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DUE TO THE HIGH VOLUME OF SALES & THE LIMITED NUMBER OF BOOKSELLERS THAT CAN SAFELY BE IN THE STORE WE ARE RUNNING SEVERAL DAYS BEHIND IN PROCESSING ONLINE ORDERS. This is a wonderful problem to have and we are so thankful for your support. Please see the website for more details.
Shelf Stable: June 12th
“Books are good company, in sad times and happy times, for books are people people who have managed to stay alive by hiding between the covers of a book.” E. B. White
I’m up in Maine now, and nearly done with my two weeks of quarantine. It’s been harder to come home than I imagined it would be, as I’ve readjusted to a new work-from-home environment, and grappled with the personal guilt I felt about having left the city in a time of protests to arrive in a small, coastal town that is by-and-large filled with privileged white people. In these weeks of anxiety and stress I did what I do best: spent money, by donating to organizations that support anti-racism and black lives. And of course I’ve been reading and listening, in multiple ways. Since so much antiracist literature is backordered due to high demand, this week I downloaded Stamped from the Beginning by Ibram X. Kendi which is currently $4.99 on 

But this week I’ve started to settle, and find the peace in being able to see the ocean from my window. Maine is an inspiring state and is of course home to many famous writers, past and present. One of my favorites is E. B. White, who may be most well known for his children’s literature, but if you haven’t given One Man’s Meat a try, I recommend it. Last summer his estate published On Democracy , a collection of essays and articles that he wrote during the 1930s and 40s. There are chapters on freedom, fascism, letters to delegates, and his dislike of the president. Despite the fact that White’s intended audience was probably not racially diverse, I think within the current context it’s still relevant. In addition to the books by BIPOC authors that you’re adding to your reading list, consider this one as well. 

I also settled down this week with a book that I thought would be escapist. I’m reading Severance by Ling Ma, which is maybe the last book that could possibly be escapist in the midst of pandemic! (I confess that I bought this book solely on recommendations from friends without knowing what it was about). But it’s gripping and I haven’t been able to put it down. If you’re up for some end-of-the-world literature, I highly recommend. 

-- Heather
Join our next virtual events!
A Bookseller's Bloomsday for Binc - June 16th at 7PM
Celebrate Bloomsday with Booksellers from around the country. Join  Loyalty Bookstore 's Hannah Oliver Depp and our own Josh Cook as well as other booksellers as they read their favorite passages from  Ulysses , discuss the book, answers your questions, and perhaps enjoy an adult beverage while they do. A great event for  Ulysses  aficionados, the Joyce curious, and readers who just miss eavesdropping on the booksellers chatting behind the counter.

All proceeds from the event will be donated to Binc,  the Book Industry Charitable Foundation , which serves to help booksellers through trying financial times, times like right now!
Jabari Asim with Porsha Olayiwola, Stop & Frisk - June 19th at 7PM
Please join us for a virtual Juneteenth poetry reading to celebrate the release of Jabari Asim's newest poetry collection,  Stop & Frisk: American Poems , with Porsha Olayiwola ( i shimmer sometimes, too ), hosted on Crowdcast.

In  Stop and Frisk , Jabari Asim ruthlessly interrogates entrenched injustice and its insidious echoes. Part rap sheet, part concept album, Asim lays down tracks that add conviction to our collective broken record: What could be more American than pretending truths were self-evident when they seldom were? Drawing defiant inspiration from the news and the Blues, these poems arrest our attention and burn grooves into us. These starkly revelatory poems expose the dark heart of our nation and call for a reckoning—the only way out before everything breaks / into hurt, noise, and ever after. 

This event is part of our Be the Change: Community Action series. A portion of Porter Square Books online sales for June 19th will be donated to Black Lives Matter Boston, along with any direct contributions from the audience via Crowdcast's Donate button.
Antiracism Books: A Place to Start
Digital Audio Books:
A terrific way to support local indies!
The Power of Preorders!
Preorders are a great way to support PSB and the authors you love! You can see all of the books from the future we're excited about here. But you can preorder more than just what we're excited for! Simply look for "Available for Preorder" in the inventory status.
Virtual Bookseller
Want book recommendations, personalized just for you?

Fill out our form with your likes and dislikes, genres and favorites, and we'll crowdsource a bunch of great picks for you with our crack team of real life booksellers. Give it a whirl!
Music & Book Recommendations: The K-Pop Phenomenon Edition
If you haven't heard, K-Pop (Korean pop) artists have been dominating the global and domestic music charts with BTS leading the way. However, I don't want to make this an introduction to K-Pop because there are already several sources out there for you to check out, starting with: How K-pop Became a Global Phenomenon and How K-Pop Conquered the West . And more recently, if you haven't heard, BTS and BTS ARMY ("A.R.M.Y" stands for "Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth" and it carries quite some meaning behind it, given that "Army" is associated with the military, body armor, and how those two things are always together, the fandom name basically means that fans will always be together with BTS) have shown up for Black Lives Matter in a huge way. BTS donated $1M to Black Lives Matter, and in solidarity with BTS and Black Lives Matter, BTS ARMY set out to match that donation - and we succeeded !

Now that intro is out of the way, I'm here to recommend some books on your favourite K-Pop idols--an idol (Korean: 아이돌; RR: Aidol), in fandom culture in South Korea, refers to a celebrity working in the field of K-pop, either as a member of a group or as a solo act.
Audio Book of the Month
Tristan Strong Punches a Hole in the Sky by Kwame Mbalia, narrated by Amir Abdullah

Rick Riordan presents Kwame Mbalia's epic fantasy, a middle grade American Gods set in a richly imagined world populated with African American folk heroes and West African gods.

