Cellar Door Books
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News & Events
December 2019
5225 Canyon Crest Dr. #30A, Riverside CA | 951.787.7807 | cellardoorbookstore.com
Store Hours: Mon - Sat 10 am-8pm | Sun 10 am-6 pm

Holiday Hours:
   Dec. 24     10 am-6 pm          Dec. 31     10am-6pm
   Dec. 25        CLOSED             Jan. 1-3      CLOSED
Upcoming Events
Kids and Young Adult
Friday, December 6 at 7 pm
A Christmas Carol Readers' Theater
Friday, December 6 at 7 pm
A Christmas Carol Readers' Theater
Saturday, December 14 at 11 am
Drag Queen Story Hour
Saturday, December 14 at 5 pm
Book Club Social
Friday, January 3 at 6 pm
Teen Advisory Board Meeting

2019's Best "Cellars"

1. Justice in Plain Sight, Dan Bernstein
     University of Nebraska Press  |  9781496202017
2.  In the Country of Women, Susan Straight
     Catapult |  9781948226226
3.  Voyage of the Dogs, Greg van Eekhout
     HarperCollins |  9780062686008
4. Narwhal's Otter Friend, Ben Clanton
     Tundra Books  |  9780735262485
5.  The Overstory, Richard Powers
     W. W. Norton & Company |  9780393356687
6.  The Night Tiger, Yangsze Choo
     Flatiron Books |  9781250175458
7. The Creature of the Pines, Adam Gidwitz
     Dutton Books for Young Readers |  9780735231702
8. Where the Crawdads Sing , Delia Owens
     G.P. Putnam's Sons |  9780735219090
9. Black Panther: World of Wakanda, Roxane Gay
     Marvel  |  9781302906504
10. Chupacabras of the Rio Grande, Adam Gidwitz  & David Bowles
     Dutton Books for Young Readers |  9780735231795
Linda's Holiday Message
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Giving a book is an act of courage. It claims knowledge of the receiver, a belief that they can be swayed by the experience of others, that they are willing to travel unfamiliar roads, perhaps willing to be shocked or overwhelmed, maybe even moved to action. Adversity encourages great art. In these very difficult times, there is no shortage of incredible books, but there is one I am asking you to pre-order, for yourself, for your Aunt Jo, for anyone who wants to better understand what is happening at our borders, for anyone who wants to understand why people make these journeys with so little hope and so much fear.  American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins comes out January 2020. I have been waiting for you to read this because I know it will move you to action. It is time we act. May this season which celebrates the birth of the most famous refugee and the ancient struggles of the small against the mighty empower and reinvigorate us.
RCP Presents: A Christmas Carol Readers' Theater
Friday, December 6 at 7 pm

The Riverside Community Players are back again this year to perform a readers' theater of Dickens's holiday classic,  A Christmas Carol.  This is our store's fan-favorite event of the holiday season! According to our RSVP list, we are at capacity for seating. Please be advised seating will be available on a first-come, first-served basis with limited standing room available once all seats are filled. 
Drag Queen Story Hour: Holiday Realness!
Saturday, December 14 at 11 am

Help us celebrate the holidays with a special edition of Drag Queen Story Hour!  Join us in welcoming Scalene OnixXx, Kelly K, and Athena Monet Kills back to read some fun books to get us into the holiday spirit.

Tickets are required to attend our Drag Queen Story Hour. By purchasing tickets, you agree to comply with our code of conduct. All ticket sales are donations.

For more information on Drag Queen Story Hour, visit their website  here.
Book Club Social
Saturday, December 14 at 5 pm

Hey, book club members! As you may know, a majority of our book clubs aren't meeting during the month of December due to the holidays. In place of the regular meetings, we're inviting all of our book club members and attendees to a special book club social -  join us for snacks, a chance to meet the members of other clubs, and, of course, to talk books!
The Holidays are Here!

It's December, and that means you have a little over three weeks to shop for the holidays! Looking for some great gift ideas? We've got you covered. From the titles in our 2019 Holiday Catalog (which you can pick up from us if you haven't already, or click the button below), to the carefully curated selection in-store, to our staff picks, we have something for you and a great recommendation for every lucky person on your list. Remember to shop local this season!

