Blue Willow Content's blog

Book Bites: Cold Weather Companions

Have you been staying safe and warm, friends? It feels so odd to go from t-shirts and shorts to parkas and plant covers all within a few short days. Happily, the extra time indoors has meant more hours for reading — and we've got quite a few new books on our shelves that we think you're going to love. Below, read through our latest staff picks, from gentle picture books to twisty mysteries. It's one of our classic all-ages, all-interests roundups — dig in and add a few to your shelves. You won't be disappointed!

Book Bites: Ask Alice

By popular demand! This week, we're eschewing our usual roundup of recent staff favorites in favor of something a little more specific. If you've shopped our store for a while, you probably know Alice. And if you know Alice, you understand implicitly that she'll never steer you towards a bad read. So we've collected a few of Alice's recent favorites—some you can buy now, some you'll have to wait to read until next year—and offer them here as a starter-pack for your 2021 TBR list. Trust us: You're going to love these. Read on!

Blue Willow Kids' Holiday Favorites

The holidays are squarely upon us! Even though your celebrations may look a little different this year, there's nothing like a well-timed festive read to capture the magic of the season and time spent with loved ones. Our list of holiday picks is full of great choices to share with the excited kiddos in your life—even if you'll be reading together by Zoom this year. Bookseller pro tip: Reading these sweet books is a great way to get yourself into the holiday spirit, too. Who says children's books can't be enjoyed by adults? Here's to happy, cozy, and safe reading, friends.

New in YA: December Picks from Our Teen Advisory Board

Our wonderful and hardworking Teen Advisory Board is back with their last monthly YA recommendations of 2020. We are extremely grateful for their many hours of reading and reviewing. Take a look below to find your next read! There's a little of everything: Rom-com, drama, fantasy, suspense. One of the picks below, The Good Girls, has been selected as the official December pick in Blue Willow's YA First Editions Club subscription program. (A little reminder for you all: The holidays are right around the corner and the subscription makes a great gift.) Looking for some more? Scroll back through the other amazing recommendations on our blog. Happy reading! 

Book Bites: Four-Pack

We don’t know about you, but we still haven’t adjusted back to standard time. Fortunately, it’s a proven fact that you don’t miss the sunshine if you have a good enough book to keep you company, like the ones in our highly varied mini-list below. In the mood for a little fantasy? No problem. What about some secrets and rock and roll? Look below to find that read! Wondering what life would be like without modern technology? Scroll on down. Looking for a little love? We got you. Whatever your style, find your next read to snuggle up with—you won’t even notice when it gets dark at 5:00 PM. 

Book Bites: Fall Medley

This week, we've rounded up a bit of everything for our fellow book lovers. We have old-school mystery and contemporary romance; we include a great new book about a cook (by Houston's own literary superstar Bryan Washington!) as well as a great new cookbook. Throw in a fun new picture book that dabbles in math and music, and you've got a classic book soup. Serving suggestion: Curled up in your favorite chair, next to a fire, with a furry friend by your side. Happy reading, friends! 

New in YA: November Picks from Our Teen Advisory Board

We are extremely grateful for our dedicated and talented Teen Advisory Board this month and every month. After reading many books, the board has put together an excellent list of YA November releases sure to please any reader. Look for thrilling mysteries, captivating romances, and new twists on well-known tales below. One of their picks, These Violent Delights, has been selected by the board as the official November pick in Blue Willow's YA First Editions Club subscription program.  (A little hint for you all: subscriptions make great birthday and holiday gifts.wink ) Enjoy, friends! 

Book Bites: From Sweet to Spooky

Was that a bit of autumn air we felt last week? It came just in time—we've taken a close look at our favorite new releases and pulled a few seasonally spooky reads for those of you who are looking for some extra thrill, mystery, and magic for your October. You can find them below, alongside a variety of other fantastic year-round options for those uneager for the unnerving. So no matter what you're looking for, you'll easily... fall... for a title or two below. Happy (haunting?) reading, friends! 

Bryan Washington on MEMORIAL, Houston, and What He’s Reading

We’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. Bryan Washington, Houston literary superstar and author of Lot, returns with a new novel on October 27. It’s called Memorial, and it’s a touching and funny story about two young, gay Houston men: Mike, a Japanese American chef, and Benson, a Black day care teacher. Through their stories, Washington explores universal themes of family and what it means to be human—parent, child, lover, friend. The book is just sublime, and we couldn’t be happier for this Houston author. 

We’re extremely excited to host a special, virtual launch event for Bryan Washington and Memorial on October 26, and to offer signed, personalized copies to attendees. You can learn more about that event and register here. In the meantime, enjoy our Q&A with the author below. 

Dear Rick, Love Cathy

A note from Blue Willow Events Coordinator Cathy Berner on the enduring magic of "Uncle" Rick Riordan, whose final book in the Camp Half-Blood Chronicles is out October 6.

Fifteen years ago, Valerie handed me a book called The Lightning Thief and asked me to read it. I had just started working at the shop on a very part time basis—my kids were in preschool and kindergarten. I can still remember the silver cover with a gorgon, a minotaur, and a three-headed dog. And I vividly remember how I felt when I read the first few pages—I knew I was holding something special. 

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