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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 24nd
“I feel our nation’s turning away from love…moving into a wilderness of spirit so intense we may never find our way home again. I write of love to bear witness both to the danger in this movement, and to call for a return to love.” Bell Hooks
June and early July are for strawberries. My brother's birthday heralds the season. When we were kids, it meant a strawberry Bavarian cream pie topped with candles, and the start of u-picking. We would always go with my mom and family friends: strawberries, blueberries, apples, sometimes raspberries and sour cherries. The local u-pick farms would greet us each year with a joking "we should weigh the kids, before they start eating!"

I was anticipating strawberry season this year more than usual. My partner and I lacto-fermented strawberries this fall and we wanted the good berries for a large batch. But I was unsure if farms would be open for the season. Luckily, they are. Masks are a must; there's no tasting the berries or eating as you go, and you have to distance, but that's easy enough if you time things right.

The day we picked, it was ninety by nine in the morning. We slathered on sunscreen, and went to the fields. My partner had never been berry picking. The first berry he saw delighted him; the delight was infectious. Each strawberry, a soft ruby, enticed us. They winked from under the leaves, their green tops like crowns or toupees.

You think a lot while you're picking. We discussed current events, mulling over the world and the paths we could make through it. We marveled at nature, discussed plans, and, of course, I referenced some books, all featuring berry picking or strawberries: Braiding Sweetgrass , Blueberries for Sal , Children of the Longhouse , The Grey Lady & the Strawberry Snatcher , The Little Mouse, the Red, Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear.

The breeze cooled a tad, and we exclaimed over the funny shapes and perfect berries we found. Then, with two full flats and sun-silly smiles, we went to brave the kitchen at home. Lacto-strawberries, basil-strawberry jam, strawberry wine, rhubarb-strawberry-chia fruit leather...a day and a half later, we'd processed over 18 pounds of berries.

It was one of those weekends that both exhausts and invigorates, that makes you consider nature, botany, food, microorganisms, traditions, and life. Later, when I drink the strawberry wine, or deep in the dark of winter, as I slather a pancake with jam, it will be interesting to look back on this moment, to reflect and consider what was happening when the berries were growing, ripening, and being picked. I know I will learn many things between now and then, and the world will be different, and I hope it will be a better place.

-- Marika
Join our next virtual events!
A People's Guide to Greater Boston - Thursday, June 25th at 7PM
Tune in to a virtual talk with Eleni Macrakis, Suren Moodlair and Joseph Nevins, co-authors of  A People's Guide to Greater Boston ! This event is free and open to all, and is hosted on Crowdcast.

A People's Guide to Greater Boston  reveals the region’s richness and vibrancy in ways that are neglected by traditional area guidebooks and obscured by many tourist destinations. Affirming the hopes, interests, and struggles of individuals and groups on the receiving end of unjust forms of power, the book showcases the ground-level forces shaping the city. Uncovering stories and places central to people’s lives over centuries, this guide takes readers to sites of oppression, resistance, organizing, and transformation in Boston and outlying neighborhoods and municipalities—from Lawrence, Lowell, and Lynn to Concord and Plymouth.

It highlights tales of the places and people involved in movements to abolish slavery; to end war and militarism; to achieve Native sovereignty, racial equity, gender justice, and sexual liberation; and to secure workers’ rights. In so doing, this one-of-a-kind guide points the way to a radically democratic Greater Boston, one that sparks social and environmental justice and inclusivity for all.
Head Over Heels - Monday, June 29th at 7PM
Porter Square Books is delighted to welcome friend of the store Hannah Orenstein, author of Head Over Heels, to your computer screens for a virtual book talk and reading, in conversation with Cristina Arreola! This event takes place on Crowdcast, and is free and open to all.

Head Over Heels - The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.
Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.
Phone a Friend!
Miss getting great recommendations from your favorite booksellers? Never quite got the hang of the whole online orders thing? Now you can sign up for a time slot to chat with a bookseller! Currently available on Saturday and Sunday between 10-4 pm.

Up this weekend: Josh on Saturday and Meaghan on Sunday!
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!
Old Hollywood:  From Page to Screen
Wilde About Movies
I’ve now realized for the first time in my life the vital importance of 
being earnest. - O.W. 1885
Oscar Fingal O’Flahertie Wills Wilde was born in Dublin on October 16, 1854 to an Anglo-Irish family of intellectuals.  Brilliant at both Trinity and Oxford, his plays, novel and short stories were fodder for filmmakers since 1910.
The Picture of Dorian Gray  (1890), Wilde’s only novel, was first made in Hollywood in 1913 with matinee idol Wallace Reid playing Gray. It was remade numerous times, but the most important of the early films was made by M-G-M in 1945 and starred Hurd Hatfield, George Sanders and Angela Lansbury (Oscar nominated). Interesting trivia:  A 1918 production was shot in Hungary and starred Bela Lugosi, who went on to become the most famous Dracula in filmdom.