Psst! Wouldn't it be easier if you had already ordered an incredibly awesome gift for all of your staff/faculty/hard-working employees ahead of time? Come in, talk to our amazingly brilliant booksellers who can pair your needs with the perfect book, and ask us about our B2B programs that offer discounted prices for large orders because, this year, everyone gets a book! 
Cellar Door's Best of 2019

Staff Picks of the Year
Linda's Adult Pick:
Black Leopard, Red Wolf
by Marlon James
"Tracker's journey is needed in 2019: he is a man seeking to define maleness, humanity, and morality in a world in which those ideas have been so corrupted that they are impossible to recognize. The world of Black Leopard, Red Wolf does not fit into traditional molds; the monsters, tests, allies, and mentors are simultaneously ancient and new, beautiful and terrifying; and James' writing is heartbreakingly beautiful. This new world can help us navigate our own foreign landscape." - Linda
                                  Buy your copy here.
Linda's Kid Pick: Look Both Ways by Jason Reynolds
"Think about coming  home from school, about the walks, the bus rides, the dramas that occurred  in those short times. I bet a fair number of your school stories stem from those times. Jason Reynolds brilliantly, beautifully, and with that soul of truth that shines through his characters gives us a picture of a neighborhood, of a childhood, and in it's hilarious and poignant realities, pending adulthood." -Linda

Linda's Young Adult Pick: Patron Saints of Nothing by Randy Ribay
"To come of age in America often means bridging the gap between where we come from, where our families come from, and where we have grown up.  For Jay Reguero, the Philippines is a place of distant family, a place his father left to "give us a better life," but when Jay's cousin Jun dies in mysterious circumstances, Jay returns to the Philippines to uncover the facts of his death. Beautifully told, this is a story of connection, love, and growing up that all of us, no matter where we come of age, should read." - Linda

Elisa's Pick: In the Dream House by Carmen Maria Machado
"I found myself completely transfixed from the first 
page. Machado cuts herself open and pours herself out in this genre-defying memoir. Delving deep into the murky waters of domestic abuse, with care and style, she brings the reader into the inner-most parts of her personal experience. This book explores a far too examined reality of abuse in queer relationships." - Elisa

Steven's Pick: American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins (1/21/20 release)
"This book has a way of being both incredibly sad, yet exceptionally hopeful. The characters throughout the story show how strong people can be even in the face of extreme brutality. Well written and raw, Jeanine Cummins shows the reality of asylum seekers and the courage they must possess to survive their journey."

Karens's Pick: 
The Testamants by Margaert Atwood
"For those wondering if Atwood's sequel to The Handmaid's Tale  stacks up... oh yes, it does. The Testaments  follows three different points of view, fifteen years after Offred's tale. Atwood explores the cult mindset, how easy it is to believe in something when that's all you've ever known, and how difficult it is to break out of it. It's a story of heroism, and of real, messy people rising to the occasion." - Karen

          Buy your copy here.

Cheick's Pick: What Burns by Dale Peck
Through this collection of short stories centered on the struggles of queer men. Peck manages to highlight the issues faced by us all; longing for freedom, coping with familial trauma, failed attempts at intimacy and most common of all lust. Entirely transgressive, yet never exaggerated. The power in these tales isn't in the obious shock of the narratives, but rather in the author's ability to relate the seemingly unrelatable to society at large. - Cheick

         Buy your copy here.

Book Club Picks of the Year
Cellar Door Book Club:
  The Immortalists by Chloe Benjamin
"How would you live your life if you knew what day you'd die? This compelling novel explores this question through the interweaving lives of four siblings who, as children, are told their death dates by a fortune-teller. A fascinating rumination on fate versus free will." - Jessamyn Duckwall (Waucoma Bookstore, OR) for Indie Next List
Buy your copy here.
Mystery Book Club: In the Woods by Tana French
As dusk approaches a small Dublin suburb in the summer of 1984, mothers begin to call their children home. But three children don't return from the dark and silent woods. Police find only one of the children gripping a tree trunk in terror and unable to recall a single detail of the previous hours. Twenty years later, the found boy, Rob Ryan, is a detective investigating a chillingly similar case.

