Blue Willow Content Team's blog

Book Bites: Bibliopinions and Girlboss

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!

Novelist Abbi Waxman Chats Books, Bookstores, and THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL

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!

Book Bites: Novelpalooza

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! 

Exclusive Excerpt: THINGS YOU SAVE IN A FIRE

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.

Propositioned.

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.

Book Bites: Beach Reads, Ocean (Vuong), & More

In a reading rut? We’ve all been there. You pick up a book, get a few chapters in, and just… run out of steam. We’re here to say that we’ve discovered the cure: More books! This week, we have a literary twist on the old hair-of-the-dog concept—seven books that are guaranteed to break you out of even the toughest reading rut and get you back into bookish bliss. So, what will it be? Fantasy? Romance? Interesting family dynamics? Read our recommendations below and take your pick. (Doctor’s orders.)

Book Bites: Romance! Mystery! Bravery! Spaceships!

New books, new books! Summer reading is officially upon us, friends, and the brand new releases hitting our shelves do not disappoint. Great debuts? Check. Classic beach reads? We’ve got ‘em. Dazzling thrillers? Science fiction? Biography? Memoir? Stop reading this silly intro and check out our list of recent favorites. No matter what kind of book you’re after, you’re sure to find something to love. Read on!

Bestselling Author Sarah Dessen on Her New Book, Dreamy Love Interests, and What's Next

Few authors are more synonymous with summer reading than Sarah Dessen. Since the publication of That Summer over 20 years ago, Sarah's books have been a fixture of many a nightstand, backpack, beach bag, or carry-on. We're so excited to share the latest from this #1 New York Times bestselling author with you next month—it's called The Rest of the Story, and it's exactly as big-hearted and magical as you'd expect. Sarah's coming to visit us on June 5th as she kicks off an epic book tour. Come join us to talk books and get your book autographed! In the meantime, check out our exclusive Q&A with the author. We asked Sarah all about the new book, the love interest, and her favorite summer getaway.

A Q&A with Matthew A. Cherry and Vashti Harrison, Author and Illustrator of HAIR LOVE

Friends, have you seen the charming new picture book gracing our display this week? It's called Hair Love. Adapted from the animated short film of the same name, the book is a celebration of fathers and daughters—and an ode to loving your natural hair.

It's a sweet and empowering story, and we can't wait to share it with you. What's more, we're absolutely thrilled to welcome the author, Matthew A. Cherry, to the shop on May 21! You may remember Matthew from his time as a wide receiver in the NFL. Nowadays, he's an author and filmmaker—and was named to Paste Magazine's list of Directors to Watch in 2016. Matthew will be joined by our friend (and Bookworm Festival 2019 alum) Vashti Harrison, who illustrated the book and provided character art for the short film.

Check out our Q&A with the creators, then be sure to head to our events calendar for the details—we're looking forward to seeing you!

Book Bites: Running the Gamut

We pride ourselves on balance here at the store. Half of our space is devoted to kids’ books, half is for adults, and each one of our merry band of booksellers is wholly committed to fostering a love of books in readers of any age. Just check out our list of recent favorites below—we’ve got everything from a great read aloud for young families to a terrific book about Egypt and the Arab spring by longtime New Yorker staff writer Peter Hessler. Welcome, all readers!

Mac Barnett on Margaret Wise Brown

If you've known us for a little while, you probably know that we're just a little bit fond of Mac Barnett. From his laugh-out-loud school visits to engaging in-store events, it's clear that Mac has a knack for engaging with young readers and getting kids excited about books. His latest project pays tribute to another such author: The often imitated, rarely equalled Margaret Wise Brown. A gorgeous picture book biography, The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown has picked up rave reviews from just about everyone in the industry ahead of its May 21 release.

We're pleased to offer an exclusive pre-order campaign to support this wonderful book—if you reserve your copy of The Important Thing About Margaret Wise Brown on our website before May 16, we'll send you a first edition that's signed and personalized by Mac and signed by illustrator Sarah Jacoby. Check out our Q&A with Mac, then scroll to the bottom of the page to learn more about our pre-order offer. 

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