The British produced a 1916 version of Wilde’s comedy of manners,  Lady Windermere’s Fan  (1892 and available on DVD), and then Ernst Lubitsch directed an American production in 1925.  Subsequently, there were German (1935) and Mexican (1944) productions.  Dorothy Parker wrote a version in 1949 called  The Fan ; directed by Otto Preminger and starring Jeanne Crain, the movie was a critical flop.

The extraordinary Russian-born actress Alla Nazimova (born Marem-Ides Leventon) produced and starred in  Salome  in 1923 based on Wilde’s 1891 play; her co-star was Rudolph Valentino. This film is still available for screening and is considered one of Hollywood’s first art films.  None of the later versions (1986 or 2013) garnered much attention.  Interesting trivia:  In  Sunset Boulevard  (1950) Norma Desmond (Gloria Swanson) brings her own script of  Salome  to Cecil B. DeMille hoping he will produce a film with her as star; he doesn’t, instead she shoots Joe Gillis, the screenwriter (William Holden), dead.

The play  A Woman of No Importance  first graced the screen as a silent in 1921 (the film is lost); it was shot again 1936 (German), in 1937 (French) and finally in 1945 (Spanish).   An Ideal Husband  (1895) was first made as a German film in 1935. A British Technicolor adaptation was produced in 1947 with Paulette Goddard and Michael Wilding with costume design by Cecil Beaton. The play was filmed again in 1999 and 2000.

In 1944 Wilde’s comedic short story  The Canterville Ghost  (1887) was shot in Hollywood and starred Charles Laughton, Robert Young and Margaret O’Brien.  There have been four subsequent adaptations, but the M-G-M version is considered the classic.
The Importance of Being Earnest , first produced in the West End in 1895, was made into a film by Anthony Asquith in 1952 and starred Michael Redgrave and Edith Evans.  This is considered the definitive version; however it was remade in 1972  and 2002 with little fanfare.  Interesting trivia: in 1992 an American adaption featured an all Black cast and had its premiere at a Harvard University film symposium.

After being imprisoned for two years (1895 – 1897) having been found guilty of gross indecency, Wilde moved to France, lived for a time in the North, then moved to Paris where he died of meningitis.

Yes, death. Death must be so beautiful. To lie in the soft brown earth, with the grasses waving above one's head, and listen to silence. To have no yesterday, and no to-morrow. To forget time, to forget life, to be at peace. You can help me. You can open for me the portals of death's house, for love is always with you, and love is stronger than death is. O.W. 1887

-- Nathan
Next up:  John O’Hara on the Silver Screen
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?
Traveling through books

I know that there are urgent events that are taking place right now and we all must pay attention to our current surroundings and take action, however, we can also be pro-active about planning our future. Around this time last year, my partner and I were preparing for our trip to Japan. To date, it is my favourite trip I've ever taken. So, instead of looking back, I'm planning for a possible trip in late 2021 or early 2022 to Japan.

My favourite place on Earth right now is Sapporo, Hokkaido, Japan because it has everything Tokyo has without all the madness i.e. crowds and humidity. Sapporo is surrounded by lush green beauty and ocean blue waters in the summer and in the winter, it's a haven for all skiers and snowboarders alike. Then it would come to no surprise that my all-time-favorite-food is "soup curry" which originated in Sapporo! I love Tokyo and the surrounding area, it really does feel like existing in a live action anime, but sometimes the amount of people overwhelm me, so Sapporo is more my speed (not that there isn't loads of crowds here too, it just feels less overwhelming when compared to Tokyo).

Japan's famous public transportation is AMAZING. Even the local buses and trams are reliable and on a large scale, everything is almost always clean. For my next trip, I'm hoping to see more of the southern parts of Japan: Kyoto, Osaka, Yakushima (the island that inspired Hayao Miyazaki's movie "Princess Mononoke"), and Okinawa. And for inspiration, I'm loving these books as my guides and entertainment until I can travel there in real life.

-- Sinny
Shop the store!
Alert! New bookseller bundles available now!
Our 'get 3 paperbacks' bundle options have expanded to include Caleb, Meaghan, and Shana! Get 3 paperbacks handpicked by the bookseller that fit in with their theme. You can find all bundles HERE.
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
The late Patricia McKissack discusses the autobiographical origins of her book Goin' Someplace Special:
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 live! Please note that many of these staff picks were chosen prior to recent events.
Featured Pick for Kids

 A fun jaunt about a young witch who is continuously underestimated and saves the day (quite literally). Great for a smile and giving your mind a rest for a bit from…everything. Contains combustible, cat-like monsters who live under beds.
-- Stacey
Featured Pick for Adults
The Mercies by Kirin Millwood Hargrave

A beautifully written tale of a 1600s witch hunt and trial on a small Norwegian island. It is a nuanced look at the power of a female community, the toxicity of patriarchy, and the whirlwind of a village descending into madness, eating itself from the inside.This book will sweep you up in its whirlwind. -- Meaghan
We want to hear from you!
What's been the biggest change in your reading habits over the past few months?
I have a lot more time to read!
I just don't have the focus that I used to have.
My reading has become more centered on current events and social issues.
I'm consciously trying to read more diverse titles these days.
I'm reading more in a new format (digital or audio).
My habits have stayed about the same!
See you next time here at Shelf Stable!
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