evening with the Bush sisters last week. They were funny, warm, and the crowd loved them. I've been asked to tell you about the books and authors that they mentioned. Barbara is a huge fan of Junot Díaz, especially his short story collection. Jenna is friends with as well as a fan of Emma Straub. She loved Modern Lovers and The Vacationers. And she has been reading and rereading Splat The Cat to those two adorable daughters.

Our shop book clubs are coming up in the next two weeks. Join us to discuss two staff favorites—Lucky Boy and Americanah. That's it for 2017 book clubs. We take December off and will be back in January.

After you finish your fabulous Thanksgiving feast, clear your calendar for Indies First Saturday, a bookish spinoff of Small Business Saturday. This year, we're also calling it "Rebuild the Kendall Neighborhood Library Day"—we're donating a portion of our sales on November 25 to help undo some of the damage wrought by Harvey. The Kendall children's librarians will be on hand for a special story time at 11 a.m. Later on, our staff mixologists will serve literary cocktails while I talk about my favorite books of the year and gift giving suggestions at 4 p.m. Bonus: Our partners at Libro.fm are offering super sweet deals on audiobooks that day. Let me know if you want to receive their reminder email that morning with all the details—now is the time to sign up!

Speaking of the holidays, I see that there are six Mondays left before Christmas. This year, we're celebrating Holidays Without Batteries. All of our new games are splendidly battery free. Come see what we have been playing—and get that shopping taken care of.

I'm reading two books: Celine by Peter Heller in hopeful anticipation of his visit in the new year and Americanah for our evening book club. Maybe now certain staff and customers will stop bugging me about reading it! As for audiobooks (which made my 1 1/2 hour drive home from Bellaire last week palatable), I'm listening to Code Girls. The greatest generation of women who delivered valuable work during WWII will amaze and inspire you. If those titles don't strike your fancy, we have plenty more recommendations on our blog.

What are you reading?


The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It!: Simple, Scrumptious Recipes for Crazy Busy Lives Cover Image
ISBN: 9780062225269
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Cookbooks - October 24th, 2017

#1 New York Times Bestseller

Crazy delicious recipes for your crazy busy life from the #1 New York Times bestselling author and Food Network favorite, Ree Drummond the Pioneer Woman.

Sisters First: Stories from Our Wild and Wonderful Life Cover Image
ISBN: 9781538711415
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Grand Central Publishing - October 24th, 2017

The former first daughters share intimate stories and reflections from the Texas countryside to the storied halls of the White House and beyond.

This Is How You Lose Her Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594631771
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - September 3rd, 2013

Finalist for the 2012 National Book Award

Staff Pick Badge
Modern Lovers Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594634680
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - May 30th, 2017

“It’s ‘Friends’ meets ‘Almost Famous’ meets the beach read you’ll be recommending all summer.” –TheSkimm

Staff Pick Badge
The Vacationers: A Novel Cover Image
ISBN: 9781594633881
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Riverhead Books - June 2nd, 2015

"Delicious . . . richly riveting . . . The Vacationers offers all the delights of a fluffy, read-it-with-sunglasses-on-the-beach read, made substantial by the exceptional wit, insight, intelligence and talents of its author.”—People (four stars)

Splat the Cat Cover Image
By Rob Scotton, Rob Scotton (Illustrator)
ISBN: 9780060831547
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: HarperCollins - July 1st, 2008

It's Splat's first day of school, and he's worried. What if he doesn't make any new friends? Nervous kitties wondering about friends and school will enjoy laughing along with Splat the Cat!

Lucky Boy Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101982266
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: G.P. Putnam's Sons - September 5th, 2017

A gripping tale of adventure and searing reality, Lucky Boy gives voice to two mothers bound together by their love for one lucky boy.

“Sekaran has written a page-turner that’s touching and all too real.”—People

Staff Pick Badge
Americanah Cover Image
ISBN: 9780307455925
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Anchor - March 4th, 2014

The bestselling novel from the award-winning author of We Should All Be Feminists and Dear Ijeawele. The story of two Nigerians making their way in the U.S. and the UK, raising universal questions of race and belonging, the overseas experience for the African diaspora, and the search for identity and a home.

Staff Pick Badge
Celine: A novel (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101973486
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Vintage - January 2nd, 2018

Esquire Best Books of 2017
Minnesota Public Radio Best of 2017
The Morning News 2018 Tournament of Books Pick

New York Times bestselling author of The Dog Stars

“[A] gorgeously wrought story.” —Entertainment Weekly

Staff Pick Badge
Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II Cover Image
ISBN: 9780316352536
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Hachette Books - October 10th, 2017

The award-winning New York Times bestseller about the American women who secretly served as codebreakers during World War II--a "prodigiously researched and engrossing" (New York Times) book that "shines a light on a hidden chapter of American history" (Denver Post).