"Tristan Strong is a book about memory & storytelling, a clever reimagining of African & black American mythology, & a fun, fast-paced ride! Boxer Tristan feels he's failed his best friend & let down his family. When he accidentally punches a hole to another world, he'll have to rediscover his strength as he fights alongside legends like John Henry, Brer Rabbit, & Anansi. Tristan's voice is tough, tender, & hilarious; his story will appeal to adventure lovers of all ages."
-- Kate, about the hardcover version
Need Some Inspiration?
It seems like I am always writing about food for this column. Maybe because my “other job” is as a food editor, maybe because it’s something we all have to think about literally every day and I feel like it’s natural to look for inspiration in that area of our lives, maybe it’s something else. Regardless, here I am for another Friday talk about food.

Food and cooking can be comforting, distracting, enjoyable, and more and more I have found that cooking has brought some measure of calm to my days for much of these last three months. However, that doesn’t mean that I am always inspired or that I’m excited when the end of every workday rolls around and it’s time to make dinner. One strategy I’ve been using for at least the last six or eight weeks is that we have theme nights every week. On Tuesdays, we eat tacos or taco-adjacent foods, and on Thursdays we eat pasta (this is because by Thursday I’m tired and want something easy and tasty). On Sundays, we usually make dinner together.

These weekly recurring schedules have helped me plan my cooking and grocery-shopping better and taken some of the stress out of figuring out what to eat. Different weeks I do slightly different variations—ground chicken or shredded chicken, crispy tortillas or soft, guac or salsa, etc. It has been nice to have this sense of consistency from week to week (in a time when a lot of things in life aren’t consistent), and it means food-planning requires a little less thought. It can also be fun—I like asking my partner which week of tacos was best, or seeing which type of pasta was the easiest to prep!

I suggest trying a theme night in your household this week—a chef I know makes pizza on Saturdays (sometimes including frozen! Even chefs go frozen sometimes), you could do tacos on Tuesdays like me, or you could pick a cuisine and make dishes related to it! It’s fun to have a little more focus but also a little less planning, and if you’re feeling burnt out in the kitchen (or in life), I recommend giving it a try. 

Happy cooking (and eating),
Shop the store!
Plush Bundles
Craving a new plush? Know someone who could use a comfort stuffie? Some of our critters are now available online! New items will be added periodically. Some are available individually, others come in handy bundles.
Journals, Stationery & Crafts
Sometimes a new notebook is what it takes to get the juices flowing!

We have now made a much wider variety of notebooks, journals, and even calendars available for order from our website, like this classic Moleskin . Now, along with items with an inventory status of "On Our Shelves Now," you can order journals, notebooks, diaries, calendars, planners, and more with an inventory status of "Available at Warehouses."
Book Bundle Offerings
Father's Day Gifts

Father's Day approaches! We've come up with a great list of gifts for you to browse from - socks, puzzles, books, joke books, oven mitts - all your favorites from the store! Remember to place your order early in order for us to have it ready for you in time for the holiday itself. Hope your dad or the guardian in your life loves it!
Face Masks
Face coverings are going to be with us for a while, so we’re now offering non-medical grade cloth masks (including kid size) from a variety of makers. Right now quantities are limited, but additional styles are on the way. We’ll keep you posted!
Bedtime Stories
To wind down your night tonight, might we suggest watching award-winning novelist, tireless advocate for children's literature, and all-around brilliant human Jacqueline Woodson's defense of slow reading?
Support Cafe Zing Baristas!
Although Cafe Zing is its own business separate from ours, we really don't see it that way: Zing workers are part of the Porter Square Books family. They keep us well supplied - very well supplied - with caffeine, kindness, and some great tunes. Sometimes they give us staff picks; sometimes we give them exact change because we've bought the same, perfect, comforting, delicious beverage twice a day five days a week for how long, now?

They're our family, and they could use a hand. If you are able, please considering donating to the Cafe Zing GoFundMe; 100% of proceeds go to baristas. What might you have spent at Zing over the past weeks if it we were in normal times? If that $10 is still in your wallet, consider putting it in their tip jar. We love you, Zing!
June staff picks are now live! Please note that many of these staff picks were chosen prior to recent events.
Featured Pick for Kids
Banned Book Club by Kim Hyun Sook, Ryan Estrada, Hyung-Ju Ko (Illustrator)

A gorgeously drawn comics memoir of joining a college book club in South Korea 1983, and the thoughts, choices, and trials it sparked. Fast-paced, smart, and utterly compelling, this is the activist comics memoir YA readers are looking for.
Featured Pick for Adults
The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch

This series is my biggest new obsession of quarantine. It's like grown-up Oliver Twist but in pseudo-Venice and with just the right amounts of fantasy elements. Locke, Jean, and their whole band of delightful con-artists are my new favorite bastards, and I can't get enough of their adventures! -- Caleb
We want to hear from you!
What's the first thing you'll order from Zing when it reopens?
What's the first thing you'll order from Zing when it eventually reopens?
Gotta have those sweet, sweet pastries.
I need my latte, now, and I don't care if it's 80 degrees.
One of Zing's specialty beverages!
I don't even care. I just want to see my favorite baristas!
See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
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