Sci-Fi & Fantasy Book Club: Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik
Miryem, the daughter of an inept moneylender, soon gains a reputation for turning silver to gold. When an ill-advised boast draws the attention of the king of the Staryk - grim fey creatures - Miryem's fate, will forever be altered. Novik draws readers into this glittering realm of fantasy, where the boundary between wonder and terror is thinner than breath, and safety can be stolen as quickly as a kiss.

Historical Fiction Book Club: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck
"Secrets, sacrifices, and the struggle to survive all make for a highly provocative read. This poignant story about women and their children, thrown together by war and its aftermath, gave me a renewed respect and empathy for their contemporary counterparts caught in the conflict of today's world." - Vivien Jennings (Rainy Day Books, KS) for Indie Next List

Philosophical Horror Book Club:  Confessions by Kanae Minato
Following an accident on the grounds of the middle school where Yuko Moriguchi teaches, Yuko has tendered her resignation. But first she has one last lecture to deliver. With twists you'll never see coming, Confessions probes the limits of punishment, despair, and tragic love, culminating in a harrowing confrontation between teacher and student that will place the occupants of an entire school in danger.

Black Lit Book Club: Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward
"A dark and gorgeous song of love and heartbreak, tragic and disorienting in its timelessness. Present and past is made alive by ghosts and everyone suffers from the cancers of buried sins. It's The Odyssey meets the Delta blues meets William Faulkner and Toni Morrison and some ineffable something that is Ward's own magic." - Sara Hinkley (Hudson Booksellers, GA) for Indie Next List

Speculative Fiction Book Club: Pet by Akwaeke Emezi
"Imagine a world where oppression is a thing of the past, completely irradiated along with racism, sexism, and other monsters. This is the world Jam has grown up in. So when a creature arises claiming to be on the hunt for a monster, Jam isn't quite sure what to believe. In their timely young adult debut, Emezi renders an incredible story that deftly takes on the current perils of our world." - Elisa

LGBTQ Book Club: A Queer History of the United States for Young People by Michael Bronksi
Queer history didn't start with Stonewall. This book explores how LGBTQ people have always been part of our national identity, contributing to the country and culture for over 400 years. Through engrossing narratives, letters, drawings, poems, and more, it encourages young readers of all identities to feel pride.

Bucket List Book Club: Kindred by Octavia Butler
Dana, a modern black woman, is snatched abruptly from her home in California and transported to the antebellum South. Dana is drawn back repeatedly through time to the slave quarters, and each time the stay grows longer, more arduous, and more dangerous until it is uncertain whether or not Dana's life will end. A visionary author's masterpiece exploring the horrors of slavery and impacts of racism.

Phy-Sci Book Club: The Only Woman in the Room by Eileen Pollack 
Based on six years of interviewing her teachers and classmates, as well as dozens of other women who dropped out before completing their degrees in science or found careers less rewarding than they had hoped, Pollack has written a no-holds barred examination of the social, interpersonal, and institutional barriers confronting women-and minorities- in the STEM fields.

              Buy your copy here.

Feminist Book Club: Good and Mad by Rebecca Solnit
"Traister covers a wide scope of social and political change in U.S. history, and how angry women were the catalyst for nearly every movement. From how society has recognized and given a platform to men's anger while demonizing or infantizing women's, to how women of color's anger is received more harshly than white women's, this is an inter-sectional tribute that will leave you fired up." - Karen

Graphic Novel Book Club:  Upgrade Soul by Ezra Claytan Daniels
For their 45th anniversary, Hank and Molly Nonnar decide to undergo an experimental rejuvenation procedure, but their hopes for youth are dashed when the couple is faced with the results: severely disfigured yet intellectually and physically superior duplicates of themselves. Daniels asks probing questions about what shapes our identity - is it the capacity of our minds or the physicality of our bodies?

History Book Club:  The Crusades of Cesar Chavez by Miriam Pawel
Cesar Chavez founded a labor union, launched a movement, and inspired a generation. In the first comprehensive biography of Chavez, Pawel offers a searching yet empathetic portrayal. Drawing on thousands of documents, hundreds of hours of audiotape, and scores of interviews, this superbly written life deepens our understanding of one of Chavez's most salient qualities: his profound humanity. 

