Recommendations and Reviews

Highlights of what we've been reading and loving.

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! 

The Best Books of 2020

2020 has been a unique year, to say the least. Through all the uncertainty, we've been so grateful for you, our friends and neighbors, and your wonderful support of our local bookstore. With the holidays just around the corner, we can't wait to help you discover the perfect gifts for everyone on your list. To that end, our merry band of booksellers is very proud to present our annual "Best Books" list—a selection of titles we especially loved this year, and think you will, too. 

Happy reading, friends. And from the bottom of our hearts, thank you for your continued love and support.

New in YA: October Picks from Our Teen Advisory Board

Our amazing (and busy) Teen Advisory Board reads and reviews a lot of books every month. This works out well for us, because they have truly great taste—from thrillers to rom-coms and everything in between, this group of voracious readers is helping to make our YA section one of the most exciting places in the shop. Here, take a look at some of the October releases they're most excited to share with you. One of the books, Foreshadow, has even been selected by the board as the second book in our YA First Editions Club subscription program. Subscribers reecive a new book every month, with a bookplate signed by the author, exclusive bookmark, invitation to a Zoom hangout with the author(s), and a note explaining why the Teen Advisory Board loved the book. Did we mention that subscriptions make a great birthday or holiday gift? wink Happy reading! 

Book Bites: Required Reading

This week, we put together a list of must-reads for y'all. Some books are returns from beloved, well-known authors (Sophie Blackall! Jacqueline Woodson! Garth Nix! Graham Swift!), while others are by staff faves or soon-to-be-well-known (so hop on board first!) writers like KA Holt and Tracy Deonn. We made it easy: Just keep this list of books in your back pocket and add 'em all to your to-be-read list. Happy reading! (Good luck deciding which one to start with.)

Book Bites: Gold Mine!

September is the start of the big fall publishing season, and there are lots and lots of big, exciting books heading towards our shelves—including the ones in this post! Our best advice: Treat yourself to a nice, large stack to keep you entertained as it slowly starts to get darker earlier and we find ourselves spending even more time indoors. We've sifted through tons of titles to find some real gold—whatever your age or interests, your To-Be-Read pile is about to get a lot more exciting. Happy reading, friends, and may your next read always be ready!

Book Bites: Books to Stay Inside With

We're headed towards another week of grueling heat and humidity—with a possible hurricane thrown in, for good measure—which makes us much happier with the prospect of another week spent largely indoors. But we know that it can get boring being confined to one space, even if the thermometer readings make it worth your while. Happily, we have just the thing: A new list of fantastic reads for all ages (YA books in a separate post, here) for you to peruse. Find your next great adventure (or memoir, or historical fiction, or...) to keep you entertained while you stay cool inside, relax by the pool, or enjoy your nighttime reading. Read on, friends!

New in YA: September Picks from Our Teen Advisory Board

The amazing and talented members of Blue Willow’s Teen Advisory Board read a ton (we mean a TON) of books every month. They find and review incredible and engaging books that they think fellow YA bookworms will enjoy. Below, take a look at their September favorites to find your next favorite read(s)!

Also, attention to all YA lovers: You can now purchase a subscription to Blue Willow’s YA First Editions Club! Each month, subscribers receive a first-edition book picked by our Teen Advisory Board, a bookplate signed by the author, and some fun exclusives—like special bookmarks and virtual hangouts with authors. You can learn more here—happy reading!

Guest Post! Author Rex Ogle on the Magic of Graphic Novels

Have you noticed our graphic novel section growing? It’s true—the more we read this genre, the more we love it. If you haven’t picked one up in a while, now’s a great time to dive in. Don’t just take it from us, though. Author and friend of the shop Rex Ogle (Free Lunch) says we’re living in a golden age for graphic novels, and he would know—he used to edit comics for Marvel, DC, and Scholastic, among others.

Here, Rex shares his perspective on the genre, as well as some of his top graphic novel picks for middle grade and young adult readers.

Cathy’s Picks for Bookstore Romance Day

Everybody needs a little love in their lives these days, right? Good news on that front: This Saturday is Bookstore Romance Day, a special bookish holiday designed to celebrate readers and writers of romance fiction. The romance genre is responsible for some of the funniest, most diverse, and empowering books out there. To mark the holiday, store events coordinator and champion of the happy-ever-after Cathy Berner shares how reading romance has shaped her life and made her a better reader below. She also runs through a few of her recent favorites, which are all but guaranteed to make you smile. So make some space on your TBR pile for romance and read on. (If you’re new to the genre or catching up on this year’s releases, our three-book romance bundle is a great place to start!)

Pages