blue willow content team's blog

Sweet Sixteen

It's a good thing our bookstore is expanding, y'all. We had so many boxes of new releases stacked in the back room last week that there was barely any room to stand, let alone wrap books or place orders. The good news is that those boxes were full of some absolute gems, which we're excited to share with you now. It doesn't matter what kind of reader you are. This week, we've got something for everyone—sixteen titles in all! Picture books. Middle grade. YA. Rom-coms. Genre fiction. Literary heavyweights. Better get reading!

Book Bites: Sep-Tome-Ber

September is here! Has it brought us any cooler weather? No, not really. But what it has delivered is just as good — we've officially entered Big Fall Publishing Season, and great new books are coming fast and thick. Here, we're highlighting a dozen of our very favorites from the first half of the month, including new books by longtime favorites like Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen, Cressida Cowell, Lauren Groff, and more. Stay tuned next week for another round of reviews... and in the meantime, we highly recommend investing in some new shelving. You're going to need it.

Book Bites: Favorites Fresh and Familiar

Have you been doing a lot of reading lately? Books have been flying off of — and onto — our shelves the last two weeks. Our new arrivals section is packed with exciting titles from favorite authors as well as fresh new voices we can't wait for you to meet. There's something here for everyone, ages three on up. Which will you read first?

Book Bites: Bed of Proses

Not to sound like a broken record over here, but it's been the same story for weeks: It's way too hot outside to do much of anything except lounge around with a cold beverage and a stack of new books. This week, we're serving up a refreshing mix of cozy mysteries, romance, middle grade, and more to help keep your mind off of the 100+ degree heat. Stop by and see us if you need to freshen up your shelf — the shop A/C is marvelously cool, and we can't wait to talk books with you.

Book Bites: Some of These Are Books

Are y'all ready for this? Early May marks the start of the big summer publishing push, and our crowded back room can attest to the fact that there are lots of great new books heading your way soon. Scientifically speaking, we're talking "oodles." Frankly, we'd really appreciate it if you paid us a visit and brought your biggest tote bag. We're sure you'll find some gems to take home — after all, this Tuesday alone boasts new releases from favorite authors like Carter Higgins, Vashti Harrison, Katherine Applegate, Angeline Boulley, Emily Henry, and more. Read on!

J. Elle on ASHES OF GOLD and What’s Next

Houston’s own YA superstar J. Elle returns to the shelves this month with Ashes of Gold, the epic finale of her bestelling Wings of Ebony duology. Friends, the book is going to knock your socks off, and we can’t wait to share it with you soon — in fact, we’re lucky enough to be hosting a virtual event with the author on January 12 to help celebrate its publication. J. Elle appear in conversation with fellow YA author Brigid Kemmerer, and we’ve been looking forward to it for months. There’s more exciting news, too: If you buy your copy of Ashes of Gold with us before January 7, it will be signed and personalized by the author — who’s also kicking in an exclusive bookmark! 

We had the chance to catch up with J. Elle before our event and ask her a few questions about the new book, writing Houston, and what’s next. Check out our conversation below — and we’ll see you on the 12th!

Book Bites: Late-Breaking Favorites

The year in publishing is winding down, the holidays are creeping up, and we’ve been busy at the shop ordering books for next spring. But good books can come along at any time, evidenced by our latest roundup of staff picks. Don’t let these titles get lost in the end-of-year shuffle — there are great options below for just about every type of reader. So clear some space on your TBR and plan to come see us sometime soon!

Book Bites: Something For Everyone

If you’ve been following the store for a while, you know that we love to share our favorite recent releases with you here on the blog. Some weeks, we’re especially excited about a group of new novels. Other times, we’re all about middle grade or YA. But on occasion, the stars align and we can deliver a classic all-ages, all-genres bookish lovefest. This is one such occasion! Enjoy, friends.

New in YA: Fall Picks From Our Experts

Good news, YA readers: Our teen section is overflowing with amazing new books for you to read. Here, we’ve collected some of our favorite new YA picks across a variety of genres—including a heartrending memoir that’s one of our favorite books of the year. 

Many of the reviews below come from members of our Teen Advisory Board, a great group of dedicated Houston-area readers. If you like what you see below, consider checking out our YA First Editions Club subscription — each title for the subscription is hand selected by the board. And with subscriptions starting at just three months, it’s a perfect gift for the YA reader in your life — or for yourself! 

Book Bites: Middle Grade, Mystery, & More

As we turn the calendar to October, new books continue to fall onto our shelves fast and thick. Here, we highlight some of the new releases we’re most excited to share with you — from picture books by staff favorites Kevin Henkes and Bob Shea, to new middle grade novels from Kate diCamillo and RJ Palacio, to Anthony Doerr and the latest exploits of the Thursday Murder Club. Grab your favorite comfy chair and settle in — there’s great reading ahead.