Recommendations and Reviews

Highlights of what we've been reading and loving.

Book Bites: Bonanza!

Folks, it’s a bumper crop of great new books this week, starting with a beautiful picture book by an acclaimed Caldecott medalist. Five novels made the cut, including a twisty, turny tale that should have plenty of crossover appeal into the young adult market. From there it’s on to literary fiction, a period piece, a thriller, a family drama… suffice it to say that you’ll find something on this list that you can love. Finally, take a turn into nonfiction, where we have a pair of tremendous books whose titles sound synonymous—but whose subjects couldn’t be more different. What will it be, friends? Read on!

Book Bites: New Angie Thomas (!!) & More

First things first, everybody. The incredible Angie Thomas, keynote speaker at TeenBookCon 2019, is back this week with her stunning sophomore novel. Friends, it’s every bit as good as The Hate U Give, and it needs to go right to the top of your TBR pile. We don’t care how long it’s been since you were 16, or whether you know the first thing about hip-hop. Trust us when we say that you’re going to fall for Bri Jackson and her story.

Now that that’s taken care of, we’ll show you the rest. For kids, we have a great picture book about an odd little dog and his killer accessories. Beyond that, Texas author Lynne Kelly has written a beautiful middle grade novel that has Katherine Applegate, and many others, singing praises—come see her at the shop on the 9th! The new graphic novel from Jerry Craft is worth your time, especially if you’re into Gene Luen Yang or Raina Telgemeier. (And who isn’t?)

For adults, take your pick: We have a well-drawn piece of historical fiction for fans of The Crown, a collection of short stories straight out of The Twilight Zone, and a multigenerational saga that's perfect if you liked Accordion Crimes or Bel Canto. Whatever you choose, happy reading—we can’t wait to hear what you think.

Book Bites: Penguins, Balloons, Romance, Narcissists

If you’ve been around the site for a while, you probably know the drill. Every two weeks, we publish a roundup of some of our favorite new book releases, from a variety of genres. This week, we have a rare even split: Three picture books, and three novels. Pick up a few—you’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll fall in love with reading all over again. Isn’t it funny how good books can do that to you?

Book Bites: A Robot, a Spy, a School Bus, a King, a Wall, and Freefall

Talk about kicking off 2019 with a bang! We’re just a week into January, and already we’ve read a handful of new releases that would be strong contenders for any year-end list. Readers of all ages are represented below—we’ve got everything from a gentle picture book about the meaning of love to a high-strung thriller stuffed with intrigue. Actually, we’ve got two of that last kind, if you count the new Mac Barnett. Read on!

Book Bites: Jingle Books

There's something about the holidays that makes us crave an armchair and a thick stack of books—novels for the evening, say, and raucous readalouds with sons, daughters, nieces, nephews, and grandchildren during the day. And of course, nothing beats a good, holiday-themed book this time of year. We've rounded up a list of a few recent favorites in that category below. Stop by and try a couple, if you'd like—we don't think you'll be disappointed. Happy holidays, friends.

Book Bites: It’s Cookbook Season

The holidays are almost upon us! Like so many people around the country, we’re looking forward to spending some quality time with family and friends in the weeks to come. And eating some quality food, too—“the holidays” and “feasting” are basically synonyms, as far as we’re concerned. That’s why we’re featuring a different kind of book this week than the usual mix of kid lit, novels, and nonfiction. ‘Tis the season for cookbooks, friends. Not only do cookbooks make wonderful gifts for the kitchen enthusiasts on your list, but they can provide some great inspiration for your own holiday festivities. (By all means, keep don’t stop making your traditional batch of grandma’s fudge. But this year, you can bring a fun new side dish, too.) Happy eating… er, reading.

The Best Books of 2018

These twenty-five titles represent our very favorites from a wonderful year in publishing. You’ll find books for readers of all ages and inclinations. Books about food, books about war, books about spies, books about poverty, books about crime, books about race, and gender, and sexuality, and love. And that’s the beautiful thing about books, really. There’s always something for everyone. Books have the power to transform, unite, inspire, excite, and delight us. They can show us our own lives; they can show us lives that we otherwise couldn’t imagine. They can show us the lives of potatoes. Happy reading, friends.

Book Bites: Lucy in the Sky with Lies, Ladders, Libraries, a Texan, a Cat, and Thomas Cromwell

The holiday season is fast approaching! Around here, that means that there are more new books coming in every week than we can shake a stick at. Still, you know us: We always make plenty of time for reading. Take a peek at some of our recent favorites below, which run the gamut from a side-splitting picture book to a weighty biography—with plenty of thrills, tears, adventure, and some exquisitely written prose in between.

Book Bites: From Zelda to Alva, Plus Evan, George, Marie, and More

Hungry for a new book? You've come to the right place. This week, we've prepared an eight-course literary repast that's sure to please your reading palate. From picture books to graphic novels to buzzy adult fiction, there's something for everyone here. Our best advice? Read 'em all. Your heart will be full—and so will your shelves. Happy browsing, friends.

Book Bites: Pants, Petticoats, a Python, Plus!

No matter what you like to read, there’s a new release on our shelves calling your name. Yeah, yeah, we’re a bookstore, we’re supposed to say that kind of thing. But seriously: Want to marvel at the sheer beauty of a book? We’ve got the new Markus Zusak on the horizon, plus Matt de la Peña and Christian Robinson’s follow up to their Newbery winner, Last Stop on Market Street. Care to get lost in the folds of a gripping story? The fantasy-friendly reader should head straight to the new Laini Taylor. If it’s tension and realism that you’re craving, check out the long-awaited new novel from Andre Dubus III. History buff? Go for Kate Atkinson or Mackenzi Lee. Fancy a laugh? Eric Idle has a new book out that will have you in stitches, while Laurie Keller’s new picture book will have your stitches in stitches. Come see us sometime soon—we’ve got a lot of great candidates for you to add to your nightstand.

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