Recommendations and Reviews

Highlights of what we've been reading and loving.

Book Bites: Desperately Seeking Shelf Space

We know from over 25 years selling books that something amazing — a life-changing, world-enlarging, all-time-favorite of a book — can sometimes come out of nowhere, at any time of the year. Generally speaking, though, publishing tends to ebb and flow, with certain seasons or weeks set aside for a pile-up of incredible new releases. Lucky for you, we're in the midst of such a pile-up right now, as the world gets ready for spring and summer reading. So many great books have been coming into the store over the last few weeks, spanning all ages and all interests. The hardest thing about it was figuring out which titles to highlight for you here! We finally settled on eleven great reads, which you can find below. Give one a try — we know you're going to love it.

Book Bites: Mostly Middle Grade

If you’ve ever been by our store, you know how much we value kids’ books — they take up half of the available real estate in our pint-sized happy place. There’s good reason for that: Children’s books create tomorrow’s readers. And great children’s books are great books, plain and simple. In fact, we believe that readers of all ages should read a kids’ book or two every now and then. And by happy accident, our latest roundup of reviews is decidedly kid-centric. So whether you’re looking for the young reader in your life, or for something to remind you of the magic of children’s stories, dive in. 

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!

Celebrate Black History Month With These Recent & Anticipated Reads

February is Black History Month, and we always love to celebrate by sharing some reading recommendations with you all. Here, we’ve collected a list of recently-released and forthcoming books by just a few of our favorite Black creators—from longtime friends of the shop to new voices we're eager to hear more of. The recommendations below span all ages and interests, so whether you're looking for a gentle picture book to share with the young readers in your life, a breathtaking piece of YA fantasy, a romcom, or a thought-provoking piece of nonfiction, you're sure to find something you'll love. Read on!

Book Bites: Bears! Chickens! Foxes! People, Too.

It’s been cold and wet here in Houston, and all we want to do about it is curl up with a good book and a fire. We guess that makes us creatures of comfort… so it makes sense that we’re featuring books this week with a whole cast of critters — foxes and bears, chickens and hares — including a gang of woodland characters that kick off a kooky new mystery series. Plus, we have new books from heavy hitters including the late, great Gary Paulsen, Jason Reynolds, and Isabel Allende, and other novels to fit whatever literary mood may strike you. Cozy up and read on!

Book Bites: New Year’s Reading

The holidays have come and gone, our events calendar is filling back up, and the shop is humming along with happy browsers and boxes of new releases. It’s already shaping up to be a good year for reading — whether you’re the type of reader who sets specific reading goals or the sort who prefers to let the shelves show the way, you’re sure to find something to enjoy among our latest list of staff favorites below. No matter whether you start off your year of reading with a sweet picture book, a romance, a mystery, or something else entirely, here’s to good health, good cheer, and good books in 2022.

Book Bites: 2022 Preview

Here at the shop, we’ve wrapped up our year of reading and have switched to wrapping up your holiday gifts. But even with our merry band of booksellers in full-on elf mode, we still wanted to highlight a few upcoming releases that we just know you’re going to love. This week, we have a list of books to look for in the first few months of 2022 — and one more 2021 release from two of our favorite picture book creators that’s sneaking in just under the wire. We’ll have plenty more winter and spring recommendations to share in the weeks ahead. Until then, read on!

Book Bites: Holiday Reading & More

The year’s winding down and the holidays are picking up. What does that mean? More time to read! This week, we’re featuring new books for all ages, including two that are perfect for the holidays: A sweet picture book about community bonds and a tender novella that screams “future Christmas classic.” Break out the blankets, cozy up to some cocoa, and read on.

Book Bites: Late-Breaking Favorites

The year in publishing is winding down, the holidays are creeping up, and we’ve been busy at the shop ordering books for next spring. But good books can come along at any time, evidenced by our latest roundup of staff picks. Don’t let these titles get lost in the end-of-year shuffle — there are great options below for just about every type of reader. So clear some space on your TBR and plan to come see us sometime soon!

Book Bites: Something For Everyone

If you’ve been following the store for a while, you know that we love to share our favorite recent releases with you here on the blog. Some weeks, we’re especially excited about a group of new novels. Other times, we’re all about middle grade or YA. But on occasion, the stars align and we can deliver a classic all-ages, all-genres bookish lovefest. This is one such occasion! Enjoy, friends.

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