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 Weekly Words about New Books in
Independent Bookstores

March 22, 2020

Support Your Local Bookstore!
Here's How.
 
In these truly extraordinary times, people's health and safety are paramount, and I hope you all are doing well. For those of you who are sheltered in place by choice or, like me, by governmental edict, the next 2-3 weeks will be challenging even if you are physically and financially healthy. One thing I hope you will consider is supporting whatever local independent bookstore is near you. If the store is temporarily closed, know that most are still "open" online and many are offering special shipping and pick-up options for books purchased through their website. Whatever your circumstances, a good book or two will go a long way to relieving the tedium of being housebound.  
 
So visit your independent bookstore's website and see what they're doing to keep the flow of books moving during these trying times. Many of them have had to lay off staff; others are trying keep everyone on board. Any support you can provide is most welcome, whether it's buying a book you've been meaning to read, or purchasing a gift certificate for yourself or a friend.  
 
Another option? Pre-order a title due out in the next couple of months - the bookstore can use the upfront money, and you're guaranteed a copy of a hot new title fresh off the press. Here are a few to consider, along with their publication dates. Remember, they can be pre-ordered now:
 
The Room Where It Happened: A White House Memoir by John Bolton. In his role as National Security Advisor to President Donald Trump for 519 days, this veteran politico was privy to much of what went on in the inner circle. In this memoir, the blunt talking Bolton, who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and both George Bushes, offers a substantive account of his time in the room where it happened, including information that he was blocked from delivering at Trump's impeachment trial. (May 12)
   
 
Redhead By the Side of the Road by Anne Tyler. The latest novel from Tyler (The Clock Dance, A Spool of Blue Thread) is a warm, comic gem featuring Micah Mortimer, a creature of habit who's content leading a steady, circumscribed life. His routines are blown apart when his woman friend tells him she's facing eviction and a teenager shows up at Micah's door claiming to be his son. These surprises, and the ways they throw Micah's meticulously organized life off-kilter, risk changing him forever. (April 7)  
 
 
All Adults Here by Emma Straub. The author of The Vacationers and Mode r n Lovers delivers a funny and perceptive novel about the life cycle of one family, as the kids become parents, grandchildren become teenagers, and a matriarch confronts the legacy of her mistakes. "A totally engaging and smart book about the absolutely marvelous messiness of what makes up family; a wonderful book." - Elizabeth Strout, author of Olive Kitteridge and Olive, Again. (May 4)
 
 
The City We Became by N.K. Jemisin. This is a must for fantasy and science fiction lovers - a new book from the only author in history to have won three consecutive Hugo Awards for Best Novel, all for her Broken Earth trilogy (The Fifth Season, The Obelisk Gate, The Stone Sky).  Her latest is billed as the first in a new series titled The Great Cities trilogy; it's a story of culture, identity, magic, and myths in contemporary New York City. (March 24)
 
 
Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life by Mar ie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein. Kondo, the woman who told everyone how to declutter and organize their home in the bestselling The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and on Netflix, now teams with organizational psychologist Sonenshein to do the same for your work space, helping you overcome the challenges of workplace mess and enjoy the productivity, success, and happiness that come with a tidy desk and mind.  (April 7)
 
 
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes: A Hunger Games Novel by Suzanne Collins. This addition to one of the most popular teen book series in  history should be one of the biggest books of the year. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes is a prequel that revisits the world of Panem 64 years before the events of The Hunger Games and features one of the original central characters, Coriolanus Snow (Donald Sutherland in the films) - now a teenager himself and participating in the 10th Hunger Games. The once-mighty house of Snow has fallen on hard times, its fate hanging on the slender chance that Coriolanus will be able to outcharm, outwit, and outmaneuver his fellow students to mentor the winning tribute. (May 19) 
  Indies' Favorite Book for April is from Author of Station Eleven 
 
The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel. An eagerly awaited novel from the author of Station Eleven, Mandel's new story is set at the intersection of two seemingly disparate events - a massive  P onzi scheme collapse and the mysterious disappearance of a woman from a ship at sea. In Station Eleven, Mandel imagines a dystopian future; her new book connects her disparate characters in a contemporary world filled with insecurities. It was voted the #1 Indie Next pick for April by independent booksellers; here's t he review chosen to represent the indies' enthusiasm:
 
"In this ghostly story of ignoring what's right in front of you, a group of characters try to grapple with what seems like inevitable choices. Mandel's book is like the glass in the title: her language glitters while offering clarity and reflection, and her characters are like broken shards, mesmerizing in one light and dangerously ordinary in another. Combining the humanity and structure of Station Eleven with the brutal realism of her earlier works, The Glass Hotel is an exceptional novel."  
- Marika McCoola, Porter Square Books, Cambridge, MA  
WHERE TO FIND 
AN INDEPENDENT BOOKSTORE

Many of you already have a favorite local bookstore, but for those of you without such a relationship, you can click here to find the
nearest indie bookstore by simply entering your postal code.  

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WHY THE COLUMN?
Hi, I'm Hut Landon, and I work as a bookseller in an independent bookstore in BerkeIey, California.

My goal with this newsletter is to keep readers up to date about new books hitting the shelves, share what indie booksellers are recommending in their stores, and pass on occasional news about the book world.

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