Blue Willow Content Team's blog

June is Audiobook Month! Staff Favorites from Libro.fm

Did you know that June is audiobook month? How about that audiobook purchases can support local, independent bookstores like yours truly? That’s right—our audiobook partner, Libro.fm, partners with and supports over 500 independent bookstores around the country. Which means that you can enjoy à la carte listening or a monthly audiobook subscription all while supporting your community and keeping more of your money in the local economy—instead of funding a certain someone’s self-indulgent ten-minute trip to not-quite-space.

If you think all of this sounds like cause for celebration, well, you’re not wrong. So we’ve created a list of staff recommendations featuring great recently-released audiobooks to help kickstart your summer of listening. Enjoy!

Book Bites: Perfect Summer Reads

We’re getting to that time of year when we pretty much want to do one thing: Settle in with a nice pile of books, directly underneath the strongest A/C vent we can find. (Maybe with an occasional trip to the poolside thrown in for variety’s sake.) Happily, there have been some great June releases hitting our shelves that will make building the perfect stack a breeze. Settle in for our latest recommendations, from middle grade to YA rom-com to summery novels to nonfiction. We’ve even thrown in a cookbook, in case you get peckish. Read on!

Books to Celebrate Grads & Dads

June is a month of celebrations, friends, and we’re here to remind you that books make the best gifts. So we’ve compiled a list of recommendations to help you celebrate the grad or dad in your life. Whether you’re seeking inspiration, words of wisdom, or just a bunch of cute animals to lift the spirits, you’ll find it in our grad section below. Scroll a little further, and you’ll come across a collection of dad-tested, dad-approved titles in fiction and non. Did we mention that we gift wrap? Oh, the places you’ll go… now that you have your gift-giving sorted out.

 

Book Bites: To the Nines

It was another rainy summer week in Houston, so if you’re anything like us, you’ve been mowing through your TBR list like nobody’s business. Lucky for you, we’re here with a fresh batch of recommendations to spruce up your shelves. This week, we have nine new titles for your consideration, from YA historical fiction to breezy beach reads to a book of essays about Juneteenth. So take a peek at our reviews below and clear some space on your nightstand—we think you’re going to find something you’ll love.

Book Bites: Fizzy Summer Reads

Summer reading is back, friends, which means that our shelves are spilling over with bright new literary confections. This week, we want to share a stop-in-your-tracks-gorgeous picture book that will inspire profound conversations. From there, you can take a refreshing dip into some middle grade magic or explore the buzzy new YA novel that’s part The Princess Diaries, part Crazy Rich Asians. We also have three breezy reads for adults, plus a wildly entertaining Texas-based family novel that takes its cues from Greek mythology. And finally, a dishy Hollywood memoir with surprising emotional resonance. Shake off your beach towel and stop in for a stack—we’d love to see you.

Shawn Harris on Nature, Illustration, and HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A FLOWER

Here at Blue Willow, we’ve been big fans of illustrator Shawn Harris since his beautiful first book, Her Right Foot. Shawn’s debut as both author and illustrator, Have You Ever Seen a Flower?, is out on May 4, and we can’t wait to share it with all of our wonderful educators, parents, and young readers. Cathy calls it "an ode to the human connection to nature, not to be missed."

We had a chance to ask Shawn a few questions about the new book, his distinctive style, and what’s coming next. Check out our exclusive Q&A below, then order your copy of Have You Ever Seen a Flower? from the bottom of the page. If you order before May 4, you'll also receive a signed bookplate, an art print, and a branded seed packet while supplies last!

Book Bites: The Bee’s Knees

We have a bee in our bonnet about books around here—can’t stop reading them, can’t stop talking about them. So this week, we’re bringing you a range of buzzed-about recommendations that we just know you’re going to love. Below, you’ll find a stunning new picture book that encourages readers to stop and appreciate nature, a beekeeping novel, a sweet-as-honey rom com that’s perfect for the beach, an ode to the hummingbird, and much more. Give us a buzz and schedule your shopping appointment—there’s reading to be done!

Editor Stephanie Lurie on THE LAST FALLEN STAR and Rick Riordan Presents

If you’ve been shopping at our store for a while, you know we have a special place in our hearts (and on our shelves) for “Uncle” Rick Riordan, whose magical, mythology-infused middle grade novels have been delighting readers for fifteen years. When he’s not writing his own books, he’s busy with his own imprint, Rick Riordan Presents, which is publishing some of the funniest, most thrilling, and exciting middle grade series today.

We caught up with Stephanie Lurie, the Editorial Director of Rick Riordan Presents, to chat about working with Uncle Rick, children’s publishing, and what’s coming next from the imprint—starting with The Last Fallen Star, by Graci Kim. We’re delighted to host the launch event for that book on May 4, when author Graci Kim will appear in conversation with Rick Riordan himself. You can learn more about that event on our website, and purchase tickets here. In the meantime, check out our interview with Stephanie below!

Book Bites: Liz Picks 'Em

Could your shelves use a little freshening, friends? (This is a trick question. The answer is always “yes.”) Our merry band of booksellers has been enjoying the wave of spring releases coming into the shop, and we’d love to share a few of our favorites with you. This week, we’re excited about an unusual new picture book from an all-time favorite, a pair of YA adventures loved by our teen advisory board, a modern short story collection that draws from mythology, and a trio of novels vetted by Liz. Read on!

Book Bites: Hist Fic & Other Picks

As we continue to mask up and social distance… well, it’s another great week to curl up with a good book, isn’t it? Fortunately, we have some great recommendations to help you do exactly that, highlighted by a trio of wonderful historical novels. If that’s not your flavor, don’t worry: We also have a sweet family read-aloud, swoony YA escapism, a multi-generational South African saga, and two compelling memoirs from a pair of remarkable women. Happy reading, Houston—and here’s hoping that we can gather together to talk about books in the not-too-distant future.

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