Kids Book Club: Spirit Hunters by Ellen Oh
"Harper and her family just moved to Washington D.C., and she only has vague recollections of a fire, an institution that left her with two broken arms and a broken collar bone, and voices in her head. When her little brother's odd behavior rings warning bells, Harper knows she must remember what happened to help him fight off evil forces. Absolutely one of the best horror books ever!" - Linda

Book Clubs for Adults

Cellar Door Book Club (Meets the fourth Sunday of the month at 3 pm)
Sunday, January 26: Where the Dead Sit Talking by Brandon Hobson
Sunday, February 23: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Mystery Book Club  (Meets the third Thursday of the month at 6 pm)
Thursday, January 16: Dissolution by C.J. Sansom
Thursday, February 20: Whose Body? by Dorothy Sayers

Science-Fiction & Fantasy  (Meets the third Saturday of the month at 5 pm)
Saturday, Jauary 18: The Calculating Stars by Mary Robinette Kowal
Saturday, February 15: The Poppy War by R.F. Kuang

Historical Fiction Book Club  (Meets the fourth Saturday of the month at 5 pm)
Saturday, January 25: The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
Saturday, February 23: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Barrows

Agatha Christie Book Club  (Meets the third Tuesday of the month at 6:30 pm)
Tuesday, December 17: Parker Pine Invesitgates
Tuesday, January 21: The Clocks

Philosophical Horror  (Meets the third Monday of the month at 6 pm)
Monday, January 20: Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King
Monday, February 17: Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Black Lit Book Club  (Meets the final Friday of the month at 6 pm)
*Friday, January 31: My Sister the Serial Killer by Oyinkan Braithwaite*
Friday, February 28: The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Speculative Fiction Book Club  (Meets the second Saturday of the month at 4 pm)
Saturday, January 11: The Deep by River Solomon

LGBTQ Book Club  (Meets the fourth Thursday of the month at 6 pm)
Thursday, January 23: Looking for Lorraine by Iman Perry
Thursday, February 27: Over the Top by Jonathan Van Ness

Bucket List Book Club  (Meets the third Sunday of the month at 3 pm)
Sunday, January 19: Collected Fictions by Jorge Luis Borges
Sunday, February 16: The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers

Phy-Sci Book Club  (Meets the fourth Wednesday of the month at 6 pm)
Wednesday, January 22: Forensics by Val McDermid
Wednesday, February 26: Sex on the Kitchen Table by Norm Ellstrand

Current Affairs Book Club  (Meets the second Sunday of the month at 4 pm)
Sunday, January 12: LikeWar: The Weaponization of Soicial Media by P.W. Singer
Sunday, February 9: The Curse of Bigness by Tim Wu

Feminist Book Club  (Meets the first Tuesday of the month at 6 pm)
Tuesday, December 3: I Might Regret This by Abbi Jackson

Graphic Novel Book Club  (Meets the first Monday of the month at 6:30 pm)
Monday, January 6: The Prince and the Dressmaker by: Jen Wang
Monday, February 3: Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughn, ill. by Cliff Chiang

History Book Club  (Meets the first Wednesday of the month at 6 pm)
Wednesday, December 4: All the Shah's Men: An American Coup and the Roots of Middle East Terror by Stephen Kinzer
Wednesday, February 5: The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism by Doris Kearns Goodwin

NEW!  Outdoor Lit ( Meets  every other month the first Sunday at 2:00 pm)
Sunday, January 5: Eager: The Surprising, Secret Life of Beavers and Why They Matter by Ben Goldfarb
Sunday, March 1: The Dreamt Land: Chasing Water and Dust Across California by Mark Arax

Book Clubs for Kids and Youth

Early Readers Book Club (Meets the second Saturday of the month at 1 pm)
Saturday, January 11: Ra the Mighty: Cat Detective by B.A. Greenfield
Saturday, February 8: Diary of a Wimpy Ki d: The Third Wheel by Jeff Kinney

Spanish Reader Book Club (Meets the 3rd Saturday at 1pm)
Saturday, January 18: Mi papi tiene uno moto by Isabel Quintero

Kid's Book Club (Meets the second Thursday of the month at 6 pm)
Thursday, January 9: When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin 
Thursday, February 13: Ghost Boys by Jewell Parker Rhodes

Banned Books Book Club (Meets the first Monday of the month at 5 pm)
Monday, Decmber 2: Bless Me, Ultima by Rudolfo Anaya
Monday, January 6: The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie

Visit our Book Clubs page here for more info.