Blue Willow Digital Marketing Team's blog

Book Bites: Tome After Tome

We’re capping off an extraordinary month in publishing with another round of new staff picks for readers of all ages and persuasions. We’ve shared more than forty great titles with you since the calendar flipped to September, and while we’re a little sorry for the strain we’ve probably added to your bookshelves, we’re mostly just excited to have someone to talk to about some of these great new releases. Stuck in a reading rut? Just check out the list below or stop in and see us — as the old saying goes, “If you're lost, you can look, and you will find books... tome after tome.”

Book Bites: Fresh Books Daily

The September rush of great new books continues! Here, we’ve collected some of the very best of this week’s releases. We’ve got a hilarious picture book, fantastic middle grade, historical fiction, thrillers, prize-winning authors… and even the first hint of holiday cheer. Dust off your bookshelf and make some room on your nightstand — you’re going to want one or two of these. Read on!

Jacky Dawson's Two Paws Up

The Dog Days of Summer may *technically* be over, but we Texans know it's still plenty hot out there. Here, our part-time shop dog Jacky Dawson shares her thoughts on this summertime phenomenon—plus some of her top reading picks for you (about dogs, of course)!

Varsha Bajaj on Writing a Mystery, Water Inequity, and THIRST

Our dear friend (and neighbor to some of our staffers!) Varsha Bajaj returns this month with a brand new middle grade novel, Thirst. Friends, the book is incredible. It's a poignant, page-turning mystery that addresses the class divide and access to resources head-on, and its Mumbai setting provides an incredible window into life on the other side of the world. The book is also full of jumping-off points for important discussions, and has already been named a Global Read Aloud selection for 2022. We can't wait for you to read it.

We are honored and excited to welcome Varsha to the shop for an in-person event celebrating the book's release on July 16. If you pre-order the book through us before then, you can get a signed, personalized copy — and we'll make a donation to Water.org. (If you're an educator, the deal is even sweeter — you can upload your proof of purchase and receive a free educator's kit for the classroom, courtesy of the book's publisher.) In the meantime, check out our Q&A with Varsha below!

Hats Off to Grads and Dads!

Have you heard that books make the best gifts? It's true... and we know that many of you have called or stopped in recently looking for gifts for a couple of specific late-spring occasions: High school and college graduations, and Father's Day. Here, we’ve compiled a few of our favorite in-stock recommendations for each occasion. So if you’re seeking words of wisdom, inspiration, or helpful college cooking tips, check out our grad section below. Scroll past those picks, and you’ll find an assortment of dad-approved titles from picture books to nonfiction. Stop in or give us a call, and we'll even take care of the gift-wrapping — leaving you more time to celebrate the dads and grads in your life. Hooray!

Book Bites: Summer Reading is Here!

In case the upper-90s heat we’re staring down hasn’t tipped you off, we have it on good authority that summer is just around the corner. Just take a look at our shelves, which are packed with new releases that perfectly fit the “summer reading” mold. Just in time, too — we’ve dusted off our annual summer reading challenge, which kicks off on June 1. So peruse the list of stories below, including tales of sleepaway camp, cats in space, time travel, historical fiction, and more, and make some room on your TBR pile. We’ve even included a cookbook to help you plan your summer get-togethers. Dig in!

Eliot Schrefer on the Animal Kingdom, His Stonewall Honor, and QUEER DUCKS

Friends, we can’t wait to share the new book for teens (and up!) from National Book Award finalist Eliot Schrefer with you all. It’s called Queer Ducks, and it delves into the fascinating world of animal sexuality with humor, wit, and smarts. It’s an absolute treat to read — take it from Blue Willow Events Coordinator and Children’s Specialist Cathy Berner, who says, “The engaging format that combines scientific research, comics, and memoir made me feel like I was sitting next to Eliot in science class, passing notes and comics back and forth — and then going for coffee afterwards!”

Cathy caught up with Eliot before the book’s launch to talk about Queer Ducks, Eliot’s recent Stonewall honor, and more. Check out their conversation below, then save the date for Eliot’s virtual launch event on May 24. He’ll appear in conversation with Newbery medalist Kelly Barnhill, and it’s sure to be a conversation you won’t want to miss!

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