Blogs

Book Bites: Women’s History Month and TeenBookCon, Too

Happy Women's History Month, friends! We're proud to be a woman-owned, women-run independent bookshop every day of the year, but this month is a special reminder to highlight the invaluable contributions of women. We're excited to highlight books by women authors below — including a sweet picture book, a wonderful piece of historical fiction, a fantastic debut novel, and a selection of books by authors who will be featured at this month's tenth annual TeenBookCon!

We’ve been busy, busy, busy preparing for TeenBookCon 2019, which will feature 24 of the best YA authors writing today. To say that we’re looking forward to it is just a tiny bit of an understatement — none other than Angie Thomas and Laurie Halse Anderson (!!!) are keynoting the festival — so we’re turning a chunk of this biweekly roundup over to them. Dig in and read on, friends.

Sabina Khan on TeenBookCon, Creativity, and RUKHSANA ALI

Have you heard about The Love and Lies of Rukhsana Ali by Sabina Khan? It's an urgent and powerful debut novel about the LGBTQIA+ community in contemporary Bengali culture that deftly balances heartache and hope. And its titular protagonist is bound to end up on your list of favorite YA characters. Don't just take our word for it, though—Rukhsana landed on the Spring 2019 Kids' Indie Next List, and has been featured on Hypable, Parade, and BookRiot. The book has even drawn praise from some of our other favorite authors, like Sandhya Menon, Samira Ahmed, and Sara Farizan.

We're so excited to welcome Sabina Khan to the tenth annual TeenBookCon on March 30, where she'll be joined by 23 other fantastic authors and thousands of fans from the greater Houston area. Check out our exclusive Q&A at the jump, then hurry up and register for TeenBookCon so you can meet Sabina, get your book signed, and spend a day surrounded by some of the coolest readers and authors around. What could be better than that?

Book Bites: Daisy, Nikki, Monkey, Cake

Here's one thing about working at a bookstore: You'll never see the top of your nightstand again. Between all of the recommendations and advance copies, each member of our staff has a "to be read" list that's dozens—hundreds?—of titles long, along with a hefty stack of books waiting to be picked up. We've been reading, reading, reading our way through our lists, and we have to say: It's been a great season for new releases. In the last few weeks, we've welcomed a pair of fantastic picture books, a delightful middle grade debut, some great novels for teens and adults, and (despite the chilly temperatures) the first wave of books that could make for fantastic summer reading. Heard the hype about Daisy Jones & The Six? It's real, friends. Clear some space on your shelves and give us a visit—we'll send you home happy.

Book Bytes: Audiobook Favorites from Libro.fm

Have you heard about our audiobook partner, Libro.fm? It's a wonderful platform, full of smart, opinionated recommendations from real booksellers (including some of yours truly)—which makes it much better than whatever some anonymous computer algorithm recommends, as far as we're concerned. How do they do it? By partnering with and supporting over 500 independent bookstores around the country. Setting up an account with Libro means supporting your local community. What's not to love?

They're also running a spectacular deal right now for new customers switching from the Amazon-owned Audible platform: Join Libro.fm, support your local bookstore by doing so, and get three audiobooks for the price of one. Jeffrey doesn't really need more money, does he?

Here are some of our very favorite audiobooks to get you started.

Christian Robinson on Art, Inspiration, and ANOTHER

Christian Robinson's distinctive illustrations are well-known to anyone who's been paying attention to picture books over the last several years. He's the artist behind best-selling favorites like Gaston and Antoinette by Kelly DiPucchio, and Josephine by Patricia Hruby Powell, for which Robinson received a Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor. The list goes on—Robinson has worked with Mac Barnett, Cynthia Rylant, and Renee Watson, and has twice teamed up with Matt de la Peña, including for Caldecott Honor Book and winner of the 2016 Newbery Medal Last Stop on Market Street.

Early next month, Robinson will publish his first book as an author-illustrator, Another. It's a beautiful, wordless adventure story, and we can't wait to get it into the hands of emerging readers. Even more exciting? We're hosting Robinson right here in the shop on the book's release day, March 5. Prepare for the event by reading our Q&A, then make plans to join us—we can't wait to see you there.

Book Bites: Bonanza!

Folks, it’s a bumper crop of great new books this week, starting with a beautiful picture book by an acclaimed Caldecott medalist. Five novels made the cut, including a twisty, turny tale that should have plenty of crossover appeal into the young adult market. From there it’s on to literary fiction, a period piece, a thriller, a family drama… suffice it to say that you’ll find something on this list that you can love. Finally, take a turn into nonfiction, where we have a pair of tremendous books whose titles sound synonymous—but whose subjects couldn’t be more different. What will it be, friends? Read on!

Book Bites: New Angie Thomas (!!) & More

First things first, everybody. The incredible Angie Thomas, keynote speaker at TeenBookCon 2019, is back this week with her stunning sophomore novel. Friends, it’s every bit as good as The Hate U Give, and it needs to go right to the top of your TBR pile. We don’t care how long it’s been since you were 16, or whether you know the first thing about hip-hop. Trust us when we say that you’re going to fall for Bri Jackson and her story.

Now that that’s taken care of, we’ll show you the rest. For kids, we have a great picture book about an odd little dog and his killer accessories. Beyond that, Texas author Lynne Kelly has written a beautiful middle grade novel that has Katherine Applegate, and many others, singing praises—come see her at the shop on the 9th! The new graphic novel from Jerry Craft is worth your time, especially if you’re into Gene Luen Yang or Raina Telgemeier. (And who isn’t?)

For adults, take your pick: We have a well-drawn piece of historical fiction for fans of The Crown, a collection of short stories straight out of The Twilight Zone, and a multigenerational saga that's perfect if you liked Accordion Crimes or Bel Canto. Whatever you choose, happy reading—we can’t wait to hear what you think.

Bookworm Keynote Speaker David Shannon on Art, Read Alouds, and GROW UP, DAVID!

Photo Credit-Blue TrimarchiDavid Shannon has been a staff and customer favorite here at the shop pretty much since we first got our hands on How Georgie Radbourn Saved Baseball over twenty years ago. As an author or illustrator, he never ceases to amaze—from the Caldecott Honor-winning No, David! to A Bad Case of Stripes, reading a David Shannon book means signing yourself up to be delighted, surprised, and inspired to imagine.

We're so, so excited that David is joining us for the sixth annual Bookworm Festival for emerging readers on February 2, where he'll deliver the morning keynote address. Before joining us at Jersey Village High School to meet David (along with the rest of the stellar Bookworm author lineup), check out our Q&A with the author.

Book Bites: Penguins, Balloons, Romance, Narcissists

If you’ve been around the site for a while, you probably know the drill. Every two weeks, we publish a roundup of some of our favorite new book releases, from a variety of genres. This week, we have a rare even split: Three picture books, and three novels. Pick up a few—you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll fall in love with reading all over again. Isn’t it funny how good books can do that to you?

Book Bites: A Robot, a Spy, a School Bus, a King, a Wall, and Freefall

Talk about kicking off 2019 with a bang! We’re just a week into January, and already we’ve read a handful of new releases that would be strong contenders for any year-end list. Readers of all ages are represented below—we’ve got everything from a gentle picture book about the meaning of love to a high-strung thriller stuffed with intrigue. Actually, we’ve got two of that last kind, if you count the new Mac Barnett. Read on!

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