Gather around, friends! It’s time for us to gush about books again. Seriously, y’all—books are the greatest, and this week we have one of our classic something-for-everyone lists for you to check out. Read on to meet three fresh favorites… and four fantastic titles you may have overlooked earlier this year. We’ve got everything from middle grade novels to a cookbook included within. So, to borrow a phrase… dig in!
We're still basking in the bookish afterglow of our third annual Beat the Heat event last month. Liz Sullivan and Brian Contine, our publishing reps from Random House and Penguin, respectively, stopped by to share a few of their favorite recent and upcoming releases, give away more swag than a minor league baseball team, and generally heckle one another over whose books are best. Here's the thing, though: They're all good. Looking for big names? How do Colson Whitehead, Jojo Moyes, Jacqueline Woodson, Elizabeth Gilbert, and Margaret Atwood strike you? If you fancy a debut, try the great new novels by Roselle Lim, Linda Holmes, Claire Lombardo, or Kiley Reid. Or, take a break from fiction altogether and dive into Furious Hours, Life Undercover, or Running With Sherman. The point is, we all had an excellent time talking about some of the very best books of the year, and anyone looking for a GPS for their book club could do a lot worse than the 16 great choices collected here.
It’s that particular time in a Houston summer when we start to sometimes wish that we could be somewhere (pretty much anywhere) else. You know what we mean—the temperature is climbing towards 100, you can cut through the humid air with a knife, and all of a sudden the skies will open up when you’re trying to load the groceries into your car. Of course, we wouldn’t trade being here for anywhere else. So when we find ourselves momentarily wanting to escape, we know just where to turn: The bookshelf. This roundup of recent favorites is heavy on novels, though we’ve saved some room for kids and nonfiction, too. If you don’t see something that appeals, don’t fret—we’re just a phone call away, and could talk about great books all day. (Literally. We do that sometimes.)
If you've been around the shop lately, you know we're buzzing over the new book from Katherine Center, Things You Save in a Fire. Friends, it is so enjoyable. You'll be falling for the protagonist, Cassie Hanwell, before you know it—she's the protagonist your TBR pile needs. Like any Katherine Center book, this lovely story is packed full of humor and heart, and we think it will have a place of honor on your shelves for a long time. In fact, we're so excited that we're offering a special pre-order promotion: If you pre-order Things You Save in a Fire from us, we'll reserve a signed, personalized first edition—along with some fun swag, designed and hand-painted by the author.
Check out our exclusive Q&A with Katherine, then head on over to our dedicated pre-order page to get your copy. And circle August 13 on your calendar! That's when we're hosting Katherine, along with Kristan Higgins, right here in the shop. It's going to be a night to remember. Read on!
So is it just us, or has the fiction hitting our shelves over the last few weeks been particularly great? You probably think we say that about all the books, but we swear—this has been quite the summer for novels. And the best part is that it’s happening across every genre. We’ve got literary books full of hard truths and big ideas. We’ve got family sagas. We’ve got fizzy fun. In fact, we were all set to go with an all-novel theme this week to show off some of our new favorites. But then Valerie read a piece of non-fiction so good that it just had to be included. So instead, our theme is this: Good books. Which, when you think about it, is basically our theme every week. Read on!
We have some great July author events on the calendar, including one that will definitely appeal to you if you liked the book talk portion of our craft night! On Tuesday, July 30, Liz Sullivan and Brian Contine (two of the shop's favorite people ever) will present their favorite current and upcoming reads. Liz and Brian are our publisher reps from Random House and Penguin, respectively, so they know a thing or two about great books.
This week, we’re highlighting seven recent releases that drew raves from our very own dynamic duo…. Welcome to the Valerie and Cathy show! First up, Cathy shares her @bibliopinions on everything from picture books to a sweet novel starring your new favorite fictional bookseller. Stick around ‘til the end for two fantastic novels that Valerie’s excited to share with you all—you know our @BWBGirlboss would never lead you astray. Read on!
Are you a Jojo Moyes fan? Did you love AJ Fikry? Cuckoo for Kristan Higgins? Friends, have we got the book for you.
Meet Nina Hill. Nina enjoys her simple life of working in a bookshop and spending evenings reading or with her kick-butt trivia team. But when a lawyer reveals the large extended family Nina never knew she had, her carefully organized life is thrown into chaos. To make matters worse, there's a guy—he's Nina's trivia nemesis, and he's not nearly as big of a jerk as she thought. It's up to Nina to determine what will truly make her happy.... Are you hooked yet? The Bookish Life of Nina Hill is a warm, witty story of a woman coming into her own, and it's full of lovely asides about the joy of books and reading. It is, in the words of Event Coordinator Cathy Berner, "SO CHARMING!"
We're thrilled to welcome author Abbi Waxman to the shop on July 11th to introduce y'all to Nina in person, take questions, and sign books. It's going to be a wonderful evening. Read our exclusive Q&A with Abbi, then reserve your copy for the event. We can't wait for you to join us!
You know how it is, shopping these days. We live in an era of unprecedented choice. Which can be great! But it can also be overwhelming—since when do there need to be 19 varieties of tortilla chips? We see it with books, too. Every week, scores (hundreds?) of new releases are published, and it seems like every one of them comes with a great blurb from a favorite author or a starred review from a major critic. How to choose?
Well, we can help with that. We pride ourselves on our recommendations—we’re a staff of voracious Houston readers and we love getting to know our customers. Lately, we can’t stop thinking about the seven wonderful novels listed below. They come in all kinds of different flavors, but each one of them is a staff-approved gem. So read on and take your pick!
The night I became the youngest person—and the only female ever—to win the Austin Fire Department’s Valor Award, I got propositioned by my partner.
At the ceremony. In the ballroom. During dinner.
By my partner.
Read the first two chapters of Katherine Center's forthcoming novel, Things You Save in a Fire! Then, pre-order a signed, personalized copy as part of our special offer.