February News
We've got a highly anticipated new book by Ballard author, Matt Ruff hitting the shelves this month - highlighted by Becky's author spot below, exciting event news, Andrew's Romance recs for Valentine's Day and a roundup of February new releases!
Becky's Author Spot:
Matt Ruff

When I started working at the Secret Garden back in 2005, I was an English Major, reading mostly novels by authors who had been dead for decades and fiction that was only the "high-brow" stuff that was discussed in my classes. Working in a bookshop exposed me to so many new kinds of fiction and I quickly discovered how much fun it could be.

We always have had a good selection of Matt Ruff's books on our shelves here at the shop because, well, they're fantastic, and also because he lives in the neighborhood. I brought home a copy of Set This House in Order when I was still a student and it blew me away. Time is the true test of a book's quality. There are books that I read and love and forget about and there are books that never really leave me. Set This House in Order is one of those books for me. It's been over a decade since I first read it, but I can still recall the feelings it inspired, the basic plot and characters. The book's main character is a man named Andy Gage... sort of. Andy has multiple personality disorder. At the time, it was unlike anything I had encountered before and it was just so much fun.

It's a unifying theme in many of Matt's books - they're wild rides through his fascinating imagination; never overly heavy or depressing even when dealing with difficult themes. 88 Names - a fast-paced virtual reality thriller - is one of my go-to recommendations for teenaged boys who are growing out of the Young Adult genre. Lovecraft Country was recently adapted for an HBO series and stands out in my mind as one of the most incredible genre-bending novels I've read. Which of course brings me to the upcoming release of its sequel: The Destroyer of Worlds: A Return to Lovecraft Country.

I'm reading it now and it is just as raucous and engaging as its predecessor - planet hopping, nuclear explosions, ghosts in the cellar, and so many familiar characters - it's a blast. It comes out on February 21st and we'll have signed copies available! Get your preorders in now!

Also by Matt Ruff:
June Gervais Event
Saturday, March 11th at 5pm
Come and meet debut author, June Gervais and hear her read from her novel, Jobs for Girls with Artistic Flair.

You may have seen June's book on Andrew's staff recommendation shelf - he's been a huge advocate for this book from day one and says about the book, "In 1985, it isn't easy for a woman to break into the tattoo business, especially not in a small town like Blue Claw. When Gina turns 18, her brother reluctantly lets her apprentice at his tattoo shop, and the next year is filled with unexpected surprises. I was completely wrapped up in Gina's coming-of-age story. A shining gem of a debut from June Gervais." 

Check out our EVENTS page for more information!
Black History Month

We're celebrating Black History Month through February with window and table displays. Keep an eye on our Instagram and come check out the displays in the shop featuring some of our favorite fiction and nonfiction by black authors!
Romance Recs for Valentine's Day

Bookseller Andrew has put together some Romance recommendations ahead of Valentine's Day! Below are a few titles that are perfect if you're looking for a good Valentine's Day gift for your partner or just looking to escape the holiday altogether. Check out Andrew's Staff Rec page on our Website for more!
by Taleen Voskuni

While attending the Explore Armenia festival, Nareh finds herself drawn to Erebuni, the gorgeous, witchy woman working the events - the first woman Nareh has felt serious about in a long time. Sorry, Bro is a sweet and affirming sapphic romance that dives deep into cultural and intersectional identity, as well as complicated family dynamics, on the way to a heartwarming happy ever after.
by Lana Harper

When Nina Blackmoore becomes unexpectedly witchbound to the gorgeous Morty after a less-than-stellar first date, they've got a mystery to solve and each other to explore. Unfortunately, it doesn't help that their families have been feuding over Thistle Grove properties. A witchy small town romance combined with Irish and Welsh mythology makes for one enchanting read!
A Lady for a Duke
By Alexis Hall
Alexis Hall is ushering in a new era of historical romance with Viola Caroll, a trans woman who left her old life behind after war to live authentically. Two years later, she must come face to face with Gracewood, her closest childhood friend, who has no idea she's more alive than ever. With A Lady for a Duke, Hall sheds a little light on the often overlooked happy endings for LGBT folk in history, as we've always been here-- and what a delight it is to read a sweet, sensual, and heart-mending romance that celebrates it.
Coming in February...
The Sun Walks Down
by Fiona McFarlane
Set in Australia in the 1880's, about a boy who goes missing in the desert. It's a slice-of-life story as the narrative bounces around between the characters in town, following little side plots that meander pleasantly through the main story. It's a beautifully written novel.

Recommended by Becky
Available February 14th
by Katherine May
The author of Wintering is back with a new book on reestablishing a sense of wonder and awe in these anxious times. With her trademark gorgeous prose, May shares her own personal struggles as she searches for spiritual nourishment by reconnecting with her environment.

Available February 28th
I Have Some Questions for You
by Rebecca Makkai
The beloved author of The Great Believers is back with a new literary psychological thriller set in a New Hampshire boarding school. When Bodie Kane returns years later to her old boarding school as a teacher, she finds herself revisiting her memories of the murder of her former roommate, Thalia. Already sporting some stellar reviews - this one is bound to be a major book this year.

Recommended by Mary
Available February 21st
Madame Restell
by Jennifer Wright
A timely biography of a 19th Century abortionist in New York City. This book is so engaging, witty, and unapologetic - not to mention incredibly important in our post-Roe country. Ann Trow Sommers Lohman aka Madame Restell is a fascinating subject and a woman who was way ahead of her times.

Recommended by Becky
Available February 28th
Don't Fear the Reaper
by Stephen Graham Jones
Heads up to our horror readers out there! The sequel to Stephen Graham Jones' My Heart is a Chainsaw hits the shelves this month! Bookseller Kevin loved the first book in the series and says, "This book is impossible to put down and left me shook at the end. Graham Jones plays with tropes to create something completely fresh. It's equal parts classic bloody fun and scathing commentary that will make you question whether the world deserves to burn."

Recommended by Kevin
Available February 7th
A Day of Fallen Night
by Samantha Shannon
The prequel to the Book-Tok phenomenon Priory of the Orange Tree (a massive tome of a fantasy novel that has been flying off our shelves) arrives in the shop this month! The standalone prequel features four women, each protecting the realm during an age of terror and violence.
Available February 28th
The Adventure Zone:
The Eleventh Hour
By Clint McElroy, Carey Pietsch, Griffin McElroy, Travis McElroy, Justin McElroy
The fifth installment of the Adventure Zone graphic novel series arrives this month! Based on a popular Dungeons and Dragons podcast, this series has been hugely popular with our customers! Preorder your copy today!

Available February 21st
The Swifts
by Beth Lincoln
Every Swift child has a name chosen from the sacred Swift Family Dictionary and no one can escape their name. Mischief and mayhem ensue when Shenanigan Swift goes hunting for Great Uncle Vile's lost treasure. A riotous, delightful coming-of-age story of murder, greed, identity, and family - told with wit and humor.

Recommended by Becky
Available February 7th
Once Upon a Book
by Grace Lin
and Kate Messner
Two award-winning children's book author/illustrators team up for this stunning picture book about a girl named Alice who discovers worlds inside the pages of a book. The illustrations are stunning and will suck you into the pages right alongside Alice.

Available February 7th
We are open for browsing 11am-6pm on weekdays, and 11am-5pm on weekends
Visit us online 24/7 and be sure to check out our staff recommendations!