Recommendations and Reviews

Highlights of what we've been reading and loving.

Book Bites: Women’s History Month and TeenBookCon, Too

Happy Women's History Month, friends! We're proud to be a woman-owned, women-run independent bookshop every day of the year, but this month is a special reminder to highlight the invaluable contributions of women. We're excited to highlight books by women authors below — including a sweet picture book, a wonderful piece of historical fiction, a fantastic debut novel, and a selection of books by authors who will be featured at this month's tenth annual TeenBookCon!

We’ve been busy, busy, busy preparing for TeenBookCon 2019, which will feature 24 of the best YA authors writing today. To say that we’re looking forward to it is just a tiny bit of an understatement — none other than Angie Thomas and Laurie Halse Anderson (!!!) are keynoting the festival — so we’re turning a chunk of this biweekly roundup over to them. Dig in and read on, friends.

Book Bites: Daisy, Nikki, Monkey, Cake

Here's one thing about working at a bookstore: You'll never see the top of your nightstand again. Between all of the recommendations and advance copies, each member of our staff has a "to be read" list that's dozens—hundreds?—of titles long, along with a hefty stack of books waiting to be picked up. We've been reading, reading, reading our way through our lists, and we have to say: It's been a great season for new releases. In the last few weeks, we've welcomed a pair of fantastic picture books, a delightful middle grade debut, some great novels for teens and adults, and (despite the chilly temperatures) the first wave of books that could make for fantastic summer reading. Heard the hype about Daisy Jones & The Six? It's real, friends. Clear some space on your shelves and give us a visit—we'll send you home happy.

Book Bytes: Audiobook Favorites from Libro.fm

Have you heard about our audiobook partner, Libro.fm? It's a wonderful platform, full of smart, opinionated recommendations from real booksellers (including some of yours truly)—which makes it much better than whatever some anonymous computer algorithm recommends, as far as we're concerned. How do they do it? By partnering with and supporting over 500 independent bookstores around the country. Setting up an account with Libro means supporting your local community. What's not to love?

They're also running a spectacular deal right now for new customers switching from the Amazon-owned Audible platform: Join Libro.fm, support your local bookstore by doing so, and get three audiobooks for the price of one. Jeffrey doesn't really need more money, does he?

Here are some of our very favorite audiobooks to get you started.

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.

Pages